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October 12, 2004

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: Residents: Christine Fregeau, 1918 Elmore; Andrew Clark, 1226 – 62nd St.; Catherine Loney, GCG Financial, Bannockburn, IL; Raymond & Christine Sieracki, 6249 S. Fairmount; Willis and Shirley Johnson, 603 Rogers St.; Dave Plum and Don Walters, PBA Staff: David Barber, Director, Public Works; Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works; Dorin Fera, Traffic Manager, Public Works; Lt. Dan Mejdrech, Fire Department; Rita Trainor, Director, Financial Services; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Media & Marketing; Bill Mierzejewski, Fire Marshall

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.


Manager Ginex noted that Item 6, Amusement Ordinance – Fingerprinting, is being removed from the Agenda to be considered at a later date.

Change Orders – Parking Deck: Manager Ginex asked Mike Millette, Assistant Director, Public Works, to discuss these items.

#16 – Relocate storm structure to avoid conflict with St. Joe Culvert & provide electrical & elevator connections for security system.

Mike Millette , Assistant Director, Public Works, said the change orders consist of two items each. Change Order #16 relates to the relocation of the stormsewer structure which is 9’ in size to avoid conflict with St. Joseph’s Creek Culvert; secondly this change order concerns the elevator interface for the security system to assure that the two systems will work together.

#17 – Provide larger chain link enclosure area & generator pad & Provide additional masonry wall in stair/elevator Tower #1.

Mr. Millette said that Change Order #17 covers a fence required for the enclosure of the generator on the far southwest corner of the deck; secondly, this change order will also include additional masonry for a shorter wall closed off to prevent access by the public.

The Mayor asked about Change Order #16 as to who drew the plans in the St. Joe Creek area. Mr. Millette said it was drawn by Lavoie, and he said it was probably an honest mistake. He said that prior to their work, there were two access points to the Creek culvert, one at Washington, and one near the cemetery. Lavoie assumed a straight elevation drop from the Washington manhole to the cemetery site. The Mayor said that the consultants are hired to provide the proper information. He asked whether the Village has any option to recover the costs involved, in an amount slightly over $14,000. Mr. Millette said they do have a conversation coming up with Lavoie on Change Order #17, and will bring Change Order #16 up at that time as well.

Agreement with Terracon, Inc. for Professional Engineering Consultation and Quality Control for the Parking Deck. Mr. Millette said that the Village has finally received the signed agreement from Terracon to finish the construction materials testing for the parking deck. This issue has been open since last December, during the union strike. The Village had Turner take over the testing so as not to further delay the deck. Terracon began working for the Village in February, and it took them to mid-September to adjust the contract language as requested by the Village’s Legal Department. That contract is before the Council for approval at an amount of $93,000. Mr. Millette said that Terracon is a reputable firm with good expertise and good field staff. He said staff was happy with their work.

The Mayor asked who underestimated the amount of testing time it would take. Mr. Millette said it was underestimated by all three companies from whom the Village originally received proposals. The Mayor said the original contract with ECS was “not to exceed” $79,000. ECS received $70,000, and the Terracon cost is $93,000 for a total of $163,000 on testing. He asked whether ECS would have done the completed job for the original estimate of $79,000. Mr. Millette responded that they would not have done it for that figure. The professional service is “not to exceed” but it is based on unit rates. Mayor Krajewski then asked if ECS had come in at $79,000 and the other two companies had bid $160,000, would they have recommended ECS at the low bid. Mr. Millette said that had the other two firms estimated the higher figure, that would have been a “red flag” to him which would have required looking more closely at the project and why the cost differential existed. In this case, however, all three bidders came in with almost the same estimates. Lacking other information on the original contract, they should have come to the Village with a higher figure.

Commissioner Tully asked for information as to how the unit prices compared between Terracon and ECS . He also asked if there was an engineer’s estimate, and if staff can break down how much of the $93,000 was due to the project being extended beyond the anticipated time frame.

