Kankakee County Executive Committee met January 22
Kankakee County Executive Committee met Jan. 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Liehr, Mr. Washington, Mr. LaGesse, Mr. Hess, Mr. Byrne, Ms. Webber, Mr. Payton, Mr. Kinzinger, and Ms. Haas
Mr. Olthoff, Mr. Tholen, Mr. Ritter, and Mr. Sirois
Mr. Ekhoff, Mr. Zenz, and Mr. Smith
Anita Speckman, Kevin Duval, Delbert Skimerhorn, and Erich Blair
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Mr. Wheeler, at 9:00 a.m. Quorum present.
2. Public Comment
Jack Miller – Mr. Miller spoke in favor of Kankakee County being a gun sanctuary county and the significance of sport shooting with the youth.
Mr. Wheeler stated that he needed to officially announce the opening of District #24 after the passing of Mr. James Tripp.
4. Approval of Minutes: December 20, 2018
Mr. Byrne made a motion to approve the minutes from December 20, 2018, and Mr. Payton seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
5. Legislative – Steve Liehr
Mr. Liehr updated the committee on the UCCI new board member training that is approaching and there are four board members that are going to the training.
Mr. Wheeler advised that appointments will be discussed later in the agenda.
7. Information Services – Kevin Duval Computer Update
Mr. Duval updated the committee on the upgrading and updating of the PC’s in the County. All computers must be upgraded to Windows 10 by January of 2020. This project began last year and in order to work with the budget, they have it spread out over time. Computers will not stop working on January 2020, but this is what needs to be done in order to take over measure with security compliance.
Mr. Duval continued to review the upgrades of each department with the committee.
Mr. Duval added that his team created a court call signage program for the Courthouse and that was successful. The request was made by the courts to modernize the court call process.
Mr. Duval stated that Mr. Wheeler requested that there is always a backup copy of live recordings of the meetings. Mr. Duval stated that there is a backup copy of all the meetings besides the You Tube version.
Mr. Wheeler complimented the IT team for their successful efforts in recording and streaming the audio and visual.
Mr. Kinzinger asked if there was a limit on what we had to keep the recordings for. Mr. Duval said that with the storage available, we will have them forever.
8. Health Department – John Bevis
FDA Food Code Inspection Update
Mr. Bevis updated the committee on the new FDA Food Code Inspections that started January 1st of this year. The department has done about 30 inspections with this process and the process has been smooth, but taking a bit longer while getting familiar.
Mr. Bevis stated that there are violations with not complying with the food allergy training and proper hand washing signs. The department has provided packets to the restaurants to educate them on what needs to be completed in order to be compliant with the new process.
Opioid Narcan Training for the Public and Businesses
Mr. Bevis stated that the Health Department is offering free Narcan training for the public and businesses. The training is a 30 minute process and will cover addiction and how to administer the Narcan.
Mr. Bevis brought resource guides that were put together in combination with Pledge for Life. The combined efforts made a successful resource guide and Mr. Bevis distributed the guides to the committee members.
Mr. Kinzinger stated that he wanted to thank him for the coordination of working with another organization to make the quality resource guide.
Mr. Zenz asked if the Narcan training will be entered into a database, similar to a CPR card.
Mr. Bevis stated that there is information that is recorded, but was uncertain if the training will be recorded. However, the number of people who complete training will be recorded.
Mr. Bevis continued to discuss the Narcan training with the committee, stating that it is a recurring training due to the expiration of the Narcan.
Ms. Haas stated that she has received the Narcan training and it was recorded. She also added that the resource guide is very beneficial and used by the mental health industry.
9. Schools – Dr. Gregg Murphy
Quarterly Report of the Regional Superintendent of Schools, of Iroquois & Kankakee Counties for the Quarter Ending November 30, 2018
Mr. Hess made a motion to accept and file the Quarterly Report, and Mr. Byrne seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
10. Veterans Assistance Commission – Karen Smietanski
There was no report for the Veterans Assistance Commission this month.
11. County Administrator’s Report - Anita Speckman
Ms. Speckman reviewed the staffing report with the committee, commenting that the county is at full staff.
Ms. Speckman added that she has been finalizing open enrollment and double checking enrollment.
12. Administrative Issues
Resignation of Dennis Martin from the Grant Park Fire Protection District
Reappointment of Kenny Tatum to the Kankakee County Housing Authority Board
Reappointment of James LaMotte to the Emergency Telephone System Board
Appointment of Charmaine Sims to the Grant Park Fire Protection District
Appointment of Eddie Kennedy to the Essex Township Fire Protection District
Ms. Haas made a motion to combine and approve the Appointment and Re-appointments, and Mr. Byrne seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
One Opening on the Gar Creek Drainage District
Two Openings on the Manteno No. 3 Drainage District
One Opening on the Manteno No. 9 Drainage District
One Opening on the Minnie Creek Drainage District
One Opening on the Momence & Yellowhead Drainage District
One Opening on the Essex Township Fire Protection District
One Resident Opening on the Kankakee County Housing Authority Board
Mr. Wheeler read the openings to the committee members, noting that there is no longer an opening on the Essex Township Fire Protection District.
13. New Business
Gun Sanctuary Discussion
Mr. Wheeler stated that this is an issue that Mr. Ekhoff had requested be put on the agenda for discussion.
