Mayor Krajewski called the Workshop meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall.
Present:Mayor Brian Krajewski; Commissioners Marilyn Schnell, Sue McConnell, Martin Tully, Mark Zabloudil, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban; Village Manager Riccardo Ginex; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kevin Stahr, Downers Grove Reporter Residents & Others in Attendance: Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Linda McLaughlin, Downtown Management Board, 1015 Curtiss; William Waldack, 1409 Willard Pl; Andrew & Phyllis Clark, 1226 62nd St.; Gary Goodheart, Versar, Lombard; Judy Sidrys, 5223 Lee; Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore Ave.; Rita & Barry Peckhart, 1028 61st St.; Eileen R. Fitzgerald, 4647 Fairview; Tom Sisul, 3624 Saratoga; Marc DesMarteau, 1819 Holly; Greg Bolt, 1912 Brighton; Jim Spota, 6813 Valley View; Larry Rosol, 68556 Berrywood; Tessa McGuire, 4910 Cornell; B. Pabst, 5145 Main; Ellen Pendola, 6525 S. Main; Patti Marino, 803 Curtiss; L. Brown, 1010 Hickory; S. Tully, 4808 Cornell; Phil Cullen, 4720 Middaugh; Marilynn Gerloff, 4241 Highland; Michael Kubes, 5538 Lyman; Michael J. & Terry Gilbert, 4617 Highland; Steve Rebora, Desman Associates; Sara Davis, Alfred Benesch & Co.; Mark Iammarino, John Doherty, Mel Cramm, Turner Construction Staff: Ann Priorello, Manager, VOC ; Marion Heintz, Police Department; Deputy Police Chief Pam Church; Ann Marie Perez, Staff Attorney; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Kathy DesMarteau, Redevelopment; Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Joe Skach, Director, Redevelopment; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Mary Tennyson, VOC
Mayor Krajewski explained that Council Workshop meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are video taped live and for later cable cast over cable channel 6.
The Workshop meeting is intended to provide Council and the public with an appropriate forum for informal discussion of any items intended for future Council consideration or just for general information. No formal action is taken at Workshop meetings.
The public is invited to attend and encouraged to comment or ask questions in an informal manner on any of the items being discussed or on any other subject. The agenda is created to provide a guideline for discussion.
Right-of-Way Standard Ordinance. Village Manager Rick Ginex asked Mike Millette to address this.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said this concerns a rewrite of Chapter 19 of the Village Code to address concerns raised over the past few years. It concerns the lack of standards expressed by telecommunications companies regarding restoration of Village property. Drafts of other ordinances were used, and Mr. Millette said additional corrections were made to the existing Chapter for better clarification.
Commissioner McConnell asked that the language be reviewed in 19-36 as it is not clear. She asked whether permits would be done on line and Mr. Millette said they would. Commissioner McConnell addressed Sec. 5, b) 2) and whether they want to give leeway as it outlined.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said this only applies to telecommunications per FCC requirements. She said she would review the wording.
Alarm Fees Ordinance. Manager Ginex asked Marion Heintz to address this matter.
Officer Marion Heintz , Public Education Manager, Police Department, said she has addressed the problem of accounts that remain unpaid for alarm fees. She said alarm fees are due January 1. Amendments to the Alarm Code include the late fees based upon date of payment received. She said the Committee reviewing this recommended that the Village Attorney review the procedures. It was determined that disconnection was not an option since this was a life safety issue.
The Mayor asked whether the number of false alarms have been reduced since the action was taken by the Council to amend the fees for false alarms, and Ms. Heintz said that they have reduced.
The Mayor asked whether phone calls were also included in follow up on late payment. In addition, regarding collection action, he asked if legal fees are included and Ms. Petrarca said that they would be included.
Trisha Steele , Assistant Director, Financial Services, said that there has been a change of personnel in the Accounts Receivable. Staff are calling people to follow up on this.
Commissioner Schnell asked if it is the intention to charge for this year, and Ms. Heintz said it was. She said there are 670 businesses on the alarm board, and only about 30 are in arrears, and that has remained consistent.
Commissioner Tully said there are incidents when people who owe money to the Village may come to the Village for another item, such as a permit of some type. He asked if they can be red-flagged through a database so they can be made aware of owing the Village money. Ms. Steele said they have tied this in with the electronic permitting system.
Commissioner Tully asked if a statement regarding payment of all fees is included as a condition of permit issuance. Ms. Steele said she didn’t believe that was included at this time, but they are flagged. Commissioner Tully said it would be a good idea to have a statement on every application to make sure the applicant knows that they must pay all outstanding fees.
2003 Bikeway Contract Plans. The Manager said the Village received a $100,000 grant for the project. There were three bids received and staff recommends awarding to Edwards and Kelcey Design Services.
Dorin Fera , Traffic Manager, noted that staff interviewed many applicants for this project and said that this company took the needs of the Village to bear in its proposal.
Community Grants Program. The Manager asked Dave Humphreys, Chair of the Community Grants Commission to address this.
Dave Humphreys , Chairman of the Community Grants Commission said this is the 13th year for this program, which receives its funds from the Hotel Use tax. This year for the first time the business community was also contacted to contribute to the program. This year $45,020 was budgeted for the grants, which is a reduction of $8,000 from last year and a reflection of economic times. Grant applications submitted this year exceeded $93,000 after initial screening. He pointed out that these funds are not for social service programs, which are handled by Social and Health Services.
Mr. Humphreys then reviewed the procedure for grant request review. He said the Commission tried to consider the impact of budget cutbacks on the programs. He noted an application from a new theater group as well. It is called the New World Repertory Theater, which is a highly credentialed professional theater headed by a Downers Grove resident. He then named the other organizations recommended for funding: AAUW , DG Choral Society, DG Concert Association, DG Downtown Management, DGSHS Mustang Band Boosters, Grove Players, Midwest Ballet Theatre, Our Town Productions, Vox Caelestis, West Towns Chorus, DG Kiwanis Club, DG Rotary Club, Squires of Downers Grove, West Suburban Humane Society, YMCA , DG Friends of the Library, DG Junior Woman’s Club, DG Noon Lion’s Club, DG Swim and Racquet Club, Maple Hill Recreation Corporation, and DG Historical Society.
Commissioner Schnell said it would be beneficial to see the original requests for funding as well as the recommendation as it would give a clearer understanding of the funding request.
Commissioner Zabloudil said he would like to have this year’s numbers for next year’s budget.
The Mayor asked what the application process is. Mr. Humphreys said the deadline is April 1.
Commissioner McConnell thanked those who participated in the process. She said she would also like to see a comparison of what we gave them last year.
Commissioner Tully thanked the Commission for their job in supporting the cultural and civic organizations each year. He is happy that this can continue.
Commissioner Urban said that Mr. Humphreys has done a great job on this. When this first was formed, they had to advertise to give away the money, and it is good to see it grow to this degree.
The Mayor said that at yesterday’s Memorial Day Service, the American Legion said they may be applying for a grant next year.
Grant Agreement: Illinois Commerce Commission. The Manager said this supports the education and enforcement program to reduce or eliminate pedestrian and motor accidents at grade crossings.
Sgt. Jim Nehls said the Pubic Education and Enforcement Research Study (PEERS) Project is a grant that has been worked on for about two years to support education and enforcement to reduce or eliminate railroad crossings accidents. He indicated that this is the first year the Village is receiving this grant, as it was on hold. He responded to the Mayor that this comes from the Federal government. The Mayor said that Senator Durbin and Representative Biggert were involved in helping to secure the grant.
Commissioner McConnell asked about the quarterly update reports and said she would be interested in seeing those figures.
Commissioner Schnell said that the report references five educational campaigns and asked for a description of them. Sgt. Nehls said it would include Operation Lifesaver in the schools, as well as Cable TV programs and programs at the train stations. The only crossing excluded is Maple.
The Mayor asked about the status of Fairview, and Sgt. Nehls said that should be up and running by mid-July due to some equipment malfunctions.
The Mayor asked about checking on the status of the whistle-blowing law. He noted that he received a letter from a County board member this evening stating the County will be looking at the railroad crossings in DuPage County.
Parking Deck Recommendation. The Manager asked Joe Skach to address this item.
Joe Skach , Director of Redevelopment introduced Steve Rebora, architect with Desman Associates.
Steve Rebora , Desman Associates, provided a brief recap of the plans for the parking deck, which will accommodate 760 cars upon completion. It will be in the center of the block bounded by Main, Washington, Curtiss and Maple. He gave a slide presentation of the design.
Mr. Skach then said the design process included investigations of the soil conditions and stormwater facilities. Additional stormwater detention will be provided under the deck for maximum capacity.
Mr. Skach said the Village released a Request for Bid on the project in March of this year and received ten responses that were reviewed with the assistance of the owner’s representative.
Sara Davis , Alfred Benesch & Co., owner’s representatives, said she worked with the Village staff to review the bids. Turner Construction was the low bid. She researched them and called references and contacts in other communities for whom Turner has built similar structures. All references were good. Their reputation and strong financial standing resulted in staff’s recommendation of Turner Construction as the builders for the Village’s parking deck. Mr. Skach then asked Turner to give a brief presentation.
Mark Iammarino , Vice President of Turner Construction, said that their firm is ranked #1 in the U.S. on the volume of work they do. They have 4800 employees and $6.7 billion per year. They have been in Chicago since 1926, with 350 employees doing about $650 million of projects. About a third of their work is done with public entities. He then introduced the team.
John Doherty , senior project manager for the parking deck, said Mel Cramm will be their field Manager, and Pat Donovan as assistant engineer.
The Mayor asked whether Mr. Doherty has been involved with any of the other Chicago projects and Mr. Doherty said this is the first deck he is managing.
Mel Cramm said he is a resident of Downers Grove and will be working as the on-site project manager for the deck. He responded to the Mayor that he has worked on other parking decks in the Chicago area.
Mr. Iammarino then reviewed several of their other projects including the Soldier’s Field project parking decks in the City of Chicago. They have just broken ground for the Northwestern University Research Center. In DuPage County they did the MCI Data Center, Oak Brooke Pointe, and are breaking ground in Lake Park High School. Mr. Iammarino then showed slides of parking decks including Alexian Brothers Hospital, University of Chicago Center for Advanced Medicine, Woodfield Hines Project, Ameritech Corporate Center. He highlighted work they have done with Desman architects in Chicago.
Mr. Doherty discussed the site logistics plan which lays out the rules of how the site is worked, including traffic flow, signage, etc.
Mayor Krajewski asked whether Alexian Brothers project is completed.
Ms. Davis said it is done but she was unable to contact them. The Mayor asked that she follow up with Alexian Brothers for their input as to the work that was done by Turner.
The Mayor asked whether in the last three years Turner has had any claims on their performance bonds, and Mr. Iammarino said they have not.
Mayor Krajewski then asked whether the subs that will be working on this project are ones they traditionally go to. He wants to know whether Turner has worked with these subs in the past, or if they are just the low bidders. Mr. Iammarino said most have worked with them in the past, and they will submit a list to Ms. Davis of the subs as well.
Mr. Skach said that the spread of the bid was tight so they were confident that the bid and construction documents were well delineated. Staff recommends the contract to Turner Construction with the base bid and to include alternates #1, 2, 3 and 6 at a total cost of $11,768,308.
Mayor Krajewski said that a lot of work has been put into this project over four decades. We are now a week from voting on it and two weeks from breaking ground. It has been a long history.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked Ms. Davis as owner’s rep whether she has represented a client working with Turner before. Ms. Davis said she has not.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked whether anything has been omitted in the deck. Mr. Doherty said there is nothing at this time; however, they will bring anything forward as it comes up.
The Mayor asked Ms. Davis whether her firm as worked with Turner and Ms. Davis said she did not believe so. Commissioner Schnell said that under Alternate #2, Turner is very much lower and asked why. Mr. Skach said Turner may not want to divulge why they could come up at that figure. Commissioner Schnell said that as long as they are committed to doing what they say they will do, she is fine with that. Regarding Alternative #1, Commissioner Schnell asked whether they are opening themselves up to additional maintenance costs down the road by painting it. Mr. Skach said there is a trade off with security. Steve Rebora said that they were not painting it. It is a concrete coating that will not flake off; however, it will fade and get dirty. Maintenance would be to reapply the stain. Commissioner Schnell asked whether they have had experience in building in tight spaces and communities with surrounding businesses and residences. She said that the Village has experienced communication breakdowns in the past and would be interested in knowing how they have handled these situations. Mr. Iammarino said they have worked in tight logistical situations, such as in Oak Park with school auditoriums and middle schools. Mr. Doherty said that they work with staff to establish a communication line to the community entities, including regular meetings for work three weeks down the path, utility shutdowns, etc. They include fliers, mailings, etc., to notify business and neighbors of the upcoming construction. Commissioner Schnell said that the Council would like to have a clear understanding of what the public relations program would be. The Mayor said perhaps they could have someone from their team appear at the Council meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month to give an update on the project. Mr. Millette said that in addition, a significant portion of Brian Parks’ time will be devoted to assist in maintaining the ties in the CBD . Commissioner Schnell then asked how the site would be secured regarding public access. Mr. Doherty said that they will do a chain link fence, locked gates, signage around the perimeter, etc.
Commissioner McConnell complimented Mr. Skach on the materials he presented to the Council. She said there is no item for the removal of contaminated soil on the bid. Mr. Skach said the Village has a current contract with an environmental consultant who is familiar with the site.
Commissioner McConnell said that it states there will be 365 calendar days from start to completion, and there is a performance penalty. She asked how this will work.
Attorney Petrarca said that there is a liquidated damages clause. Every day over schedule will cost them $1000. There is no provision for early completion.
Mr. Skach further responded that the fee was based on reasonable factors per day. This is not an incentive type contract; it is a firm-fixed contract. It is in everyone’s interest to move as quickly and expeditiously as possible.
Attorney Petrarca said that at the Village’s request the arbitration clause was removed from the contract and a litigation clause was added.
Commissioner McConnell said that the six pillars of Character Counts has a color coding system, and asked whether those color codes could be used in the parking deck. She then asked about the ground breaking. Mr. Skach said Turner is required to do a very extensive logistics plan to be formalized at a preconstruction meeting tentatively scheduled at the end of next week. They will turn the site over to construction at that time.
Commissioner Tully noted that they will be providing five acre feet of stormwater below the deck, and asked for the benefits of this. Mr. Skach responded that by providing the maximum detention allowable on the site, it would be beneficial to those property sites that are unable to accommodate adequate detention.
Commissioner Tully then asked what the net contribution of parking will be as a result of the deck.
Bob Schiller, Assistant Director, Public Works, said that over the past few years the Village has made several additions to the parking system in the CBD , and he then reviewed the number of spaces, saying that when the deck opens in a year, thee will be a net gain of 798 parking spaces over five years ago.
The Mayor asked whether private lots are inventoried. Mr. Schiller said they are not. He further responded to the Mayor that in the past five years they have actually added 477 parking spaces.
Commissioner Tully then asked Mr. Doherty about the staging area shown on the slides. Mr. Doherty said there is also potential along Washington. He said that this is a very preliminary idea of the staging. The Commissioner asked whether any street closures are anticipated, and Mr. Doherty said there is potential for half street closures on Curtiss and perhaps Washington.
Commissioner Tully asked Ms. Davis if she reviewed the proposed contract and found it acceptable, and Ms. Davis said it was acceptable. She said that upon written permission from the Village, she has the authority to stop the project.
Commissioner Tully asked Mr. Rebora about the status for lighting for the top level. Mr. Rebora said they will be metal halite, and will have a baffling feature to reduce glare.
The Mayor asked whether the Village has insurance if there are problems, such as an act of God. Attorney Petrarca said they would purchase builder’s risk. He then asked how many parking decks there are in the Village. He asked staff to get back with the figure.
Peter Hultman , lifetime resident of Downers Grove, said he spent all his life working for a construction company. He vouches for Turner Construction and thinks they will take care of the Village.
Geotechnical Engineering of Parking Deck. Mr. Skach said that there have been significant engineering issues, and the geotechnical engineer has been with the project since the very beginning. He said the geotechnical engineering portion can very well be the most important factor in the deck. Staff recommends that the geotechnical engineer contract be awarded to Versar.
Ms. Davis said that she worked with Versar in the preconstruction phase of the project and is impressed by their thoroughness and diligence. It is important to have continuity in the geotechnical aspect of the project. She would recommend approving the contract.
Commissioner Zabloudil asked Ms. Davis if she or her company has worked with Versar before, and she responded not to her knowledge.
Commissioner Sandack asked whether she has called for references on Versar, and she responded that she has not as yet, but based her recommendation on having worked with them in the preconstruction phase. She will check references.
Parking Deck Security. Officer Marion Heintz said she worked on the Committee to design the security system for the parking deck. She said that they were pleased to be involved at the beginning phase of the project, as it is difficult to retrofit. They chose to focus on crime prevention through environmental design. Key concepts include a communication system that is the core of security. Call boxes would be clearly posted and a sufficient number of boxes available to citizens. In addition, there must be security cameras available to follow up on any security call. The access/egress areas must have video equipment and be clearly posted that the mechanism is in place. In addition, the elevator must be able to accommodate citizens with disabilities, and have an enhanced security system. She said that the system they designed meets all of the requirements and would provide a safe and comfortable environment for the citizens.
Deputy Police Chief Pam Church said in July 2001 a presentation was made regarding the security of various parking decks. They made recommendations at that time including white ceiling lights, open structured wall elevator shafts, lobbies and stairwells, emergency systems clearly labeled to allow a two-way conversation, surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits, etc. She explained that the parking deck would place added responsibility on the police personnel and require added personnel.
Ann Priorello , VOC Manager, Downers Grove Police Department, explained the technical aspects of the security system review. She said the RFP was based upon the design of other decks, particularly the Village of Oak Park. They chose a system with four collectors. They needed to determine what type of communications system would get the signal to the Police Department, and they ultimately decided on “dark fiber,” which is fiber optic line that the Village maintains and owns and which will connect between the deck and the Police Department. There are 38 cameras in the deck which will give coverage of the entire footprint of the deck. They also chose a Code Blue emergency 2-way telephone system. This equipment warranty starts upon successful completion of the project for a one-year period. The maintenance package is a two-year package after the one-year warranty. The Committee felt that this would work the best for the Village and provide the most protection for the citizens.
Bob Schiller said that Public Works was asked to determine how to get fiber optic line from the site to the VOC . Upon evaluation, engineer’s estimates were obtained for directional boring of 2” conduit at a cost of $45,000. Following additional conversation with the security team and vendor, it was determined to be beneficial to the Village to also install copper line, which would increase the size of the conduit to 4” with three ducts. A proposal was then sent out to several firms. He stressed that the bid document included much more work than was included in the original engineer’s estimate.
The Mayor asked about the warranty. Ms. Priorello said the warranty period is one year with an additional two-year maintenance period. They obtained quotes for an additional year.
The Mayor asked if Commercial Electronics was non-responsive. Ms. Priorello said they did not provide extended maintenance.
Commissioner Schnell complimented the team involved in this. It is one of the most important components of the deck. Residents can feel safe using the deck based on this system. She asked whether there is a way to let people know about the safety features that will be incorporated into this project.
Deputy Chief Church said they will call upon Marion Heintz, the public education manager, to assist in that effort. Commissioner Schnell said that it requires more than signage, because of the thought and effort put into providing this type of security system. She would like to see a better educational method to reach the public.
Commissioner Urban asked the life expectancy of the system. Ms. Priorello responded that typically these type of cameras are computers. A maintenance contract will take care of the software upgrades. She would think about 5-6 years on the computer systems. She said the cameras are small and encased. One of the problems is that this is a first time effort, since there has not been a Village parking deck here before. She said that after the first year, the Village will have to pay for the equipment that is damaged. If a camera goes out it will not denigrate the system.
Commissioner Tully thanked the Committee for an outstanding job. He asked about the signage planned, and asked about the costs involved in moving the dark fiber to some other location. Mr. Schiller said it would simply be a tie in at the closest point of relocation, including directional bore and reinstallation of lines, depending upon the amount of footage at a per foot cost.
Electrical Fees. The Manager said there are increased costs for staff costs and administrative fees, so it has been proposed to increase the fee to $75. The Mayor asked if these just for Village licenses.
Village Clerk April Holden said people come from all over the state to take the test and be licensed.
MAYOR ’S REPORT :
Mayor Krajewski referred to a survey for public transportation from Sam White and gave the information to Commissioner Tully.
The Mayor said that he has suspended the liquor license of Giordano’s of 5115 Main Street from June 9 to June 11, with a fine of $1,000 and administrative costs of $680.
Mayor Krajewski said he has invoked a 5-day liquor license suspension for Mayflower Chinese Restaurant at 2117 W. 63rd Street, and they will be responsible for paying administrative costs of $680.
One of the items that has come out of the House Committee was the implementation of video gaming as a partial solution to lost municipal revenue. He will ask staff to look into an ordinance to ban this in the Village, as only 5% would go to the municipality.
The Mayor said that there is talk about the motor fuel tax and reallocating the shared and reducing the amount to municipalities.
Mayor Krajewski said that the Governor’s office wants to put in NPDES permitting fees to raise $26 million.
He then said that in the PACE monthly report, they discuss financial difficulties and possible advertising methods to use to increase ridership.
(Note from the Village Clerk: The following portion of the minutes discussing the Resolution Censuring a Village Commissioner is as close to verbatim as possible without a court reporter.)
Resolution Censuring Village Commissioner
Mayor Krajewski: The last item that I have to report out, and it is unfortunate that we have to discuss this in public, and we’ve asked our Village Attorney to at least look at it. We would have liked to discuss this privately in Executive Session, however the Village Attorney informed us that there was no reason under the limited scope that we could go into Executive Session to discuss the issue. In addition the resolution is needed to help clear our Village Manager’s name and our Village’s name with some of our elected officials since their names did appear in the letter. I’m going to ask our Village Clerk if she could just read the Resolution:
A RESOLUTION CENSURING COMMISSIONER STAN URBAN FOR IMPROPER AND UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
WHEREAS , the holding of a public office is a public trust created by the trust and confidence that the electorate reposes in the integrity of public officers;
WHEREAS , the elected officials comprising* * the Village Council of Downers Grove are obligated and duty bound to carry out their responsibilities for the exclusive benefit of the citizens of Downers Grove;
WHEREAS , it is a breach of the fiduciary duty and the trust and confidence reposed for a Council member to disclose or use information acquired in the course of his/her official duties or position to further his/her personal interests;
WHEREAS , on May 8, 2003, Riccardo Ginex, the Village Manager of Downers Grove, sent an electronic message exclusively to the Mayor and six other members of the Village Council;
WHEREAS , the contents of the message were for the sole use and benefit of the Commissioners while in serving the exclusive interests of Downers Grove;
WHEREAS , Commissioner Stan Urban is employed by the Village of Bensenville;
WHEREAS , Commissioner Stan Urban has admitted to having read to the Mayor of the Village of Bensenville the contents of the electronic message that had been sent by Village Manager Ginex exclusively to the members of the Downers Grove Village Council, Deputy Village Manager and the Village Attorney; and
WHEREAS , on May 14, 2003, the Village Manager Ginex’s electronic message was reprinted and incorporated in a letter drafted by the Manager of the Village of Bensenville and then publicly and widely circulated to all the residents of the Village of Bensenville.
NOW THEREFORE , BE IT RESOLVED by the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove, DuPage County, Illinois, as follows:
SECTION 1 . Duties of Commissioners. Pursuant to the principles of ethics and values to which all elected officials are expected to adhere, the Village Council finds and declares that all Commissioners must:
A.Respect, honor and maintain the confidentiality of official business of the Village of Downers Grove, especially when to breach such confidentiality would be detrimental to the Village of Downers Grove and the best interests of its citizens;
B.Act to the benefit of all their constituents and refuse to function as the agent for special interests groups or for other governmental entities;
C.Avoid speech or actions that will discredit the Village of Downers Grove, the Village Council or Village Staff and undermine public confidence in the Village of Downers Grove or damage its reputation;
D.Censure their own members when those members’ conduct is detrimental to the reputation, functioning and/or efficiency of the Village of Downers Grove;
E.Exemplify ethical behavior and conduct that is above reproach;
Recognize and honor the fact that the fiduciary duties imposed upon the Village Council members are of paramount importance; and
Act at all times in the best interests of Downers Grove exclusively.
