1. Call to Order
Mayor Ron Sandack called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Mayor Sandack led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
2. Roll Call
Present: Commissioner William Waldack, Commissioner Bruce E. Beckman, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt and Mayor Ron Sandack Absent: Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Bob Barnett and Commissioner Sean P. Durkin Non Voting: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden 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 of a general matter. 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. Finally, an opportunity is given for public comments and questions on items appearing on the Consent Agenda, the Active Agenda and the First Reading.
The presiding officer will ask, at the appropriate time, 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. Remarks should be limited to five minutes, and asked that individuals refrain from making repetitive statements.
Mayor Sandack 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 Council Meetings
Council Meeting – March 9, 2010 There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, Mayor Sandack said they would be filed as submitted.
4.Public Comments – General Comments on Matters Not Appearing on
Frank Falesch, 820 Prairie, commented that he drove through Prentiss Creek again, and only saw one illuminated light. He said that Mr. Fieldman told him they needed to make some adjustments, but Mr. Falesch said he was surprised to see so few working.
The Manager said that they are still in the adjustment phase, and are working with the supplier. It is not an energy question.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR00 -04078 A. Claim Ordinance: No. 5837, Payroll, February 26, 2010 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -04079 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 5816, March 16, 2010 Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
RES00 -04047 C. Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with Claude H. Hurley Company for Geotechnical Engineering and Materials Testing Services Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND CLAUDE H . HURLEY COMPANY
RESOLUTION 2010 -19 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Geotechnical Engineering
RES00 -04074 D. Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with ECS , LLC for Geotechnical Engineering and Materials Testing Services Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND ECS , LLC
RESOLUTION 2010 -20 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Geotechnical Engineering
MOT00 -04072 E. Motion: Authorize the Purchase of Bulk Road Salt from Cargill Inc. via the State Contract Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Authorize this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Salt
MOT00 -04087 F. Motion: Approve a Two-Year Contract Extension with Shane’s Office Supplies, Downers Grove, IL, for the Purchase of Office Supplies Sponsors: Finance A motion was made to Authorize this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Office Supplies
RES00 -04088 G. Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with Suburban Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Pace) Sponsors: Finance Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND SUBURBAN DIVISION OF THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (PACE)
RESOLUTION 2010 -21 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Pace
MOT00 -04080 H. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions Summary of Item: Library Board – February 24, 2010 Liquor Commission – January 7, 2010 A motion was made to Note Receipt Of this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Boards and Commissions Minutes Passed The Consent Agenda
A motion was made by Commissioner Beckman, seconded by Commissioner Neustadt, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack
7. Active Agenda
ORD00 -04070 A. Ordinance: Amend Parking Restrictions on Jefferson Avenue at Hillcrest School Sponsors: Public Works and Transportation and Parking Commission Summary of Item: This amends parking provisions on portions of Jefferson Avenue at Hillcrest School.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING PARKING RESTRICTIONS ON JEFFERSON AVENUE AT HILLCREST SCHOOL
ORDINANCE NO . 5128 A motion was made by Commissioner Beckman, seconded by Commissioner Neustadt, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Parking Restrictions – Hillcrest , Parking Restrictions – Jefferson
ORD00 -04071 B. Ordinance: Amend Parking Restrictions on Grant Street Near Pierce Downer School Sponsors: Public Works and Transportation and Parking Commission Summary of Item: This amends parking provisions on portions of Grant Street near Pierce Downer School.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING PARKING RESTRICTIONS ON GRANT STREET NEAR PIERCE DOWNER SCHOOL
ORDINANCE NO . 5129 Commissioner Neustadt said that both of these parking restriction items are excellent improvements. A motion was made by Commissioner Neustadt, seconded by Commissioner Waldack, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Parking Restrictions – Grant, Parking Restrictions – Pierce Downer School
ORD00 -04073 C. Ordinance: Rezone 2100 Ogden Avenue from M-1, Light Manufacturing, to B-3, General Services and Highway Business District Sponsors: Community Development Summary of Item: This rezones 2100 Ogden Avenue from Village M-1 Light Manufacturing District to B-3 General Services and Highway Business District.
