Board votes for drug-free workplace policy

By Paul Kirk

After 30 minutes of deliberation and confusion over wording, the DeKalb County Board voted to affirm a policy making the county a drug-free workplace.

“What does it include? Can you take an aspirin?” said County Board member John Dlabal, R-District 10.

Dlabal’s sarcasm only epitomized the confusion brought about by the policy which has been in the hands of the board for three months, said Chairman Robert Hutcheson, R-District 1.

“The changes were perfunctory,” said DeKalb County State’s Attorney Mike Coghlan. “If you read the whole act, they’re more in line of clarification.”

Coghlan spoke at the meeting in an attempt to push the resolution through the board.

“The county is required to have the act in effect, or we may lose some funding from the state,” he said.

“The state of Illinois is making it a very serious issue,” said Mary Olson, director of the county community service department. “It is very important that we declare DeKalb County a drug-free workplace.”

Olson said her office could lose funding from the state and federal governments if the resolution was not passed.

Coghlan said he advised the board to pass the bill at the

meeting, so state and federal funding would not be denied to the county.

Tim Bagby, county board member, made a motion to change several phrases in the resolution in order to clarify the issue. However, the amendments caused more confusion, and several board members asked to table the issue.

Board member Robert Pritchard, R-District 11, said he didn’t get his copy of the resolution until 11:30 p.m. last night while board member Beverly Waite, R-District 8, said the packets were not delivered on time by the postal service.

This is the first time I’ve seen the changes, but the basic principal hasn’t changed,” said Board Member Samuel Bandy, R-District 9.

The resolution was passed with a voiced approval by the board. Bagby’s amendments passed the board with one negative vote out of 18.