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January 13, 2015

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

Council Attendance: Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Olsen; Mayor Tully

Absent: Commissioner Rheintgen

Staff Attendance: Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca and Village Clerk April Holden

The Council meeting is broadcast over the local FM radio station, WDGC. In addition, a tape recording and videotape of the meeting are being made using Village-owned equipment. The videotape of the meeting will be used for later rebroadcast of the Council meeting over the Village cable television Channel 6.

The Council will follow the rules of conduct for this meeting as provided in Sec. 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code. These offer the public the opportunity to comment at several points in the meeting. First, immediately following approval of the minutes of past meetings, an opportunity will be given for public comments and questions of a general nature. 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 Mayor stated that at the appropriate time the presiding officers will ask if there are any comments from the public. Individuals wishing to speak, should raise their hand to be recognized and, after acknowledgment from the presiding officer, approach the microphone and state their name. Remarks should be limited to five minutes, and individuals are asked to refrain from making repetitive statements.

The Mayor 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

MIN 2015-6025 A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - January 06, 2015

The Mayor asked for a Motion to approve the minutes as submitted.

Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the minutes as presented.  Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.

Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


Mayor's Announcement

Mayor Tully said that on January 6, 2015 the low temp was five degrees with a high temp of twelve degrees. He said that water wicks away warmth from body and hypothermia can occur in less than 30 minutes if someone is in water.  On January 6, 2015, a 14-year old boy fell through the ice walking home from school at a pond located at 7100 Dexter Road in Downers Grove.  The Mayor then asked FireChief Jim Jackson to report on this event.

Fire Chief Jackson said that when the 911 call was received, and while en route the responders were talking about a plan of action.  The Police arrived on the scene and attempted to keep the boy calm.  The Fire Department arrived on the scene, deployed their plan quickly and executed it flawlessly.  The boy was then transported to the  hospital.  Without teamwork and critical dispatch information, this incident would have changed dramatically. Chief Jackson then called upon the members of dispatch, Police and Fire Departments to be recognized for their life-saving work.  He thanked each of these individuals for their dedication and commitment to the community and congratulated them for a job well done.  He noted that their years of training paid off in minutes.

Mayor Tully noted that things could have so easily gone differently.  The only difference in this situation is the brave men and women involved.  This is a great reflection upon our community and our departments.  He thanked Commissioner Durkin for suggesting that this recognition be made.


4. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for the public to comment on non-agenda items.

Robert Angelica, 7011 Terrace Drive, commented that lawyers will have a good and prosperous year in Downers Grove defending the Village in lawsuits against the Sign Ordinance, specifically Mr. Peterson who claims the Ordinance violates his freedom of speech. He asked how the business owner pays for signs. He asked if customers are charged more or employees are held responsible for the cost. He also asked what a non- profit organization or church pays and who do they charge. He thinks that all governments--local, state and federal--seem to be trying to micromanage our lives. He does not know Mr. Peterson, is not a customer of his, but Mr. Angelica's tax dollars are clearly at stake. He wishes Mr. Peterson well.


5. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Neustadt noted that the Village website has a few job openings as well as volunteer positions.

Commissioner Durkin commented about the rescue recognition, saying that WGN news did an exceptional job in covering this event.  He said that one of the comments made is that a lot of money and time is spent on training. A firefighter said in the interview that the firefighters talked about their roles en route to the scene. This is preparedness. They had a game plan that worked.

Mayor Tully announced that the Village has been selected for a new Conservation Foundation Program, and is one of five communities invited to take part in this pilot program to increase conservation efforts locally. This will engage residents in community-wide and neighborhood conservation projects.

Mayor Tully then announced that this Thursday in South High's Cafetorium the second annual Pizza Wars will take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Tickets can be obtained at President@d99ef to reserve a ticket. Last year Aurelio's won the event, which supports the Education Foundation of South High.


6. Consent Agenda

BIL 2015-6024 A. Bills Payable:  List of Bills Payable:  No. 6168, January 13, 2015

RES 2014-6005 B. Resolution:  Authorize a Maintenance Agreement and Addendum Agreement with Advent Systems, Inc.

Summary: This authorizes the execution of a three year agreement and addendum with Advent Systems, Inc. for the camera security system maintenance at Fire Station #2, Police Station and the Parking Deck in the amount of $35,156 for year one and $37,096 for years two and three.




RES 2015-6021 C. Resolution:  Express Intent to Continue Participation in the Suburban Tree Consortium and Authorize Certain Purchases for FY 2015

Summary: This expresses intent to continue participation in the Suburban Tree Consortium and authorizes certain purchases for FY 2015.



