SAVANNA – Ray Skiles will represent Savanna’s Ward Two, and was sworn in accordingly, pursuant to a recommendation by new Savanna Mayor Tony McCombie, at the May 13th, 2013 meeting of the Savanna City Council at 333 Chicago Avenue in Savanna.
This meeting was attended by the full Council, including Merle Long, Bill Robinson, Peg Haffey, Jeff Griswold, Gary Scott Law, Lisa Robinson and Christine Lee. Also attending were Mayor McCombie, City Clerk Paul Hartman, City Attorney Phil Jensen, and department heads Sheryl Sipe, Michael Moon, Shawn Picolotti and John Lindeman.
The Council will reschedule the planned Public Hearing regarding possible default of franchise agreement by Mediacom for the first meeting in June.
A flurry of funding requests highlighted Robinson’s Finance Committee report. The Fire Department requested funds for two bay doors, a budgeted item, for $4410.00. The department also requested funding for an enclosed trailer for the City’s Argo vehicle, another budgeted item for up to $5,000.00, as well as a request for Scott Air Bottles and Valves for $26,050.00, also budgeted.
Public Works requested funds for a pump motor and assembly for Well #6 at the Chestnut Park Water Tower. This is budgeted at $20,000.00.
Robinson commented at the conclusion of his report that the budget is “looking better this year than last year” and that one reason is that things have been set up so that some of the various services to the City are actually paying for themselves.
McCombie made a long list of appointments, with Jensen being appointed to another term as City Attorney, and Sipe, Lindeman, Moon and Picolotti all being appointed to another term (all four years). She also reorganzed the committee structures and memberships, with Finance now being manned by Robinson, Haffey and Lee, Hotel/Motel by Haffey, Lisa Robinson, and Long, Building and Public Property/Health and Safety Committee, by Law, Lisa Robinson and Skiles, Water/Sewer by Bill Robinson, Skiles and Law, Contracts and Lease/Collective Bargaining by Griswold, Long and Bill Robinson, and Personnel/Ordinance/Public Relations by Haffey, Lee and Griswold.
McCombie detailed some of her thoughts as to some changes in the standard modus operandi of meetings and the role of mayor. Notable among these is the fact that McCombie will now be voting on matters that come before council, to show council members and the public where she stands on issues. She also said she is open to putting members’ concerns down on the agenda, and that if there were nothing on a particular committee meeting agenda, then that meeting would be cancelled. She said while council members were free to contact department heads, most questions could be filtered through her or Sipe.
She added that she’d like to utilize private citizens for special committee duties, and that she’s making a priority to get up to speed on flood mitigation programs.
The mayor also requested the Council become more visible in community meetings and events, tasking them to try to attend one extra meeting per year, whether it be a West Carroll Board meeting, a Park Board meeting, etc.
She pledged working more closely with area governments to try to foster a sense of mutual aid between the communities.
Ordinances and Resolutions Galore
A number of ordinances and resolutions came before council. Heartland Pet Welfare requested their annual waiver of license fee and were promptly granted it. An ordinance allowing for the sale of excess property (1708 Chicago Avenue) was given its first reading, and an ordinance which allowed Council to combine certain standing committees was read and approved on first reading. Two other resolutions were passed quickly, one which declared the results of the April 9th election, and another to allow Savanna to adopt the Carroll Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.
Department Heads News
Chief Moon informed Council and the mayor that Savanna had been hit with a wave of debit card theft, and urged citizens to check their credit and debit card balances to ensure no discrepancies existed. Moon noted that this was a “sophisticated” attack, one which was serious enough to warrant him contacting the Secret Service for aid in investigation.
Lindeman brought the happy news that Savanna is the recipient of a $10,200.000.00 EPA grant which should go a long ways toward helping to fund the City’s wastewater treatment plant construction project.