An Attentive Municipal Organization that Connects with Community, Commerce, and Nature.

Finance Committee Minutes

OCTOBER 12, 2015

Trustee Curtis called the meeting to order.

In attendance: Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Chris Faber, Trustee Mike Lowery, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Village Administrator Steve Bosco.


1. Approval of the Finance Committee Minutes dated March 19, 2015
Motion for approval made by Trustee Lowery and seconded by Trustee Faber. All in favor. Motion approved.

1. Discussion of 2015 Property Tax Levy Estimate
CPI this year is .8%. New Construction was very strong last year primarily due to OPUS building making its way on the EAV roles for the village. Last year the village’s property tax extension was $2.221 million. The village has the potential to increase that by $17,000 due to inflation and $47,000 due to new construction. Overall increase in revenues is 2.9%. That will be less than a 1% increase for the village’s portion of the property tax bill. An increase of .8% for a home with a fair cash value of $260,000 would result in a $4.15 impact for the homeowner.

Trustee Curtis suggested the Village set a precedent to not increase the tax rate.

Village Administrator Steve Bosco said that there are some non-home rule communities that decide not to take their increase. The issue with North Aurora is that the village is highly dependent on sales tax revenues. Forty-five percent of the General Fund is funded by the sales tax. If the village’s sales tax drops, there will be a huge drop in revenues. If the village does not have that 1% increase in property tax, it is not guarding against a lot of liability on sales tax.

Curtis suggested looking at the analysis and data and possibly avoiding increases in the future. Curtis questioned the need to increase the tax rate since the economy is recovering, there is an increase in the market, increase in retail and development.

Finance Director Bill Hannah said that by heading in the current manner, the village is able to fund general services and put additional money in the Capital Projects Fund. The Village of North aurora is one of the few communities that does not have the maximum utility tax. The Village’s utility tax is 3% and 4% compared to other communities at 5% and 6% for their utility tax and telecommunications tax.

Bosco credited Bill Hannah and the Village Board for keeping water rates extremely low and for not raising water rates in five years.

SSAs – Hannah noted that there are currently four active SSAs. The village is looking at activating an SSA for the North Aurora Towne Center for wetland maintenance. There are also three SSAs related to Randall Highlands (commercial, single family and multi-family) and looking at a proportionate share amongst the three totaling $10,000. NA Towne Center would be approximately $25,000. This would be a total of 4 SSAs the Village would look to activate this year.

Police Pension Valuations – There were some changes to the assumptions and different items that the actuary incorporates into the valuation such as mortality rates, disability rates, turnover rates. Those changes are what caused most of the increase in valuation from just under $600,000 to $800,000 for next year.

2. Discussion of Draft HR Manual
Rewrite of the personnel policy manual.

Chapter 1 Introduction
• Addition of Welcome and Introduction sections
• Addition of section outlining the organization of the Village
• Addition of paragraphs outlining precedence of CBA’s and Police Commission • Revised disclaimer and “at will” section

Chapter 2 Personnel Policies
• Revised Equal Opportunity Employer statement section and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) policy
• Addition of Anti-Harassment Policy, Revised Sexual Harassment Policy and revised Harassment Reporting Procedure
• Addition of Workplace Violence Policy, Drug-Free Workplace, Weapons Policy and Pregnancy Accommodation Policy per State law.
• Memorialization of the Village’s establishment and availability of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Chapter 3 Employment Recruitment and Selection
• Addition of recruitment procedures that govern when recruitment for a vacant position can begin, documentation of the process, Village Administrator authorization requirement to begin recruitment and Village Administrator approval required for employment offers to be made. Also provides for employment overlap of up to 3 months for cross-training or other purposes
• Addition of sections requiring background checks and reference cheeks where such were discretionary before
• Update of citizenship requirements to provide that the only requirement is authorization to work in the United States unless otherwise required by law.
• Update of residency requirements to require 25 miles for only Public Works and Police Department positions. The current policy provides for a 20 mile requirement for all employees (Police officers and Sergeants currently 25 miles per their respective collective bargaining agreements). This would remove the residency requirement of 20 miles for all non-union and non-Police/Public Works/Water staff.
• Addition of a section that disqualifies applicants for employment if they are related to a regular full or part-time employee (parent, sibling, child and spouse) unless deemed to be in the best interests of the Village.