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 2100 OGDEN AVENUE
ORDINANCE NO . 5130 A motion was made by Commissioner Waldack, seconded by Commissioner Beckman, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Rezone 2100 Ogden Avenue – M-1 to B-3
ORD00 -04077 D. Ordinance: Abate a Portion of the 2009 Tax Levy Related to the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2010 Sponsors: Manager’s Office Summary of Item: This abates the 2009 tax levy for the General Obligation Bond Series 2010 in the amount of $430,722.50.
AN ORDINANCE ABATING A PORTION OF THE 2009 TAX LEVY RELATED TO THE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS , SERIES 2010
ORDINANCE NO . 5131 A motion was made by Commissioner Beckman, seconded by Commissioner Neustadt, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: General Obligation Bond – Refund
RES00 -04082 E. Resolution: Authorize a Real Estate Contract for the Property Located at 5237 Benton Avenue, Downers Grove, IL Sponsors: Village Attorney Summary of Item: This authorizes execution of a real estate contract for the property located at 5237 Benton Avenue in relation to the 8th Street stormwater improvement project.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A REAL ESTATE CONTRACT FOR THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 5237 BENTON AVENUE , DOWNERS GROVE , IL
RESOLUTION 2010 -22 A motion was made by Commissioner Neustadt, seconded by Commissioner Waldack, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Village Property – Acquisition
8. First Reading
ORD00 -04075 A. Ordinance: Amend Rates Charged for Metered Water Deputy Village Manager Mike Baker said that the Village is a member of the DuPage Water Commission (the Water Commission), which purchases water from the City of Chicago. The Water Commission has directed staff to include a rate increase in their budget. This increase is scheduled for approval on April 18. Mr. Baker said that the Village’s rate is currently set at $3.04 with an anticipated increase to $3.31 per unit. He said staff recommends that the Council wait until the Water Commission formally adopts their ordinance and budget. This rate increase would become effective on May 1, 2010.
Commissioner Waldack inquired about the surplus funds in 2007 and the rebate received from the Commission. Mr. Baker responded that in 2007 the rates were reduced. The DuPage Water Commission issued a rebate, and the decision was made to maintain the Village’s rates at the same level and use the rebate funds for infrastructure improvements to the Village’s water system. Commissioner Waldack noted that the Village took the opportunity to reinvest the rebated funds back into the water system.
Commissioner Beckman asked what the likelihood is of the rates actually changing. Mr. Baker replied that action has not been taken to date, but the Water Commission’s rates will potentially increase from $1.72 to $2.08/1000 gallons. He said that the Water Commission officials are strongly confident that this increase will be supported.
Mayor Sandack reiterated that the 2007 rebate went back into the infrastructure for the water system. The capital fund improvements are for the delivery of water to the end users. He asked staff if the Village is behind in its water maintenance improvements, and Mr. Baker replied that it is. The Mayor said that the Water Commission took out a $30 million loan in January and may need another $40 million soon. He said that the $2.08 that is to be charged to the customers may be changed again because the Water Commission contends they have been charging customers too little for too long. It is good to have this discussion now because there may be additional changes coming before the Village in the near future. The Water Commission’s Financial Officer left last year, and their Manager left recently. He said that staff will try to stay informed on all of this. The Mayor explained how the water system works, from its delivery from Chicago to its delivery to the Village. The Mayor said that there are varying opinions at this time as to the price rates the Council sets for the Village.
Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, asked what amount of capital resources will become available during the year from the proposed water billing to be used for infrastructure improvements. Mr. Fieldman said that information will be obtained for both the Council and Dr. Goodman. Staff will be meeting with a consultant to analyze what the water needs are for system maintenance. Indexes: DuPage Water Commission, Water Rates
RES00 -04086 A. Resolution: Authorize an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Villages of Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Westmont, Hinsdale and Willow Springs, and the Tri State Fire Protection District for a Fire Services Communications Network Sponsors: Fire Department Summary of Item: This authorizes an intergovernmental agreement for a fire services communications network.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGES OF CLARENDON HILLS , DOWNERS GROVE , OAK BROOK , WESTMONT, HINSDALE AND WILLOW SPRINGS , AND THE TRI STATE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT FOR A FIRE SERVICES COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK
RESOLUTION 2010 -26 Fire Chief Jim Jackson presented an amendment to an intergovernmental agreement for the department’s back-up radios. He said that the Village shares its back-up system with five other departments. This change will add two other departments, Willow Springs and Hinsdale, to the system which will result in a reduction of operating expenses.
Commissioner Beckman asked how often and under what circumstances does a failure of the primary network occur. Chief Jackson said it is very rare, with the exception of maintenance. The effect of adding two additional users will be minimal.
Commissioner Waldack asked how much is actually spent. Chief Jackson said they presently spend $211.73 annually, and it should go down with the addition of the two departments. Indexes: Fire Communications Network Manager Fieldman said that the next three items concern proposed advisory referenda questions introduced by Mayor Sandack a week or so ago.
The Mayor said he introduced these items last week as advisory items. All three questions are important to him for various reasons. He has shared these questions with the Council for over a month, seeking their advice, counsel and recommendations. These items bear on the future financial sustainability of the Village.
RES00 -04083 F. Resolution: Initiate Submission of a Public Question Concerning Term Limits for Mayor and Commissioners of the Village of Downers Grove Sponsors: Mayor Mayor Sandack said this relates only to the Village’s Council. If this were to go into effect, a binding referendum would be necessary. He said this concerns the future of the Council and is a question to be placed on a non-municipal ballot. In November 2010 there will be no elected officials running and there will be no local implications. Adding these items to the ballot adds no cost. Indexes: Term Limits, Referenda Questions
RES00 -04084 E. Resolution: Initiate Submission of a Public Question to Support Regional Actions to Attain Long-Term Pension Sustainability Sponsors: Mayor The Mayor said that it is not his intent to take away anything from anyone, but he wants to raise awareness of the pension costs to the community. It looks as though the costs will increase. He feels it is necessary to offer awareness to the public. Last year the Village spent more in pensions than it ever did before. The Village’s only control in this situation is related to the number of its employees. Last year the Village reduced its Police Department by two police officers. Increasing pension obligation is an unsustainable equation. Lake Forest and Barrington put these exact questions on their primary ballots last year. Indexes: Referenda Questions, Pension
RES00 -04085 G. Resolution: Initiate Submission of a Public Question Urging the General Assembly to Move Toward Consolidation of Local Services and Elimination of Unnecessary Layers of Local Government Sponsors: Mayor Mayor Sandack said that Illinois has more layers of government than any other state in the Union. This proposed concept would reduce and consolidate services more efficiently. Townships and special districts may be duplicative and redundant. He said it may be necessary to reduce the resources, reminding everyone that many of these positions are pensioned, and these questions are food for thought. The Mayor said that getting this information out to the public is fair game, and he believes anyone who fears putting this on the ballot is unnecessarily fearful, because these are advisory questions sought to raise conversation and obtain public opinion.
Mark Thoman, 1109 61st Street, said that he thinks term limits may be difficult. He has had problems with District 99 on this issue. A term limit as described to the advisory question would limit Commissioner Schnell. The Mayor said that this is advisory only. Mr. Thoman said there is no grandfather clause included in the resolution.
As to duplicate layers of government, Mr Thoman said that according to the State there are 8,472 local units of government. The question is well put and has an informative component which is important for an advisory question, and it suggests a path of action. With regard to pensions, he believes they will get exactly the same answer as Lake Forest and Barrington. He suggested that the Village add an informative component to provide for more constructive discussion. He suggested they consider the question as to whether the General Assembly shall take immediate steps to replace public employee defined benefit pension plans with pubic employee defined contribution pension plans for future employees. This introduces a possible path of action.
