After voting to re-open and withdraw a motion made last November on an ordinance for the county’s compliance with the Prevailing Wage Rate Act, the Fayette County Board voted as it did last September – to reject the ordinance.
In a 13-1 vote along party lines, the board voted for the second time in seven months to not go along with that act.
Voting to reject that ordinance were Republicans Jenny Waggoner, Jake Harris, Chairman Jeff Beckman, Collins, Chad Austin, Dean Bernhardt, Deb Warner, Vice Chairman Darrell Schaal, Keith Cole, Bryce Kistler, Glenn Gurtner, Glenda Bartels and Joe Wills.
Casting the lone dissenting vote was the only Democrat on the board, Glen “Whitey” Daniels.
Prior to the vote, Harris read a statement in which he said that his opposition to the wage rates set by the act.
Under the act, Harris said, the minimum wage for someone covered by the act is $44,745.
“That’s 224 percent more than the average household (in Fayette County),” Harris said.
“The rates should be determined by a competitive process and not the government,” he said.
“If the state would just take into account what everybody else is making,” Harris said, talking about how wage rates in rural areas of the state are lower than those in more-populated areas.
Because of the rates set in that act, school districts who need to make improvements to their facilities are unable to do so because of the wages they have to pay, Harris said.
After the meeting, Assistant State’s Attorney Brenda Mathis said that after the board first voted down the prevailing wage ordinance, she contacted state officials to determine what would happen if the board took that action.
She has yet to get an answer to that question, she said.
Mathis also said that she has also not heard back from the state after the board last May rejected an ordinance on the control of weeds, then realized that it was mandated by the state.
The motion was put up for another vote last June, at which time the board voted to table to issue until hearing back from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The noxious weeds listed in the ordinance are: marihuana; Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense); oerennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis); musk thistle (Carduus nutans); perennial members of the sorghum genus, including johnsongrass (sorghum halepense), sorghum almum, and other johpsongrass X sorghum crosses with rhizomes; and kudzu (Pueraria labata).
Because it has yet to hear back from IDNR officials, the board voted to withdraw the June 2018 motion.