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, Martin Tully, Ron Sandack, Stan Urban, William Waldack; Village Manager Cara Pavlicek; Village Attorney Enza Petrarca; Village Clerk April Holden
Absent:Commissioner Sue McConnell
Visitors: Residents: John Schofield, 1125 Jefferson; Linda Kunze, Downtown Management Corporation, 1015 Curtiss; William Wrobel, Downers Grove Watch and Coalition for Managed Redevelopment, 7800 Queens Court; Andy Clark, Downers Grove Watch, 1226 62nd Street; Eric Granrud, C.M. LaVoie & Associates, 1050 W. Route 126; Mark Khankan, World Class Motorcars, 1313 Ogden; Dave Bradley, Bradley Land Group, 1032 Ogden; Jim Durkin, Bradley Land Group, 2300 Cabot Drive, Lisle; Barb Wysocki, Chamber of Commerce; Guy F. “Red” Brownson, 5904 Downers Drive; Barry and Maureen Boyle, Fawn Crossing Development, 4401 Belmont; Mitchell Mize, Intercapital Partners, 414 North Orleans, Chicago Staff: Bob Porter, Police Chief; Don Rosenthal, Director, Planning & Community Development; Phil Ruscetti, Fire Chief; Dave Fieldman Deputy Village Manager; Mike Baker, Assistant Village Manager; Mary Scalzetti, Director, Tourism & Events; Doug Kozlowski, Director, Marketing & Media Relations; Liangfu Wu, Director, Information Services; Rita Trainor, Director, Financial Services; Dave Barber, Director, Public Works; Naz Yetgen, Intern; Megan Bourke, Intern
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.
Consent Agenda Items
Manager Pavlicek reviewed the Consent Agenda items for discussion.
Motion: Authorization of FY 2006 /07 Downtown Management Corporation Budget. There were no questions.
Council Support for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Mercury Emissions Reduction Rule.
Michael Gilbert , 4625 Highland, Chairman of the Environmental Concerns Commission (ECC), said in 1999 and 2001 he brought before the Council resolutions in support of the reduction of emissions from coal-fired power plants in general. The issue before the Council tonight is more specific in that it deals with mercury emissions. In Michigan, the requirement is that all power plants meet current standards before 2009. By adopting this resolution, the Council will show the Village’s support for reduction of the emissions. He noted that this is an expensive issue, but it is owed to future generations to get this accomplished as soon as possible.
Commissioner Tully thanked the chairman and the Commission for being proactive. He said that there was a lot of interest at the ECC booth at the Heritage festival.
Mayor Krajewski agreed with Commissioner Tully’s statements. He said that he referred a citizen to their booth regarding used battery disposal. He also noted that he enjoyed the examples of energy used in ordinary household items.
Mr. Gilbert said that BFI was present all three days of the Festival.
The Mayor said that in the Strategic Planning meeting staff commented on working on recycling and refuse contracts to be renewed in 2007. He asked that the ECC work with the staff on this issue.
Mr. Gilbert said that the Commission will be taking a field trip to the landfill operation in Pontiac in September to learn what happens to solid waste and information on the various competitors.
Manager Pavlicek said that staff could put together a comprehensive report on all of the recommendations for the ECC ’s September meeting.
The Mayor said an issue that’s been discussed lately is the smoking ban on a regional approach. He said a number of communities would like to see this done on a regional basis, and it may be something the ECC can begin to look at.
Mr. Gilbert said they will look at this. They have studied this under the auspices of the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act, and they would be happy to begin a review of this issue.
Commissioner Schnell noted that in the Chicago Tribune today there is an article on the effects of second- hand smoke.
Mr. Gilbert said that they have found that statistics show that more people eat out in a smoke free environment than was expected. Education is a big part of this.
Commissioner Schnell said that the article noted that efforts to simply reduce exposure to smoke in restaurants do not work.
