Lake County assessor to present budget to council Tuesday
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 15, 2012 11:26PM
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:31AM
CROWN POINT — Lake County Assessor Hank Adams said he plans to present his budget Tuesday and expects County Council members are “not going to like” various aspects.
Adams said he is going through his budget and would not comment on any specific requests or needs until the process is complete. During a budget workshop last week council members said they had yet to hear from Adams, whose department was the only one not to submit a request. They questioned whether they could proceed without his input.
The county is looking at about $17.6 million in additional requests over the 2012 budget, money it does not have. Departments have been asked to continue to work within the 2012 budget for 2013, but increases in health care costs and mandated jail staffing are a large part of the overage.
The $17.6 million does not include any additional request from the assessor. Dante Rondelli, the county’s financial adviser, told council members he would like to see the budget stay the same as 2012.
Adams said “there are a lot of issues” within the assessor’s office that may require funding. One of those issues may be staffing. While Adams would not specify if he would be requesting an increase in staffing he said his department is understaffed for the volume of requests it receives and must process. Adams said he has six investigators to process 260,000 claims. In contrast, Marion County uses 30 investigators to process 350,000 claims.
The assessor also said a proposal being floated by council members to consolidate some of the township assessor’s offices facing rent increases at the county building would not work because of lack of room in the current assessor’s office.
“There is just not enough space,” Adams said. He said the consolidation would require space equal to the county’s voters registration office.