1. Call to Order
Mayor Martin Tully 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 Tully 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 Becky Rheintgen, Commissioner Geoff Neustadt and Mayor Martin Tully 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 Tully 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
Budget Meeting - October 1, 2011 Council Minutes - October 11, 2011 M ayor Tully asked for a Motion to approve the minutes as submitted.
Commissioner Schnell moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Durkin seconded the motion.
The Mayor declared the Motion carried by voice vote.
4. Public Comments - General Comments on Matters Not Appearing on Tonight's Agenda
Frank Falesch, 820 Prairie, commented that there are some people who feel that snow plowers should be licensed, or at least made to follow the law. It becomes dangerous when the snow is piled up on the sidewalks, especially along Ogden Avenue. Many of the businesses along Ogden Avenue do not keep their sidewalks plowed. This issue has been brought to Council's attention many times before. Violators should be ticketed.
Mayor Tully clarified that Mr. Falesch was speaking of private snow plowers and not the Village's Public Works plowing crew.
5. Public Hearings
6. Consent Agenda
COR 00-04674 A. Claim Ordinances: No. 5919, Payroll, September 23, 2011 and No. 5921, Payroll, October 7, 2011
Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
BIL 00-04675 B. List of Bills Payable: No. 5930, October 18, 2011
Sponsors: Accounting A motion was made to Approve this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: N/A
RES 00-04678 C. Resolution: Approve Final Plat of Subdivision for 405 Sherman Street
Sponsors: Community Development and Plan Commission
Summary of Item: A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE FINAL PLAT OF SUBDIVISION FOR 405 SHERMAN STREET
RESOLUTION 2011-80 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Subdivision - 405 Sherman Street
RES 00-04677 D. Resolution: Sale of Surplus Real Estate, 5237 Benton Avenue
Sponsors: Village Attorney
Summary of Item: RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF SURPLUS REAL ESTATE PURSUANT TO 65 ILCS 5/11-7I6.4.1 (5237 Benton Avenue)
RESOLUTION 2011-81 A motion was made to Pass this file on the Consent Agenda. Indexes: Surplus Property
MOT 00-04682 E. Motion: Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions
Summary of Item: Library Board - September 28, 2011
Transportation and Parking Commission - July 13, 2011; August 10, 2011; and September 14,
2011 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 Durkin, 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 Rheintgen, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Tully
7. Active Agenda
ORD 00-04669 A. Ordinance: Amend Sign Ordinance
Sponsors: Community Development
Summary of Item: This amends certain provisions for monument and garage sale signs.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CERTAIN SIGN PROVISIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 5230 Mayor Tully noted that this item has been workshopped by the Council, and it is primarily concerned with correcting scrivener's errors. A motion was made by Commissioner Schnell, seconded by Commissioner Durkin, to Adopt this file. Mayor declared the motion carried by the following vote: Votes: Y ea: Commissioner Schnell, Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Neustadt and Mayor Tully Indexes: Zoning Ordinance - Signs
8. First Reading
MOT 00-04679 A. Motion: Authorize $18,388.20 for Membership Dues for DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference (DMMC) for November 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012
Sponsors: Manager's Office V illage Manager Dave Fieldman stated that this motion would provide for membership in the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference (DMMC) for the period of November 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012. The six-month period dues would be $18,388.20. The Village cancelled its membership in July 2010 because of a concern about the value of the Village's membership at that time. He then introduced members of the DMMC.
Mark Baloga and Mayor Rodney Craig of Hanover Park spoke to the Council. Mayor Craig said he is currently the Vice President of the DMMC, and he considers representing DuPage County an honor. Last year they had a new initiative with a lobbyist as a coach and mentor. The lobbyist has been in Springfield as often as possible to visit with legislators on behalf of the DMMC. He considers this as having been beneficial to the organization as they have to protect local interests, which begins with a regional concept for the DMMC.
Mark Baloga, Executive Director, DMMC, thanked the Council for inviting them to the Village. He said the DMMC has experienced some changes including reorganizational moves, downsizing of the staff, and no increases in dues over the past three years. He said that over the last year they played a leadership role in the consortium of municipal groups from the region to keep the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) in the hands of local government. He said because of their conversation with Illinois State Senator Don Harmon, they worked with other groups to shift their tactics to be positive in the campaign to save LGDF. In addition, they've been involved in electric aggregation by putting together two forums to look at the details and policy issues, and an aggregation kit. With regard to stormwater issues, Mr. Baloga said that DuPage County is rewriting its ordinance and DMMC has put together a team to review the ordinance and how policy is being carried out.
