1. Call to Order
Mayor Brian Krajewski called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Roll Call: Present: Commissioners Waldack, Urban, Sandack, Tully, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski
Absent: Commissioner McConnell
Commissioner Tully moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to Section 2©(11) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider litigation. Commissioner Urban seconded the Motion.
VOTE : AYE – Commissioners Tully, Urban, Waldack, Sandack, Schnell, Mayor Krajewski NAY – None
The Mayor declared the Motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 5:35 p.m.
Mayor Krajewski reconvened the Council meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the 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 William Waldack and Mayor Brian Krajewski Non Voting: Village Manager Cara Pavlicek, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden
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 20, 2005 There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Krajewski said they would be filed as submitted.
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 -02188 Claim Ordinance: No. 5617, December 23, 2005 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -02189 List of Bills Payable: No. 5606, January 3, 2006 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski
7. Active Agenda
RES00 -02169 Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with Tyler Technologies re: Financial Software Sponsors: Finance Summary of Item: This will authorize an agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Tyler Technologies, Inc. for purchase and installation of financial software.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND TYLER TECHNOLOGIES , INC.
RESOLUTION 2006 -01 Commissioner Tully said there has been some discussion regarding options for implementation. He thanked staff and the Technology Commission for their work. He said this has been a good and thorough process. Regarding implementation, Commissioner Tully said he has full confidence in the IT department and systems admininistrator; however, if there is additional assistance that can be obtained he would be in favor of it due to the importance and magnitude of the project.
Mayor Krajewski suggested that the consultant be on an as-needed basis.
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said that in addition to tonight’s contract, staff will proceed to include budget for $70,000 for a consultant on retainer. This money will not be spent unless a consultant is needed.
Commissioner Schnell thanked staff for the additional information on the implementation. A motion was made by Commissioner Tully, seconded by Commissioner Urban, to Adopt this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Financial Software
MOT00 -02192 Motion: Grant Application to PACE and Preparation of FY 06 Budget re: Downers Grove Bus System Sponsors: Finance Summary of Item: Motion to proceed with the grant application to PACE regarding acquisition of eight (8) CNG buses and to authorize the Village Manager and Village Clerk to sign the application on behalf of the Village and to take the steps necessary to implement the terms thereof; and to take such additional actions as needed to prepare the FY 06 budget to support and enhance continued operation of the Downers Grove bus system. Commissioner Schnell noted that approving this demonstrates to the public the stability of the Downers Grove Commuter Shuttle. She said she hopes to identify more uses of the CNG buses. She thanked the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) for their work.
Commissioner Sandack said his opinion regarding the buses has been known. There is something new about this concept. While he always felt that public transportation made sense, his view was that the old buses did not square with good prudent use of Village dollars. He noted that this is a new system with eight small, fuel-efficient buses, and the routes have been reworked. He said he would be voting in favor of this. He said it would be a mistake not to coordinate with PACE . The Village is well-served to continue this program. He suggested that staff explore whether PACE can maintain the buses. He said he has confidence that the TAC will continue to review this matter.
Commissioner Waldack said he has long been a supporter of the commuter system and noted that this is not the old system. This is a chance to improve the system and take advantage of new opportunities. He expressed his appreciation for the work of the staff and the TAC . He said he will support this.
Commissioner McConnell thanked the TAC and staff. She said this is the beginning of a new program and there is much more work to be done. She urged the Council to make a commitment in terms of staff as well as equipment.
Commissioner Urban said he was surprised he made this motion. He said he has listened to the TAC and residents, and now looks at this matter in a new light. He looks at the transportation system as a whole. He suggested a need to look at changes for parking. He said he would not vote in favor of just a bus system, but he would vote in favor of a whole transportation system.
The Mayor noted that the Village charged the most along Metrorail for parking.
Commissioner Urban said other communities do not have transportation systems.
With respect to the parking deck, the Mayor said the Village is unable to change rates.
