Council approves making treasurer unpaid and part-time

Galesburg Council unanimously approved a change last night that makes the City Treasurer an unpaid, part-time position.

There was been no official treasurer for the city since Elisha French resigned four months into his elected term in August of 2017.

Mayor John Pritchard has said that City Finance Director Gloria Osborn has been performing the statutory duties of a treasurer since, and he’s made it clear that Osborn will now be appointed a treasurer.

There was some concern from Alderman Peter Schwartzman over the sustainability of having no pay attached to the job.

However, City Manager Todd Thompson assured him that if it became an issue in the future, the council could make changes.

Alderman Bradley Hix made an amendment to strike language that mandates the treasurer to serve on the police and fire pension board.

“Because my intention is to appoint Gloria to be the treasurer. She is in-house. She won’t automatically become the treasurer of the police and fire pension boards. We’ll go outside and find a citizen to serve in that capacity.”

The mayor will also have to appoint a treasurer for the police and fire pension board.

Alderman also approved the purchase of a new K9 officer for Galesburg Police on Monday night. The purchase of the dog is to replace a current K9 officer retiring in December and doesn’t represent an expansion of GPD’s two dog program.

The retiring dog is handled by Detective Lane Mings who will give him a home in retirement.

Meanwhile, Officer Jake Taylor will handle this new K9 with Mings now working as a detective.

Captain Russ Idle says that K9 officers wear ballistic vests, protecting them from blades and gunfire, which are typically paid for through grant funds. Idle also in taking questions from the council says that typically K9’s are handled exclusively by one human officer.

“In some rare cases and for some reason the officer involved is no longer going to be a K9 officer, the dog can be reassigned to another officer and go through training and reallocate to that other person. The vast majority of the time it’s just one.”

The bid Council approved is $10,500 but at that price, the dog comes with training in some basic tasks, which City Manager Todd Thompson calls “advantageous.”

The money is being taken from the Police Department Special Enforcement Fund. Idle says typically a K9 officer serves 7 to 10 years.

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