Commissioner shares ‘last hurrah’ at meeting
A member of the Union County Board of Commissioners shared his “last hurrah” at the board’s regular meeting last week.
The commissioners met in regular session Wednesday morning, Nov. 21. The meeting was at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
Last week’s session was the last regular meeting to be attended by commissioner Danny Hartline.
Hartline, a Democrat, was an incumbent who did not seek reelection in 2018. He has served six years as a commissioner.
The outgoing commissioner focused comments on the county budget, funding for the Union County Highway Department and concerns about an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, IMRF, issue which potentially could impact current county workers and retirees.
Hartline has addressed the IMRF matter several times at county board meetings. The concerns focus on a situation which dates to 2007 and involves findings which appeared in an IMRF audit.
The matter appears to involve many thousands of dollars – including funds which have to be paid and remain to be paid.
Hartline also addressed boosting county revenues and recommended an increase in funding for the Union County Highway Department.
He suggested that revenues could be increased by attracting businesses to the county. In order to attract businesses, and promote growth, the county needs to maintain a strong infrastructure, including roads.
Hartline recommended that at least $100,000 be added to the highway department budget for infrastructure.
Last year, he said, the highway department did receive an additional $62,000 in funding. He emphasized that the commissioners have not cut funding to the highway department – “in spite of what people have said.”
Hartline said that he is leaving office with a sense of confidence that he has made decisions made on his faith and “what is best for Union County.”
Commissioner Max Miller, who was reelected on Nov. 6, said it “has been an honor” to serve with Hartline.
In other business at last week’s meeting:
Regional superintendent of schools Cheryl Graff presented a quarterly report to county officials.
Graff serves as regional superintendent for Union, Alexander, Jackson, Perry and Pulaski counties.
The regional superintendent reported that the Jonesboro School District had achieved exemplary status when the most recent annual Illinois School Report Cards were issued.
Jonesboro was the only school district in the five counties to achieve exemplary status, Graff said.
Graff also noted that efforts are underway with Southern Illinois University Carbondale to train special education teachers.