New coroner keeping busy

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David Hejl gives first report to Fayette County Board

By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The county’s new coroner told Fayette County Board members that he has been quite busy since moving into the position at the beginning of the year.
In his report to the board on Tuesday night, David Hejl told board members that there have been eight coroner cases and three autopsies since Jan. 1.
Hejl also said that he has been working, on average, 31 hours per week, though he is attempting to reduce the weekly hours for the part-time position.
The coroner said that he has been focusing on reducing the coroner’s office budget, working with County Treasurer Rose Hoover. “I think I can take the budget down 10 percent,” he said.
Hejl also told board members that he is currently working on “building a deputy coroner team.”
Tuesday’s meeting was the first in which the board operated under a consent agenda format. Under the format, the board can group a number of items into one motion.
The first consent agenda item was five resolutions, with Vice Chairman Darrell Schaal, who conducted the meeting in the absence of Chairman Jeff Beckman, asking to table the fifth item, the renewal of an agreement with Good Energy.
Beckman said that that item was being tabled because the county had not yet received the new rates with Good Energy.
Resolutions approved by the board included:
• One urging the state’s comptroller and General Assembly to “reject any proposals to significantly modify the acceptable forms of accounting and auditing utilized by … local governments in their mandated reporting to the comptroller.
• One reducing the number of election judges per precinct in the general primary election in March from five to three. That action saves the county about $7,280.
• An intergovernmental agreement calling for the office of Supervisor of Assessments Cindi Lotz to perform the duties of tax assessor for Ramsey Township while there that township office is vacant. Under the agreement, the township will reimburse Lotz’s office up to $4,125 for salaries and 53.5 cents per mile.
• A similar agreement with Tax Assessment District No. 3. The agreement calls for the county to hire Ryan Parks on a temporary, part-time basis for assisting with duties for the multi-township district.
As a result of operating with a consent agenda, the meeting lasted only 19 minutes.
Also at the meeting:
• The board approved the re-appointments of John Daniels Jr., Doug Knebel and Ed Taylor Jr. to the county’s Emergency Telephone System Board, each for three years, beginning on June 1. This is the board that oversees the implementation and operations of Enhanced 911 service.
• The board voted to allow the sheriff’s office to sell by sealed bids five vehicles, each of which has a junk title only: 1999 Chevrolet C1500 pickup truck; 1998 Jeep Cherokee; 2001 Pontiac Montana; 2002 Buick Century; and 1994 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
• The board approved an annual commitment letter recognizing Tourism Bureau IllinoiSouth as the county’s state-certified tourism bureau.
• Chief Deputy Larry Halleman reported that a jail inspection was conducted earlier in the week, and that the jail again had no deficiencies.
Halleman also reported that an active shooter drill will be held in the courthouse at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.