The Mayor asked that staff check on the information which was taped regarding Good Samaritan Hospital. The Mayor noted that the Village was one of the first communities to pass a resolution on the coal-fired power plants, and he recalled former Commissioner Gilbert’s work in this regard. He asked if there are many other communities addressing this or in full support of this. Mr. Gilbert said that the Village will be one of the earlier communities supporting this. Currently, the proposal is for a 90% reduction by the year 2009, and to meet that they need to move forward quickly.
Commissioner Waldack agreed that the ECC booth was very popular and he thanked them for their work at the Festival. He said that this emphasize the need for education regarding the damages caused by mercury to the public.
Mr. Gilbert responded that a number of people expressed their interest in serving on the Commission, and he noted that students who served on the Committees have commented on the value of this experience. Many years ago the Community Events Commission had a student from North High who went on to a career in Washington as an aide to a Senator. She credited that success to her activity in her high school years in community government.
Environmental Remediation at Acadia on the Green. There were no questions.
Active Agenda and Informational Items
Authorize the Village Manager to Negotiate a Redevelopment Agreement for the Property Located at Main & Maple. The Manager said this motion directs staff to work with the selected developer for development of the property at the northeast corner of Main and Maple.
Deputy Village Manager Dave Fieldman said that Requests for Proposals (RFP) were published in March and six proposals were received. Staff recommended an agreement with Intercapital Partners Ltd. who have had extensive background in downtown mixed uses. He said that Mitchell Mize, a principal with Intercapital Partners, was present to answer questions.
Commissioner Schnell asked for information as to the proposal. Mr. Fieldman said there are two components: A first floor retail component of approximately 5,800 square feet; and five townhouses sitting on top of the retail space for a three-story building. There would be ten surface level parking spaces, as well as attached garage space. This is compliant with the downtown master plan.
The Manager said that they can bring forth financial information and specific site information as the project progresses.
Commissioner Schnell asked why this fits in better than other projects, and Mr. Fieldman responded that it is important to note that if the Council authorizes this negotiation, the proposed redevelopment agreement would come back to the Council for action. In addition, they would have to go through the zoning approval process wherein the public would be able to come forward with their comments and input.
The Mayor said the proposals ranged from 5,300 to 8,300 square feet of retail, and anywhere from five to 36 townhouses. He said that the downtown is a very desirable area and it’s been shown that the units sell quickly. He said that as staff negotiates he wants to be sure they work for the upside value of the property.
The Mayor noted for the developer’s representative that when the Village did the Gammonly project, Tang was actually the Council’s first choice but negotiations failed and the Village did not hesitate to move on to Gammonly. The same was true for Acadia on the Green where Opus was the first choice, but then New England Builders was ultimately chosen due to negotiation problems. He wished them luck with the negotiations.
Commissioner Tully thanked Mr. Fieldman for taking this project through the process to date.
Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, said that at one time Maple and Main had a gas station on the premises, and the corner was then purchased by the Village and made into a park. It is the southern gateway to the Village, and with parking pressures a parking lot was put in as a temporary measure. He thought this property was to revert back to a park.
The Mayor said that was correct, it was a gas station as one time. Since he’s been Mayor he hasn’t been in any conversation regarding dedicating this site as a park.
The Manger said that staff can provide some background history in writing prior to voting on July 11.
Commissioner Schnell said that the initial vision was to use this as a gateway for the Village with a park and fountain.
Mr. Wrobel said he was just trying to find information on the logical progression from the gas station to what is now planned.
Mr. Fieldman said he would bring design plans to the Village Council.
Final Planned Development and Variation for Preserve at Belmont. The Manager said this is for a multi-family residential development. It is not located north of Home Depot. She asked Mr. Fieldman for further information.
Mr. Fieldman said the property is located east of Belmont Road, south of Ogden near the existing gas station, and consists of slightly over two acres. The proposal is for a four-story condominium building with 18 condos, or a density of 8.7 units per acre which is consistent with the existing zoning. The building will be 39 feet in height, and the petitioner is requesting approval of the final planned development with the height variation. This was discussed at the Plan Commission’s May 1, 2006 meeting, with discussion about drainage issues that have been addressed by the petitioner. The Plan Commission voted to recommend approval and staff concurs with that recommendation.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the stormwater detention issue. Mr. Fieldman said that the minutes reflect that there would be shared detention; however, that is not accurate. This developer has completed a development immediately east of this site and that development has its own functioning detention basin. The proposed development will have its own functioning detention basin as well.
