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SE Illinois News

Thursday, November 21, 2019

City of Harrisburg City Council met September 19

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Oct 14, 2019

Meeting 05

City of Harrisburg City Council met Sept. 19.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

Mayor John McPeek called the September 19, 2019 meeting to order. Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioner Raymond Gunning, Roger Angelly, Rupert Johnson and Ron Morse present and answering roll call.

Pastor Jerry Wells from the Dorrisville Social Brethren Church led the group in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Ron Morse made the motion to approve the consent agenda.

Moran Economic Development – Invoice 1194 – TIF - $2,972.30

Illini Asphalt Corporation – Invoice 1086 – MFT - $56,395.88

Check Registers and Warrant Report – August 2019

Relinquish Harrisburg Lake Lot – Lyn Mouring & Cathy Vierra – 1St Addition – Block 2 – Lot 9

Petition to Lease Harrisburg Lake Lot – Joni & Christina Braden – 1st Addition – Block 2 – Lot 9

Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Mayor John McPeek began opening sealed bids which were tabled at the last meeting. The sealed bids were for 14 W. Raymond. Julie Threet from Dapper Dogs presented a bid of $1,000.00. Steve Quertermous presented a bid for $1,075.00. Commissioner Raymond Gunning made the motion to accept the bid for 14 W. Raymond in the amount of $1,075.00 from Steve Quertermous. Seconded by Commissioner Rupert Johnson. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Mayor John McPeek made the motion to accept the rescinding bid from Leonard Stadler for $11,000 at 305 W. Church Street. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Steve Quertermous presented a bid of $5,250.00 for 305 W. Church and he will be awarded this bid. Mayor John McPeek made the motion to accept the bid for 305 W. Church Street of $5,250.00 from Steve Quertermous. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Attorney Kolby Smithpeters presented an insurance check from Bryant Construction for repair work that had to be completed by the City of Harrisburg where they cut into a water/sewer line. Our employees had to fix this which resulted in overtime/double time hours. The check is for $2,807.50. This is for overtime/double time and a rental cost of our equipment. Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to accept the insurance check from Bryant Construction in the amount of $2,807.50. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Attorney Kolby Smithpeters presented a Police Officer Pre-Employment Contract. The contract states that if a new hire police officer leaves the City employment before thirty-six months, they will be responsible for reimbursing the City for any expense the City is out for any training, lodging, equipment, clothing, and medical exam. Commissioner Raymond Gunning made the motion to approve the Police Officer Pre-Employment Contact Ordinance 1784 effective September 19, 2019. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to approve Ordinance 1785 for the sale of property at 214 E. Raymond Street. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to approve Ordinance 1786 for the sale of property at 819 W. Lincoln Street. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to approve Ordinance 1787 for the sale of property at 311 W. Church Street. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to approve Ordinance 1788 for the sale of property at 305 W. Church Street. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning announced a Fall Festival will be held October 05, 2019 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds. Vendors and fair food will be available. He also announced the Shawnee Marathon on October 26, 2019 which is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. It begins at the Garden of Gods and finishes in Harrisburg.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning presented a request from the parking lot owner of the former Randy’s Uptown Market. The City utilizes the lot for the Police Department. We park squad cars, utility vehicles and equipment when necessary. The owner is asking for the City for help with the upkeep of this lot.

He is asking for a donation of $1500.00. He has sealed the parking lot and the alley. He is asking the church for help as well. Commissioner Raymond Gunning will speak with Treasurer David Cox about this expense. Commissioner Raymond Gunning asked for this issue to be tabled and discussed at a later date once he has more information to present to Council.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning received a request from a teacher at the Harrisburg High School for the City to give her the Malan Junior High stage curtain. She will have it cleaned and refurbished. Commissioner Roger Angelly suggest we have the Fire Department remove the curtain. Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to retrieve the Malan Junior High stage curtain and give it to the teacher. Seconded by Commissioner Raymond Gunning. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning stated there is a position available for a Police Sergeant. He is requesting the Merit Board’s recommendation for a Police Sergeant. Commissioner Roger Angelly asked that when the City promoted Zachary Popetz to Sergeant, did that not cover the position for when Sergeant James Johnson left employment. Commissioner Raymond Gunning is suggesting the Merit Board to give their recommendation, but will not be making an appointment at this time.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning made the motion to receive a recommendation from the Merit Board for the next qualified Police Sergeant. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning is asking the Merit Board to make a recommendation for a Fire Captain. We currently have a position available. The testing is completed and there is an employee that is qualified. Commissioner Raymond Gunning made the motion to receive a recommendation from the Merit Board and to give their recommendation for a Fire Captain. Seconded by Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Steve Questelle, President of the Merit Board addressed Council with the recommendations for Police Sergeant and Fire Captain. The Merit Board is recommending Tristan Monroe as the next Fire Captain and Kenny Shires as the next Police Sergeant. Steve Questelle asked Tristan Monroe if he would like to accept the Fire Captain’s position. Tristan Monroe responded yes. Commissioner Raymond Gunning made the motion to approve the promotion of Tristan Monroe as Fire Captain. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Steve Questelle asked Kenny Shires if he would like to accept the Police Sergeant position when it becomes available. Kenny Shires confirmed with yes.

Commissioner Raymond Gunning will discuss Collective Bargaining and Pending Litigation in Executive Session.

Commissioner Rupert Johnson reminded the citizens about Fall Clean-Up which will begin October 1 thru October 14, 2019.

