Request to spend $9,000 for help with police chief search must first go through committee

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QUINCY — The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners sent a request to the Quincy City Council to approve at its Monday meeting the expenditure of $9,000 to the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police to assist on conducting a police chief search.

Alderman instead chose to send the request fo the police aldermanic committee.

Mike Rein, R-5, made the motion to send the request to committee. He said expenditures of more than $7,500 in any department should go through a committee.

“We want to treat (this request) the same as anybody,” Rein said. “It needs to be vetted. The council depends on committees doing their job. This didn’t happen when (the fire and police commissioners) hired the new fire chief (Bernie Vahlkamp was hired in July). It really should have happened.

“Their proposal looks solid to me, but we’ve got to look at it, tear it apart, and then we’ll come back with some suggestions and recommendations.”

Rein, Sassen, Mays form police aldermanic committee

After 42 years with the Quincy Police Department, with 18 as the chief of police, Rob Copley informed the Quincy City Council last week of his intention to retire on May 6.

“Not everybody knows how this stuff operates,” Rein said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had to worry about it.”

Rein, Tony Sassen, R-4, and Kelly Mays, R-3, make up the police aldermanic committee. Rein said the next meeting is not yet scheduled.

A resolution to support the establishment of the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation passed the council by a 12-2 vote.

Plans call for the corporation to include a member of the Quincy City Council, the Quincy Park District Board of Commissioners and the Adams County Board. Each group also would designate one person. The corporation would select three other at-large representatives.

The riverfront area is from Kentucky Street to the south to Spring Street to the north, and from Third Street to the riverfront.

Farha: Public doesn’t seem interested in riverfront development

Rein and Mike Farha, R-4, the two longest-serving council members, both voted against the resolution. They expressed concern that each governing body won’t share equally in the finances spent to develop this corporation.

“We have to make sure they’re all going to share,” Farha said. “My concern is we have an institution of short memories, We’ve been down this road before with hydro.”

Farha was referring to the city’s failed investigation between 2006 and 2013 about the feasibility of hydroelectricity plants on the Mississippi River.  

“I’m afraid we’re going down a similar road, but the public doesn’t seem to be interested,” Farha said. “They were interested on hydro. They’re not interested on this. So I don’t know. It’s a different world. It’s changing very rapidly.”

Troup wants to form executive committee

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Mike Troup updated aldermen on his plans for restructuring of subcommittees. 

Troup said the current finance and personnel committees have been “quite active” this year. He hopes to have a committee for public safety to oversee police, fire, animal control, 911 and the traffic commission. He also wants one for public works to oversee Central Services, town board, transit, public library, aeronautics, barge dock, streetlights, right aways and utilities.

Troup wants a fifth committee for planning and growth. It would oversee the Central Business District, planning and development, Quincy Next and the Great River Economic Development Foundation.

Troup also wants to form an executive committee consisting of the mayor and three aldermen. 

“That way, we can still have in-depth discussions privately without having a public meeting,” he said. “I would expect that executive committee to be meeting on a monthly basis. We would talk about the issues that staff is working on and the timing of when we expect to bring to the table those items to the committees and our council meetings.”

During the 18-minute meeting, aldermen also:

  • Permitted South Side Boat Club to conduct a year-long raffle beginning Feb. 1, 2022.
  • Approved a right-turn only for all southbound traffic at the intersection of Seventh and Broadway, and approved the removal of parking on the east and west sides of North Seventh between Broadway and an east-west alley. These changes address concerns about traffic backup for a Carter’s Coffee Bar to be built at Seventh and Broadway.
  • Approved a sublease for the Lincoln Interpretive Center, 128 N. Fifth, to the District.
  • Adopted ordinances that prevent parking on York Street from Sixth to Seventh, reduces speed on Crestview Drive and amends a special permit for a planned development by Benjamin Hickman and Kyle Terstriep at 2040 Cherry.
  • Took a moment to remember long-time alderman Raymond “Skip” Vahlkamp, who died Friday. Vahlkamp was an alderman for 28 years.

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