Civic News & Info
John Phillips announces retirement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jennifer Fowler   
Monday, 20 September 2010 15:19

City Manager John Phillips announced his plans today to retire from the position of City Manager in October 2011. Phillips has served as Rock Island City Manager since 1987. He worked for the City of Rockford, Illinois prior to coming to Rock Island, and served five years as City Administrator there.

“By the time I retire next year, I will have served as a City Manager or Administrator for almost 30 years, with 38 years in local government service. I think it is time for someone else to step into the position,” stated Phillips.

He continued, “I have had a very rewarding career in local government and Rock Island has been a great city in which to work. It has been an honor to work for the citizens of Rock Island with dedicated elected officials and staff.”

Phillips said he informed the Mayor and City Council of his intentions at the annual goal setting session so that the Council could have a chance to consider this as they establish their plans for the coming year. He said that the early notice will provide ample time for the Mayor and Council to select a replacement.

Phillips said that he plans to remain in Rock Island but hasn’t made any future plans. He would like to stay involved in the community and may consider other employment if the right opportunity presents itself.

“John Phillips is the best city manager in the business,” said Mayor Dennis Pauley. “He has done an excellent job of managing the numerous departments and finances of the City. John has set a high standard and has put Rock Island in an enviable position for the future.”

“We appreciate the advance notice from John. The process for selecting the next city manager is an important topic we will be considering,” continued Pauley.


John Phillips graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, IA with a BA in political science. He received a Master of Arts in public affairs from Northern Illinois University.

During his time in Rock Island some of the City’s accomplishments Phillips led include:

  • Restoring and maintaining the City’s financial condition.
  • Supporting a strong economic development effort
  • Recruiting and retaining a quality staff team
  • Maintaining high standards for ethical and professional local government.

Some projects in which Phillips played an important role include:

  • Jumer’s Casino
  • Whitewater Junction
  • Rock Island Fitness and Activity Center (RIFAC)
  • Centennial Bridge transfer to the State of Illinois
  • Schwiebert Riverfront Park
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Center renovation and expansion

Phillips has served on several boards of directors in the community:

  • Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce
  • Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging
  • United Way of the Quad Cities

He currently serves on the following boards of directors:

  • Quad City Civic Center Authority
  • Development Association of Rock Island

At the state level, Phillips has been active with the Illinois Municipal League and Illinois City / County Management Association:

  • Past President of the Illinois City / County Management Association (ILCMA)
  • Chair of the ILCMA committee on professional conduct
  • Past Chair and current member of the Illinois Municipal League’s municipal manager’s committee

Over the years Phillips has received several awards:

  • Citizen of the Year for the City of Rock island
  • Outstanding Manager of the Year from the ILCMA Assistants’ Group
  • Special Service Award from ILCMA

Illinois National Guard Participates in Earthquake Response Workshop PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 20 September 2010 14:51

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/17/2010)(readMedia)-- The New Madrid Seismic Zone was the subject of a three-day conference here in which movers and shakers from all over the country, and Central and South America, met to plan for the eventuality of a major earthquake.

More than 250 National Guard leaders from more than 30 states – including Illinois and the seven other states that would be most affected by a major earthquake along the infamous fault line that once moved the mighty Mississippi River in 1812-met Sept. 14 to 16 to discuss capabilities, shortfalls and response planning.

Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are all members of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), whose mission is the reduction of deaths, injuries, property damage and economic losses resulting from earthquakes in the central United States.

The workshop was held at the National Guard Bureau's Professional Education Center, on Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Ark., and included presentations by CUSEC, the National Emergency Management Association, the Arkansas Geological Survey, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Southern and Northern Commands. Even America's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, offered a look at its planned disaster response efforts.

It is widely accepted that an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 or greater would quickly absorb the response capabilities of each of the directly-affected states. According to Brig. Gen. Steven P. Huber, Land Component Commander and Director of the Joint Staff for the Illinois National Guard, the main focus of the workshop was to proactively identify capabilities and gaps, and where the respective states could turn for help.

"I think the value is in getting to meet the people within the regions, specifically the folks around the impact area, and to do some coordinating," said Huber, a Chicago native. "We can talk about what we can bring to the table as well as what we feel we need. We would rather get to know these people and shake their hand here than at the scene of an incident."

Dr. Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs, was the keynote speaker on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Stockton gave a comprehensive presentation, centering on a unity of effort concept between the federal government, active duty military units, National Guard units, state governments and local emergency managers.

He led a discussion following his remarks, where he sought input from everyone in the room as to how best achieve unity of effort in the face of a catastrophe such as an earthquake in the center of the country.

According to CUSEC, there were no seismological measurements in 1812, but recent studies and contemporary reports suggest the magnitude of the largest of four earthquakes centering near New Madrid, Mo., was approximately 7.8. Fortunately, in 1812 the area was sparsely populated with few buildings and supporting infrastructure.

