City of Moline Committee of the Whole met Jan. 14.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
PRESENT: Mayor Stephanie Acri (Chair)
Alderman Scott Williams (Ward 1)
Alderman David Parker, Jr. (Ward 2)
Alderman Mike Wendt (Ward 3)
Alderman Richard “Dick” Potter (Ward 4)
Alderman Sam Moyer (Ward 5)
Alderman Kevin Schoonmaker (Ward 6)
Alderman Mike Waldron (Ward 7)
Alderman Sonia Berg (Alderman At-Large)
STAFF: J.D. Schulte, Interim City Administrator
Janine Hollembaek Parr, City Clerk
Rodd Schick, Interim Public Works Director
Alison Fleming, Human Resources Manager
Lori Wilson, Parks Recreation Director
Greg Johnson, Interim Parks Recreation Director
Don Goff, Information Technology Manager
Bryon Lear, Library Director
Brian Johnson, Police Captain
Jeff Snyder, Fire Chief
Carol Barnes, Finance Director
Jeff Anderson, City Planner
Chris Mathias, Property Management Coordinator
Geoff Manis, Moline Centre Main Street Manager
Randi Haley, Utility Revenue and Mapping Manager
David Rowatt, Network Database Administrator
Andrew Dotterer, Police Officer
Pedro Herrera, Police Officer
Sarah Aucutt, Police Officer
OTHERS: Steve Mahrt, Ancel Glink
Alexandra Elias, Renew Moline
Sarah Hayden, The Dispatch
Police personnel friends and family
Mayor Acri called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Oaths of Office
Oaths of office for probationary appointment as police officers to Andrew Dotterer, Pedro Herrera and Sarah Aucutt, effective January 13, 2020.
Oath of office for promotion of Engineer Robert Fielding to Lieutenant, effective January 27, 2020.
Questions on the Agenda
There were no questions on the Agenda.
Mayor Acri explained that new broadcasting and financial reporting tools will aid in the City’s transparency effort.
Carol Barnes, Finance Director; Randi Haley, Utility Revenue and Mapping Manager; and David Rowatt, Network Database Administrator provided a demonstration of LiveStories financial reporting. Updates will be available 3-4 weeks following the close of each month. Council supported the immediate launch of LiveStories reporting on the City’s website. Staff will communicate this new tool to the public via a press release and social media.
Don Goff, IT Manager, explained that new audio/visual equipment has been installed in Council Chambers. This will enable public broadcasting of Council meetings, as well as audio and video for remote electronic attendance when needed. A demonstration was provided.
Goal #5 – Enhanced Relationship with Existing Businesses in Moline. Sally Heffernan, Community and Economic Development Special Projects Director, led the discussion, with input from City Planner Jeff Anderson, Property Management Coordinator Chris Mathias and Moline Centre Main Street Manager Geoff Manis. Quad Cities First Chief Economic Development Officer Liz Tallman, and Regional Business Development Director Michelle Lewis also contributed to the discussion. Main Street Manager Geoff Manis explained that he joined the City as Main Street Manager in March 2019, and shared details of events that have drawn crowds to downtown businesses. Business participation in monthly merchant meetings has grown, with stronger business connections and interest in City programs. City Planner Jeff Anderson discussed business assistance, sharing various ways that staff reach out directly to businesses. Staff looks for opportunities for proactive, one-on-one contact with business owners, sharing economic incentives, providing regulatory guidance, building relationships or advancing specific project development. Additionally, staff has utilized the City’s website, and traditional and social media to communicate development assistance and related development activities. Staff may also contact businesses through its various development partners. The City receives information from the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, and in some cases from businesses, regarding upcoming ribbon cutting ceremonies. Staff groups attend these events. Property Management Coordinator Chris Mathias explained project communication, specifically for infrastructure projects, and opportunities for business outreach. The City takes pride in its customer service approach. Heffernan introduced Liz Tallman and Michelle Lewis of Quad Cities First. Tallman distributed a Business Connections Annual Report, attached, and explained that each year, representatives from Quad Cities First Business Connections program visit companies within targeted sectors of the City. This collaborative, proactive outreach and retention initiative aids in understanding the growth and development needs facing businesses. A tracking and follow-up system is included in the outreach process. Heffernan discussed expansion of one-on-one and group meetings (perhaps by industry), and asked Council what type of business should be proactively targeting for visits by staff. There was discussion. Alderman Schoonmaker indicated that business is about relationships that begin with conversations. Triggers should be identified during meetings with businesses, and this information communicated to staff and Council. There was discussion that staff might experiment with how to build these relationships through informal meetings, business tours, lunch/coffee, etc. Mayor Acri recommended approaching types of businesses randomly. Alderman Schoonmaker suggested taking a look at areas of the City where staff is not already connected with business owners. Alderman Wendt shared a vision of connecting with all businesses over time, gaining contact information and learning about their successes and challenges. This will enable staff/Council outreach, and identification of programs valuable to individual businesses. Each meeting should end with the question, “What can we do for you?” Alderman Berg suggested neighborhood meetings to share valuable information. Heffernan suggested that perhaps all staff that are out in the community, i.e. health inspector, property management coordinator, neighborhood improvement officer, could be trained to look for opportunities for business outreach. Mayor Acri asked Heffernan to develop a small- scale program, with a tracking mechanism, to be followed during a trial period. Council members will be resources as well.
There was no public comment.
The meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.