Tuesday, October 6, 2015

City Council Meeting

Agenda for tomorrow night's city council meeting. Given that it is a closed meeting to discuss employees, dollars to doughnuts the city manager position will come up:

WELCOME - Visitors are always welcome to all meetings of the City Council. If you wish to address the Council concerning an item which is listed on the printed Agenda, please raise your hand when that item is introduced for discussion. 1. Roll Call 2. Citizen’s Comments and Questions 3. Closed Meeting Closed Meeting to Discuss the Appointment, Employment, Performance, or Dismissal of Specific Employees of the Public Body 4. Return to Open Session Possible Action Relating to the Appointment, Employment, Performance, or Dismissal of Specific Employees of the Public Body 

I66 Corridor

According to this, the proposed I66 Corridor, running a 4 lane interstate across southern Illinois to connect Paducah and  Cape Girardeau smack through the Cache River wetland region, has been cancelled.

Of course, IDOT, never one to give up on a bad idea, witness the Marion interchange and widening of Highway 13 from Marion to Carbondale, has now come up with the Shawnee Parkway project.  Tell you what, before building anymore highways that only a few people really want, how about we get the rest of Illinois highways and bridges up to snuff. For example, you could start with a couple of the bridges along 127 between 146 and old 13.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Downtown Hyatt

I gather the proposed downtown Hyatt on S. Illinois will prove more useful to the community than I thought. It appears we have a number of visitors in Carbondale who plan to arrive by train or bus and contact the Convention and Tourism Bureau asking for directions to a hotel or motel within walking distance of the station. Needless to say, there are no motels within walking distance of the Amtrak station so anyone arriving in Carbondale has to arrange for a taxi or other transportation to lodging.  Having the Hyatt in downtown and only a block away will alleviate that difficulty.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ding Dong Baity's Gone

It appears the now shuttered Pony is happy to see the departure of city manager Kevin Baity as the above is what is showing on the marquee outside the establishment.

Press Conference On Baity Resignation

Just got back from a quickly called press conference featuring Mayor Mike Henry with a little more detail about Kevin Baity's resignation.  From what Henry said, the split is amicable and no negative material will appear in Baity's file, the city council decided it wanted to move in a "different direction", one that was not a good fit for Baity. The mayor mentioned the term "business friendly' several times so apparently that will be a focus of the city for the next year.

Assistant City Manager Gary Williams is now "acting" city manager for the foreseeable future, while the city solicits applications for the position. The city will rely on word of mouth to generate applications it appears, as the mayor said the position will not be posted online. Baity is currently on a paid leave of absence as the city negotiations the terms of separation with him. Under the current agreement, if the city terminated Baity, he would receive 6 months severance pay but, according to the mayor, this is one of the points under negotiation.

Not sure if it means anything but Mayor Henry met with Chief Grubbs just prior to the press conference, but did not see the Chief present at the conference.

City Manager Stepping Down

Kevin Baity announced today that he will step down as Carbondale City Manager effective Oct 1,  The City Council has a closed session last night. Typically council only goes into closed session to discuss issues pertaining to real estate or employment issues, so I imagine Baity's resignation/termination was the topic of discussion. IF the council terminated Baity's contract, he receives six month's pay as severance and does not have to pay back the money received to fund is master's studies at SIUC. Not sure what the contract says if he resigns

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carbondale Park District Reaches 75

...years old that is. Com celebrate this Saturday at Crispus Attucks Park on North Wall Street.

On Saturday, October 3, 2015, the Carbondale Park District will be celebrating their 75th anniversary!  The public is invited to attend this celebration from 1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. at Crispus Attucks Park at 701 N. Wall Street in Carbondale.  This is a free event and will feature music, games, crafts, and inflatables for kids.  For questions regarding this event, please contact the Carbondale Park District at 529-4147.