Harrisburg City Council met November 16.
Harrisburg City Council met November 16.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
The Harrisburg City Council met on November 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the Council Room, City Hall, Harrisburg, Illinois.
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Beth Montfort, Richard Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call. Commissioner Natalie Miller was absent.
Dan Masters from the First Church of God led the group in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the following items under the Consent Agenda:
1. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of November 2, 2017.
2. Accepted the Circuit Clerk’s Court Fee disbursement in the amount of $1,969.25.
3. Bill from Brown & Roberts for E. T. Simonds for St. Mary’s Drive in the amount of $74,040.95 to be taken out of MFT.
Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Attorney Todd Bittle presented the ordinance to complete the sale of properties for bids accepted at the last meeting. Commissioner Harper moved to pass Ordinance 1743 an Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Certain Surplus Real Estate Owned by the City of Harrisburg. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Weirauch moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the deeds for the properties listed on Ordinance 1743. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek opened a bid for 406 West South Street from Danny and Jeanna Gibbs in the amount of $1,017.00. Commissioner Weirauch moved to accept that bid. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek opened a bid for 1009 S. Hobson from David K. and Christine M. Bolin in the amount of $1,857.00. Commissioner Weirauch moved to accept that bid. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek opened a bid for an 11 foot wide piece of former railroad property behind McDonald’s on South Commercial Street from D. Michael Riva, attorney for John Moreland, trustee of Moreland Land Trust, in the amount of $3,000.00. Commissioner Harper moved to accept that bid. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried. Mayor McPeek stated they needed that property for part of the parking lot when new construction begins next year. He noted the new McDonald’s will be one of the largest in the system.
Mayor McPeek asked Mike Roberts from Brown & Roberts to give some information about the stop light to be installed on the Rt. 13 Bypass. Roberts stated the agreement was standard when a City street meets a State roadway. He stated the City’s portion of the cost, $14,375.00, would be MFT eligible. He wanted Council to know that currently the City has no jurisdiction at that location but the agreement would give some jurisdiction as well as some maintenance responsibility. He stated it was not a big deal though. Commissioner Harper moved to enter into the Agreement for New Traffic Signals at IL 13/Old 13 with IDOT with the City’s portion being paid out of MFT. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried. Mayor McPeek noted the total cost of the project was $287,500.00 and construction would be next spring.
Commissioner Montfort stated the new Police Officer would be graduating December 1.
Commissioner Montfort introduced brothers High School student Lance Maynor and Middle School student Max Maynor. The young men had sold canine t-shirts and were donating their $5.00 profit from each shirt to the Shop-With-A-Cop program. Additionally, their father was matching their donation. Several Police Officers came forward to accept the check and stated they had a Certificate of Appreciation for each of them.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Shop-With-A-Cop would take place on December 9 and anyone wishing to donate or help should contact the Police Department.
Commissioner Montfort moved to direct the Merit Board to submit two names as their recommendation for hiring in the Police Department and one name for promotion to Sargent. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek stated that Chairman Dan Wilson had a letter ready. Commissioner Montfort stated she was following protocol by first requesting the names, they would give her the letter and the next meeting she would bring it back. Mayor McPeek wanted to hire at this meeting but Commissioner Montfort stated that was not what the rule book said. Mayor McPeek asked Chairman Wilson if that was correct. Commissioner Montfort reviewed her understanding of the process by noting the next thing would be to get in on the Agenda for the next meeting. Mayor McPeek stated that, since Personnel was on the Agenda tonight, it could be done tonight. Commissioner Montfort stated she was not prepared to do that tonight. Mayor McPeek stated that he had told her at the last meeting he wanted to do it tonight. Commissioner Montfort stated she was starting the process by asking for the recommendations. Mayor McPeek stated they had already done the Sargent but Commissioner Montfort stated it was only temporary. Mayor McPeek again wanted to hire tonight. Commissioner Montfort stated she would discuss it in Executive Session. Mayor McPeek did not think it was necessary to go into Executive Session and again wanted to hire tonight. After the same verbal exchange again, Commissioner Montfort addressed Chairman Wilson who noted they would be subject to passing a lie detector test and an extensive background check. He stated he did have a letter ready to be signed by the other members of the Merit Board. Commissioner Montfort asked Chairman Wilson for the signed letter.
