In August 2014, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce held a news conference calling for reforms that would streamline and strengthen local government in Rock Island County.
In two short years, the county board has hired a professional administrator, ended board member pension and health care benefits, voted to downsize the board from 25 to 15 members, negotiated a two-year employee salary freeze, and adopted professional management policies including anti-nepotism, general reserve funds, and employee performance appraisals. These reforms will save the county $3.4 million annually.
While these reforms have at times been contentious, the bipartisan effort has been able to keep the majority of members moving forward. They have made some very difficult decisions, some of which involved personal sacrifice. Most recently, the board voted 20-3 in favor of reducing the number of committees from 8 to 4, even though it meant a pay cut for members.
The Quad Cities Chamber Business Advocacy Council would like to express our appreciation for the great reform work the Rock Island County Board has undertaken these past two years. We know there is more work and difficult decisions ahead, and we look forward to continuing to support the county down its path of reform.
Pryce T. Boeye, chair,
Business Advocacy Council
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce