Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara (left) greets Sgt. Scott Pavlock, Oglesby’s incoming police chief, accompanied by wife Kim.
Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara (left) greets Sgt. Scott Pavlock, Oglesby’s incoming police chief, accompanied by wife Kim.

Oglesby has a new police chief, a sergeant from Lake Zurich Police Department with many years’ service in the U.S. Army and/or Army Reserves,

Monday, the Oglesby City Council emerged from 45 minutes’ closed session and installed Scott Pavlock as chief of police by a vote of 3-0 with commissioners Tom Argubright and Jim Cullinan abstaining.

Pavlock takes over in early May when Jim Knoblauch retires from the post. His salary and benefits will be addressed by ordinance at a later meeting.

Mayor Dom Rivara said Pavlock was the top choice recommended by a panel of local police chiefs who interviewed the candidates and advised the city council during the search. Specifically, he said, Pavlock has 32 years’ experience and 33 years combined experience in the Army and Reserves.

Pavlock’s appointment also could end a deep-seated rift within the police department, which led to a grievance (quickly withdrawn) against Knoblauch. Earlier this year, Cullinan briefly removed Knoblauch as chief over internal squabbles. (That dispute continues: Cullinan and Knoblauch traded recriminations over the assignment of an officer to the drug task force.)

Pavlock said he was familiar with Starved Rock Country from riding trips. When asked how he would approach the fractious issues in the police department, he pledged to begin with "100 days of watching."

"I know everybody had their sides," Pavlock said, "so I stressed during my interviews that I would be looking and watching. Before I can make a comment I want to see it for myself."

Finally, Oglesby is one of five cities (La Salle-Peru, Utica, Spring Valley are the others) meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss adopting emergency powers. The Illinois Municipal League is recommending communities give themselves the authority to declare a state of emergency to deal with coronavirus.

“No one intends to use this right now,” said city attorney Jim Andreoni. He added later that the measure includes no provisions limiting firearms or curbing liquor sales, as raised in Champaign County.

Argubright further noted city hall will be closed to foot traffic and that city services will be available through the drive-through window only.

“We are waiving late fees for people who can’t pay,” he said. “We’ll worry about it after this pandemic.”

In other matters, the council:

-Opened a money market account at Illini State Bank to deposit funds received for Senica Square; the state requires the funds be deposited into an interest-bearing account

-Placed on file an amendment to a TIF district as it affects Oglesby Elementary Schools

-Agreed to release a disputed portion of closed-session minutes for NewsTribune review, following a dispute over the application of the Open Meeting Act

-Rivara renewed an appeal for ready-to-eat foods to restock the micro-pantry outside the city hall. Any family or individual in need is urged to contact the city for help.

Tom Collins can be reached via (815) 220-6930 or TCollins@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_Court.

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