City of Virginia Regular Meeting Minutes January 13th, 2020
Mayor Brunk opened the regular meeting at 7:00pm. Roll was called. Alderman French, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Behrends, and Cox were all present. The council reviewed the agenda. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Bowman seconded, motion carried unanimously. The minutes of the December meeting were presented, Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously. The monthly bills were presented to the council. Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills, Alderman French seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Barrett stated that the audit is still not complete and the TIF report is behind. Treasurer Barrett also stated that the balance was sent over today so hopefully we are getting close to wrapping it up. Treasurer Barrett addressed the council in regards to the budgeting for next year, it needs to be started in the next few weeks. Video gaming for the month of December was $3352.14 and the Sales Tax for December was $11429.78 which are both a little above last December. Treasurer Barrett also commented that the city’s cash position right now is better than it was last year.
Mike Finn, Carolyn Defenbaugh, Marty Fanning
Public Works: McClure stated that the crew has been working on main breaks, cleaning up sheds, and doing maintenance
Police Chief (Kennedy) 190 calls, 120 service, 14 arrests (drug paraphernalia and meth/heroin) On New years Eve there was stop and meth and a pipe were found. There was also a call that was received that shots were fired in town. A 15 year old child shot a gun, an arrest was made. The child was not a resident of the city. They did 8 county assists, 27 business checks, 53 traffic stops, 10 citations for violations of the cannabis ordinance, and 2 car accidents. Chief Kennedy stated that our ordinance is no longer effective since the law changed January 1st 2020 and that he will need to meet with the council members on revising it. The law is now that you cant have cannabis in a car unless its in a sealed, orderless, child resistant container. It is a Class A Misdeamenor, we would prefer the ordinance over the Class A but Chief Kennedy asks the council for their opinion. Alderman Wulf stated if do revise it, we need to make sure that it states if your under 21 you cannot have it at all. Chief Kennedy states they
cannot smoke it in public view either. Mayor Brunk stated that we also need to be sure that the revised ordinance does not go beyond state ordinance. Chief Kennedy also states the city does not have an ordinance for open containers of alcohol. Alderman French wanted to clarify that we don’t have anything at all? Chief Kennedy, Attorney Veith, and Alderman Wulf have all looked and we don’t have anything. Attorney Veith states the only thing that we have is that you cant be intoxicated in public that is different than having an open container out on a city street but that we have to be careful because the state statute states you cant make being intoxicated itself a crime it has to be related to something else. You can cite someone if they are intoxicated because they caused disorderly conduct or driving while intoxicated or pose a danger to themselves or someone else. Attorney Veith states you can have an ordinance that says you cant have an open container of alcohol on a public street or a public driveway. Chief Kennedy states that this is something that has came up several times. Chief Kennedy also mentioned that the county sheriffs office is getting new uniforms and it is in the budget to for the city to get new uniforms. Chief Kennedy would like to get new uniforms to change to black and have black/red/white that would match the school colors. Alderman Cox approves the new uniforms for the city officers and Alderman French also approves. Chief Kennedy states that our vests sets us apart from security guards. Alderman Wulf suggests to present something to the council and we will go from there. Alderman Cox asks Chief Kennedy if this is something that you want to do it rather quickly? Chief Kennedy states he would like to, he wants the officers to look professional.
Fire Chief (Reynolds) 2 wrecks, both were minor
Zoning Officer nothing to report
Park Board next meeting Feb 19th 7pnn
Library Board nothing to report
Economic Development nothing to report
Cemetery Board nothing to report
Attorney Veith states in new business there is an Ordinance Clarifying Mayors Right to Vote (15t reading), and he will have to ask to amend due to a typo. Attorney Veith also states there is another ordinance in business which is an Ordinance Governing Use of Emergency Clause to Pass Ordinances (1streading) After that Attorney Vieth would like to have executive session to discuss litigation/acquisition of real estate. There will be no action taken after executive session tonight.
