The pension plan requires a majority of Peoria County Board members sign a form saying they spend 1,000 hours or more each year on county board business. Board chair Tom O’Neill says not enough board members felt they meet that yearly requirement:
“I was going to sign it because I do put 1,000 plus hours a year in, and there’s I think five others that felt they did to. And they felt reading the literature, getting ready for meetings, doing this, doing that for county board, going to functions,” O’Neill says.
O’Neill says he voted to end the board’s pension program so the chairperson and rest of the board are treated the same. He says some Board members can claim money they already paid into the program. Officials say cancelling the board’s plan will save Peoria County about $40,000 per year. Peoria County is also facing a projected $1 million budget gap in next year. Officials say more sales tax revenue and trimming non-personnel costs will help balance the 2014 spending plan.