Sangamon County Citizens' Efficiency Commission met March 8.
Sangamon County Citizens' Efficiency Commission met March 8.
Here is the minutes provided by the Commission:
I. Call to Order
Mr. Robert Plunk called the meeting of the Citizens’ Efficiency Commission to order.
II. Roll Call and Approval of Absences
Mr. Plunk stated that Mike Murphy would not be in attendance.
III. Approval of Minutes of the February 8, 2017 Meeting
Mr. Plunk asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the February 8, 2017, regular meeting. Dr. Kevin Dorsey moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Robert Wesley seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved.
IV. Introductions and Announcements
Mr. Plunk welcomed Mr. Ed Taft from the Williamsville Fire Protection District, and Mr. Marty Fairchild from the Rochester Fire Protection District.
Ms. Molly Berns introduced everyone who was not at last month’s meeting to Mr. Jordan Leaf. She said that he has been on the RPC staff and has recently been promoted to the position of assisting with the Regional Leadership Council which was a promise by the County Board to commit some resources if the referendum passed. Jordan will be working on reinstituting that organization, giving it some identity, some branding, and getting good interaction between the Mayors. She said that is one of Jordan’s responsibilities. The CEC will be seeing Jordan at all the future meetings for the CEC. He will be handling a lot of the organizational things that she has been doing on an interim basis since Jeff Fulgenzi and Amy Uden left. She said that she will be including him on any emails so that he can become the main contact person over the next two months.
V. Reports of Officers- Chair Mike Murphy & Vice-Chair & Hon. Karen Hasara
No report was given.
VI. Report on Legislative Activities – Sen. Larry Bomke & Hon. Karen Hasara
Sen. Larry Bomke reported that Hon. Karen Hasara and he have talked with Tim Butler. He is holding House Bill 3521 for amendment. Tim was not aware that it had an immediate effective date, but once elected Township Officials don’t take office until next January. The amendment will be heard next week. Sen. Bomke said that he understands that Tim Bramlet, Township Officials of Illinois, Legislative Consultant has maybe filed an opposition and that is understood because they are trying to protect their turf. Representative Butler is trying to talk with Mr. Bramlet to see how strong their opposition is. Hon. Hasara said that they could let everyone know when it is up in committee again. Sen. Bomke said his guess would be the Counties & Townships Committee which meets on Thursdays at 9:30 A.M. Hon. Hasara said that it would be nice if a couple of the commission members would want to attend the next Counties & Townships Committee hearing. She said that she knows that you’re suppose to be able to send witness slips by email so she was going to try to figure it out before the hearing. Mr. J.D. Sudeth asked if it would be under the whole county and township committee or one subcommittee? Sen. Bomke wasn’t sure how they did it in the House. Hon. Hasara said she thought it was the whole Townships Committee or maybe it is the local government committee. Sen. Bomke said they called it the Counties & Townships Committee. Mr. Sudeth said consolidated subcommittee and transparencies subcommittees are the only two. He asked if it was a House Bill? Sen. Bomke said HB3521.
Hon. Hasara said she checked on SB3 and is expecting an analysis of it, but she has not received it yet. She said she would pass it along to Ms. Berns when she gets it and Ms. Berns can send it to the commissioners. Hon. Hasara said it hasn’t gone anywhere. Sen. Bomke said that the bill was up for a vote, it passed, and then he filed a motion to reconsider the vote. He said maybe he didn’t realize it passed and thought it failed. Hon. Hasara said that the bill did a number of things to make it easier to consolidate townships. For example, in some counties they have already been able to do this. We were not one of them. There were three counties and one of the regulations was that a township to be eligible for consolidation must have 126 square miles and that was probably was intended to keep somebody from consolidating, but they have removed that restriction. It wouldn’t apply to townships in Sangamon County. It also describes how to handle some of the problems when you try to consolidate, how you treat certain labor, negotiations and that type of thing. She said that Sen. Bomke and she would keep an eye on it. She did ask Tim Butler’s office for an analysis, assuming she gets one, she will forward it to Ms. Berns for distribution. Mr. Plunk said he understood that the sponsor was Senator Cullerton. Hon. Hasara said it is Thomas Cullerton. Sen. Bomke said it is his cousin. Hon. Hasara said it is not the leader. Mr. Plunk said that Hon. Hasara mentioned that it makes it easier for consolidation of townships, but the fire protection district trustees thought that there were quite a bit of provisions for changes related to fire districts. Hon. Hasara said that she did not see any, but she could have missed an amendment or something. She is looking at the synopsis of it and there are a couple of amendments. She sees nothing that affects fire districts. Mr. Plunk said the trustee from Sherman, Mike Moos, thought he saw that there were a lot of things in there some of which dealt with larger fire districts. Hon. Hasara said she can’t swear there is nothing in there, but she is looking at the synopsis and it is not in there. She said that Sen. Bomke and she would keep their eye on it.
VII. Report about Medical District Meeting – Hon. Karen Hasara
Hon. Hasara said that was interesting. One of the good things, Michelle Higginbotham, the head of the Enos Park Neighborhood Association, is going to be on the board. She said Enos Park is very involved with the Medical District. Hon. Hasara said she talked with Ms. Higginbotham after the meeting and told her how happy she was that she was going to be there. She said that there were a couple other people, but she was unsure who they represented. One was a business and they had developed a brochure. She said Paul O’Shea was there just as a planner. She didn’t think he is with the City anymore. Ms Berns said he is no longer under City employment. She said there are some interests, in addition to the CEC’s, so she just stated that the CEC was very interested in seeing things move along. She said the next meeting will be in April. She said she plans on going and if she can’t she would like for someone to go from the CEC. She said at some point she would like to sit down with Mr. Collins to see how the CEC could be more helpful. She just said that the CEC was very interested in helping any way that we can and that is where it was left.
