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Monday, March 16th, 2020

Sample COVID-19 Personnel Policy

To: All Village Employees
From: Eric J. Johnson, Village Manager
Date: March 13, 2020
RE: COVID-19

The Village of Carpentersville recognizes the importance of the health and safety of employees, and is in the process of making plans for the continuity of Village services and operations. This internal memorandum serves as an official directive for all staff, which details specific policies and procedures related to handling actual or suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), or other flu-like illnesses. The purpose of the enclosed policies and procedures are to adequately protect the health of employees and to establish a plan for managing the critical services and operations when staffing levels may fall short due to COVID-19.

Failure to follow these established procedures may subject an employee to discipline. Policies and procedures stated within are conditional, and subject to change, as the underlying health issue is continually evolving. Any policies established will remain in effect until repealed by the Village Manager.

EXPOSURE
Exposure is defined as an employee who has been in a close encounter (6 feet or less) with someone who has tested positive or is presumptive positive for COVID-19. Employees have the ethical duty to immediately report to their Department Head, Supervisor, or designee if they have had known exposure. Employees are expected to use a high standard of judgement if they have knowingly been exposed to the virus, and will be required to stay home until medical clearance is obtained (see Return to Work/Medical Clearance, below).

SYMPTOMS
In addition to exposure, employees are expected to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have any combination of flu-like illnesses or symptoms, including but not limited to:
 Fever of ≥100°
 Chills
 Cough
 Shortness of breath
 Vomiting
 Muscle or body aches
 Fatigue
 Other viral symptoms
Employees who present any flu-like illnesses or symptoms at work, or who become ill during the day, will be promptly separated from co-workers and sent home.

RETURN TO WORK/MEDICAL CLEARANCE
1. No Known Exposure
If an employee is experiencing flu-like symptoms, they must remain off work. Return to work will be permitted under the following conditions:
a. Employee has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine;
b. Employee is free of any other flu-like or viral symptoms; and,
c. Employee has not had any known exposure to COVID-19.
If symptoms exceed three calendar days, return to work will be conditioned on a competent medical opinion that the employee is not believed to have COVID-19 or any other infectious condition. Return to work after an absence for flu-like symptoms in excess of five calendar days will be conditioned on both a negative COVID-19 test or qualified medical determination that a test is not warranted, and medical clearance to return to work.
2. Known Exposure
An employee with known exposure must remain off work and obtain a test for COVID-19 or a qualified medical determination that a test is not warranted within five calendar days of initial exposure. If an employee fails to obtain medical clearance within the five-day period, the employee must notify HR of when and where the test was administered for COVID-19, or explain with documented evidence why the employee has not yet been able to be tested. The employee would remain in non-reporting work status during the pendency of the test results which, if negative, would clear the employee for return to work or, if positive, necessitate that the employee obtain medical clearance that they are no longer under the effects of COVID-19, nor is there any risk of contagion.

PAY STATUS
1. Full-Time Employees
Employees must use all available sick leave before using other available paid benefit leave or unpaid leave while unable to work for the conditions stated within this policy. A probationary employee or other new employees may be advanced accrued benefit time for a leave related to COVID-19. Such requests must be coordinated through the HR department.
2. Part-Time Employees
The Village will temporarily allow full-time employees to make a sick leave donation to a part-time employee, only if the part-time employee is confirmed positive for COVID-19 or subject to a medically mandated quarantine. Donations may be approved in amounts not to exceed 3 weeks of a part-time employee’s average weekly hours. All such sick leave donations will be coordinated through the HR department, and will be subject to final approval by the Village Manager.
Use of sick time or unpaid leave related to viral symptoms is, not in itself, considered to be subject to disciplinary action, including possible claims of sick leave abuse.
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, then the employee shall follow regular procedures for obtaining an extended leave of absence.

SCHOOL/CHILDCARE CLOSURES
Although the Village recognizes the potential future need for some employees to request time off, the Village is also responsible for maintaining minimum staffing levels in order to perform and provide critical operations and services. As such, the Village is strongly encouraging employees with school or daycare-aged children to plan ahead for potential school or childcare closures.
If a school or childcare facility temporarily closes due to COVID-19 related reasons, employees might consider any neighbors, school teachers, grandparents, etc. who may be able to assist regularly or occasionally with childcare. However, understanding that every employee’s situation is different, any individual employee’s request for time off due to a school or childcare closure should be handled on a case-by-case basis at the department level.

Monday, March 16th, 2020

City of McHenry COVID-19 Plan

Continuity of Operations Plan
Pandemic COVID-19:
City of McHenry
333 S. Green Street
McHenry, Illinois
Published: March 11th, 2020

I. Objective: Adopt a City of McHenry Plan to address the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in order to ensure the safety of McHenry residents and continuity of City operations. Within this plan threat levels will be established through the use of pre-determined Triggers which will be used in order to take Action Level steps both internally within the organizational structure of the City and externally within the community.

II. Purpose: Maintain a healthy, safe community and work environment so that community events and businesses can continue and City services to the residents of McHenry can continue without interruption.

