Rolling Prairie Corvette Club Presents
$6,000 Check To Macon County Honor Guard

    Rolling Prairie Corvette Club presented the Macon County Honor Guard with a $6,000 check at  its club meeting Sept. 5th.  
    Club President Gordon Brenner said “the Honor Guard was selected for the second year in a row to receive the proceeds from our Kool Rides Charity Car Show that was held around Central Park in downtown Decatur.  This year was our 19th Annual Charity Car Show. 
    “With the help of many sponsors and 150 entries we were able to present the check to the Honor Guard.”
    Last year, the club presented the Honor Guard with a $6,500 check with the help of its many sponsors and 186 beautiful cars, trucks and motorcycles.     The car show is sponsored by the Rolling Prairie Corvette Club but is open to all who have something to show off.
    Brenner said “Our club puts on the Kool Rides Charity Car Show every year to give back to our community and select a worthy not-for-profit as voted on by our club members.  We also give to worthy causes throughout the year but on a smaller scale.”  


Macon County Clerk Announces Polling Place
Changes For 2018 Elections

    With the Decatur Park District notifying the Macon County Clerk’s Office that the Scovill Club House will not be available for use as a polling place for the upcoming 2018 elections, the county clerk’s office will soon be mailing notices and voter registration cards to voters in Decatur Township precincts 11 and 12.
    Decatur 11 voters will vote with Decatur 5 at the Temple B’NAI Abraham, 1326 W. Eldorado.
    Decatur 12 voters will vote at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 650 N. Wyckles Road.
    For questions about your voter registration or voting call 424-1333.


Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider Retires; Undersheriff Howard G. Buffett Installed as Sheriff

Decatur, IL (September 15, 2017) Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider announced today that he is retiring effective immediately, and Undersheriff Howard G. Buffett will assume the role of Sheriff.

Sheriff Schneider has worked in Macon County law enforcement since 1988 and has served as Sheriff since 2008. In April 2017, Schneider announced he would not be seeking re-election. Sheriff Schneider recently made the decision to retire prior to the end of his term. “Knowing that Howard will occupy my vacancy in a professional and competent manner makes the decision to leave this position less difficult,” said Schneider. “With three internal candidates running in the upcoming election, appointing Howard to my vacancy will ensure a fair and balanced election. Howard has served our community in a number of capacities, and as Undersheriff he has provided leadership and new insights into some of our challenges in law enforcement.”

Buffett has served as Undersheriff in Macon County since September 2014. He was certified by the Central Illinois Regional Commission for Law Enforcement as an Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff in August 2012.

Buffett has completed over 3,300 hours of patrol and training, and has seventy-six weapons qualifications, including Taser, handgun, rifle, and shotgun under the direction of four sheriff offices and one police agency in Illinois and Arizona, meeting both states’ certifications requirements.

In 2015, Buffett was presented the National Sheriffs’ Association Medal of Merit for his support to the Field of Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice, and in 2016 was made an honorary member of the National Sheriffs’ Association. In 2017, he received the High Sheriff Award, the highest award presented by the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association.

“It has been an honor for me to serve our community as an Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff and as Undersheriff,” said Buffett. “I look forward to serving our citizens and our Sheriff’s Office employees in a broader capacity.”

In addition to his law enforcement experience, Buffett brings an extensive background in business, elected public office, and government service to the administrative role of Sheriff. Mr. Buffett has held senior corporate executive positions at several publicly traded companies, including Archer Daniels Midland, and has served on a number of public and private corporate boards. He has a depth of expertise in operations, risk management, regulatory issues and geo-political issues. He currently serves on the corporate board of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. and previously served on the publicly-traded boards of Archer Daniels Midland; Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc.; The Coca Cola Company; ConAgra Foods; and The Lindsay Corporation. He was elected as a Commissioner of the Douglas County Board (Nebraska) in 1988. He has served on two United States Trade Representative Advisory Committees, as Chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, and as a director of the Omaha-Douglas City Council Building Commission and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency. Mr. Buffett served on the Commission on Presidential Debates for two decades beginning in 1997, and as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger on behalf of the World Food Programme for nearly ten years.

“Following Sheriff Schneider’s departure from office, it is important to have an individual with a combination of administrative experience and law enforcement experience,” said Decatur Park Police Chief Ed Culp. “Howard’s career in business and government has provided a vast amount of administrative experience, and his last five years working closely with the Sheriff and the officers in the Sheriff’s Office have prepared him for this responsibility. More importantly, Howard will maintain a neutral environment through the upcoming election, something that is critical to maintaining the balance and impartiality that is required to ensure the continued performance and commitment of all of the Sheriff’s Office personnel.”

Mr. Buffett will be sworn into office today at 4pm and will immediately begin full-time office hours as the Sheriff of Macon County. 



