Prenzler is the current Madison County Board Chairman, elected in 2016. He is running again for the 2020 ballot for that position.
Here are some of his proud accomplishments:
- Taxes reduced. County Board reduced the county tax levy – $1.8 million less than what was approved the year before, and did not increase that levy the next year.
- No kill goal achieved. Animal Care and Control. Last year (2018) we achieved our “no kill” goal. 92 percent of both dogs and cats were “saved.” In 2016 (before I was Chairman), only 37 percent of cats and 67 percent of dogs were saved.
- $220,000 also saved. Not only did we achieve our “no kill” goal, but we reduced the cost of the department by $220,000, from $770,000 to $550,000.
- Turned around Metro East Sanitary District. The newly appointed board has: a) reduced level of Horseshoe Lake to increase storage capacity, b) cleaned ditches and canals, c) repaired pumps, d) turned around an organization that lost $8.5 million in the prior ten years solidly into the black.
- Reduced printing costs. We installed a “managed print services” program, which will save $7 – 8,000/month.
- No more “honor system” for county employees. We installed a computerized time clock system. Before I was elected, most employees filled out their time sheets on the “honor” system. Employees are now arriving at 8:30 and leaving at 4:30.
- Standardized computer purchasing. Before my administration, every brand, model, and make was purchased. By standardized, we are able to save money in the IT department.
- Turned around Special Services No. 1. This sanitary sewer district is managed by the county, but doesn’t use tax money. It serves 6,000 customers north and east of Granite City. Before I was elected, SSA#1 lost $70,000. In 2017, we made $550,000. The 2018 numbers are not yet final, but our profit in 2018 will be even larger. Better management means fewer people are calling with wet basements.
- Repairing jail and saving money at the same time. Six year ago, the former administration tried to borrow $18.8 million without voter approval, to renovate the jail. As you remember, we gathered 23,600 signatures on petitions to block that. Now we’re repairing years of deferred maintenance – better, at lower cost and without taking on debt. This is a win – win for everyone.
And we’ve done that in the face of opposition.
For example, during the past two years the Democrat Auditor has refused to give the administration access to the county financial system. He’s promised to give us access, then changed his mind, etc.
In March, the County Board voted (13 Republicans to 12 Democrats) that the administration should have access.
So the Auditor filed a lawsuit against the County Board, Treasurer and the administration to block the County Board and administration from seeing the financial records.
The Auditor’s lawsuit is delaying tactic, and won’t succeed. All counties in Illinois let their administration have at least “read only” access to the financial software.
We’re determined to make progress – to run the county in a common sense, business-like way – to follow the best practices that we see in other counties.