Commissioner Schnell said that this is a difficult site to develop because it has been very wet. She noted that there is a stream that flows from the site and asked if that would be disturbed. Mr. Fieldman said the stream is in a wetland area which has been delineated by the developer. They will comply with the DuPage County wetland mitigation requirements and will not disturb the stream area. Detention will be placed below the building, and that is why they have to raise the building.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the parking to the south of the building and its runoff. Mr. Fieldman said runoff will flow into the detention area. As for adjacent residents, the developer has agreed to place landscaping to prevent invasion of lighting into the neighboring area. There are no other wetland or water issues. As to the water issues, Mr. Fieldman said the general concept is that the area that is wet now is a wetland area and the developer will stay out of that area. Detention will be handled beneath the building. The only other related item was in regard to grading and erosion issues to the property to the east, and staff is working with the developer to correct this issue. In further response to Commissioner Schnell, Mr. Fieldman said that the flow from this detention area is that the natural occurrence of drainage is into the wetland area and those overall drainage patterns will continue. The developer will make the required detention improvements to assure that the issues are not problematic for adjacent properties.
The Mayor asked who is mowing the wetlands. Mr. Fieldman said staff will provide more information about this. This could be a violation and they will look further into this with the County. Mayor Krajewski said that typically the stormwater design is correct on the plans, but often what happens is that the developer does not build to plan which causes the flooding. He encouraged staff to enforce the plans.
Commissioner Sandack said he couldn’t tell whether Burke was the Village’s engineer or the petitioner’s engineer and would like clarification on this issue. He noted that Burke’s report references a Localized Poor Drainage Area (LPDA), but not a regulatory flood plain. He wants to understand who is saying what on behalf of whom. He was struck by the concept of the report referring to the LPDA without a regulatory flood plain. The Village’s LPDA is implicated, and he now sees this as an example of where the Village has gone too far with the LPDA . As to the underground storage detention area, he asked if that is what is under the parking deck. Mr. Fieldman said that is correct, and it is an expensive way to store water. Commissioner Sandack said this development on caissons seems to be as novel a way to develop the parcel as could be economically feasible. He also noted that the development is in an R-6 zoning area and is across from another multi-family zoning which is consistent with the Village’s Master Plan. Mr. Fieldman interjected that Burke was the Village’s engineer, and they have found the stormwater management plan to be compliant with the county’s stormwater ordinance.
Commissioner Tully clarified that the property is on the east side of Belmont south of Ogden Avenue. He agreed that it is a challenging property to develop. The petition is for a final planned development with a variation. As he understands it, the project will meet all storm water requirements and current zoning regulations with the exception of a height variation. The only issue is whether the height variation is appropriate, and since the stormwater is an issue, the variation request makes sense to him. It is only a four foot variation. It would appear that the plan meets the requirement for approval as a Planned Development under Section 28.1607 of the Village’s Code.
Annexation, Rezoning & Preliminary Plat of Subdivision with Exceptions for McInerney Woods Subdivision. The Manager said this ordinance is for annexing and rezoning the subject properties to R-3 zoning resulting in an eight-home subdivision with exceptions.
Mr. Fieldman said this is on 61st Street on the north side near Plymouth Street, which is unincorporated. The proposal is to annex, rezone the properties to R-3 and grant approval of a preliminary plat of subdivision. The parcel is 3.27 acres and will have 8 residential lots at a density of 2.45 units per acre. The developer is requesting exceptions for lot depth on Lot 2 to 116’ instead of 140’, and on Lot 3 a depth of 128’ instead of the required 140’. The petitioner will construct a required detention basin on Lot 1, owned and maintained by the Lot 1 property owner. The Plan Commission met on this issue on May 22, and several neighbors spoke regarding issues of tree preservation. The Commission recommended approval of the proposal and staff concurs with the recommendation.
