Retired city employee tabbed as new 6th Ward alderman

Maples Alderman

Patty Maples, left, is sworn in by City Clerk Laura Oakman during Monday afternoon's meeting of the Quincy City Council. | David Adam

QUINCY — After retiring in December 2019, Patty Maples has continued to follow what’s going on at Quincy’s City Hall.

She was at home watching the April 5 meeting of the City Council when she heard Katie Awerkamp, a Democratic alderman in the 6th Ward, announce she was resigning her seat.

“So I just texted Richie (Reis, another Democratic alderman in the 6th Ward) and asked him, ‘So has anybody reached out? What’s the game plan here?’” Maples said Monday night. “At first, (Reis) texted me back and said something about my husband (Eddie). I was like, ‘No, I’m talking about me.’  

“Well, then the next thing I know, (Reis) texts back. He said, ‘Oh, I’ve already talked to Jack (Holtschlag, a Democratic alderman in the 7th Ward). We turned your name in already.’”

It took less than a month for Maples to be selected as Awerkamp’s replacement. City Clerk Laura Oakman swore Maples in at the end of Monday’s afternoon meeting of the City Council.

Maples worked more than 29 years in various departments

Aldermen heard monthly and annual reports, gave second readings to a couple of ordinances and approved four petitions during the afternoon meeting as it closed the 2021-22 fiscal year. The council then adjourned “sine die,” or indefinitely. The afternoon meeting is an annual formality. A full City Council meeting was held Monday night.

Maples worked for more than 29 years with the city, starting with the landfill in Burton. 

“When they closed that, they moved me to risk management,” she said. “Over the years, it just kind of changed from risk management to HR to risk management. I also did the city’s health insurance, life insurance, workers comp and liability claims.”

In retirement, Maples says she’s spent much of her time playing the role of Grandma.

“I have always stayed interested, especially with doing the city’s health insurance and stuff,” she said. “The employees have called to double-check on things. Because I was born and raised here, I’ve always been very interested in city government.

“If nothing else, I can bring to the table the fact that I’ve worked with the majority of these aldermen over the years. I’ve gotten along with them really well. I kind of have a better idea than most as to what the different departments can and can’t do. I can put some insight into some of that.”

911 director explains issues with 988 funding

Troup says Maples’ experience in city government will be invaluable.

“She’s going to be good,” he said. “She’s got the experience of working in the city. I met with Patty a couple of weeks ago. We spent a little over an hour talking, trying to figure out what it is she liked about this position and how it fit family-wise. She was very easy to talk with.”

Alderman also approved a resolution urging the Comptroller of the State of Illinois to disallow payment of $5 million from the 911 fund to the 988 fund. Instead, aldermen want to fund the 988 initiative through the general funds of the state, as allowed by federal rules.

Jessica Douglas, director of Quincy/Adams County 911 Center, told aldermen she believes 988, the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) starting in July, needs to have its own funding stream.

“A Senate bill was introduced to establish the statewide 988 trust fund,” Douglas said. “Monies for it are to be used by the Department of Human Services for the maintenance for starting up and maintaining 988. So in the budget bill that was signed the week of April 18, there’s a $5 million sweep of 911 surcharge monies that are going to the 988 the trust fund. 

“What we’re concerned about is there was a strike force created concerning fee diversion. I’ve got about a $2 million operating budget, of which $732,000 is funded by surcharge money. Right now, our surcharge money is healthy. We don’t know what kind of impact there will be if they continue to sweep our funds. We really don’t want to set a precedent of this (money) being swept from us.”

In other action

Aldermen approved special event applications from:

  • The Big River Steampunk Festival, requesting permission to hold the Big River Steampunk Festival in Clat Adams Park from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, May 22. 
  • Port’s Place and Quincy Public Library, requesting permission to hold a corn hole tournament with children’s activities on the parking lot of the Quincy Public Library, 526 Jersey, from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 29.
  • North Side Boat Club, 200 S. Front, requesting permission to hold an outdoor Memorial Day Dance from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, May 28 in Edgewater Park next to North Side Boat Club. 
  • The St. Francis Parish Picnic Committee, requesting permission to hold its annual parish picnic from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 11. 

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