Other news and notes from the Feb. 8 Rockford City Council meeting
By Stuart R. Wahlin
! Awarding a $92,586 bid to Midwest Transit Equipment, of Kankakee, for the Human Services Departmentís purchase oftwo 35-passenger school buses.
! Approving a joint purchasing contract bid by the State of Illinois for a five-year mail and inserter lease at an annual cost of $10,344.
! Awarding a $228,360.85 engineering agreement to SEC Group, Inc., of McHenry, for design and construction engineering related to the Fairview Avenue bridge over the north branch of Keith Creek.
! To obtain outside counsel from Thomas D. Lupo, in the amount of $10,000, to pursue reimbursement of environmental costs incurred by the city at the Barber-Colman property.
! Approving a $5,000 settlement in the case of Rayford vs. the City of Rockford. According to Legal Director Patrick Hayes:
“Mr. Rayford is a city employee who alleged discriminatory practices in job assignments. The settlement includes no admissions that the allegations are meritorious.”
! Awarding a $74,377.78 contract to Stenstrom Excavation for sidewalk repair and replacement, as well as curb, gutter and drainage repairs in 2009. The report provides for reimbursement of $18,945.91 for additional
work performed under the contract. Resolution Aldermen adopted a resolution, per a state law taking effect this year, to appoint city attorneys Kerry Partridge and Angela Hammer as Open Meetings Act officers.
Cynthia Hall was appointed to serve the remainder of Lori Gustafsonís term, which expires May 2011, on the Fair Housing Board. Bob Campbell was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Sylvia Ramos on the board through May 2011. David Hagney and Mark McInnis were reappointed to three-year terms on the His-torical Preservation Commission. Their terms expire December 2012.
Although city officials often compare Rockford to Peoria, based on similar population numbers, retired police officer and former Winnebago County Board member Bruce Roberts noted, through crime statistics, that Rockford has twice as much crime. He repeated his frequent plea for the city to hire additional officers.
Responding to the cityís ongoing battle against chronic truancy, community activist Prophet Yusef referenced a 1954 study conducted by the U.S. Navy, which identified reasons for truancy. They include poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, long walks to school, lack of interest in education, falling behind academically, fear of violence, alienation from authority, lack of parental supervision and educational support, substance abuse, mental or medical issues, long hours at jobs, lack of significant consequences for truancy and problems at home. By eliminating as many of these conditions as possible, Yusef, said, the city could reduce its truancy rate and, subsequently, increase its graduation rate.
Neighborhood Network Executive Director Cyndie Hall encouraged neighborhood groups to start community garden plots, for which the network is offering funding and guidance. Representatives of neighborhood groups must attend a mandatory training seminar, which is scheduled for 6 p.m., Feb. 11, at Klehm Arboretum.
Ald. John Beck (R-12) was absent.
From the Feb. 10-16, 2010 issue
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