Peoria Standard

Peoria Standard

Friday, November 22, 2019

Woodford County Public Safety Committee met August 12

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Nov 8, 2019

Meeting 01

Woodford County Public Safety Committee met Aug. 12.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

1. Call to Order

1. Roll Call - Barry Logan (ch), Donald Tolan, Emily Barker present. Blake Parsons arrived at 4:02 and Justin Faulk arrived at 4:43.

2. Approval of Minutes

a. Approval of July 8, 2019 minutes 

Motion to approve July 8, 2019 minutes made by Tolan, seconded by Barker. Motion passed. 

3. Public Input

Janet Gibbs, Minionk. She had concerns that the first floor break room in the Courthouse would be moved. Several people from the first floor use the breakroom for breaks and lunch. She stated that she is aware of the privacy issue from the office next door, but as a county employee, confidentiality is always in place. She requested that in the future, employees be asked their thoughts as they may have ideas that can be beneficial in decision makings and asks that the breakroom not be moved..

Jon Buehne, El Paso. Mr. Buehne is the pastor at Trinity Luther Church. The city of El Paso passed an ordinance to not allow cannabis dispensaries or allow the growth of cannabis. He would like to ask the County to do the same thing. He believes that now is the time to do something and wants to get ahead of the problem. He stated that this is a bad idea for the state and is concerned for the health problems it will create.

Richard Small., Maplelawn Homes, Eureka. Mr. Small is a retired educator. He stated that kids are anxious to try new things. The more accessible it is, the easier it is to try, and that we have to stop thinking about the money aspect and start thinking about the morality aspect. He stated that opioid addiction starts with marijuana use. He encourages us to not allow this in our county

Scott Mool, El Paso. Mr. Mool would like the committee to look at recovery programs. He believes that to punish someone without the ability to recovery is not a good idea. He is involved with a program called Teen Challenge. This program is 13 months long and helps with addiction. He stated that it is cheaper to send an individual to Teen Challenge then it is to house them as an inmate. This program gives the participant life skills so they can stay away from addiction. He stated that marijuana is an addictive drug and would like the committee to look at the whole process.

Hillary Aggertt, Woodford County Health Department. Ms. Aggertt wants to focus on prevention, not only in the county but in homes. Marijuana is a gateway drug. From the Health Departments standpoint, they want to prevent the use of marijuana. She addressed the cost of health care that has and will continue to increase because of marijuana use. She stated that we do not have adequate resources to get people help now.

Richard Hill, Board Member. Mr. Hill stated that now that the state has given their stamp of approval on marijuana use, people will find it more acceptable, which will increase use. His experience with recreations drug users is that they have little desire to excel, lack clear thinking, lack ambition and drive. Drug use not only affects the individual, but also affects the work place, family and society. He believes the state did this to increase revenue, but encourages the county to push back against marijuana.

David Hillinger, President of Illinois Tri-County Fainily Institute. He asks that Woodford County not allow the sale of marijuana products.

John Krug, President Woodford County Board, El Paso. Mr. Krug has received one positive phone call regarding marijuana sales. He has received 11 emails, and approximately 55 phone calls asking that the county not allow marijuana sales.

4. Approval of Claims

Motion to approve August claims made by Tolan, seconded by Barker. Questions asked regarding EMA charges to Morton Community Bank. Mr. McCanless presented a sheet showing what those charges were for. It was asked about the leasing of the Penske Truck. It was leased to move equipment from Annex 3 Mutual Building) to annex 4 (Health Building) in preparation for asbestos removal. 

5. Coroner

6. Emergency Management Agency

a. Tabletop Exercise Review 

Mr. McCanless reported that the exercise went well. There were close to 50 people in attendance, and the state rated the exercise with high marks.

b. Functional Exercise 2020 

Mr. McCanless will begin working on the 2020 exercise.

c. Hazmat Incidents We have already received reimbursement for the spill outside of Congerville. Last week there was another spill outside of Secor. A tractor overturned and spilled 10 gallons of motor fuel into the creek. We have received reimbursement for that spill as well.

d. MOU with Metamora on Siren Activation 

Mr. McCanless is working with Metamora to activate their sirens in case of a disaster. This will be at no cost to the county. 

