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; Deputy Village Clerk Linda Brown
Absent:Village Clerk April Holden
Visitors: Press: Kris Owens, The Sun Residents: Peter Hultman, 5300 Walnut; Andrew Clark, 1226 62nd Street; Laurel Bowen, 829 Clyde Drive; G.L. Goodman, 5834 Middaugh; William Waldack, 1409 Willard Place; Sara Davis (Parking Deck); Mel Cramm, (Parking Deck) Staff: Mike Baker, Assistant to the Village Manager; Dave Barber, Director, Public Works; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Kerstin von der Heide, Forester; Jim Nehls, Police Department; Dave Van Vooren, Deputy Village Manager; Rita Trainor, Director, Financial Services
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.
Parking Deck Update. Manager Ginex asked Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works, to discuss this matter.
Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said they are halfway through with the super structure, doing half of the third level yesterday.
Sara Davis , owner’s representative, added that the quality has been good, and they are halfway through the stair towers. She briefed the Council on some issues, noting they are five weeks behind schedule. Turner wants extra money to finish on schedule, but there would be no guarantees. There is Commonwealth Edison work to be done which has been difficult to schedule. Other options are to let Turner finish late, and charge for liquidated damages. They would like direction from the Council.
Ms. Davis then said that although they thought the labor dispute was finished, there are still threats of picketing. She said they will remain with Terracon, as they are doing a fine job.
Ms. Davis said that last month they discovered some soil contamination. They thought that the bad soil had been removed, however when construction continued the dumpsite would not accept the soil due to additional contamination. She said that the installation of the storm sewers on the west side and north side will be completed. She indicated that the Village will directly control the work impacted by the contaminated soil, which will add costs.
Ms. Davis said that all along the architectural consultants believed no fire pump would be required; however, the Village has a strict interpretation of the Code and they require that this become part of the structure. She further noted that since last month there were about $2,000 of change orders that have been approved. There is another $46,000 recommended for approval as well, dealing with upgrades or items missed when the estimates were first made. Ms. Davis referenced Turner’s request for $348,000 for rock obstruction removal. That has been reviewed and it should cost about $2,700.
The Mayor asked whether Turner has agreed to that amount. Ms. Davis said the contract provides that the architect makes the final determination. If Turner does not agree, they will have to take the matter to court.
The Mayor then asked about the problem with Commonwealth Edison and what the issues are. Ms. Davis said they need them to move faster to complete the work they’ve been paid to do. There are overhead lines on the site right now, and the Village has paid in advance for that work to be placed underground. She said they hope it will be done by mid-April. The Mayor asked for information as to what Commonwealth Edison is required to provide so he can address the issues with them personally.
Mayor Krajewski asked about the different interpretation of the Fire Code for installation of a fire pump. He asked why Fire Prevention didn’t look at this before the construction started.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said they based the information on the architectural consultant’s design.
Ms. Davis said the architect did preliminary calculations, which seemed to indicate that the fire pump was not required however, the Village’s Fire Prevention disagreed.
Mayor Krajewski asked whether the contract was reviewed in regard to liquidated damages. He said $1,000 per day is not much incentive for them to complete the task on time. Ms. Davis said that was the amount in the contract provided by the architect. The Mayor said he would like to know who the person was who decided on $1,000 per day.
Commissioner Tully said, with regard to the fire pump, to prevent this in the future the plans should include a review by Fire Prevention at the beginning. He also agreed with not spending additional funds to have this completed on time.
Commissioner McConnell said she would agree with going with Option C. She also thought that the $1,000 per day was not a significant amount. She said the Council had a chance to look at that contract and needs to take our lumps on that.
Commissioner Urban asked what the cost of the fire pump would be. Ms. Davis said the backup generator needs to be upsized at a cost of $100,000. She did not think of this as an oversight, but there was a misunderstanding as to the Village’s interpretation of the Code. Commissioner Urban asked if the architect reviews and provides a final plan which would have included the fire pump. Ms. Davis said that the detailed design is to be provided by the sub-contractor. The architect provides drawings which show general requirements, and not detailed equipment specifications. The subcontractor works off the sealed plans.
Commissioner Urban agreed with not spending the additional funds for on-time completion.
Commissioner Schnell concurred with not paying the added funds. She asked whether the site will be chain linked during the Heritage Festival. Ms. Davis said it will be securely locked. Commissioner Schnell said that chain link fencing can be attractive to children.
Mr. Millette said that staff has been in contact with Mary Scalzetti regarding Heritage Festival logistics.