Commissioner Tully said this discussion has been going on for at least four years. He complimented the work of the TAC . He said they were charged with developing measures to enhance ridership, raise awareness of benefits, and solve the capital dilemma as there was no money for fleet replacement in the budget. TAC brought forth recommendations to address all of these issues. He said there is widespread support for the bus system beyond those that use it on a daily basis. He complimented staff and the TAC for raising awareness of the system. Regarding increasing ridership, Commissioner Tully said the goal was to increase ridership by 50%. Although that has not happened, the slide has leveled off. He noted the importance of making a long-term commitment in order to expect people to rely on the buses. Regarding the operating expenses, Commissioner Tully said it is acceptable to have a bus system as long as the cost is reasonable. The TAC and staff have done a good job of streamlining costs. Commissioner Tully noted that fleet replacement is a big issue. The grant application to PACE for eight CNG buses will replace the existing fleet. This is a great opportunity for the Village and one that should not be passed up. He noted it would be difficult to continue this program without the grant funds. Referring again to the operational costs, Commissioner Tully said the buses are operated with a substantial subsidy. Council will begin the budget process soon and will look for ways to continue this service with the least possible burden on taxpayers. He said if the Village receives the grant and the financing is determined, this should be included as a line-item on the budget five-year plan to demonstrate long-term commitment to the buses.
Mayor Krajewski asked about the timeframe for the application process.
Dave Barber, Director, Public Works, said he will be meeting with PACE as this is a new program for them. He expects to know the schedule by the end of the month. He noted that PACE received a $3.8 million grant from CMAQ for commuter buses.
The Manager noted that this will impact the 1/1/07 budget.
Mr. Barber said PACE ’s budget was increased specifically for these buses. It will be approximately eight months before the buses are delivered.
The Mayor noted that this motion is to authorize proceeding with the grant application to acquire the buses. The only way the system can continue to run is to get new buses. This application provides the funding and is the only way to continue the system.
Commissioner Tully suggested reviewing options to maintain the buses.
In response to the Mayor and Commissioner Tully, Mr. Barber said he will look into the cost of using PACE ’s maintenance garage. He noted that the workload will be reduced with the new buses. A motion was made by Commissioner Urban to Authorize this file. Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sandack, Commissioner Urban, Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Tully, Commissioner Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Indexes: Buses
REP00 -02190 Citizens Survey Report Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager, said the Citizens Survey has been done on an alternating year basis since 2001. The survey was mailed to 3,239 residents in August. A total of 1,627 households responded, a 50% response rate which is significantly higher than in past years. Mr. Baker discussed the following themes in this year’s survey: 1) Continued use of technology by residents including access to high speed internet and visitors to the Village’s website; 2) Residents’ use of the internet for on-line shopping and the threat this presents to sales tax; 3) Continued high marks and responses for service delivery; 4) Suggestions for improving customer services which was added to this year’s survey; 5) Opportunities for comments. Mr. Baker said 395 comments were received; many dealt with other units of government. He noted that the survey will be available on-line and those requesting it will be sent responses.
Mayor Krajewski noted that many of the comments related to the Park District and 80% of the Park District comments were regarding a pool. He further noted the importance of getting accurate information to the public and gave examples of comments containing misinformation. He said staff got very high marks; many were slightly higher than the previous survey.
Commissioner Sandack asked as to the publication goal.
Mr. Baker said a copy of the report will be placed on our website and respondents will be contacted, per their request.
Commissioner Sandack suggested including comments in the Village Corner on a continuing basis.
Commissioner Schnell noted that traffic was not perceived as the number one problem for the first time she remembers. Teardowns were considered the number one problem. She noted the importance of publicizing this issue when it comes before the Plan Commission including what the Plan Commission recommendations will mean, their effect, and citizen involvement. She complimented staff and commented that the survey is an excellent tool for the Council.
The Mayor commented that Sgt. Nehls and the traffic unit has done a good job with respect to traffic. Further, the Mayor reviewed the top ten list of problems and asked for clarification as to the categories. He suggested that Amnesty days be reviewed during the budget process as it is the number one service people would like to have.
Commissioner McConnell asked if comments related to teardowns could be extracted for the Plan Commission.
In response to Commissioner McConnell, Mr. Baker said the comments will be on the website. Responses to comments are coordinated through the Community Response Center.
Regarding question #72, Commissioner McConnell noted that many of those items have been negatively impacted by the budget downturn of the last few years and the Council has been trying to reinstitute those services. It was clear from the survey comments that there is a need for these services and it is important to look at this in the budget process.
Regarding customer service, question #73, Commissioner McConnell asked that these comments be shared with the customer service group.
