Quincy City Council bucks city code

Quincy City Council

The Quincy City Council accepted and filed the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners' recommendations to re-appoint the fire and police chiefs at Monday's night's meeting.

The commission has the authority to renew or not renew both chiefs' office terms as outlined by the city's

municipal code book

. Last week, commissioners recommended the renewal of Police Chief Rob Copley and Fire Chief Joe Henning.

The city council was expected to accept the commission's re-appointments last week, however, Alderman Mike Rein requested a motion to table the recommendation for a week.

The board presented the reappointment process to the council at Monday's night's meeting. The council asked the board if it ever evaluated the chiefs. Board chair Charlie Doan told the council that both Copley and Henning have performance evaluations every year.

"We had never seen one, the council hadn't, and it's just been not as good communication between the commissioners and the council as we need," Rein said. "But I think going forward, based on tonight's interaction that we'll do this a little more often."

Rein stressed that his request was not based on the performance of the two chiefs. He said he merely wanted the council to become more familiar with the re-appointment process.

Quincy City Clerk Jenny Hayden said the city's codebook is unclear about the proper procedure for accepting the renewal recommendations from the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

"The municipal codebook doesn't state that the city council can table the recommendation," she said. "However, the code book doesn't say the city council cannot table the recommendation either. It seems to be a grey area."

The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is a three-member board appointed by the mayor with the consent of the city council.

The sitting mayor isn't allowed to make an appointment to the board 30 days before his or her term expires.

No more than two board members are allowed to be from the same political party.

All three current board members were installed by Democratic mayors.

Doan was originally appointed to the board in April 1999 by then Mayor Chuck Scholz.

Dick Wentura was appointed to his first term on the board in June 1987 by Mayor Vern Hagstrom. He was later appointed for a second term by John Spring who once served on the board and was forced to resign once was he elected.

David Ayers was appointed in May 1991 by Hagstrom.

The commissioners wield considerable power as it's responsible for appointments to the fire and police departments, hiring of officers and firefighters and oversight of disciplinary issues. It operates with minimal oversight from the the City Council.

In other council action, the president of the League of Women Voters of Adams County weighed in on the city's proposed changes to the garbage and recycling programs.

"We clearly suggested to the council that they table this issue and come at it at another time and study this more thoroughly and create a group that is more broad based," President Mary Ann Klein said.

Klein said the League of Women Voters attended last week's public hearings about the future of the garbage and recycling programs.

She said people have more questions than they have answers.