III. Informational Authority: The established informational and factual authority on COVID-19 is the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC will be the source of guidance in reference to assumptions, and information regarding the spread, treatment and preventive action taken with COVID-19.

IV. Local Authority: The local authority in regards to the medical response to COVID-19 in the City of McHenry and in McHenry County is the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH), under guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the CDC.

V. Plan Authority: The authority to enact this plan is given to the City Administrator and/or Chief of Police based on the advice and consent of the Mayor.

VI. Plan Activation / Notifications: Upon this plan being activated in whole or in part, notification will be made to the Mayor and City Council as soon as practicable. When a new Trigger occurs or an Action Level increases follow-up notification will be made to the Mayor and City Council.

VII. Definitions:
Close Contact Encounter: An encounter in which a person who has a Presumptive Positive Test Response has encountered another person(s) face to face within six feet.
COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially severe acute respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019.
Community Spread: Means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Community Event: Either a public or private event held within the City wherein people will gather in group sizes greater than 250 people.
Community Response: The City’s response to action steps taken involving Community Events within the City to mitigate the risk or spread of COVID-19.
Employee Response: The City’s response to action steps taken with City employees to mitigate the risk or spread of COVID-19.
Facility Response: The City’s response to action steps taken in securing City-owned facilities to mitigate the risk or spread of COVID-19.
Person to Person Spread: The virus is thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Positive Test Response: Confirmation by an authorized CDC Laboratory of a positive response of a COVID-19 test on a person.
Presumptive Positive Test Response: Confirmation by the Illinois Department of Public Health of a positive response of a COVID-19 test on a person through an Illinois State Laboratory.
PUI: Persons Under Investigation is a subject(s) who is suspected of having contracted COVID-19.
Rate of Spread: The average number of people to whom a single infected person spreads the virus.
Surface Spread: Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

VIII. Assumptions:
1. COVID-19 will continue to spread throughout the State of Illinois and into McHenry County and the City of McHenry.
2. Subjects can be contagious for up to 14 days without exhibiting any symptoms. On average a subject experience symptoms between 5-6 days.
3. The Rate of Spread is currently unknown.
4. The exact amount of time the virus can live on a surface is unknown. Expert estimates range from a few hours to up to nine days, depending on the type of surface, surrounding temperature and environment. (Mayo Clinic)
5. Northwestern McHenry Hospital will treat patients that have a Presumptive Positive Test Response.
6. The City of McHenry will assume a financial liability in the City’s response to the spread of COVID-19.

IX. Risk Factors: The risk factors associated with COVID-19 that result in serious illness or death are identified by the CDC as:
 Older adults
 People who have serious chronic medical conditions like: ◦Heart disease
 Diabetes
 Lung disease

X. Succession Plan:
In the event that an employee of the City becomes ill with COVID-19, and is unable to perform his/her duties as required, the City will rely on its established Organizational Structure and roles and responsibilities will be assumed by the next employee within the organizational chart. In the event that the following critical positions need to be filled the following subjects will assume the overall authority and responsibility for the position. In the event that the primary selection is not available, the City Administrator shall appoint an employee to temporarily fill the position.
Position Primary Backup
Mayor
Council Member Jeffrey Schaefer
City Administrator
Chief of Police
Chief of Police
Deputy Chief of Police
Finance Director
City Administrator
Human Resources Director
City Administrator
Public Works Director
Director of Wastewater Division
Parks & Rec Director
Parks Superintendent
Economic Development Director
Community Development Director
Community Development Director
Economic Development Director

XI. Triggers:
State Trigger: Defined as the confirmation of Presumptive Positive Test Response cases (two or more) within the State of Illinois that are classified as Community Spread cases.
Regional Trigger: Defined as the confirmation of Presumptive Positive Test Response cases (two or more) within McHenry County that are classified as Community Spread cases.
Local Trigger: Defined as the confirmation of Presumptive Positive Test Response cases (two or more) within the City of McHenry or the 60050 / 60051 zip code that are classified as Community Spread cases.
Internal Trigger: Defined as the confirmation of a Presumptive Positive Test Response case (one or more) within the employees of the City of McHenry.

XII. Action Response Committee: The following City officials shall comprise the Action Response Committee. In the event that a known Trigger occurs, the Action Response Committee will meet within 24 hours to review the predetermined Action Level response to ensure proper action is taken with the most up to date information.
1. Mayor
2. City Administrator
3. Chief of Police
4. Parks Director
5. Human Resource Director
6. Public Works Director
In addition, the Action Response Committee will be responsible for meeting with representatives of Northwestern McHenry Hospital, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, School District 156, School District 15, Montini Catholic School and McHenry Township to share information on action taken and offer assistance.

XIII. Suspect Employee Exposure: Separate from the defined Triggers and Action Levels, this plan will also addresses the situation in which an employee is deemed to be a “PUI” or a participant in a Close Contact Encounter. The HR Director will issue a standing directive outlining mandated reporting of all employee who have either been classified as a PUI or have been in a Close Contact Encounter. In situations of both PUI and Close Contact Encounters, the HR Director in cooperation with the City’s Department Directors will immediately mandate a “stay at home” plan for the effected employee.