Mayor Sandack responded that the question was from a coalition of communities, not simply Barrington and Lake Forest. The Mayor also noted that Commissioner Schnell sent an e-mail to the Council which he read into the record. Commissioner Schnell reviewed the history of terms of Council members, saying that very few have served more than two terms. She said an election is an opportunity for the pubic to choose those candidates that they feel will do or have done a good job in office. Limiting terms limits the voter’s ability to retain a candidate who has performed well. If the pubic wants an individual to continue to serve they will elect them. If not, they will be voted out of office. Commissioner Schnell said that one of the plusses of having no term limits is the ability to have a Council that has experienced, as well as new members. This allows for a unique exchange of ideas that can only benefit the community. She said that if the referendum is placed before the electorate she is sure the residents will do what is best for the community.
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said he was anxious to hear Commissioner Schnell’s opinion. He said he agrees with her, but also supports the current arrangement that allows people to serve on Boards and Commissions as well as the Council. Dr. Goodman said he appreciated the rearrangement of the Chamber that has been made and congratulated the staff and Council for the changes.
Dr. Goodman then discussed the advisory referenda. His first comment related to the restrictions on advisory referenda. No more than three advisory referenda are allowed, and the Village by proposing these three would pre-empt any other advisory referenda for the November 2010 ballot. He thinks it is premature to do that. The last date that petitions for advisory referenda by electors can be placed on the ballot is August 23. He urged the Council to wait and see whether other issues are more pressing. He noted that the Village has the authority to put referenda on the ballot until August 30 for both advisory and binding referenda. He urged the Council to take this under advisement.
Dr. Goodman then commented on the question of government structure. The Illinois Constitution provides that local authorities can settle this question. A binding referendum would have to be put on the ballot for term limits. He said this is a very emotional issue and is divisive. If it is important enough to have a referendum, make it a binding one. Dr. Goodman said that they should settle this once and for all rather than having an advisory question followed by a binding question. Referenda are an important tool and have been used very effectively. He is glad to see that referenda are being given proper attention, but he believes it is premature to do this at this time. He thinks a binding referendum would be more effective.
Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, spoke about binding versus advisory referenda, and the expediency of a binding referendum. He referred to all of the efforts the Village made relating to pensions and the budget, including releasing two patrolmen because of budget issues. He was upset that the Village’s bargaining unit was not more humanitarian. Mr. Wrobel encouraged the Village to place a binding referendum regarding pensions on the ballot, and the Mayor responded that it cannot be binding because it is State law. It is an unfunded mandate. Mr. Wrobel commented that residents are concerned as to the costs needed to keep things going. The Village cannot keep going the way it is.
Mayor Sandack commented further that the proposal is for advisory referenda as two items are outside of Downers Grove and are intended to raise awareness because the Village doesn’t control them. There is nothing premature about this. He see this as being responsive to frustrations expressed to him by residents. People know the struggles with the budget over the last year. A question regarding term limits costs no money and is an opportunity to test the waters and interest of the community. These are three questions that are relevant and on the minds of the people. Placing the advisory referenda on the ballot can avoid acrimony and frustration on the issue.
Commissioner Neustadt said he is fine with the question of term limits. As a public employee, the question of public pensions is close to him. The State mandates certain requirements that must be met, and our employees try to keep expenses down. This goes to the question of what is happening in the State. The State legislature always asks for input from Downers Grove. From Commissioner Neustadt’s perspective this shows the interest of the residents and gives direction to the decision makers. The answer regarding pensions and consolidation can then be forwarded to the State. He noted that he is an IMRF contributor and he thinks those already in it would be protected under whatever options come forward.
The Mayor said that IMRF is the best funded of the public pension programs. One of the reforms discussed in Springfield is to consolidate public pensions under a central administration to gain some efficiencies and garner reduction of some administrative expenses. He noted that some programs are woefully under funded.
Commissioner Neustadt said that the Village’s funds for Police and Fire are funded appropriately. It is the future that needs to be considered.