Commissioner Sandack said there was obviously an interruption in service based on the strike, and asked if any of this can be passed along to ECS .

Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said that it was a smooth transition when Terracon came in to replace ECS .

The Mayor asked whether Turner also paid Terracon, and Mr. Millette said he would get the figures.

Parking Restrictions: Station Crossing, Main to Highland, Warren to Rogers. The Manager said staff has looked at the parking situation at Station Crossing and they are trying to balance the shopper/commuter/employee parking in that area. The P&T Commission recommendations are: 1) remove existing four-hour meters on both sides of Rogers between Main and Highland and replace them with three-hour signed parking from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; 2) both sides of Rogers between Highland and Washington, the four-hour sign parking will be replaced with signed three-hour parking 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; 3) on the north side of Warren Avenue between Main and Highland they will replace the existing two-hour signed parking with signed three-hour parking 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; 4) on the north side of Warren Avenue between Highland and Washington Street they will replace the existing two-hour signed parking with three-hour signed parking 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; 5) on the south side of Warren Avenue west of Main, Lot A, they will remove the nine 12-hour meters and replace them with three-hour signed parking 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. All of these will result in no change in the number of spaces.

Commissioner Tully asked about the number of 15-minute spots in the Village and the locations, and if there is a comprehensive policy as to when and where these spots will be created.

Dave Barber , Director, Public Works, said P&T discussed the confusion with inconsistent parking times. He said that they will provide the information regarding the number and location of spots.

Commissioner Schnell said she had some questions about loading zones, and if it is possible to review loading zone times to free up some parking for the Tivoli. She suggested looking at the possibility of having loading zones from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Village Attorney Petrarca said that there is no parking on Rogers on both sides. Commissioner Schnell asked that staff look at that again and try to find some options.

The Mayor asked if the Warren side of Station Crossing will be striped, and Mr. Barber said it will be striped.

Commissioner McConnell said regarding the loading zone, she thought there were some businesses that needed other times for deliveries.

Commissioner Schnell asked also when the asphalt patch will be fixed. Manager Ginex said he has had conversations with Mr. Gammonley and will follow up with that. Commissioner Schnell asked if there is a way to pull their bond because it looks very bad. The Mayor agreed that they should give Gammonley a specified date and if it is not fixed, pull their bond. Mr. Barber said staff would look at this and get back to the Council.

Willis Johnson , 603 Rogers, asked whether the Council will act on the ordinance and not wait for the overall plan downtown. He encouraged the Council to do so since the three-hour parking would encourage shopper parking. He said there are two 15-minute spots at Station Crossing. He asked P&T to evaluate the 15-minute zone as well. It takes a good parking space away for an entire day. While the ordinance will help the overall parking in the area, there were comments made that when the parking deck opened, the commuter parking area on the south side of Warren Avenue from Highland to mid-block would be converted to shopper parking as well.

The Mayor said he was aware of the lot across from Starbucks being converted, but was unaware of the one that Mr. Johnson mentioned. He asked the Council to consider shopper parking on the east side of Main Street as well.

The Mayor said they will have P&T look at the whole downtown area as to a comprehensive plan. This relates to discussions about METRA ’s request for 750 commuter parking spaces.


a. Vehicle Purchase – 4 Scheduled Replacements . The Manager said these vehicles are for the Fire Department. Two are going into Fire Administration and two into Fire Prevention. They will replace existing vehicles with Ford Explorers and Tauruses for Fire Prevention. Council questioned the maintenance and upkeep of the Ford Explorers. Manager Ginex said the Garage staff did not see any additional cost caused by the change in vehicles. There was no vehicle budgeted for the extra Battalion Chief. Of 14 departments surveyed, there are four that use a SUV for a Chief’s Vehicle and seven for a Deputy Chief’s vehicle. Seven of the departments use an Expedition, Explorer, Excursion, van, or Suburban for their Battalion Chief of Safety. These vehicles are brought home for emergency situation responses.

The Mayor asked if the Crown Victorias were being traded in and how many miles they had.

