New Georgetown mayor makes changes at first meeting
GEORGETOWN — Kay Sanders chaired her first meeting as mayor of Georgetown on Monday and wasted little time putting her stamp on the city.
Sanders retained most of the people holding higher-level positions — R. Whitney Renaker will continue as police chief, Tony Ellis will continue as supervisor of public properties, Dale Brooks and Tony Lodis will continue as water and sewer operators, and Chuck Devens will continue as city attorney. But she replaced the city treasurer and named new members to the city's planning commission and to the ethics board, the community center board and the senior center board.
Just before she was sworn into office by Vermilion County Clerk Lynn Foster, Sanders listened as letters of resignation from seven planning commission members and the city's deputy clerk were read.
Sanders said she was not surprised by the resignations.
"I knew they were coming, so I started looking for new people," she said.
About 80 people were present in city hall to watch Foster swear in Sanders, new City Clerk Tracy Isaacson, incumbent council members Gerald McPhillips and Wilma Wilming, and new council members Carl Johnson and Tim Waterman.
Sanders, who was already serving on the council, ran as a write-in candidate in last month's election and unseated incumbent Mayor Dennis Lucas. She is the first female mayor of Georgetown and was married to a former mayor of Georgetown, Joe Sanders, who served one term in the late 1980s.
During the meeting, council members approved an operational plan of governance with Good Energy of Peoria.
A majority of Georgetown residents voted last month to become members of a municipal aggregation that bundles large groups of customers together in order to negotiate lower energy rates.
The council's vote gives Sanders the authority to sign a contract with Good Energy to assist with the bidding process to get residents the best electrical rate. Jerold McMorris, an energy consultant with Good Energy, said Georgetown will join with 36 other communities in Illinois — including eight other communities in Vermilion County — in order to try to get a better electrical rate for their combined 105,000 households. The bidding will take place on May 15.
Sanders said that in upcoming meetings, she will have council members address the future of the former library building.
The city library was located in the one-story, 2,000-square-foot building near the city square until mid-2005, when the city moved it and the senior center into a new municipal building on West West Street. The building has been vacant since then.
The council received a single $12,500 sealed bid for the purchase of the former library in August.
At that time, Lucas said that the property was appraised at $25,000, and that he was told that the city cannot take less than $20,000 for its purchase. Georgetown City Council members voted on Sept. 17 to formally reject the bid.
Sanders will also have to address a vacancy on the city council — her own former seat in Ward 3. She said she had 60 days to fill the vacancy, and that she had not yet decided whom she would appoint to the seat.