Kane County clerk feels pressure of meeting needs of Aurora voters

Updated 6/21/2018 4:01 PM
  • Jack Cunningham

    Jack Cunningham

Pressure continues to build on the Kane County clerk's office as it prepares to accommodate Aurora voters for the first time in the November elections. With the expectation of another round of budget cuts for county offices coming, Clerk Jack Cunningham said delays in chopping up the former Aurora Election Commission's assets are an unexpected obstacle to putting all the proper measures in place.

"It's created a lot of tension for me," Cunningham said in an interview. "It really has."

The tension stems from a decision in the hands of Judge David Akemann. He will decide how to divvy up somewhere between $600,000 and $900,000 remaining in the accounts of the Aurora Election Commission. There's also an unknown amount of the commission's debts yet to be paid. Kane, Kendall and Will counties all have hopes of receiving some funds. Cunningham said Aurora officials originally wanted some of the money, but they have since backed off with an eye toward Kane County having the resources needed for a smooth November.

All interested parties expected a ruling this month, but deliberations will stretch into at least July.

"Every time the judge continues it, it ratchets up the tension," Cunningham said. "But he's doing what's equitable, and we all want a fair decision."

Cunningham said the word coming to county offices is there will be a projected county budget deficit, perhaps as large as $1.5 million, that officials will be asked to help close. There is a growing sentiment that, after several years of cuts, there isn't any fat left on the bone, Cunningham said. That feeling is compounded by the reality the county has finished the past few fiscal years with surpluses despite much fiscal hand-wringing.

"It's getting to the point where they're going to have to prove where the deficit is," Cunningham said.

Helping ease the fears in his office is about $433,000 earmarked to flow to Aurora this year to help with elections. That cash will now stay with Cunningham's office because of the transfer in election responsibilities that came with Aurora residents' voting to abolish the commission in March. Kane County will assume responsibility for all but 10 of the voting precincts the commission operated. Kendall and Will counties will handle the remaining 10.

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