Commissioner McConnell challenged the staff to make better use of the information contained in the report, including during the budget process.
Commissioner Tully said he appreciated the responses and the time people took to complete the survey. He noted a continued increase in satisfaction with Village services. He further noted that this is a much higher response rate than in past years. He said 60% of respondents strongly agree or agree with the overall direction of the Village; 60% strongly agree or agree they receive a good value for the taxes they pay; over 55% strongly agree or agree that Village staff conduct themselves in a professional manner; 65% feel that downtown redevelopment is moving in the right direction. Commissioner Tully said many of the categories show improvement over previous years. He said there is a substantial increase over 2003 in the number of people who have attended Village Council meetings.
Commissioner Waldack thanked staff for their work. He asked that the Chairs of the Boards and Commissions receive copies of the report.
The Mayor noted that it is important to do a better job of providing information to the public. He referenced the question about property taxes and said that taxes for most jurisdictions in DuPage County are considerably higher than in Downers Grove. Indexes: Citizens Survey
8. Mayor’s Report
Materials to be Received – Minutes
Liquor Commission – November 3, 2005; December 1, 2005 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 Waldack and Mayor Krajewski Materials to be Received – Monthly Reports
Materials to be Placed on File
9. Manager’s Report
The Manager said the next Coffee With The Council will be held on January 21, 2006 at Fire Station 3, 3900 Highland Avenue. She said a budget workshop is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2006 for the fiscal year starting May 1, 2006. She asked Council members to communicate with her regarding strategic planning sessions.
Ms. Pavlicek said demolition is proceeding as scheduled for Acadia on the Green.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said a special Plan Commission meeting to discuss redevelopment is scheduled for late January or early February.
The Mayor noted that demolition is continuing on Belmont in regards to the underpass.
10. Attorney’s Report
Future Active Agenda
11.Committee Standing Reports
Commissioner Schnell said the next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on January 17, 2006.
Commissioner Tully said the Finance Committee will meet on January 17, 2006 at 5:30 p.m.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Waldack asked for an update on the File for Life program. He noted that seniors and people with disabilities are re-registering for the taxicab program.
The Manager said that as part of the process to sign people up for the taxi coupon subsidy program we have worked with the Township and Social and Health Services to facilitate people signing up for the File for Life program. There is a nominal fee. We are proceeding with it. In response to the Mayor, Ms. Pavlicek said Downers Grove Township created the File for Life program. They have worked with us to be another distribution facility to make sure as many people sign up as possible.
Commissioner Waldack said a censure of the Mayor for violation of Rule 35 was to have been included on the agenda. He reviewed the steps he has taken since he introduced this matter in November. He said he held off bringing this forward several times at the request of the Village Manager and others. He said retreats have not resolved the issue of the censure. The Village Manager under objections from him removed the censure motion from tonight’s agenda. He said he seriously questioned that action. He said he promised to bring this motion forward and he has tried to do so.
Commissioner Waldack said that, in his opinion, the Mayor broke the confidentiality of the October 25, 2005 Executive Session. Commissioner Waldack said a Council rule was broken. He said the people of Downers Grove have the right to expect an honest government and to expect that the rules will be enforced.
Commissioner Waldack said he pursued making the tape of the Executive Session available, but he was told no. He suggested a transcript of the tape be made available, but was denied. He said two weeks ago he protested the acceptance of the scant minutes of the October 25, 2005 Executive Session. He was advised that there were two legal citations that might apply to this situation. He accessed the Attorney General’s website and found that the Attorney General’s opinions only go back to 1992 and he was looking for a 1991 opinion. Commissioner Waldack said he does not care for what has been going on. The real victims are the people of Downers Grove. He said his experience has not been a positive one. He said it has been suggested that the Council mend fences with the assistance of a professional, but unless there is a basic trust in one another and intent to maintain it, the money the Village will pay could be a waste of money.
Commissioner Waldack said the censure motion will be dropped and will not be brought forward.
Commissioner Waldack said the Mayor called him on the day of the October 25 meeting. This is a typical call that takes place on Monday or Tuesday following the Monday meeting attended by the Mayor and Commissioner Tully. He said he would like to consider the opportunity of attending the Monday morning meetings although it may present a problem in that the meeting would then become an open meeting that would have to be noticed. He said he would like to discuss this further.