XIV. Financial Authority: Through the adoption of this plan and a pre-established purchasing policy the City Administrator is hereby authorized to expend emergency funds in order to enact any or all Action Levels of this plan.

XV. Mutual Aid: In the event that the City of McHenry encounters a staffing shortage within the critical infrastructure departments of Police and Public Works the City will rely on pre-established mutual aid plans to address the issue and will contact with outside resources to ensure continuation of all critical operations.
The Police Department currently has mutual aid agreements with:
 ILEAS (Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System)
 NIPAS (Northern Illinois Police Alarm System)
 McHenry County Emergency Management Agency
 McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
 Johnsburg Police Department
 Prairie Grove Police Department
 McHenry county Major Investigation Assistance Team
 SEECOM Dispatch and MCSO Dispatch
Page 6 of 13
The Public Works Department is currently has formal and informal mutual aid agreements with:
 IPWMAN (Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network)
 McHenry Township Road District
 Nunda Township Road District
 Robinson Engineering
 Baxter & Woodman Engineering

XVI. Community Messaging: All dissemination of information as it relates to action taken by the City of McHenry in response to COVID-19 will be issued through the McHenry Police Department’s Public Information Officer with approval by the Chief of Police and City Administrator.

XVII. Action Levels: Each of the below Action Levels represent a defined response by the City of McHenry based upon Trigger events. Each Action Level will be separated into three categories identified as: Employee Response, Facilities Response and Community Response. Department Directors are responsible for Action Level Steps taken in the Employee Response Category and Facilities Response Category. It is recognized that Remote Work, Altered Work Hours and Stay Home Orders may not be applicable for all Department or Positions and therefore Department Directors can apply these steps as applicable top their respective departments. If the response calls for a full closure of a Facility or Community Event, the Action Response Committee shall meet to review the pending closure or event cancellation to ensure the most up to date information is available before finalizing any closure or event cancellation.
Action Level 1 (State Trigger Only):
Employee Response: Description: Yes/No
Awareness Notification on COVID-19 Yes
Best Practices by CDC forwarded to all employees Yes
Hand Sanitizer issued to all work areas, offices and City vehicles with instructions for daily usage. Yes
Disinfectant Wipes issued to all work area, offices and City vehicles with cleaning instructions. Yes
Social Distancing Notice and Instruction Yes
Remote work when available
No
Alternate work hours to separate employee to employee contact.
No
Stay Home Order (No Work)
No Facilities Response:
Notices on doors and common areas advising people of precautions Yes
No public access to PD Classroom or Council Chamber for outside events
No
Department Segregation
No
Employee Segregation
No
Police Unit Segregation (Records, Dispatch, Investigations, Patrol, Admin)
No
City Hall Front Counter Temporarily Closed to Public
No
City Hall Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Modified Council Meetings with remote viewing/call in-options
No
Public Works Facility Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Recreation Center Access Restrictions (hours of operations, classes and special event space)
No
Recreation Center Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Suspension of Parks Programs and Classes offsite and at Knox Park Pool
No
Wastewater Facility Closed to Public
No
Parks Garage Closed to Public
No Community Response (Social Distancing):
Public Notice on Facebook and City Website not to come to City Hall or other public locations if you are feeling ill. Yes
Cancellation of City (public) Community Events
No
Suspension of approval for (third party) Community Events run by other organizations
No
Formal Request for known private Community events to be cancelled or rescheduled
No
Formal Request for School Community Events to be suspended or rescheduled
No

Action Level 2 (Regional Trigger):
Employee Response: Description: Yes/No
Awareness Notification on COVID-19 Yes
Best Practices by CDC forwarded to all employees Yes
Hand Sanitizer issued to all work areas, offices and City vehicles with instructions for daily usage. Yes
Disinfectant Wipes issued to all work area, offices and City vehicles with cleaning instructions. Yes
Social Distancing Notice and Instruction Yes
Remote work when available Yes
Alternate work hours to separate employee to employee contact. Yes
Stay Home Order (No Work)
No Facilities Response:
Notices on doors and common areas advising people of precautions Yes
No public access to PD Classroom or Council Chamber for outside events Yes
Department Segregation
No
Employee Segregation
No
Police Unit Segregation (Records, Dispatch, Investigations, Patrol, Admin) Yes
City Hall Front Counter Temporarily Closed to Public
No
City Hall Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Modified Council Meetings with remote viewing/call in-options
No
Public Works Facility Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Recreation Center Access Restrictions (hours of operations, classes and special event space)
No
Recreation Center Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Suspension of Parks Programs and Classes offsite and at Knox Park Pool
No
Wastewater Facility Closed to Public
No
Parks Garage Closed to Public
No Community Response (Social Distancing):
Public Notice on Facebook and City Website not to come to City Hall or other public locations if you are feeling ill. Yes
Cancellation of City (public) Community Events
No
Suspension of approval for (third party) Community Events run by other organizations
No
Formal Request for known private Community events to be cancelled or rescheduled
No
Formal Request for School Community Events to be suspended or rescheduled
No

