1. Call to Order
Mayor Brian Krajewski called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Krajewski led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner Ron Sandack, Commissioner Stan Urban, Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Martin Tully, Commissioner Mark Zabloudil and Mayor Brian Krajewski Non Voting: Village Manager Riccardo Ginex, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden Commissioner McConnell was in attendance by telephone.
Mayor Krajewski said he would like to remind everyone present that the Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC . In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6.
The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of the past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions on the active agenda items for this evening’s meeting. Following this, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on any subject. Finally, if a public hearing is scheduled for this meeting, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions related to the subject of the hearing.
The Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public. If anyone wishes to speak, the individual should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name and address. He stated that remarks be limited to five minutes, and asked that individuals refrain from making repetitive statements.
The Mayor said there are agendas located on either side of the Council Chambers, and he invited the audience to pick up an agenda and follow the progress of the Council meeting.
3. Minutes of Workshop and Council Meetings
Council Meeting – December 16, 2003 There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Krajewski said they would be filed as submitted. Staff Introduction
Manager Ginex introduced the new Public Works Director, Dave Barber, to the Council. Mr. Barber was public works director for Naperville, Evanston and Bowling Green, Ohio, and in 1995 was recognized as one of the top ten public works leaders by the American Public Works Association.
4. Public Comments and Questions
A. Comments and Questions on Active Agenda
There were none.
B. Comments and Questions on General Matters
There were none.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -01481 Claim Ordinance: No. 5511, Payroll, December 6, 2003 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
COR00 -01485 Claim Ordinance: No. 5513, Payroll, December 20, 2003 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -01483 List of Bills Payable: No. 5508, January 6, 2004 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A Passed The Consent Agenda
A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski
7. Active Agenda
REP00 -01484 Report: Results of 2003 Citizen Survey Assistant to the Village Manager, Mike Baker, presented the results of the Citizen Survey from 2003, conducted by Village Staff via mail survey. The survey is done every two years. It is considered a good vehicle for staff to communicate directly with residents. Surveys were sent to 3500 households, chosen at random through water billing records. There was a 38% response rate. Mr. Baker said the survey is comprised of 84 questions, as well as providing an opportunity for written comments.
Mr. Baker said that the Council has received a draft of the report, which will be finalized following this evening’s meeting. Among the most frequently mentioned topics of concern or which would be major issues in the next five years were traffic, taxes, downtown improvements, affordable housing, overpass construction, lack of a good CBD , crime. Compared to the 1996 survey, the responses were traffic, gangs, crowded schools, crime, taxes, downtown CBD issues, drugs, school funding and parking.
In terms of the degree to which residents are technologically experienced, almost 90% of the residents responding have computers in their home, of which 90% use it to access the Internet. In addition, 50% of the residents responding have cable or DSL connections.
Commissioner Schnell noted that while it appears there is a large number of residents who have computers, not a lot of those access the Village’s homepage. She suggested that the Village may need to advertise its website services better. Mr. Baker responded that was a good point and promotion of the accessibility of information is important.
The Mayor said that 700 people commented on the Village’s Internet website, while only 300 have frequented the website 3 or more times. In addition, 83% have never been to a Council meeting, and 12% have only attended one or two times. Eighty per cent have watched the meetings on TV once or twice. He said that it appears evident by some of the comments that word of mouth is where most of the people get their information.
Commissioner Tully said the survey is a job well done by staff, and serves as a valuable tool. It provides guidance to check the pulse of the community. Some of the charts compare this year’s results to similar questions asked in prior years. He said it would be helpful to see comparisons wherever possible to see possible trends. Commissioner Tully referred to Question 21 which had to do with planning, and received less than desirable remarks. He said this was listed in a series of services. The comments may be a result of many different definitions of planning.
Mr. Baker said there will be a section in the final report to show the trends historically. There have been some changes in the types of questions asked, but they will compare whatever is available. He agreed that Question 21 would benefit from additional clarification.
