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Campton Hills seeks to limit president’s spending abilities

CAMPTON HILLS – The Campton Hills Village Board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss applying limits to the village president’s spending powers.

Village trustees pointed out that the current ordinance, which allows the village president to spend $5,000 without board approval for emergency purposes, conflicts with another part of the ordinance and also does not limit how often that $5,000 could be spent.

The board Tuesday agreed to review the village code at the next regular board meeting July 16, when it may consider adding language that’s more specific about how and when that money can be used.

President Patsy Smith and Trustees Jim Kopec and Mike Millette were not present.

Trustee Al Lenkaitis Jr. said the ordinance pertaining to the president’s spending capabilities is listed twice in the village code, and only one of the two ordinances specifies that the Village Board has to review any unexpected expenditures within 10 days after the money is spent.

“We need to stop spending just because we have the authority ahead of time,” said Trustee Laura Andersen, who was designated as president pro-tem in Smith’s absence.

Lenkaitis said recently the village administration has been using that money to pay for “warrants,” or costs that are typically anticipated and don’t fluctuate from month to month.

“It’s not fiscally conservative,” he said. “It’s not even beneficial to us.”

“We just want to get ahead of the process, not behind the process” of paying those bills, Andersen said.

In other business, the board also moved to figure out a way to produce a balanced 2014 budget, which was approved at a deficit June 18.

The village had $39,000 left over from the previous year’s budget, which was added to the current budget.

Projections also show that by 2015, the village will be operating at a $15,000 deficit.

“It’s a small amount, $15,000. But $15,000 is a lot of money, especially in our small village,” Andersen said.

The projected deficit climbs to more than $200,000 by 2021, trustees said.

They voted Tuesday to call a Finance Committee meeting before the end of the month to work on producing a more balanced budget.

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