By James Fuller
The millions lost by expelling federal inmates from Kane County jail can all be balanced out with corresponding expense cuts, according to Kane County Sheriff Don Kramer. But he's still going to need an additional $800,000 to stay out of the red this year.
Kramer made his first appearance Thursday before a county board committee in more than two months. It was a gesture toward burying the hatchet of blame associated with losing a $2.5 million contract earlier this year to house federal prisoners. The board's judicial and public safety committee kept Kramer's interrogation to a minimum while waiting for the results of a joint number-crunching session between Kramer's finance director and the county's overall finance director Thursday afternoon.
At that meeting, Kramer said he would present the specific line items where he has and will cut expenses to account for the lost federal income. He'll also make the case that there is no room to cut an additional $800,000 out of his budget to address a loss of income from declining foreclosure activities.
"It's the ebb and flow of business," Kramer said in an interview after the meeting.
County officials agree a decline in foreclosures is a positive development for county residents -- if it's really happening. There is some sentiment that Kramer's office simply may not be processing the foreclosures fast enough to meet the budgeted income expectations.
Research from the Woodstock Institute indicates foreclosures continued a downward trend in Chicago's six county region between 2013 and 2014. In Kane County, foreclosure filings dropped nearly 40 percent.