City of Byron Public Safety Committee met May 15.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
Alderman Dan Reilly called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Alderman Dan Reilly, Alderman Christy Hanlin, Alderman Mike Gyorkos, Alderman Zeke Hobbie
MEMBERS ABSENT: None
OTHER ALDERMEN PRESENT: Alderman Gerdes, Alderman Isaacs
OTHERS PRESENT: City Clerk Caryn Huber, Police Chief Todd Murray, City Attorney Kim Krahenbuhl, Hannah Feldhaus, Gwendelyn Wilde, Raven Wilde
1. PUBLIC COMMENT – None
2. APPROVAL OF SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES, MARCH 20, 2019 – Alderman Hanlin motioned to approve, as presented, the Public Safety Committee Special Meeting Minutes of March 20, 2019. Seconded by Alderman Gyorkos. Motion passed.
3. APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES, MARCH 20, 2019 – Alderman Hanlin motioned to approve, as presented, the Public Safety Committee Regular Meeting Minutes of March 20, 2019. Seconded by Alderman Reilly. Motion passed.
4. APPROVAL OF PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES, April 17, 2019 – Alderman Hanlin motioned to approve, as presented, the Public Hearing Minutes of April 17, 2019. Seconded by Alderman Reilly. Motion passed.
5. DISCUSSION-ORDINANCE 6.08.080 CHICKENS – Alderman Reilly has received messages from residents through Facebook, and Alderman Isaacs asked if the other Alderman have heard from residents. Alderman Hanlin has not had any favorable phone calls. Alderman Hobbie has had one discussion involving backyard chickens from a resident concerned about the location of the coop, and the presence of roosters (Alderman Reilly pointed out they would not need to have roosters, and most cities that allow backyard chickens do not allow roosters). Alderman Reilly has had one or two in favor, but most are opposed.
Alderman Isaacs felt that if the residents are passionate about raising backyard chickens, he would have liked to have seen more residents behind them in support of a change in the ordinance, and he would have liked to have been educated more by those wanting a change. Alderman Reilly pointed out that there was a petition circulating, and Hannah Feldhaus mentioned that there are now 250 signatures (175 from Byron) in favor of the chickens. Alderman Isaacs wished more of those in support would have attended one of the last few meetings. Alderman Hobbie asked about restrictions, and Alderman Reilly replied that most communities do have restrictions, such as number of chickens allowed, coop specifications, lot size, etc. Alderman Hanlin thinks that many people call rather than attend to voice their opinions, and added that the county would be a more appropriate place to raise chickens. Even though she personally does not want chickens, she is listening to the concerns of the residents that have contacted her. Alderman Gyorkos voiced concern over who will administer a change in the ordinance, and what happens when the novelty wears off.
Attorney Krahenbuhl stated that if the committee votes to change the ordinance, it will go back to committee to be drafted and then a recommendation will be made to Council. If the committee decides not to change the ordinance, nothing needs to be done. Alderman Reilly motioned to keep Ordinance 6.08.080 the same, and not allow chickens to be raised in city limits. Alderman Hobbie, Alderman Gyorkos and Alderman Hanlin agreed. Alderman Reilly thanked the residents who have discussed this with the Council over the last several months.
6. BYRON SCHOOL DISTRICT RESOURCE OFFICER – Chief Murray informed the Council that at the June 5 meeting, we will be honoring Lieutenant Randels, who will be close to his retirement date. Present officers include Boehle, Brechon, Henderson and Morrissey. Chief Murray needs to hire more officers – one to replace Randels, one to fill the vacant spot, and one to fill the School Resource Officer spot. He has two trained candidates who have had psychological testing. He would like to also promote Tim Brechon to Sergeant at the next meeting. We would then have two Sergeants as Supervisors, however, they can also patrol if an officer is absent. Alderman Hobbie asked about part time positions. Chief Murray explained that because of all of the mandated training, it isn’t feasible to hire part timers. Alderman Gerdes asked if there is a buyout for the second trained officer, and there is not. She asked about where the school stands regarding the SRO. Chief Murray replied that they “wanted it yesterday” and we are doing our best to make that happen as soon as possible. Alderman Isaacs asked why the contract is not ready to go. Chief Murray said there are only a few items left to negotiate (it is the same contract as Dixon). After Lieutenant Randals leaves, and two new officers are hired, we will be back to a full staff, and ready to take on an officer to fill the SRO position. Lieutenant Randels salary is the equivalent of one and a half officers. Alderman Hanlin motioned to recommend to Council that Chief Murray be authorized to hire two new officers. Alderman Hobbie seconded. Motion passed.
7. DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY AND UPDATES – Chief Murray distributed March 2019 department activity, as well as information regarding ipads. There were some unsubstantiated threats at the school recently, and reports about dog fighting. Many false statements are spread through social media, and he invited aldermen to contact him with any questions. The department is working on several mowing violations, but most of the properties are abandoned homes. Staff is discussing whether to mow these properties ourselves or hire a company to do it. Even with a lien on the house, it is unlikely we will recoup the money if we hire a company to mow.
8. Executive Session (Section 2)(c)(1)-Personnel
9. Executive Session (Section 2)(c)(21)-Review & Approval of Closed Meeting Minutes
Alderman Reilly stated there is no need for Executive Session, and adjourned the meeting at 6:30 pm.