A busy six months, some actions 'futile'
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[December 08, 2008]
At the Dec. 1 Lincoln City
Council meeting, attorney Bill Bates offered the council a lengthy
list of activities that he referred to as the "highlights" of all
that he has been doing for the city for the last six months.
Bates told the council that several collective bargaining
agreements have been completed on behalf of the city, and he said
that the various department heads had been a great deal of help in
those matters. He reminded the council that the agreement for the
police department is still pending, but work will continue on it
until it is completed.
There have been numerous "Freedom of Information" requests
filed with the police department that have taken up a great deal of
time, not only for Bates, but also for Chief Stuart Erlenbush,
Deputy Chief Mike Geriets and the state's attorney office. In
addition, Bates said that there seems to be a rise in subpoenas for
various criminal cases. He added that these are a lot of work for
the police department, but that they have done a good job of
answering them, though a few, the attorney quashed because "they
were too broad and burdensome of the department."
also reported that there had been one incompatibility-of-office
issue that he had advised the mayor on.
The billboard ordinance was an extensive project, with some
moratoriums involved, but it has been completed. Bates attributed
much of the writing of the ordinance to Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs,
saying that she had done most of the "heavy lifting."
Working with Mark Mathon and David Kitzmiller, easements were
acquired for the force main work at the city's south plant.
There were a few issues that had to be dealt with in regard to
the Lincoln and Logan County Enterprise Zone.
Bates told council members that he has spent a great deal of time
filing answers on mortgage foreclosures. He explained that in most
mortgage foreclosures there is also a sewer lien involved, and the
city has to file an answer. He added that doing so is really a
"futile task because we never get money, but it has to be done."
In addition to all of this, the attorney has worked on preparing
multiple ordinances and continues to appear on a regular basis in
the special division of ordinance violation cases on each Thursday
except for trial week and is vigorously prosecuting those cases.
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Bates said that he knows the council is continually concerned about
the properties on Jefferson Street and Webster Drive, and he is
doing all that he can to exercise the city's legal rights to try to
bring those properties into compliance. Unfortunately the matter is
once again in appellate court, for the second or third time thus
far. He vows that he will continue to pursue this case.
And finally, per the council's wishes, he has filed an action
seeking demolition of a property on South Sangamon Street. Bates
says he has been in court and will return to court Monday on some
matters preliminary to the case itself. He says there has been a
motion to dismiss the city's case, but he will continue to pursue
that one vigorously. He added that he knows all the aldermen are
getting questions about the building, and he wants to assure them
that he is working on it and will continue to do so until the matter
At the close of his report, Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman thanked the
attorney for all that he does, saying that no one really knows how
very much time the attorney spends in his work for the city.
[Nila Smith; as reported by Bill