Bellwether to be proposed as county's 'consultative administrator'

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Mercer County Board's Finance Committee will vote on the 2016 budget this (Tuesday, Oct. 13) evening. Approval will move the matter before the full county board.

Bellwether LLC, consultants for the county, presented a balanced, nearly $10.2 million to the County Board in September.

Also on the Finance Committee agenda is a proposal for long-term administrative support with Bellwether. Finance Committee Chairman Ted Pappas said he will propose Bellwether be hired as a "consultative administrator versus adding a staff position to the county budget."

The board in July approved a package of salary and benefits not to exceed nearly $94,700 for a county administrator. Pappas said one of four reasons he will recommend Bellwether be contracted is "the overall cost is $75,000 per year."

He said there also would be a "30-day out clause," making it simpler for the county to "unwind this relationship" easier than if an administrator with a multi-year contract were to be hired.

Other reasons included "Bellwether has a very good familiarity with elected officials and department heads" of Mercer County, Pappas said. He added that, in turn, county officials have a comfort level from working with Bellwether since spring.

The fourth reason is the job the consulting firm has done in helping the county through the budget process, as well as a jail analysis.

"I think that going forward we will continue a relationship with Bellwether all of '16 and perhaps longer than that," Pappas said.

The Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. in the board room of the Mercer County Courthouse. The full board meets at 7 p.m.