Council Members Express Views
On Giving Local Bidders An
Advantage In Awarding Contracts

By Paul Osborne
City Beat Extra

    During last week’s city council meeting the subject of local bidder preference came up.    
    Councilmen Bill Faber and David Horn seemed to have the strongest views on the council “buying locally” in awarding contracts, even though an out-of-town firm had the lowest bid. 
    Faber used his paid column on page 7 of this edition, to explain why he feels so strongly about it.
    In fact, Faber concludes his column by stating: “The Decatur City Council should adopt a local procurement policy. If a local business bid is within 5% of the lowest bid, then the city council may award the contract to the local business.”
    Giving local bidders an advantage over out-of-town bidders is an issue that has come up from time to time over the years.         

      David Horn indicated to the Tribune, that, at that last city council meeting, “the council voted to approve a contract with Kinney Contractors, Inc. for improvements to concrete bus shelter pads used by the Decatur Public Transit System. Kinney Contractors, based out of Raymond, IL, had a bid of $64,816. The second closest bid came from MCGE, LLC of Decatur for $67,035 (difference of
$2,219, 3.4%).” 
    Horn said that he and Councilman Chuck Kuhle inquired as to whether the city should consider having provisions that give preference to local bidders in cases where higher bids are close to the lowest bid, and the lowest bidder is not based in Decatur.
    Horn stated that “Councilman Faber stated his preference to award the bid to the local business,” while he and  Kuhle asked for additional information including whether there are other area cities with local preference, and an examination of the financial impact of hiring Decatur companies compared to companies outside of Decatur (i.e., are monies contracted to local companies spent and re-spent more in Decatur compared to monies contracted to non-local businesses?).”
    Horn added: “Given the initiatives to buy local, it may make financial sense to hire local. The City of Decatur faces higher levels of unemployment and population decline compared to Illinois and the U.S. Providing a preference to local bidders may be a way to make sure that jobs remain in Decatur, and that taxpayer dollars stay in Decatur. The City Manager indicated that a memo regarding local bidder preference would be forthcoming to the council in October.”
    Councilman Chuck Kuhle told me that he has talked with several about the bid process since the subject came up, but now stands against holding a study session on it and would not vote for the change if it eventually became a regular agenda item.
    Councilwoman Lisa Gregory stated: “I will not support a preferred local bidder ordinance nor am I interested in a study session on this topic. 
    “I have a responsibility to the citizens to ensure that City staff pursued due diligence in seeking the best possible value for the taxpayers' dollar. This can't be accomplished if businesses are not treated equally in the bid process but instead are singled out and given special preferences based on their address.”
    Councilman Pat McDaniel sent a lengthy response to the question and listed all of the reasons that he is against it.    
    McDaniel said, in part, that he would not support a change in the policy because “adoption of such an ordinance could lead to fewer competitive bidders in the City Bid Process and lead to higher city project costs for taxpayers and less available city revenues to tackle other important city infrastructure projects.
     “Other Illinois municipalities could adopt their own Local Bidders Preference Ordinance in retaliation for the City of Decatur or other communities adopting such a ordinance lead to less business opportunities for many local Decatur contractors and their local employee staffs who must go outside our community to find additional business opportunities to stay in business and would also have to compete on an unleveled bid playing field against hometown contractors.”
    McDaniel added that, often, out of town bidders hire local workers for the project on which they had the winning bid.
    Councilwoman Dana Ray said: “There are several pros and cons to a preferred local bidders ordinance. I'm not going to go through the list of each, but mention that what is essential to me is the integrity of the bidding process. 
    “My concern is that a preferred local bidders ordinance would limit the number of bidders therefore decreasing competition and possibly increasing the cost to the city. 
    “There is also merit to the point that if other municipalities followed suit our local businesses would have limited growth as it would be subject to the jobs only available locally. I believe that healthy competition is essential for the growth of local companies as well quality of services being rendered. 
    “With all of this being said, there have been instances in the past when I have not voted for the lowest bidder but have given preference to the local bidder only when the difference in cost was very narrow. 
    “For me to consider a preferred local bidder ordinance my concerns listed above would have to be adequately addressed as well as preference only being given if there is a small percentage of difference in cost. This value should be set by city council and adherence should be strict.”
    City Manager Tim Gleason said he plans “to prepare a memo on the topic where the focus will be what like communities are doing or have done. I also plan to remind them that they can always treat this as a case by case and select the local contractor on a high dollar project (what is close enough would be up to council)”.









16th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive
Sets Goal Of 1.5 Million Pounds Plus

Message from Wednesday (Aug. 23) news conference

WSOY and our community partners, ADM, Team Soy – Soy Capital Bank & J.L. Hubbard Insurance and Bonds, Skeff Distributing, Jones & Thomas/JTnet, Decatur Back & Neck Center, Tickets N Trips, First Christian Church, Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy & Colee’s Corner Drugs, DynaGraphics/Wood Printing,  Kroger, Herald & Review, and WAND-TV are pleased to announce the details for our annual food drive on October 6th, 6AM-6PM at Airport Plaza Kroger on Rt. 36 in Decatur.  We have joined together to help stock our local food pantries. 

