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 Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner Bob Barnett, Commissioner William Waldack, Commissioner Sean P. Durkin, Commissioner Bruce E. Beckman, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt and Mayor Ron Sandack Absent: Village Attorney Enza Petrarca Non Voting: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Clerk April Holden and Staff Attorney Beth Clark 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
Executive Session Minutes for Approval Only – March 2, 2010 Council Meeting – March 16, 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
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
Dr. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, pointed out that no information has been provided in the green sheets on Consent Agenda items. If people do not work at their home computers, they will not have any information about what is being done. He said transparency was one of the main issues campaigned on, and he thinks it would be good to put items that appear on the Consent Agenda on public handouts at the meeting.
Mayor Sandack said that the Consent Agenda and all information on those items is available on line, and can be made available at the Library.
The Manager said staff will include Consent Agenda items in future packets made available in the Council Chambers.
COR00 -04091 A. Claim Ordinances: No. 5839, Payroll, March 12, 2010 and No. 5841, Payroll, March 26, 2010 A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL00 -04092 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 5818, April 6, 2010 A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
RES00 -04050 C. Resolution: Authorize Amendment #1 to an Agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Central Corridor Bikeway Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AMENDMENT #1 TO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
RESOLUTION 2010 -23 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Bikeway Plan, Illinois Department of Transportation
RES00 -04089 D. Resolution: Authorize Agreement with County of DuPage re: Prentiss Creek Neighborhood Resource Center Sponsors: Manager’s Office Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE COUNTY OF DUPAGE AND THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE
RESOLUTION 2010 -24 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: DuPage County Community Development Block Grant
MOT00 -04093 E. Motion: Award a Three-Year Contract in the Amount of $318,643.88 to Illinois Central Sweeping, LLC , Blue Island, IL, for Street Sweeping Maintenance Services Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Award this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Street- Sweeper
BID00 -04094 F. Bid: Award $92,650 to Chicagoland Paving Contractors, Inc., Lake Zurich, IL, for Pavement Patching Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Streets
RES00 -04099 G. Resolution: Authorize a Modification to Community Development Commission Agreement CD09 -02 – Prentiss Creek Hybrid Street Lamp Project Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A MODIFICATION TO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AGREEMENT CD09 -02
RESOLUTION 2010 -25 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: DuPage County Community Development Block Grant
MOT00 -04097 H. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions Summary of Item: Community Events Commission – January 28, 2010 Comprehensive Planning Ad Hoc Committee – February 10, 2010 Library Board – March 10, 2010 Zoning Board of Appeals – February 24, 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 Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Barnett, that the consent agenda be passed. The motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack
7. Active Agenda
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 A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Barnett, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Fire Communications Network
8. First Reading
BID00 -04098 B. Bid: Award a Contract to Geneva Construction Company, Inc., Aurora, IL, for the 2010 Resurfacing (A) Project in an Amount Not-to-Exceed $1,647,885.35 Sponsors: Public Works Nan Newlon, Public Works Director, said this is the first contract on the road resurfacing for the year, and is one of four contracts that will be before the Council on road maintenance. She showed a slide of the funding from the Capital Fund, Motor Fuel Tax Fund, and the Federal Stimulus Funds. She explained that resurfacing Contract B will be bid in a few weeks and does not include patching and curb work. The third contract is for preventive sealing, and the last is the fall pavement repatching.
Ms. Newlon said this contract received six bids and Geneva was the low bidder at $1,647,885.35. As of 2008, Geneva worked with the Village 39 times and has a positive report card.
Commissioner Beckman said he felt that this project was clearly understood in its presentation and he is comfortable with the bidding report.
Commissioner Barnett said that the Council received a Capital Projects Sheet which has a preliminary list of streets. He asked if that list is covered by Contracts A & B. Ms. Newlon said that Contracts A & B together will comprise the list; however, the streets in Contract B will require more patching and will be more expensive. Staff will review to see if there is enough money to do all of the streets.
Commissioner Barnett responded that it is hard to walk or drive anywhere without seeing more streets in need of work. The Manager said that staff estimated between $9 and $12 million for maintenance and reconstruction for streets per year, for the next four years. Commissioner Barnett agreed that the needs are huge and probably bigger than people realize. He said $4 million has been budgeted for this year. He wants the public to realize that the Village is aware of it and that the needs are huge.
