Mayor given OK to act in caboose vandalism case

The parents of one of the youths arrested in March for vandalizing Vandalia’s Little Red Caboose wants to make things right.
The Vandalia City Council on Monday gave Mayor Rick Gottman the authority to sign off on the penalty for that youth, a penalty that has been suggested by the juvenile’s father.
Gottman told the council that the father has offered to make repairs, along with some improvements, to the caboose, and to have his child perform various chores for the city this summer.
“I personally don’t have a problem with that,” Gottman said. “I am for it.
“If (the youth) is fined real big, the parents will pay the fine,” he said, expressing the belief that the youth will be adequately punished by “getting out there and physically working.”
The duties performed by that youth – under adult supervision – could include picking up trash, pulling weeds and helping maintain the caboose area, Gottman said.
Alderman Terry Beesley agreed with the mayor, also stipulating that “there must be a certain amount of effort put out by them.”
Gottman said he remembers a similar juvenile case in which the youth was treated in a similar fashion, and that youth went on to become a successful adult.
The mayor said that in addition to giving the youth a fair sentence, “I think this will make the youth in our community know we mean business.”
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• The council had the first reading of a request from Circle K for a liquor license. Circle K notes in its application that it wants the license because it is a state requirement for operating gaming devices.
The council will vote on the liquor license request at its June 2 meeting.
• Gottman noted that public works employee Steve Sparks has filed his notice to retire.
• The council accepted the low bid from Hosick Motors on a 36-month lease agreement for a vehicle to be used by city employees for travel to meetings, seminars and certification training.
Hosick submitted bids for five vehicles, the lowest being a 2014 Chrysler 200 Limited for $207.87 per month.
Arthur Young Inc. submitted a bid of $317.75 per month for a 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LS.
• The council approved a memorandum of understanding with
the laborers’ union that includes a 2-percent pay hike in each of the next four years for city employees in that union.
• The council approved the hiring of Kyle Ladner as a part-time cemetery employee this summer.

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