Just when it looked like officials would create the first written, mutual agreement spelling out the funding and operation of the Aurora Election Commission, Kane County Board members said Thursday they would rather work toward disbanding it. Kane County Chief Judge Judith Brawka began working with the commission and the city of Aurora in July 2013 to resolve conflicts about the commission’s funding. As it stands, Aurora and Kane County are required to fund the commission. Kane County kicks in about $400,000 a year, and Aurora’s commitment is more than $600,000. But neither taxing body has authority to set the commission’s budget, which has resulted in multiple late bill payments.
Brawka brokered a nonbinding memo of understanding that spells out procedures for exchanging information about the commission’s budget, bill payment and funding schedule.
“There’s never been a real procedure for that in place,” Brawka said. “It’s always operated on a thin line of crisis and, sometimes, inertia.”
But the $400,000 price tag fueled doubt about the commission’s true value. Members of the county board’s public service committee asked Brawka and Kane County Elections Director Suzanne Fahnestock why Aurora needs its own commission.