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August 18, 2015

1. Call Meeting to Order

Mayor Martin Tully called the regular meeting of the Village Council of the Village of Downers Grove to order at 6:01 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Downers Grove Village Hall.

2. Roll Call

Council Present:

Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner White, Commissioner Vattimo, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Olsen; Mayor Tully

Absent: Commissioner Barnett

3. Executive Session

Convene into Executive Session - Ante Room

Commissioner Olsen moved to go into Executive Session pursuant to Section 2(c)(11) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to consider pending litigation.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Votes:  Yea:  Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the Motion carried and the Council convened into Executive Session at 6:02 p.m.

Reconvene into Open Session - Council Chambers

4.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.

5. Roll Call

Council Attendance (Present):  Commissioner Barnett, Commissioner Olsen, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Vattimo, Commissioner White, Commissioner Waldack; Mayor Tully

Non-Voting:  Village Manager David Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, 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.

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.

Mayor Tully instructed the audience that any questions or comments by audience members with respect to items under the Mayor's Report be raised during Public Comments of a General Nature, Item 8 on the Agenda.

6. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2015-6390 - A. Minutes:  Council Minutes - August 11, 2015

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen, seconded by Commissioner White, moved to approve the minutes as presented.  .

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

7. Economic Development Corporation Quarterly Report

Michael Cassa, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), presented the EDC quarterly report on projects completed or in the approval or construction phase during the last quarter.  Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opened in April in the former Luxury Motors location, which was vacant for some time.  In addition, Fresh Thyme announced they will move their corporate headquarters from Phoenix, Arizona to Downers Grove, and that process is now underway.   Glanbia Performance Nutrition, based in Ireland, has moved their North American headquarters to Downers Grove in the former Sara Lee facility at Esplanade.  In addition, Harbor Freight Tools opened on 75th Street just west of the Grove Shopping Center.  Jersey Mike's opened in front of Caputo's, and Katherine Frank Creative moved from Lombard to Downers Grove.  Lextech opened their corporate headquarters here, and Michael's opened a new retail store in Finley Square.  Vequity Real Estate, the new owner of the property at the corner of Saratoga and Ogden Avenue, has acquired property from Downers Grove Township and is negotiating with several national tenants for that site.  They are preparing a site plan and are moving forward with clearing the former gas station property for new development.   Zeigler Auto Group is before the Village tonight for final approval for their second auto dealership in Downers Grove on the southeast corner of Ogden and Cross Street.  They are scheduled to close on the property 48 hours after approval is received.  Art Van Furniture completed their construction for their July 30 grand opening.  In addition to transforming one of the largest vacant commercial buildings in the western suburbs, Mr. Cassa believes it will positively impact the corridor and marketing of Butterflied Road. 

Mr. Cassa then highlighted site development opportunities in Downers Grove including Butterfield Plaza.  There are upgrades planned by the owners for Finley Square.  The Grove Shopping Center has 18 separate property owners and the EDC is attempting to work with them to achieve an enhancement of the Grove Shopping Center.  University Plaza is presently under discussion for potential sale of the center for improvement and redevelopment.  The parcel at 640 Ogden Avenue (Duelmann's Motel) is for sale and the EDC is actively pursuing redevelopment opportunities for that property.  Property at 1111 Ogden is also up for redevelopment.  The former used car lot at 1543 Ogden (southeast corner of Ogden Avenue and Downers) has been vacant for a long time, and the owner has been found by Mr. Popovich and his staff.  Mr. Cassa will be meeting with the owner in the next few weeks to discuss potential sale.  2125 Ogden's owner has been meeting with the EDC for potential redevelopment.  Ogden and Lacey's CBRE broker is working with the EDC to locate a potential buyer and user.  The EDC is working with the Alter Group for potential commercial development for the frontage of Ogden and Walnut.  The Fairview and Maple shopping district presents a real opportunity for redevelopment because of the train station and the proximity to the downtown area.  The EDC has been sending developers and brokers to tour that intersection, including Rogers Street.  Mr. Cassa said they hope there is an opportunity for a variety of redevelopment options at that intersection.  The property at 2200 Warrenville Road is another potential commercial site with access to Warrenville Road, Finley Road and I-88.

