City of Virginia
April 11th, 2022
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Alderman Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills pending the missing receipts from the police and street department be turned in. Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Barrett stated that the general fund is above budget. This is mostly due to grant funding we received. Expenses are under budget as well. Treasurer Barrett added that the Water/Sewer/VRWS on pace to meet budget. Personnel and expenses are under budget as well. Video gaming for the month was$4034.12 and monthly sales tax was $14174.98. Treasurer Barrett stated that the quarterly reporting for the ARPA funds has been submitted.
Dan Smith, Carolyn Defenbaugh, Megan Werner, Chris Maltby, Christina Bingham, Bill Sorrells, Becky Behrends, Crista Stanbridge, Mike Carmody, Ben Cox, Jackie Cox, Steve Horton, Tom Wallis, David Ballance, Terry Ayers, David Petefish, Claudia Kluge, Denise Richards, MeganLynn Randall, Sylvia Klumpp, Christina Taylor, Autumn Bowman, Tyler Rowhling, Jeff smith, Bill Bateman, Tammy Pratt, Beth Cox, Tramika Hopkins, Martin Fanning, Sara Fanning, Jim French, Cindy Littleton
Mr. Smith stated that he was very happy to have served the city of Virginia and its residents. He states that Virginia is a small town and there is a big rumor mill going around. Sheriff Ohrn has made statements to numerous people that he will run me out of town within the first 6 months of being here. Mr. Smith stated that as a Sheriff that’s not professional. There were two inmates that escaped from the sheriff’s office which is a safety issue. He added that dispatch does not dispatch all the calls to the police dept. He said one example being a residental burglary, the chief was never called to respond. He was on duty during this time. He also claimed that other residents have gotten OP orders from a judge, that says on the order that it is to be served immediately. Mr. Smith stated that it was two weeks before the person got served, that’s a safety issue. Mayor states that we only have 3 minutes and your 3 minutes are up. Mr. Smith continued to speak and state that he was let go but that it was interesting how the police committee was never notified of decisions.
Mr. Ballance addressed the council and handed out an article from the Chicago Tribune for the council to review. Mr. Ballance said the person you appointed chief is Daniel W Smith, former deputy at Will County Sheriff Department. Mr. Ballance states that per the article, he was a deputy at Will County and he was arrested for a Class 3 Felony and pled guility to a misdemanor. He was allowed to resign and keep his police status. Mr. Ballance added that he thinks that the council has been lied to and he hopes that problem has been addressed.
Mr. Jeff Smith mentioned the comment about rumor mills that Mr. Dan Smith mentioned. He added that whether or not Sheriff Ohrn has said this, he does not have proof. Mr. Jeff Smith also stated that the county has not had two escapes, they did have 1. One was medically furloughed to a hospital in Springfield. The other one ran and was caught within 150 yards. Mr. Jeff Smith stated that dispatch has called Mr. Dan Smith and he has either not answered his phone, said he is too tired, or gives numerous reasons why he hasn’t showed up. There was a situation that Mr. Dan Smith did not respond to in regards to an individual at FS that the employee was scared of. County had to respond and Mr. Jeff Smith stated that he was called when he was off duty to respond. This call resulted in the people being charged with forgery, meth, and paraphernalia. Mr. Jeff Smith also mentioned several different calls that Mr. Dan Smith did not respond to.
Ms. Hopkins stated that she has seen a lot of people that come into the city of Virginia to sell stuff like Calhoun peaches etc. She feels like residents shouldn’t have to go out of town to do this. Ms. Hopkins asked why cant we have something like once a month on the square for local farmers and stuff. She wanted to know who should she talk to in regards for that. She suggested once a month on a Sunday and if it gets better then maybe twice a month. She also added to maybe do something for the fall because we only have the BBQ. This would keep the kids interested in things as well. Mayor agrees.
Ms. Richards stated that her house got broke in to where dispatch refused to dispatch anyone to assist. She stated that she had to start my own investigation. Ms. Richards stated that she is not here to complain about the situation with the police, her problem is with the 911 office. She stated that she is not the only one. Ms. Richards asked the council for their support in attending the next 911 board meeting with her. She stated the excuse she got from dispatch in regards to them not sending an officer to her residence was because that dispatcher was “lazy”. She stated that she is raising kids here and she wants to make sure they are safe. Ms. Richards stated that she does have faith in the officers but when she is told that “laziness” was a reason not to respond to a 911 call, that is unacceptable. The dispatcher that was involved in this situation is also still employed.
