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Fall Downstate Meeting

Downstate City/County Management Association Fall Meeting

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 in Pontiac, IL!

 1PM                Arrive early to experience the following points of interest in Pontiac:

Pontiac Museum Complex, 110 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL (Free unlimited parking is available across the street at 115 W.  Howard Street)

Visit the Route 66 Museum, Livingston County War Museum, Life in the 1940s, Music of the Civil War Exhibit, Old City Hall Shoppes, Route 66 Photo Journey Exhibit, The Bob Waldmire Experience, Life on the Titanic, all located under one roof!

You will find memorabilia from the glory days of the Mother Road including stories, artifacts, and images in the Rt 66 museum. The Livingston County War Museum is focused on honoring the men and women of the area who served in our nation’s armed forces.

Outside the rear of the museum complex, you’ll tour the Bob Waldmire Road Yacht and take a photo opportunity at the “World’s Largest Route 66 Mural”!                                               

Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum, 205 N. Mill Street

Antique and Classic cars, thousands of dealer artifacts, a comprehensive library of maps, brochures, original design drawings, and service manuals. There are dealer signs and a wonderful display of over 2,000 oil cans to see.  Displays change several times a year, so there is always something new in the museum.

The Museum of Gilding Arts, 217 N. Mill Street focus is the history, craft, and use of gold and silver leafing. Examples of gold and silver leaf, artifacts used in the application of the precious metal leaf and displays showing how leaf was manufactured.  The exhibit features items from the Society of Gilders’ Swift Collection.  The M. Swift and Sons company manufactured gold leaf in Hartford, CT, and began its operations in 1887.

      3:30 PM       Group will board trolley for Murals on Main Street Tour—Murals, Abraham Lincoln and History Tour of Downtown Pontiac and a walk across one of our Swinging Bridges!

      4:30 PM        Check into Hotel or free time – Hotel Info: Hampton Inn – 815.844.4400, 2000 Grand Prix Drive, $96 plus 11% tax

Booking code: DCM; Room block release is Nov. 7, 2019!

      6:00 PM        Depart Hotel for Dinner at Bernardis II – 123 N. Mill Street

Trolley will arrive at Hampton Inn at 5:45 for those who wish to use it for transportation to and from the evening festivities.

      8:00 PM        Social Hour: Wine tasting at PK Uncorked Wine Bar –220 S.  Main Street

Friday, November 22, 2019

      7:45 AM        Depart hotel – drive on your own or jump on the trolley to the downtown Eagle Theater

      8:00 AM        Breakfast at the Eagle Performing Arts Center – 319 N. Plum

      8:30 AM        “Data Is the New Oil” – Using Data to drive policy decisions.

Vasudha Gadhiaju, Director of Innovation and Technology, Town of Normal.

Local government managers and elected officials have typically based important policy decisions on public opinion, conventional wisdom and/or gut instinct. In doing so, they are either lucky or wrong. It has been said that making decisions with no data is analogous to placing a blind and deaf person in the middle of a busy freeway and telling them to find their way home.

Successful local governments are beginning to rely on data to drive important policy decisions. Unfortunately, most local government managers are ill equipped to compile, analyze, interpret and present data. Nor do most local governments have the resources to hire data scientist to perform complex data analytics. Most cities and counties, not to mention the State of Illinois, gather mountains of data from a variety of sources everyday as a matter of routing. However, few of us use that data in any sort of a beneficial way.

This session will explore ways to which local governments can more effectively utilize data that is readily available and will provide examples of how some municipalities and counties are beginning to leverage data analytics to improve the decision-making process, hence, ensuring more positive outcomes.


      9:30 AM        Break – Networking and coffee time

      9:45 AM          “Community Heart & Soul; The Pontiac Experience”

The Orton Family Foundation has developed a community engagement program called Community Heart
& Soul that is available to towns and cities across the United States.  Community Heart & Soul mends fences, restores trust, and reconnects communities in ways that create a ripple effect throughout communities, moving them forward with a renewed sense of purpose and place.

The City of Pontiac is currently undergoing this process and representatives from the Pontiac Community Heart & Soul team will share their insights and experiences on the process and the effect it has had on interactions between the citizens and their government.  Representatives from the team will be Kelly Eckhoff, City Councilman, Taylor Baxter, Director of Pontiac Parks and Recreation, and Liz Vincent, City of Pontiac.

      11:00AM        Break – Networking and coffee time

      11:15 AM       “The Return of Illinois Main Street”

Kelly Humrichouser, National Main Street Center, Manager of Education and Illinois Coordinating Program.

Illinois Main Street supports a network of communities across the state that are working to bring
prosperity to their older and historic downtowns and commercial districts. Illinois Main Street is part of Main Street America, a national movement of individuals and organizations with a shared commitment to bring economic vitality back to downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together.

This year, The National Main Street Center started working to reinstate the program. Kelly will discuss
their efforts and share details of the progress of the program.

     12:15 – 1PM  Business Meeting and Lunch


Registration Fee: $45Includes buffet breakfast & lunch on Friday.  Please have registrations in by Friday, November 15, 2019.

Hotel Accommodations:  Hampton Inn, 2000 Grand Prix Dr, Pontiac, IL Rooms are $96/night plus tax.  The room block is under DCM and will be released on Nov. 7th.  

Dinner Reservations: Please indicate if you are planning to arrive in time for dinner at  Bernardis II, 123 N. Mill St., Pontiac.  Dinner is “on your own.”


Click here for event flyer

  • Downstate Fall Meeting
    November 21, 2019 - November 22, 2019
    1:00 pm
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