MIN 2015-6028 D. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary: Plan Commission - December 1, 2014

Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Durkin seconded.

Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

7. Active Agenda

ORD 2014-6001 A. Ordinance:  Approve a Redevelopment Agreement with Vequity LLC Series XVII Downers Ogden, LLC

Summary: This approves a Redevelopment Agreement between the Village of Downers Grove and Vequity LLC Series XVII Downers Ogden, LLC ("Developer") for the property at 1201 Ogden Avenue, Downers Grove, IL.




Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


ORD 2014-6004 B. Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use to Permit a Personal Vehicle Repair and Maintenance Facility at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue Units 301 & 302

Summary: This authorizes a personal vehicle repair and maintenance facility at 2300 Wisconsin Avenue Units 301 & 302.





WISCONSIN AVENUE UNITS 301 & 302.  Commissioner Durkin seconded.

Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


ORD 2015-6017 C. Ordinance:  Amend Provisions Concerning Streets and Sidewalks

Summary: This amends provisions of Chapter 19 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code.




Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to adopt AN ORDINANCE AMENDING PROVISIONS CONCERNING STREETS AND SIDEWALKS.  Commissioner Durkin seconded.

Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.


8. First Reading

9. Mayor's Report

New Business

Materials to be Received Materials to be Placed on File


10. Council Member New Business

REP 2015-6032 A. Report: Discussion of Village Council-Initiated Referenda Questions for Potential Placement on the Ballot for the April 7, 2015, Consolidated Election

This item was placed on the Agenda at the request of Commissioner Hosé and the Mayor asked Commissioner Hosé to make the presentation.

Commissioner Hosé said he has proposed two potential questions to go on the ballot in addition to the petition that was presented on behalf of the public.  He does not generally favor government by referendum.  The question on the ballot he feels will not provide good feedback, as it does not capture the complexity of the problems and issues or the solutions necessary.  He feels that his questions will provide the different options and explain what they entail as well as the cost and benefits. He also has an alternative to question #2.


  1. Should the Village spend millions of tax dollars to perform routine maintenance on an already obsolete and undersized police station?
  2. Should the Village construct a new, combined police/fire/fleet facility on Ogden Avenue to replace the current obsolete police station, increase the size and vitality of Downtown, and reduce the footprint of government?


Commissioner Hosé said he thinks that the questions proposed by the petition as well as these additional questions will provide a better feel for the money to be spent and the options for spending those tax dollars.  In an effort to try and simplify Question #2, he provided an alternative question:  Should the Village seek to reduce the physical footprint of government if it constructs a new Village Hall or Police Station?  He asked for comments from the Council. He re-read the alternative question at the request of Commissioner Neustadt.

Commissioner Barnett said he thinks that the Council should consider this.  The current question for the referendum offers no guidance.  It is written to not reflect the many questions remaining before the Village, and he thinks they should try to solicit additional information and direction.  The referendum question from the petition doesn't give any additional information, other than a "yes" or "no" answer.

Commissioner Durkin asked about the latest date to get these on the ballot. Village Attorney Petrarca said it was Tuesday, January 20 before midnight. Commissioner Durkin then stated that he agrees with Commissioner Barnett, saying that the original referendum question is too broad and does not provide direction to the Council.

Commissioner Neustadt said that not too long ago the Council said that governing by referendum is not their general desire.  They were elected by the community to make tough decisions.  He said there can be room for referendum; however, he thinks the Village has gone above and beyond where it needs to go with the facilities discussion.  He thinks they should let the voters speak to the question on the ballot. He thinks all of the questions proposed are vague.  He does like the portion of the question raised by Commissioner Hosé that relates to reducing the footprint of government. As to other parts of the questions, "millions" of dollars, or "routine" maintenance are vague terms.  He feels that the Council has been hearing from the voters.  The Village Council makes big decisions daily, and he will not close the door completely on the referendum questions; however, this seems like micromanagement to him.  There was no referendum for the construction of Fire Station #2, or the stormwater utility, or the stormwater bonding. Those are all multi-million dollar projects. With the public referendum on the ballot he wants to make sure they do not cause undue use of tax dollars. He thinks they should pause and wait for the outcome of the election. He is not typically in favor of governing by referendum.

Commissioner Durkin replied to Commissioner Neustadt's comments that this is not governing by referendum.  He thinks they are trying to clarify or expand upon what the public referendum should have done initially.  This is to find out what the public wants.  He thinks that they need these questions to find where people  want to go.  The petition references $46 million.  He asked what happens if the Village spends $45.9 million?  He also asks what the Village will do if the referendum fails.