Action Level 3 (Local Trigger):
Employee Response: Description: Yes/No
Awareness Notification on COVID-19 Yes
Best Practices by CDC forwarded to all employees Yes
Hand Sanitizer issued to all work areas, offices and City vehicles with instructions for daily usage. Yes
Disinfectant Wipes issued to all work area, offices and City vehicles with cleaning instructions. Yes
Social Distancing Notice and Instruction Yes
Remote work when available Yes
Alternate work hours to separate employee to employee contact. Yes
Stay Home Order (No Work)
No Facilities Response:
Notices on doors and common areas advising people of precautions Yes
No public access to PD Classroom or Council Chamber for outside events Yes
Department Segregation Yes
Employee Segregation Yes
Police Unit Segregation (Records, Dispatch, Investigations, Patrol, Admin) Yes
City Hall Front Counter Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
City Hall Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Modified Council Meetings with remote viewing/call in-options Yes
Public Works Facility Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
Recreation Center Access Restrictions (hours of operations, classes and special event space) Yes
Recreation Center Temporarily Closed to Public
No
Suspension of Parks Programs and Classes offsite and at Knox Park Pool Yes
Wastewater Facility Closed to Public Yes
Parks Garage Closed to Public Yes Community Response (Social Distancing):
Public Notice on Facebook and City Website not to come to City Hall or other public locations if you are feeling ill. Yes
Cancellation of City (public) Community Events Yes
Suspension of approval for (third party) Community Events run by other organizations Yes
Formal Request for known private Community events to be cancelled or rescheduled Yes
Formal Request for School Community Events to be suspended or rescheduled Yes

Action Level 4 (Internal Trigger):
Employee Response: Description: Yes/No
Awareness Notification on COVID-19 Yes
Best Practices by CDC forwarded to all employees Yes
Hand Sanitizer issued to all work areas, offices and City vehicles with instructions for daily usage. Yes
Disinfectant Wipes issued to all work area, offices and City vehicles with cleaning instructions. Yes
Social Distancing Notice and Instruction Yes
Remote work when available Yes
Alternate work hours to separate employee to employee contact. Yes
Stay Home Order (No Work) Yes Facilities Response:
Notices on doors and common areas advising people of precautions Yes
No public access to PD Classroom or Council Chamber for outside events Yes
Department Segregation Yes
Employee Segregation Yes
Police Unit Segregation (Records, Dispatch, Investigations, Patrol, Admin) Yes
City Hall Front Counter Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
City Hall Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
Modified Council Meetings with remote viewing/call in-options Yes
Public Works Facility Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
Recreation Center Access Restrictions (hours of operations, classes and special event space) Yes
Recreation Center Temporarily Closed to Public Yes
Suspension of Parks Programs and Classes offsite and at Knox Park Pool Yes
Wastewater Facility Closed to Public Yes
Parks Garage Closed to Public Yes Community Response (Social Distancing):
Public Notice on Facebook and City Website not to come to City Hall or other public locations if you are feeling ill. Yes
Cancellation of City (public) Community Events Yes
Suspension of approval for (third party) Community Events run by other organizations Yes
Formal Request for known private Community events to be cancelled or rescheduled Yes
Formal Request for School Community Events to be suspended or rescheduled Yes

XVIII. Department Reporting Form: As Action Level steps are taken within this plan, each Department Director will be responsible for documenting his/her steps and expenses in further detail on a weekly basis with the attached form (Appendix A). Once completed all forms will be submitted to the City Administrator and copied to the Finance Director.

XIX. Reconstitution of Operations: Should this plan be enacted at any point either partially or in whole, the Department Directors with the oversight of the City Administrator will establish a weekly meeting to review all actions taken and evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic so that as the threat of COVID-19 is mitigated, staff ensures that Action Level steps can be deactivated and a reconstitution of normal operations can be achieved. The Mayor and the City upon a full reconstitution of operations.

XX. Plan References:
United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Illinois Department of Public Health, 2020, http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus
McHenry County Health Department, 2020, https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/county-government/departments-a-i/health-department/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Mayo Clinic, 2020, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/tag/covid-19/
Plan approved by:
03/11/2020
Derik Morefield, City Administrator

Appendix A:
COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Plan Action Report Form
Submitted To: City Administrator’s Office and the Office of the Finance Director
Week of:
Department:
Director:
Please provide a brief summary of the action taken by your department in the below categories. Type a brief summary next to the categories that you took action on during this reporting week. If the action taken was citywide by the HR Department just mark HR for that topic. If the action taken was from a previous week or you did not take that action please mark N/A.
Awareness Notification on COVID-19:
Best Practices by CDC forwarded to all employees:
Hand Sanitizer issued to all work areas, offices and City vehicles with instructions for daily usage:
Disinfectant Wipes issued to all work area, offices and City vehicles with cleaning instructions:
Social Distancing Notice and Instruction:
Remote work when available:
Alternate work hours to separate employee to employee contact:
Stay Home Order (No Work):
Notices on doors and common areas advising people of precautions:
Restricted Access to your building(s). Please list building and describe restrictions in place:
Segregation: Please describe both unit segregation and employee segregation if applicable:
Full Facility Closure:
Cancellation of Event(s):
Materials, Supplies and Equipment Expenses (Description) Amount
Labor Spent on mitigation of COVID-19: List Employee Hours Spent (Day and Time)
I certify that the information provide in the report is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Signature: ______________________________ Date: _____________________

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Governor Pushes Broad Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

On May 6, 2019, Senate Bill 0007 was introduced which would legalize recreational marijuana use in Illinois. Governor Pritzker touted the plan as a vital source of revenue for the state and as necessary first step to expunging the criminal records of approximately 800,000 people who have been incarcerated or charged with marijuana-related offenses.