The Mayor asked about the lot depth exceptions and the reasons for the requested exceptions. He also asked about Ridge Court and whether it had lot depth exceptions. He said that most cul de sacs have lot depth exceptions especially on the bulb areas. He asked staff to get back with that information.
Commissioner Tully reviewed the petition for the preliminary plat of subdivision with two exceptions. He said that a cul de sac is being required for this development, and there has been a history of lot depth exceptions being approved, within reason. Commissioner Tully said that a cul de sac must be of a certain size for public safety issues, public works issues, etc. Mr. Fieldman said that was correct, as well as getting the property utilities in the proper location. Commissioner Tully said that these exceptions appear to be reasonable, and it appears as though the petitioner has worked to reduce the exceptions. Based on that, he thinks the criteria for granting exceptions appear to have been met in this case. He then asked about subdivision improvement agreements. Deputy Fieldman said the staff would seek an approval of a Subdivision Improvement Agreement with the final approval.
Commissioner Schnell said that Lot 2 appears to be very narrow and long. Deputy Fieldman said that it appears to be awkwardly shaped, but the footprint is approximately 55’x65’ with 14,200 square feet, and it meets Code. That would be over 3,500 square feet which would allow for construction of a home typical of the marketplace in this area.
Commissioner Schnell then referred to the proposed development agreement, and said that the residents feel strongly about preserving the tree line and although the Council cannot regulate trees on private property, she suggested that as part of the Agreement the issue of the tree line be addressed. Mr. Fieldman said that staff can explore that concept.
Commissioner Sandack said he thought this is the first proposal they have seen on a redevelopment where the 70-foot right-of-way is within the plan. It seems as if all plans were coming with a 66-foot rights-of-way. He asked if that had any implication with respect to the lot depth. Deputy Fieldman said he did not know but would find out.
Commissioner Waldack said he looked at the Forestry review report and it seemed as though all the parkway trees would be new. Commissioner Schnell said that the trees she is referring to are on private property. The parkway trees are included, and the developer said he will keep as many trees as possible, as he has done in other developments.
Guy Bronson , 5904 Downers Drive, and said he wants to be very careful about the drainage in this area. He thanked the Council and staff for their support on the situation on Brian Court. He would like to be kept informed on this project.
Special Use for a Used Car Dealership at 1245-1249 Ogden Avenue. The Manager said this is in the B-3 General Services district.
Commissioner Tully reviewed the request for a used car dealership. He said the use embraces a number of goals of the Ogden Avenue Master Plan, including the elimination of two curb cuts on Ogden, enhanced aesthetics, and the elimination of two nonconforming signs. He said this fits with the vision of the Master Plan and he believes meets the criteria of the Zoning Ordinance.
Demolition Ordinance Amendment. Deputy Village Manager Fieldman presented an overview of this issue, saying in a recent resident survey the top identified issue was handling of infill redevelopment, demolition and reconstruction.
Mr. Fieldman said that there is an ordinance adopted in 2003 regarding demolition requirements including notification to property owners of demolition activity; installation of snow fences and a silt fence on the downsloping areas to prevent erosion to adjacent property, protection for parkway trees, placement of a portable toilet, an onsite covered dumpster, and a requirement for dust control in addition to other requirements concerning hours of operation. Staff surveyed 164 active permit sites and did drive-by surveys of 37 of those sites to seek compliance with the ordinance requirements.
Compliance rates are 14% for snow fencing, 38% for silt fencing, 57% portable toilet, 68% for the dumpster, 41% for tree protection, 59% for streets and sidewalks being kept clear. While not the most scientific of surveys, it is a good indication that enforcement techniques are not effective. The conclusion is that snow fencing is not effective, parking of construction vehicles negatively impacts neighbors, there is no contact information available on the site, a general lack of builder accountability, contractors are using adjacent properties during construction, confusion as to dumpster and toilet placement. Staff drafted a proposed ordinance to address the issue including installation of a chain link fence around the perimeter of the site with a functioning gate; required construction vehicle parking plan; signage with rules and contact information posted on the site; site management account to cover ordinance compliance fees with the right of the Village to charge for any service it might have to provide; construction activity limited to the subject site; clarification of dumpsters and toilet regulations; provide rights to Village to clean streets and sidewalks; provision of updated fees and fines. Mr. Fieldman said that regulations are only one phase, and staff is now fine-tuning compliance techniques in line with a customer service approach. They are designing the plan to achieve voluntary compliance. Staff’s intent is to return in August with an update of new enforcement techniques.
The Mayor noted that there’s nearly zero compliance with fencing, and he agrees with the installation of a chain link fence. He then asked about the Hinsdale compliance checklist and the Manager said that would be provided to him. He asked about fencing enforcement and requirements for specific sites. Mr. Fieldman said that they are required under the current and proposed ordinance. Mayor Krajewski said that parking and clean-up issues need to be reviewed.
Commissioner Sandack said that Don Rosenthal, Director of Community Development, suggested the chain link fence and he was correct in that suggestion. The developer who uses chain link fencing contains the site. Mr. Fieldman said that would include the parkway area as well. Commissioner Sandack said that staff has done a great job on this issue and agrees with the goal to achieve voluntary compliance. He asked whether the recommended signage complies with the Village’s Sign Ordinance.
Commissioner Waldack asked whether the contractor will have to replenish their account. Mr. Fieldman said they would. Commissioner Waldack also urged better compliance for trees. He suggested that the portable toilets be placed further back on the lot.
Commissioner Schnell said that this is a good step forward, and addressed many of the issues heard from the public at Heritage Festival. She asked whether the signage will become retroactive and Deputy Fieldman said staff will follow the Council’s direction. Commissioner Schnell asked how they can be sure that the hole is filled after demolition is complete. There were situations reported where the hole has been left open for as long as a year, breeding mosquitoes and creating other hazards. Mr. Fieldman said that the issue is how this is executed. Staff is coming up with techniques to allow greater responsiveness on the part of the Village. In further response, a key component of the plan is cross-training of police and staff, and today there was a kick-off meeting with personnel from Fire, Police, Public Works and Community Development to assure they work as a team through cross-training rather than individual departments.
Commissioner Schnell asked about parking, and whether it is part of the intent that parking would only be allowed on one side of the street if it cannot be contained on the lot. Mr. Fieldman said that the plan is to allow the parking on one side of the street only, and to require a construction plan.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said language was added in the ordinance to address the 60-day compliance with filling in the hole. The fine is $250 per day for every day over the 60-day limit. This refers to any demolition site or any construction site that seeks to add 600 square feet of space to the property, whether a garage or a home. This would probably not be retroactive.
Manager Pavlicek said that staff will review the sign issue and provide trigger dates to the Council.
Attorney Petrarca said that they could assess a penalty to existing demolition properties.
The Mayor said that the rules are in place but enforcement is the issue. He has repeatedly asked if there are enough enforcement officers to do the job. Resources and emphasis are needed in that area. He said as they come into the budget season they can discuss reallocation. Mr. Fieldman said that the August performance measurement update conforms with the budget timeframe.
Manager Pavlicek said that writing tickets is not an effective means of compliance, and feels that this may be a training issue. With more training hopefully there will be fewer complaints. Staff is willing and able, with Council’s support, to find other options and means to motivate contractors to comply with the Village’s regulations. The Village needs to reserve the thought that it might be a staffing issue once the training issue is addressed. Private property owners have the right to tear down a house and rebuild a house; however, it is difficult living adjacent to or in the vicinity of that demolition. The Village needs to improve the process so that situation is not as onerous for the surrounding residents.
The Mayor asked if the issue is that tickets are being written and the contractors are going through the courts and staying non-compliant, or are they not even being notified. The Manager said it is actually both.
