O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon City Council aligns towing employee conduct with state code; in step with county disaster plan

The O’Fallon Progress

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The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.

Updating towing company regulations to specify employee criminal behavior is the reason behind an ordinance change the O’Fallon City Council advanced Monday for approval at the next meeting.

The changes to the section “Cause for Suspension and Removal from “Call Out” Rotation regulating Towing Companies” will be considered for adoption June 3.

The proposed amendment states a towing company must not employ any driver or vehicle operator that has been convicted of homicide, attempted homicide, crimes involving bodily injury and/or attempted bodily injury, robbery, theft crimes, attempted theft, forgery, Driving Under the Influence, any sex crimes and/or anyone on parole, probation, and/or a sex offender list for the above offenses and/or any other crime during the past five years in any state or territory.

In addition, the city may at their discretion withhold eligibility to any tow company based on any employee’s history of stalking, excessive traffic violations and/or any other public safety concern.

The Public Safety Committee recommended bolstering the ordinance regarding eligibility qualifications of towing company employees and “Call Out” rotation, while leaving the rest of the ordinance unchanged. It reflects the latest amended Illinois Vehicle Code. The city’s current ordinance was adopted in July 2017.

In other action, the council approved adopting the St. Clair County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is required to maintain eligibility for certain federal disaster assistance and hazard mitigation funding programs as part of the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. FEMA approved the 2019 update and the St. Clair County Board adopted the plan at their February meeting. This does not replace the Emergency Operations Plan for O’Fallon.

The council adopted the following, which were up for final approval:

  • Final plat for Illini Trails, fourth addition, which has 22 single-family homes on 9.61 acres and is part of a larger development located at the southeast corner of Kyle Road and Lincoln Avenue;
  • Final plat for Milburn Estates, second addition, which is 18 single-family homes on 11.14 acres and is part of a larger development located at the southeast corner of the roundabout on Milburn School Road and Milburn Estates Drive;
  • Zoning amendment for Keystone Place at Richland Creek, 1050 Fountain Lakes Drive, which is a proposed senior living facility. The 4.9-acre site is vacant and located on the north side of Frank Scott Parkway. The site was previously approved for a retail center and restaurant but was never constructed. Keystone Place at Richland Creek will offer three different unit types, including independent living units, assisted living units and memory care units. The proposed development will have 53 independent living units with 34 one-bed and 19 two-bed units, 75 assisted living units with 60 one-bed and 15 two-bed units and 24 memory care units all one-bed units; and
  • Zoning amendment for Community Bible Church, 590 Hartman Lane. The building is currently used for Vetta Sports. The proposal is for the reuse of the existing structure and parking lot for the church, including church services, offices and meetings.

During his report, Mayor Herb Roach congratulated several city employees on recent local, state and national recognition. O’Fallon Firefighter Pete MacLaughlin is being honored as the VFW Illinois Firefighter of the Year and O’Fallon VFW Post 805 Firefighter of the Year, and Brian Gimpel of the O’Fallon Police Department has been awarded the VFW Investigator of the Year Award, which he will receive June 15 in Springfield.

Daryl Ostendorf, Support Services Supervisor of the Metro East Communications dispatch center, has been selected to the National Emergency Number Association as the North Central Region Director. Since December 2016, the center has dispatched for the O’Fallon, Fairview Heights and Shiloh police departments; O’Fallon, Fairview Heights and French Village fire departments and the O’Fallon/Shiloh EMS.

One resident unhappy, another pleased

In the public comments section, Joshua Jenkins came forward to complain he was misrepresented in the minutes of the May 6 council meeting that had just been approved.

He read from the previous meeting’s posted minutes: “He represents the Veteran Alliance of Government Accountability. He complained the police department is misquoting, misfiling and not processing police reports properly. He voiced his concern about crime in the city.”

Jenkins told the council he was the co-founder of the Better Alliance for Government Accountability. He again brought up complaints against the O’Fallon Police Department, stating he has witnessed unacceptable behavior, which he had mentioned May 6. He cited information from documents he received through the Freedom of Information Act.

Jenkins, a veteran of two tours of duty, said he moved here in 2014. For the past three years, he said, based on evidence in the reports he accessed through the FOIA, he does not think everything is brought to the public’s attention. Jenkins complained about a lack of action, inconsistencies, and the city was trying to hide increased crime statistics. He said there were three times the amount of calls since 2017-2018.

“Tell me we don’t have problems,” he said.

He posted on his Facebook page a video taken in 2017, he said, of his assault by O’Fallon police.

Jenkins also accused the city of preventing him access to use his freedom of expression on the city’s internet and social media platforms. He said there was a negative bias against him.

Mayor Herb Roach said he disagreed with Jenkins “100 percent” about his access, that no one was blocking him.

Jenkins is a resident of Ward 1. He gave the papers he had with him to Ward 1 Alderman Dennis Muyleart.

In the second public comments portion following council action, Jason Spengler approached the microphone to compliment the hard-working people of the city for their dedication and “how they care for his business, family and the safety of this community.”

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, committee meetings will not take place Monday, but rather May 28.

Committee appointments

The new committee appointments, with the swearing in of the new city council on May 6, include:

  • Finance: Mark Morton, chair; Nathan Parchman, vice chair. Members: Chris Monroe, Jessica Lotz, Ray Holden and Dan Witt;
  • Parks: Jerry Albrecht, chair; Gwen Randolph, vice chair; Members: Mark Morton, Dennis Muyleart, Tom Vorce;
  • Public Works: Dan Witt, chair; Ross Rosenberg, vice chair. Members: Matt Gilreath, Gwen Randolph, Dennis Muyleart, Todd Roach; and
  • Community Development: Ray Holden, chair; Todd Roach, vice chair. Members: Jerry Albrecht, Tom Vorce, Nathan Parchman, Kevin Hagarty.