AP NEWS

City bookkeeper to join KRMA board

March 18, 2019

KANKAKEE — A new member will join the board for the troubled agency that runs the regional sewer plant.

Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong has appointed the city’s comptroller, Elizabeth Kubal, to the seven-member board of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency. The mayor’s choice is subject to the City Council’s approval, with a decision expected tonight.

Kubal has served as the city’s controller for nearly six years. Before that, she was the superintendent of finance for the Bourbonnais Township Park District, according to her LinkedIn page.

Appointment to KRMA will be another pay bump for Kubal. KRMA board members make $600 per monthly meeting attended, far more than what the members of most other government boards receive.

According to OpenTheBooks.com, Kubal has seen her pay rise 20 percent from 2015 to 2018. Her pay last year was $99,000, a jump of $8,000 from the previous year. As a KRMA board member, Kubal will make another $7,200 a year, a 7 percent increase.

Kubal will replace longtime Alderman Dennis Baron, R-6, who is leaving the council in May after more than three decades on the council. He also announced he would resign from the KRMA board at the end of March.

The agency’s board is made up of one member from each of the four municipalities that participate — Kankakee, Bradley, Bourbonnais and Aroma Park. Kankakee, which is the plant’s biggest user, appoints three additional members.

Each of the town’s mayors appoint themselves to the board, receiving the $600 a month (or slightly more if they are officers).

Last April, Richard Simms, the agency’s longtime executive director, retired after more than a quarter century at the helm, apparently departing on good terms.

But a couple months later, officials started questioning the hundreds of thousands in payments to Simms for development of software that they said did not work. Simms, the city’s longtime utilities superintendent until last April, also billed the city for similar work.

Both entities are in disputes with Simms over the software. He is also the subject of a federal investigation.