Mr. Fieldman said that in regard to the team meetings, he is very impressed with staff’s ability to identify issues, and ways to improve performance, and he expects to see a drastic improvement within the next few months. At that time additional staffing needs can be viewed more clearly.
Commissioner Tully thanked staff for the additions and enhancements to the demolition ordinance. It is appropriate to go to the next more restrictive step, and he believes good builders will comply with the ordinance. Regarding limiting building to the property, he asked for information regarding the five-foot yard setbacks. He said these are good suggestions for much needed improvements.
The Mayor asked as to the information provided contractors when they come in for permits. Mr. Fieldman said there are a number of issues that come into play including the need for training.
The Manager added that there will still be people who do not comply, but the Village is trying to create a process of significant motivation for those 5% who do not comply to do so. Often there is a lack of communication between the contractor and subcontractors.
John Schofield , 1125 Jefferson, said he supports this ordinance wholeheartedly. He said that the substance of the regulations and the plan for compliance are both powerful. He sees this as important for public safety. Mr. Schofield asked for some definitions, for terms such as “adjacent neighbors,” and timing as to when fencing should be installed. He thinks the fencing should go up when demolition permits are issued and not before. It should be removed within 60-days after the completion of the demolition. He then asked whether the Village has the resources to reach compliance and does it have the will to enforce the ordinance.
Bill Wrobel , 7800 Queens Court, said that he represents the Downers Grove Coalition for Managed Redevelopment and commented on the matter of demolition ordinance amendment. In December of 2005 in a Coffee with the Council at South High School the Coalition identified an inconsistency working to the detriment to the community and residents. Mr. Wrobel did a site inspection before coming to the meeting tonight at Brian Place and Grant near North High School. A building was torn down over a year ago, and the site is still torn up and fenced. He spoke to a resident adjacent who said debris from the building has fallen onto her property endangering her children. The property is in court between the buyer and the developer. The ordinance does not address this type of situation. On the opposite side of this house, is another demolition situation with no action. There is a red fence with a hole in it. Two houses down is another red fence around an empty lot. This is all timely with this amendment to address this situation. The housing market has changed. It is a buyer’s market and the Village needs to redevelop in a timely fashion. He encouraged staff to address this situation. Some issues would be when to start building when there is a teardown situation. In addition, with regard to the placement of toilets within 5-feet of the structure, some are located where they should be, while others are at the sidewalk or curb. He would prefer this to be uniform. At 75th and Old Main Street, there is a construction site with a fence, foundation and a portable toilet against the foundation and nothing else. He said that in Village Hall there is an example of a mailbox for the developer, and he has yet to see one of those installed at any site. The Village has the tools to meet the issues; however, they need to be implemented. He heard concerns expressed at the Council booth at Heritage Festival. The house at Brian and Grant will probably be condemned, as it is unsafe.
The Mayor said that if that house is in litigation, the Village’s hands are probably tied.
The Manager agreed that the Village is not recognized as having any jurisdiction.
The Mayor asked about fencing in an entire development area, such as a situation where a developer is planning several homes on a site. Mr. Fieldman said that he would look into that question.
Motion to Approve the Space Program for Fire Station 2. The Manager said this is part of a series of steps being taken to verify that staff is proceeding in the direction that the Village Council prefers.
MANAGER ’S REPORT
The Manager said that all of the items on the Agenda will be on the July 11 meeting, as the July 4 meeting is cancelled. That is actually a Workshop meeting but she has worked with the Village Clerk and the Village Attorney to facilitate moving these items forward rather than holding them to July 18.
The Manager thanked the employees and elected officials for their work on the Heritage Festival.
Customer Service Presentation.
Doug Kozlowski , Director of Marketing and Media Relations, said that the Customer Service Team has been meeting over the past 12 months to improve customer service throughout the organization. He said he would be presenting the guiding principles and supporting documentation. In April 2006, staff rolled out the customer service program in presentations that spanned over six days. Sessions will be held tomorrow for those employees unable to attend the program to view the tape on elevating customer service. Mr. Kozlowski said there are similarities between what staff has developed and what the Council has identified as part of the Strategic Planning process. The current focus is internal, and the need is to establish a common language among staff.
