Rock Island County

Rock Island County / Rock Island County

In early December, members of the Rock Island County Board will serve on only four committees instead of eight. Last night, the board voted overwhelmingly to consolidate the committee structure based on suggestions from the public during public meetings earlier this year.

Rock Island County

Now it's up to the voters. 

Two bar graphs show projections of general fund balances
file:///C:/Users/wvik_news/Downloads/Executive%20Budget%20Plan.pdf / Rock Island County

Voters in Rock Island County will decide this fall whether the sales tax should be increased to pay for public safety. Last night, the county board voted 20 to 4 to put the referendum on the ballot this fall.

Sheriff Gerry Bustos wears a red shirt, stands in front of a white board while speaking at a public meeting.
file / WVIK News

The Rock Island County Board will ask voters to approve a sales tax increase. Members voted Tuesday night to place the referendum on the November ballot. Voters will decide whether to raise the sales tax by one half of one percent. And that would raise about $7.5 million a year for public safety.


 The next step in the long effort to reform Rock Island County government is underway. Saturday county officials held the first of three public meetings on why voters should approve an increase in the sales tax for public safety in the fall.

Image of the front page of the 2017 Rock Island County budget proposal / Rock Island County

Tomorrow and next week, Rock Island County residents will learn about the board's five-year budget proposal which includes a sales tax hike. At meetings tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday, county officials will also discuss a proposed, five-year capital improvement plan.

Some special courts play a key role in the justice system in the Quad Cities. 

On Midwest Week, Herb Trix's guest is Tara Becker, reporter for the Quad City Times. 

You can also hear Midwest Week Fridays at 6:20 pm on WVIK during All Things Considered. 

Dave Ross, Rock Island County Administrator

The Rock Island County Board continues to implement standard professional policies. It approved several reforms this month and is likely to consider dozens more in the fall. County Administrator Dave Ross says a year ago, Rock Island County board members promised to "stay out of personnel actions." And last week they approved an equal employment opportunity policy, to clarify discrimination will not be allowed based on gender, genetics, pregnancy, and sexual orientation.

Annual performance appraisals will begin next year. Ross says he or a Human Resources employee will also offer orientation to new county board members.

Ross says Rock Island County's financial problems developed over many years, and it will take at least five years to solve them.

Rock Island County Health Department

After a concert at the i Wireless Center, some local residents are showing signs of being exposed to anthrax. That's the scenario for a drill Thursday for the Rock Island County Health Department, and several other local groups.

Some union workers for Rock Island County have decided to help the county deal with its very serious financial situation. They've agreed to a two-year wage freeze, and to give up one paid holiday.

Wednesday afternoon, county administrator Dave Ross announced agreements with members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union, and the Fraternal Order of Police, affecting 265 employees, or about half of the county's unionized workforce.