Patricia “Trish” Westerman-Connor is starting her term around the council table a little early.
Westerman-Connor is running unopposed for the Ward 3 seat April 9. With Alderman Chris Boyer not seeking re-election and resigning his Ward 3 seat at the last council meeting due to job changes, Westerman-Connor had the opportunity to join the council before the May 13 seating of the new council members and mayor.
The Chillicothe City Council, minus Aldermen Alex Block, Denny Gould and Gary Sharp, concurred with the mayoral appointment at its Feb. 25 meeting.
Westerman-Connor is no stranger to the council as she served at the table in the 1980s as a Ward 4 alderwoman for a four-year term. She recalled that about the time she finished the term, she had to resign mid-term as town clerk for the
Chillicothe Township as she got married to her high school sweetheart, Mike Connor, in 1989 and moved to Bloomington for a few years due to his job.
A 1978 Illinois Valley Central High School graduate, Westerman-Connor ran for a seat two years ago and lost to her neighbor, Mike Hughes.
She is the co-chairwoman of the city’s Shademakers Beautification Board, a group she has been a part of for a number of years.
As far as why she wanted to return to the council, she said, “I am just really interested in riverfront development.”
She currently works as a disability services specialist for the Peoria Citizens Community for Economic Opportunity.
“I just want to do an effective and efficient job,” Westerman-Connor said. “I’m just really interested in our city’s growth and development.”
She added that the city has lots of potential and it is an interesting time of change with a new mayor to be elected in April and take his or her seat in May, along with other aldermen running unopposed.
She and her husband have two children, Megan, a junior at Illinois Valley Central High School, and Mitchell, a fourth grader at Chillicothe Elementary Center.
The council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing regulations for licensing ambulance providers within the city.
The ordinance was discussed Friday at a committee meeting but did not have a first reading. City Attorney Mike Seghetti said aldermen wanted to get the ordinance approved “to clear up confusion.”
In the six-page ordinance, the city lays out regulations for anyone providing ambulance service within city limits.
Only one license will be active at a time, and the cost is $50 per year. The City Council determines the term and also requires an application, proof of insurance and any other information city officials request.
The City Council also may suspend or revoke a license after a hearing in front of the council.
According to the ordinance, there are specifications for how much insurance the provider is to carry, and that the licensee will pay damages that the city may be legally required to pay due to the licensee’s services.
Additionally, the ordinance notes that a provider is exempt when the ordinance was adopted for six months or until a license is issued earlier than six months.
In other items, the council:
• Heard City Clerk Sharon Crabel read a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health commending the city for perfect compliance for state fluoridation of the city’s water supply.
• Heard Alderman Danny Colwell say two residents had thanked the council for the city’s energy program, which is saving them money on their electric bills.
• Heard Childers say a citizen congratulated the police department for slowing the trucks down on Fourth Street.”
• Heard Westerman-Connor ask the council before she was sworn in as an alderman that Peoria County is funding rural residential recycling and giving out grants. Library officials contacted her about putting together a special recycling event with the city. The deadline, however, was March 5, but because there is not a council meeting before that time, the issue was dropped.
• Approved a notice for special event held on public property for the Downtown Merchants annual Easter Egg Hunt to use City Park from 6 a.m. until noon March 30.
• Approved a notice for special event held on public property for the Railsplitter Wanderers Walking Club to use various city streets for a walking event May 4.
• Rejected all the proposals for the sale of 227 Cedar St., owned by the city. The council held a special meeting recently to resolve issues on the sale of the property. City officials were ready to sell the property to Terry Lee of Small Engine Specialty, who is currently leasing the building, but after the council approved the sale, he did not sign the paperwork and told officials he wanted to have his lawyer look at the agreement. Officials put a deadline on the deal, and two officials said Lee never got back to them about the deal.
• Approved a priority one riverfront development project to construct a concrete pad for another gazebo at Cutright Park for $3,500.