With respect to those areas which indicate a need for additional attention due to lower than desirable marks, Commissioner Tully asked if there is a formal procedure in place to attempt to address those areas. He gave as an example the stormwater permit process as an area needing improvement. Mr. Baker responded that there is no formal procedure. The results lead the staff to ask questions and think about the possible changes.
Commissioner McConnell congratulated the staff involved in putting this together. She said there are some innovative programs such as Neighborhood Policing which may be part of the change in trends regarding issues which are no longer as significant as they were in the past. Regarding those topics which received negative responses, she said it might be good to look at a more formal response that would come back to the Village Manager and Council. She suggested that the Manager might tie that into the objectives of the Village. Commissioner McConnell said they should maximize the use of this survey. There were responses in the written comments which indicate trends that need to be addressed, and said she would discuss this further with Mr. Baker.
The Mayor referred to the crime concerns in 1996-97, and that in 2000 it was the second highest. This past survey crime has dropped to #10.
Mayor Krajewski asked if the 313 comments could be broken down by area such as Park District, Schools, Sanitary District. Some people provided names and specific issues, and he asked whether staff would follow up with the individuals regarding their comments. Mr. Baker said that an opportunity was provided on the survey for those who wished to receive a receive, and staff will follow up on those.
Mr. Baker said that the report should be in finalized form by the end of the week. The Mayor suggested that it be sent to the School District, Park District and the Sanitary District. Indexes: Citizens Survey
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Finance Committee – November 4, 2003 Liquor Commission – December 4, 2003 Parking & Traffic Commission – November 12, 2003 A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Note Receipt Of this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Zabloudil and Mayor Krajewski Materials to be Received – Monthly Reports
The Mayor read a Proclamation designating December 26, 2003 as Armed Forces Family Day and asked residents to recognize the sacrifices being made by the Armed Forces to protect our country.
Mike Gilbert thanked the Mayor on behalf of the families for the Proclamation. Mr. Vic Balistrastro was also present, as his son was recently sent back to Baghdad. Mr. Gilbert said as a parent of a son deployed to the Persian Gulf, it is very difficult on the families as well. These are the children who have been raised in Downers Grove, played in our parks, and are now fighting in places around the world that are in turmoil. He asked that everyone continue to pray for their safe return home.
9. Manager’s Report
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
Commissioner Zabloudil said the Finance Committee met and discussed the budget update, capital and the Five Year Plan. In addition they reviewed several banking service agreements, and the accounts receivable list. He indicated that there is one year left on the loan for the Fannie May property.
Commissioner Tully said that the Local Transportation Subcommittee met last night regarding the Downers Grove Commuter Shuttle. They reviewed their draft report, and anticipate a final presentation to the Council for the meeting of January 27. They will meet again on January 14 at 6:00 p.m. to make final revisions to the report. He said the Subcommittee will outline a number of alternatives that the Council could consider with respect to the future of the Grove Commuter Shuttle, and the committee’s recommendations.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner McConnell wished everyone a Happy New Year.
Commissioner Zabloudil congratulated the Public Works staff for their work on snow removal earlier in the week.
Commissioner Sandack echoed the great work done by Public Works on the snow removal.
Commissioner Schnell said that the roads west of the Village were not nearly as good as the Village roads.
Commissioner Urban echoed the other comments, saying he traveled north and there was a noticeable difference.
Commissioner Tully extended wishes for a Happy New Year.
The Mayor said that the staff did a very good job in the snow removal. He noticed that there were 7 or 8 cars left out overnight that had to be plowed around. He reminded residents that there is no parking between 2:00-6:00 a.m. on the streets.
The Mayor congratulated O’Neill Junior High School for winning the Mayor’s Annual Basketball Championship, and the St. Mary’s 8th grade girls won as well. He thanked the Mullen family for donating trophies and medals, and former Commissioner Greg Vogler for assisting with the organizing of the event.
Commissioner Tully moved to adjourn. Commissioner Urban seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:13 p.m