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Pekin City Council tables bundle of resolutions, including elimination of Ethics Committee

The Pekin City Council voted to table a bundle of resolutions until their first meeting in May during Monday night's regular meeting.
Collin Schopp
The Pekin City Council voted to table a bundle of resolutions until their first meeting in May during Monday night's regular meeting.

The Pekin City Council voted Monday night to table a resolution which would dissolve their ethics commission and allow the council to handle code of conduct complaints internally. The ethics commission originally formed as part of an amendment expanding the city’s code of conduct to apply to all committees, boards and commissions in August of 2021.

Council Member Dave Nutter made the motion to table six resolutions at the beginning of Monday night’s meeting. In addition to resolutions amending the code of conduct and city code, the bundle also includes resolutions to create two TIF districts, amend city code related to the Historic Preservation Commission and affirm two appointments from Mayor Pro Tem Becky Cloyd to the Historic Preservation Commission.

“Each of those items had things that are totally incorrect in them, as far as the documentation we were given,” claimed Nutter. “There’s some personal things that are going on with the Ethics Commission that did need to be discussed tonight, we need to discuss it amongst the council before we do it.”

The motion to table passed four to two, with Cloyd and Council member Rick Hilst casting the dissenting votes.

The amended Code of Conduct, as outlined in Resolution No. 580-22/23, makes few changes to the document approved in 2021, outside of eliminating the option for an Ethics Commission Adjudication for code of conduct violations. A few paragraphs are omitted and a new sexual harassment clause is added to the “Conduct Guidelines” section.

Another resolution, ordinance No. 4051-22/23, calls for full deletions to three sections of the Pekin City Code, as well as amending two other sections to remove mentions of an ethics commission. This resolution outlines that, since its creation in August 2021, all of the issues brought before the ethics commission were related to City Council members or the Mayor.

Mayor Elect Mary Burress is set to be sworn in next month and says she appreciates the decision to table the resolutions.

“I’d love to be part of voting against or for the Ethics Committee,” Burress said. “I feel we should have it, it keeps you accountable.”

The Pekin City Council did approve one of Mayor Pro Tem Becky Cloyd’s appointments from the evening’s agenda. The reappointment of Keith Dunkelbarger to the Economic Development Advisory Committee passed 4-2, with Council members John Abel and Karen Hohimer casting no votes.

The council also approved the next design phase for improvement projects on Derby Street and a local public agency agreement with IDOT for construction on Court Street.

You can find the full agenda, resolutions and a video recording of the meeting here.

The next meeting of the Peoria City Council is Mon, May. 8, 2023.

Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.