Sycamore council approves raises

By Benjamin Stock

A new contract with cable company Comcast will allow Sycamore to air city council meetings, if the council chooses to do so.

The contract, approved at Monday’s meeting, will also provide an emergency alert system for Sycamore residents and will require a 30-day notice before the company changes programming or prices to Sycamore customers.

Sycamore public access channels will also be offered as well as the possibility for the city to broadcast city council meetings.

“There is the option to air meetings at our own expense,” Bill Nicklas, Sycamore city manager, said. “No decision has been made.”

Chris Nelson, Comcast manager for public affairs, said Comcast will provide the necessary equipment to broadcast meetings but the city will come up with employees to run it.

“A scrolling message board is typically the way most communities communicate,” Nelson said. He said that would be one of the cheapest options for the city to operate a channel.

As discussed at the last meeting, the city passed an ordinance to raise salaries of some elected officials.

All but one city council member voted the pay increase for city clerk Candy Smith and for city council members. Before the ordinance, city council members were receiving $125 per bi-monthly meeting and $50 for special meetings. They now are receiving $400 per month.

Smith’s annual salary was raised from $39,500 to $45,900. The move also fixed the mayor’s annual salary at $20,000, including $2,000 for acting as the city liquor commissioner.

The council also approved the purchase of a new dump truck. Public Works Superintendent Fred Busse said the truck would not increase the number of Sycamore’s fleet of trucks but would replace some of their older vehicles.

The council also voted for a new set of rules governing roadway solicitation. The ordinance allows only official organizations registered with the state attorney general to collect donations. It also prohibits collecting money on Illinois routes 23 and 64 and on Peace Road.