Commissioner Sandack concurred not to pay additional funds without a guarantee of on-time completion of the project. He said he is disappointed with the additional costs that are coming in. He asked if they are reaping what they sow, since residents and others have had difficulties with the Village Code in the past, and now the Village itself has had a problem. He said no one knew the fire pump would be required, but it would have been nice to anticipate this added expense.
Commissioner Zabloudil said he had nothing to add to what had been said already.
Tree and Stump Removal. The Manager asked Kerstin von der Heide to address this.
Kerstin von der Heide , Village Forester, said three bids were received. The bid is for removal of trees and stumps from the parkways or unimproved rights-of-ways. She said the low bid is from Bergquist at a cost of $108,000 which is higher than the proposed budget. The overall budget was for $260,000 with multiple contracts. She noted that the demand pruning came in below budget.
Dr. Gordon Goodman , 5834 Middaugh, commented that it was important to proceed with the various portions of the forestry program, however he is concerned that tree planting is one of the last bids taken, while the money is being used in other areas first. He asked the status of the budget. Mayor Krajewski said the budget hearing will be on April 6. Attorney Petrarca said that information will be available one week prior to the Public Hearing. Dr. Goodman asked where it would be available and was told it would be in the Library Tuesday morning.
Street Sweeping Services. The Manager said staff recommends awarding a contract to Dejana Industries which reflects a 1% increase.
Commissioner Tully asked Mr. Barber whether staff is satisfied with this bid.
Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said they agree that it is a good price based on comparison pricing in other areas.
Traffic Signals Maintenance. The Manager said staff recommends acceptance of a contract extension at no increase.
Fairview Avenue Watermain Replacement – Project #11-03. The Manager asked Mr. Millette to address this.
Mr. Millette said that ten bids were received, and Comstock Earthmoving was the low bid. They are new to the Village, but have a steady reputation. References were received from Lisle and LaGrange Park.
Mr. Millette said one change in the project will be the resurfacing of Fairview at the completion of the watermain installations. The County will be doing the resurfacing after the work is completed.
e. HVAC Coil. The Manager said this is for coil replacement in the Police Department. The coils on the climate changer need to be changed due to leaks over the years. Climatemp was the lowest bidder for the project in the amount of $15,216.00.
Ordinance: Skateboarding Restrictions. The Manager said this amendment includes motorized scooters or skateboards, and includes streets as prohibited areas.
Commissioner Tully said this Ordinance would apply to all business districts in the Village. He noted that there has been a change proposed regarding exceptions for people employing wheelchairs and other adaptive devises such as electric scooters due to disabilities.
Commissioner McConnell asked whether signs will be put up in all districts to assure enforcement.
Dr. Goodman said that he was pleased that wheelchairs were made exempt. He wondered about the signage, saying that stenciled letter signs in the CBD do not look good or show up properly. He said the signage should be clear and he asked for plans for the signage.
The Mayor said there are currently signs posted, and they will need to add more in the business districts.
2004 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The Manager said staff recommends this application. It requires a local match of $5,000 which will go toward the replacement of the existing air compressor. He asked that the one-week waiting period be waived.
YMCA Farmer’s Market. The Manager said the Farmers’ Market will begin June 19. It will be held at Lot B. One concern is that maintenance to Lot B is done prior to the start of the Farmers’ Market. If there are problems, the Market can be relocated to the Johnson Printer’s lot.
The Mayor said that there have been complaints of insufficient parking at the Market location and there are no handicap spots.
Chapter 2 Amendments.
Village Council Home Rule Policy. The Manager said Village Attorney Enza Petrarca would cover items 6 & 7.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca stated there are two components to the proposal: A proposed ordinance amending Chapter 2, Council Rules, as well as an amendment to the Home Rule Policy. The amendments to Chapter 2 attempt to make the procedures more in line with current practices. It would allow members to participate electronically as long as there is a quorum physically present. State legislation regarding this is pending. Chapter 14 is amended regarding abstention. Rule 30 is amended to reflect how minutes are sent out to the Council. Rule 32 is left over from a five-member Council. It stated that four affirmative votes were needed for any ordinance, resolution or motion. She is recommending this be changed to mirror State law. The other change relates to violating the confidentiality of executive session and states that this will result in censorship.
