CHENOA — And once again, the City of Chenoa received a letter of resignation from a city council member. The latest was announced Tuesday at the first May meeting of the board by Mayor Chris Wilder.
The mayor said that Streets Commissioner Joseph Bell tendered his resignation because he did not want to comply with a new State of Illinois law that requires all public officials to file a new financial disclosure form called the Statement of Economic Interest.
Bell had only been on the council for a year after winning his seat in the April 6, 2021, election. He was one of three candidates running for two seats on the board. Commissioner Kyle Buchanan and former Commissioner Dwayne Price were also candidates.
Bell and Buchanan won seats, leaving Price out — for the moment.
Price has returned to the city council as the Street Department commissioner, the position he held for the term that he was on the council prior to the 2021 election.
Wilder is still in search of a person to replace Jay Bell, who was on the council for just a short time in replace of Lee Reinhart. Jay Bell resigned for similar reasons as Joseph Bell. Reinhart resigned in January because he moved away of the community.
Jay Bell and Reinhart held the Water and Sewer commissioner position when each was on the board.
A TIF application is being developed for the business formerly known as Kat-E-Corner. Plans are being developed for this project, including adding a mural for a photo opportunity for tourists.
The Chenoa Public Library will be sponsoring a music event on June 15 and requested street closures for the event. The request was approved.
In other items discussed, the 4th of July Street dance will be held this year. The Treasurer Report showed that a review of Chenoa’s finances indicated the city’s finances were in the best shape they have been for several years. Also, the new park is being tiled and mulched and the swimming pool is being prepared to open for this summer’s season.
There was a little bit of rising temperature in the council chambers during public comment. A discussion about the Chenoa Police Department being too aggressive on traffic stops and DUI arrests took place that seemed to get a little heated.
Bill Bridge, the owner of the Brown Jug, recently sent a two-page letter to the mayor and city council with his concerns about the policing activities. Bridge had previously discussed his problems with the mayor but said he received no feedback from other council members.
The owner said many of his customers would no longer go to Chenoa after 6 p.m. because they are afraid of being stopped for frivolous traffic law violations. Several other residents also expressed their concerns about the alleged overreach of the Chenoa Police Department. Wilder ended this public comment section of the meeting and said a further discussion should take place after the conclusion of the meeting.
In another matter, a resident inquired when a plugged drain tile in town would be repaired. Wilder stated the city was waiting for a piece of their sewer repair equipment to be repaired, and then they would fix the tile.
The minutes from the last meeting and bills to be paid were approved.
Erich Murphy contributed to this story