       Last year over 1.4 million pounds of food was collected during our twelve hours of broadcast and this year we hope to exceed 1.5 million pounds.  Over the past fifteen years, over 7.9 million pounds of food has been collected.  Last year, because of the wonderful generosity of the community, the WSOY Community Food Drive was able to help Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, The Good Samaritan Inn, Northeast Community Fund, The Judy Mason Thanksgiving Basket Project, Reasonable Services, God's Shelter of Love, Amelca Food Pantry, Moundford Free Methodist Food Pantry and Interchurch Council of Blue Mound, Boody, Stonington and Macon. 
      Thanks to our community partners, we are able to again offer a substantial financial award to the top five local schools that collect the most food for our drive.  Individuals and groups can collect food ahead of time or come out to Kroger that day and donate food or cash in the name of a particular school.  The top five schools that generate the most food in pounds will be awarded a cash prize.  Anyone can help support their favorite school by donating in the name of the school.  Parents, grandparents, booster clubs, bands, athletic teams and teachers can and will make the difference.  All Macon County Schools grades K-12 are eligible to participate.  

This year’s cash awards are as follows:
    1st Place - $2,500
    2nd Place - $1,500
    3rd Place – $1,000
    4th Place - $750
    5th Place - $500

Last year’s winners were (1st) St. Patrick School, (2nd) Mt Zion High School, (3rd) Our Lady of Lourdes (4th) Warrensburg Latham High School and (5th) Eisenhower High School.

We will also once again be honoring businesses with the WSOY Community Food Drive Good Neighbor award.  Last year’s Good Neighbor winners:
     Refreshment Services Pepsi    
    United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois

    Kroger

Every year the food drive has hundreds of great volunteers but one volunteer is recognized as being outstanding.   The Geoffrey Neuhoff Spirit Award is given to honor and recognize someone that shows exemplary service to the WSOY Community Food Drive.  Last year the recipient was Jeff Daly. 

How you can help the 16th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive:
You can participate by making a monetary donation. Checks can be made to “WSOY Community Food Drive”. (Tax deductable donations should be made to the Community Foundation c/o WSOY Community Food drive.)  

Companies and organizations interested in participating can call to sign up for our easy ‘how to’ package which will be delivered to them.  This package will include fliers and grocery bags to send home with their employees to fill up and bring back to work.  These bags will then need to be delivered to Kroger the day of the broadcast, or pick up service is available.  These donations will also be designated to individual schools.

If your business has a marquis, show your support by displaying “WSOY Community Food Drive, October 6th, 2017. 6am-6pm Kroger Rt. 36 East”

You can also assist us by donating an hourly incentive such as sporting event tickets and gift cards to use as giveaways to encourage giving during our live broadcast. 

Let us know if your company is doing a special promotion or fundraiser for the food drive so we can share it!  You can email details to lindsayromano@neuhoffmedia.com

For more information:

Overall questions:                    Lindsay Romano            423-9744

Questions about getting your school involved:        Pete Vercellino                 520-5098

Questions about getting your company involved:    Karin Betzer                877-3344

Questions regarding volunteering or pick up service:    Debbie Bogle                422-8537




The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Donates $1 Million to Support Domestic Violence Services in Central Illinois

     Dove, Inc. has announced a $1,000,000 donation from The Howard G. Buffett Foundation to stabilize the finances of the Dove Domestic Violence Program.  The Domestic Violence Program offers safe shelter, 24-hour hot lines, children’s services, support groups, parenting groups, prevention programming and legal advocacy to those seeking services in Macon, Moultrie, Shelby, Piatt and DeWitt Counties. 
     The donation from the Buffett Foundation, delivered to Dove’s Board of Directors on July 26, 2017, came at a time when Dove faced an uncertain financial and operational future due in part to the lack of an approved state budget in Illinois over the last two years.  
    Dove typically receives 25% of its total agency budget from the state of Illinois, 50% of the Domestic Violence Program Budget has historically been state funding to meet the needs of the counties it serves.
     “We are humbled by and incredibly grateful for this generous support,” said Christine Gregory, Executive Director. “We see a great need in Central Illinois for the services we offer our client communities and are thrilled that our domestic violence program is now secure.”
     With the donation from The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Dove will be able to provide Domestic Violence services to individuals in crisis across Central Illinois for many years to come.  The support also provides financial stability to the entire Dove, Inc. organization, allowing it to continue to offer a broad array of crisis and community support services.
    Dove, Inc. was established in 1970 to support and improve the lives of neighbors in need. Dove programs reach thousands of individuals and families across Central Illinois each year, meeting needs, showing pathways to self-sufficiency and providing life changing volunteer opportunities.  
    For additional information about Dove and its services, please see our website at www.doveinc.org.


PAUL OSBORNE, EDITOR 

NEWS FROM HERE AND THERE

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