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Dateline Dixon: City getting a taste of administration

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
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(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Steven Angvick (left) removes the seat from “Bessy,” the 1919 Model-T that belongs to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, while they were working on it last year. After getting Bessy to start last summer, Fox Valley club members drove the Model T to South Elgin in a trailer a few months after, then sent the engine off to Ohio to be rebuilt.
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Danny Langloss

DIXON – Citizens should be watching carefully, and the governmental task force should be taking notes.

With the naming of Police Chief Danny Langloss as special assistant to the City Council – in other words, interim city administrator – the city is getting a taste of what an administrator can bring to the table.

In less than a month’s time, Langloss has called for a human resources policy audit and reached out to concerned or skeptical citizens.

Langloss hopes to bring the city’s “dinosaur” human resources policies up to date, and even save the city about $200,000 through a new health insurance program.

The tone of City Council meetings also has changed. Items brought for a vote are discussed and sometimes figures are shared on an overhead projector. Langloss also takes time to talk with residents and answer questions after meetings.

While it’s made for longer City Council meetings, meeting regulars are taking notice.

In a letter to the City Council, Dixon resident Carol Fisher said the more open forum is a welcome relief. 

“It is much better to hear the comments, questions and discussions on items than it is to sit and hear a motion read and then the roll call for a vote,” Fisher wrote. “I would encourage you to consider moving to this type of meeting for all council meetings in the future.”

The City Council plans to hire a city administrator in 4 to 6 months.

While each administrator may have his or her own approach, the City Council has the ability to give that administrator as much or as little power as it likes.

Also, the governmental task force will recommend a form of government, defining the roles of an administrator for the City Council to consider, perhaps even suggesting a city manager form of government where the roles are defined by state statutes.

See anything you like in Langloss? Now is the time to start keeping tabs.

Bessy’s coming home

Calling all classic car lovers!

Members of a Fox Valley car club are restoring “Bessy,” a 1919 Model T coupe that belongs to the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, 816 S. Hennepin Ave.

The car was bought about 6 years ago because Jack Reagan, the former president’s father, was known to tinker with cars.

After getting Bessy to start last summer, club members drove the Model T to South Elgin in a trailer a few months after, then sent her engine off to Ohio to be rebuilt, the Elgin Courier News reports.

When they’re done, members have tentative plans to drive her home June 1 in an antique-vehicle caravan of 10 to 15 Model Ts, said Brandi Langner, the home’s director.

Bessy, by the way, got her name from Dixon grade school students. They suggested five names and Bessy was voted the winner.

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