Regarding Home Rule, it was changed to meet present practices. The policy, as written, required that any Home Rule ordinance be published in a newspaper. She is recommending this be changed to require an item be placed on a Workshop Agenda two weeks before being placed on a Council agenda. It is limited to Home Rule tax ordinances as opposed to any Home Rule ordinance. When the Home Rule was created citizens were nervous about taxation, which is why the policy was created.
Ms. Petrarca noted that presently, if the Village chose to impose a Home Rule sales tax and received a petition signed by ten percent of the voters, a referendum would have to be placed on the ballot.
Mayor Krajewski addressed Chapter 2 first with referring to the Village Clerk as his/her. Regarding Rule 35 and censure, he asked if it still requires six people. Ms. Petrarca said it merely reflects a seven member Council. The Mayor then asked about Rule 36 and personal announcements by organizations other than the Village. He noted that occasionally the school districts or other public entities may appear to discuss specific projects. Ms. Petrarca said she would revise that portion of Rule 36.
The Mayor asked about Rule 32. Ms. Petrarca said Rule 32 mirrors the State, and is less restrictive. She said any ordinance would require four votes. The Mayor said his preference would be to keep it at the four votes requirement.
Commissioner McConnell said that with regard to Rule 36 she would recommend modifying it as long as it is limited to announcements for not-for-profit organizations. She has no problem with Rule 32.
Commissioner Tully said that with regard to Rule 32, he would like to think about it a bit more since there is a whole host of scenarios that could occur, such as members not attending in order to prevent something from passing. Attorney Petrarca said it was done in accordance with State law.
Commissioner Tully asked what the proposed restrictions are regarding electronic means of voting. Ms. Petrarca said that anything regarding bonds cannot be voted on electronically, and that the Council needs to provide its own rules. Commissioner Tully said he agrees that a rule or policy should be established with respect to the parameters regarding electronic communication.
The Mayor asked what would occur if there are two members traveling, and how that would be handled. Attorney Petrarca said she would check into it.
Commissioner Sandack said he would like to see what the State proposed last year regarding Rule 2. Attorney Petrarca said that the State law is broader than simply telephonic, and leaves it up to each municipality to create its own policy.
Commissioner Sandack said regarding Rule 32, he still would like to think it through. Attorney Petrarca said she surveyed several other communities regarding Rule 32 and they either had the State version or none at all.
Dr. Goodman said that updating the Council rules to match current situations should include telephone participation in Rule 2. Regarding Rule 32 he also questions whether resolutions and motions which do not create a liability against the Village should be subject to the requirement of a concurrent of a majority of members. As for Rule 35, Dr. Goodman addressed discussing confidential matters at Executive Sessions. He recommended inserting the word “properly” before the phrase “discussed in Executive Session.”
The Mayor said regarding the taxing ability under the Home Rule Policy, he likes publication in the newspaper, and he believes as much notice as possible should be provided, as well as several readings at the meetings. Attorney Petrarca said it does require a public hearing two weeks after it is Workshopped. With regard to the petition under the Home Rule Policy, the Mayor said that he received phone calls from Commissioner Wally Brown who recommended taking this very slowly, as did former Commissioner Tom Sisul. He said notice should be published in the newspaper with regard to taxes.
Commissioners Schnell and Tully agreed with the practice of publishing notice in the newspaper.
The Mayor said the Ordinances are provided for the Council to follow. With regards to 2A, they should publicize the intent of additional taxes. He noted that this seems to have been modified every ten years in the past, and it was due for another review.
Dr. Goodman provided background information regarding Home Rule power for municipalities, saying it allows a municipality to grant the same legislation as the General Assembly can do. He commented that if the procedures followed and the Ordinances governing the action do not match, rather than change the Ordinance, they should attempt to meet somewhere in the middle. He said it is important to review what comes under Home Rule consideration. He believes that the proposed changes go too far, and that there should be proper analysis and notification of any Ordinance related to Home Rule policies. He also recommends that procedures for tax Ordinances be simplified and brought up-to-date with electronic distribution, as well as at least one publication to alert the public. Dr. Goodman said that he believes the provision for a back door referendum on Home Rule tax is an important safeguard. He agreed with the choice to implement this as an Ordinance rather than a Resolution.
William Waldack , 1409 Willard, commented on Rule 2, which takes Home Rule to a whole new level. He believes Council members not attending the meeting and facing the public is irresponsible. He is opposed to Rule 2 and hopes that the Council does not support it.
Attorney Petrarca said State law provided specific requirements as to electronic participation, such as they must be out on business and not simply staying home rather than attending a meeting.