Fire Chief Phil Ruscetti said the one he drives has 102,000 miles on it, and it is a 1996. The Mayor asked why they want to go with Explorers or SUVs. Chief Ruscetti said that the trend since 9/11 is to carry much more equipment and gear. All cars are set to facilitate NIMS . Four-wheel drive is beneficial. He said they came in under budget on these and they are being purchased right in town. Further, Explorers make for a safer response as they sit higher in traffic.

b. Fire Plan Review Contract. Chief Ruscetti said the Department has been successful in outsourcing their plan reviews. It is hard to keep up with difficult projects, and they need specialists to address the specific needs. He said that Council wanted errors and omissions added to the contract and the bids were sent out again. B&F Technical services was the most responsive and responsible.

The Mayor said that the bid itself does not require errors and omissions. Village Attorney Petrarca said it is in Section 15.7. The Mayor asked that they put the dollar amount in 15.1. He said that in 15.1 it refers to an amount of $2 million, while the Fire Plan Review contract only shows $1 million. Attorney Petrarca said they would check on that and address it. The Mayor said all of the insurance should be put in 15.1, and the insurance consultants should also review this.

Commissioner Tully asked about the Village’s prior experience with B&F Technical, and if none, how their competence was assessed. Chief Ruscetti said Howard Hoffman had referrals from other communities. He said he would attempt to get that information for next week.

Mayor Krajewski said that Howard Hoffman was the Deputy Fire Prevention Chief and has taken a job elsewhere. From a process standpoint, the Mayor said the Department is sending out the bigger jobs and keeping the smaller ones in-house, and coordinating with the various departments. Chief Ruscetti said Fire Marshall Bill Mierzejewski does most of the planning. He reviews the permits from the Building Department on a rotation basis. If something is missing, a letter is sent requesting plans from the general contractors. On larger projects, the drawings are very comprehensive, and if they are outsourced, they can work with the company in question.

The Mayor then asked whether there is communication between the Department as to progress of inspection and reviews.

Fire Marshall Bill Mierzejewski said he notifies the Code Department. Chief Ruscetti said he is proud of the work that Bill does, as he works both with the outsource people as well as Code Services.

Chris Fregeau , 1918 Elmore, said she noticed two things in the bid that were confusing to her. She said there was a large discrepancy in the review of site plans for underground water mains, and the fire protection system testing. Chief Ruscetti said that staff would examine that and respond.

The Mayor asked whether the Village’s fees match the bid fees, and Attorney Petrarca said she will look into this as well.

Procurement Cards. The Manager asked Rita Trainor, Director, Financial Services, to address this.

Finance Director Rita Trainor said that these are American Express Procurement Cards. She said this was brought before the Finance Committee.

Commissioner Tully asked to give an example of how this would help streamline the process. He also asked about the use of these cards in other municipalities.

Ms. Trainor said that American Express has had more experience in the corporate sector. She has not questioned other municipalities. She has attended training sessions regarding procurement cards, and said that most finance directors like them, but some thought there were not feasible for smaller organizations and some were concerned about a perceived lack of control. She said she does not see those as problems for the Village. In terms of streamlining, it will allow the Village to do all of the purchases in a month while cutting only one check.

The Mayor said he is uncomfortable with the concerns about the lack of control. He said that the American Express cards would be used for charging a few million dollars worth of expenses and he would be more comfortable with better controls. In addition, he asked that the Finance Department discuss with vendors billing on a monthly basis and cutting them one check.

Ms. Trainor said that the concerns were unique to other organizations. American Express has improved their program. The Village can put employees’ name on the cards. Additional controls are allowed. She said that regarding the ability to use the card for anything, they can be restricted to certain vendors and can limit the dollar amount to be charged on the card. She does not expect billing at the $3 million threshold in the first couple of years. Regarding monthly bills by vendors, there are a great number of vendors that the Village deals with, although they can explore the potential.

Commissioner Schnell asked about fraud protection, and how the Village is protected if someone were to get the card number. Ms. Trainor said it is in the name of the Village. No personal information would be divulged. She said she would ask American Express about fraud protection and the Village’s exposure.

