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City Council to Establish Rules for Public Comments

Monday, October 01, 2018 - Posted 9:20:08 PM
Mayor Bill Koos told the Minonk City Council at their Monday night meeting to try to establish some rules governing public comments at council meetings.  Mayor Koos said other communities are developing rules governing public comments and said Minonk should also consider doing this so everyone knows what the rules are when commenting. The Mayor passed out suggested guidelines for rules prepared by the city's attorney for the council members review. 

Alderman John Marcoline said he didn't think there has been any problems with public comments in the past and doesn't want to establish rules that would keep people from commenting.  

Mayor Koos said he is probably the most liberal mayor in the area for allowing public comments but felt that rules should be published so people know the guidelines.

Alderman Russell Ruestman agreed with alderman Marcoline that there hasn't been a problem with public comments in the past and said it appears we are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

Alderman Marcoline said he could accept a 5 minute limitation on an individual comment and 30 minutes in total for a comment period.  He said he doesn't want to create a situation like the school board meetings where comments aren't even replied to by board members.

Mayor Koos asked the council to review the suggested guidelines and be prepared to discuss a set of comments rules at the next council meeting.

In other business, the council approved a motion by alderman Russell Ruestman to grant a TIF 1 payment of $31,680 to Motel 6 at the Carolyn Addition for asphalt paving on their parking lot.  The payments represent 33% of the total cost of $92,000 for the project and will be payable in 2 installments of $15,840 each, one at the end of the calendar year and one at the end of the fiscal year if the project is completed by the end of the calendar year.

The original request was for payment on 75% of the cost but TIF 1 grants are limited to 33% of the project cost.

Administrative Manager Bill Moline said he was working with Mindy Goodrich of the ambulance squad in purchasing 2 new heart monitors for $49,153. Alderman Russell Ruestman asked if 2 heart monitors are needed instead of just one.  He asked Mr. Moline to check with Ms. Goodrich to see if the second heart monitor is necessary.

Mr.Moline said a few more items need to be finished from the punch list on the new sewer system and should be completed in October.

The town-wide clean-up cost in May was $5200 exceeding the $2100 budgeted for the clean-up.  Mr. Moline said the council should consider budgeting more for clean-up next year or reduce the scope of the project.

Mr. Moline said he is receiving bids to stripe Chestnut Street and some side street business areas.

In public comments, James Liner said he has been attending city council meeting for over 40 years and doesn't remember any public comments getting out of hand.  He said it looks like we are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  He said the city council agendas are required to have only 3 things, a roll call, adjournment and public comments.  He said the city responds to comments whereas you have to wait a month to get an answer on a comment directed to the school board.  Mr. Liner agreed that Mayor Koos was very liberal in his handling of public comments.

Dave Uphoff asked if the bump at the north end curve in Minonk is ever going to be fixed and who is responsible.  Mr. Moline said Woodford County is responsible for fixing the bump and they are aware of it as there is a warning sign for the bump.  He said he has no idea when the county will repair the bump.