O'Fallon Progress

New fire and police commissioners sworn in

Susan Holden and Scott Battoe were sworn is as the newest Commissioners on the Police and Fire Board during Monday night's council meeting. City Clerk Jerry Mouser administered the oath while Police Chief Eric Van Hook and Mayor Herb Roach look on.
Susan Holden and Scott Battoe were sworn is as the newest Commissioners on the Police and Fire Board during Monday night's council meeting. City Clerk Jerry Mouser administered the oath while Police Chief Eric Van Hook and Mayor Herb Roach look on. For the Progress

A civic leader and a veteran law enforcement officer are the two new commissioners on O’Fallon’s Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

They were sworn in at Monday’s O’Fallon City Council meeting. Their appointments increase the board from three to five commissioners, as approved by the council recently.

Susan Holden, past president of the O’Fallon/Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, will serve a two-year term, and Scott Battoe, a retired O’Fallon police captain, will serve for one year.

Terms are usually three-year terms. Mayor Herb Roach said that he wanted to stagger their terms, because of other commissioners’ terms expiring at the same time.

Roach thanked residents for their interest in serving.

“We had a number of very fine people who came to me to be considered, and all of them brought some good experience and knowledge. It was tough making a good decision. The two I’m going to nominate tonight have a great deal of personal experience, knowledge and leadership, and if you look at their resumes, you can’t question that,” he said.

The council unanimously approved their appointments.

Holden, owner of a Re/Max Preferred group in O’Fallon for 25 years, is also a past member of District 203 School Board. She graduated from Kansas State University.

Battoe spent 30 years working as a captain in the O’Fallon Police Department. He retired in 2008. He was an investigator with the greater St. Louis Major Case Squad from 1994 to 2017. Since 2008, he has served as chief of court security in St. Clair County.

He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sterling College, and a master’s degree in human resource management from Webster University.

Bands honored

Also at the meeting, the mayor honored the O’Fallon Township High School music program, presenting proclamations to leaders of the O’Fallon Township High School Band and to the Marching Panthers Band Boosters.

The band was honored for its excellence, their efforts during the past year, improving the reputation of OTHS and the O’Fallon area, Roach said.

He noted that at a Midwest marching band contest in Indiana, the group won the highest honor ever awarded to the high school. They were ranked 14th out of 100.

Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, the OTHS band director, said she was very proud and honored to be here.

“The students have worked so hard, and the staff,” she said. “I feel honored every day to be the band director at this high school.”

She said helping students realize their potential, and helping them to become great people, is very rewarding.

One of the students thanked the community for the support, and that they appreciate that the band has always had a “strong base of support” in O’Fallon.

Other action

After an executive session, the council agreed to sell two empty lots, considered surplus real estate, located at 114 and 122 Carbon Hill Road.

The council approved using Infosend for utility billing mailing services. The city’s billing machine is 10 years old and has reached the end of its useful life, according to the city staff.

The staff explored in-house mailing vs. outsourcing, and discovered by contracting Infosend, it will save $147,000 over five years.

The mayor announced that the city will close on the old bank building, across from City Hall, on Friday.

The mayor announced he would have Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 23, at City Hall.

A Town Hall meeting has been set for Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The next City Fest committee meeting is Jan. 3. The group meetings have all been set now through August on the city calendar.

The mayor said more businesses have agreed to be sponsors for the City Fest, the first homecoming event O’Fallon will have in years next August. The Downtown Merchants, Holland Construction, Fleming and Lowenbaum law firm, O’Fallon Electric, Re/Max, Home Depot, First National Bank, Navy Federal and CNR Enterprises are among the latest to join the event.

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