Mayor Tully thanked them for coming, saying that Mayor Grasso was unable to attend the meeting. The need for collaboration and cooperation is very important between organizations. He said the ability to network, interact and problem solve is more critical today than ever before. He noted that sharing services and consolidating cannot be done on one's own.
Commissioner Durkin said he supports rejoining the organization, even though he was opposed to this in the past. A learning process has occurred and he is pleased to see an agreement. He asked what steps the DMMC would take if Mayor Emanuel goes through with the water rate increase.
Mr. Baloga responded that DMMC has a group that will sit down with the City of Chicago to find out the specifics and do fact finding. They will try to negotiate a policy that will work for everybody, and he hopes they will be able to maintain open communication.
Commissioner Durkin said he appreciates their proactive rather than reactive involvement. DMMC is a premier group in the industry and in the area.
Commissioner Waldack also thanked them for coming, saying he always valued the Village's membership in DMMC. He believes they can accomplish more with participation. He believes the Village should not be isolationists, and if they rejoin, they should take an active role. He looks forward to rejoining the group. Mayor Craig responded that they have good dialogue.
Commissioner Schnell commented that in the year since the Village left DMMC, there have been issues that needed collaborative work, and the voice of many is stronger than the voice of one. She said that there has been an effect on staff not being able to participate in the exchange of ideas among the staff members. She believes the benefits are important.
Commissioner Barnett said he thought there would be a separate meeting between the Council and the DMMC. He said that the Village had a fairly long list of reasons as to why we left the DMMC, and he would like to have that discussion take place.
Mayor Tully said that his understanding was that the Council will not vote on this until November, and there is time to arrange an additional meeting. He has attended a number of meetings in the last six months and sees value in the organization.
Commissioner Barnett commented that he would like everyone to benefit from the answers.
Mayor Tully responded that he does not take issue with the decision last year. The Village plans on taking a very active role and he looks forward to working with the organization.
Tom LeCren, 545 Chicago Avenue, agreed with Commissioner Barnett. He said the Village left for good reasons, and he's seen nothing in the presentation tonight to indicate what has changed. A meeting between the Council and the DMMC would be public. He would like to see what the Village would be getting for $18,000. He asked how much of that amount goes for salary and benefits. Mr. LeCren would like to see the Village move slowly and openly. The Village pays for its own lobbyist and he asked if that would continue. Mayor Tully replied that the lobbyist only gets paid if they work for the Village. Indexes: DuPage Mayors & Managers
ORD 00-04676 B. Ordinance: Annex 5899 Walnut Street to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois
Sponsors: Community Development Mr. Fieldman explained that this ordinance is for a voluntary petition that is consistent with the Village's policy concerning annexation. He said that staff recommends approval. Indexes: Annexation
REP 00-04583 C. Report: Stormwater Utility
Sponsors: Manager's Office T he Manager said this is the fourth of four presentations and recommendations will be made regarding the creation of a stormwater utility and potential fees. Staff is not seeking direction this evening, but will do so in mid-November to determine whether they should continue pursuing this, and, if so, an education process will ensue.
David Hyder, Municipal & Financial Services Group (MSFG), provided general background information. He reviewed the presentations and recommendations of the past two months as well as the timeline. Mr. Hyder presented an overview, noting that the Village has three major watersheds. Two-thirds of the Village is drained by storm sewers and 1/3 is drained by ditches. There are 315 stormwater storage facilities in the Village.
With regard to level of service, Mr. Hyder said that operating and maintenance expenses were discussed. The current level of service costs from FY13-FY17 were reviewed. Curently the Village is on a 220-year replacement cycle for the 130 miles of watermain. Mr. Hyder then reviewed the recommended level of service that would put the Village on a sustainable 100-year replacement cycle. He said that the estimated revenues for 2013 are $2,523,817, the majority of which are from property taxes. There is a funding gap with the recommended level of service, with a $3 million shortfall in 2013, potentially reducing the level of service. In addition, he reviewed the recommended fee based on impervious surface area, which is the industry best practice. The impervious surface relates to the runoff and demand on the system. He noted that the amount of impervious area is readily available for all parcels in the Village. The Village currently obtains about 76% of its revenue from residential customers, while only 46.99% of the residential area is impervious, which shows an inherent inequity in the current structure.
