After spending about 25 hours reviewing fellow Kendall County Board member Dan Koukol’s meeting pay and meeting minutes, county Finance Committee Chair Anne Vickery believes he was overpaid $4,165.
Vickery plans to meet with Koukol and the county’s auditor about recovering pay for 49 meetings. Koukol, who chairs the county’s Economic Development Committee, to receive payment for attending several economic development–related meetings.
Vickery, who did not receive a Republican nomination for re-election in the March 20 primary, declined to release details on the 49 meetings, but said they included meetings for county committees of which Koukol was not a member.
Their exchange came at a county Finance Committee meeting Thursday in which the committee decided to review all county board member meeting pay vouchers on a monthly basis.
County Board Member Nancy Martin, whose term ends in December, said her fellow board members needed to follow the written policies surrounding meeting pay. County board members receive medical benefits, mileage reimbursement, a $200 monthly salary and $85 per diem for each day on which they attended a county board or county committee meeting.
“We have rules here that we might as well throw away if everybody decides they are going to make up their own,” Martin said. “… We’re not a member of a little private club that decides you’re going to watch out for each other, OK? You’re here to serve the people; you’re not here to see if you can get a little extra money from them.”
Koukol offered to write a check or provide cash for the $4,165 on the spot Thursday; Vickery told him that was not necessary.
Koukol said the Economic Development Committee had become much more active since he became its chair. He estimated he had attended more than 80 meetings related to economic development throughout the county since taking office in December 2010.
“Very few of the meetings I attend I draw a per diem,” he said. “The ones I have, which is way less than half, I had permission from the chairman of the board … It is money well invested and much more economical than sending staff.”
Vickery denied that Purcell had that power.
“I’m not sure where the idea came from that the county board chairman can bless you going to a meeting,” Vickery said. “That has never, ever been the case, unless you have stood in for the chairman on a committee or something he needs to be involved in.”
When asked outside the meeting, Purcell said he had given Koukol permission to attend some functions, but he had not documented them and was unaware if they were among the 49 meetings in dispute.