Mr. Cassa then discussed the EDC's work in marketing.  He said that developing relationships and maintaining them with marketing groups is essential to the EDC.  Three marketing groups the EDC has worked with this past quarter include the International Council of Shopping Centers RECON Show, the International Council of Shopping Centers Deal Making Show, which is held in Chicago in October at Navy Pier, and the CoStar Group, which contains the nation's largest database of available sites.  The EDC is looking to upgrade its subscription to CoStar to remain informed as to potential tenants and demographics.  CoStar has tools to conduct site searches. 

Mr. Cassa said that the EDC just launched its new website at dgedc.com.  Key components are the site selection tools for developers and brokers, as well as a site search tool where anyone can insert specs for their search.  Those specs are then sent to the EDC's Office Manager who uses CoStar to conduct a site search to meet those specs. 

Partnership for Prosperity was launched recently to reduce the percentage of the overall EDC budget provided by the Village.  The EDC wants to find other sources of revenue.  Forty-one (41) investors have joined the EDC.  The goal of the EDC is $50,000 for this year.  New investors and renewals have raised $40,500 year-to-date.  He noted that all investors are listed on the EDC's website, with the newest investor being Hamilton partners.  Funds come into the EDC during the course of the year on the anniversary of the investor's membership.  An annual luncheon is held for the investors as a means of expressing appreciation, as well as a way to meet the investors.

The Downers Grove Visitors Bureau works to provide a source of tax revenues from visitors and customers to our community.  The most important are the seven hotels in Downers Grove, and the EDC works with them on a daily basis to market the hotels.  The Village collects almost $1 million in sales tax from the hotels.  Restaurants are becoming a focal point of the new economy, because millennials love to eat in restaurants.  Butterfield Road is a corridor of restaurants that generates a sales tax.  They get customers from a variety of places including hotel users, residents, etc.  An important way to generate overnight stays is to attract meetings and events, and there are many locations to hold such meetings and events.  The EDC has access to all meetings and events in the Chicago area, which have overnight stays.  Downers Grove travel information will be displayed at O'Hare kiosks and is also on Facebook.  Another new website is visitdg.com.  Mr. Cassa said that website has a form for people looking for information for meetings and events in Downers Grove.

Mr. Cassa closed by saying that he would like to meet with the Council on a more regular basis to discuss projects the EDC is working on. 

Commissioner Waldack thanked Mr. Cassa for his presentation, saying that there is a lot that involves the Village's EDC.  He said that they have been professional and bring excitement to the Village.

Mr. Cassa replied that he and his staff look forward to working with the Council and staff.  He works best when he is part of a team.  He is proud to say he represents Downers Grove, which is a great community and a great place for business.

Mayor Tully thanked Mr. Cassa and his team as well as the Board of Directors and Corporate Investors for what they have brought to the Village.

8. Public Comments

This is the opportunity for public comments.

1. Dave Gorman, 5401 S. Fairview, said he is the Chair of the Stormwater and Floodplain Oversight Committee.   He said the Committee is a public forum for residents seeking assistance after floods.  The Committee helped develop the Stormwater Master Plan.  Mr. Gorman spoke of the makeup of the Committee.  He noted that there has been increasing mention of ending the stormwater utility fee and he spoke to retaining it.  People are paying their fair share, as the fee is based on the impervious area and is transparent.  Taxes are less transparent and less equitable.  He urged the Council to keep the benefits of the stormwater utility in mind, and keep the funding at an equivalent amount. 

