City of Rock Island looks at limiting council members’ spending

Local News

This comes after former alderman Virgil Mayberry found himself under fire for several purchases

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — Rock Island city leaders could tighten the purse strings for council members.

Mayor Mike Thoms and aldermen discussed creating a guide that would limit council spending during a study session Monday night.

It comes after former councilman Virgil Mayberry wound up under fire for things he bought using his city credit card.

Thoms said the issue needs to be addressed despite calling it an isolated case.

“The citizens perceive it as wrong and some of the things that have happened are not good policy and that should be changed,” Thoms said.

Council members had a lot of topics to discuss and they were split on pretty much all of them.

Each member gets $4,000 to spend each year called a representation fund.

Mayberry was questioned for spending it on jewelry, gas and a bullet proof vest.

Members were torn whether council members should even have purchase cards and whether they can spend it on travel in town, lunches and clothing.

Thoms even suggested getting rid of the fund, but alderman Dylan Parker said it serves a purpose.

He just used his funding to cover the set up costs that almost kept the Dawn and Down Festival from coming to the city.

“I thought this would be a benefit for downtown rock island. I think citizens like seeing cool, new events in downtown Rock Island and so I went ahead with my representation fund and covered those expenses,” Parker said.

The finance director is going to take the key points of tonight’s discussion and create a spending guide. Then that will go before city council for approval.

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