Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

June 25, 2014

Transparency focus of county in state address

Effingham County is unique in Illinois. It is an agricultural base, and the intersection of two major interstate highways, two national railways, two United States highways and two state highways. For many commercial and private travelers, Effingham is an oasis on the interstate system. Effingham County is truly a hub of commerce, agriculture and tourism.

The Effingham County Board and the elected constitutional officers of the county have worked diligently together to develop workable budgets and to use taxpayers’ money effectively even with the county board holding taxes with no increase and giving employees a 2 1/2-percent pay increase last year, County Treasurer Steve Dasenbrock reports the county is in good financial condition.

The board contracted with a company to codify the county ordinances. The review will insure they are consistent with each other and state and federal laws. The ordinances will be available on the county’s website when the process is completed. Other county information will be forth coming on the Website, including board and committee agendas and minutes, as well as reference information regarding the Freedom of Information Act.

The County Board appoints the Effingham County Board of Health, which oversees the operations of the County Health Department. The County Board became aware of financial issues at the Health Department and addressed those issues with the Board of Health. The financial issues were dire enough to threaten whether the health department could remain in operation. Board of Health members, under the guidance of President Dorothy Behrns, made some difficult decisions and has turned the corner to putting the Health Department back on firm financial footing.

The County Board received complaints on the access of the Animal Control Shelter to recover pets that have been picked up. The hours at the shelter have been adjusted to include Saturday mornings and are still being looked at. One Animal Control officer’s retirement is pending and upon his departure, the hours will be reviewed. A new animal control ordinance was passed by the County Board to be consistent with state law. Operations at Animal Control are still under review to improve public service and access. As always, public suggestions and comments are welcome.

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