7. Sheriff

a. Merit Commission/Auxiliary 

The Merit Commission would have three functions -- 1) generate a hiring pool, 2) deal with promotions, and 3) address discipline which would include termination. This could be either a 3 or 5 member panel. The majority of seats would be held by the majority party. The committee would have to elect a chairman and meet a minimum of four times a year. The county would have to appropriate money to fund the commission. This fund would be used for mileage, payment for meetings, advertisement, court reporters if needed, testing, etc. Sheriff Smith did a rough estimate of the cost of a three member panel and thought around $4,000 would cover it. By law, this commission would have to be created by ordinance, and the ordinance would have to specifically spell out what positions are and are not under the commission. The purpose of this commission is to make the process more transparent and take away the look of favoritism. Everything the commission would do is now being done behind closed doors. The hiring pool would have to be kept up to date with testing every year. Questions were asked about commissions operating in surrounding counties. All counties around us, with the exception of Marshall have a Merit Commission. Discussion if the timeliness of hiring would be prolonged, and it would not because there would be a hiring pool. Discussion on how many members to have on commission. Committee would like a 5 member commission. The committee asked the Sheriff to put it in the budget. If it is not set up until later, at least it is budgeted for. Sheriff Smith wants to take the time to set this up and make sure that everything is done correctly and the ordinance is written right.

Last year Sheriff Smith asked the board to start an auxiliary, and the idea was shot down. We have not had an auxiliary since the 1980's. The law states specific things that the auxiliary can and cannot do. They can help with traffic, natural disasters, supplement full time auxiliary, etc. There are several events throughout the year where road deputies are pulled to help in these manners, but the auxiliary could handle it. We currently have an active Explorers program. Once the participants in that program reach 21, there is nowhere for them to go. This would give them an opportunity to move into the auxiliary and possible employment with the county. It would be a self-supporting organization, as the members have to buy their own gear. Sheriff Smith would like a 12 member team. Motion to create a 12 member auxiliary team made by Barker, seconded by Parsons. Motion passed. 

b. Purchase Mobile Video Camera Equipment from WatchGuard 

Sheriff has a need to purchase 7 high definition panoramic in-car videos. The price per camera is $5,395.00. Total price for all 7 cameras would be $37,765.00. These cameras would be purchased through Watch Guard. Once purchased and installed, the sheriff can request reimbursement from the state. This will be purchased out of funds from the DUI Fund, Drug Fine Fund and Sheriff Forfeited Fund. Discussion on the likelihood of reimbursement from the State. Motion to approve the purchase of 7 in-car video cameras from Watch Guard made by Parsons, seconded by Tolan. Motion passed. 

c. Annex 3 updates 

We are moving forward with the project. The gas and electrical have all been shut off. The scheduling of the asbestos removal will be done this week. Question regarding the location of the generator, It is still behind the building. 

d. Annex 4 updates 

Sheriff Smith has identified areas to be used as the board room, and the Child Advocacy Center. He has included funds for the renovations for this building in his budget for next year. 

8. Animal Control 

9. Health Department 

10. New Business

a. Board picture It was asked of this committee to take on the board photo. We will plan on taking the whole board photograph before the September board meeting.

b. Presentation on restricting cannabis sales in Woodford County - Emily Barker Emily Barker shared a presentation on the effects of marijuana, statics from Colorado since enacting the sale of marijuana, and costs associated with legalized recreation marijuana. Discussion and questions with the State's Attorney as to what the county can do. The board would have to enact an ordinance in order to comply with the law wi prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana in Woodford County. Motion made by Barker to ban marijuana in unincorporated areas of Woodford County. Motion seconded by Parsons, who asked if this should not be addressed at Zoning since this is an issue regarding land use. It is on the CP&Z agenda for later this evening. Ms. Barker showed the committee an ordinance that was adopted by Morton and one that the UCCI has drafted. Ms. Barker withdrew her original motion and revised her motion to refer this issue to CP&Z with the recommendation from the Public Safety Committee that Woodford County prohibits marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated areas, seconded by Parsons. Discussion on what we can prohibit with distribution centers and cultivation. After CP&Z, the ZBA will hold a public hearing and then make a recommendation to the full board. The board will have the final decision. Motion passed.

c. Local Government Certification of Airport-Related Purposes The treasurer received a form letter regarding taxes on aviation fuel. Since Woodford County does not have an airport, the taxes collected on aviation fuel are not used for airport related purposes. The county has to certify if the county has an airport related purpose. Ms. Andrews was instructed to mark the box that states we cannot certify that we have an airport related purpose and submit the form. 

11. Unfinished Business

a. IT Services 

The Sheriff is still gather information to move forward with email mitigation. He hopes to have this done by September when our verbal agreement with our current email provider expires. By next month he hopes to have all the network discovery done and be able to release an RFP for IT services. 

12. Other

The Sheriff is in preliminary talks with Fieldcrest School District regarding a school resource officer. He will keep the committee informed on what happens with this,

13. Executive Session - Roll Call Vote

14. Any action coming out of Executive Session

15. Adjournment

Motion to adjourn by Parsons, seconded by Faulk. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 5:53 PM.

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Woodford County