Collinsville Township Releases Amended By-Laws For Review

By Stephanie Malench

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The Collinsville Township Board met at the Township Senior Center on July 13. There were four public comments that were addressed later during the meeting.

Ron Jedda expressed concern that he had FOIA’d a variety of intergovernmental contracts between the Roads and Bridge Department and other government entities but did not get everything he asked for completed. Jedda also asked the board how they can approve bills without monthly statements.

The next question came from Al Woolen. Woolen wanted to know why the pictures of Jim Stack, Mike Foley, and another trustee that used to be a football coach (John Ostanik- Woolen did not remember his name) had been taken down from the memorial wall in the senior center.

Diane Disbrow was next up wanting to know who is responsible for the banners uptown (selecting, paying for, putting up) and said she would like to see Pride Banners on the light poles in June starting next year. Disbrow was told by the audience she needed to go to the city several times before Supervisor Derrick Cox told her that all questions during public comment would be addressed during “Reports by Officers and Committees”.

The last comment was by Scott Rayho who cautioned the board to watch how they change the process for filling vacancies and restricting the time on public comments when rewriting the by-laws and procedures.

After the minutes from the previous meetings and the bills were approved, Road Commissioner Kathy Trucano-Hoelscher reported that in addition to their regular work, the department was busy with downed trees from the previous weekend’s storms. Trucano-Hoelscher also replied to Jedda’s concerns and FOIA’s, saying she provided her FOIA officer with the correct documents to send him but she accidently sent the unsigned originals and that there is currently no contract with Maryville as it is being redeveloped.

Next, Assessor Pete Poletti updated the board on how his department need all of its employees to efficiently do their job. Cox asked why he needs so many more employees than Edwardsville Township when both townships have a similar number of parcels, and announced he is sending FOIAs to all the township sin the county to see how many employees they have.

Poletti said Collinsville Township is the largest township as far as number of parcels, and explained how many of the parcels in Edwardsville are exempt because they are government buildings or have other exemptions.

Senior Center Director Brandon Loyet reported that the senior council met on July 7 and is in the planning to have a float in the Italian Fest parade in September. Bands and dances will be coming back in the next few months and Thursdays at 1 p.m. are movie days. Loyet also reported that all of the parties held recently at the senior center, including one for the Fourth of July have had the food and prizes donated.

The only report by trustees was given by Ashley Stewart, who reported that over 500 families have been helped through the LiHEAP program this year, with 39 in the last month. 31 license plate sticker fee applications, and 77 rental assistance applications were filled out the past month. The school supply give away will be August 5th or 6th.

Under old business, Cox presented to the board the proposed revisions to the Township by-laws and procedures. Proposed changes were on the website but are temporarily down as of presstime. They are scheduled to be back up by July 21.

The following are some of the mor major changes to the by-laws:

•References to the Illinois Codified Statutes are referenced where applicable.

•Article 1 Section 3 was updated, removing the meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month and “unless otherwise specified by the Supervisor with more than a 10-day public notice. At the beginning of the calendar year the township will make a schedule of regular board meetings listing dates, times and places available for public inspection”.

•In Section 4 “served personally or left at his usual place of residence” was removed from how trustees are to receive written notice with at least 48 hours notice.

•Information was added on allowing trustees to attend via video or audio conference as well as when it is acceptable to have complete electronic attendance Sections 9 and 10.

•In Section 11, Prayer, Public Comments, Clerk Comments, Special Committee Comments, and Supervisor Comments were added to the structure of the meetings. Removed were Public Hearings, Citizen Participation (replace by Public Comments), and Communications (added under Clerk’s Comments).

•Executive Session was changed to Closed Session and the following language was added to the end: “When returning to “Open Session the Clerk must announce those statutory exemption topics that were discussed in Closed Session. The Clerk shall take minutes of the Closed Session and also make an audio verbatim recording which shall be maintained for a minimum of 18 months. Closed Session minutes shall be reviewed semi-annually and released as public documents, if no longer deemed as confidential records.

•The old Section 11 Motions and Precedence of Motions regarding questions before the board was removed.

•Disorderly Conduct was revised changing “moderator” to “Supervisor” and removing the stipulation that an unruly subject would be confined until after the meeting and fined a maximum of $10. It was added that the person may be subject to civil action by the Township.

•Article II, Absences and Vacancies, Section 1 was amended to add that “Attendance by video or audio, if approved in advance by the Supervisor, is not considered an absence”.

•In Section 2, employment purposes was added as an excused absence and vacation as an unexcused absence.

•A new section was added on filling a vacancy. Section 3 now reads “When it becomes necessary to replace a Trustee, the Supervisor or Clerk, the public should be notified such that adequate time is allowed for members of the public to submit a letter of interest in filling the open position. The Board of Trustees should not act to replace an elected official at the same meeting at which they accept a resignation”.

•The Financial Polices were updated granting the Township Supervisor approval to pay “other payroll withholding items including Social Security, federal and state taxes, etc., not just IMRF contributions, including the Capital Asset schedule with the Annual Audit, and removing the restriction on buying investments between January 1 and June 1 of election years. A list of approved security broker dealers selected by creditworthiness would no longer have to be maintained and financial institutions will no longer have to have a Bauer rating of at least four stars to be considered.

•The Ordinance Governing Conduct During Meetings of Collinsville Township has a proposed change of removing the requirements that one be a resident or business owner in the Township to speak and that the comment does not have to be on a Township matter. Speakers will only have to provide their name and city or village of residence. It is suggested, but not a requirement that speakers be residents of the Township, own a business in the Township or be interested in a particular agenda item.

•Speakers no longer would have to “conform with conventional social manners in speech, writing, dress and behavior.

The last piece of old business covered was the unveiling of the new website. Dead links have been removed, the site secured, and the layout cleaned up.

Under new business, CJ Schlosser Company Inc. was selected as the auditor for FY ending March 31, 2021.

An agenda item approving an application for a Collinsville Township Shuttle Bus from Madison County Transit was moved until next month so MCT Director SJ Morrison could attend.

Under Supervisor’s Comments, Cox said he had met with the City of Collinsville about applying for TIF funds to help with the senior center parking lot. The Township would have to apply before December 31 of this year because that is when the TIF 1 program expires.

A suggestion box is also available in the senior center lobby for visitors to leave comments for the staff.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 10 at the Senior Center.

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