Commissioner Tully referred to Mr. Waldack’s comments regarding potential abuse. He said that fortunately the Council has had dedicated members who have not abused the Rule. He said that simply being out of town is not good enough to excuse absence. If he is out of town on business, but can call in to participate in an important vote, he should do so. He concurred that there should be limits on when and how the participation takes place.
Dr. Goodman agreed that electronic participation is important. He would like to see an interim policy stating the criteria for such participation. He asked that the Council treat this as the current Home Rule policy requires including proper publication and public hearing.
Ken Lerner , 4933 Whiffen, commented on the electronic attendance stating he has had no problem with Commissioners connected by phone. He would like to see some criteria added to include the ability to listen to the discussion. With regard to Rule 35, Mr. Lerner suggested qualifying language to say that censure only relates to matters “properly” discussed in Executive Session. Mr. Lerner said he also agreed with Dr. Goodman’s remarks concerning the Home Rule criteria, and maintaining the safeguard for resident petitions.
Attorney Petrarca asked for a consensus from the Council.
The Mayor said they need more time to review this, and not handle it at the next Council meeting.
Commissioner Tully said with respect to the publication requirement, he agrees that it should be continued. Regarding the “backdoor” provision in 2c, he tends to agree with the Ordinance is it stands, and they need to give appropriate analysis and discussion before making any changes.
Commissioner McConnell said she also was not sure that they should vote on either of these next week. She said that they want to have the safeguards regarding electronic participation now, and she would rather approve that now and if changes are necessary due to the State law, it could be amended. She agrees with adding the word “properly” for Rule 35. For Rule 36, it should be modified to include not-for-profit agencies. With regard to the Ordinance, she agrees with the publication process, as well as conducting public hearings. She is not sure as to the 10% figure for resident petitions.
Commissioner Schnell asked that they hold off on this until April 20 so any revisions can be in the Library for review by the public. Regarding the referendum, she thinks they need to see if 10% is the right number.
Commissioner Sandack said he echoes Dr. Goodman’s statement with respect to what is being done by the Council. Home Rule policies have been done in the past by Resolution, and the proposed change being discussed tonight is to codify this by Ordinance. He has no problem with the changes for the most part, and agreed that further discussion is appropriate. Regarding Chapter 2, he thinks electronic means should be utilized in rare instances, and policy should be established as to what constitutes the proper reason for electronic voting. He also wants to see further discussion before making a final decision.
Commissioner Zabloudil agreed that resident input is important, and that he agrees with the recommended changes mentioned tonight.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Tully said that a draft report for the Stormwater Subcommittee is being prepared and will be brought to the Council for discussion when completed.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting four items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending skating restrictions in business districts; 2) A resolution authorizing submittal of grant application to the US Department of Homeland Security for 2004 assistance to Firefighters Grant program; 3) A resolution authorizing an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and the Indian Boundary YMCA to jointly conduct the 2004 Downers Grove Farmers’ Market; and 4) A resolution appointing an authorized agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). She asked the Council to consider waiving the one-week waiting period to authorize the Firefighters grant application tonight.
Commissioner Tully moved to waive the traditional one-week waiting period for the discussion of new business. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
AYES :Commissioners Tully, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS :None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUBMITTAL OF GRANT APPLICATION TO THE US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FOR 2004 ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS GRANT PROGRAM
RESOUTION 2004 -17
This will authorize submittal of the 2004 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program application to the US Department of Homeland Security for grant funds in the amount of $53,122.00 for the purchase of a breathing air compressor. Note, the Village must also contribute funding in the amount of $5,312.00 as a condition of receiving the grant.
Commissioner Tully moved to authorize submittal of grant application to the US Department of Homeland Security for 2004 assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
AYES :Commissioners Tully, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAYS :None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried.
Commissioner Schnell said that some residents made comments about trying to get input from the Plan Commission in a more timely manner. Residents cannot have access to information until the Friday before a meeting. The question arose as to whether it would be possible to provide better communication between the developers and residents. She recommended that Joe Skach look into this.
The Mayor said that he will be providing the Council with the list of residents who have volunteered to serve on Boards and Commissions. There are a number of vacancies on some boards.
Mayor Krajewski said that the budget was discussed, and the public hearing is scheduled for April 6. He said copies will be available prior to that meeting at the Library or Village Hall.
The Mayor said that he believed the Council should look at the situation where Fire Prevention meets early in a project with the owner or developer so no problems arise during construction.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
Linda Brown Deputy Village Clerk