New councilwoman sworn in at Collinsville: 'I know I have a job cut out for me'

News-DemocratMay 13, 2013 

The Collinsville City Council swore in a newly elected City Council members during its meeting Monday night.

The new member, Karen Woolard, was elected in April to fill the position of former councilwoman Joyce Biegert. Biegert was appointed to the position by Mayor John Miller when former councilwoman Liz Dalton was elected to the Madison County Board in November.

"I cannot tell you the honor I feel to have the opportunity to serve the people of Collinsville," Woolard said after being sworn in. "I know I have a job cut out for me and I feel a great responsibility."

Re-elected City Council members, Nancy Moss and Jeff Kypta, were also sworn in.

"I have an unbridled optimism for the things we can accomplish as we all work together," Moss said.

The council voted to approve a request from Zapata's Mexican Restaurant for a tax increment financing grant of $7,542.18. The money will be used to pay 90 percent of the bill for a new hood system as required by the state fire marshal. The restaurant's current hood system is not up to the newest codes as required by the fire marshal, and the restaurant faces closure if it is not upgraded.

In other council action, the council voted to give members of the public four minutes each to speak at City Council, commission, board and sub-body meetings instead of two minutes.

"I was very much in favor of the two-minute rule, but the more I listened to comments the more I think four minutes is the way to go," Mayor John Miller said. "I think this is a good move, but, if it doesn't work we can always move it back to the two-minute time if people abuse it."

Police Chief Eric Van Hook told the City Council the eBay auction to sell two seized vehicles, a 2000 Ford Taurus police cruiser and a surplus ambulance, was successful. The vehicles were all sold in a week, he said.

Councilman Michael Tognarelli saidhe was glad to see the auction of the vehicles conducted publicly and transparently, with the buyers of the vehicles, the final cost and the make and model of each vehicle publicly available.

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