Regarding Boards and Commissions, Commissioner Waldack said this is a separate issue. A number of Boards and Commission members were fired in a single act. The Mayor made it seem like others made him do it. Commissioner Waldack said on October 18, 2005 he was asked not to second a motion. He was told it had to do with lack of process in appointments. Considering the urgency of the request, the concern of the requestor, his concern and the fact that the majority of the Council would not second the motion, he complied with the request. Had someone seconded the motion, he would have voted in favor of those appointments. When people write that the Council provoked the Mayor, there was no way near any provocation that would warrant what was done. Commissioner Waldack requested the Village Attorney review his proposed changes to Section 2-53, appointments of members to boards and commissions, which includes appointments and removal. Appointments and removal of members to boards and commissions that currently lie solely with the Mayor would be modified to transfer those particular powers to the Village Council.
Commissioner Tully said the Council has been through this and for it to continually be discussed does make victims of the residents of the Village of Downers Grove. He noted there is a $40 million budget to discuss. It is scandalous to have had countless staff hours spent on this issue that were not authorized. Commissioner Tully said there was a lengthy discussion at the December 6, 2005 retreat. It is not accurate to say this was not discussed. This has been an enormous distraction. Too many things have been said inappropriately and without basis. After this matter was discussed at length at the December 6 retreat, it became apparent that there was no authority for the censure being requested. To continue to put items on an agenda that have no basis in law or at least are contrary to an Illinois Attorney General’s opinion, is beyond comprehension. Commissioner Tully said the rules clearly state that the Village Manager shall prepare an agenda for each Council meeting. There is no procedure in place that mandates who or what can put things on the agenda. If a Council member wants to bring up something under New Business, they may make a motion and may move to waive the traditional one-week waiting period. They may ask for a vote. Commissioner Tully said he objects to the suggestion that there has been some kind of conspiratorial wall put up preventing this issue from coming forward. He said Council members weigh factors differently and reach different decisions. People can have differences of opinion, but that does not mean there is politics going on or some sort of conspiratorial action. Commissioner Tully said it is in the best interests of this community that this issue dies.
Mayor Krajewski said he also hopes this dies. The Mayor said Commissioner Waldack acted recklessly when he first came forward with the censure resolution by not checking his facts. A censure resolution is prohibited by the Attorney General. The Mayor said with respect to the night no one made the motion to second the appointments to boards and commissions, he had earlier in the day asked the Village Attorney to send out an e-mail asking who would support his motion for the Police and Fire Board nominee. He asked the Village Attorney if she sent out that e-mail to which she responded, “Yes.” She confirmed that only Commissioner Tully and Sandack responded that they would vote in favor of it. She further confirmed that the Mayor asked her who would vote in favor of the motion, and she told him Commissioners Sandack and Tully. She agreed that it would not be a violation of the Executive Session to tell people this. The Executive Session had not yet been held. The Mayor said he called Commissioner Sisul before coming to the Council meeting to tell him that four Commissioners were not going to vote for him and that the motion would not pass. This was before the Executive Session. He asked the Village Attorney if this was a violation, and Ms. Petrarca said it was not. The Mayor said the letter referred to by Commissioner Waldack was sent to the Village Attorney and to Keith Sbiral. Ms. Petrarca confirmed that staff sent that letter out. The Mayor said he went through the proper channels. The Mayor said Council members should not send out e-mails to three Commissioners. The Village Attorney agreed. The Mayor said Commissioner Waldack did that and asked the Village Attorney if she notified Commissioner Waldack of the improper e-mail distribution. Ms. Petrarca said she did notify Commissioner Waldack of this. The Mayor said he did not need a censure resolution to censure Commissioner Waldack for that violation.
The Mayor asked Ms. Petrarca about the comment regarding the Attorney General’s opinion.
Commissioner Waldack said that the preliminary opinion from the Village Attorney was that it was in compliance and censure can move forward.
Attorney Petrarca said she does not have a copy of a preliminary opinion.
Commissioner Urban moved to adjourn. Commissioner Sandack seconded.
VOTE : YEA – Commissioners Urban, Sandack, Waldack, Mayor Krajewski NAY : Commissioners Tully, McConnell, Schnell
Mayor Krajewski declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m