Mr. Hyder then gave the Council the following recommendations:
1) The Village should implement a stormwater utility and a stormwater fee as it would provide improved equity, fiscal accountability, a dependable revenue stream, and increased public awareness.
2) Fee structures would use the impervious area, and would be based on Equivalent Runoff Units (ERUs). He recommend a tiered ERU approach for single-family residential areas. The average impervious for non-single family areas is 3300 square feet.
3) Regarding administration, he recommended that the Village assess a stormwater fee for all properties with no exemptions, and offer credits for on-site stormwater management. He also recommended limiting the complexity of the program initially. Any reductions offered as credit will result in increased fees.
4) In terms of the funding level, he recommended that the Village fund 2013 at the current level of service; reduce the property tax to fund only the 2008 debt service; and implement a stormwater fee that funds the remaining balance of the current level of service in 2013.
The current revenue funding for 2013 would be $2.5 million, and the proposed revision would be $3.5 million. The net result is a reduction in property taxes of $1.33 million in 2013.
Mr. Hyder noted that the Village should adopt a monthly stormwater fee beginning in 2013. He showed an example of the impact on certain types of property such as churches, hospitals, universities, and residential properties. He then showed a series of slides comparing the costs based on the square footage of impervious area.
Mr. Hyder then addressed long-term funding, saying that the Village would have to move towards incrementally increasing the stormwater fees annually to reach the recommended level of service by 2022. That would require annual increases of 17%.
Summarizing, Mr. Hyder said their recommendation would bring the level of funding up to the current level of service in 2013; would reduce the property tax levy by $1.33 million; would begin addressing the inequities in the current funding approach; will generate $2.4 million in revenue dedicated to stormwater; would maintain a source of funding for existing debt service and mitigate the financial instability; and the stormwater fee would encourage on-site stormwater management.
Mr. Fieldman said that this would be put on an agenda for a First Reading in early-mid November to decide whether to move forward.
Commissioner Neustadt commented that in 2006 the Village had one of the worst storms that resulted in the Watershed Infrastructure Improvement Plan. The Village has made a lot of improvements since then, and to keep those projects viable the Village needs to maintain them. This would allow the Village to maintain the infrastructure. He is interested in obtaining more information on credits, billing mechanisms, and the public education component. Commissioner Neustadt noted that the Village is at the point where it can work with the consultant and staff for a plan for implementation. He will support going forward with continuing the discussion and is happy to see a reduction in property tax as part of this discussion.
Commissioner Schnell asked about the capital maintenance and replacement for FY13-17 shown on Slide 7. She said it seems like the amount drops. The Manager noted that the further out you project the less accurate the numbers are. He said the numbers would be find-tuned as they moved along.
Commissioner Schnell commented that the Village needs to move forward with this. The educational component will be huge, and they need to show that this is a user fee. She said that people would be paying for the amount of runoff generated by their property. They will need to have an understanding of the credit options and the maximum credit allowed as well. She believes the consultant has done a great job, and it has been presented in a manner that is clearly understood and shows that establishing the fee is fiscally responsible.
Mayor Tully added that the Village has to start somewhere. Over time they will learn about adjustments that may have to be made. He asked about municipalities that have already implemented this type of system, and the most common adjustments that they have had to make in their programs.
Commissioner Durkin said he supports moving this forward. He is interested in learning more about the credits, and is also interested in the positions of the EDC and the Chamber of Commerce. Commissioner Durkin said he understands that there are three potential levels of funding, and he would also like to see more information as to what additional dollars could provide, at the B-level of funding. He prefers to be aggressive and would rather do more today with today's dollars than wait. He asked if the operating income is a revenue stream for issuing future bonds. The Manager said that was correct.
Mr. Hyder noted that he showed three sets of fees in the previous presentations, and the recommendation is at the "B" level. He said Commissioner Durkin would like to see the next level, which would be level "C", and Commissioner Durkin agreed. The Manager noted that he has discussed Commissioner Durkin's questions and staff will provide additional information.