Some important points contained in the plan include:

  • Illinois residents over the age of 21 would be allowed to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product.
  • Marijuana products would be taxed at a rate from 10% to 25% depending on type and THC content.
  • Local governments would be permitted to: prohibit the establishment of cannabis dispensaries in their jurisdiction if they “opt out” within one year of the passage of the Act, or alternatively by local referendum; levy their own sales taxes on marijuana products, these taxes may be imposed in .25% increments and cannot exceed 3%; enact reasonable zoning restrictions and/or rules governing cannabis establishments; and establish civil penalties for violating time, place, and manner regulations within their jurisdiction.
  • Certain individuals arrested for possessing, delivering, or growing marijuana in the past would be eligible to have their criminal record expunged.
  • Employers would still be able to determine their own drug policies.

While this bill is only in the preliminary stages and further amendments to it are likely, ZRFM will continue to monitor it as it progresses through the state legislature.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart, Matt Marcellis

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

ZRFM Releases 2019 Edition of Handbook for Newly Elected Officials

ZRFM is proud to announce the publication of the 2019 Edition of Handbook for Newly Elected Officials: A Practical Guide to Local Government written by Richard G. Flood and Ruth Alderman Schlossberg of the firm and published by the Illinois Municipal League. This is the fourth edition of the book. This spring and summer, our newsletter will publish occasional excerpts from the book on topics that may be of interest both to newly elected officials and to long-standing readers. If you have any comments or questions about these excerpts or wish to receive a copy of the handbook, please email rschlossberg@zrfmlaw.com.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter Seven of the Book about Communications with Residents, Staff and Elected Officials: Dealing with a Divided Board:

Ideally, you and your colleagues on the board or council will work together in relative harmony toward a generally accepted common goal. There will, of course, be times when reasonable people will disagree, and there will likely be moments of vigorous debate when you formulate policy. However, if you recall your “Carver on Governance” lessons, you will remember that once the board votes on an issue, the winning position becomes the board’s official position. At some point, if you want to move forward and be an effective leader, you must accept the final decision. However, we acknowledge that not every board works in harmony and that divided and divisive boards happen for all sorts of reasons – sometimes because strong differences of opinion exist, sometimes because styles are different and sometimes because personalities or a previous history of conflict gets in
the way. With that in mind, here are some of our thoughts and suggestions for you to consider when board battles have become a way of life.

• Ask yourself if you are angry over a matter of principle or a matter of personality. If it is personality, then consider whether you have a duty to your constituents to make things work. Be careful not to confuse righteous indignation with possible arrogance or stubbornness.

• If you and your colleagues disagree about a few big issues, but not on all issues, try not to let this interfere with the business of governance. Consider moving those issues to a special meeting or a workshop where you can explore them in more detail. This should free up your regular meetings for conducting business and may prevent your disagreements from negatively impacting all aspects of government operations.

• Is there any possibility for compromise? Can you acknowledge your opponent’s position on some issues if they will acknowledge yours on some? Not every conflict needs to have one winner with everyone else as losers. Sometimes everyone can win on something and everyone can compromise on something less important to them.

• If your disagreement involves hiring personnel, keep those disputes in private/executive session. It is good practice, when possible, to bring new employees on with a sense of welcome and potential. If you were opposed to a specific hire, but you are clearly outnumbered, then consider when the time comes for a public vote to extend an offer or ratify a contract in open session, it would be both gracious and likely better for the future of your municipality to arrive at a unanimous vote.

• Remember that your staff does not report to each board member individually. Rather, they are tasked with carrying out the directives of the board – not just one faction. They should not have to guess what would make you happy in your individual capacity. Instead, they should be permitted to move forward with board directives. Remember the Carver model discussed earlier in this book suggesting that the board should “speak with one voice” and that “dissent is expressed during the discussion preceding a vote. Once taken, the board’s decisions may subsequently be changed, but are never to be undermined.”

• It is also useful to remember who your staff reports to. In most towns they take their directives from a manager or administrator or alternatively from the mayor or president. It is not fair or appropriate to ask each individual staff member to report directly to each elected official. Similarly, if you have a complaint or concern about the performance of a staff member, you should speak to the proper supervising authority and not take it upon yourself to give direction to your staff. If you would like to speak directly to a department head or staff about a matter of concern, it is courteous to clear this first with the manager or their supervisor to ensure that they do not feel pressured or uncomfortable being asked to report on their work to individual board members who may have objectives that differ from the board as a whole.

