La Salle County: No health insurance for new board members

New rule: Only currently-insured board members keep it

La Salle County Governmental Complex

La Salle County board members who currently have insurance will, if reelected this fall, keep it. And any board member without insurance or any first-timers elected this fall will not be so eligible.

The La Salle County Board voted 19-5 to approve this option Thursday following a lengthy (and at times confused) floor discussion. WCMY reported that 12 current members have it and can keep it.

Board member Mike Kasap (D-La Salle) voted no, opposed to saddling taxpayers with any obligation to fund “self-serving” healthcare for him and his peers on the board.

“And I expect them (my constituents) to pay it?” Kasap said. “I find it very disrespectful.”

Also, the board still is seeking clearer guidance on how federal COVID-19 relief funds are to be dispersed.

During the public comment period, board member Randy Freeman (R-Lostant) said he was approached by a constituent who “went on to school me” over the board’s proposed use of the recovery funds.

Freeman said the constituent, whom he did not name, said funds first are to be directed to people living below the poverty line are first, then private not-for-profits, then townships and local boards “and then we fall in line.”

“He said we’re doing it wrong,” Freeman said. “I want to know: Is the guy right or is he wrong?”

Board Chairman Don Jensen said the county continues to evaluate the proposed uses and, if necessary, will seek the help of the consultant.

In other matters, the board:

  • Defeated proposed increases in board members’ per diem compensation, which remains $60 and unchanged since 1994.
  • Rejected a much-disputed petition to build a civil engineering office on a 2-acre parcel in Freedom Township.
  • Approved an expansion at the Skydive Chicago facility, where operators plan to add a hangar roughly 1,800 square feet.