Commissioner Rheintgen said Mr. Hyder did a great job of explaining the equity. With regard to residential credit, she said it would have to be limited so the total fee would not be waived. Mr. Hyder responded that many municipalities do not offer credit to residential properties since there is not a lot you can do on a residential property to reduce the true stormwater impact. Rain barrels can only capture so much. From a policy standpoint, they might want to encourage people to use the rain barrels and offer a minimal credit.
The Mayor said they do not expect people to be creating large drainage systems on their property.
Commissioner Rheintgen then said she would like to hear more about Commissioner Durkin's concept. She agreed that it is important to reduce the property tax levy as part of this. The Manager said this proposal recommends no longer levying the $815,000, so it would not be available if they reduce the property tax. The Mayor said if it were levied it would be a source for other capital projects.
Commissioner Waldack thanked Mr. Hyder for his presentation. He expressed his concern about the debt and would prefer avoiding debt and a pay-as-you go approach. He thought that people residing in LPDA areas should get a credit, as he would hate to adversely affect those people. He referred to Slide 18 and the bond repayment that goes to 2038. He asked whether the home rule sales tax of ¼% would disappear. The Manager said staff will provide information to the Commissioner regarding the impact on the home rule sales tax. Commissioner Waldack said that he believes the presentations should continue.
Commissioner Barnett said he would like to know whether it is possible to quantify the effects on residents of the property tax deduction. He also asked about the modeling of the six residential properties, and he would like to see the same modeling for some of the commercial properties. The Commissioner also noted that leaves are a detrimental component of the stormwater system, and he asked for more information about this, and the cost of a leaf pickup program.
Mayor Tully agreed that leaves and stormwater are enemies. Part of the problem is curb and gutter, as there are many areas in the Village that do not have curb and gutter.
Commissioner Durkin commented that a number of communities that have leaf removal are getting rid of it due to its cost.
Commissioner Barnett added that one of the consequences might be that people will pay for leaf pickup who haven't paid before, such as churches, etc. Those institutions are funded by residents.
Mayor Tully stated that leaf pickup is a cost issue. It is extraordinarily expensive. There might be less expensive but effective means to keep the storm sewers open.
Commissioner Schnell commented that Mother Nature is not on a timetable. Residents need to take ownership of their block and their storm sewers, and if the timing isn't just right it can create all sorts of problems. She said it is not just as simple as pushing the leaves to the curb and having them vacuumed up.
Mr. Fieldman said that staff will obtain the information and answers to the questions, and present it in November with a Motion. Indexes: Stormwater Utility
INF 00-04665 D. Information: FY12 Budget Discussion
Sponsors: Manager's Office M r. Fieldman said this is the fourth Council conversation about the FY12 budget. He pointed out some additional information regarding sidewalk funding. He said that in conversation with the State, staff learned that the grant earmarked for the Ogden Avenue sidewalk program only is now available to the Village for any sidewalk project in the Village. This means Council could increase funding for sidewalks, as discussed in previous meetings and keep the funding in FY12 for Ogden Avenue sidewalks. The impact is that in 2013 the Village would be about $250,000 short on Ogden Avenue funding. He added that the Public Hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for the November 1 Council meeting, with adoption of the budget on November 8 if Council chooses to do so.
The Mayor asked about comments regarding the sidewalk grants, saying it sounded like a sensible approach.
Commissioner Schnell commented that it makes sense to her as well. It allows the Village to do some of the items that need to be done by transferring some of the Ogden Avenue sidewalk funds.
Commissioner Neustadt said he would support the staff recommendation for increased funding for the sidewalks. This is a great recommendation. He appreciates staff's efforts and will support the recommendation.
Commissioner Barnett commented that he would still like to consider the lighting issue at Village Hall because there is an estimated annual cost of $3800 for maintenance as opposed to $200,000 to replace the Village Hall parking lot lighting. He suggested the proposed funds be placed in sidewalk program. One of the top 12 high priority action items for 2012 is development of the long-term plan for addressing existing facilities. Given that it is anticipated to develop a broader plan in 2013, he's not sure that the replacement lighting should proceed at this time.
The Mayor asked when the parking lot lighting would be done, and the Manager responded it would be in the mid part of 2012. He said they have not applied for grants yet, but staff will fully explore that.
Commissioner Neustadt asked if the poles are deteriorating, because that is a great expense. The Manager said staff would find out.