Commissioner Barnett commented that he thinks the work already done has been ineffective.  Four thousand people say that they want a say on this.  He said that they have two incumbent responsibilities:  1) to try and get enough information to help the Village in their decision-making process; and 2) work on the idea that they are getting sufficient information out.  Four thousand people said that they want a say on this. The question may have been badly worded, and possibly with bad intentions, and it is the Village's challenge to clarify that question and provide more information.

Commissioner Neustadt asked about the parameters for placing a question on the ballot, and what the limitations are for wording on the ballot?  He also asked if they could include more information about the TIF dollars, phasing, etc.  If the goal is to inform, how much space do they have on the ballot to provide more information.

Commissioner Durkin commented that these two questions are a starting point. Each Council member should consider these.

Mayor Tully replied that the word limitation is a known quantity, and there is also structure guidance.  The Mayor said that he spoke with Commissioner Hosé about this earlier.  The Mayor said that there is a referendum question on the ballot in April, which he interprets as the result of 4,000 people saying they want to have more input on the facilities question.  Mayor Tully commented that they should respect the democratic process and get the benefits and results of the dialogue.  With respect to Commissioner Hosé's proposal, he appreciates and understands what the intention is; however, he thinks that the task may be beyond us. Adding a question runs the risk of providing more confusion and may be perceived to be meddling with the process.

Commissioner Hosé replied that he had no intent to disrespect the process. There are risks to this, and that is why he has encapsulated as much as he could in the two questions.  He is open to other ideas and is fine if the Council does not move forward with this.

Commissioner Durkin asked what the Village's plan is if the referendum comes back with a "no" vote.

Mayor Tully replied that the Council will decide at that time.  The Council will have the results and input leading up to the results.

Jo Pott, 216 Lincoln, asked if someone could read the referendum proposed by the public.  She asked if the referendum posed as a result of the petition with 4,000 signatures is the referendum that must, by law, be on the ballot.

Mayor Tully replied that the question on the ballot will be that proposed by the petition signed by 4,000 residents.  As to that question, the Mayor paraphrased that the question essentially asks if the Village of Downers Grove should spend $46 million or more on the construction of a new Village Hall and Police Station.

Ms. Potts asked that the question be placed on the website as well.  She said  she doesn't believe in ruling by referendum, and it was curious to her that 4,000 people would sign this. She thinks it is basically people who don't want this to happen.  She was approached twice and it was not a welcoming dialogue.  It was interesting to her that not even 100 people came to attend the tour of the facilities after the Village had multiple meetings on the topic.

Commissioner Barnett commented that the Village could get directed positively to construct the facilities for $46 million and then find problems along the way.  He doesn't know what the right questions are and whether they can get it pulled together by next week.  The idea of getting additional direction is a worthwhile endeavor.

Commissioner Olsen supports gathering additional information, and looks forward to more information and discussion.

The Mayor thanked Commissioner Hosé for bringing this issue forward.

Other New Business

Commissioner Barnett said he intends to have something to distribute for discussion next week.  He said that he thinks the Village has been unsuccessful in describing the project and its outcomes.  To that end, he would like to direct staff to engage in an education process over the next two months.

Mayor Tully replied that they should be doing that anyway.  People want more information and participation. 


11. Manager's Report

Convene to Committee Room

INF 2015-6030 A. Information:  Gateway Signs - Medium Priority Action Item

Mr. Fieldman said that this to provide an update regarding new gateway signs for the entry points into the Village.  It is a medium-priority action item.

Communications Director Doug Kozlowski provided a status report on the gateway signs.  The purpose is to design and construct signs along major thoroughfares throughout the Village.  He then provided information on how staff addressed the challenge.

Mr. Kozlowski showed slides of the current group of gateway signs that are outdated and have no replacement strategy.  Staff defined the characteristics  that the signs should possess:  1) withstand the test of time; 2) evoke our heritage; and 3) be simple, beautiful and easy to read.  Staff reviewed iconic and recognizable images that evoke ideas across a wide range. They then showed recognizable images in Downers Grove including Prince Pond, the train station Clock, the Tivoli, the red-brick streets, and the Sears homes.  The common element recognized from the Sears Home was the column feature with a stone base and obelisk element.  These features are still used in current building.  Staff also reviewed gateway signs on Pinterest, and found a design that was emblematic of the sturdy engineered craftsmanship of the Village.  He then provided the Council with the gateway sign proposal, and showed posters with various designs. Mr. Kozlowski then asked Alex Pellicano, Building Division Manager, to continue the presentation.


