In case you missed it, here is the live chat with Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore from July 2.
Quincy Alderman Steve Duesterhaus, D-2, questioned Monday night whether the topics of the most frequent speaker during the City Council’s public forums are actually relevant to city business.
Speaker Jeff Kerkhoff, who was the only speaker during the monthly public forum Monday night, spoke to the City Council about the 225th anniversary of the Virginia Ratifying Convention. The Municipal Code says the purpose of the public forum is to allow residents “an opportunity to raise ideas, comments or concerns related to the City of Quincy before members of the City Council.”
“Where are the ideas, comments or concerns that relate to the city of Quincy in your lecture here?” Duesterhaus asked, no doubt echoing the thoughts of several elected officials on both sides of the aisle who privately question the relevance of Kerkhoff’s monthly remarks.
Kerkhoff said the City Council just discussed taxation when it rejected the Quincy Township budget.
“It also extends to local issues, as well as to national issues — the issues of taxation that Patrick Henry brought up,” he said.
Duesterhaus asked what he should take away from his presentation.
“To guard the jewel of liberty very closely and to guard the tax money really closely,” Kerkhoff said. “And I think from your discussion, that’s exactly what you did. You took Patrick Henry’s concerns to heart, because you heavily debated the issue on the township.”
Kerkhoff speaks every month during the public forum. He also speaks regularly at Quincy Park Board and Quincy School Board meetings.
In recent months he has spoken at City Council on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, the 225th anniversary of Federalist No. 84, the legacy of Ronald Reagan and newly appointed South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. It would be a stretch to consider any of those topics relevant to the city of Quincy. Every April, he speaks about the city’s budget.
The monthly public forum was introduced in 2010 after public access to the council became an issue when aldermen voted 7-6 not to suspend the rules and allow local tea party organizer Steve McQueen a chance to speak, even though McQueen had requested time on the council agenda. He was allowed to speak the following week.
Aldermen have been reluctant to confront Kerkhoff, but perhaps it’s time to make all speakers stick to local issues.
The Quincy Finance Committee recommended Tuesday that the city purchase a new generator for the Police Department, emergency communications and information technologies in City Hall.
The committee agreed to buy the $23,121 generator from LWC of Wentzville, Mo., as long as the company agrees to a contingency that would require the company to guarantee the city would no longer have issues with its backup power supply. The representative for the company is based in Perry, Mo.
Jim Murphy, director of Information Technologies and Purchasing, said the city lost power Monday after lightning struck near City Hall.
“We actually lost two servers and some hard drives,” he said. “It took us all day to get some things back up and running. One of them was email.”
Murphy said the city has been told the problem was with the city’s generator, which doesn’t immediately turnover in a power outage.
“In essence, any time we have a power outage, all the equipment would just drop,” he said.
The generator is $1,300 higher than the lowest proposal, but Murphy said the maintenance contract will be $600 annually, while the maintenance costs for the cheaper model were $1,395 annually.
Alderman Paul Havermale, R-3, said he didn’t have a problem with replacing the generator, but he wanted a guarantee that the problems will be fixed.
“You have a harmonic problem in this building somewhere,” he said. “You could put the best generator in the world in, and be right here in a month. I still believe we have to find the problem before you put a new generator in.”
Murphy said the reports the city received said the problems with the system are from the generator.
The new 65-kilowatt generator would run on natural gas, but it would also have a propane backup. The current 40-kilowatt generator operates off diesel. The city will have to get bids for the installation if the generator is bought.
The committee also agreed to issue Mayor Kyle Moore a city credit card. While in office, former Mayor John Spring also had a city-issued credit card. The city’s credit card policy allows the mayor to have a $10,000 limit.
The Aeronautics Committee will continue looking at options to have someone oversee the Quincy Regional Airport, after the Federal Aviation Administration told the city it would like an on-site manager.
Director of Human Resources Doug Olson told the committee Monday that a union employee has taken a “quasi-supervisor” role at the airport, potentially causing issues, as union employees are not allowed to hold supervisor roles over other union employees.
“We feel we need to move forward with some type of either manager or supervisor to alleviate that problem,” he said.
The airport hasn’t had a manager or director whose sole responsibility was the airport since Marty Stegeman also began serving as interim director of the Quincy Transit Lines in 2009.