Mayor Tully then asked about the timing for new sidewalks. Mr. Fieldman said they would begin in early spring with construction in the summer. Staff will design and engineer the work so if bids are favorable additional segments could also be done.
Commissioner Durkin asked whether they could hire more than one contractor. Mr. Fieldman responded that the limitation for staff is the ability to plan, bundle and staff the work. He said staff would do an analysis of the use of lighting funds for sidewalk projects and present that information within the next two weeks. The Manager asked for clarification that they are asking for an additional $300,000 in the matrix from the Ogden Avenue sidewalk project, as well as $200,000 from the fund for the Village Hall lighting replacement, and the Council said that was correct.
Commissioner Schnell added that she would like a better understanding as to the condition of the lights and poles. She would like to see the bigger picture before they make a decision. She also asked for consideration of an additional $16,000 for another street sweep.
Other budget issues:
Commissioner Waldack commented that he has opposed cuts to the Transportation Fund and Meals on Wheels program for the last two years. He believes these programs are a great benefit to the community and part of what makes Downers Grove great to him. They contribute to having a complete community. He proposed funding Meals on Wheels and increasing the Transportation Fund. He said the arguments against these programs have clearly been addressed. He said the Council is constantly reallocating money, and with few exceptions, expenses always come in under budget. He pointed out that revenues are expected to come in at $1.2 million more than projected for a net positive of $937,655. Money is available to fund these projects. He said that Council would be asked in the upcoming weeks to approve a budget amendment because they spent more than they budgeted. The positive balance will flow into the General Fund for FY12. Commissioner Waldack said he is asking for a $60,000 request. He asked that the Village restore the transportation subsidy to increase the number of taxicab coupons to $100 at a cost of $40,000, and the $20,000 be designated for only Meals on Wheels in Downers Grove. He asked why Downers Grove has to be the only community that does not contribute to the Meals on Wheels program for its own citizens. Commissioner Waldack then said this is a federal program, and this would help the seniors and the disabled. He then quoted Pearl S. Buck and Hubert H. Humphrey. He referred the Council to pages C2 and 3 in the budget book, saying they could easily find $20,000 for 2011 and 2012 as well.
Mayor Tully asked for clarification of the amounts requested, and Commissioner Waldack said he is asking for $20,000 for 2011 and $20,000 in 2012. The taxi coupons would be $40,000 for 2012, allowing seniors to pick up an additional $40 in coupons per month. This is for an average of two additional trips per month. Commissioner Waldack said that members of Council received a budget request regarding Meals on Wheels. The gap in the Downers Grove portion is over $142,000. He noted that the contribution would not fully cover this, but the Village should step up and fund this. Tonight they discussed rejoining DuPage Mayors and Managers. He thinks the Village should step up.
Mayor Tully referred to Commissioner Waldack's comments, and said he would not characterize the philosophy to eliminate subsidies as "silly." This issue is taken seriously. He understands the call to contribute to these programs, and he also understands the philosophy to eliminate subsidies. He struggles, however, with the need to understand what the Village community gets in terms of the return on the investment as opposed to a particular group. He thinks there may be a way to navigate both the concerns about subsidies, and the call to contribute, and he is still thinking about ways to do both. He has no answer at this time.
Commissioner Rheintgen asked which communities are donating to DuPage Senior Citizens. When she went online, she saw seven communities. Commissioner Waldack said that Addison and Downers Grove are contributing nothing. Addison is considering contributing now, from what he has heard. Commissioner Rheintgen said that there are taxpayers who want them to be conservative, and therefore they have to be careful.
Commissioner Waldack said Council received a funding request from the Executive Director today. The funding gap is $118,610 in Downers Grove, and Commissioner Waldack said he is asking that out of the $937,000 that they come up with $20,000. A suggestion was made to spend $16,000 for another sweep of leaves as if it is nothing. Meals on Wheels is not a 501(c)3 charity. Designating agencies apply for the grants to distribute the funds. There is a law that goes back to 1965 explaining the responsibilities and duties of the agent. This group is trying to be as complete, efficient and inexpensive as possible. He said that well-being checks contribute to the core services and save lives. They can make over 19,450 well-being checks for $20,000.
The Mayor responded that this discussion is a reflection of the difference of opinion of a community. There are other groups that serve the community as well. He asked that other Council members give their opinions.