• For the leadership, you may want to establish a written policy regarding governance, so it can always be pointed to in instances where there is disagreement. The written policy might make it less personal.

• A workshop or visioning session may be helpful in addressing the differences you have. Certainly, a day devoted to the issues that separate you is a small sacrifice if it helps address the problem. Take advantage of the Illinois Municipal League’s self-evaluation services through an exception to the Illinois Open Meetings Act that allows the corporate authorities to meet in closed session for specified subjects. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16).

• If a dispute between two board members seems to be more related to personalities than to principles, then enlisting a neutral third party to conciliate may be useful to help the two arrive at some common ground. As appropriate, the third party may be a manager, another trustee or even the attorney who can help the parties see each other’s perspective.

• Consider socializing with your fellow elected officials. You may continue to disagree, but it is more difficult to be rude or hostile to someone with whom you have just had lunch.

• If you have tried all the above and your meetings continue to deteriorate, try to take the long view. Municipal elections occur every other year. Attempt to be civil and courteous, and then bring your case to the public. That is what elections are for.


Author: Richard G. FloodRuth A. Schlossberg

Monday, April 29th, 2019

Recent PAC Opinion Highlights Importance of Responding to FOIA Requests to Preserve Municipal Rights

In February, the Office of the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) published Public Access Opinion 19-003. Like many PAC opinions, this one addressed a situation in which a public body — in this case, the Village of Ringwood — failed to respond at all to a FOIA request. Unsurprisingly, the opinion held that the Village had a duty to respond to the FOIA request.

The more important take-away from this PAC opinion, however, is the reminder that because the Village public body had failed to reply in a timely manner under Section 3(d) of FOIA, the Village would be prohibited both from imposing a fee for copies and from treating a request as unduly burdensome when it did ultimately reply (as it was ordered to do). This is a useful reminder to public bodies of the importance of timely compliance and communication with FOIA requesters.

At the same time, however, it is important to note that even in the event a public body is ultimately ordered to comply with an FOIA request following a previous failure to comply, apart from these 3(d) exceptions related to fees and “unduly burdensome” exceptions, public bodies are still allowed to assert any of the otherwise authorized exemptions under FOIA. They are not required to produce information that would have been exempt if produced in a timely manner. The PAC implicitly acknowledges this fact in a footnote in which it mentions that some of the items that might have been responsive to the request might have been exempt under FOIA, but the PAC could not make that determination because the Village had not responded to the PAC’s correspondence.


Ruth Alderman Schlossberg

Author: Ruth A. Schlossberg, Matt Marcellis

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

ZRFM Releases 2019 Edition of Handbook for Newly Elected Officials

ZRFM is proud to announce the publication of the 2019 Edition of “Handbook for Newly Elected Officials: A Practical Guide to Local Government” written by Richard G. Flood and Ruth Alderman Schlossberg of the firm and published by the Illinois Municipal League. This is the fourth edition of the book. This spring and summer, our newsletter will publish occasional excerpts from the book on topics that may be of interest both to newly elected officials and to long-standing readers. If you have any comments or questions about these excerpts or want to receive a copy of the handbook, please email rschlossberg@zrfmlaw.com.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the book about “Where You Fit in the Big Picture: Law and Theory.” This is excerpted from a longer discussion of why it is a mistake to think that local governments can or should always “operate like a business” and some of the challenges that are unique to government operations:

Government is Intended to Meet Objectives That Cannot be Measured by Profit

The third major difference between local government and business is that most, if not all, businesses have profit as a primary motive. The usual purpose of a business is to make money for the owners, to provide gainful employment for the employees and to pay dividends or increase value for any stockholders. With such clear and primary goals, decisions can more easily be debated and determined, and outcomes measured.

By contrast, the function of a municipality is not to make money. Municipalities offer services, not profits. Services performed by the municipality and supported by tax dollars are intended to assist municipal residents in ways that the private sector cannot do in the absence of a profit motive. While governments strive to provide such services at a reasonable price, very few government programs are meant to make a profit. For instance, the purpose of issuing traffic or parking tickets is not to produce a profit. Rather, it is intended to make the residents safer. Parks are offered to enhance community welfare. Sewer, water and building codes are imposed to enhance public health and safety. In addition, because of the many regulations imposed on local governments often in the interests of the public’s safety or welfare, it can be very difficult for governments to control or cut their costs as readily as the public might expect. Accordingly, when an elected official considers a proposal, the decision making process can be complex and multifaceted, and outcomes cannot be measured in profitability or increased value. The concerns of and the benefits to residents must be weighed along with cost and other factors to arrive at a responsible decision.