Stegeman is now serving as the airport director on an interim basis. He is the director of Central Services and the Quincy Transit Lines.
“Marty can’t be in all these places at the same time,” Olson said.
Stegeman said the city will have to get specific criteria from the FAA on what type of supervisor they would like to see at the airport.
“Even back when I was doing it as interim transit director, (the FAA) had expressed some concerns that (duties) might slip, which through time it has,” he said. “(The FAA’s) concern is without someone on site managing day-to-day business … that this will continue to slip.”
Those who can’t attend Quincy City Council meetings are now in luck. Replays of the meeting are now available online.
Mayor Kyle Moore announced the new platform for the meetings Monday and said he hoped it would be used by residents to become more active in their city government.
Meetings are broadcast live and also replayed on Comcast channel 15, but people only receive it if they have Comcast. The online replays will make it much easier to catch for residents. While he was an alderman, Moore suggested that the city start posting meetings after a resident had to buy a DVD of the meeting.
Sadly, the videos can’t be embedded, so you will have to head to the city’s website to watch them.
Lonnie Dunn, Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore’s nominee for corporation counsel, has recorded a video for On My Honor — an organization that opposes allowing openly gay Scouts and leaders to be more involved with the Boy Scouts of America.
A proposal unveiled last month that would allow gay Scouts but continue the ban on gay leaders is up for a vote by the organization’s Board of Directors later this month.
Dunn is expected to be confirmed to the post Monday night.
The Quincy Finance Committee approved a request by Good Samaritan Home to refinance a $12 million bond it took out in 2009 to help fund its expansion.
The home used the city’s bonding authority to finance the construction of the Anna Brown Unit, office space and the parking lot. The bond was originally for $12 million, and $8 million is being refinanced.
City Comptroller Ann Scott said since the bond is being refinanced, it should not affect the city’s $10 million bond limit that it has available to non-profits. The city will receive a $10,000 fee for Good Samaritan Home’s use of the bonding authority.
This is similar to a refinancing plan approved last year for Quincy University. Aldermen voted in 2007 to allow QU to issue up to $14 million in bonds to refinance two $7 million bonds issued in 1997 and 2001.
In other business, the committee recommended that it accept the bid of $11,643 from Area Distributors for janitorial supplies.
Republican mayoral candidate Kyle Moore is the first candidate to hit TV before the April 9 election. In his campaign ad called “We Deserve Moore,” Moore slams two-term Mayor John Spring, a Democrat, on hydropower and touts his record to increase efficiencies and accountability at the city level. Moore also declares his top priority is to bring more jobs to Quincy.
His campaign also received a big financial boost Monday.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, he received $5,000 from the 18th District Republican Central Committee and $10,000 from the Adams County Republican Central Committee. Moore’s campaign also sent a letter to the State Board of Elections correcting an error. In a Jan. 15 report, Moore’s campaign said it received $5,000 from state Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, when it actually received the contribution from Jim Tracy.
Just one month remains until the city elections, and money continues to roll in for Quincy Mayor John Spring, who is seeking a third term.
On Tuesday, his campaign reported a $6,000 donation from Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville. Last week, his campaign reported a $3,000 donation from the Construction and General Laborer’s District Council of Chicago Political Action Committee and a $1,000 in-kind contribution from Sullivan for staff salaries.
Third Ward Alderman Kyle Moore, the Republican candidate, reported $1,000 from the 18th District Republican Central Committee last week.
These aren’t all the contributions that candidates have received. Contributions of $1,000 or more must be reported year round, while other donations are disclosed quarterly. It will be interesting to see how much both candidates total for the election, which won’t be available until first quarter disclosure reports are due after the election.
Illinois Democratic lawmakers continue to throw big dollars at Quincy Mayor John Spring’s re-election campaign.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Spring’s campaign reported $8,000 in contributions last week. He received $3,000 from former Sen. Louis Viverito, D-Burbank, and $2,500 each from state Reps. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, and Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley.
This comes one week after Spring received $15,500 in contributions from other Democratic lawmakers.
Republican mayoral candidate Kyle Moore has reported contributions of $3,500 from Lee Lindsay Curtis and $1,000 from John G. Stevenson Jr. He also reported a $1,000 contribution from Harold Knapheide III, who previously has contributed $2,000 to the campaign.