Commissioner Durkin asked the Manager to confirm the estimated amount. Mr. Fieldman responded that the estimate is that 2011 revenues and expenses will end with an addition of $930,000 into the General Fund. Commissioner Durkin then said it is better to present this to be funded at the year's end versus during a budget talk. Regarding the well-being checks, every meal is considered a check. He said the figures presented are what Commissioner Waldack thinks should be funded.
Mayor Tully commented that some people object to someone else making choices as to where their tax dollars go.
Commissioner Barnett said that $937,000 is not left over. It is a function of a property tax increase, and it came from property taxes. He suggested that perhaps it should be returned. At the risk of sounding silly, or nonsensical, he asked why this group should be funded, and not another group such as battered women, youth group, etc. This is where the problem lies with him. He suggested a process in the past by which needy groups get funded, and that was not well received. There are needs that are way beyond the Council's means. The $937,000 is less than 1/3 of what is needed for maintenance of existing assets. There is a $3 million gap in maintaining the Village infrastructure for 2013. He said it is not an appropriate characterization that the money should be looked at as extra funds. He is not discounting the need, but he does not support this change.
Mayor Tully added that the source of funds raises challenges, as does the allocation.
Commissioner Schnell stated that Meals on Wheels is a federally subsidized program and is not a charity. The Village contributed to it for ten years. It is a worthwhile program and different from other programs such as Family Shelter Services. There are a lot of communities in DuPage County that help to support this. With regard to the Transportation program, she takes issue with it because the Village has not seen a report this year as to how many coupons have been sold and redeemed. She said that on Saturday, 13 or 14 senior citizens attended the meeting and they were appreciative that there still is a program. She said perhaps they could look at transporting groups of people collectively. Commissioner Schnell also said that the Village should put something toward Meals on Wheels. It is not true to say that it is a charity.
Mayor Tully noted that the Village is continuing the taxi subsidy program. Commissioner Waldack is proposing increasing that program.
Commissioner Neustadt commented that he supports the proposed budget. People thought that more would be cut, and when that was addressed they were appreciative. He suggested looking for ways to combine efforts and share rides. With regard to hearing from residents, he said that they have not heard anything until Saturday and today about Meals on Wheels funds. He heard about potholes and speeders almost every day from residents. He said they have to try and prioritize what they hear. Commissioner Neustadt noted the use of inflammatory words such as "idiocy" "silly" and "blood money," and he does not appreciate those terms being used. He will look to staff to find more information about Commissioner Waldack's proposal. Commissioner Neustadt said that any organization that is looking for money is valuable to the community and the residents. He said he believes decisions made in the past were correct, and he is not in favor of increasing the taxi subsidy program.
Commissioner Waldack said that based on figures from a couple of years ago, they were providing over 1400 rides in a single month. That does not include the unmet needs. With regard to grouping rides, not everybody wants to shop at the same place at the same time. Ride DuPage schedules group rides, as does FISH, but the taxi subsidy program is actually the most efficient program. Commissioner Waldack commented that there is a lot of need, and he reiterated that Meals on Wheels is not a charity. The Council keeps throwing up additional roadblocks. He said there is absolutely no political will on the part of the Council and there is a lack of concern. He hadn't heard about the proposal to return money to taxpayers before. He said they find money for sidewalks, and also give sales tax rebates. He said the Council quibbles over what they think looks like a charity, but provide tax rebates to a business.
The Mayor said he thinks this has gone a bit too far. He does not appreciate the borderline suggestions that some members of the Council have less moral fiber and character than others. Trying to shame people into a vote doesn't get anyone anywhere. He does not respond when someone tries to shame him into a vote. The Mayor said it is far more effective to stick to the facts. It is not productive to be lectured.
Commissioner Schnell commented about domestic violence calls, saying there seems to be a drop and asked for a better understanding. Mr. Fieldman commented that this is the number to date and not an annual number. Indexes: Budget - 2012
9. Mayor's Report
ComEd Reliability Report
The Mayor said that there was a town hall meeting on September 15 regarding reliability of electrical service in Downers Grove from ComEd. One step ComEd spoke about is tree trimming. ComEd representatives are walking the Village to identify trees to be trimmed. Trimming has not started and a postcard will be sent to those properties with trees to be trimmed. He said no dates for electrical repairs have been provided. The Mayor said that the Village is collecting information from residents who have not heard from ComEd. He said that the tree trimming is expected to be completed by March 2012. Electrical repairs are expected to be completed by summer 2012.
