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Government Local

DeKalb council to vote on finance help

DeKALB – At their meeting tonight, DeKalb aldermen will be asked to spend up to $45,000 to hire two retirees with municipal finance experience to improve the city’s financial policies and budget procedures.

City Manager Anne Marie Gaura is recommending alderman enter into an agreement with GovTemps USA, a temp service that specializes in local government staffing, to provide financial assistance until June 30.

The city would hire Stan Helgerson and Dave Richardson to improve financial control in the city’s finance division, adjust practices for tracking revenues and expenditures, and ensure purchases are within the city budget, among other things.

“I think it all goes back to the goal to improve the financial accountability and transparency of the city,” Gaura said.

Helgerson was the finance director for the village of Carol Stream for 25 years and Richardson served as the finance director for the village of Streamwood for 27 years. Both have been working at city hall since March 26, when Gaura hired them under her spending authority to help prepare next fiscal year’s budget.

Under the contract the council will vote on, Helgerson and Richardson will be paid $105 an hour and work one to two days a week, according to the agreement. The city also would reimburse them for mileage from their homes to the city at .055 cents per mile.

The agreement is part of the financial responsibility initiative Gaura announced on March 5, which was followed two days later by former finance director Laura Pisarcik voluntarily resigning.

At the time, Gaura noted that some purchases in excess of $20,000 had been made without City Council approval in accordance with policy.

Gaura said the consultants would focus on designing an improved purchasing process that ensures the city’s purchases are within budgets set by the City Council and within the staff’s budget authority.

If the full agreement is approved by alderman, the consultants also will work on policies for tracking all city revenues and expenditures and fully disclosing them in the city’s budget as well as making sure alderman know about revenue and expenditure changes, budget amendments and suggestions from auditors.

Mayor John Rey said he would vote in favor of hiring the consultants because it supports the city’s priority to study its financial practices.

“I believe it will bring benefit and positive recommendations,” Rey said.

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