Tuesday, February 05, 2008
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City: New Deputy Police Chief Named

First Truancy Ordinance Adopted

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[February 05, 2008]  Lincoln City Council members either approved or tabled a number of measures on Monday night.

Aldermen approved Police Chief Stuart Erlenbush's recommendation to name Sgt. Mike Geriets as deputy police chief. (See: Lincoln Police Officer Completes Advanced Training at FBI Academy)

It's taken most of a year, with numerous ordinance committee meetings that included representatives of a concerned citizens group and the regional superintendent of schools, but the city now has a truancy ordinance. (See the new truancy ordinance below.)

Following the meeting, Ron Denlinger, who represented the concerned citizens group said: "We are very pleased that the city has a truancy ordinance. It seems that this is an ordinance that is good for the community as a whole. We're grateful to Marty Neitzel for listening to our concerns and giving us the opportunity to find a way to come together. We appreciate Jean Anderson working with us. And we sincerely hope that this encouragement to stay in school will help prevent some of our young citizens from traveling a destructive path."

Properties at the corner of Kickapoo and Keokuk owned by Scott and Melody Mack were approved to be rezoned from R-2 to C-2. The addresses are 703 Keokuk, 711 N. Kickapoo and 713 N. Kickapoo streets. The corner building was formerly a gas station and a car wash.

The city recently increased fines for two-hour parking space violations in the downtown area. Last week the council discussed other parking regulations. Disabled parking was already reset last year in accordance with state regulations to have a $250 fine for violations. Fire lane violation will be kept at $50. No parking on snow days between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., which has $25 on the signs, will remain that way.

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What remains is parking in an alley, double-parking and parking in a yellow zone. It was decided that for consistency these issues would follow the two-hour parking violation fees. A ticket would be issued for $10, increasing to $25 in 48 hours, $50 in 30 days and $100 over 60 days. (See parking fines.)

The city has received a request from U.S. Cellular to lease city ground at 103 Third St. to put up a 186-foot tower. The matter was tabled.

The council approved the use of Postville Park for this year's Route 66 Garage Sale. This is a second-year event that is scheduled for June 13 and 14.


Related information and past articles:

(Copy of ordinance)



WHEREAS, the City of Lincoln is a municipal corporation situated in Logan County, Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, Chapter 4 of Title 6 of the City Code of the City of Lincoln sets forth miscellaneous offenses; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Lincoln has a vital and continuing interest and obligation to protect students enrolled in the schools within the City; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Lincoln deems it necessary to address the long-term benefits of school attendance to adequately educate students so that they are better prepared for the future; and,

WHEREAS, truancy from schools by students is an ongoing and significant problem; and,

WHEREAS, the procedures provided in the Illinois School Code and the Juvenile Court Act for addressing truancy are time consuming and expensive and have proven to be ineffective in stemming the tide of truancy in the schools within the City; and,

WHEREAS, various school officials and the Regional Superintendent of Schools of Logan County have requested that the City of Lincoln adopt a truancy Ordinance as an additional tool to be used to more effectively combat truancy; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Lincoln recognizes the need to involve parents to secure the attendance of students enrolled in schools; and,

WHEREAS, an Ordinance addressing the issue of truancy within the City of Lincoln is in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the City of Lincoln.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of the City of Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois, as follows:

1. That Section 25 is hereby added to Chapter 4 of Title 6 of the City Code of the City of Lincoln as follows:


(A) Definitions.

(1) "Parent" means any person having legal custody of a person or a student who is:

(a) a natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent; or

(b) at least eighteen (18) years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to have the care and custody of a student; or

(c) a legal guardian; or

(d) a person who stands in loco parentis; or

(e) a person to whom legal custody has been given by court order.

(2) "Student" means any person between the ages of seven (7) and seventeen (17) years subject to compulsory school attendance under the Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/26-1, and who is enrolled in a public, private, or parochial school within the corporate limits of the City of Lincoln. Students who are instructed in a home school program are not subject to the provisions of this section.

(3) "Truant" means a child subject to compulsory school attendance under the Illinois School Code, 105 ILCS 5/26-1, and who is absent without valid cause, as defined in this section, from such attendance for a school day or portion thereof.

(4) "Valid Cause" for absence means illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, and shall include such other situations beyond the control of the student as determined by the principal of each school district or the principal's designee, or such other circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for the safety or health of the student.

(B) Truancy Prohibited.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any student to absent himself or herself from attendance during all, or part of, a school day during a time when school is in session without valid cause.

(2) Each day, or period, that a student absents himself or herself from attendance in school or a school class during a time when school is in session without valid cause shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such.

(C) Parental Responsibility.

