Skip to main content

May 03, 2011

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  Non Voting: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden  T he 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 Minutes - April 19, 2011 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 Tonight's Agenda

1 .  Tom LeCren, 545 Chicago Avenue, requested in light of his four years of Latin training in school, that the term "sine die," be pronounced correctly, and gave an example of that pronunciation.

2.  Bill Wrobel, 7800 Queens Court, spoke on behalf of Community High School District 99, the Tivoli and citizens of Downers Grove.  On April 19 he attended a jazz concert presented by South High School and Musikschule Bietigheim-Bissingen from Bietigheim, Germany.  The concert featured the Downers Grove Jazz Band ensemble, which received a grant to finance a trip to New York City to compete in the "Essentially Ellington" Jazz contest.  Mr. Wrobel thanked the Tivoli, as this was the first time a local high school performed on the Tivoli stage.  The German Band Director said he learned a lot from the school's visit to Germany a few years ago because not only did Downers Grove South have a complete concert band, but they had within it a smaller band in the form of the Jazz Band.  Mr. Wrobel said about 450 people were in attendance at the Tivoli concert and he encouraged residents to participate and attend future functions such as this.

3.  Linda Kunze of the Downtown Management Corporation presented Mayor Sandack and Commissioner Beckman with tokens of appreciation from the Corporation.  She expressed thanks for all they have given to the Village and the business community.

4.  Cindy Klima and Mark Costanza of the Economic Development Corporation expressed gratitude to Mayor Sandack and Commissioner Beckman for their service and commitment to the economic development of the Village.  She presented them with tokens of appreciation and extended best wishes for their future.

5.  Frank Falesch said he had no gifts, but wished both the best in the years to come.  Then he commented that he doesn't like the new Consent Agenda. He questioned the parking study cost of $44,000.  He asked if our staff has any talent at all, as he thinks some of this could be done internally.  It seems every week another item like this appears on the agenda. 

5. Public Hearings


6. Consent Agenda


COR 00-04501 A.  Claim Ordinance:  No. 5895, Payroll, April 8, 2011

Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A

BIL 00-04502 B.  List of Bills Payable:  No. 5896, May 3, 2011

Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A

RES 00-04500 C.  Resolution:  Authorize a Sales Contract with Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.

Sponsors: Fire Department




RESOLUTION 2011-29 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Fire Department

MOT 00-04484 D.  Motion:  Award $44,800.00 to Rich and Associates, Inc., Southfield, Michigan, for Downtown Parking Study

Sponsors: Public Works A motion was made to Award this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Parking Deck - CBD, Central Business District - Parking Deck, Central Business District - Parking Deck Traffic Impact Study

MOT 00-04504 E.  Motion:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary of Item: Plan Commission - April 4, 2011

Zoning Board of Appeals - October 27, 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: Y ea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack

7. Active Agenda

MOT 00-04505 A.  Motion:  Waive the First Reading to Consider an Ordinance Adopting Term Limits for Members of the Village Council

Summary of Item: This will waive the first reading to adopt term limits on members of the Village Council. C ommissioner Waldack said he is against term limits on the local level, but is willing to vote for it, but not this week or on this agenda.  He believes it is bad precedent to eliminate the one-week waiting period.  The Village used to have a one-week waiting period.  There have been many items placed on the Consent Agenda without a First Reading.  He noted that 80% of the voters supported term limits and 20% did not.  Because term limits are popular is not a reason to waive the First Reading.  He believes this sets a bad precedent by eliminating the waiting period and only providing 1 1/2 business days for consideration.  Waiving First Readings also allows abuses such as placing items on the Agenda quickly, or when certain Council members are not present for a meeting.  The Council does have a precedent for waiving a one-week waiting period for items that were Workshopped or put on First Reading, and were determined to be time sensitive.  There is no such need here to move this quickly, and no need to subvert good process here.  He will oppose this Motion and the next Motion.

Mayor Sandack stated that he respects the dissenting opinion.  This was talked about exhaustively before it was put on a non-binding referendum in November 2010.  It was discussed long before the vote was taken.  It is now the law, and this Motion puts this law into the Village Code. There is no subversion of good practice.  A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Barnett, to Approve this file.  Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Y ea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack  Nay: Commissioner Waldack  Indexes: Council Rules

ORD 00-04503 B.  Ordinance:  Amend Terms for Council Members

Sponsors: Manager's Office

Summary of Item: This places term limits on members of the Village Council.