SECTION 2 . Findings Regarding Commissioner Stan Urban. The Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove makes the following findings regarding Commissioner Stan Urban:
A.Commissioner Stan Urban is a duly elected and serving member of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove.
B.Commissioner Urban has acted in a manner that has publicly embarrassed his fellow elected Council members and the Village staff. Commissioner Urban deliberately revealed information that had been relayed to him as a Council member to the Village of Bensenville, his employer, without authority to do so. Such information subsequently has been published in letters widely circulated to all the residents of the Village of Bensenville. Moreover, such information has been distorted and misconstrued, so as to embarrass and cast aspersions upon the integrity of Village staff and fellow Council members.
C.In conveying to the Village of Bensenville information that he received in his capacity as a member of the Downers Grove Village Council, Commissioner Urban placed the interests of the Village of Bensenville above the exclusive and best interests and well being of the Village of Downers Grove and its citizens.
D.Commissioner Urban’s actions in this regard placed the Village of Downers Grove in a bad light and, if continued, threaten to diminish its status as a distinguished governmental entity.
E.Commissioner Urban’s actions were outside the scope of his authority.
SECTION 3 . Indemnification. Should any Council member or Village staff be sued based upon a claim arising out of the intentional and unauthorized dissemination of the information which constitutes a property or liberty interest, or may constitute a libel, slander or defamation, or may constitute an invasion of privacy or disparagement of business reputation or any similar type or be sued because of an individual Council member’s unauthorized disclosure of information, the Village Council authorizes its legal counsel to seek indemnification from the offending Council member and to recover all costs and expenses incurred, including attorneys’ fees in the defense of the claim.
SECTION 4 . Construction to be Consistent with Constitutional Rights. The Village Council fully recognizes the right of every citizen’s freedom of speech and association. In adopting this resolution, the Village Council in no way intends to infringe on constitutionally protected speech.
SECTION 5 . Censure. The Village Council hereby censures Commissioner Urban for his improper and unprofessional conduct, and exhorts all elected officials and staff members to adhere only to the highest standards of integrity, courtesy, fairness, and dignity in their daily business and their interactions with each other, the public and other governmental entities.
That all resolutions or parts of resolutions in conflict with the provisions of this Resolution are hereby repealed.
That this Resolution shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage as provided by law.
Mayor Krajewski : Thank you very much. One question to the Village Attorney. The 4th Whereas when it says electronic message exclusively to the Mayor and six other members of the Village Council; I do believe that Deputy Village Manager Dave Van Vooren and you, Enza, and were also on that e-mail.
In Section 1 read by the Village Clerk, that applies to all Commissioners incorporated into this Resolution and is standards for all Commissioners to follow this in the future in addition to new Council members until some other Council passes different rules or standards.
Third, the timing of the letter sent out was unfortunately. Many of the communities are well aware that there has been an ongoing dispute among DuPage County Chairman and a number of the DuPage municipalities over water issues in DuPage County. As of Wednesday, a week ago, a number of Mayors, myself included, were down in Springfield meeting with the County and had a pretty much tentative agreement that Chairman Schillerstrom was going to sleep on for at least 48 hours and get back to us. What we had asked both sides at that point in time was to stop any and all correspondence in the media. Some of the municipalities are running cable commercials, some are putting things on their websites and marquees. On Friday, that morning, I received a call from State Representative Pihos who was upset by the fact that there was one full page ad in the Springfield Register that came out with 25 Mayors names on it, and I tried to tell her that we had told Chairman Schillerstrom that there were one or two articles that may have been pass the deadline and may have come out. So that call came from Representative Pihos, tried to inform her, she said that the House Republicans were awful upset with us 25 Mayors putting it out. About twenty minutes later Representative Bellock called me about the same issue. And she brought up that there was a letter that was sent out to the Village of Bensenville, it had my name in it, it had the Village Manager’s name circulated, and your name was in it. I hadn’t seen it and asked her if she could send it to me. A couple of hours later Republican Leader Cross, one of his staffers, called me up and talked about the letter that Downers Grove was named in to the Village of Bensenville. Over the weekend I had a number of conversations with Mayors regarding issues with water. I talked with Chief of Staff of Chairman Schillerstrom on Sunday who brought up again the letter that Downers Grove was mentioned in the e-mail. On Monday of last week Representative Bellock called the Village Manager, and I think at that point in time after the Village Manager called her he was able to at least set the record straight with her that this e-mail, as the letter points out, it says an e-mail circulated by Downers Grove Manager Rick Ginex, conveys the real deal concocted by DuPage Chairman and Richard Daley confidant Bob Schillerstrom and their pro expansion advocates. She had thought that Rick had sent this e-mail to a number of people, and her name is kind of tied into the e-mail, and further on she called me again on Monday. So this Resolution here censuring Commissioner Urban is needed for public record to send out to our Senators and State Reps and our County Board members to let them know what happened and to clear Rick’s name and mine also, and the Village’s reputation. Any questions? Commissioner Zabloudil?
Commissioner Zabloudil: I wanted to address the citizens of Downers Grove about this resolution to ensure there is a full understanding of why this resolution was presented. As you are aware, two new commissioners were sworn into office on May 6 of this year. Each of them took an “oath of office” to serve the Village of Downers Grove. to paraphrase the oath “….and that I will faithfully discharge the office of Commissioner according to the best of my ability”. I will come back to the importance of this oath in a few moments. In addition to taking the oath, the two new commissioners went through an orientation session with the Village Attorney and the Village Manager on May 5 of this year. The purpose of the orientation was to review their roles and responsibilities in the Village Manager form of government. Commissioner Tully and myself went through a similar program when we took office two years ago.