(1) No parent or other person having custody or control of a student under the age of ten (10) years of age shall, without valid cause, permit such student to absent himself or herself from attendance at a public, private or parochial school on such date(s), and during such hour(s), as the school may be regularly in session. Such parent shall be deemed to permit a student's unexcused absence from school if a student under the age of ten (10) years of age is convicted of violating any provision(s) of this Section.

(2) If a student under ten (10) years of age is convicted of violating any provision(s) of this Section, the parent or custodian of said student is liable for their student's violation(s) and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in the following subsections.

(3) It shall be an offense under this Section for a parent to knowingly submit to school authorities a written excuse, which explains the absence from school attendance of the student in his or her care or control that contains false information.

(D) Enforcement Procedures. A citation for the violation of this section may be issued by a police officer of the Lincoln Police Department, a truancy case worker from Logan/Mason/Menard Regional Office of Education No. 38, or a truancy case worker from any public school district in the City of Lincoln.

Prior to a citation being issued, the police officer or the truancy case worker shall confirm with the Regional Superintendent of Education or the administration of the public school district in which the individual would normally be enrolled that the individual to whom a citation is to be issued is or has been absent from school without valid cause.

(E) Exemptions. The following students shall be exempt from the provisions of this section:

(1) Any student attending a school sanctioned event away from school grounds with the school's permission.

(2) Any student over twelve (12) years of age and under fourteen (14) years of age while in attendance at Confirmation classes.

(3) Any student necessarily or lawfully employed according to the provisions of the laws regulating child labor may be excused from attendance at school by the Regional Superintendent of Schools or the Superintendent of the public school which the child should be attending on certification of the facts by and the recommendation of the school board of the public school district in which the child resides.

(4) Any student who is excused for the lunch period pursuant to the rules of the school in which the student is enrolled.

(5) Any student who is physically or mentally unable to attend school, such disability being certified to the County or district truant officer by a competent physician licensed in Illinois to practice medicine, surgery, and all of its branches, an advance practice nurse who has written a collaborative agreement with a collaborating physician that authorizes the advance practice nurse to perform health examinations, a physician assistant who has been delegated the authority to perform health examinations by his or her supervising physician, or a Christian Science practitioner residing in the State and listed in the Christian Science Journal, or who is excused for temporary absence for cause by the principal or teacher of the school which the student attends; the exemptions of this subparagraph do not apply to any female who is pregnant or the mother of one or more children, except where a female is unable to attend school due to a complication arising from her pregnancy and the existence of such complication is certified to the County or district truant officer by a competent physician.

(6) Any student absent from school on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day for the reason that he is unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirements on a particular day or days or a particular time of day because the tenets of his or her religion forbid secular activity on a particular day or days or at a particular time of day. Each school board shall prescribe rules and regulations relative to absences for religious holidays, including, but not limited to, a list of religious holidays on which it shall be mandatory to excuse a student; but nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to limit the right of any school board, at its discretion, to excuse an absence on any other day by reason of the observance of a religious holiday. A school board may require the parent or guardian of the student who is excused from attending school due to the observance of a religious holiday to give notice, not exceeding five (5) days, of the student's absence to the school principal or other school personnel. Any student excused from attending school under this subparagraph shall not be required to submit a written excuse for such absence after returning to school.

(7) Any student sixteen (16) years of age or older who (i) submits to a school district evidence of necessary and lawful employment pursuant to this section; and (ii) is enrolled in a graduation incentives program pursuant to Section 26-16 of the Illinois School Code or an alternative learning opportunities program established pursuant to Article 13B of the Illinois School Code.

(F) Penalties. Any person convicted of a violation of any provision of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense, seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for the second offense, and one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the third and subsequent offenses. In lieu of a fine, any person convicted of a violation of this subsection may be ordered to perform community service as directed by the Circuit Court."

2. That should any clause, sentence, or paragraph of this Ordinance be declared to be invalid by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect any other portion of said Ordinance.

3. That this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and publication in pamphlet form.

The vote on the adoption of this Ordinance was as follows:

Alderwoman Anderson _____

Alderman Huskins _____

Alderwoman Tibbs _____

Alderman Prather _____

Alderman Busby _____

Alderman Armbrust _____

Alderman Hoinacki _____

Alderwoman Rohlfs _____

Alderwoman Horn _____

Alderman Neitzel _____

Ayes: _____

Nays: _____

Absent: _____

Abstentions: _____

Passed and approved this _____ day of ___________, 2008.



Elizabeth A. Davis-Kavelman, Mayor
City of Lincoln, Logan
County, Illinois

ATTEST: ________________________________(SEAL)

City Clerk, City of Lincoln,
Logan County, Illinois

[Ordinance copied from file received]

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