There is a white sedan car that sits in the Westview Golf Course parking lot all winter. Why? Does it belong to the Park District?
The vehicle, a Mercury Mystique, is used daily by Matt Burry, the head professional at Westview. He drives it around town when he's running errands on a daily basis, but he's not allowed to take it home.
"Usually, I just park in where ever there's an open spot in the lot," he said.
The vehicle has M (for municipal government) license plates on it, and it is usually facing east in the parking lot. Many motorists heading north on South 36th Street will slow down, believing that the vehicle is with the city police or county sheriff's department. When asked if he parks the vehicle like that to help curtail the speed of drivers, Burry simply laughed.
The car is one of several owned by the Quincy Park District that are used by employees throughout the business day, according to Mike Bruns, director of program services.
Sixty years ago, I was a 13-year-old boy who lived on the corner of 36th and State. To earn spending money, I rode my bicycle down State Street to Quincy Country Club to caddy. There was no sidewalk on State, and I was run off the road more than once. Today, there still is no sidewalk on State Street. When I see school kids and other people walking in the weeds and mud on the side of the road, I get angry. This is a black eye for the city. Why can't this problem be fixed?
It can't be fixed by city officials, because State Street between 24th and 36th Street is a state route. Any changes made along Ill. 96 must be done by the Illinois Department of Transportation. City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp suggests that three people -- Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, or IDOT secretary Ann Schneider -- be contacted if someone believes changes are needed along any state route.
I heard that the city wards will change in April. If my ward is changing, which one will I be allowed to vote for in the upcoming election?
Because of the decennial U.S. Census, the city is required to adjust wards to reflect population shifts over the previous 10 years. This is similar to the state setting legislative districts for the Congress and the General Assembly.
The Quincy City Council approved the map for the next 10 years on July 11, 2011. While the map took effect when the City Council approved it, the April 9 election will be the first time that all Quincy voters notice a change. Voters in the 3rd Ward should double check to make sure they still live in the ward if they plan to vote in the Feb. 26 primary to select a Republican candidate.
As part of redistricting, new voter registration cards were sent to Adams County voters updating them on any changes because of redistricting. For example, the city of Quincy was redistricted into the congressional district represented by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, and citizens voted in November in the new 18th Congressional District. However, the area was still represented by former U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, until Schock was sworn in last month.
The new city map can be found at http://www.quincyil.gov/Maps/Wards.htm. Polling places can be found at http://www.co.adams.il.us/county_clerk/Forms/pollingplaces.pdf.
To clarify the children in school zones issue from last week's column ...
Police Chief Rob Copley wanted to make sure readers knew that the 20 mph speed limit in school zones only is in effect when children are present between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. The local legal interpretation of a child being "present" is that he/she must be present at the sidewalk, not just at the school, for a ticket to be written for an offending driver.
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