Board Meeting Recap – February 19, 2013

Hi All,

It may have looked like a light agenda, but it was an important one to me.  One of my goals for my short 6 month term has been achieved as the board voted to allow a major upgrade in government transparency.  Thanks in large part to the hard work of Kevin Goethals, the village’s director of Information Technology, Carpentersville is now authorized to partner with a company named Granicus that will provide live-streaming of meetings in progress over the internet as well as provide a website (integrated into the village website) where residents can access previous board meetings and view them on their computer, tablet or smartphone whenever they have the time or need.

I have another post on this topic that goes into more detail on the upgrade, but suffice it to say that the reach of our meetings will grow exponentially and allow all residents easy access to the board meetings.  This will give residents a great opportunity to watch their elected officials work.  An informed electorate makes informed decisions.

In the past, some in Carpentersville government shied away from the internet because of some videos posted on Youtube which painted the village in a negative light.  As I said at the meeting, for too long we’ve allowed others to define our image online.  It was beyond the time that the village stepped up and started defining our own image.

This gives us that chance, and I am thrilled to have been a part of the process.

Beyond that major vote, I did take something off the consent agenda to discuss further.  This item dealt with the expansion of the village’s vehicle impounding program in order to keep it in line with the state statutes.

I had two primary concerns:

  • The widening of the net of crimes that would lead to an impoundment to include what I consider to be very minor misdemeanors.
  • The cost of the “administrative fee” for impounding which is currently at $500, which I feel to be excessive.

Chief Popp explained that the impounding program is used with discretion and is focused on repeat offenders and those who have committed felonies.

I still have my reservations on this program as I still believe $500 is far too much for minor offenses.  Low income families who had nothing to do with the alleged crime being committed are adversely harmed by the fees (upwards of $800 after the tow company fees are included).

I also asked if people found not guilty have a portion of their $500 refunded to them.  The answer was, of course, no – which I certainly do not agree with at all.  Innocent citizens should not be forced to pay fees for crimes they did not commit.

If I’m elected to another term, I will most likely pursue this issue further in an effort to make it less devastating to low and middle income families as well as more fair to people who have had their day in court and are found ‘not guilty’.

This will require working with Chief Popp, Village Manager Rooney and other staff to craft changes to this ordinance, but I’m positive that if it is presented in a common sense and positive manner, it would be greeted with cooperation.

Take care everyone.

Kevin

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