Mr. Kozlowski then presented the four principles of elevating customer service: Employees are encouraged to foster an understanding of customers’ needs; encouraged to improve the internal systems procedures and processes; employees will receive training to provide accurate information; and employees will be expected to treat customers and co-workers with dignity and respect at all times. A service information directory and a staff directory are available to direct inquiries to the appropriate area. A suggestion box program will be implemented, and publication of a newsletter has begun. He noted that it is important that employees have an understanding of the functions and time constraints of other employees.
Mr. Kozlowski then reviewed the supporting elements to the plan, including the Community Response Center with a 48-hour response time, and the “Own the Streets” Program which allows the employee to have the power to impact the quality of life within the community by taking notice of issues that may exist and notifying the proper staff. He stressed the internal nature of the status of the program. He provided information on future calendar events. He recognized the Customer Service Team for their efforts in creating the program, and thanked Commissioners Sandack and McConnell for their support throughout the process.
The Mayor said this was a good presentation and asked if Mr. Kozlowski’s neighbors knew he was a Village employee and brought problems to him. He acknowledged that they do.
Commissioner Urban said it was a great presentation and asked whether they have considered extending the Village office hours since the hours are not conducive to working people. Mr. Kozlowski said that they have extended hours on Tuesdays, and should look into this further. The Manager said that some departments shift their hours
The Mayor recommended that someone be present to answer the phone after hours. The Manager said that they may be able to redirect phones to someone else.
Commissioner Schnell said that the phone operator is so busy that there are times it is impossible for her to answer the phone and the automated machine answers. Unless you see how busy it can get up front, you don’t realize how difficult it can get.
Commissioner Waldack said this was a great presentation and a great concept. It improves the quality of service. He asked if the citizens can put concerns and complaints into the CRC .
Mr. Kozlowski said they could do this through the web-based program. Commissioner Waldack said it is important that citizens know the importance of the whole process with the CRC . Complaints should be logged as they come in, and customers should be certain to get a tracking number. He then said that the customers are not only citizens, but people who work in the Village or visit. He referenced an article from an old Washington Post issue which stated that citizens own the government, and really do own the streets. They should be treated as owners, not simply as customers seeking the best deal.
Commissioner Tully thanked everyone involved in this program stating that this business has only one product and that is service. The Village needs to establish benchmarks and goals and means of measuring them. Data from the CRC and surveys can be used to show whether or not progress is being made.
Commissioner Schnell congratulated the staff on raising the bar, and asked whether there are quantifiable means in place to ensure that the process is working. Mr. Kozlowski said they would be using CRC data and tracking calls. He said the process is still evolving. Commissioner Schnell said that this goes beyond the CRC and she would like to see that the goals are measurable. She would like to celebrate the successes and that can be done by being able to measure the results.
Commissioner Sandack said that one of the integral steps is the Edge Newsletter, a great way for staff to get to know each other. Treating each other in the departments as customers is integral to the success of the program.
ATTORNEY ’S REPORT
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting eight items to the Council: 1) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to designate Preserve at Belmont as Final Planned Development Number 39 with a variation; 2) An ordinance authorizing a special use for 1245-1249 Ogden Avenue to permit an automobile dealership; 3) An ordinance annexing 1524 and 1556 61st Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois; 4) An ordinance amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois, codified as Chapter 28 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, as amended, to rezone property located at 1524 & 1556 61st Street; 5) A resolution approving the preliminary plat of subdivision for McInerney Woods Subdivision with exceptions; 6) A resolution authorizing execution of agreements between the Village of Downers Grove and Versar, Inc.; 7) An ordinance amending demolition/construction site management; and 8) A resolution calling for reduction of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in Illinois and supporting the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed mercury emissions reduction rule.