Mayor Tully reported on the quarterly meeting of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. This is an opportunity to work as a larger group and a larger voice on issues that impact and are of great significance to municipalities. The agenda included the 2011 veto session in Springfield that has a number of items of significance, including pension reform, personal property replacement tax (PPRT), sales tax sourcing, smart grid legislation, and the City of Chicago's water rate increase. He said that the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus position is not to call a bill on pension reform at this time, but wait until the next general session and address all the pension issues at once. The PPRT issue is the scheme to fund regional superintendents. The concern is that it sets a bad precedent that eats away at funds that come into municipalities. The Caucus is asking both residents and municipalities to speak out on these issues to their representatives in Springfield. Sales tax sourcing is not coming up in the veto session. There are different views on the issue. By way of example, the Mayor said Downers Grove could attract a business to open up a kiosk, and even though sales might take place in another city, Downers Grove would get credit for it. With respect to the Smart Grid legislation, Mayor Tully said the Northwest Municipal Conference issued a white paper that goes into great detail about the Smart Grid from a municipal prospective. It includes a proposed resolution as to why the veto should not be overridden. There is not an objection to the Smart Grid, but rather there needs to be more accountability and enforceability with respect to it. Finally, the proposed water rate increase was also brought up and the Caucus is putting together a subcommittee made up of those directly impacted by the proposed increase. They intend to go to Mayor Emanuel's office to determine what impact this would have on Downers Grove and other suburban organizations and municipalities.
The Mayor then said that the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has formed a task force regarding consolidation and shared services. He said that opportunities for collaboration, cooperation and consolidation should always be a high priority item.
10. Manager's Report
11. Attorney's Report
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca said she was presenting one item to the Council: An ordinance annexing 5899 Walnut Avenue to the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois.
Future Active Agenda
12. Council Member Reports and New Business
Commissioner Durkin wished everyone a happy and safe Halloween.
Commissioner Schnell noted two events: On October 22, there will be the annual window painting in the downtown area. Also on October 22, from 8:00-11:00 a.m. Helping Girls Navigate Adolesence (HGNA) will have its pancake breakfast at Ballydoyle Restaurant.
Commissioner Waldack wished his wife a Happy 37th Anniversary.
Commissioner Neustadt announced several activities: Moonlight Madness on Friday, October 21; window painting on Saturday October 22 following the HGNA breakfast; Sunday, October 23 at 12:30 p.m. is the Halloween Costume Parade, followed by safe Trick or Treating in the local business area. October 29 is the Baird and Warner 19th annual costume contest and free movie at the Tivoli. And on the Village's website home page residents can find Halloween safety tips.
The Mayor said he enjoys working with Commissioner Waldack, but doesn't like to be scolded. He then asked about the follow-up meeting with the DMMC suggested by Commissioner Barnett.
Commissioner Barnett said he doesn't think they have addressed the concerns that led up to the Village choosing not to participate in DMMC. The Mayor interjected that DMMC has made some changes and are aware of the Village's concerns. He also said that the Village has learned the result of not being involved with the DMMC. Commissioner Barnett responded that he would like to talk with them at a table about those issues, and wants to hear their reaction about the Village's participation. He wants to know how they have changed and how they have improved. He heard things from their representatives tonight that sounded very tired, and very similar to some of the approaches he didn't like before.
Commissioner Neustadt then added that they should know how the DMMC would use the Village's innovative methods. It sounded to him that there are things the Village has already done that DMMC has not done. He would like to sit with them and discuss those concerns in greater detail.
The Mayor agreed but said that the staff and Village have been missing something in terms of networking, exchange of ideas, and collaborating with other groups. There is also an increased need for that type of collaboration with your peers.
Commissioner Waldack said he is in favor of moving on this in two weeks and would like to be invited to a meeting.
Commissioner Durkin asked if the Village is still paying the building note, and the Manager responded affirmatively.
The Mayor invited everyone to attend the Halloween Parade.
Commissioner Schnell moved to adjourn. Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.
VOTE: YEA - Commissioners Schnell, Durkin, Rheintgen, Barnett, Neustadt, Waldack, Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.