ORDINANCE NO. 5199 D r. Gordon Goodman, 5834 Middaugh, said he enjoyed Mayor Sandack's term of office and wishes the Mayor and Commissioner Beckman well in their future endeavors.  Regarding the term limit ordinance, it specifies a certain length of time for any individual to serve.  He asked whether that is for a lifetime, or can an individual serve the limit, leave the office, then be reelected.

Mayor Sandack said the terms are three consecutive terms for Council and two consecutive terms for Mayor.  With a time out, an individual could serve again.  A motion was made by Commissioner Barnett, seconded by Commissioner Beckman, to Adopt this file. Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Y ea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Beckman, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Sandack  Nay: Commissioner Waldack  Indexes: Council Rules

8. Mayor Pro Tem Report

Mayor Pro Tem Marilyn Schnell said she has the pleasure of recognizing two individuals for their outstanding service to Downers Grove: Mayor Ron Sandack and Commissioner Bruce Beckman.  Their contributions will have a positive impact on leaders to come.  This is their final meeting but not a farewell.  She then read a Proclamation honoring Commissioner Beckman for his long-term service to the Village of Downers Grove.  Commissioner Beckman was presented with a clock, and a bike banner from the bike race, as he and his wife are avid cyclists.

Mayor Pro Tem Schnell then read a Proclamation honoring Mayor Ron Sandack for his years of dedication to the Village with various organizations and as a Commissioner and Mayor of the Village.  He was presented with a gift commemorating his time on the Village Council.  He was elected during the Village's 175th year, and was presented with a banner commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Village.

Commissioner Neustadt commented that Commissioner Beckman served a long time for the residents of Downers Grove both at District 99 and with the Village Council.  He has enjoyed working with him and extended his good wishes for the future.

Commissioner Neustadt then thanked Mayor Sandack for his service to the Village, first as Liquor Commissioner, then Commissioner and Mayor, and now as Senator.  Commissioner Neustadt said he has learned a great deal from Mayor Sandack, and his friendship and leadership is important to him personally and to the Village.

Commissioner Waldack said he would miss working with Commissioner Beckman, and their personal friendly conversation.  Their families have played an important role in what they do.  He said he respected Commissioner Beckman's capacity for empathy and appreciates his long career in public service.  He said they don't often get to pick the subjects that come before them, but he believes Commissioner Beckman has been a good and faithful servant to the people of Downers Grove.  He expressed his best to the Commissioner and his wife.

Commissioner Waldack said that the Mayor has many accolades coming to him.  He and the Mayor have disagreed on many issues but have also agreed on many issues.  They have both made political mistakes.  One of his own political mistakes was supporting Mr. Sandack for Mayor, and one of the Mayor's political mistakes was supporting Mr. Waldack as Commissioner.  Commissioner Waldack said that the Mayor was blessed with a good family, and wished Mayor Sandack the best for the future.

Commissioner Durkin extended best wishes to Commissioner Beckman saying he learned a lot from him.  They understood each other even when they did not agree.  He has earned a well-deserved retirement.

Commissioner Durkin addressed Mayor Sandack, saying he followed him as Liquor Commissioner and Council Commissioner, and has enjoyed working with him.  He said that the Mayor did a great job of educating him, and through his leadership, he was able to refocus the core services of the Village.  Other communities are following in Downers Grove's footprints as a result.  He wished the Mayor the best in his future endeavors.  Commissioner Durkin said he would see him again in Springfield as he lobbies for a number of bills for the Village.

Commissioner Barnett congratulated Commissioner Beckman on his retirement and on his years of service to the Village with the School Board and Village Council.  He has earned his time off.  Commissioner Barnett said he met Mayor Sandack in 2002 and found him to be a no nonsense, sincere person.  He has been struck by the Mayor's sincerity and desire to work for the Village.  As a result of his work during difficult times, the Village now has a local government that ranks higher than most.  Much of that comes from Ron's leadership.  Commissioner Barnett said that Springfield will be well served with Ron serving as a Senator.  Springfield's gain is the Village's loss.

Commissioner Schnell expressed her pleasure to be able to call Commissioner Beckman a friend and a colleague.  His passion for the community is obvious.  She wished him and his wife, Mickie, the best of luck.