Barb Wysocki of the Chamber of Commerce extended congratulations to the staff on the customer service initiative, and agreed with the point for needing a live attendant. She thanked the directors for participation in the Strategic Planning initiatives focus group. She then asked about the status of Sue McConnell’s position, saying that the Chamber is interested in seeing someone focused on business on the Council.
Mayor Krajewski responded to the question on Commissioner McConnell’s resignation. He read the following statement:
As you may have heard Commissioner McConnell resigned last week to pursue a new career opportunity in Hawaii. A reception for Commissioner McConnell will be held on Tuesday, July 11, in the Committee Room prior to the Workshop Meeting starting at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
Pursuant to State law, in order to fill the vacancy created by Commissioner McConnell’s resignation, within 60 days from the date of resignation, the Mayor shall appoint, subject to the Village Council’s advice and consent, a qualified candidate to serve the unexpired term.
To fill this vacancy within the prescribed time period I am accepting resumes from interested candidates until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 10. A list of qualifications for the position can be found in the press release that has been posted on the Village web site at www.downers.us. Interested candidates should forward their resumes to Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, here at Village Hall.
The Mayor then read the press release.
Mayor Krajewski then thanked staff for the work on the Heritage Festival weekend, saying he spoke with many residents. He said many residents complimented the new Village Manager and the job of the Village Council. They also reflected their pride in the community.
Commissioner Sandack said that he was in Newark, New Jersey this past weekend, but heard that Heritage Festival was a resoundingly good time.
The Manager said she was very impressed by the Festival and it was very enjoyable.
Commissioner Waldack said it was a terrific Heritage Festival and the weather was fantastic. It was a fantastic party. He thanked the Masons for providing a hospitality center for Police and Fire.
Commissioner Schnell said that staff did a tremendous job and she is always amazed at how clean the downtown is the Monday after the Heritage Festival. Police did an excellent job of patrolling the Beer Garden. She thanked the residents for coming to the Council booth, and she felt it was a record year for visiting the Council booth.
The Mayor said that Commissioner Tully has done a great job on the weather.
Commissioner Urban thanked the staff for the best, most successful and best run Heritage Festival. Many people put in a lot of time and effort to make it a great event. It evolved from a block party 25 years ago to a major event of tourism. He noted how beautiful the downtown looked, and the amusement people did as much as Public Works in picking up the garbage. He was impressed to see them cleaning up they way they did.
Commissioner Urban then said he ran into an elderly woman in a wheelchair saying she frequents the downtown for several reasons, mostly on Curtiss Street; however, they took away the handicapped parking on the Curtiss Street Block, and now once you pass the corner of Curtiss and Main there are no handicapped parking spots other than two at the northeast corner. She asked if one of them could be moved toward the middle or the end of the street. She also asked about having a mailbox by the train station.
Commissioner Urban then wished his wife a Happy Birthday and a Happy Anniversary.
Commissioner Tully said the 25th annual Heritage Festival was special and one of the most spectacular to date. He took his hat off to Mary Scalzetti, the Village staff, and the Tourism and Events Commission. He said that he got more comments in three days than all year in the Council meetings. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the heritage and anniversary of the Village. He noted that some people plan their travel to the Village around this event. Next year’s celebration will be even more spectacular as it will be the 175th year birthday of the Village. He thanked every single member of the Village staff for their work to make the event so memorable.
Mayor Krajewski announced that on Saturday, the Chicago White Sox World Series Trophy will be in the Council Chambers from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Mayor announced that there will be no meeting on July 4, and the next meeting will be held on July 11.
The Fourth of July Parade will begin at 12:45 p.m. from Main and Warren to Downers Grove North. He said that the Governor will be marching in the parade. The Mayor noted that the Children’s Museum was owed $200,000 and they were paid. He said the Governor could be reminded that the Village is still owed $600,000 from the State for our parking deck. The Grand Marshall of the Parade is Tracy Butler of ABC news.
Commissioner Tully wished all the residents of the Village a safe and happy July 4.
There being no further discussion, the Workshop meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.
April K. Holden Village Clerk tmh