The reason I am providing you with this background is due to the fact that Commissioner Urban has violated his duty and responsibility to this Council and the Village of Downers Grove. On May 8, 2003, we as a Council received an update from the Village Manager summarizing a meeting of the members of the DuPage Water Commission. Later that same day, we received another update further clarifying the situation with the DuPage Water commission. The correspondence was intended to keep this Council apprised of the pending issues with the Water Commission.
The information contained in this memo from Village Manager Ginex was sent to the Council with the understanding of confidentiality as it has been in the past. When the Village Manager forwards correspondence to the Commissioners, it is his understanding and intent for that information to be reviewed by those intended parties for the sole purpose of conducting business in the Village of Downers Grove.
It is my belief that Commissioner Urban allowed a portion of the correspondence from Village Manager Ginex to be copied verbatim and provided same to an official in the Village of Bensenville, where Commissioner Urban is employed as the Director of Community Events and Economic Development. Commissioner Urban admitted having a discussion with the Mayor of Bensenville about the e-mail Manager Ginex sent to this Council. Additionally, I believe the e-mail was actually forwarded to a Village of Bensenville official due to the fact that Manager Ginex inadvertently identified one of the elected officials in the e-mail to this Council as a Senator when in fact the individual is a Representative. This mislabeling appeared exactly the same in the letter from the Village of Bensenville Manager, as if it was copied and pasted from one e-mail document into another document.
I am stating my grave concern over this issue for two reasons. First, I must express my disappointment in Commissioner Urban’s lack of good judgment by communicating this information to the elected officials in the Village of Bensenville. His actions have jeopardized our relationship with our County, State and Federal officials, who have significantly helped our Village with funding for various capital improvement projects as well as grants for public services. In addition, Commissioner Urban has placed our community in a position that could possible result in legal action. His actions represent a dereliction of his fiduciary responsibility to the Village of Downers Grove and must be dealt with in a manner that is commensurate with the action.
The question in my mind is, can Commissioner Urban continue to fulfill his obligations to the citizens of Downers Grove who elected him to represent our interests to the best of his ability, or will he struggle with the temptation of sharing information with the Village of Bensenville, information which is intended for the sole purpose and use by the Village of Downers Grove. As in any business situation, it is understood that good common sense shall be applied to the communication of any information regarding a sensitive situation.
I use words like, trust, integrity, leadership, ethics and loyalty, all of which are qualities needed to fulfill our obligations as the senior leadership of this community. When we took our oath of office, the exact phrase was and I quote “…will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Commissioner to the best of my ability”. It is my opinion that Commissioner Urban has violated his oath of office. If the discretion used by Commissioner Urban in this instance is a demonstration of “to the best of my ability” we have a serious problem. The problem resides with the use of information provided to him in the course of performing his duties for the Village of Downers Grove and the use of that information in performing his duties at the Village of Bensenville.
I am personally shocked by this action, which demonstrates the lack of integrity, professionalism, leadership and loyalty to our residents, this community, the employees of the Village and this Council. It is imperative that the residents understand the magnitude of this issue and the public deserves the right to know the truth about what happened. The residents of this community are entitled to competent representation on this Council and you as a Commissioner have sworn to always put the interests of Downers Grove first.
Lastly, Commissioner Urban, I think the residents of Downers Grove have the right to know if you had an ulterior motive in seeking a position on this Council to help or further your position and or interests within the Village of Bensenville.
I’m sure there are other issues and questions that need to be addressed this evening and I’m sure we will get some additional insight into this issue.
Mayor Krajewski: Hold the applause, please.
Commissioner Sandack: I’ll be brief. It’s disheartening for me to be sitting here and sitting in judgment of a new colleague. It’s disheartening and disappointing to have this Resolution entertained let alone be entered into, not to mention that Commissioner Urban and I are but one month into this job, and here we have presented a situation where as a Council, as a Village and staff the integrity of this Village has been compromised and that’s disappointing to me, it’s hurtful to me. Particularly, what I want residents to understand, particularly with relationships that have been developed over the last several years in an effort to benefit the Village. Those relationships have been called to question, compromised and perhaps hurt. I’m hopeful that it is not unduly damaged and that reparations can be made. The Village’s reputation and the Village’s interests trump all else and that’s why we sit up here. We took the oath that Commissioner Zabloudil just mentioned and it means something, and in every endeavor we ought to keep that in mind, we ought to keep what’s in the best interest of Downers Grove in mind. And if there is any question as to whether something is in someone’s self interest or in the Village’s, error ought to be siding on the Village’s side. Again, I’m disappointed and hurt that we are doing this, we are wasting Village time and resources having to put a censure on the record. I don’t know if that’s been done before. It’s a sad day for the Village of Downers Grove. Lastly I’ll just say, information gleaned, activities undertaken, and all activities that we do up here need to be in the best interest of Downers Grove exclusively. We all need to be reminded of that and unfortunately this censure resolution brings that to bear.
Commissioner Schnell: Thank you. I think that the censure resolution summarizes the situation, summarizes the fact that Commissioner Urban has* * stated the fact that he* * did divulge the e-mail. He may comment about that when he has his chance to talk. It is, at least in my estimation, it is a very unfortunate situation that I would have preferred to have discussed in closed session because it is an unfortunate situation for the Village. Hopefully, we can move forward as a Council, we can continue to build trust as a Council, and continue to serve the best interests of the Village of Downers Grove. The bottom line is that we are all here to serve the Village and we need to have trust among ourselves and we need to ultimately do what is best for the Village of Downers Grove.