Mr. Ekhoff stated that this resolution was passed by Iroquois County in 2018 and is purely symbolic. There is nothing that will harm the State’s Attorney’s office or Sheriff’s office from making any arrests or prosecuting. This resolution will make a statement to Springfield to tell the lawmakers that we do not appreciate the gun laws that they are trying to pass. There are 50 plus counties that have passed the resolution or sanctuary bill and Mr. Ekhoff is asking for the committee to discuss and decide if this can move forward or not.
Mr. Wheeler asked if the committee has any questions for Mr. Ekhoff.
Mr. Liehr asked if the State’s Attorney has had a chance to review the resolution.
Mr. Ekhoff said the resolution was sent to the State’s Attorney about a month ago after the last Executive meeting.
Mr. Ekhoff stated that the State’s Attorney said the resolution would be purely symbolic and not affect his office.
Mr. Wheeler said that he also heard from Mr. Rowe and his involvement in writing the resolution and it would be completely and totally up to the board to write the resolution, it is nothing that affects current laws or enforcement within the county and Mr. Rowe declined to write this resolution up. The board would have to craft this resolution.
Mr. Wheeler wanted to be clear that if this is something the board chooses to have, then the board would need to draft it and submit it as a resolution.
Mr. Kinzinger asked if we would just substitute Kankakee wherever it says Iroquois and use their resolution.
Mr. Wheeler said it will be whatever this committee wants it to be.
Mr. Kinzinger wanted to clarify since we were using Iroquois County’s resolution as an example.
Mr. Wheeler stated he wanted to suggest that a few people from the committee and Mr. Ekhoff bring what they want to the committee in regards to language. Mr. Wheeler stated that he wouldn’t be crafting it, but the committee can involve their constituents as well.
Using the example resolution, Mr. Wheeler stated that he believed HB 1469 died at the end of the last legislative sessions, so that part is not accurate. There is nothing to be voted on today anyways; this needs to be crafted by the subcommittee.
Mr. Hess asked if once the resolution is drafted, someone from the State’s Attorney’s office will review it.
Mr. Wheeler stated that the first indication is that it is up to the board to do this. We can ask the State’s Attorney’s Office can be asked before the committee. We will not have an ordinance that says we will ignore the laws of Illinois. We will craft a political resolution for the gun sanctuary.
Mr. Hess stated that he would like to have this topic put on the Criminal Justice agenda to discuss this with the Sheriff and Criminal Justice Committee.
Mr. Wheeler agreed that would be appropriate and he will have it added to the agenda for Criminal Justice agenda.
Mr. Wheeler asked if there is anyone on the committee that would like to be on the team to craft this resolution. Mr. Byrne, Mr. Liehr, and Mr. Ekhoff will be the board members on the subcommittee to draft the Gun Sanctuary resolution.
Mr. Wheeler asked if there were any personal statements that the committee members would like to make regarding the gun sanctuary resolution.
Mr. Smith stated that he would like to make a statement.
Mr. Smith stated that on January 17th, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 337 which was a holdover from the last session. Per the National Rifle Association Institute of Legislative Action, this law seeks to create so many department divisions, antigun five member licensing boards, and licensing fees that dealers will be forced to close through oversight of anti-gun committee appointees or being priced out of business. These fees range from $300-$1500 per year, over and above their current firearms licensing.
Bottom line, Governor Rauner was correct when he vetoed this legislation as being over burdensome and unnecessary as the federal licensing and oversight with firearms dealers already occurs.
As a retired Air Force Officer and Police Officer, I have taken an oath to support and defend the constitution many times, as well as you have, when you were sworn in as a board member.
To me, this includes protecting our second amendment. As we are discussing the proposed resolution today, to designate Kankakee County as a gun sanctuary, meaning standing up to Springfield and sending a message that we will not support an erosion of legal gun owner rights. While the inevitable legal challenge will continue over the newly signed law, we need to take a stand now affirming our support of local firearms dealers and legal gun owners.
History is full of examples of appeasement, through inaction. Hoping the enemy will not target or take something away that we want by our inaction. If we can go back in history and ask Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from May of 1937 to May of 1940 how his acts of appeasement worked out, I’m sure he would recommend a different path today. Should you choose the path of inaction today (which it appears that we are not); you will only serve to embolden the likes of Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and their anti-gun cronies.
Therefore I urge you to take action on bringing this legislation or resolution to the full board as soon as possible. Thank you for listening.
Mr. Kinzinger stated that as a member of the executive committee, would it be appropriate to suggest Mr. Smith to be on the committee to write the resolution.
Mr. Wheeler stated that would be appropriate and if he would like to be a part of drafting the resolution, he certainly could be.
Mr. Smith advised that he would like to be on the subcommittee for the drafting of the gun sanctuary resolution.
Mr. Hess said that if the subcommittee happened to have a copy of the draft for the Criminal Justice Committee meeting that could be added to the packets as an informational piece.
Mr. Wheeler said it seems like the committee wants to move forward on this and get something to bring back, others can look at, and the committee can vote. There was nothing to vote on here today, it is more like a discussion to see of this is the path that the committee wants to go.
The committee agreed.
Mr. Wheeler advised that they have his commitment and we can bring back something for the committee and the board to consider.
14. Old Business
Mr. Wheeler advised that there will be an email to the board members and department heads about the arrangements for Mr. Tripp.
16. Other Business
Mr. LaGesse made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:52 a.m., and Mr. Hess seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.