Commissioner Schnell asked how the Village evaluates the condition of the roads. Ms. Newlon referenced the pavement deterioration curve, which was displayed on the overhead. Some streets are low in the curve and they need reconstruction including patching, curb replacement, etc. The goal in this program is to perform the maintenance earlier in the pavement life. As to inspection, staff inspects the streets, and does a Village-wide inspection to determine priorities.
Commissioner Schnell then asked how the Village evaluates contractors as satisfactory. Ms. Newlon said that the Village will not pay them unless their work is satisfactory. She said that the Village also has a maintenance bond.
Commissioner Durkin noted that there was a savings of $150,000 from what was budgeted in this bid. He asked about the bids coming in so close to the budgeted amount. Ms. Newlon responded that this is a commodity-based contract, and the Village staff does a good job of estimating costs in this area. The Manager added that staff budgets for decreasing costs as well, and remains aware of the market conditions.
Commissioner Durkin then asked what percentage of streets are being done this year versus previous years. Ms. Newlon said Contracts A and B will be very close to what was done last year. Commissioner Durkin commented that the streets focused on are in one general area, and he said some neighbors contacted him about lack of notification to residents. Ms. Newlon responded that the first notification will go out this week as a general letter that work will be coming into the neighborhood. Then a letter goes out one week before work begins with more details. There will be door hangers placed for any properties where work will block a driveway. She said that staff works with Doug Kozlowski for e-mail contacts, and they provide the name of the Project Engineer. People can call Public Works as well to learn what is happening. Commissioner Durkin said this is long overdue and he is glad to see it begin. Indexes: Motor Fuel Tax, Roadway Improvements
BID00 -04095 C. Bid: Award $466,836.29 to Construction Management Corporation of IL, DBA Briggs Paving of Downers Grove, IL for the Inverness Avenue Improvements Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This is for Inverness Avenue (Janes Avenue to Belmont Road) Ms. Newlon explained that this is a CIP project of an area up for reconstruction. It is located south of Maple, and west of Belmont and will include Ashbrook Place. The Village received six bid responses, with the low bid from Briggs Paving who did work for the Village last fall. They have a positive report card from the Village, and staff received positive references about Briggs.
Commissioner Neustadt said he likes to see a Downers Grove company getting a bid. This includes new sidewalks construction as well. It is a great example of lining up all projects in one season. Indexes: Streets
BID00 -04096 D. Bid: Award $84,000 to Western Gradall Corporation of Naperville, IL, for Roadside Ditch Reconstruction and Maintenance Services Sponsors: Public Works The Manager commented that this project is a key component to the stormwater system maintenance program. The Village plans to do about three miles of ditching. Two bids were received, and Western Gradall was the low bid. They have done other work in the Village in 2009 and performed well. Indexes: Roadway Improvements
RES00 -04069 D. Resolution: Authorize an Agreement with Municipal & Financial Services Group for a Water Rate Study Sponsors: Public Works Summary of Item: This authorizes an agreement with Municipal & Financial Services Group LLC of Annapolis, Maryland for a water rate study in an amount not-to-exceed $30,000.
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE AND MUNICIPAL & FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP , LLC
RESOLUTION 2010 -34 The Manager said this resolution authorizes an agreement for a water rate study, in an amount not to exceed $30,000. The study concerns an adjustment of fees. He noted that one of the goals of the strategic plan is to establish fees that cover the Village costs, including purchase of water, capital projects, and operational and maintenance needs. This project was put out for bid with eight responses received. Staff recommends Municipal Financial Services Group because of their experience in the area and their staff expertise. They received positive references from three other communities.
Mayor Sandack asked for more information regarding our water system. Mr. Fieldman said that there are three players involved: The City of Chicago, the DuPage Water Commission, and the Village of Downers Grove. The Village distributes the water to its customers. He said each group has separate costs for the water, pipe maintenance, staff, etc. He noted that this study is going beyond the wholesale cost of water. This will determine the amount the Village should be charging for the proper operation and maintenance of the local water distribution system.
Mayor Sandack added that the water distribution system includes 230 miles of watermain, 2,600 fire hydrants and 3,000 main line distribution valves that must be maintained. The survey and study will assure that the Village is assessing and maintaining the system adequately and properly.
Commissioner Neustadt said because the Village has such a detailed CIP and infrastructure plan, it helps in bringing the costs down. The Manager said that maintaining the information eliminates a great deal of the legwork for the consultant.
Commissioner Waldack commented that many of the contracts on the Agenda tonight come from the Water Fund because staff tries to associate what is being done with the proper fund.
Commissioner Schnell asked whether this study will look at the age of the pipe and cost to replace the pipes over time. Mr. Fieldman responded that this study is intended to be detailed and cover costs for many years. Commissioner Schnell then asked whether tank storage will be included, and the Manager said that he doesn’t know if it will address capacity issues, but he will review that.
Commissioner Barnett commented that he appreciates the efforts taking place in this area. This is a core service and the Village is responsible for making sure that the water flows when a resident turns on the shower. This is a worthwhile effort wherein the Village is trying to be reliable and sustainable. The highest quality services are the result of planning and Village staff is doing that. He encourages this type of activity in all areas.
Commissioner Beckman said he would like to get an understanding of how the Village goes about planning for these studies.
The Mayor agreed, saying that there are other instances where this planning tool can be used to assure that our infrastructure, streets, etc, are properly maintained. The Mayor said that there will be more information coming out soon on the DuPage Water Commission (DPWC). Manager Fieldman said that staff will put a link on the Village’s website to the DuPage Water Commission’s page. Mayor Sandack said that the investigating law firm report on the agency, with recommendations for changes in operations, is located on the DPWC website. Indexes: Water Rates
RES00 -04084 A. Resolution: Initiate Submission of a Public Question to Support Regional Actions to Attain Long-Term Pension Sustainability Sponsors: Mayor Summary of Item: This places the following non-binding advisory question on the November 2, 2010 local election ballot: 1. Shall the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor take immediate steps to implement meaningful pension reform which will relieve the unsustainable burden on local taxpayers?
A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE SUBMISSION OF A PUBLIC QUESTION TO SUPPORT REGIONAL ACTIONS TO ATTAIN LONG -TERM PENSION SUSTAINABILITY
RESOLUTION 2010 -31 Indexes: Referenda Questions, Pension
RES00 -04083 B. Resolution: Initiate Submission of a Public Question Concerning Term Limits for Mayor and Commissioners of the Village of Downers Grove Sponsors: Mayor Summary of Item: This places the following non-binding advisory question on the November 2, 2010 local election ballot: Shall the Village of Downers Grove place the following term limits on municipal offices: Mayor term limited to two (2) consecutive four (4) year terms. Six Village Commissioenrs limited to three (3) consecutive four (4) year terms each.
A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE SUBMISSION OF A PUBLIC QUESTION CONCERNING TERM LIMITS FOR MAYOR AND COMMISSIONERS OF THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE
RESOLUTION 2010 -32 Indexes: Term Limits, Referenda Questions
RES00 -04085 C. 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 Summary of Item: This places the following non-binding advisory question on the November 2, 2010 local election ballot: Shall the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor take immediate steps to review the services being provided by townships and special districts and consider consolidation of these services with other units of local government in an effort to reduce or eliminate unnecessary levels of local government?
A RESOLUTION INITIATING THE SUBMISSION OF A PUBLIC QUESTION URGING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO MOVE TOWARD CONSOLIDATION OF LOCAL SERVICES AND ELIMINATION OF UNNECESSARY LAYERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
RESOLUTION 2010 -33 Indexes: Referenda Questions, Consolidation of Local Services Mayor Sandack said that on March 16 these items were discussed as advisory initiatives and questions. Questions raised included the consolidation of local services, public pensions, and term limits. The Mayor said that all three questions are advisory formatted, and he spoke to what he considers legitimate public initiative items and proper questions for residents to weigh in on. He believes that State reform needs to come from the bottom up. Several of the Commissioners were absent when this question was raised, and others asked that this be discussed when all members were present.
Gary Tagtmeier, 1900 Concord Drive, said he thinks this is progressive thinking. These are three critical issues, in his opinion, facing local, state and federal levels. This gives people a chance to feel that they have direct input, and he asked about the cost of doing this. He supports putting these on the ballot.
John Wendt, 1701Concord Drive, commented that these three referenda would be meaningful to take the temperature of members of the community.
Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said that it is a good idea to have discussion among all of the Commissioners. There are four points to consider. The term limit question deals only with the local unit of government, and any referendum that changes the structure of Home Rule government has to be done by binding referendum, so they would need another referendum to actually achieve anything. The Village has until August 30 to put advisory questions or binding referenda on the ballot. Citizens who might want to submit a referendum petition have only until August 16. It is good to consider questions, but to pass a Resolution and put it on the ballot 4-1/2 months before it is needed precludes any other referenda that might come up. He said that he believes the Village has done very well with natural term limits imposed by voters when they come out to elections, and he doesn’t think they will be well served by having legislative term limits in the community.
Commissioner Durkin said he supports all three of the referenda, thinking they should let the voters vote and then the Village can make its decisions.
Commissioner Schnell said she agrees with the pension reform issue saying it is a no-brainer, and this has been attempted in Springfield, unsuccessfully. She agrees that the Bill passed is basically a band aid. She said she has no problem putting this on the ballot. From her perspective, she’s unsure as to whether this gives Springfield teeth for change. She also has no problem with the idea of shrinking government and would like to see what residents have to say. There are too many layers of government that are costing taxpayers too much to maintain. Commissioner Schnell then said, with regard to the term issue, if it is the consensus of her colleagues to put term limits into place, she would support it; however, she feels residents speak every two years on term limits by voting in the elections. The majority of people decide not to serve more than two or three terms either through personal choice, or the choice of the voters. She agrees with Dr. Goodman that there has been a natural term limit imposed by the electorate. The Village has been served well by those with more and less longevity. She believes that residents prefer term limits through the voting process.
Commissioner Barnett commented on the pension limits, saying he agrees that it is a no-brainer. People need to understand that the Village takes in about $9-12 million a year in property taxes and 1/3 goes to pension funds which are beyond the Village’s control. That is a large amount, and he thinks it is a big plus to increase the awareness of the public as to the dollar value of this issue.
With regard to term limits, Commissioner Barnett began by saying that he became interested in term limits in 1992 when he read a book discussing ways to reform government and to create an environment whereby elected officials are elected to serve. When it becomes a career, it becomes a problem. He said that this Council, prior to his presence, began to review matters, including financial issues associated with elections. He would like to remove some of the barriers so people will step up and run for office. Commissioner Barnett said that there is a great deal of talent in the Village and he would like to give those people an opportunity to serve. As to the issue of benefit of experience, he agrees with this and agrees with the interpretation. This would allow someone to serve four terms – two as Commissioner and two as Mayor.
Regarding layers of government, there is not enough money for everything. As stewards of the public trust they need to try to minimize redundancy and increase efficiencies or reduce overlaps. Commissioner Barnett believes the Village will get some feedback as to what type of government people want. He is thankful that the Mayor put these issues forward. In terms of timing, he agrees that they could wait but feels there may be many more issues before the Council with budgeting by August, so he agrees with moving forward immediately on these.
Commissioner Beckman also thanked the Mayor for providing the opportunity to discuss this again. He agrees that pension reform is a no-brainer. Reform is necessary and he will support that element. He will further support the question of consolidation of local services and eliminating unnecessary layers of government. He said that Illinois has more local governmental entities than any other state in the nation. Locally there are water protection districts, fire protection districts, etc., where districts were created when the area was cornfields. Now there is a conglomeration of competing governmental entities which make for inefficiencies. He spoke to his personal experience of attempting to consolidate school districts, which was not a successful process because there was no compelling need to moderate the process. Commissioner Beckman then addressed term limits saying he has run for seven political terms, and all but one was competitive. There were challenges and times when people were begged to serve. He is concerned about other units of government imposing term limits. He also feels that elections represent term limits. Individuals may choose to run again, or choose not to, or place it in the hands of the voters. Most of the Council members in the Village serve one, two or three terms. He is not sure that there is a compelling need to put this on the ballot; however, he does feel there is sufficient interest on the part of the public.
Commissioner Neustadt commented that he is in support of these issues. The Village can only take action on the term limits, noting that the other two will go to the State Legislature.
Commissioner Waldack commented that pension reform is not so much a question but a petition to send to Springfield. They are lobbied constantly to increase pensions, but not to reduce them. The public needs to let legislators know it wants pension reform. With regard to term limits, he has not heard much cry from the public. There has been very little conversation and popular blogs garnering fewer comments on all three of these issues so he doesn’t see an overwhelming push for term limits. He reviewed past relevant history wherein one Commissioner resigned, two did not run, and incumbents had been defeated. If term limits were currently in place, a popularly-elected four term Commissioner would have been automatically replaced by an individiual who attended four or five meetings and hasn’t been heard from since. Local offices are different than Springfield and Washington. The Commissioners are volunteers who live here, work here, worship here, and are part of the community. They are not out of touch. He said that an invaluable asset in local government is institutional memory. Without institutional memory they may be subject to institutional Alzheimers. He feels term limits would have a negative effect and he could not support this at this time.
Regarding consolidation of duplicative offices, Commissioner Waldack said he finds that the question stated is misleading. The services would go to the County and he thinks the word “local” is misleading and should be removed. In addition, wording that to “reduce unnecessary levels of local government” is misleading. He would support changing the word “unnecessary.” If they rephrase the question, he asked that the Village wait until the beginning of August, noting there may be other petitions regarding redistricting. There has been some question raised with respect to the DuPage Water Commission. Other petitions cannot start yet according to the 90-day requirement of election law. He suggested issues that could be referenda questions, and further suggested holding off on these particular questions until late summer.
Mayor Sandack noted that two of these issues are important to him in terms of reform. There is no mischievous intent in the three questions. Since he has been involved in local government, one of the frustrating things he has experienced is a lot of nothing when they go down to Springfield. There is a built-in barrier to requests. When something was done it was because they had to play in the Springfield playground the way their rules required. He agrees that this is like a community-wide petition. Residents will vote in November and the Village could take that opportunity to take the temperature of the citizens. The result of the referenda could then be taken to Springfield. This was done by Lake Forest and Barrington, and he basically stole the language from their ordinance.
The Mayor then spoke to the layers of government, saying there are over 8,000 units of government in Illinois according to Mr. Thoman. The next State is Pennsylvania with 4,600. He then read the question, saying that the State is asked to look at what is being imposed upon us and consider consolidation of services. This is not casting aspersions but raises doubt. He urged residents to look at their tax bills as to the units of government. There are probably units of government on the property tax bills that residents have never heard of. He asked if it wasn’t conceivable that some of those government entities could be consolidated and redundancies reduced.
Mayor Sandack commented on the question of term limits, which have to do with reform. He believes these are perfect initiative questions. The Village is taking a poll and then having useful information for taking the next step. He took the reform initiatives put into place after his election seriously, and he believes this would complete that effort. These are concepts that resonate with our residents at no cost. He would like to see the “service” put back in public service and remove some of the political aspects. He doesn’t want to have to revisit this later. The Mayor said he doesn’t fear what the residents have to say and looks forward to it. These are his initiatives and he feels strongly about them and will continue to push for them.
Commissioner Barnett asked about the consolidation of services, and asked if Commissioner Waldack talked with the Village Attorney regarding services going to the County. Commissioner Waldack responded that he did speak with the Attorney. In a certain context, the question makes it sound as though services would be taken over by local government. He suggests that the last phrase is unnecessary and removing the word “local.”
Commissioner Barnett said this says nothing about any particular services, unit of government, or otherwise, but just talks about redundancy. Commissioner Waldack reiterated that he suggested taking out the word “locally” and dropping the phrase “in an effort to reduce or eliminate unnecessary levels of local government?” It would be up to the voters to decide if these units are duplicative or unnecessary.
Commissioner Neustadt suggested that a Motion to amend this can be made by Commissioner Waldack next week. He said that the process allows a change at the meeting. This question has been in front of the Commissioners for a month. Commissioner Waldack can submit an option to the Commissioners for their review for next week.
Commissioner Schnell commented that having Commissioner Waldack’s change written and available to compare to the original version would be helpful to the Commissioners for review.
Commissioner Beckman asked if the proposed changes have been reviewed by the Village Attorney. The Staff Attorney responded that she has the language for Attorney Petrarca’s review. The Mayor then asked that the Attorney prepare the alternative language and circulate it for Council review.
Commissioner Barnett asked if Commissioner Waldack was saying that 12 years is sufficient for institutional knowledge. He asked if he meant that they do not have institutional knowledge until year 13. Commissioner Waldack responded that they might not have enough. This is a young staff and he considers institutional knowledge as a key to our Village government.
Commissioner Beckman stated that his experience indicates that institutional knowledge is important and helpful in making decisions. He said that a Council or Board is balanced when there is a mix of newer and experienced members. He does believe that institutional knowledge is important in an entity such as the Village Council.
The Mayor said they are not talking about individual opinions, but about the general public. This has nothing to do with who sits on the Council, but rather with what they do. He said hearing from people on the propriety of questions related to term limits, etc., is valuable.
Commissioner Durkin asked if there is any information regarding other referenda questions, and whether other communities are considering issues to raise. The Mayor said the Village is allowed three questions, and other communities could still add to the ballot. Commissioner Waldack then asked that staff provide the rules so that everyone understands the process.
RES00 -04090 Resolution: Appoint Members to Boards and Commissions Sponsors: Mayor Summary of Item: This appoints Thomas J. Casey to the Architectural Design Review Board to a three year term expiring August 31, 2013.
RESOLUTION APPOINTING THOMAS J . CASEY TO THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN REVIEW BOARD
RESOLUTION 2010 -27 The Mayor asked the Village Clerk to read the resolution.
Commissioner Waldack said he is the Council liaison to the Architectural Design Review Board. There was a resignation of a member from the Historical Society and that position needs to be replaced by an Historical Society member. Mr. Casey is a member and is well qualified to sit on this Board.
Mayor Sandack said Montrew Dunham did a wonderful job and Mr. Casey has some huge shoes to fill. He thanked Ms. Dunham for her service and welcomed Mr. Casey to the Board. A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Barnett, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Yea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack Indexes: Boards and Commissions Materials to be Placed on File
The Manager said the Community Events Commission met last week to review an application from the Rotary Club for Grove Fest taking place July 15 to July 18. The Commission recommended approval subject to several conditions. This application is consistent with the first draft of staff’s recommendation regarding events. The Council consideration of the Rotary Club event may take place next week.
The Manager then noted that the Prentiss Creek Hybrid Street lights are now in operation. The Village has been recognized by the Association of Public Works for technical innovation.
The Manager commented on a fire at 4901 Belmont recently and asked Chief Jackson to report on the situation.
Fire Chief Jackson said that there was a tragic 3-alarm fire at 4901 Belmont. A total of 45 fire companies from 25 different departments responded on April 5. Response time was three minutes, fifty-nine seconds. He said that the companies realized people were in the building. There was no alarm notification inside the building. The firefighters began search and evacuation of the residents. A total of 11 people were assisted out of the building prior to the ceiling collapse on the inside. Chief Jackson said that the building was determined unsafe for an interior operation, so they attacked from the outside after everyone was removed from the building. It took about three hours to extinguish the fire. The roof came down within 15 minutes. Firefighters were on the scene for 15 hours. There were no injuries and the firefighters did a fantastic job. Experience and training made a serious impact, and it was a unified effort. Fire Chief Jackson commented on how technology assisted in fighting the fire including locating hydrants and valves, and increasing water pressure. He stated that Commissioner Neustadt opened Puffer School and residents assisted the firefighters with hoses. He said that staff will conduct a review and prepare a formal critique. The building was a 16-unit apartment building with seven families inside.
Donations are being accepted for the residents. Pastor Mark Moore of Belmont Bible Church will handle donations for the residents. He can be reached at 630-963-2230, or BelmontBibleChurch.com. Chief Jackson said this was a tragic event; however, no one was hurt.
Mayor Sandack thanked Chief Jackson and his firefighters, and extended congratulations on a job well done. He asked that his feelings be passed along to all of the personnel involved. It was a quick and appropriate response ending with a job well done.
Mr. Fieldman then provided news on the Belmont Underpass, saying that Metra has given the go ahead on the project. Public Works Director Nan Newlon said a preconstruction meeting was held on March 25 and the notice to proceed has been issued to the contractor. Metra will have a full-time engineer on the site, and the tentative schedule will be received by Metra this week. Ms. Newlon said they expect work to begin in April, and Belmont will be closed for two weeks in June or July. Afterwards, one lane will be open. Construction has been redesigned to save about $500,000 and to shorten the construction time.
The Mayor encouraged residents to go to the Village website at www.downers.us regarding the Belmont underpass, the garbage survey, return of census information, and rain barrels.
Mary Scalzetti commented on an effort to conserve water with the Conservation Foundation and the Village joining to make rain barrels available to Village residents at a reduced cost throughout the month of April. Reservations can be made online and barrels can be picked up on May 8 at Downers Grove Downtown market. They are equipped with a spigot and garden hose attachment. A sample rain barrel is being circulated around the Village and a presentation will be made on April 21.
The Mayor said he purchased one last year for double the price, and he is glad to see this program begin.
Commissioner Beckman asked if the water can be used on a daily basis. Ms. Scalzetti said the intention is to allow that type of usage. Staff is reviewing the Municipal Code with respect to this question.
There were no items to present.
Future Active Agenda
12.Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Waldack said that this evening’s Consent Agenda amounted to $420,000 worth of items. He is still a big proponent of finding a way to notice these items, and he thinks the one-week waiting period is important. He agrees with Dr. Goodman’s comments. Commissioner Waldack then commented on contracts. He supports three year contracts as opposed to one if there are cost savings associated with the longer terms. He asked staff to look at the policies regarding bidding to publicize the one-year contract bid to adjust the process to entice more vendors to bid. He noted that when the Village went out for bonds on the fire house, it was done online. He asked that staff look at the possibility to bid online where the Village would set a maximum amount for a particular contract. Mr. Fieldman said staff will research this and come back to the Council.
Commissioner Neustadt said that Wannemaker’s has many colors of rain barrels for sale as well. He noted that April 18-25 is Downers Grove Restaurant Week and read the list of restaurants that will be participating. He said that residents should look for a card in the mail. Commissioner Neustadt then expressed his appreciation to VOC for their help in informing him of the fire situation on Belmont. He said it was a very scary situation, and reminded everyone that the families are in need of assistance.
Commissioner Durkin said he represented the Mayor and Council on March 18 at the Fire Department promotions ceremony. The badge pinning ceremony included Jeff Pindelski, Pat Hardin and Matt Beyer. He said when he agreed to do this, he didn’t realize how large an event this would be. He expressed how proud he was of the staff. Chief Jackson also did a great job in keeping the tradition alive. He said if there is another badge pinning ceremony Council, staff and residents might wish to attend as it is a wonderful ceremony.
Commissioner Durkin then provided a follow-up on the National League of Cities and traffic calming, saying that the Village obtained a grant for solar-powered driver feedback signs. The signs are up in three areas and they record traffic speeds. These are expected to be rotated around the Village.
Commissioner Schnell announced that on April 17, the Village will sponsor a paper shredding event for Downers Grove residents. It will be held from 8:00 a.m. until noon at the Police Department to help prevent identity theft. She suggested people check the Village website for additional information.
Commissioner Beckman also commented on the situation with the fire. He was impressed with the team of individuals and the professionalism exhibited at 5:00 a.m. after a night of fighting the fire. They should be commended.
Mayor Sandack said that the Community Events Commission approved a Grove Fest with a vote of 5:1. There will be a public process involved. This is a rebranded Heritage Fest, and is a testament to our community of the spirit of volunteerism that exists in the area. The Council had to cancel sponsoring the Heritage Festival in the last budget process; however, the concept may yet come to fruition. This is the third response from the community in regard to items which had to be cut from the budget. He said that this will be discussed further. The Ice Festival and Counseling and Social Services went into private leadership. Mayor Sandack noted that this shows that the residents are willing to pay for those items which they consider important for the Village. The Mayor said that the Village and staff will have to continue to look for new ways of delivering services, and be open to new ways of doing things. The Village’s budget process will begin in a couple of months, and the Village will continue to be transparent in its services to the community.
Commissioner Schnell moved to adjourn. Commissioner Barnett seconded the Motion.
Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m