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updated: 2/26/2014 4:25 PM

Maxeiner earns praise for outsourcing presentation in Wauconda

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  • Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talks about the possible outsourcing of 911 services during a village board meeting Tuesday at the local high school.

       Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talks about the possible outsourcing of 911 services during a village board meeting Tuesday at the local high school.
    Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 

Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner's detailed public presentation about the possible outsourcing of 911 services earned praise Wednesday from some of the town's elected officials.

"No stone was left unturned," Trustee Chuck Black told the Daily Herald, one day after Maxeiner's two-hour talk to the board and the public at Wauconda High School. "He answered all my questions."

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Trustee John Barbini called Maxeiner's remarks rational, logical and thorough.

"Boards can't make good decisions without good information," he said.

Mayor Frank Bart had high marks for Maxeiner, too. Bart wanted an objective presentation of the data that led to the outsourcing recommendation, and he said that's what Maxeiner delivered.

Maxeiner wasn't exactly speaking to a friendly audience Tuesday night. The Wauconda High cafeteria was filled with more than 200 people, and the vast majority opposed outsourcing.

Many wore red to show solidarity with the 12 dispatchers who would lose their jobs if the center at the Wauconda police station is shut down.

But folks were generally respectful, even if they disagreed with Maxeiner's plan to hire Lake Zurich's dispatchers to handle Wauconda's 911 calls.

Several thanked Maxeiner for the presentation during public remarks.

On Wednesday, Maxeiner said he appreciated the civil interaction with the crowd, and called it "fantastic."

During his presentation, Maxeiner spent a lot of time delving into the financial factors that prompted a look at outsourcing, particularly the need to save money to avoid deficit spending within the next two years.

The Wauconda Fire Protection District and the Tower Lakes and Lakemoor police departments pay Wauconda to handle their 911 calls, but that revenue doesn't cover the center's expenses.

Closing the center and contracting with Lake Zurich could save Wauconda $2.1 million over five years, Maxeiner said.

The three agencies that use Wauconda's dispatchers would need to find a new service. He said he would prefer fire and police calls be handled by the same center.

Bart echoed that sentiment Wednesday.

"If we both go to the same center, (outsourcing) makes sense for us," he said. "In general, it makes a lot of sense. It's a regional asset, not a village asset."

If the financial need is there, officials now need to decide if outsourcing to Lake Zurich or a different 911 center is the right thing to do.

That evaluation is what Maxeiner called "Phase II" of the presentation, and that's where Bart said he and other officials still have questions.

"The key aspects that have to be (addressed) are the Phase II aspects," Bart said.

Maxeiner said he will meet individually with the trustees to see what questions or concerns still remain.

"There are still a number of outstanding issues that we need to resolve," he said.

Tuesday's meeting was a committee-of-the-whole session for the village board, so the panel didn't vote on the matter.

Black said he and the other board members need time to digest everything Maxeiner threw at them Tuesday, and more public debate will be needed before a vote.

"There will be at least one more committee-of-the-whole (meeting) to further discuss this," he said.

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