Fiscal Year 2019 Draft Budget On the Agenda for City Council

The FY2019 budget is scheduled for discussion in the April 10, 2018 City Council Meeting. We received a copy today, and it has been posted online.  There is much to consider, with not much time to do so. The budget does exceed last years budget in terms of spending. Last years budget proposed a whopping  $2,154,495.00 in spending, while this year the proposal is for spending of $2,159,745.00. Not as significant a jump as the FY2017-FY2018 budget increase.

We encourage everyone to attend this evening, and ask questions. Our previous article, “Citizen Participation in Budgeting” outlined the benefits of soliciting citizen involvement and input. Our hope is that questions will be taken seriously, considered, and changes made where necessary. This budget represents over $2,000 in spending for every man, woman and child in Nauvoo, once again.

Employee salaries, water and sewer, police and the library represent the lion’s share of spending. But individual details are not available for review in this proposed budget. All account categories are represented in the aggregate, so evaluation of specific spending is not possible. Only questions asked of the City Council will provide this information.

Share

Two Important Meetings This Week

On Monday afternoon at 4:30 pm, the Nauvoo City Finance & Personnel Committee will hold its monthly meeting. On the agenda are several items of importance to the citizens of Nauvoo.

The Fiscal Year 2019 budget will be presented by the City Treasurer. We are interested to see if it continues the increase in spending we discussed last year. At the time it was an all-time high in spending. Last years budget was over $2 million dollars, or in excess of $2,000 in city spending for every man, woman and child in the city.  We will be posting the proposed budget as soon as it is available.

Also on the agenda is a new vehicle for the Nauvoo Police Department. The request this year is for a new 2018 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4×4 Truck. We believe the last vehicle purchased was the Dodge Durango in 2016. This will be a significant expense for the citizens, and there should be a number of questions, including whether this new vehicle will also be unmarked.

These items will then be forwarded to the City Council for discussion and action in the Tuesday night meeting.

In addition to the budget, and the new police vehicle, there are also agenda items for the Dollar General site plan and building permit.

A working meeting is being requested to discuss “current issues and define the future of the current ordinance,” specifically relating to the Hotel Motel Board we assume from those who will be involve. We are interested in seeing what is proposed, considering last weeks hotel motel board meeting, and the questions raised by Tom Holliday and others in the meeting.

Both meetings will be worthwhile to attend. For those who cannot attend in person, they will be streamed live on the openNauvoo facebook page, and will be archived here as well.

 

Share

Attorney General: Further Action is Warranted on County Board Meeting

To view the full document, including our request, click the image.

As we previously reported, the Hancock County Board held a meeting on March 20, 2018 without properly posting the agenda, and discussing and deciding on issues not properly advertised. We filed a request with the Illinois Attorney General to review the situation on March 21, 2018. We learned today that the Attorney General’s office decided that our request deserves further action. They have not given the County Board 7 Days to respond.

They have asked the Board to provide copies of the notice, agenda and meeting minutes for the meeting. They have also asked for clarification of who maintains the Board’s website. We verified with the County Clerk on March 21st, that it is maintained by the County Treasurer (a full-time employee). In addition, our review of the site on March 20, 2018 clearly stated that there were “No Upcoming Meetings Scheduled”.

As stated before, our desire is that the public have the opportunity to comment before a new State’s Attorney is appointed for Hancock County. The previous State’s Attorney stated that he had a conflict of interest in pursuing cases that involved the City of Nauvoo due to his prior employment with the City. We are aware of cases that were investigated by State Police, referred to the State’s Attorney and should have been referred to the Special Prosecutor’s Office, due to conflicts. We requested copies of these official referrals today.

We are also aware of other cases involving public safety, and protection of children, that have not been prosecuted during his tenure as State’s Attorney. The Board should be made aware of all of these issues, and determine what position the new State’s Attorney would take, prior to making any appointment. This should all be done with the public’s involvement. The outcome may be that same as the previous meeting, but the process should not be.

We look forward to providing further information on this case.

 

Share

No Time Specified for Advertised Public Spaces Committee Meeting

The agenda posted at City Hall does not specify a time for the meeting. The agenda does state that it is an agenda for 4-5-18, but no time is given.

The Attorney General’s Office specifies that “Giving public notice means providing the date, time and location of a meeting.”

Rather than deal with an Open Meetings Act review, the Committee should reschedule the meeting, and advertise it as required by law.

Agenda Posted at City Hall

Share