Shake Up in Savanna: Three New Council Members, New Mayor Sworn In
Tony McCombie officially becomes the new mayor of Savanna, and is administered the Oath of Office from Judge Val Gunnarsson. (PA photo/Michael Miller)
By MICAEL MILLER | For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – Fresh from their respective victories in the election two weeks ago, three new Savanna City Council members and a new Savanna Mayor were officially sworn in on Tuesday, April 23rd at 333 Chicago Avenue in Savanna.
Gary Scott Law (Ward Four), Christine Lee (Ward One), and Lisa Robinson (Ward 3) all raised their hands and took the oath of office administered by Val Gunnarsson, Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit in Carroll County, and Mayor elect Tony McCombie became Mayor McCombie, in a brief ceremony attended by a packed City Hall.
Council members Bill Robinson, Merle Long, Peg Haffey (also sworn in, having run unopposed in her district), Jeff Griswold attended, as well as vacating members Lois Hunsaker, Bill Scott and Carol Fosdick.
Mayor Larry Stebbins presided over his final meeting, and City Clerk Paul Hartman (also sworn in for another term), City Attorney Phil Jensen, and department heads Sheryl Sipe, Michael Moon, Shawn Picolotti, and John Lindeman were also in attendance for this transferal of power.
New Police Officer Hired, City Hall Beautification Plans
McCombie noted the highlight of the most recent Personnel/Safety Committee, that being the committee’s recommendation that the Council hire Mitchell Ottenhausen as a new City police officer, at the rate of $15.00 per hour starting on the second of May this year. Later in the meeting, this recommendation was approved by the Council, after a motion by McCombie which was seconded by Scott, with no “nay” votes forthcoming.
McCombie also delineated the contents of a communication she sent to Council, regarding her idea to beautify and maintain the front grounds of City Hall, to be done by a team of volunteers at no cost to the City.
The City received just one bid for some pieces of equipment related to their ongoing iFiber project, including a generator set, and an air conditioning system and breaker panel. That bid was from Engel Electrical Company from Sterling, Illinois, for $65,950.00. Griswold wanted to know if this would include monitoring equipment as discussed by Contracts and Lease, so Long amended his original motion to reflect this new request, and the bid was to be accepted, contingent upon a review by Superintendent Lindeman.
Ordinances, Ordinances, Ordinances
Four ordinances were approved in their second and final readings. #2031, which would establish an enterprise zone within Whiteside and Carroll counties, specifically, a gas station/store in Morrison, Illinois, was approved. #2032, governing the annual budget for 2013-2014, was likewise approved.
Water rates will be going up again for area residents, thanks to the passage of Ordinance #2034. This will raise the minimum flat rate charge for Savanna residents from one hundred twenty eight dollars and fifty two cents ($128.52) to one hundred thirty dollars and sixty cents ($130.68) per quarter. Ordinance #2033 will raise the minimum quarterly charge from $20.70 to $21.30 for residential accounts, from $82.80 to $85.20 for industrial use accounts, and from $41.40 to $42.60 for commercial use accounts.
Council also approved waiving the imposition of a restaurant license fee for the Great River Outreach, which is within the power of the City.
Departing Council members offered a few brief parting comments. Scott wished the new mayor and council all his best, Hunsaker thanked everyone for the experiences of the last four years, adding that it had been good to work with everyone and wishing good luck to the new regime. Fosdick thanked Stebbins for the experience as well, and wished McCombie and the new Council well. McCombie thanked Stebbins for his 16 years of service and also all the departing members. She thanked Robinson for his long hours of work on the Finance Committee and the various department heads for their help.
Stebbins noted that IEMA was “ready to go” in the event of any future flood events, and said he’d been in contact with State Representative Mike Smiddy regarding flood preparations as well. Finally, holding back emotion, the mayor thanked all those that he had appointed to the Council, including Fosdick, McCombie, Haffey and Scott.