Mr. Pellicano said that the gateway sign is to welcome travelers to the community. The Craftsman style has been a popular style for over 100 years. The catalog homes included Craftsman style designs.  He described the proposed sign as having a break away design for the base.  Mr. Pellicano then discussed the elements of the signs saying they would comply with the Village's Sign Ordinance. He reviewed the materials that would be used on the signs, chosen for their durability and elements that evoke the Village's heritage.  He commented that the proposed landscaping complies with the Village's Sign Ordinance and provides an opportunity for a rain garden.  Mr. Pellicano noted that the smaller sign is a variation of the monument sign, and it is intended for limited right-of-way areas.

Mr. Fieldman asked for thoughts and reactions from the Council on the staff's process and the design proposed.

Mayor Tully said that this is a great presentation, and he thinks it is a handsome choice.

Commissioner Neustadt asked about the Village's logo on the signs.  He likes the Village logo.  He said he likes the design, but thinks the middle design doesn't reflect the Village as well as it could.  As for the red brick, the Commissioner said that they might still have some of the old red bricks stored away somewhere. He said he likes the rain garden idea as well.  Commissioner Neustadt added that he likes the design with the wood obelisk.  Then he asked about the electrical power for the signs. As to placement of the signs, he mentioned the debris from the street particularly in the winter with snow and salt spray.  In general, the  message fits in well with what they are trying to do.  He thanked the staff and all the members of the team.

Mr. Fieldman commented that the sign element itself can be changed at any time if they decide to do so.

Commissioner Durkin asked as to the costs.

Mr. Fieldman said $100,000 is in the FY-15 budget.  The maximum cost estimate was $50,000 per location; however, they are thinking about a two to three year project and believe the cost will be about $30,000 per location for the monument signs.

Commissioner Durkin then asked where the funds are coming from.  Mr. Fieldman responded they would come from the Capital Project Funds, funded by Home Rule Sales Tax and some elements of the property tax and utility tax.

Commissioner Durkin said they could go as simply as the City of Darien did, or  as elaborately as Burr Ridge, or Bolingbrook/Lisle.  Over time they will need constant maintenance and support, and to him, it is a lot of money for staff time and maintenance. The purpose of the sign is to say that you are now in Downers Grove.

Commissioner Barnett said that this establishes a direction and a pattern.  He would go with the sign with the wood design.

Commissioner Hosé agreed with Commission Barnett, saying he would also go with the sign with wood. He thinks the Village needs new gateway signs.  He suggested using red brick on the smaller signs as well.

Commissioner Olsen said he also likes the sign with the wood, and agrees with the Mayor about some discussion regarding the wording and the font. He likes that they are clear, crisp and can be easily read.

Commissioner Neustadt asked where they would start installing the new signs. Commissioner Olsen asked about the proposed sign along 75th Street.  Mr. Kozlowski said that the location is 75th Street near Woodward.  The locations are simply proposals that can be changed around.

Mayor Tully said he would like to look at alternatives and options for savings in terms of the cost. He prefers the sign with the wood element.  He said they have to balance the cost with the durability.

Mr. Fieldman commented that $50,000 is the absolute outside maximum cost to be considered. He said the cost of the actual construction is $28,000 before add- ons, such as electrical, landscaping, etc.


Commissioner Olsen then asked about the northwest part of town, around Butterfield and Finley Road where the Village has a lot of visitors. He said they should consider signage at that location.


Mayor Tully said he was glad to see this coming forward.  It is an important branding issue for the Village.


Mr. Fieldman thanked the Council for its direction and the staff team for their work on the project.


Bill Waldack commented that this sign is built for motoring traffic, and not pedestrians. Cars will be going 35 mph.  As to the actual sign, there is nothing distinctive about it.  He suggested the sign have a Village map, similar to the "Welcome to Wisconsin" sign that shows the map of Wisconsin.


Mayor Tully asked about the timetable for this project.  Mr. Kozlowski replied that they could begin within a month.  They have to identify locations, right-of-way, finishing issues, and the final design.  Mr. Fieldman said staff would check back within the month with a better idea as to timing.

12. Adjournment

Mayor Tully asked for a motion to adjourn.

Motion: Commissioner Neustadt moved to adjourn.  Commissioner Durkin seconded the Motion.

Votes: Yea: Commissioner Neustadt, Commissioner Durkin, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Rheintgen, Commissioner Barnett; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
April Holden Village Clerk