Commissioner Rupert Johnson made the motion for a temporary street closure for Scare on the Square hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on October 24, 2019 at Vine Street from Poplar Street to Locust Street and Locust Street from Vine Street to Main Street. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Rupert Johnson made the motion for a temporary street closure for the Shawnee Marathon on October 26, 2019 at Vine Street from Poplar Street to the alley South of Poplar Street. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Commissioner Roger Angelly announced he will be hiring for a Water Office Manager. The Water Office Manager presented her resignation on September 18, 2019 effective at 8:00 a.m.

Joe Hutchison addressed Council regarding an ongoing issue with the City. He does not feel like he is getting anywhere talking to people individually. He feels like Mr. Wilson plays a role in this, but he does not allow him to speak with him. He would like to inform the City of his right to petition the government. He feels Council is shielding him from the City. He is getting no help and no response. He has talked to individual people via text and this is all coming from Mr. Wilson. He asked if the City is interested in resolving this issue. He states he has done nothing that would bring this on and he has a right under the 1st Amendment to speak to each individual. This is not being done. He wants to know if the City is going to do anything about this. He drove 460 miles to attend the meeting and his attorney directed him to ask this question. Mayor John McPeek responded to Mr. Hutchison stating that each member is allowed to speak to him; however, he cannot make them speak to him. Mr. Hutchison stated the law can make them. Mayor John McPeek responded with no. Mayor John McPeek asked Attorney Robert Wilson to respond to Mr. Hutchison.

Attorney Robert Wilson stated the challenge with every government body is that people want to talk with members of the governmental body and employees. We have a challenge with allocation of resources and this involves time and money. Mr. Hutchison has reached out on a number of occasions and stated he would like to speak to members of Council. There is only so much time to address this issue. Each Council member has other businesses to run daily. The City has an obligation to provide an opportunity for citizen comments which allows citizens to come in exercise their 1st Amendment right. Mr. Hutchison was granted this right this evening. He had the right to request to be on the agenda, come in here and talk to the City. Attorney Robert Wilson stated he does not believe he has the right to demand that any member outside of City Council time to take time to talk with him. As the City Attorney, the city cannot be charged to have conversation with Mr. Hutchison. The City would prefer not to pay the Attorney’s their hourly rate to speak with Mr. Hutchison with City problems. The City cannot afford it. There is protocol and he can speak at any time. If any member wished not to speak with him other than in the official capacity during the council meeting, Attorney Robert Wilson said they are not required to do so. He has been able to attend Council and speak. Any citizen has the right to attend Council and exercise their 1st Amendment right and petition their elected leaders. The City Attorney’s need authority from the City. The City Attorney’s do not take on the hands day to day work required by the City unless asked to do so. Our resources are scares and the City probably does not want to spend extra money on attorney fees unless needed. Mr. Hutchison has exercised his 1st Amendment right this evening and can do so at every Council meeting and he won’t be denied as long as he does not exceed the time limit given by Council. The City Council has not done anything illegal. Mr. Hutchison has initiated litigation. Attorney Robert Wilson cautioned Council not to have discussions with Mr. Hutchison regarding pending litigation. Mr. Hutchison has an attorney and he has probably advised him not to discussion the pending litigation.

Joe Hutchison stated that Attorney Robert Wilson was given permission to talk with him by Mayor John McPeek. There were conditions required. Mr. Hutchison’s stated his attorney will be at the next Council meeting. Mr. Hutchison stated the discrimination the City has shown towards him has cost him money for which he has receipts. He has asked the City to think about this. He agrees that the City does not have to speak with him about every issue. The Constitution is designed under the 1st Amendment to hold Council accountable. They have a duty and obligation which requires Council to speak with him.

He would like to meet at a mutual ground. Is the City willing to withstand the financial damage based on an attorney who has given them wrong advice? He asked them to review what their bound duties entail.

Mr. Ferguson from the Tourism Board spoke in regards to the bike path on Walnut Street. There are seven members. The bed tax is funneled to the Tourism Board to help promote tourism. People come from a distance to utilize the bike path. The concern is that the water and toilets have been off at the Walnut Street bike path. Commissioner Rupert Johnson has informed him of the difficulties regarding water waste and vandalism. The tourism board understands these issue. He is asking the water and toilet facility be available. The Tourism Board does have some money and could partially address any financial issues. Please keep in mind the importance of the bike path for tourism. The Tourism Board could help with any repairs. Commissioner Rupert Johnson announced the water has been turned on at the Walnut Street bike path facility. An extra key will be in the City Clerk’s office for future events or if the Tourism Board would like to help maintain the cleanliness.

Mayor John McPeek made the motion to go into Executive Session to discuss Collective Bargaining and Pending Litigation. Seconded by Commissioner Ron Morse. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Adjourn: 6:35 p.m. Convene: 7:18 p.m.

Mayor John McPeek made the motion to return to open session. Seconded by Commissioner Roger Angelly. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Raymond Gunning, Roger Angelly, Rupert Johnson and Ron Morse present and answering call.

Mayor John McPeek stated no action was taken with Collective Bargaining and no action with Pending Litigation.

Commissioner Roger Angelly made the motion to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Rupert Johnson. A roll call vote was taken with all present voting yes. Motion carried.

Adjourn: 7:20 p.m.

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/3acc7b_8f0cd3898f5245d1b2c2e2fbb70812b8.pdf

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