Posts Tagged Doug Maxeiner

Wauconda looks into outsourcing 9-1-1 call center (more)

Excerpts from the

A controversial plan to outsource Wauconda’s police dispatch service could move closer to a resolution Tuesday.

Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner will ask trustees to commit to a plan to join CenCom, a 911 call center based in Round Lake Beach that already serves 11 police and fire departments throughout Lake County. If the deal is approved, Wauconda’s high-tech 911 center, which is at the police station, would be mothballed. Eleven employees would be laid off. Wauconda’s dispatchers would get preferential consideration if CenCom expands its staff.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Trustee Ken Arnswald, who formerly opposed outsourcing but has swung the other way. “I don’t want anyone to be out of a job.”

Many Wauconda residents have spent much of the last year protesting outsourcing plans. In recent months, however, outsourcing supporters have begun appearing at meetings and speaking their minds in greater numbers.

Going with CenCom could save Wauconda up to $300,000 annually, Maxeiner said in June. The village’s spending is outpacing revenue, and he’s voiced concern about future budget deficits.

The consolidation debate ramped up more than a year ago. At first, officials primarily talked about outsourcing the service to Lake Zurich. Maxeiner recently changed focus to CenCom because that group could better serve calls for the Wauconda Fire Protection District, which also uses Wauconda’s center.  The Tower Lakes and Lakemoor police departments pay Wauconda to handle their 911 calls, too, and also would be affected if the center shuts down.

The shift was made concrete in June when the board voted to petition CenCom for membership and to negotiate an agreement for admission.

“The time to consolidate is now,” Wauconda Mayor Bart said. “We keep this quality public safety service, we save over $300,000 of taxpayer dollars annually, and it gives our displaced employees the preferential opportunity to be hired by CenCom.”

The board’s decision is influenced by political machinations in Springfield, officials said. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s threatened cuts to local shares of tax revenue has Wauconda officials worried about balancing future budgets. Additionally, state lawmakers have approved legislation that calls for dispatch centers to consolidate significantly in the future.

With those factors in mind, Wauconda’s trustees shifted from generally opposing outsourcing to favoring a deal with CenCom.

thanks Ron

Previous posts are HERE and HERE.

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Wauconda investigates outsourcing the 9-1-1 call center (more)

The Daily Herald has an updated article on the discussions of outsourcing the Wauconda 9-1-1 Center.

For the third time in less than a year, a controversy in Wauconda is pitting concerned residents against village hall. This time it’s a proposal to close the police department’s dispatch center and outsource the service to nearby Lake Zurich.

On Tuesday, Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner will talk to the board and the community about why he thinks outsourcing is a good idea. The session is set for 7:15 p.m. at Wauconda High School.

No vote is planned after the discussion. That could come in March at the earliest.

Ahead of the meeting, we’ve tried to answer questions about the plan and its potential impact on the community.

Q. Why has outsourcing been proposed?

A. The dispatchers are represented by a labor union, and they’ve been working without a contract since April 2013. Village officials investigated outsourcing as a way to save money on the cost of dispatching.

Q. How much money will it save?

A. Maxeiner has said contracting with Lake Zurich could save $2.1 million over five years.

Q. If this is a money issue, is the village in trouble financially?

A. Not right now. But it could face deficit spending within a year or two, officials said last week.

Q. Did this idea originate with Mayor Frank Bart?

A. Bart has said the inquiries started before he took office in May 2013. At a June 4 board meeting, however, Bart said running the 911 center is too costly to be sustainable. He said eliminating the service could save $600,000 annually, the official minutes for the meeting show. They certainly were under way before Maxeiner started as village administrator in November 2013, although he acknowledged it was one of the projects he was handed upon being hired.

Q. Why was Lake Zurich chosen to provide the service?

A. In a news release, Maxeiner said Lake Zurich’s dispatchers are “highly professional” and proficient in assessing emergency situations and getting the right personnel and equipment to scenes. The center also is part of an accredited police department, he said, and the dispatchers have served as Wauconda’s backup for years.

Q. Have other towns or agencies bid for the service?

A. Village officials gathered pricing information from dispatch centers in Mundelein, Fox Lake and Round Lake, as well as a private company that offers the service, Maxeiner said Monday. He’s also personally spoken with officials from three of the agencies. “Based strictly on cost, it appears that Lake Zurich would be the preferred choice,” he told the Daily Herald.

Q. Will the Wauconda Police Department be the only agency affected?

A. No. The Wauconda Fire Protection District — an independent government agency — also uses the police department’s dispatchers for emergency calls, as do the Lakemoor and Tower Lakes police departments. All would have to find new 911 providers.

Q. What will happen to Wauconda’s current dispatchers if the village shuts down the center?

A. Ten full-time and two part-time dispatchers will be laid off.

Q. What will happen to the dispatch center and its equipment if the board approves outsourcing?

A. The village could sell the equipment, Maxeiner said. Officials also could try to reduce the cost of outsourcing by negotiating the use of the gear, he said. Or, they could keep the equipment for uses that haven’t yet been made public.

Q. Were voters promised dispatch services wouldn’t be outsourced if they approved a tax increase for the fire protection district in 2010?

A. Yes. But Bart has repeatedly criticized that referendum and the promises made to the community. Last week, when someone pointed out the pledge not to outsource was a big selling point, Bart said: “That was back in 2010. It’s a different time.”

Q. Is outsourcing a done deal?

A. No. Maxeiner’s preliminary recommendation is just that — a recommendation. It’ll be up to the six members of the village board to vote on the proposal. Bart would be asked to break a tie if the vote comes down 3-3.

thanks Dan

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Wauconda investigates outsourcing the 9-1-1 call center

The Daily Herald has an article about a possible outsourcing of Wauconda’s 9-1-1 call center.

Opponents of a proposal to scrap Wauconda’s 911 center and outsource dispatching held a sit-in Saturday at the police station. Monica Knigge, wife of former Mayor Mark Knigge, pledged to stage the protest inside the lobby of police headquarters until midnight.

“There’s no asking or caring about what the residents and voters want,” Knigge said Saturday in a phone interview. “It’s just being shoved down our throats.”

Officials say closing Wauconda’s 911 center and outsourcing dispatching to Lake Zurich could save $2.1 million over five years.

The recommendation by Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner comes less than four years after Wauconda officials — led by then-Mayor Knigge — vowed to keep 911 services in-house if voters backed a 2010 tax increase for fire-district services. Voters signed off on the measure, and about a year later, Wauconda funneled money into upgrades and new technology for the 911 center.

Ten full-time and two part-time positions would be eliminated if the village shuts down the center. The contract with the dispatchers’ union expired in April 2013.

“People are upset, and so they have a right to express their opinions,” Trustee Linda Starkey said Saturday.

The 911 center handles calls for Wauconda’s police and fire protection district, as well as Tower Lakes and Lakemoor police departments.


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