Village of Dolton Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9/20/21

Village of Dolton Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9/20/21
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Village of Dolton Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9/20/21 (Dolton, IL) – At a committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 20, the Village of Dolton Board of Trustees agreed for a number of items to appear on the next agenda at a regular board meeting.

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 Some of them include the following:
  • A resolution related to replacing the Fire Department’s reporting software.

    • The department is seeking to purchase new reporting software from the ESO Solution Corporation. It will allow the department to integrate emergency response reporting with central dispatching and billing services. That will streamline the billing process and update the department’s emergency incident reporting, according to a village document. It will cost a one-time set up fee for $3,750, with an annual recurring fee of $6,990. An anticipated net income of almost $400,000 has the ability to pay for the program annually. All trustees voted in favor of moving forward with the item.

  • Hiring Kendal Parrot as a grant administrator

    • Parrot said he was approached to be considered for the position, which would see him seeking additional funding opportunities for the village, applying for grants and managing them by making sure the village is in compliance with criteria. He has over 35 years of experience in parks and creation, municipal and non-profit foundation grant-writing. The proposal is for the village to pay Parrot the sum of $55,000 in 26 equal payments annually, but those terms can still be negotiated. He would be an independent contractor in that role. All trustees voted in favor of moving forward with the item.

  • A contract to hire Agile Technologies, to perform weekly COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated village employees, unless an employee has a religious or medical exception

    • Mayor Tiffany Henyard said this item was brought before the board to make sure it is compliant with a nationwide mandate. In it’s proposal, Agile said it administers dual rapid COVID-19 tests to detect the virus and antibodies in 10 minutes. While four trustees voted in favor of the proposal, Trustees Tammie Brown and Belcher voted against it, with Belcher noting she didn’t have enough information to make the decision.

  • An electronic system to manage Freedom of Information Act Requests

    • Village Clerk Alison Key said the volume of requests is “tremendous and I just want to be able to control them a lot more effectively, so we’re getting the answers so we’re not in violation.” She pointed to a couple of lawsuits that came after the village didn’t respond to FOIA request. “My goal is to not be reported to the attorney general for not responding to FOIAs.” Other municipalities use the proposed public records software by GovQA, such as Harvey and Markham. Key said the system could be paid for using American Rescue Act funds. All trustees voted in favor of moving forward with the item.

  • A police force management system

    • Chief Robert Collins said Dolton’s police department has an all paper system for personal records. The proposed system from Benchmark Analytics would change that, and also allowing the department to store and view all officer performance in one central location. “Right now all it would take would be a flood or a fire and it would destroy all personal records,” Collins said. An electronic system would also allow the department to have what Collins called “an early intervention system.” That would track officer behavior and alert command staff if there’s a potential problem with an officer. All trustees voted in favor of moving forward with the item.

Other agenda items trustees discussed:

  • A contract for media consulting with Black Excellence Media

    • Charles Thomas, representing the company, said during a presentation that he and founder Patricia Easley were on-air experienced broadcasters in the Chicago area, informing their ability to play a public relations role for the village. The company would fill the role of former village spokesperson Sean Howard, Henyard said. Trustee Jason House said he wasn’t willing to vote in favor of the contract. That’s because cash flow would be a concern for the village until it receives its real estate taxes, which are anticipated sometime late in September or early in October, according to a village financial advisor at a Sep.15 public works committee meeting. For that reason and others, House said he wants to reassess the village’s financial position before moving forward with the contract. Norwood and Brown agreed, citing financial concerns. Henyard said the position was already budgeted and she’d just be “replacing what’s missing now,” without any added expenses. However the item failed to move forward after Steave, Norwood, Belcher, Brown and House voted it down. Trustee Andrew Holmes was the sole assenting vote.

    • A resolution regarding public assembly in Dolton

      • Chief Robert Collins said the resolution came after multiple protests over the past few months. Many of them had to do with the death of Alexis Wilson. Collins said the concern isn’t that protests occur, but that the department isn’t notified about them and other types of public assembly, which in turn stretches its resources thin. “In addition to other safety concerns, this alone deprives the citizens access to normal daily services such as patrols, investigating criminal activity and responding to calls for service,” he explained. The resolution calls on people or organizations planning to hold a public meeting to notify the police chief five days in advance. Without notification, organizers could be fined. He hopes the resolution will allow the department to better strategize and optimize the resources it has. The resolution died at a previous board meeting, with House raising questions about its constitutionality. He still had similar concerns. House, Norwood, Steave, Belcher and Brown voted against moving forward with the item for a second time.

Before the committee of the whole, the board held a special board meeting, where trustees voted to table three agenda items. Trustee Kiana Belcher made the motion for this action because there were some items that should have been placed on the agenda that weren’t, she said.

Until a meeting could be held where the trustee’s items were considered, the rest of the items needed to wait, she argued.

Henyard disputed the fact that items from the trustees weren’t placed on the agenda. She said Steave submitted an item for the committee of the whole meeting, not the special board meeting. And for the item he did submit, she contended, it was turned in late. He turned it in Tuesday after a Monday night deadline, she said.

But the board wasn’t properly notified about the meeting and the administration didn’t communicate the fact that there was a deadline to submit agenda items, Steave said.

“All I’m saying is moving forward we can put all this on a special agenda and put the stuff I asked to put on there and moving forward, if something (gets put) on there, we at least communicate with the board the timelines and the cutoff date,” Steave said.

Village of Dolton Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9/20/21

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