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Wood Dale Finance and Administration Committee approves policy on employment with the city after retirement

Local Government

By Louie Torres | Sep 2, 2016

Wood Dale Finance and Administration Committee met Thursday, Aug. 11.

Here are the minutes as provided by Wood Dale:

FIN & ADMIN COMMITTEE

August 11, 2016

FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION

COMMITTEE MINUTES

Committee Date: August 11, 2016

Present: Ald. Catalano, Jakab, Messina, Sorrentino, Susmarski, E. Wesley, R. Wesley & Woods

Absent: None

Also Present: Treasurer Porch, Police Chief Vesta, Ken Rubach, E. Cage, K. Chrisse

Meeting Convened at: 8:41 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES:

The minutes of the July 14, 2016 meeting were approved as presented.

REPORT & RECOMMENDATION:

Personnel Policy Change - Employment After Retirement

DISCUSSION:

Staff recommendation - Approval of new personnel policy for employment with the City after retirement.

City staff worked with the attorney to create language that would be appropriate if employment after retirement occurred in the future. This change will be located on pg. 27 of the Personnel Manual under the section titled “Job Transfers and Promotions”.

The proposed language is as follows:

Employment After Retirement

In the event an Employee of the City voluntarily separates his or her employment with the City, said Employee shall be prohibited from becoming re-employed by the City, in any full or part-time capacity or with any other City Department for a period of eighteen (18) months from the final day of employment with the City, the separation period. The final day of employment shall be deemed the last day that the Employee is on the City payroll. Any Employee of the City who voluntarily separates his or her employment with the City shall be eligible for consideration for re-hire upon the conclusion of the separation period as defined above.

Ald. R. Wesley asked if the personnel policy recommendation for employment after retirement was for two years for staff and one year for the elected officials. Mr. Wilson clarified that the recommendation is 18 months after employment for staff and one year after leaving office for elected officials.

Ald. R. Wesley asked what the difference is between elected officials and staff and if City staff asked other towns what they do. Finance Director Wilson said that the canvassing and collecting of information was done by other staff members and the attorney, who were not present at the time. He mentioned that 18 months was the “sweet spot” amongst the information gathered and the length of time can change based on the Council’s decision. Mayor Pulice wanted to make sure that the recommendation for employment after retirement was the same for elected officials and staff to avoid complaints in the future.

Ald. Woods stated that an elected official employment is set by ordinance and an employee’s employment is set by policy creating two separate topics. Ald. Woods contended that he would be fine with elected officials and staff waiting 18 months after employment for re-hire as it allows for a clean break. He stated that the City would have to amend the ordinance for elected officials and the policy for personnel can be approved now.

Ald. Jakab recommended changing this to a 12 month delay for employment after retirement since two years seems like a long time.

Ald. Susmarski said that waiting 18 months for employment after retirement also prevents elected officials from pressuring staff to provide jobs once their term is up. It was clarified that he made a good point, but elected official changes in policy would require an ordinance amendment.

VOTE:

Ald. Woods made a motion, seconded by Ald. E. Wesley, to approve Personnel Policy Change - Employment After Retirement. A voice vote was taken with a response of all ayes and the motion carried.

REPORT & RECOMMENDATION:

Approve the new Nicor Franchise Agreement

DISCUSSION:

The City needs to enter into a new Franchise Agreement with Nicor. The City’s previous agreement expired in 2007, having originally been signed in 1957. The new agreement was negotiated over a number of years, largely by a “consortium” of other municipalities including Wood Dale’s representation at DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference who joined together in order to try and obtain the best agreement that they could. In the end, the agreement with Nicor is virtually the same in every respect as the previous agreement. For purposes of the agreement term except that it will retro back to the previous agreement’s expiration date.

The most important part of this agreement for the City is the increased therms that Nicor will provide to the City for its buildings; however, this portion is not retroactive. This new contract includes a 20% increase in the allotment for the City. Over the past five years, the City has gone over its current therms allotment twice, at which point the City must pay for that overage. Under the new agreement, the City would have only gone over once, and would have been very close on the second year, which was the year of the “polar vortex”. Nicor is strongly encouraging all the municipalities that have expired agreements to adopt the attached Nicor Ordinance. There is no downside to the City approving the new agreement, and it will actually help save the City money by way of the increased therms allocation.

Ald. Sorrentino asked if this was a disadvantage for residents going directly to Nicor or ComEd for the energy. Mr. Wilson clarified that this is strictly for the use of the City’s right-of-ways.

Ald. Messina wanted to make sure that this vendor is selected in a fair process and Mr. Wilson reaffirmed that a consortium of communities did the research and Wood Dale’s participation in the consortium allows Wood Dale to benefit.

Ald. Jakab asked how this agreement was allowed to expire and Mr. Wilson explained that the City allowed the consortium to work for it instead of having to go out and do all of the work individually. Ald. Jakab also asked if 50 years is standard for this type of Nicor agreement; Mr. Wilson replied that it was and that the prior agreement was for 50 years as well.

VOTE:

Ald. Jakab made a motion, seconded by Ald. E. Wesley, to approve the new Nicor Franchise Agreement. A voice vote was taken with a response of all ayes and the motion carried.

ITEMS TO BE CONSIDERED AT FUTURE MEETINGS:

a. Vehicle Stickers (Sept/Oct)

b. New Computer Technology (Oct/Nov)

c. Waste Removal Contract (Fall)

d. Update on vehicle sticker data from SOS

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 9:16 p.m.

Minutes taken by Amanda Melone

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