Not only must government meet objectives that differ from the relatively clear mandate of making a profit, but government also delivers services that most of its customers must accept whether they want those services or not. Citizens must live with the decisions of the elected officials regarding the choices they make about such things as streets, water and sewer services, ordinances and law enforcement even if they believe the wrong decisions have been made. In the private sector, the citizen has the choice to simply not purchase a product, but the citizen has no such choice regarding most public services. Citizens can vote in the next election, but in the meantime, they cannot easily choose not to use a public road or to simply ignore ordinances with which they disagree. Because it is neither necessarily appropriate nor possible to please everyone all the time, the result is that some of your “customers” will be unhappy regardless of what choices you make, but short of moving, they cannot simply take their government needs elsewhere.

Governmental “Success” is Difficult to Quantify

A fourth major difference between local government and business is the difference between residents and customers. In business, the way to maximize profits is to satisfy customers. You sell the best product at the lowest price. By contrast, municipalities have a much more complex relationship with their residents. Residents are not normally billed for each service they receive. Rather they pay for services through their taxes, which for many municipalities are primarily real estate taxes.

Accordingly, residents often do not necessarily relate their demands for the best service to the cost of these services through their taxes. Because they are not buying one service at a time, it is difficult for a resident to weigh whether they are paying too high a “price” through taxes for the “service” or “product” (e.g., police protection, streets, etc.) they are receiving. The result is that a resident sees no contradiction in asking for better police services while simultaneously demanding lower taxes.

Additionally, local governments do not have owners as traditionally understood in the business world. While taxpayers theoretically own their local government, it is an ownership that cannot be valued or sold, nor does it show a profit. The result is that the taxpayer does not treat his or her ownership in the traditional sense. Often, the taxpayer does not feel like an owner or a part of the local government. The taxpayer views the local government as belonging to and operated by others. He may own it, but he does not control it. And, unlike business, local government does not need to market its services. Although in a more general sense, governments do market themselves to have residents choose to live there and do business, most of the services provided by local government (police protection, sewer and water) are provided to all regardless of whether individual residents want the service. Most services are mandatory, as are the taxes imposed to support them.

When weighing a decision, learn to ask questions that are not traditional in the business world. Instead of asking if a proposal will make a profit, learn other criteria for weighing a proposal. How many residents are affected? How many will it help? How well can we provide the service? What will it cost? Can we provide it for less, and if so, how? Will it adversely impact any residents? How many? How can we design it to benefit the most residents? Can the private sector provide this service better than local government? What if we do not provide the service?


Author: Richard G. Flood, Ruth A. Schlossberg

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Appellate Court Holds Riot Training Exercise Not an “Emergency” for Purposes of PSEBA

An Illinois Appellate Court held recently that a police officer who suffered a career ending “catastrophic injury” while participating in a simulated riot control training exercise was not entitled to health coverage benefits under section 10 of the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA). The Court opined that the injury occurred while the plaintiff was treating a training simulation as a real-life emergency which did not qualify as a true emergency as defined in PSEBA.

The plaintiff, a former Peoria police officer, was injured in February 2015 while participating in a mandatory riot control exercise. The exercise included a “briefing/classroom” session and a field simulation. After the classroom portion, while responding to the simulated riot, the plaintiff fell on icy pavement and struck her head. Fellow officers asked the plaintiff if she could continue, and she indicated that she could. The plaintiff completed the training and did not obtain medical treatment until the next day. In arguing that she should receive full PSEBA health insurance benefits under section 10(a), the plaintiff claimed that her injury was in response to what she “reasonably believed to be an emergency” under section 10(b). At an administrative hearing held pursuant to City code, the hearing officer denied the plaintiff PSEBA benefits.

Section 10(b) requires that, to receive the health benefits afforded by section 10(a), the officer’s injury “must have occurred as the result of the officer’s response to . . . what is reasonably believed to be an emergency.” In determining that what the plaintiff faced could not reasonably have been believed to be an emergency, the Court first noted that the Illinois Supreme Court has defined an “emergency” under Section 10(b) as “an unforeseen circumstance involving imminent danger to a person or property requiring an urgent response.”

The Court then analyzed two Illinois Supreme Court cases involving firefighters injured during training exercises. In the first, a firefighter’s hose became fouled during an exercise, requiring him to backtrack through live fire and smoke with zero visibility. The Supreme Court found the exercise became an emergency when the hose became entangled, stranding the crew with no visibility, water, or option of ending their participation. The second case involved a firefighter attempting a simulated “downed firefighter” rescue while operating with a blacked-out mask along a predetermined path with no live fire. If at any time the firefighter ran out of air, he was to terminate the exercise. Here the Supreme Court determined that no emergency existed and 10(b) was inapplicable, the salient factor being that while the firefighter was told to treat the situation as an emergency, no unforeseen circumstance arose similar to that faced in the first case and at all times the conditions were controlled.

The Court found the plaintiff’s situation was more akin to that faced by the second firefighter than the first. The simulated riot was preceded by a briefing which explained what was going to occur. Furthermore, the icy surface that caused the plaintiff’s fall, though unforeseen, could not be “reasonably believed” to create an emergency. This simulation, under controlled conditions, created “no actual imminent danger to plaintiff or her colleagues, requiring an urgent response.” Finally, the Court found it important to note that the plaintiff was asked whether she wished to continue the exercise after her fall, an option that would not be available in an actual emergency.

