Despite the outpouring of community support for former county Animal Control Officer Wayne Spicer that was displayed at the July meeting of the county board and the board’s agreement to reconsider his firing, the board on Tuesday night voted unanimously to hire Charlie Mick as the new Animal Control officer for the county. Board member Ken Usery said he had interviewed four applicants, and his recommendation was for Mick. Spicer was in the courtroom, as was Chris Bowles, who questioned Chairman Don Puckett about the decision.
“We did what we felt was best for the county,” Puckett responded to her questions. Bowles was the Spicer supporter who, in July, had made a straightforward attempt to negotiate Spicer’s rehiring by asking the two sides if they could agree to certain conditions, at which point the board indicated that under those conditions, they were receptive to considering the proposition; Spicer was invited to re-apply for the position at that time. Chairman Puckett indicated that some other things had happened since then, but did not elaborate.
Spicer stated in conversation after the meeting that he would be pursuing litigation, claiming the board violated his free speech rights.
The August meeting convened at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, August 13 with roll call and the Pledge of Allegiance. All of the board members were in attendance and they approved the minutes of the July meeting and approved the bills for payment.
County Clerk Sell reported that her department has been working on the voter IDs. Chairman Puckett reported that Circuit Clerk Kelly Fulkerson is in need of a new printer.
Ambulance Director Adam Allen reported that an annual software payment of $8900.00 was due for the ambulance service so they did not have profit to report for the month. They have been working with two crews and handling transfers, using three crews when necessary. He will be taking his paramedic testing soon.
Chairman Puckett congratulated States Attorney Denton Aud on the recent birth of his new baby girl.
County engineer Brian Ray reported he had finished a box culvert on 2000 N, and that the paving on Bel Air was finished. The patching being done by O’Daniel should be finished by then end of the month. Another box culvert is scheduled for 500 N. (Broughton Road), a $184,000 project and another project needs to be done near a bridge by the interstate, a $380,000 project.
Ray reported the dump truck chassis has been built and it will be going to a dealer for the rest of the equipment to be installed. Ray estimated the county could have the truck in operation in a couple of months.
It was reported that plans are in motion to make the dispatch room larger at the jail.
The New Harmony bridge is waiting for Governor Pritzker to sign off on a funding bill for the bridge when the President signs off on it. A committee with be formed and one county board member will be assigned to that committee.
Marvin Meyer with GBS then addressed the board about the self-funded health insurance plan that his company offers. The board will be considering that. He offered to answer any questions the board might have.
The board then voted to go into executive session at 7:22 p.m. to consider litigation concerning the landfill. They returned at 7:29 p.m. and there was no more activity.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
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