Commissioner McConnell: Yes, thank you. I would agree with some of the previous comments. It is sad to even have this discussion at all, that we need to have it, and I think Commissioner Urban probably certainly, I would think wishes that we weren’t having this discussion either. And hopefully, not only Commissioner Urban, but all of us can learn from his error and judgment, hopefully I’m anticipating that that’s what it was, a bad error in judgment, and that we will not have to ever have this conversation for Commissioner Urban or any of the rest of us again. I also want to thank both the Mayor and the Village Manager. I think they’ve done an excellent job at damage control from what I’ve seen and heard, and I think partly that’s because of some of the relationships that they have previously established that will hopefully get us through the rough spots, if there are any yet to come through this and help us move forward. I think it’s also, I always look at unfortunate things as how can we learn something and move forward, and I think in particular Section 1 of the Resolution is really very good, and it’s a good way for us to have put in writing for all of our edification and for public consumption what our roles and responsibilities of elected officials are. I know it was helpful to me to read it again, or to read it for the first time, but think about it again, and I think it’s important for us to always be mindful of every action that we take, whether it’s with e-mail or an off hand comment that’s made in public or private does become subject to public scrutiny at some point or another and, so it’s easy for you to do something that you think is not a big deal and can turn out to be a huge thing, and part of our responsibilities, I think, to the public is to make sure that we’re very, very conscious of everything we do before we do it and think through what the down line consequences are, so, hopefully, Commissioner Urban we won’t have this conversation again and all of us can go forward.
Commissioner Tully: Clearly it’s very unfortunate we ever have to have this conversation. I know that Commissioner Urban certainly doesn’t like sitting here listening to this. None of us like to sit here and make these comments. We have things like eleven million dollar parking decks that we need to be focusing our energy on, and not the discipline of our own members. It is unfortunate that this happened, and I will simply share in my comments what I have already shared with Commissioner Urban. I did impart this to him beforehand. If this arose out of unforeseen circumstances, I suppose in one way this might be chalked up to a rookie mistake, but I’m very cognizant that concerns were raised by some residents prior to the election that they had a perception that there was a conflict of interest between Commissioner Urban’s employment with the Village of Bensenville and his serving as a Commissioner here now. Whether there is or there isn’t, you can reach your own conclusions. But the point was there were residents raised that very pointedly prior to the election, and I remember a public newspaper response by Commissioner Urban which basically dismissed that concern, saying that there would be no instance in which the Village of Downers Grove would be put, in any way, shape or form, behind his interest as an employee of the Village of Bensenville and his duty of loyalty to his employer. So the issue was clearly out there and in my view, this is not just a situation where the person in question needed to walk a very thin and narrow line. The person needed to levitate 300 feet above that line, and to have communicated information like this dealing with an extraordinarily sensitive issue that involved a tremendously important issue to the Village of Downers Grove and potentially, and did jeopardize the Village’s interests, albeit we were able to rescue it through the diligent efforts of both the Manager and the Mayor, at a minimum there should have been a pause, a question
—Mr. Ginex, is this something I can discuss? -- especially in light of the pre-election circumstances and pre-election concerns raised by some residents, I just think that it was inexcusable, and I shared that with Commissioner Urban and he has not said otherwise. I think that he has been candid in admitting to what happened and it was a mistake, and obviously we all hope that we’ll never have to have this discussion again. But that is my opinion as to why this is not just a “rookie” mistake, this was something that was perceived and should have been handled totally, totally differently. Unfortunately it did result in severe detriment to the Village of Downers Grove and it is the duty, as has been said by others, of every Commissioner up here to act in the best interests of all 50,000 residents, and to think along those lines whenever you are acting in your official capacity. But, I’m sure that Commissioner Urban will present his side of the story very aptly.
Manager Ginex: I just have a few things I want to say. First, I would like to thank the Mayor and the Council for their support in this matter. It’s been a trying week. And I also want to let the citizens of Downers Grove know that I have never met or spoken to the Village Manager of Bensenville or the Mayor of Bensenville, and when I heard about what happened last week, on Monday I called the Village Manager and left a message, and I have yet to receive a phone call back from him to discuss this. I did contact State Representative Patti Bellock because the Mayor had said that she called, and I wanted to, you know, apologize as to what had taken place last week Monday, and half way through the conversation I didn’t understand some of the comments that she made, and it was only then that she thought that I had let the e-mail out and I had to have some discussion with her to inform her how it actually got out, and she was surprised to find out. I have built up relationships over the last twenty-five years in the employment of the Village both as a Police Chief and Manager, and they have been somewhat damaged with some individuals, and I have already started on the road to repairing those, and I think whether it’s staff or elected officials, just piggy backing on what Commissioner Sandack had said, any information that we learn or that is disseminated that furthers the welfare and the operation of this Village has to be treated as organizational information, whether it is confidential information or not, I think you need to have to have a common sense approach to any information we glean that will help the welfare of this Village. I try to foster a team approach with my staff and I try to do the same thing with the Council, and you can only do that by having mutual respect and trust, and I think as a Manager it is imperative that I have that with the Mayor and Council. So in closing I’ve always made the welfare of this Village a priority in my decisions and not let any personal needs enter that process, and I think as elected officials, people we elect to office, that needs to be handled the same way. We serve the Village. I’ll continue to do everything in my power to protect the interests of the Village of Downers Grove, with citizens, employees, and I’ll work aggressively to combat those interests that conflict with ours. Thank you.
Mayor Krajewski: The residents of Downers Grove did, two years ago by referendum, expand our Council so we now have seven. What that does is allow our Council members to at least talk with one other person without being in violation. With that said I’m allowed to speak and talk with one person about Village business. I did meet on Saturday with Commissioner Urban. He knows my position. I won’t be going any farther with regards to that. I did ask Commissioner Urban that I thought it would be in his best interest if he talked to each Council member like I was able to talk to him. Before tonight’s meeting he did call every single Council member to explain to them, and we can only address certain things, as our Village Attorney has told us, in public. So Commissioner Urban did call and speak with all six Council members, or made attempts to. With all of us here we can’t met two at a time to talk about it.
The Mayor then called on Commissioner Urban.
Commissioner Urban: Yes, thank you Mayor. I would first like to go back to a direct question that Commissioner Zabloudil has asked. I don’t know that I understood or heard the question correctly and I’d like to answer that, because it had to do with something regarding my employment with the Village of Bensenville, and I think, and I’m paraphrasing, did I this position or attempt to take this position by running for Council to attempt to better my position in Bensenville, is that what the question was, Mr. Zabloudil?
Commissioner Zabloudil: My question was ‘Lastly, Commissioner Urban, the residents of Downers Grove have the right to know if you had an ulterior motive in seeking a position on this Council to help or further your position and or interests in the Village of Bensenville.’
