CITY BEAT: BITS AND PIECES FROM HERE AND THERE AROUND THE COMMUNITY
• THE REGULAR scheduled City Council meeting falls on Monday, February 17th on Presidents Day which is a holiday for City Government. The meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, February 24th at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Hopefully, things have calmed down since the last regular meeting and meaningful ideas, concerns and council votes will benefit all of the community in a positive way. Everyone’s voice is important in moving ahead.
• THE MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY Board of Trustees has unanimously confirmed the election of Dr. James M. Reynolds to become the 16th president of Millikin University, effective July 1, 2020. Congratulations to Dr. Reynolds. (Story about the new president choice can be found elsewhere on this site.)
• MACON COUNTY Clerk Josh Tanner issued a press release about the Secretary of State Voter Registration Issue. Tanner wrote: “Macon County has seven individuals who answered ‘No’ to the citizenship question at the Secretary of State Department of Driver Services. These people were then erroneously forwarded to the Macon County Clerk for registration. They were registered and mailed a voter ID card.
“The County Clerk’s Office was notified, by the State Board of Elections, about these individuals and the error on December 30, 2019. The Clerk’s Office has mailed each of them a letter requiring them to appear and show cause why their registration should not be cancelled. “One of the seven was cancelled because they moved before they could vote. “One of the seven voted in the November 6, 2018 election. This person has contacted the County Clerk’s Office and is a US citizen. They have correctly completed a new registration. “One of the seven contacted the County Clerk’s Office and confirmed they were a non-citizen. They have never voted.
“The remaining four have not contacted the County Clerk’s Office and their registration has been cancelled. “Illinois state law allows eligible voters to register up to and including Election Day provided they have the correct documents. If any cancelled voters are later proven to be eligible they will be allowed to register and vote.”
• MIKE WILSON, my long-time barber (as in decades-long) came by the office the other day to thank me for the column I wrote recently about his retirement.
“I’ve heard from so many people about the column,” he told me, in Decatur and even out-of-state. That doesn’t surprise me. Mike has been the barber and friend of so many people for so many years and I certainly miss our conversations as I was getting my haircut over the years — I wrote “years” not “ears”.
• ABOUT THOSE Stella Awards sent in by a reader and printed (a few of them) on last week’s back page, which gave some examples of ridiculous court settlements, Ted Paine, sent me an email stating the “list of the Stella Award winners was amusing, but it was fiction. Snopes and several other internet fact-checking groups have investigated these purported lawsuits, and with the exception of Stella Liebeck, aren’t real. And although a jury did initially award her close to $2.9 million, the award was cut to $640,000 by the trial judge and the case was settled for an undisclosed amount during the appeal.”
Thanks, Ted, for the info.
• LOST IN all the action from the Feb. 3 city council meeting, was an agenda item that Councilman Chuck Kuhle was especially pleased about.
“We have received a grant from the State of Illinois to put together a hike/bike path study for the city,” Chuck informed me. “This is something I have been pushing and City Manager Scot Wrighton helped put together. I strongly feel that this will be a big benefit to the city.” That’s certainly a positive to report and a great way to end this column.
• I join Brian Byers on the “City Hall Insider” hour on WSOY’s Byers & Co., each Thursday morning starting at 7:00. Thanks so much for all of your positive comments about the program. I’ve enjoyed talking about Decatur issues with Brian for the past 17 years.