Today, the region is home to millions of people, including those in the cities of St. Louis, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn. Adding to the danger, most structures in the region were not built to withstand earthquake shaking, as they have been in more seismically active areas like California.

According to Scott Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey, one of the greatest dangers lies in the phenomenon of liquefaction, which occurs when loose, sandy, water-saturated soils are strongly shaken. According to Ausbrooks, the soils lose their capacity to bear any weight and can flow like a liquid.

Ausbrooks and many other experts in the room agreed that an earthquake of such magnitude would knock out communication and nearly all of the bridges in the Mississippi River basin in the affected states. Scientists estimate that a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake is overdue in the region and could hit the Mississippi Valley at any time.

"All of the available resources, military and civilian, will be consumed quickly," explained Maj. Gen. William Wofford, the adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard. "We will be overwhelmed.

"The response needs are going to exceed all of the available military and civilian assets," said Wofford. "The affected states will need to look to other states to fulfill any shortfalls."

Emergency Management Assistance Compacts between the states were at the center of many discussions at the workshop.

"We have a number of handshake agreements, but we have a lot of work ahead of us," said Wofford. "We all came to the workshop to work and to plan, which is key, but it's a work in progress."

According to Wofford, the agreements hammered out this year will be reviewed next year, taking into account troop deployments and operations considerations in the responding states.

"The planning aspect is the real benefit of a workshop like this, and having the National Guard Bureau, the federal government, civilian agencies and supporting states here is invaluable," said Wofford. "We've communicated, we've coordinated and now we're cooperating."

Wounded Veterans Participate in Adaptive Activities Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 20 September 2010 14:46

Program Helps Veterans Overcome Problems Transitioning Back from Deployment

SPRINGFIELD, IL (09/17/2010)(readMedia)-- Many Soldiers and Airmen have sustained injuries, physical and mental, while serving overseas.

The physical and mental trauma servicemembers are exposed to can sometimes make it difficult for them to transition back to a normal home life. Because of this, agencies that support veterans have created programs to help wounded servicemembers develop a new social and fitness routine.

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Chicago Park District and the Hines Veteran Affairs Hospital hosted the fourth annual Veterans Adaptive Activity Day Sept. 16 at the Hines VA Hospital in Hines, Ill.

The event provided veterans with disabilities the opportunity to learn about the various recreational and fitness programs available to them and to sample sports equipment that was built specifically for their needs.

"It is really amazing to look around and to see all these people from the community and from various organizations come together to fill in all the gaps and to make sure that any veteran that is wounded or disabled is taken care of," said Dan Grant of Springfield, Ill., Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Grant is also an intergovernmental officer in the Illinois Army National Guard with Joint Forces Headquarters in Springfield, Ill.

The veterans were able to participate in adaptive sports demonstrations like, golf and wheelchair basketball, and attain information from regional adaptive sports and support services like, Diveheart Military Wounded and Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association.

"This is a great opportunity for us to link these community resources in the Greater Chicago Area and throughout the state with veterans who need them," said Grant.

Comprehensive Plan Community Meetings to Take Place PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Ron Summers   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 10:18

A series of community meetings will take place to gather public input on a Comprehensive Plan for Davenport Parks and Recreation for the next 10 years.  There will be three meetings in total.

The first meeting took place from 6:30pm – 8:30pm on August 24 at the Davenport Junior Theater, 2815 Eastern Ave in Davenport.

The second meeting will take place on from 6:30pm – 8:30pm on September 7 at Duck Creek Lodge, 3000 E Locust St in Davenport.

The third meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 28 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm again at Junior Theater, 2815 Eastern Ave in Davenport.

The public is encouraged to attend these meetings.  Discussion topics will include golf, parks, facilities, programs, theater and the River’s Edge.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 10:03

Q.  What are Constitution Day and Citizenship Day?

A.  Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17, because the Constitution of the United States was signed on September 17, 1787.  Constitution Day is also Citizenship Day, a day that recognizes all who have become U.S. citizens, whether by birth or immigration.

Originally, U.S. citizenship was celebrated on the third Sunday of every May, on a day known as “I Am An American Day.”  In 1952, this day was moved to September 17, to celebrate citizens and the Constitution.  Until 2004, the official name of this holiday was Citizenship Day.  It is now known as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”

Q.  Why should we celebrate our Constitution and Citizenship?

A.  The Constitution is the framework for our democracy.   It was adopted by the Constitutional Convention 223 years ago, ratified by the original 13 states, and it continues to guide us today.  In the United States, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  The Constitution embodies the enduring philosophical principles in the Declaration of Independence; that the limited government created by the Constitution only exercise power by the consent of the governed.

That philosophy is clearly stated in the Declaration’s second paragraph:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  The Constitution is a statement of this philosophical belief in limited government.  All power rests with the people, and the Constitution is a compact where the American people delegate certain enumerated powers to the government in order to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” 

September 17 is also a day to celebrate the honor, and reflect on the responsibilities, of U.S. citizenship.

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