Ms. Randall stated that multiple members of the community have expressed that they cant make it to the council meetings and that there is no option to attend via a zoom call. She asks if this is something that can be offered for those who cant make the meetings? Mayor McClure states that we can discuss options. Ms. Randall also added that Mr. Dan Smith is only one person, and the next chief will only be one person as well. Ms. Randall referred to Mr. Jeff Smith’s comments that he said a lot of numbers that referenced a lot of calls he didn’t respond to, she reiterated that he is only one person. She asked how do people expect one person to respond to every call? Ms. Randall stated that she was the store manager and she knows most of the city officers and if Mr. Dan Smith wasn’t there, the other officers were. She stated that you cant expect him to work 24/7 and the next person cant be expected to do that either. Ms. Randall added that with Ms. Richards situation, Mr. Dan Smith was on duty, so why wasn’t he called?
Ms. Kluge stated that she came to the February meeting and brought up the issue of OPs. She stated that Sheriff Ohrn didn’t serve it. Ms. Kluge added that in court Judge Wessel said serve this immediately but hef didn’t deliver it for 5.5 hours. The person had to sit there with her abuser for 5.5 hours. Ms. Kluge stated that you cant leave women in a home with their abuser when he was supposed to serve that. Ms. Kluge stated that she flagged Mr.Dan Smith down and he served it. She also stated that she had an issue with 911 as well, and that Ms. Richards is right, they are lazy.
Mayor states we relieved the Mr. Dan Smith of his duties and that’s all that is going to be said.
Mr. Rowhling spoke up in regards to the OP. He stated that Mr. Dan Smith is not allowed to serve OP’s. Ms. Kluge states that it should have been served immediately. Mayor McClure states we are done with discussions now.
Public Worksno report
Police Chiefno report
Fire Chief There was agas leak on Springfield St, a brush fire north of town, 125 rollover, house fire on N Cass. The fire department also participated in the Easter Egg Hunt that was put on by the Cass County Health Department. Chief Reynolds would also like to remind residents of that burn ordinance.
Zoning Officer no report
Park Board Cox states Gibby is back at work. A big tree was cut out and it saved park a lot of money. They will need to run a power line to the tennis court. The ball teams have helped clean up the leaves. The senior class going to help clean tennis courts. On April 22 summer baseball will be announced. There are 18 boys games scheduled, not sure about tball and softball. They are waiting for material to cover the four bleaches which is all being paid for by the Reynolds memorial. The Virginia Open fundraiser raised $7800 to give to the park, the board will decide what they are going to use it for. April Leinberger and Lauren Wilson did a great job in organizing the Virginia Open again this year. The next meeting is April 20th.
Library Board no report
Economic Development no report
Cemetery no report
Attorneys Report no report
TIF Treasurer Barrett stated there will be a meeting scheduled for next week or the week after.
Cox Alderman Cox mentioned the brush pick April 11? Mayor thinks we will move it back to April 25 due to the weather. Alderman Cox thanked the city for cleaning the curbs on Beardstown and Cass St. Alderman Cox asks if we have heard anything about grants for sidewalks? Mayor has not heard anything back yet. Mayor stated that there was never a committee meeting, he added that he has been saying that committee meetings need to happen since he took office. He stated if we don’t have committee meetings then we cant have goals or make plans, we have to work together.
Knous nothing to report
Wulf Alderman Wulf stated that animal control met last month, looking at kennel and housing. He also wanted to thank National Public Safety Telemecommunicators, its their week. Alderman Wulf also wanted to thank the Sheriffs dept for covering in the vacancies.
Bowman nothing to report
Pratt nothing to report
French nothing to report
City Clerks Report
Nothing to report
Mayor McClure stated that there are lot of interesting people here tonight, talking about different topics but at this time he doesn’t have any comments to make.
- Discuss and or Approve Park and Cemetery Agreements
Mayor wants to table this. Alderman Cox made a motion to table the discussion/approval of park and cemetery agreements, Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Discuss and or Approve 22/23 Budget (2nd reading)
Mayor wants to table this. Alderman Pratt made a motion to table the discussion/approval of the 22/23 Budget, Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Appointment of Park Board recommendations of Krystal Myers
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the appointment of Krystal Myers to the park board, Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- 1st Reading of Appropriation Ordinance 22/23
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the first reading of the appropriation ordinance 22/23, Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Audit/Bookkeeping Expenditure
This should be in the council packet. Mayor asks on page 27, custodial credit risk. Treasurer Barrett stated that as of April 30th, bank balance was over 2 million including CDs. The $250,000 is insured, the access is secured but it is pledged. Barrett states any large depositer, the bank pledges securities and they take over those securities. If the bank were to default, the $250,000 would be covered. The bank pledges over that to make sure the city is covered if something were to happen if the bank defaulted. Mayor states he remembers there was a letter that we used to get those but not sure if we get those still. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the audit/bookkeeping expenditure, and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
At 740pm, Alderman Bowman made a motion to go into Executive Session, Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
At 810pm, the council return back to regular session.
Roll was called. Alderman Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present.
With nothing further to discuss, Adlerman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk