Fairview Heights welcomes newly elected council members

News-DemocratMay 7, 2013 

The Fairview Heights City Council met Tuesday with the three newly elected members attending their first official council meeting.

Ward 2 Alderman Justin Gough, Ward 5 Alderwoman Denise Williams and Ward 1 Alderman Dennis Baricevic were all in attendance.

The council voted to refer a resolution that would add an end results-oriented program to its Affirmative Action Plan back to committee.

The program, if amended into the personnel code, would work to increase the effectiveness of the city's Equal Employment Opportunity Policy by working towards a city workforce that mirrors the racial population of Fairview Heights. The population of the city is 33 percent nonwhite while the city employs 6 percent of nonwhite workers.

A proposed ordinance that would amend the city code did not pass the second reading. The proposal, as submitted, would give the mayor the power and duty to recommend hiring as well as suspension or removal of any city employee "for the good of the city."

The proposed amendment also gives the mayor the power to hire directors for each city department with council consent and each director would be responsible to the city administrator.

The city does not yet have a full-time city administrator but the process to find and hire one is ongoing.

The council also voted to reappoint 15 people recommended by the mayor to city positions and committees.

Ward 4 Alderwoman Linda Arnold objected to one man, Charles Daily, being appointed to chair two different committees: The Hotel-Motel Screening Committee and the Economic Development Commission.

"I don't think one individual should serve on more than one committee," she said.

Ward 4 Alderwoman Carol Warner explained the Hotel-Motel Committee meets once a year while the EDC meets monthly. The council voted on Daily's appointments separately and he was re-appointed to both positions.

Finally, the council requested Warner withdraw her resolution that the council vote to support city staff's investigation and analysis of a potential merger of the Fairview Heights Chamber of Commerce with the Swansea Chamber of Commerce.

Due to declining membership and the lack of an executive director, the Fairview Heights Chamber earlier this year announced it plans to dissolve.

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