March 27, 2012
Download a copy of the Springfield City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting online at the city's website.
Ordinances to be considered by the Committee of the Whole
The Committee of the Whole consists of all ten Alderman, the Clerk, and Corporation Council. During which, voting members decide what ordinances will be put on the Consent Agenda and the ones that will be put on the Debate Agenda for the following full city council meeting. Representatives from other offices are on hand to answer questions from the committee and that's surely going to happen tonight during the Committee of the Whole. Here's what you can expect from tonight's meeting.
With less than an month into the new fiscal year, the Springfield Fire Department is asking the city council for three-quarters of a million dollars. The request is above what was agreed upon in the fiscal year 2012's. FY 2013's budget began on March 1st a budget that was approved by the Springfield City Council. Now an ordinance requesting the unappropriated funds is in front of the Springfield city council committee of the whole to "clean up" the previous fiscal year.
A hiring lag from last fiscal year plus additional overtime expenses are reasons for the $725,000 request from the Fire Department. Fire Chief Ken Fustin may be asked to address the council for the needed funds. The office of Human Resources is also asking for unappropriated money, but only $11,000 to make up for a unplanned budget shortfall.
Workers' compensation claims
Also on tonight's agenda is roughly $245,000 dollars in worker's compensation payments and a request from the Office of Budget and Management for an additional $2 million because of and increase in medical claims in the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2012.
In another ordinance a year-long contract with Cannon Cochran Management Services is up for Committee Consideration. Cannon Cochran would serve as a third party administrator for worker's compensation programs. In December, not even four months ago, the City of Springfield signed on to a joint agreement with Sangamon County to have Triune Health Group manage worker's compensation services, a move expected to save the city and county millions of dollars. Update: Placed on Debate Agenda because of unanswered questions. Coroporation Council Cullen says Cannon Cochran Management Services performs different duties than Triune Health Group performs and is necessary.
Another contract on the agenda is a year-long agreement with two different law firms to perform legal services for worker's compensation claims. The two firms are Livingstone, Mueller, O'Brien & Davlin and Sorling, Northrup, Hanna, Cullen and Cochran. They'll evenly split $150,000. The later law firm is the former employer of the City of Springfield Corporation Council Mark Cullen, a law firm that was the centerpiece of a recent investigative article written by Illinois Times' Bruce Rushton. Update: Cullen says that the public should not have any concern that his former lawfirm is incapable of doing the job. He says the three attorneys from the two lawfirms are competent attorneys and performing their duties at a very competitive rate of $150 an hour.
The Council Roundup
Update: Without fail every week The Springfield City Council discovers something that will get listeners talking and this week it all starts with a phone call made during Tuesday's Ray Lytle Show. Don't miss all the action with The Council Roundup.
Be sure to catch The Council Roundup every Wednesday morning at 9 on The Ray Lytle Show. The Council Roundup with Greg Bishop and Ray Lytle--a comprehensive look at the Springfield City Council with complete (taken-out-of-context) quotes form Springfield's elected and appointed officials. The facts come from the tape and commentary from Lytle and Bishop. It's appointment listening and it's only on 970 WMAY, The News and Talk of Springfield.