Commissioner Waldack commented that the deadline to get on the ballot is August 30. He sees no rush to approve these items and would prefer to hear some public discussion. He thinks that they have a lot of time to review this and is disappointed that they are having this discussion tonight with three Council members missing. It would be misplaced to place this on the Active Agenda next week, and he would like the opportunity for more time. A written statement from an absent Commissioner doesn’t allow for discussion.
With regard to term limits, Commissioner Waldack said this is a “politically sexy” topic but he has heard no calls from the public on this issue one way or the other. He thinks it is a non-issue as far as the public is concerned, and he sees this as a way to prevent other referenda from being placed on the ballot. He then read the proposed resolution. He thinks that the question is not the quality of the pool, but who wants to jump in and devote the time and energy necessary. The thought that incumbents have an advantage is silly as two have been defeated in the brief time he’s been associated with Council politics. He thinks the Village has good people who may not want to run against an incumbent out of fear of defeating people they believe are doing a good job. Commissioner Waldack noted that there is only one sitting Commissioner that would be effected by this rule, and in the last election it would have meant replacing a popularly elected four-term Commissioner with a newcomer who attended about four meetings and hasn’t been heard from since. Commissioner Waldack said that term limits are good for non-local officials. Local officials have to live with decisions that they make every day and see their constituents not in an office, but where they shop, dine, go to church, in community parks and local organizations. Council members are not paid for their work since there are expenses associated with running for office, meetings and travel in addition to the time commitment.
Regarding pension reform, Commissioner Waldack said this was voted on in other communities and passed overwhelmingly. He sees this as a wasted place on the ballot as it is a no-brainer. Officials in Springfield need to be pressured for changes. The Village has gone to Springfield and been told that Springfield is under pressure from lobbyists. Officials in Springfield have said they need to be pressured by the electorate before they will take any meaningful action. He thinks the Village has done all it can, and everyone will have to pay if Springfield doesn’t act.
Concerning the elimination of townships, Commissioner Waldack said this is another placeholder and he thought the community would be better served if meaningful questions are asked. He has heard nothing about this in the community and takes exception with the way the information was presented. It seems that the question need not be asked by this Council as it has already been ordained. He sees the question as silly in that it assumes that elimination of townships would just fold into the municipalities. It makes the wrong assumptions and is dangerous. Through a refenda process and a subsequent voting process, counties may take steps to dissolve townships, and the land, taxes and roles would be distributed to the County. The County Board membership would increase along with its duties and responsibilities. He thinks there is a need for a better understanding of the mechanics and implications. He asked the Village Attorney to examine the question as to whether duties would be absorbed by municipalities or the County.
Commissioner Waldack then said that the referenda would not include the voters outside of Downers Grove who are served by three Townships. Many of the people outside the Village boundaries are adamant that they want no part of municipal government. He thinks it is easy to say that there are duplicate services and he believes the Village can work with the Township to eliminate duplicate services. He then referenced the work that townships do and the people who rely on these services. If the municipalities take over the work of the townships it would be an assault on human services. It would harm our youth and be a disaster for our seniors. Commissioner Waldack referred to the Village’s budget decisions made regarding human services. He questioned how long it would be before they decided that human services would not be relevant, if they had to take over township services. He said there are more relevant questions we should be asking our voters including those related to borrowing money, issuance of bonds, increased Village debt for additional stormwater projects, going beyond core services, funding for Heritage Festival or a new Village Hall and Police Department. He thinks these are things that can be asked in a referendum. He noted that 200-300 residents appeared at the budget sessions and many said they wanted Heritage Festival, social service, community grants, etc. They were advocating that the Village is more than just Police, Fire and Public Works
Commissioner Beckman commented that he would have preferred to have had this conversation with the Commissioners who are missing today. He is interested in what they have to say. He appreciates Commissioner Schnell’s written comments, but he feels they are remiss in continuing the discussion without the Commissioners here. Regarding term limits, he has been a member of District 99 for 24 years. The Village Council has a strong, stable membership on its Commissions who could serve well on the Council. In his time with District 99 there were times they had to beg individuals to run. If this referendum were placed before the public, he thinks it would have a trickle-down effect to other agencies who do not have the kind of support that the Village Council has. He has some skepticism about this and would prefer to hear his fellow Commissioners.
With regard to the pension issue, Commissioner Beckman said that he can support this as a non-binding referendum question. He would like to have more discussion on this and it deserves a lot of dialogue. He believes there needs to be a way to make changes. As to consolidation of local services, in some cases they may be unnecessary, but are of value to others. It depends upon whose ox is being gored. This is an attempt to have vertical integration which he appreciates; however, he said they must understand exactly what the public is being asked to consider, and be sure that the public understands as well.
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said that it wasn’t in terms of the importance of the topics that he suggested the timeliness factor. These are important and should be discussed. He reiterated that there are several months to consider whether these should be placed on the ballot. He said that there are other ways the Village has used that might be more appropriate, as a ballot is a limited statement. Two ways the Village has used previously are the Citizen Survey, and water billing mailing to give people the opportunity to answer questions about Village affairs. He thinks November would be a dead time to bring this to Springfield, and the Village may want to bring it to them this spring instead. He again suggested that the Village consider delaying this and consider discussing it with other Council members.
Mayor Sandack responded that another First Reading is fine with him. The expressed skepticism as to the legitimacy of the questions is new to him. He brought these questions up over a month ago and hasn’t heard any of these arguments brought forth before now. Commissioners Schnell, Barnett and Durkin knew this was coming forward. He said there is no rush, but he doesn’t think it makes sense to wait until August. He thinks they should frame the issues and see if there is any resident reaction. The Village has done surveys and water billing questions, and received about 1,000 responses out of 18,000 homes. He thinks they will get a better response on election day. The term limit question is not a place holder. The idea of an advisory referendum is to see what the people want. With regard to the pension, this is not a place holder and the Village has told state representatives how important it is, and they heard it. But hearing from the electorate may have more teeth. It is an important matter that affects our sustainability.
Mayor Sandack then read the question of consolidation of government bodies. Local government means the County. He challenged people to ask about their township government and officials and how they’ve been served by them. Reform will come from the population telling Springfield to change. This will happen incrementally from the bottom up. The Mayor said this is an attempt to make residents aware and get them engaged in the process. The questions offered tonight by his colleagues were not given to him before tonight, and he has not heard that there is anything Machiavellian about the proposal. He said that these are his attempts to have conversations, and he has not heard about other initiatives. He thinks it would be meaningful to have answers to these questions and he wants to try and get people involved. He said this item would be moved to April 6 as a First Reading.
Commissioner Beckman said he appreciated that and would appreciate a concise review.
Commissioner Waldack also appreciated moving this to another First Reading. With regard to the pension issue, he said it will probably get 80-90% agreement. He said that the Village has tried to get the need for pension reform to the legislature and they said they need to hear it from the public. They are lobbied every day regarding pensions. The others are legitimate questions. He reviewed the Illinois Constitution earlier and that is why he asked the question as to the term “local authorities,” which he took to mean local government. Indexes: Referenda Questions, Consolidation of Local Services
Materials to be Received
Materials to be Placed on File
The Manager said a Community Events Commission meeting will be held Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Committee Room Staff will present a first draft of how future community events will be handled.
Future Active Agenda
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting one item to the Council: An ordinance amending rates charged for metered water.
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Neustadt wished everyone a happy St. Patrick’s Day and reminded them to celebrate responsibly.
Commissioner Waldack added his wishes for a happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Commissioner Beckman said that on Friday, WGN was at Ballydoyle for a program with Greg Jarrett. He expressed his thanks to the Cullens for putting together a great program for that early in the morning. He noted that Ballydoyle’s had a license to serve liquor in the morning.
Mayor Sandack announced that the Downers Grove Library Foundation has their fundraiser on Sunday, March 21 with 18 holes of mini-golf at the Library. He encouraged people to attend and to bring their children.
Commissioner Beckman moved to adjourn. Commissioner Neustadt seconded the Motion.
Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 8:31 p.m.