Commissioner Harper stated there was a bill to be paid for the website and the company will only take a credit card payment. He moved to authorize the use of the City credit card to pay the hosting fees of $149.00 for cityofharrisburg, $149.00 for harrisburgtourism and $14.95 for the domain name of harrisburgtourism. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Weirauch asked everyone to keep Superintendent Rick Brown in their prayers as he recovers from some health issues.
Commissioner Weirauch stated he wanted Council to consider appropriate fees for closing/opening streets for private individuals as the overtime cost to the City can be quite expensive, especially the weekends. He asked that he and Commissioner Harper talk with the Department heads to see what the costs were and come up with a fee amount. He stated he was not wanting to make money, only to cover the City’s expenses. Commissioner
Weirauch moved that Commissioners Harper and Weirauch bring back to the next meeting for Council’s approval permit fees. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Weirauch asked Council to consider the amendment ordinance in the packet that he had asked Attorney Bittle to draw up. Attorney Bittle stated he wanted Council to keep in mind that Chapter 2 was written more than 100 years ago and the Code Book does not always keep up with changes. He stated the language, although similar, needed to be cleaned up in regards to the Street and Alley and Public Property Commissioners’ assignments and supervisors or employees. Commissioner Harper stated he did not believe the current draft does what it started out to do. He stated the idea was to have one supervisor and the two departments work together. However, the way the draft was written, it could mean that each Commissioner could nominate a separate supervisor. He agreed the language needed to be cleaned up and each Commissioner should have an impact on who was hired. He did not believe that employees should be named for either Street/Alley or Public Property but could be used interchangeably, similar to how the Water/Sewer does their employees by using a working foremen. He did not want there to be even the possibility of two superintendents. Attorney Bittle reminded Council the language was 100 years old and everything would happen only with Council authority. He stated he could review the amendment and revise it as needed. Commissioner Harper stated the Public Property Commissioner needs the right to have employees. Commissioner Weirauch agreed there did not need to be two superintendents but each department should have their own employees, even if was just a designation behind their name. He stated there had not been a problem before, one superintendent had saved the City a lot of money and Rick Brown did an excellent job but he believed each department should have employees. Mayor McPeek asked Attorney Bittle to rewrite the amendment for the next meeting.
Mayor McPeek asked Council if they objected to change the meeting time for the December 21 meeting to 8:00 am. Commissioner Harper stated the only item he was aware of for that meeting was the passing of the tax levy which was ready except for the actual Fire and Police pension amounts. Mayor McPeek moved to change the December 21 meeting to 8:00 am. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek announced the following events:
•Community Thanksgiving Service - Sunday, November 19 - 6:00 pm - City Hall Auditorium
•City Hall closed - Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24 – Thanksgiving
•Mayor Christmas Tree Lighting - Tuesday, December 4 - 6:00 pm - Pioneer Museum
•Christmas Lights Parade - Thursday, December 14 - 6:00 pm
Citizen Tony Chrisman wanted to follow up on the hiring of a Police Officer. Commissioner Montfort stated there had not been a meeting yet regarding the insurance issue and she had tonight directed the Merit Board to submit names to Council which was protocol. Chrisman continued to question the process and press for action at this meeting. Commissioners Harper and Weirauch tried to explain the process also. After several exchanges, Commissioner Montfort stated the hiring would be discussed in Executive Session.
Citizen Patty Hodge stated she did not believe Chief David Morris was a racist but had made some offensive remarks. She directed her statement to Commissioner Weirauch by saying his remarks were very offensive but he had owned the statement and acknowledged that he had apologized. She questioned the members of the Merit Board and asked about the replacement when Tanya Lanton-Mitchell resigned. She was told the Mayor appoints the Merit Board and former Mayor Dale Fowler had made her replacement appointment. Hodge asked that Council consider putting a black back on the Merit Board.
Commissioner Harper moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Personnel. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 6:43 pm.
The meeting was not reconvened because of lack of quorum.