Commissioner Schnell then commented on Mayor Sandack's indefatigable, boundless energy, saying it has been her honor to serve with him over the past eight years.  The accolades expressed in his honor have been earned.  She noted that his children came in to decorate his chair on his birthday, which was wonderful and embarrassed him as well.  She said maybe they'll do that in Springfield as well.   She thanked him for his service.  She then asked Commissioner Beckman if he had any parting words.

Commissioner Beckman said as he looked back at the last four years and the accomplishments of the community, he thinks the biggest contribution to the future will be the quick action taken by the Village as a result of the recession, led by the staff.  Council formulated the policy, but staff brought it to the forefront.  The second most significant action was the development of an infrastructure for the Village.  People understood that the problem existed when he ran for election, and everyone knew this needed to be done.  The Belmont underpass may have a significant benefit to the Village, especially the west side.  We do not yet know the positive impact this will have on the entire community.  In addition, TCD and the Comprehensive Plan should help the community set a standard for the future.  The establishment of those factors was essential to the future of the community.  He also saw the Ethics Ordinance as another major accomplishment.  He complemented the EDC for its fine work in attracting major businesses to the community.  He also extended his gratitude for having the opportunity to serve the Village.  He thanked the Council, especially Marilyn Schnell and her husband, Phil, for being trusted and supportive colleagues and friends.  He thanked Village Manager, Dave Fieldman and staff, noting that few truly understand the contribution they have made over the past two years.  He also thanked the legal team headed by Enza Petrarca, and especially the citizens of the Village of Downers Grove.  He applauded all those who serve on Boards and Commissions.  He then thanked his wife, Mickie, for all of her support during his entire career, saying the next years will be an exciting time for them.  He reminded everyone that if they want to have a cup of coffee, he is always available.

Mayor Ron Sandack said that this is the day for the next Council.  When he came to Village Hall today, his parking space was gone - Martin Tully had already taken it.  He said he wanted to clearly express that it has been an honor, privilege and pleasure for him to serve this Village. The best part of the Village is its people.  In the past ten years he has met thousands of people, and everyone was a personal interaction, making him want to serve better.  The process, which is unique to Downers Grove, is governing from the residents upward.  The Liquor Commission was a good training ground for him because it was about good policy making.  He said he is a stakeholder just like the residents.  His need to serve moved him to run as Commissioner, and then as Mayor. The groundswell of the residents caused him to run as the result of a meeting in the basement of the DuPage Inn over beer and hamburgers.  He will not forget that process.  Mayor Sandack expressed heartfelt thanks to his wife and his children, for lending him to the community.  He remembers when they came and decorated his chair, and his children have always known him in some capacity as a servant to the community.  He made a lot of friends in his time serving this Village that he calls home and that he cares about.  He also thanked the Village Manager and entire staff for their commitment to the Village and for allowing him to hang with them for a while.  He is proud of the things they have accomplished together, and he thanked everyone for letting him serve.  

9. Motion to Adjourn Sine Die (Without Date)

Mayor Sandack asked for a motion to adjourn sine die.

Commissioner Schnell moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Barnett seconded the Motion.

Mayor Sandack declared the motion carried by voice vote and this portion of the meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.  He wished all Godspeed and welcomed the next Council.

10. Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor and Commissioners

Associate Judge Timothy J. McJoynt of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County, Illinois, said it was great to be back in the Village and see the number of volunteers in action.  It was also nice to see an orderly transition of government.  He then presided over the swearing in of Mayor Tully and Commissioners Durkin, Neustadt, and Rheintgen.   

11. Roll Call

Present:  Commissioner Marilyn Schnell, Commissioner William Waldack, Commissioner Sean P. Durkin, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt, Commissioner Bob Barnett, Commissioner Becky Rheintgen, and Mayor Martin Tully.  Non Voting:  Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden

Mayor Tully called the meeting to order at 8:08 p.m.

12. M ayor's Report

Mayor Tully said the TV sit-com show "Welcome Back Kotter" comes to mind in this situation, minus the mustache and poker hand.  He stated that it is wonderful to be back and he thanked everyone for giving him the opportunity to return to the dais.  He mentioned his prior years of service to the Village and commented on his involvement with both Commissioner Beckman and Mayor Ron Sandack.  He commented that few can match the track record as a pubic servant of Bruce Beckman.  Bruce is pictured in one of Mayor Tully's high school yearbooks as a member of the School Board.  The Mayor thinks of him as an elder statesman to the community, and reminded Bruce that once a Commissioner, always a Commissioner.

