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OPINION

November 23, 2005

Cairo City Council rides the peace train

By CARLA THORNQUIST

Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun -- Cat Stevens

Cairo City Council Peace TrainThe City Council Meeting last night was quite impressive, especially since it appeared in direct contrast to the image conveyed in the Southern Illinoisan recently. Made me proud to be from Cairo! (I know, I can't say I'm from here...yet.)

I didn't witness the belligerence I've read about in press reports regarding Cairo City Council meetings. The Council members and Mayor were civil as they discussed topics and even helped each other further understand objectives and meanings.

I learned who was behind the demolition of two burned houses at Washington and 22nd Street. It was the City Housing Inspector Glen Klett. The mayor gave Glen a certificate of appreciation for his effort. The mayor was pleased that Glen took the initiative to travel to Sikeston to contact the owner of the properties. The homes weren't just razed, the land was backfilled, seeded and covered with straw. When I saw the property upon completion last week, I, too, was impressed & curious as to how it was accomplished so quickly and professionally. It looks great.

City employee Maurice Purdiman was recognized for many years of service.

On behalf of the Council, the Mayor wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

In "Unfinished Business" the condition of the garbage trucks was discussed. Although the mayor had hoped to outsource trash pickup, he conceded to Mr. Purchase that the Council (majority, I assume) wanted to repair or lease a truck(s) instead. The Council voted to authorize the city to submit (did they mean "solicit"?) bids for a (lease w/option to buy) truck.

Bobby Mayberry, of Alexander County 911, spoke at length about the future of Enhanced 911 (aka E911) in Alexander County and requested that the Council agree to negotiate Enhanced 911, with the presumption that the actual dispatching facility will be located in Cairo proper. Charles Althoff, president of the Alexander County 911 Board, clarified that what the 911 Board needed was a "vote of confidence" that the 911 dispatching facility would be located in the Cairo city limits, preferably at the Cairo Police Station. The city would not be legally bound to host the facility, but rather is agreeing to enter negotiations (for personnel, pay scale, etc.) as the 911 Board moves closer to "Enhanced 911". Thurston voted "no" and Ponting voted "pass." (Here's an article from KFVS about E911 in action: "E-911 Helps Police Interrupt Crime")

Next up, the city clock was discussed. George Moss was present as the only person or business to submit a bid on the work to restore it, in working condition, to its original location. Mr. Moss proposed to remove the cement pad, pour a new pad and re-install the clock with wiring in place for $8,500.00. The motion passed and George has 60 days, beginning December 1st, to complete the work.

Finally, a contract for grant writing by Southern Five was discussed. My notes don't include the outcome, so you'll have to wait for the official minutes. I left as the Council entered Executive Session.

Next time I'll try to stay for the entire meeting. It was informative. I urge Cairo citizens to attend future meetings. I want to share again that the Council Meeting went very well. If the mayor and members continue the process of give and take, Cairo will turn around. It's a wonderful city filled with community servants passionate about seeing Cairo in bloom again.

Having said all that, I just had a dreadful thought...what if the rabble rousers I've heard about only speak up during and/or after those Executive Sessions! Naw. All is well.

 
© 2005 The Cairo Gate