The Mayor asked if an employee could use the cards in a store like a credit card. Ms. Trainor said they could, because it works like a credit card. The Mayor said he read in the report that there would be a low dollar volume but high number of transactions. He is uncomfortable with the controls in this situation. Ms. Trainor said that currently they simply call and order a part and the Village is billed. The difference here is that they would be paid sooner and hopefully the Village would be able to negotiate better terms with the vendors. The Mayor said he sees a need for checks and balances in this situation. The purchase, charge and delivery will all be by the same person. The Mayor suggested exploring other options as he is concerned about this control issue.

Commissioner Tully said he understands that they are estimating approximately $1 million in expenditures since this will start in Public Works, and eventually when other Departments are included they will hit the $3 million threshold. He understood that there would be a software licensing fee of $6,000 per year, and asked whether she sees the efficiencies creating a return on the investment that will allow the Village to recoup their expenses. Ms. Trainor noted that the Village will pay a fee if it does not hit the $3 million threshold. Commissioner Tully then asked what the return on the investment would be as they will be paying $12,000 in fees for the first two years. Ms. Trainor said that they anticipate the savings in operations.

Commissioner Tully then asked what arrangements would be made in the event their software does not adapt to our current environment and has to be removed. Ms. Trainer said there would not have been any expenditures from the Village at six months.

Manager Ginex clarified that this is an administrative policy, and will not be coming back to the Council. This is an informational report only.

The Mayor said that Public Works will be saving time partly due to the existing accounting software, which is very time-consuming. Often these changes, however, don’t work effectively in the beginning.

Commissioner Zabloudil said that the Finance Committee also outlined checks and balances guides that need to be in place and established up front. He said that coding is very important.

The Mayor reiterated that he is very concerned about the controls.

Health Insurance. The Manager asked Greg Zimmerman, Director, Human Resources, to address this item.

Greg Zimmerman , Director, Human Resources, said that the Village has contracted with Humana since 1999. He summarized the information submitted to the Council in their packet. Last year Smartsuites was a new Humana product. Catherine Loney of GCG , the Village’s Health Consultant, cautioned the Village not to move on this for at least a year. Mr. Zimmerman said that in January of this year they found deficiencies in Smartsuites, and they experienced a loss of control of the benefit design, even though they maintained their self-insurance status. A committee was formed to explore the concerns of the users, and they met with Humana to no avail. Ms. Loney was then asked to explore options with other insurance carriers that might be available. The goal is to seek better service, preserve flexibility, and maintain a cost positive program for the Village and its employees. Quotes were sought from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Humana, and United Health Care. Humana and United Health Care did not respond. The primary drawback with Blue Cross was that premium levels were set only for the short term, followed by long-term cost increases. Blue Cross also did not afford the flexibility needs expressed by the Committee.

Mr. Zimmerman said that Ms. Loney then contacted Professional Benefit Administrators (PBA) in Hinsdale, which would provide flexibility in evaluating and modifying various elements of the overall plan. The Committee members were invited to their facility for site visits. PBA offers a nationwide provider network that will serve retirees as well, with a choice of plans with both high and low deductibles. GCG also negotiated discounts with Good Samaritan Hospital. He said that PBA fulfills the budgetary needs and provides better coverage for the employees, in a cost neutral transition. Their customer service is high. In addition, there would be a prescription drug benefit similar to the previous plan. He thanked Commissioner McConnell for her time and attendance at the meeting, and recommended approving PBA as the 3rd party claim administrator effective January 1, 2005, and to improve the benefit program outlined in the report.

The Mayor said that the contract extension for GCG is next on the Agenda. He noticed that they have been the consultants for the past 15 years, and asked why the Council wasn’t informed about the problems that Ms. Loney outlined. He does not recall that report with a staff recommendation saying that Ms. Loney notified them of potential problems, but recommended going forward anyway. He said he would like to see the recommendation that said she warned the Council and the Council went against her recommendation.