Chapter 4 Employment Classification and Compensation
• Revised definition and classification of employee types and Exempt/Non-Exempt Employees
• Memorialization of the Compensation Plan and process for amendment through the Budget Amendment process
• Providing the ability of the Village Administrator to authorize the hiring of a new employee at Step 5 or halfway point of a position’s range (previous new hire authority was Step 3)
• Revised sections governing Introductory Periods, Transfers, Promotions and Demotions

Chapter 5 Employee Benefits and Eligibility
• Addition of the actual twelve (12) current Village holidays and dates observed in the Manual to avoid requiring the Board to approve the holiday schedule on an annual basis
• No changes to the number of personal leave days of two (2)
• Revised Vacation Leave Accrual Table. o Employees will now receive 2 1/2 weeks after completion of 3 years of service (previous was only 2 weeks to 5 years of service) o Employees will now receive 4 weeks after 10 years of service (instead of 14 years) o Employee will now receive 5 weeks after 20 years of service (instead of 18 years)
• Addition of a section that provides that the Village Administrator can offer additional vacation leave benefits at the time of hire and communicate those benefits to the Village Board.
• Addition of a section that provides an option for non-union employees to buy back up to one (1) week of vacation time a year annually in November in order to provide flexibility for workloads and an additional benefit for non-union staff due to the unique workload and nature of non-union employees and management
• Clean-up of sick leave accrual and usage language but no significant changes in sick leave policies
• Addition of a section which provides employees the ability to donate their vacation or personal leave time to an employee undergoing a hardship situation defined as a critical medical situation involving a member of the immediate family
• Clean-up revisions relating to health insurance plans, COBRA coverage, continuation in retirement, life insurance, pension plans, memorialization of 457 deferred compensation plan, section 125 plans
• Removal of requirement that the employee fund dental plans at 100% of the cost of coverage and instead set through the Board approval of the annual benefit package
• Increase tuition reimbursement for courses taken at an accredited school to $500 from $300 for undergraduate classes with a limit of one course per term.
• Comprehensive re-write of workers’ compensation provisions to reflect current law and practice

Chapter 6 Work Periods, Overtime, Compensatory Time
• Revisions to incorporate current practice on work periods, lunch periods and the payroll cycle
• Revisions clarifying when overtime is paid based on FLSA standards and clarifying employer authorization required prior to working overtime
• Revision to compensatory time for non-union, non-exempt employees allowing non-union employees to accumulate up to forty (40) hours of compensatory time (previous rule was to use comp time within the current or succeeding payroll period)

Chapter 7 Leaves of Absence
• Minor revisions to FMLA and Military Leave of absence policies
• Addition of sections providing procedure and approval process for unpaid leaves of absence for both medical non-work related and non-medical reasons
• Addition of section on Victims Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA)
• Addition of sections referencing other types of leave that are current law including School Visitation Rights Leave Act, Blood/Organ Donation Leave and Voting Rights Act

Chapter 8 Discipline, Grievances, Employment Changes
• Expanded the list of examples for which discipline shall be considered without limiting it to the list
• Cleaned up language on various steps in the discipline process
• Changed suspensions that can be given by the Village Administrator from 3 to 5 days (typically)
• Provides for termination of employment by the Village Administrator with prior notification to the Board

Chapter 9 General Rules and Regulations
• Modified provisions which allow additional outside employment under certain circumstances
• Update of use of Village vehicle and equipment policy, electronic communication policy and information technology policies
• Incorporation of previously adopted policies on Social Media Use
• Addition of a section on dress code including provision for the designation of a casual day, and the wearing of clothing that contains a business or association name other than the Village.
• Update of policies on when and where compensation for travel time is permissible for non-exempt employees based on FLSA standards including the reimbursement of meals
• Revamping of workplace inspection policy
• Incorporation of the Village’s adoption of the Gift Ban Act and its provisions and incorporation of the additional limitations on employees in relation to the Gift Ban Act that were incorporated as part of the Purchasing Policy

Chapter 10 Other Policies and Information
• Minor modification of employee safety program and responsibilities
• Incorporation of FOIA and Prior-adopted Identity Protection Policies
• Adoption of Bereavement Contributions Policy of up to $100 for the employee’s immediate family members
• Adoption of Service Recognition guidelines for employees with 10 or more years of service retiring or leaving employment with the Village

Hannah said this item will go before the Committee of the Whole and first meeting in November for approval.


Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Faber and seconded by Trustee Lowery. All in favor. Motion approved.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lori J. Murray
Village Clerk


Contact Village Hall

Village of North Aurora
25 East State Street
North Aurora, IL 60542

Driving Directions

Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Village Departments

Administration (630) 897-8228 ext. 224
Administration Fax (630) 897-8258
Police (630) 897-8705
Police Fax (630) 897-8700
Finance (630) 897-8228 ext. 225
Community Development (630) 897-1457 ext. 222
Code Enforcement (630) 897-1457 ext. 231
Building and Zoning (630) 897-1457 ext. 259
Public Works (630) 897-8228 ext. 260
Water (630) 897-8228 ext. 223
Fire District (630) 897-9698