Mayor Tully said that Ron Sandack devoted a decade of his time to the Village.  His role will be a tough one to fill.  He recalled once, after he left office, that he and Ron were in a 5k race, and Ron looked over to him and said "Martin, boy did you pick a good time to leave."  The Mayor said that Ron's service would not end because he is now serving as a State Senator representing Downers Grove, which is a huge gain for the Village.  He plans on talking to Senator Sandack many times in the future.  He noted, however, that he personally would miss Senator Sandack's counsel and good advice.  He and the entire Village owe both men a huge debt of gratitude.

Mayor Tully then welcomed new and returning Commissioners to the Village Council, noting that he has previously worked with everyone on the new Council.  This Council has a lot of hard work ahead of it, such as the upcoming discussions on the Long Range Financial Plan, which will begin in three weeks.  He said he has a great team to work with including his colleagues on the dais and the Village staff.  But tonight is a time of celebration.  The Mayor then thanked those who made it possible for him to serve, including his parents, brothers, sister, cousins, his wife and his sons who were present at the meeting.  They have supported him throughout. He proudly noted that tonight he is being sworn in on his grandfather's 95th birthday.  They were unable to attend, but will see the ceremony on video.

Mayor Tully then thanked the residents of Downers Grove for their support and encouragement.  He showed a copy of the Village's organizational chart, which shows the line of reporting.  The very top of the chart shows that the top box is the Citizens of Downers Grove, followed by the Mayor, Commissioners and Staff.  So to serve the Village is a demotion, because the people at the top of the reporting line are the residents.  He again expressed his thanks for the honor and privilege of serving the Village.  He understands they cannot please everyone, but he and the Council will work hard to find solutions through open discussions, inclusive government, and doing their homework to earn the support and respect of the community.

Mayor Tully then called Greg Bedalov to the podium.

Greg Bedalov, 4840 Seeley, thanked the Mayor for the opportunity to speak, since he was unable to do so earlier in the meeting.  Mr. Bedalov commented that he and his wife were community outreach leaders for Wounded Warriors, a cycling program offered to wounded soldiers to give them opportunities to learn what they can do now.  There is a website,, with information on the cycling event being held on June 4 at 8:00 a.m. in St. Charles.  The event will include either a 12-, 26- or 52-mile bike ride.  All support will go to wounded warriors from the area.

Mayor Tully thanked the residents again, extended a welcome again to the new and newly re-elected Commissioners.  He reminded everyone that there are 51 days to Rotary Fest.   

13. Manager's Report

14. Attorney's Report

15. Council Member Reports and New Business

Commissioner Durkin said this was his fourth time being sworn in, and it is extremely special.  He could not do this without the help of his wife and his son. He didn't think he would be able to be here again, but the support of his family and community has made it possible. To be able to sit at the dais again is a huge honor and privilege.  He will not let the citizens down.  He welcomes their comments and input.

Commissioner Schnell welcomed her new colleagues, and looks forward to working with them.

Commissioner Waldack extended congratulations to Mayor Tully and welcomed the returning and new Commissioners to the Council.

Commissioner Rheintgen thanked everyone for attending this meeting and thanked her supporters.  She said she is looking forward to the four years ahead.  She promises to be a thoughtful and careful decision-maker.

Commissioner Neustadt expressed his excitement at being here with family, friends and neighbors.  They are beginning a new chapter in the Village's history, and he thanked his supporters, including his mom, aunts and uncles, brothers, sister-in-law, and everyone who helped promote his campaign.  He especially thanked his wife and son, as they are his biggest supporters.  Downers Grove is a special place.  He wants to help create a Village that embraces its residents and welcomes new ones.  He is confident that the Council will work together well.  Commissioner Neustadt said to the 3176 people who voted for him, he is proud to have earned their trust.  Their vote shows that they are in favor of the good things that have been done as a Council in the last four years, and they appreciate the work he has undertaken as Commissioner.  He then gave his cell phone number, 630-768-4163, and his e-mail, encouraging people to contact him with their concerns and questions.  He is there to serve and looks forward to another great term as a Village Commissioner.

Mayor Tully invited everyone to attend a reception to be held in the next room following the meeting.   He also thanked Judge Tim McJoynt for coming and administering the oaths of office.

16. Adjournment

Commissioner Schnell moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.

VOTE:  YEA:  Commissioner Schnell, Durkin, Rheintgen, Barnett, Neustadt, Waldack, Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.