Cox Alderman Cox would like to congratulate Steve and Lisa Clark on becoming the new owners of the Virginia Market. He also stated that he received complaints about a dog that has been defecating on public sidewalks. Cox said this was a problem a few years again and it appears to be happening again.
Behrends Alderman Behrends stated he has gotten calls on gun shots on Job St. Chief Kennedy states the problem is that no one calls us but we think that it is the same kid that fired off on Grant St. Chief Kennedy stated the house that has the bullet holes it looks like old bullet holes not fresh ones. Chief Kennedy urges the public to call, that’s what we are here for. Behrends said they said 3 squad cars showed up and nothing got done. Chief Kennedy states that there was only a bullet hole in the house and nothing else and there was no additional evidence, there was no holes coming out of the house and the residents are in the process of moving. Officer Marty Fanning states the bullet hole is not fresh so we had nothing to go off of. The house was searched and there was no weapons in the house, the bullet hole was there but nothing else. Officer Fanning also stated that we speculate it is the same juvenile that fired the gun on Grant St, we do know he was at the house so it is possible. Officer Fanning states the hole was in a 3 year olds room and he emphasis to the council that this kind of issue is important to us and we are taking this stuff serious. The report Officer Fanning wrote on the juvenile was over 5 hours long. Chief Kennedy states as far as he knows the juvenile is still incarcerated, and he is not to return back to Virginia. Chief Kennedy also mentioned that they are pulling people over, not picking on people, they just want to make sure the town is safe. Behrends asks if you checked out the yard. Chief Kennedy states they are in the process of moving and the people who own the house have gotten citations. Officer Fanning states it was inhabitable when they went in, so we have taken steps in contacting the health department in getting something done. Behrends agrees it is a mess, there is trash in the yard and all of the vehicles in the back. Chief Kennedy states we have been there numerous times. Officer Fanning added that this has been quite the process. Mayor Brunk suggests getting the owner involved. Chief Kennedy states there are several owners and that’s the problem. Behrends also has gotten complaints on an underage, unlicensed kid driving around. Officer Fanning said he has made a few traffic stops on the car, every time it has been the mom. Both Chief Kennedy and Officer Fanning said that we get calls days later instead of when it happens.
Wulf Alderman Wulf stated that he will go around the city and tag pole lights that are out and get that list to Jeannette. Wulf also said that the east end on Myrtle is washed out from the last rain. Wulf then stated that further down on east myrtle where they ran the sewer line, it needs to be dug out so the water would run off the property. McClure stated that he will take care of these issues.
Bowman nothing to report
Pratt Alderman Pratt also wanted to know about the demolition that Alderman French address and states that hopefully he can get it started soon.
French Alderman French would like to thank Randy for moving the post on the south east corner of town. He also stated there is a pole light on Cass St that goes on and off throughout the night. McClure stated that it needs to either be called in to Ameren or reported to City Hall. French states that he has seen some trees that have been blown down in the recent storms and asks if they fell on houses would that be the city’s responsibility? Alderman Wulf replied and said that is an act of God and is the responsibility of the homeowners insurance. French requests clarification on the noise violations and procedures. Chief Kennedy replies that there really is no set time for an ordinance on noise violations, it falls under a disorderly conduct charge. French asks how do we look into getting a noise ordinance set up? Attorney Veith states there are a few ways to do it, the ordinance that Attorney Veith has experience doing is when certain elements exists after 11pm and before 7am, or something similar to that. Attorney Veith said that he can present some ordinances from other cities to the council so that the council can work on getting one implemented. French also asks who is on the city’s ordinance
committee? It is stated that Alderman Wulf, Alderman Behrends and Alderman Pratt are. Alderman Wulf states that if there is a problem as far as the noise complaint goes that they can always contact the police department. French states the has been asked repeatedly but he wasn’t sure if the city had set times or what those times were. French asks Chief Kennedy if someone has to complain before something is done about vehicles with no valid registration? Chief Kennedy responded that if no one reports it they usually don’t cause an issue about it. French thinks there is an ordinance and Chief Kennedy says there is. French states that we have a lot of things going on to get the town cleaned up and he just wants to make people aware of what these ordinances are and if they are in violation of any of them. French said the SUV looks great and tells Chief Kennedy that the police department is doing a good job. French asks Fire Chief Reynolds how the fire departments uniforms and equipment is? Fire Chief Reynolds states that they have a bill right now for $5000 that needs to be paid and that they will be spending an additional $11000-$12000 and then they should all have new turn out gear. Fire Chief Reynolds also stated that he saw a grant come in today for small equipment, the next fire meeting is at the end of February and they will be discussing that. French asks for follow up on the trash presentation from last month. Mayor Brunk replied that he hasn’t heard anything. French clarifies that is for the whole town and each person is billed like on their water bill? Yes. Adlerman Cox doesn’t think it s a very good deal. Alderman Wulf said he has done some research and doesn’t seem good fit. Have you talked to Uncle Roy? Mayor states not yet, French states he can sit in on a meeting if he wants.