Commissioner Urban: The answer is directly to you Commissioner Zabloudil, and to people here in the audience, and the citizens at home, the answer is ‘no.’ I first of all don’t see the correlation between being a Community Events Director, and just a community events Director, nothing to do with economic development, nothing to do with day-to-day activities such as, excuse me, a Village Manager or Assistant Village Manager may be privy to. Direct information, I am not privy to that. I do not see a benefit from sitting in this chair and working for the Village of Bensenville or in helping the Village of Bensenville. I would like to, at this point, go on and say that everything that you have heard from everyone who has spoke here regarding this resolution tonight is very, very factual. And I think it is very, very important that we do understand and everyone understands that the Village Manager, Rick Ginex, did not, nor has he ever spoke, as he has said, speak to anyone such as the Mayor, or any of the Council members, or the Village Manager in Bensenville. It was I that did have that conversation, did pass on the information that was passed on to me from the Village Manager here in Downers Grove. You are probably all sitting here wondering why I would do something, as was stated, that prior to the campaign there were some things said about is there going to be a conflict of interest. Believe me folks, I’m not totally crazy. I’m not going to do something that stupid right in the first month as Commissioner Sandack has said. It’s unfortunate that this has taken place. I was caught just as Rick was caught in what I’ll call a back stabbing situation. What had happened was in the flurry of going down to the Springfield Mayors and Managers Drive Down, we fortunately or unfortunately were caught up in not just a meet and greet, and here’s the new Commissioners and here’s the Mayor and have lunch and come back to Downers Grove, we were in the midst of lobbying for the “salvation” as I’ll call it, in my words, of the DuPage Water Commission, lobbying against the DuPage County, and in particular the County dissolving or attempting to dissolve the Water Commission. I have seen many Senators and many Representatives, and there were e-mails going back and forth, all over, concerning “do whatever you can do to make this not happen.” It came across that way to me that I did have, and I will use the word, an “in” to another Village that is part of DuPage County, who is part of DuPage Mayors and Managers, who is very vibrant and very expressive. When I saw the e-mail come across that would supposedly linked a deal to the O’Hare expansion and to the DuPage Water Commission, I attempted to put two and two together and get a Mayor of another community better known as Bensenville, motivated to jump in on this and salvage whatever he could. In turn, what he did, and the Mayor is John Geils, took it to the betterment of his community, not my community, used it in a letter to further his fight against Mayor Daley and the O’Hare expansion. I got stabbed. I told him I got stabbed. I went in the following day and offered my resignation. For personal reasons, which I don’t think I need to go into here, I did not end up resigning that day but I put the keys on his desk. My heart has been for 25 years and will continue to be here in Downers Grove. It will take a number of days, weeks, months
—hopefully not years -- for me to earn that trust back from my fellow Commissioners, Rick Ginex, all the staff, all the residents here in Downers Grove. At this time I would like to first of all personally apologize to the Mayor, my fellow Commissioners, most importantly Rick Ginex whose name and integrity was put on the line, and the Village of Downers Grove residents for putting them in a situation where similar to what Mayor Krajewski said that not only was this letter that came out of Bensenville came out unfortunately bad timing, the ad down in Springfield also came out in bad timing. People do make mistakes. I will learn from this mistake. As Commissioner McConnell said we need to go forward. I am sorry that I wasted the Council’s time with this issue, staff’s time with this issue, and once again I would also like to include any State Representatives, State Senators or any Legislators that may have been embarrassed by my actions.
Mayor Krajewski: Thank you. I will take limited public comments with regard—-everybody heard the Resolution, uh, we’re addressing the Resolution tonight. If there’s language or something that people do not like in the Resolution, feel free to tell us what you’d like to have added. So, are there any comments from anybody in the audience? Seeing that there are none, with the exception of that one change, if you could put that in there (to Attorney Petrarca), I’m just going to ask the Council to waive the one-week waiting period and we vote on this right now. Can I get a motion to waive our traditional one-week waiting period to consider new business?
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the traditional one-week waiting period to consider new business. Commissioner McConnell seconded the Motion.
Commissioner Urban interjected that he did have conversation with Enza, out Village counsel as to whether he should participate in the vote, and she advised me to vote, and I am voting Aye.
AYES : Commissioners Tully, McConnell, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS : None
Mayor Krajewski said the Motion passed unanimously to waive the traditional one-week waiting period.
The Mayor then called for a Motion for the Resolution with the addition of the Deputy Village Manager and Village Attorney’s names.
Commissioner Tully moved to approve the Resolution as read with the changes noted. Commissioner McConnell seconded the Motion.
AYES : Commissioners Tully, McConnell, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS : None
Mayor Krajewski said the Motion passed unanimously. He asked that the Resolution be sent to the State elected officials, and District County 2&3 Board members.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Services Committee
Commissioner Tully said that Public Services Committee met to have the inaugural meeting of the Local Transportation Subcommittee. He then named the members of the Subcommittee including himself, Commissioner Schnell, Larry Gress, Bob Kollmar, and Rich Mueller. The mission of the Subcommittee is to gather and update information from a study done in 1996 and bring that up to date, obtain the current statistics from Metra, obtain information from the DuPage Mayors and Managers transit organization, and identify steps that may increase ridership, as well as other alternatives for providing transportation within the Village. They anticipate a meeting in June to discuss ideas for increasing ridership and enhancing the self-sustaining aspects of the transportation fund in the Village.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
Manager Ginex noted that there will be another spraying tomorrow for Gypsy Moth Caterpillars north of 31st Street and east of Highland.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting seven items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending Chapter 19 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code; 2) An ordinance amending alarm code provisions; 3) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant agreement to the Illinois Commerce Commission; 4) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between The Village of Downers Grove and Advent Systems, Inc.; 5) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between The Village of Downers Grove and Turner Construction Company; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement for geotechnical engineering, inspection and testing services during the construction of and for the Downers Grove multi-story parking structure between The Village of Downers Grove and Versar, Inc.; and 7) An ordinance amending the fee for electrical examination.
Commissioner McConnell said the Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.
The Mayor said that a resident told him about the speeding traffic at South High School, which he witnessed himself today. He asked that the information be passed on to the Police Department.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh