Matt Bernius enters his 19th year serving on the Arthur Village Board
By ARIANA R. CHERRY
“Our nation has gone through a lot since we met recently,” stated Mayor Rod Randall at the last Arthur Village Board meeting held via ZOOM. “I hope that it is soon that we can come together so that we can start solving our problems. It makes me appreciate the community that I live in. I am concerned for our nation, but I believe our community is a great place to live,” he concluded.
Matt Bernius informed the board that it was his nineteenth year serving on the board. “It is an honor to serve on the board and it is great to live in a community where we can have differences and still work together,” he said. Randall thanked Bernius for his service.
After announcing his anniversary on the board, Bernius reported a remainder balance of $34,892.56 after all the bills had been paid for the expenditures report.
Police Chief Michael Goodman commented on the new “Defund Police bill” that was recently passed by legislation. The Defund Police Bill includes elimination of qualified immunity, ending cash bail, expanding police training on use of force and prohibiting chokeholds. It also requires the maintenance of police misconduct records and the use of special prosecutors in officer-involved deaths. Goodman explained that qualified immunity qualifies the police to be immune from monetary damages as long as they were cooperating lawfully. Qualified immunity was on the table but the legislation did nothing to diminish it. Some of the changes that the new bill brings is requiring police misconduct records to be filed permanently, even if an officer leaves, possibly more hours for police training- especially at the academy level and there will be the required use of body cameras. Goodman stated that he was hoping to get more direction from the police board and directors.
Erica Carter was able to procure a grant in the amount of $92,000 so that the Village of Arthur can begin looking into options to have a new city website designed. The present website presently is not user-friendly and in order for updates to be made, the company has to be paid in order to make them. Currently, the Village is considering working with the company who designed the Simply Arthur website as well as the one for Tuscola as well. Christy Miller spoke about the Simply Arthur website that was just designed last year. “It is the most user-friendly website that I have ever worked with. We are able to make changes as needed. There is flexibility and we can change, add, or even take off. We were able to design the website over a two-year fiscal period which allowed us to make payments,” she explained.
“I think this is something that is long overdue,” said Kenny Crossman. He mentioned that he has also had good experience with the company in the past and that they were great with making changes.
“I just wanted to make you all aware of this. We will be moving quickly on something,” stated Randall. “We don’t have any designs presently to show the board, but once we have something put together to share, we will show them to you,” he added.
At the conclusion of the board meeting, Rod Randall briefly spoke about issues with COVID19. “It seems like it is still running rampant in our community. I know several members in our community who have been dealing with it. There is a lot of COVID out there right now.
Businesses are still doing what they need to do and there is a second round of PPP if businesses still need it,” he said. Arthur is a part of region six and since the meeting was held, the region is now in phase four, allowing for indoor dining, gatherings of 50 people or fewer, outdoor recreation, the opening of all health care providers and other retail businesses, personal care services and entertainment open with IDPH approved safety guidance.