MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
MAYOR AND THE COMMITTEE-OF-THE-WHOLE
OF THE CITY OF EAST MOLINE, ILLINOIS
OCTOBER 16, 2006
Mayor Thodos called the meeting to order and directed Deputy City Clerk Richard Van Raes, to call the roll. The following Aldermen were present: Helen Heiland, Luis Puentes, Luis Moreno, Rick Meredith, Gary Kelley, and Gary Westbrook. Absent: Alderman Carol Doose. 7:01p.m.
ADDITIONS/CORRECTIONS TO AGENDA
TAX LEVY (Mr. Hughes)
Finance Director, Jim Hughes, refers to materials distributed to Council members. This will be the first presentation of the 2006 Tax Levy. In summary this proposed tax levy shows an estimated reduction in the tax levy rate. The increase in the total tax levy will be $182,140 (4.08%). This levy will not require a public hearing. This increase in revenues reinstitutes the $20,000 levy for demolition; includes $30,000 for an additional fireman; $30,100 for a new squad car which was not in last years levy. These are the levies the City Council has some control over. The following increases are mandated: Insurance and Tort Judgment $14,223; Library increase of $12,269; and increased pension cost: IMRF $26,356; Police Pension Fund $71.330. Of the $182,140 increase, $124,178 (68.18%) is mandated. This levy also includes $60,000 for future purchase of a fire truck. This $60,000 will be deposited into a reserve fund to pay for this truck. This will reduce the amount of borrowing. The tax levy will be placed on the nest Committee-of-the-Whole agenda for further discussion.
Recommendation: To approve the tentative levy of $4,644,292 at the November 6, 2006 City Council meeting.
Budget Impact: The tax levy accounts for approximately 20% of our total budget.
Mayor Thodos comments on the importance of funding demolition.
Alderman Puentes expressed appreciation to City Staff for work on the tax levy.
Mr. Hughes indicates that no action is needed at this time however he would like to pass the preliminary tax levy on the first Monday in November. A thirty-day comment period would then be required.
No action taken on this item.
RESIDENCY OF EMPLOYEES (Alderman Heiland)
For several years there have been suggestions that a residency requirement be required for certain job descriptions. Bargaining units would not be included unless introduced in negotiations at contract time. There are many questions as to whether this is feasible. Some feel it is time to investigate this policy since it is very important to all involved if we are to promote our City.
This policy would apply to exempt employees. As previously stated, bargaining units would negotiate for a policy. It is requested that a legislative committee be formed to explore the possibilities of a residency requirement for employees. Alderman Heiland refers to opinions she has received regarding residency as a condition of employment.
City Attorney Phares comments on the issue as a topic of bargaining with the unions and as it would apply to exempt personnel.
A lengthy discussion was held on various parts of the concept. Mayor Thodos comments that other Alderman has raised the subject. Alderman Heiland indicates that opinionsfrom all Aldermen should be heard. Discussion continues on open meetings procedures.
Alderman Puentes comments on status of present employees. Policy would start with new hires. Alderman Heiland requests other Council members send her their opinions. Additional discussion on applicants of a residency policy to management and union members.
Alderman Meredith notes that the importance of residency is more pronounced in a smaller community. Alderman Puentes endorses forming a discussion committee.
City Attorney Phares ask if this applies to current recruiting. Alderman Moreno states that current interviewees be informed as to which direction the City Council is moving on this issue.
A lengthy discussion continues. Mayor Thodos stresses compliance with the "Sunshine Laws" and proposes that the subject be brought back to the Committee-of-the-Whole.
Discussion continues on application to union employees, job bidding, Ect.
Recommendation: Form a legislative committee to investigate and review the laws regarding the possibility of this requirement. (The previous Attorney General allowed one (1) year for applicants to move into the city after employment). Request that the committee to come back with a recommendation to the City Council in a reasonable amount of time.
Budget Impact: None.
No action was taken on this item. The item will return to the Committee-of-the-Whole.
CAR PURCHASE (Captain DeVrieze)
Item covered under regular City Council Agenda.
ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE AT COUNCIL MEETINGS (Attorney Phares)
On January 1, 2007, Public Act 94-1058, amending the Open Meetings Act takes affect and amends the definition of a "meeting" and permits attendance of members of the public body at public meetings by a means other than physical presence. To permit attendance by a means other than physical presence, the City Council must adopt a policy that conforms to the requirement and restrictions of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/7.
City Attorney Phares refers to Section 2 (ii) on the criteria for being unable to attend a City Council meeting. A lengthy discussion was held on the pros and cons of the policy and the potential abuses. City Attorney Phares comments on the circumstances in the City of Rock Island. Alderman Puentes comments on the cost involved. Alderman Moreno comments on the positive aspects of the policy.
Recommendation: By the City Attorney is to approve the attached Remote Attendance Policy.
Budget Impact: Unknown.
A motion was made by Alderman Moreno, seconded by Alderman Meredith, to concur with the recommendation as presented, and forward the proposed Ordinance to the City Council. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Meredith, Kelley, Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, and Moreno. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Alderman Kelley, seconded by Alderman Westbrook, to adjourn the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Meredith, Kelley, Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, and Moreno. Motion carried. 7:40p.m.
Minutes taken and submitted by,
Richard Van Raes, Deputy City Clerk
Copyright East Moline 2007. All rights reserved