O'Fallon Weekly May 16, 2018

Betty Osborne to be honored by National Society of DAR Page 5 Wednesday May 16, 2018 Vol. 4, No. 4 $1.00 Lebanon council deals O'Fallon committee approves plan for with FOIA concerns on car wash at former Car Credit City site personal devices By Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporter Mayor Rich Wilken made an official declaration for the city of Lebanon to observe National Police Week. Wilken, left, is pictured with Chief David Roth. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons) By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter LEBANON - The residents of Lebanon may soon need to stick to official channels to speak to their city officials. Alderman Rick Gale mentioned to the council that any communication with residents via the council members’ personal cell phones is subject to FOIA. “When we’re getting into city business, Freedom of Informa- tion requests, etc, our own personal emails, this is really discov- erable information. How should we be handling this as a group? I’m not advocating to get our own cell phones from the city- I’m not saying that at all. We have a city-wide email,” Gale said. He then explained an idea that he and City Clerk Luanne Holper came up with was to restrict communication to the of- ficial city email to have records of conversations through official channels. City Attorney John Long was consulted and asked if the offi- cial email channels should be the advertised way to get a hold of council members. Long said “That’s the absolute very best thing. You’ve got two problems here. One is that Mr. Gale is correct that it is foiable. The other thing is that there’s a thing called the Local Governmental Records Act that says you can’t just delete public records on your personal phone. You can delete all the other things from your phone, but you can’t delete things like that concern public business.” The aldermen discussed how to best get the word out that phone calls present a legal problem as far as being on personal cell phones and having no written records. Long continued to explain that the Illinois Attorney General has ruled in some in- stances that people may have to submit their personal cell phones to be sure that all information under the FOIA has been properly released to the requester, which continues to pose privacy issues for personal content. “That would really be bothersome. Who wants to have someone looking over what you’ve said amongst your family members? That would really be intolerable. The public needs to understand that because these two problems, the Freedom of Information Act and the Local Governmental Re- cords Act, really it behooves our aldermen not to speak to people at all on their cell phones, and certainly not to text back and forth with them,” Long said. He continued “The best thing across the board would be to say ‘Because of our established public policy, I can’t discuss any public business on my cell phone.’” After more discussion about phone calls to council members’ homes, Alderman Al Gerdes said “You’ve got to remember the See “Lebanon Council” on page 3 O"FALLON - A proposal for a new car wash at 1701 West Highway 50 was ap- proved by the Community Development Committee Monday night. Tommy’s Car Wash will construct a new, 5,190 square foot tunnel car wash with 18 outdoor vacuum stations after demolition of the current structure previ- ously used by Car Credit City. Council will also be asked to approve a rezoning of the lot from B2 General Business Dis- trict to B1 Community Business District. The construction of the tunnel car wash will have the dryer blowers on the north end of the building, away from the residential area to the south of the lot. At the recommendation of city staff, a second entrance will be constructed on the south end of the lot off St. Ellen Mine Road to help with traffic flow on The O'Fallon City Council's Community Development Committee approved a plan for Tommy's Car Wash to build a 5,190 high demand days to prevent back-up on square foot tunnel car wash at 1701 West Highway 50, the former home to Car Credit City. Highway 50. This entrance will be in line (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller) with the southern entrance of the Aldi’s located across the street. plans and even grading of the land. were put on hold for the Hampton Inn due The committee also approved to send to to the recession. The proposed Hampton Inn will have to council vested rights to the developer of a meet current codes. Shelton also indi- There is a provision in the city code planned Hampton Inn. Developer Darrell cated the exterior design of the hotel has called “Vested Rights.” If there are sub- Shelton is proposing the construction of a changed since original plans were submit- stantial, unrecoverable costs outlaid by Hampton Inn next to the conference center the developer on a project, they become ted, so it will be constructed in line with on Regency Park. In 2007, a planned use the chain’s new design. vested in the project and don’t have to permit was approved for the construc- The next O’Fallon City Council meet- go back through the normal zoning and tion of the existing Hilton Garden Inn, planned use process. The city council does ing will be held Monday, May 21 at the the Conference Center and a Hampton Public Safety Building at 7:00pm during have to approve vested right permit. In Inn. Following completion of the Hilton this case, the developer has spent a consid- safety renovations at City Hall. Garden Inn and Conference Center, plans erable amount of money on engineering Central 104 Board names new elementary principal By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter The Central 104 School Board unanimously approved the appointment of a new prin- cipal for Central Elementary School. The unanimous ap- proval of hiring Jayson Baker for the position was applauded by the board and audience. He began his 12 year career as a Preschool for All teacher in Millstadt, then taught first grade and kindergarten there before leaving to teach kindergarten in Mascoutah. Baker currently serves as the Principal of the Evansville At- tendance Center, a 150 student k-8 building in the Sparta Community Unit School District. He will replace Principal Jared Weh as Weh leaves the district at the end of the school year to take a position as the principal of Carlyle High School, allowing him to work near his home. Baker said that he’s planning on working with Weh and asking a lot of ques- tions to get acclimated to the position. Baker said “I’m excited. I’m looking forward to meet- ing the kids and their families, and working with all of the teachers. The few teachers that I met during the interview process were just so inspiring, and I can tell that I have a like philosophy with a lot of things happening here. There’s a lot of magic and good things hap- pening, and I just want to be a Jayson Baker was named the new principal at Central Elementary School at the May 14 Board of Education meeting. After the meeting, Baker met some of the teachers in attendence. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)