VIII. Regional Policing Study – Hon. Karen Hasara & Sen. Larry Bomke
Hon. Hasara said if you remember last month, Chair Murphy would see if he could get in touch with the Mayor’s office, and he and Jim Cimarossa would go and visit with him. She said the Mr. Cimarossa’s mother passed away in the middle of that and he had not heard from Chair Murphy. So she is assuming that Chair Murphy was not able to get an appointment with the Mayor. Sen. Bomke asked what the status was and if the CEC was waiting for a commitment from the City? Hon. Hasara said yes, we have to have City’s permission to look at data. Mr. Robert Wesley said and the funding to do the study. Sen. Bomke said equally as important is cooperation if they are not interested. Hon. Hasara said that Chair Murphy had spoken to the Chamber and they were willing to help as long as the City would participate. She said that the CEC could probably manage without a whole lot of money from the City because they probably wouldn’t be able to match the funding. Hon. Hasara said when she returns to Springfield she will be in touch with Chair Murphy and find out what is going on. She asked that the agenda remain the same for next month.
IX. Unfinished Business
Ms. Berns said that she had gone online and did confirm that it appears that Counties & Townships Committee is still scheduled and that the bill is still up tomorrow. Sen. Bomke said according to Tim Butler it will be held because of the amendment to change the effective date.
X. New Business
A. Next Meeting Date –April 12, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Mr. Sudeth said that the Auburn Township Road Commissioner is putting together a meeting on, March 24, 2017 at their shop located at 14759 S. Kennedy Road in Auburn. Mr. Sudeth said he thinks he has invited all the township commissioners. It will be an all day meeting. He is having the County Engineer come in. Mr. Sudeth said he got wind of it, he talked to him, and he welcomed anyone from the CEC to come. He was told that this used to be a regular meeting, but they have gotten away from doing it and they would like to see more communication between the County Engineer’s office and Township Road Commissioners. Mr. Sudeth said he would pull up the CEC’s white papers about the subject and mail it to him because he didn’t know if they were aware of what the CEC has gone through. Registration will start at 8:30 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. on the 24 th. and go until afternoon. Mr. Sudeth said that he has spoke to other road commissioners that are interested in doing some things that the CEC suggested. Mr. Plunk said that this is a different group than Township Supervisors that have an association. He said this group does not really have an association, but they have gotten together like this.
Mr. Wesley said that he knows there was analysis and recommendations in one of the papers during CEC, Term 1 that recognized cooperative efforts that were already happening, and he believes road commissioners were included in that. Mr. Sudeth said some of the guys he has spoke with don’t know why they don’t utilize some of the county’s equipment mainly oilers and chippers. He said they are hiring the Illinois Road Contractors, Inc. (IRC) out of Jacksonville. Mr. Sudeth said he can’t believe that they can’t figure out a way to utilize that equipment because those oilers and chippers sit 95% of the time. He said most of these townships have got trucks to haul the chips. They could coordinate amongst a few of them, go in and do each township at a different time, and have the county run their oilers and bring their chipper. He said that the Auburn Road Commissioner told him they are stock piling their rock for this summer already. Mr. Wesley said that type of thing takes a lot of cooperation and a lot of times they just need to call and ask them if they will do it. Mr. Sudeth said he knows most have tight budgets and they are looking for ways to save. Instead of doing 5 miles of road they are looking to do 8 miles a year. Mr. Wesley said the paper he is remembering done by the first CEC recognized that this kind of stuff is happening for that very reason. He said folks talk to each other and figure things out. Mr. Wesley asked if Mr. Sudeth thought they were going to talk about working with the county a little bit more at this meeting. Mr. Sudeth said well he inferred, but we haven’t gotten a new county engineer. Ms. Berns said Brian Davis is the acting county engineer and they are going through the screening process now. Mr. Sudeth asked if there was certain time that the county would be getting one. Ms. Berns said they have opened the application process and she heard they wanted to have it done by the end of April. She said that Brian Davis was officially named the acting county engineer when Tim Zahrn retired at the end of the year. Mr. Plunk said that Mr. Sudeth mentioned the chipper the county has and he thinks that some of the townships have chippers and Williams Township maybe one that has them. Mr. Plunk said that when his road was chipped he knows there were four different township trucks helping and one of the townships provided the chipper.
XI. Public Comments
Mr. Plunk said that he attended Monday night’s meeting of the Fire Protection District Trustees at Williamsville Fire Station, and he appreciates that Mr. Taft and Mr. Fairchild are with us again today. Chris Richmond from the Springfield Fire Department gave them an update on the GIS system that they are working on for the entire county. Mr. Richmond has gotten in a lot of information from some of the fire districts. Mr. Plunk said it was encouraging to see three new faces the other night.
Mr. Plunk asked if there were any further comments. There being none, he called for a motion to adjourn. Dr. Dorsey motioned to adjourn. Mr. Wesley seconded the motion. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.