O'Fallon Progress

Communication is key to good governance

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

I strongly believe that success and improvement can be cultivated through communication and partnerships. Over the last few weeks, we have been very busy reaching out to different governmental agencies and businesses to help continue our growth and keep O’Fallon as the premier community in which to call home.

Here are a few of the meetings that have taken place recently:

▪  Congressman Mike Bost and I met and discussed what is happening in the U.S. Congress, and how it may impact O’Fallon. I also asked our congressman about programs that may be available for local veterans, and about funding for infrastructure improvements and economic development.

▪  O’Fallon’s school superintendents and I meet quarterly to discuss what is going on in the city and our schools. At this most recent meeting, we discussed opportunities for joint purchasing and projects that would help save our taxpayers money.

▪  We held our third town hall meeting. I wrote about this in my column last week; I encourage you to read it at ofallon.org.

▪  I met with O’Fallon’s elected St. Clair County Board members. We meet quarterly to discuss things that we can pursue at the city and county level that may benefit our residents. Among the items that were recently discussed were our 911 system, possible housing for homeless veterans, the mass transportation system, St. Ellen Mine Park, growth of our wastewater system near Exit 21, and future development of O’Fallon.

▪  Our city staff and I met with Illinois American Water Co. to discuss the most recent water boil order that was issued by Illinois American due to complications in their distribution system. This meeting resulted in a better understanding of the types of communications that should be used going forward and better cooperation in water testing following a boil order.

▪  Some of the mayors from our neighboring communities and I met at our monthly Council of Mayors meeting. It is great to hear what is happening in other communities. We also discuss options for future joint ventures that may help reduce costs for everyone involved.

▪  I attended an East-West Gateway Council of Governments Transportation Committee meeting, where the new evaluation system for future road projects was discussed. I serve as the vice chairman representing Illinois’ communities on this committee.

▪  We gave the executive director of the Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois a tour of O’Fallon and then sat down with her to discuss the future of O’Fallon. This was her first tour of the city, and she stated that she was very impressed with O’Fallon and our future plans for smart growth. She is soon going to be bringing a number of individuals from across the country to the area so that we can showcase our assets for growth and trade.

▪  I continue to hold my monthly weeknight and Saturday hours. If you want to learn about the city, or share your comments, thoughts, or suggestions with me, but have a hard time coming to City Hall during normal working hours, I encourage you to come to City Hall during these additional hours.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.