Ms. Loney said that Chuck Kramer has worked with GCG for a number of years, and she has been primarily responsible for the Village for about 5 years. She brings recommendations for premium increases which is not always implemented due to budget constraints, etc. When she attended the last meeting with the Smartsuites recommendation her skepticism was that it was a new product. Her charge was to provide multiple options and cost savings. Smartsuites provided multiple options and provided the ability to structure savings. The savings would be primarily in the amount of money shifted to the consumers who used the plan. Even though it met the objectives, Ms. Loney did not feel this product was right for the Village.

The Mayor said he does not recollect the warnings as it would have raised a red flag for him. Ms. Loney said she did not warn against this. She will implement what the Village wants. She expressed the concern that there was no other carrier and they had nothing to compare the product to. She noted that she provides information that may or may not get to the Council.

Commissioner McConnell said they need to recognize that the Village has a very difficult plan, and it is hard to get companies to give them a quote. She said this was a failed experiment, and they did not like it once they got it due to its limitations, which could not be changed. Service was horrendous, and staff was not using the plan, which was not good for the Village on a long-term basis. Last year they did not have any reserves in place. Commissioner McConnell said she wants the Council to be clear that they are now fully at risk, other than the specific $75,000 stop-gap policy. The Village is again taking a great deal of risk compared to what we had with Smartsuites. This is probably the right thing to do given that we cannot live with the Smartsuites or Blue Cross limitations.

Ms. Loney said that the people were not using the plan or were incurring all of the expenses. The plan was studied in several fashions. They did obtain some additional reserve dollars which were not in place this past year. Humana came back and stated that they are current with the payment of claims, however, they are not fully comfortable with that.

Commissioner McConnell asked about the performance agreement, and the telephone responsiveness.

Dave Plum , PBA , said that every call is answered live by an individual. If all agents are busy, and are not available after 90 seconds, the call is redirected to the claims floor where it will be answered. Response time for calls into the customer service unit will be answered live 100% of the time.

Ron Walters , PBA , said that their abandonment rate is 2%, while it is 6% for the remainder of the industry. Commissioner McConnell said 100% was great from her perspective. Mr. Walters suggested the agreement be changed to 98%. Commissioner McConnell said that was fine with her. Commissioner McConnell then asked about the banking account. Ms. Loney said she realized there would be confusion over that. She said this is a template contract, but with the custom banking they will get financial statements on a monthly basis.

Ms. Loney said that one of the first things they will do, because of its importance, is to provide an outline of benefits to be placed in PBA ’s system. Mr. Plum said that the Summary Plan Description and Plan Document will be ready for the employees, and there is no additional fee.

The Mayor asked if they have to stay with Lake Forest Bank. Ms. Loney said that GCG has multiple accounts there and has savings there. They did ask to find a bank locally last year. The Mayor said that the Village has a good relationship with Downers Grove banks. Ms. Loney said that it is to GCG ’s advantage to work with Lake Forest Bank. The Mayor said he would like to know which banks in Downers Grove were contacted who did not want to waive the fees.

The Mayor asked what other Villages they work for in DuPage County. Mr. Plum said Glen Ellyn and Lisle.

In regard to the Good Samaritan agreement, Ms. Loney responded to Commissioner McConnell that she received the agreement this afternoon and would e-mail it to Attorney Petrarca and Mr. Walters.

Commissioner McConnell then asked if it is better to have the Good Samaritan contract with the Village or with PBA . Ms. Loney said Good Samaritan preferred to have the contract with the Village. She asked the Legal Department to review this in terms of liability. Attorney Petrarca has not yet reviewed the contract. Mr. Plum said that the hospital’s legal department prefers to have the contract with the client.

In response to Commissioner McConnell, Mr. Plum said in 20 years they have never paid out on a guarantee.

GCG Agreement. Mr. Zimmerman said that the contract was due to be renewed in May 2004 and an extension document was not prepared until July. Somehow that document was lost. He said staff is therefore asking for the extension before taking this out to bid, and is asking that this be extended to April 2005.

