Wednesday, May 13, 2009
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City: New administration setting up shop

Planning for the future, increased communications, policies and procedures

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[May 13, 2009] 

Economic development summit

Mayor Keith Snyder has set a tentative date of Sept. 12 for an economic summit for the city. He said this was something he had spoken of while running for office, and he wants to follow through with it.

The summit will build on the base that was created at the city's CEDS meeting in April.

Snyder has contacted the economic development partnership and the chamber of commerce for their participation, as well as others, and will continue working on the project, keeping the council informed as he progresses.

Taking the show on the road

Snyder told the council that he wants to "take this show on the road."

He said that commencing this fall he wants to have at least one council workshop meeting in each ward.

He asked that the two aldermen from each ward get together and find a suitable location for the meeting and choose the date they would prefer.

He added that during the workshop meeting he would like for the aldermen to offer a presentation about their ward. "Tell us what is going on in your ward, what the issues are, what people are concerned about, and whatever you would like for us to know," he said.

Snyder and Bates have researched the subject of holding meetings outside of council chambers and found that it was not allowed on voting meetings, so the "road show" will be workshops only.

New city e-mail addresses

Snyder said that he is working with the folks who maintain the city's Web site and has set up new e-mail addresses for city department heads as well as himself.

He said that this will give some uniformity to the city e-mail addresses and make it easier for the people of Lincoln to contact various departments.

All the addresses will now end in ""

The addresses that are established now are as follows:

For Tracy Jackson, superintendent of streets and alleys, the address will be Jackson said that his address is not yet established but should be soon.

Changes in meeting procedure; council approves a consent agenda

The mayor wants to implement a change in the Monday night voting meeting procedures by adopting the use of a consent agenda.

He said that a consent agenda is specifically for noncontroversial issues that are normally approved without discussion. He cited as examples the payment of bills and adopting of resolutions and proclamations.

He added that this would streamline the voting process by allowing for one motion and one vote to pass everything listed on the consent agenda. He said that doing this would allow more time to discuss issues of greater importance.

At the workshop meetings, aldermen would specify when they wanted an item placed on the consent agenda. The city clerk will create the agenda and send it out in advance.

Snyder said that if something was placed on the consent agenda that anyone felt should not be there, they can request that it be removed prior to the voting meeting.

Bill Bates, city attorney, handed out a three-page document explaining the consent agenda, which he said is officially titled an "Omnibus Agenda." The document included state statute Section 5/3.1-40-40, which allows for the use of the consent agenda in municipal meetings.

Alderwoman Melody Anderson said that the consent agenda has been used by the school board in the past and that it worked out very well for them. She said that she is all in favor of adding this change in procedure to the council meetings.

The council will begin using the consent agenda at the May 26 workshop meeting.

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New registration form for addressing the council

The mayor said that he and Alderman Jeff Hoinacki and have discussed a new form to be filled out by people wishing to address the council.

The form is a single page with a registration form on the bottom portion, which the visitor would fill out ahead of time and give to the city clerk, creating a public record of those who come before the council.

The top portion of the form would be for the speaker to keep and would offer suggestions on how to address the council with their topic.

Alderwoman Marty Neitzel said that she thought the form was a very good idea. "It will give us an idea ahead of time on what they are going to be talking about," she said.

Mayor creates two new committees; result of IPRF safety audit

The Illinois Public Risk Fund is the provider for the city's workers' compensation policy. The IPRF annually sends a loss prevention specialist to visit its policy holders, evaluate their safety policies and procedures, and recommend changes to improve workplace safety.

Snyder told the council that he had acted on an IPRF letter that included a call to action in three areas and required a response from the city no later than May 13.

First, IPRF said that city supervisors should complete accident investigations on all employee injuries.

Snyder said that he has created an accident review committee, consisting of himself and all the city department heads.

The committee will review the current accident report forms, compare them with those used by the state of Illinois and other entities, develop a new uniform reporting document for all departments, and then build a reporting and investigation policy and procedure for the city.

The second recommendation was for the creation of a safety committee. Snyder said that the committee will consist of four representatives, one each from police, fire and street departments, and one who will be representing the combined City Hall offices.

He said that this committee would be formed by July 1 but added that IPRF was willing to come back in September and offer training to the committee on how to implement a safety program.

Snyder said that in his answer to the IPRF, he would state that the committee will not be fully functional until after they have received that training in September.

Finally, IPRF offers a series of Web-based safety trainings for employees. The company is strongly suggesting that the city departments use these Web-based tools in training employees about workplace safety.

Les Plotner, city treasurer, asked what kind of cost was going to be involved in the trainings that IPRF is suggesting. He said that he was all in favor of anything that would increase worker safety, as the city has been hit hard with premium increases due to claims. However, if there is a cost involved in the trainings, that needed to be considered as well.

Bates said he believed that IPRF will provide the on-site trainings at no charge because they, too, have a vested interest in the city due to the cost of claims.

Jackson said that the training material offered by the IPRF on the Web is free of charge.

IPRF grant awarded

Fire Chief Kent Hulett has also received word from the IPRF that the city has been awarded $1,700 from an IPRF Safety Grant. The money will be used to purchase spare cylinders for the fire department's breathing apparatus.


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