Feb. 12 Rockford City Council briefs

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-117149884430886.jpg’, ‘Photo by Stuart R. Wahlin’, ‘Julia Scott-Valdez assumed the seat of City Administrator. Jim Ryan, who was arrested Feb. 8 and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in a city vehicle, was on administrative leave.‘);

The City Council awarded a $20,780 bid to Karl Schoening & Sons, Inc., for the painting of two fire stations. The contracts were previously made to low-bidder Lenz Decorators, who later informed the city they’d be unable to do the job. The Lenz back-out means an additional $8,393 cost to complete the interior painting.

Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) commented briefly about his recent fact-finding trip to Baltimore with several aldermen and staff. Morrissey said a complete report from the trip will be presented to aldermen shortly.

Mayor Morrissey announced the Northern Illinois Commuter Transportation Initiative (NICTI) will be holding an open house Feb. 27 at the Burpee Museum from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Morrissey said District 205 has seen a 2 percent decrease in truancy. Morrissey noted a 1 percent decrease equates to $1 million more dollars for the district.

City Hall will be closed Feb. 19 in observance of Presidents’ Day, and City Council will meet Feb. 20. Garbage collection will not be affected by the holiday.

The mayor and aldermen extended sympathies to the absent Ald. Linda McNeely (D-13), whose family suffered a second loss in as many weeks.

Ald. Ann Thompson-Kelly (D-7) expressed outrage that the Discovery Center Museum celebrates Engineering Month but does not recognize Black History Month. Thompson-Kelly said she’d be mindful of this should the Discovery Center ever come before the council with a hand out.

The council gave final approval to redevelopment and parking space lease agreements with Joseph James Partners, LLC for their 303 N. Main St. development. The city has pledged $750,000 in TIF funds. As a result of conflict of interest issues, Aldermen Joe Sosnowski (R-1) and Jeff Holt (D-11) abstained. Thompson-Kelly voted no.

The council adopted a resolution for a 60-day hiring freeze. Currently, there are 16 open city positions that are to remain unfilled. Police and fire are exempt from the freeze. Department heads may, however, ask aldermen to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

From the Feb. 14-20, 2007, issue

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