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Iroquois County Board chairman honored by For the Good of Illinois- Rod Copus

Learn More Read the full story at Paxton Record: http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/politics-and-government/2014-08-18/iroquois-county-board-chairman-honored-good-illinois.html

Mon, 08/18/2014 – 2:28pm | Will Brumleve
EFFINGHAM — Calling him a champion of transparent government, the founder of the For the Good of Illinois organization honored Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas this summer for his efforts to expose wasteful spending in the now-dissolved Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department.

“Copas exerted real courage in the face of a ferocious attack by the ‘machine spending interests’ in his local county,” said Adam Andrzejewski, a one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate who founded For the Good of Illinois in 2007.

Andrzejewski presented Copas, a rural Onarga resident, with the For the Good of Illinois Courage Award on June 12 at the organization’s annual Government by the Governed Banquet in Effingham. A total of 285 people attended the event, which honored 12 citizens with Courage Awards.

“Pound for pound, Copas can claim more victories on behalf of taxpayers demanding open, honest and transparent government than possibly any other elected official in Illinois,” said Andrzejewski. “Copas really deserved our recognition.”

Andrzejewski said it only takes one person to make a difference — and Copas certainly did with his efforts to point out problematic spending in the health department in 2013. The health department was dissolved as of July 1, 2014.

According to Andrzejewski, Copas received the award for a number of reasons, among them:

— For pointing out the illegality of the health department’s spending of local tax dollars to start a home-health branch in two neighboring Indiana counties.

— For leading the charge to shut down the health department’s home health care program, which had being losing over $1 million tax dollars per year. “This agency was also competing against the local not-for-profit hospital in home health care,” Andrzejewski said. “Expected savings: hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

— For putting an end to the “double-billing” of IMRF retirement costs — a practice that went on for years, Andrzejewski said.

— For saving “hundreds of thousands of dollars” through the dissolution of the bi-county health department. “When the investigations of the bi-county health department started, there were 44 employees,” Andrzejewski said. “Today, with two separate health departments,  there are 24 full-time and five part-time.”

— For further reducing taxpayers’ burden on operating the health department through Iroquois County’s new partnership with Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka. The action was “very important,” Andrzejewski said, “as the hospital is a non-profit and government should not compete with them. This action saved taxpayers seven retirements.”

Learn More Read the full story at Paxton Record: http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/politics-and-government/2014-08-18/iroquois-county-board-chairman-honored-good-illinois.html


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