MOUNT CARROLL – Alderman Doris Bork noted a discrepancy with the minutes of the December 18, 2012 meeting, and stated she would like to amend them. She asked that “the mayor said that [the council members] were not allowed to talk to the auditors except through [the mayor]” be added to the minutes.
Mayor Carl Bates clarified, “I said, when I talked to the auditors, they asked that all questions be passed through me or the finance chair. That’s what I said.”
To which Bork reiterated, “You said we are not allowed to talk to them, except through you. So I would like to amend the minutes.”
Alderman Mike Risko interjected, “that sounds reasonable. You got seven guys. That’s the most reasonable thing.”
“Anybody can talk to the auditor,” replied Bork. “If you are on the council you have the right to talk to the auditor.”
Alderman Doug Bergren asked, “Will there be a charge for that?” Bork responded, “The auditor here that night said there will be no charge.” Bergren speculated, “My question is, ‘no charge for the conversation’ or ‘no charge for the research from the conversation’?”
Bork then stated, “We weren’t talking about researching. He said ‘if you have a question, call me. There won’t be a charge.’”
Bates stated, “And then when I spoke to him he asked that it be directed through me or the finance chair.”
In consideration of talk among a few council members, Mayor Bates asked the audit firm about the costs of a forensic audit. Bates was told that it would cost a minimum of $20,000 for a retainer. It could be upwards of $50,000 to $60,000 total. Bates then asked the consensus of the council if he should get a formal quote before the next meeting.
Alderman Risko stated, “I think we need a quote. People keep hounding on this council and [the City Clerk] as doing a lot of illegal things. And, they have not a shred of evidence to prove that. We need to know what a forensic audit will cost.” Mayor Bates added, “And what projects won’t get done to do it.”
“And I want you to know,” exclaimed City Clerk Julie Cuckler, “that if you are going to pursue this, I’m fine with it! I have nothing to hide. Never have, never will. There’s no money missing. There’s no money gone. There’s been no money stolen. If you want to do this, fine. It’s going to be on your heads!”
“I’ve had enough of this stuff!” she continued. “I’m hearing I’m stealing money.” Alderman Bork interjected, “Nobody said you’re stealing money.”
113 N. Mill Street Property
The defendants defaulted because no one appeared at the Jan. 2 court date regarding the property at 113 N. Mill Street. The judge ordered a continuance for Feb. 4 for a prove-up. A status hearing is set for Jan. 14.
Engineering drawings need to be presented to the council for a building permit or the City will fix it and file a lien on the property. If the owners do the repairs, some of the costs may be reimbursable from TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds. However, they would need TIF approval before the project was started.
Set a finance committee meeting for 8:00 am on Saturday, January 12.
Will advertise for bids of old dump truck and open bids at Feb. 19 finance committee meeting.
Dispersed a total of $44,590 from the TIF fund.
Will send notice giving the owner of material sitting on City owned property until May 1 to clean it up or the City will take care of it.
Agreed to enter a contract with Community Funding and Planning Services for grant writing services for a sewer lining project.
Discussed purchasing a new emergency siren.
Changed committee meeting start time to 6:00 pm at the Jan. 22 meeting.
Discussed whether council members should have filed FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to find out if there were any exempt employees or if they should have just asked the council.
Heard the Mount Carroll and Savanna Rotary Clubs provided twenty iPads to the West Carroll Middle School for their reading program and other uses.
Heard the Mount Carroll Community Foundation matched 50 cents on the dollar of the $16,135 raised so far.