City Clerks Report Nothing to report
Mayor Brunk states that everything that he had planned on discussing has already been discussed.
Unfinished Business NONE
New Business A. Ordinance Clarifying the Mayors Right to Vote (15t reading)
Attorney Veith said if you recall last Spring/Summer we had a question whether the mayor had the right to vote in the event other than a tie. The state statute states the Mayor does even if our city code does not say so. Attorney Veith states the city can’t restrict an elected officials right more than the state does. So, there were two issues, in 1-5-5b states the mayor can only vote in the right of a tie, that is not in the state statute. In section 1 of the ordinance 1-5-5c, we need to make an amendment that it should be B instead of C and we would need a motion. Alderman Wulf makes a motion to correct the typo from c to b in the ordinance, Alderman French seconds, motion carries unanimously. Attorney Veith states that the council would be amending section b that the mayor presides at all meetings of the city council, but shall not vote except (1) in the case of a tie; (2) when half of the alderman elected have voted in favor of an ordinance, resolution or motion; (3) when a vote greater than the majority of the corporate
authorities is required by state statute or local ordinance to adopt an ordinance resolution, or motion; or (4) as otherwise allowed or required by law. This amendment complies with the state statute. Alderman Wulf clarifies that the city basically is adopting the state statute. Attorney Veith thinks that if you try to not allow the Mayor to vote when he has the right to, this could result in litigation. Attorney Veith states the Mayor did not request this, Attorney Veith also states that this was made obvious this summer when there was an issue and wanted to make sure that it is clarified. Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the first reading of the Ordinance Clarifying the Mayors Right to Vote. There was no second to that motion. Mayor Brunk states that he thinks that we as a city are asking for trouble if we don’t pass this.
B. Ordinance Governing Use of Emergency Clause to pass Ordinances (ft reading)
Alderman Cox asks if this in regards to voting for the 1st reading and the 2nd reading? Attorney Veith states yes, the issue that I have there is if you have an ordinance and this has came up before, if someone wants it passed in 1 vote and it doesn’t get the 2/3 required vote, does it mean that the ordinance is “dead” or can you go forward and pass it after two readings? Attorney Veith states he has not gotten a good answer from the Illinois Municipal League in regards to the question. Attorney Veith stated he has found ordinances from other communities that outlines and says that you can set up the emergency clause in the body/preamble of the ordinance. The council can take a vote if you want to do that, if it passes by 2/3 then it passes, if you don’t get the 2/3 on the first vote then the ordinance does not “die” but then you consider it on two readings.
Alderman Cox made a motion to not approve the ft reading of the Ordinance Governing Use of Emergency Clause to pass Ordinances, Alderman Bowman seconded the disapproval. Alderman French and Behrends also voted no. Alderman Wulf and Pratt voted yes.
Alderman Cox made a motion at 7:55pm to go into Executive Session and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
The council returned from Executive Session and with nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion at 8:23pm to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Reg Brunk, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk