Budget approval, archaeological survey, and upcoming millage renewal
Hancock City Council, June 16, 2021
During the city administrator’s report, City Manager Mary Babcock informed the council of the first farmer’s market of the year (with a new fish vendor), the new sign on Quincy Green, Friday night’s first Canal Rock event (with the potential for a food vendor), the Memorial Park dedication, and the zoning ordinance review committee.
Babcock also highlighted the upcoming recreation millage renewal.
The commissioners discussed an old resolution that had been tabled which opposed the expansion of the county jail in favor of investing the money in programs that would instead reduce the use and need for a jail. It was ultimately tabled once again.
During the preceding public comment, one person had stood up to briefly support the resolution against the county jail expansion.
The resolution to adopt the 2021-2022 budget passed with one dissenting vote from Councilor William Lytle.
The 2nd amended version of the 2020-2021 budget passed similarly.
After the meeting, I sat down with Councilor Lytle to give him a chance to explain his choice to dissent.
“My dissenting vote about that police budget is not a reflection of the performance of our officers,” Lytle said.
He said it’s not really a reflection of the national discussion around policing either. He said it’s more about the consistent and ongoing growth of the police budget year over year and referenced the compliance and accountability documents on the city’s website, which shows growing police expenditures over several years.
The public hearing for the 2021-2022 budget was quiet.
The council also unanimously approved the proposed agreement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for an archaeological survey at the business and technology park that is in development.