The Hillsboro City Council conducted business very efficiently Tuesday evening, Sept. 25, as the 17 point agenda item took only 21 minutes. All commissioners were present for the opening Pledge of Allegiance, and all motions, beginning with appointing Bev McCoy clerk pro tem and ending with approving trick or treat hours within city limits (they'll be from 6 until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and Wednesday, Oct. 31 – at homes with porch lights on only), were approved without dissent.
Other Halloween business involved the annual Halloween Parade, this year sponsored by the Rotary Club, north on Main Street on Friday night, Oct. 26, beginning at 5 p.m. and even earlier festivities, the annual Haunted Forest provided by the campers in Sherwood Forest (the city–owned campgrounds by the old lake) on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13.
The resignation of Pat Brink from the Historic Preservation Committee was accepted (the Brinks are moving to Edwardsville), and Anne Huber was appointed to replace her.
Commissioner Chris Sherer apologized for remarks attributed to him regarding possible poor parenting at the last council meeting. "I didn't have anyone in particular in mind when I discussed the situation at the Lincoln Plaza. A small element of young adults are ruining what would be a good thing for the rest of our youth. We're not asking too much – pick up your Subway wrapper; throw them in the trash cans we've provided, don't paint swastikas on Mr. Lincoln. Simple things – we're not trying to run kids out of downtown to other areas; our objective is to help them make better decisions. We know it's not just a Hillsboro problem; something for kids to do in small towns is a problem all over America." He mentioned some citations had to be issued last Thursday after property was defaced on the plaza.
Old Settlers President Kathy Dagon spoke during the public comment section, thanking the mayor, the councilmen, the police, and the auxiliary police for their help in this year's successful August event. "We're going to be on the streets again next year," she announced.
She also thanked the police for their quick response to the plaza troubles; she was especially grateful for their efforts in cleaning the statue before the paint could do permanent damage.
Finance Commissioner Richard Small said the budget seems on target; a few line items are close to going over, but nothing is extreme.
Streets and Public Works Commissioner Bruce Holcomb reported a truck needs new tires, and he deflected praise given him last week for applying for help purchasing variable drive pumps at the waste water plant to Superintendent Brett Reynolds. "He's done all the leg work; he deserves the credit," the commissioner said.
Property Commissioner Paul Smith, in addition to introducing the news of the Haunted Forest, asked about the possibility of installing electrical meters at the campground.
Mayor John Downs said that was a possibility. The Mayor expressed satisfaction with the streetsweeper's performance, and he reported the old water tower on Major Hill is " - - down and gone."
John Gibb addressed the council on behalf of the residents on West Summer Street who experience dirty, bad quality water in their area. Mayor Downs said he'd just been made aware of their plight and feels it's because the water main in that area is dead-ended. It needs to be in a loop to ensure better movement.
The Mayor said, "We'll address that problem for you. We'll run a line under South Main Street and connect to the main on the east side. We can't do it tomorrow, but it'll be in the plans."
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in city hall. The public is welcome to attend.