Monday, July 6, 2009

VC meeting: Antioch Update, Econ Dev., Comp. Plan, & Pay Raises, Visioning Steering letters

Dear People: Just back (literally within a few hours) from a glorious trip/family reunion on Isle Royale National Park--hiking and canoeing and living with no electricity or running water on a small island with several members of Frank's family. It was amazing. So this will be quick, and is, alas, later than I like.

Probably most of you are aware that there's been a major development towards an agreement between Antioch University and the Antioch College Continuation Corporation regarding the future Antioch College; Matt Derr, of the AC3 will be at our meeting tonight to give an official update and answer questions. That will be early on our agenda, after a few items of...

  • Alley Vacation (perpendicular to High St. between 409/415 N. High): This was recommended by Planning Commission some months ago. It is not an open, functioning alley, and does not run all the way through to any street or functioning alley, just to the end of the lot.
  • Resolution supporting Obama's proposal to reform the Health Care System.
  • PUBLIC HEARING: Resolution approving the 2010 Tax Budget. This looks pretty pro-forma, but village staff will be on hand to highlight the documents and answer questions.
  • Matt Derr from AC3 on Antioch College developments
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements Update
  • Comprehensive Plan: We'll spend 45 minutes; we'll plan to go through the first 3 sections and then begin the 4th. There are some proposed language changes from both Judith Hempfling (regarding development, the Jacoby Greenbelt, and the Urban Service Boundary and "staying small") and Karen Wintrow (regarding many of the same issues and also Tourism and Electric Distribution). Our village solicitor, John Chambers, provided his perspective on Judith's proposed language changes and he had no objection to her wording, and suggested that we may want to mention that Council may revisit the Plan after that process is completed.
  • Economic Sustainability (formerly Econ 'Development') Committee, Coordinator: We'll be discussing (again for 45 minutes) both
    • Judith's proposal for an Economic Sustainability Committee and
    • Mark Cundiff's new proposal for an Economic Sustainability Coordinator (not 'Director'). This new proposal is at a lower pay scale (down from $30-$40/hr in the original to $22.19-$28.46--I think this odd dollars&cents range has to do with the normal village pay scale, but it's a question I have.) I believe he worked with input from both Karen and Judith on this current proposal.
  • Council Salary Increase: Judith proposes increasing our salaries from $2500 to $4100 / year. Our pay has not been increased since 1996, and lags behind the normal pay of the School Board. While our current pay is larger than some small villages, Council Clerk Deborah Benning has indicated that it's really more important to attend to the complexity of the community's holdings--we must oversee not just streets and parks, but also our own electrical system, a police force with our own dispatch office, our water and wastewater systems, and a variety of village properties including the library building and pool. One Council person has indicated opposition to a pay raise in an email to Council; I and Judith have publicly indicated our firm support for a pay raise.
Judith concludes her proposal for this increase by saying: "If a modest increase in compensation for the Village Council could make it possible for some citizens to be candidates, that would be a huge positive benefit. For those who work jobs at an hourly rate, the option of reducing work hours even a little, when there is a heavy Council agenda, might be possible because of an increased salary." I heartily concur.
  • Finally, the Visioning Task Force is asking Council to write letters of invitation to African Americans and parents of school age children, asking them to volunteer for the Steering Committee of the Visioning process, having received mailing lists derived from recommendations from John Gudgel and the 365 group and Christine Hatton and the MLS staff (respectively).
There will be future agenda planning and then wrap up!

Have a great week!


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