This case is important as it points out that PSEBA benefits will likely not be available to officers suffering serious injury during training exercises where no unforeseen emergency situation arises.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart, Matt Marcellis

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Police Officer Crosses “The Line” with Traffic Stop for Improper Lane Usage

In a recent case, People v. Mueller, 2018 IL App. (2d) 170863 (2019), the Second District Appellate Court held that driving on a lane dividing line does not constitute the offense of improper lane usage under 625 ILCS 5/11-709(a). Police officers should pay particular attention to this holding because violations of Section 11-709(a) often serve as the basis for traffic stops to detect impaired drivers. Notably, the Court’s analysis in Mueller does not overrule existing cases that allow 11-709(a) to serve as a basis for a traffic stop when a motorist is weaving or driving erratically within their lane, even if they do not cross a lane line.

In Mueller, testimony of a McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy at the hearing on the motorist’s motion to suppress provided the basis for the trial court’s ruling that a violation of Section 11-709(a) did not occur, and the Deputy’s seizure of the motorist was not valid. The Deputy testified that he observed the vehicle’s driver’s-side tires roll onto the yellow center line for a few seconds without crossing the line. The vehicle returned to its lane, but the Deputy could not recall if the vehicle did so smoothly or abruptly. Further down the road, the passenger-side tires of the vehicle temporarily touched the fog line but never crossed the line. The vehicle moved back into its lane without any unusual actions. Lastly, the vehicle’s passenger’s-side tires momentarily drove onto the fog line again but never crossed the line. The Deputy performed a traffic stop and conducted a DUI investigation resulting in the motorist being placed under arrest for DUI.

In granting the motorist’s motion to suppress, the trial court reasoned that simply driving on the center line or the fog line did not create a reasonable suspicion that a motorist violated Section 11-709(a). In upholding the trial court’s ruling, the Second District Appellate Court analyzed what constitutes a “lane” for purposes of Section 11-709. While the Illinois Vehicle code does not define the word “lane,” the Court reasoned, relying in part on the Illinois Secretary of State’s rules of the road, that a line is considered part of the lane. A motorist does not commit a violation of Section 11-709(a) by merely driving on the lane line.

An important take-way from the opinion is the Court’s analysis of the State’s forfeited trial court argument that the motorist violated Section 11-709(a) by weaving or driving erratically within her lane. The Court’s holding leaves weaving or driving erratically within a single lane of traffic as a basis for a traffic stop under Section 11-709(a) untouched. As a result, before an officer performs a traffic stop of a vehicle for a violation of Section 11-709(a), the officer must observe the vehicle cross over a lane line paying attention to whether the lane deviation is caused by a roadway condition such as a pot hole, debris, or a curve in the roadway. If the lane deviation is not due to one of these conditions, a violation of Section 11-709(a) has occurred and the officer can validly stop the vehicle. If a vehicle does not cross over a lane line, the vehicle’s movement within its lane must be erratic or constitute weaving in order to justify a traffic stop under Section 11-709(a). The officer performing the traffic stop must be able to clearly articulate the observations that served as the basis for the traffic stop both in their police report and during their testimony at any suppression hearing. The officer must be able to articulate the facts supporting the traffic stop and create a clear record for the appellate court if the trial court’s ruling on the motion to suppress is challenged by either side.


Kevin A. Chrzanowski

Author: Kevin A. Chrzanowski

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Amendment to School Safety Drill Act Requires Student Participation in Annual Active Shooter Drill

On January 1, 2019, Public Act 100-0996 (the “Act”) went into effect, amending the existing School Safety Drill Act by adding a requirement that children be present for schools’ annual active shooter drills. Previously, the School Safety Drill Act allowed schools to conduct the annual active shooter drill on a day when students were not present. The Act eliminates this discretion and puts an affirmative duty on schools to conduct the active shooter drill on a day when students are normally present so as “to evaluate the preparedness of school personnel and students.” Schools must also coordinate with local law enforcement to observe administration of the drill. If a mutually agreeable date for the drill cannot be agreed upon, the school must proceed with the drill absent local law enforcement involvement. Finally, the Act includes a requirement that the active shooter drill be conducted no later than 90 days after the first day of the school year. School districts and local police departments should be ready to coordinate on this drill and meet the new requirements of the Act for the upcoming 2019 school year.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart, Matt Marcellis

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Paramedics Now Covered Employees Under Public Safety Employee Benefits Act

Public Act 100-1132, which took effect on November 28, 2018, amends the definition of “firefighter” under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (the Act) to include paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), emergency medical technician-intermediates (EMT-I), or advanced emergency medical technicians (A-EMT) employed by a unit of local government. As such, these emergency medical personnel who do not perform firefighter functions will be entitled to the same employment benefits under the Act as law enforcement officers, firefighters, correctional and correctional probation officers. The Act provides lifetime employer-funded health insurance benefits to these employees and their families if they are killed or injured in the line-of-duty while responding to an emergency. Home rule units are not exempt from the Act and are subject to this amendment.


Kelly A. Cahill

Authors: Kelly A. Cahill, Matt Marcellis