The Mayor said he thought they went out for bid every two years, and Attorney Petrarca said this is a consultant. The Mayor said he had a lot of concerns yesterday, but he has no problem with the extension of the contract. He said they have apparently done a lot of work without the contract. Ms. Loney said she just wants this fixed and to have the employees have the right heath care coverage. She said she didn’t even know the contract expired. Her recommendation is to move forward with PBA , that they use Sun Life for the stop loss insurance, and Drug Card, Inc., and that they move back to the focus of preventive care.

The Mayor said he would like to see last year’s recommendation.

Bus Advertising Policy. The Manager said Doug Kozlowski administers the advertising program, and the changes reflect some language changes and pricing terms for the interior advertising options. There are three signed contracts at this time. He showed the advertising policy prepared for the advertising clients.

The Mayor asked to see what the dollar amount projected was in the budget.

Commissioner Tully said the budget amount was based on a proposed contract with Viacom that did not go forward due to language issues. He is happy to see that they have three ads, and complimented Mr. Kozlowski on the professional looking materials prepared.

Mayor Krajewski asked whether County Board member John Noel has contacted the Village regarding the bus shelters. Manager Ginex said he did hear from him several months ago. The Mayor said many communities do not want the billboards in shelters.


There were none.


Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting six items to the Council: 1) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Terracon, Inc.; 2) An ordinance amending parking restrictions on Warren and Rogers; 3) A resolution authorizing execution of a claims administration agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Professional Benefit Administrators, Inc.; 4) A resolution authorizing execution of an addendum to an agreement for professional services between the Village of Downers Grove and GCG Financial; and 6) A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Advocate Health Partners for and on behalf of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, a hospital operating division of Advocate Health and Hospitals Corporation.


Manager Ginex said that Chief Porter is at the FBI Academy in Quantico, and mentioned that President Bush spoke with the officers who were there. In addition, Chief Porter had an opportunity to meet with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.


Commissioner Sandack thanked the second graders at Pierce Downers School for the hospitality and good questions in their discussion on voting.

Commissioner Schnell thanked the Downers Grove Watch for hosting the forum on Saturday for home rule, and she hopes people understand the importance of this. She then said that Character Counts will have its pancake breakfast on October 30 at Ballydoyle’s from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Commissioner Tully said with respect to the Advocate Health Partners contract, they will essentially be waiving the one-week waiting period. Attorney Petrarca said she will discuss this further with Ms. Loney in terms of putting it on the November 2 agenda.

Commissioner Tully extended his thanks to Commissioner Schnell and the staff regarding the presentation on the benefits and uses of home rule in Downers Grove. He said she represented the Village and the Council very well.

Commissioner Tully announced that the Indian Boundary YMCA is having a grand re-opening of their Wellness Center on Saturday, October 16 and more information can be obtained by calling 968-8400. They are also sponsoring a Halloween Party Family Fitness Night on Friday, October 29.

Mayor Krajewski thanked the visitors from London for their visit with the band members and their families. He said that Downers Grove South High School has been officially invited to play at the New Year’s day parade in London. They will be one of 12 bands from the United States.

The Mayor then questioned the policy regarding the Smartcards. He said he noticed some time ago that there were invoices from different departments for Planning Resources, a consultant, regarding stormwater work. The totals were more than $10,000. If amounts accumulate, they need to be brought before the Council. Attorney Petrarca said that they are treated as individual contracts per the purchasing policy.

The Mayor announced that the next Coffee with the Council will be held at Fire Station #5 at the north of McCollum Park at 9:00 a.m.


The Mayor asked for a motion to move into Executive Session.

Commissioner Tully moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to discuss personnel and 2©(6) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider setting of a price for Village property. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.

VOTE : AYE – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Sandack, Zabloudil, McConnell, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAY – None

Mayor Krajewski adjourned the Workshop meeting into Executive Session at 8:40 p.m.

April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh