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  • Fairbury News staff

Vagasky addresses council




Tom Vagasky speaks to the Fairbury City Council during public comment on Wednesday.

One of the men running for the office of Livingston County Sheriff appeared before members of the Fairbury City Council Wednesday evening.


Tom Vagasky introduced himself to the group, explaining he is married with kids who attend the Prairie Central school district. Vagasky, who is retired from Illinois State Police, feels the county has a drug problem and that more enforcement and proactive investigations are needed.


“I’m a big drug fighter,” Vagasky said. “In my career, that was my passion.”


Vagasky pointed to other issues such as child pornography and financial crimes targeting the elderly. He believes the Sheriff’s Department should be in the small towns throughout the county rather than spending time on the interstate.


“Presence deters crime.”


When asked about drug problems in the county, Vagasky said joining a task force is a win-win situation for cities and the county as he thinks the Livingston County Proactive Unit has not worked.


“You can’t have a drug unit with three guys,” Vagasky stated.


Vagasky is running for Livingston County Sheriff against Ryan Bohm for the Republican nomination in the June 28 primary election.


Also during Wednesday’s regular council meeting, City Superintendent Brett Ashburn told aldermen they need to hold committee meetings to discuss employee evaluations and the future of garbage removal in the city. The garbage discussion is planned for March 28 with a closed session regarding employee matters set for March 30. Both meetings will start at 6 p.m.


City Clerk Nancy Widlacki gave a swim team update, noting she would like to start utilizing online resources for updates regarding meetings and cancelled events. Information is available by downloading the city app or by liking the city’s Facebook page.


Alderman Jon Kinate received a complaint about the old hospital recently.


“It’s always on the radar,” explained Superintendent Ashburn.


Though tearing down the old building could be the best option, that can be cost prohibitive. The city is open to grant funding or working with Prairie Lands Foundation. Kinate acknowledged it is a tough situation.


“I’ve looked into it many times,” he said.


A price quote of $2,400 for sound panels inside the council chambers at City Hall failed due to the lack of a motion. Mayor David Slagel said the city could install the panels to save money on labor.


“To me, if that’s what we are doing, let’s buy some $400 panels, let Martin put them up there and see what happens.”


Street Superintendent and Fire Chief Martin Steidinger reported the ladder truck is in service and they have used it for training, getting everyone used to it.


The consent agenda was approved, which included March 2 meeting minutes, cash report, check register and overtime report.


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