2. Terri Williams, 5230 Blodgett, said she wanted to speak about the qualifications of candidates for the Library Board of Trustees.  She spoke of the requirements of the Board members and how they relate to the Library in general.  It is vital that Trustees be diverse.  She said she appreciates that Downers Grove citizens are willing to spend their time to make the Village a better place to live, but not every citizen fits every position.  She said it would be a mistake to appoint a Trustee who would be restrictive.

3. Bob Peterson, 6861 Camden Road, said he owns Leibundguth Moving and wanted to discuss the proposed building going up at Gilbert and Forest, as he is concerned about inadequate parking and truck parking for people moving in.  His moving trucks are 38' long and with the configuration of the parking area, the spots will not fit his moving trucks.  Therefore, trucks will have to double park and cause traffic jams in that general area, particularly during rush hour or when a train has gone by.  He said that generally when people move in from other towns, their furniture is placed on a semi-truck that is 80' long, even if they are moving into a two-bedroom apartment.  That size truck would be prohibitive in the Gilbert and Forest location.  He said that the same problem would happen on Maple Avenue, the site of the old Edwards House and the proposed condominiums. He knows about the trucking industry and there will be big problems in both of these locations.  He also said that there could be a better configuration of the building to have pickup on the north side of the building, rather than how it is presently planned. 

4. A resident of Downers Grove said that in 1999 Art Jaros expressed concern about a book that his child had to read for Downers South as part of the summer program.  His concern was as a parent about the book's content.  Mr. Jaros did not call for removal of the book from the public library, and the resident said he doesn't understand the fear of this appointment.  He was exercising his First Amendment rights.  He thinks it is sad that people are intolerant of those who express a Christian viewpoint. 

5. David Sosnow, 611 Franklin Street, said he had no problem with people serving on the Board having a viewpoint, but he has a huge problem if those people attempt to impose their viewpoint on others.  He has read that Mr. Jaros has tried to impose his views, which Mr. Sosnow thinks is inappropriate.

6. James Turner, 801 61st Street, commented about Mr. Jaros appointment to the Library Board.  He said his comments are based on freedom of speech.  In today's Chicago Tribune, Mr. Jaros said it was conceivable that some material might not be suitable for the Public Library.  He said that the Constitution of the American Library Association contradicts Mr. Jaros' comments, and Mr. Turner said there seems to be a conflict of interest on the part of Mr. Jaros.  Mr. Turner said that when dealing with a community with a variety of opinions, the Library is open to the public and to all points of view.  This is a fundamental issue of freedom of speech.  Mr. Turner said it is not Mr. Jaros' right to tell people what to think or read.

9. Consent Agenda

COR 2015-6383 - A. Claims Ordinance:  No. 6119, Payroll, July 24, 2015

 

BIL 2015-6384 - B. Bills Payable:  No. 6210, August 18, 2015

 

MIN 2015-6382 - C. Minutes:  Note Receipt of Minutes of Boards and Commissions

Summary:  Architectural Design Review Board - June 17, 2015

 

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

10. Active Agenda

ORD 2015-6370 - A. Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use for 2501 Ogden Avenue to Permit an Automobile Dealership

Summary:  This will authorize a special use for 2501 Ogden Avenue to permit an automobile dealership. 

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE FOR 2501 OGDEN TO PERMIT AN AUTOMOBILE DEALERSHIP

ORDINANCE NO. 5473

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "An Ordinance Authorizing a Special Use for 2501 Ogden to Permit an Automobile Dealership," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Mayor Tully expressed his appreciation to the staff and the EDC for their work to expedite this Special Use.

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

 

ORD 2015-6320 - B. Ordinance:  Rezone Certain Property Located at 5100 Forest Avenue

Summary:  This rezones 5100 Forest Avenue from DB, Downtown Business District to DB/PUD #53, Downtown Business District with a Planned Unit Development Overlay. 

AN ORDINANCE REZONING CERTAIN PROPERTY LOCATED AT 5100 FOREST AVENUE

ORDINANCE NO. 5474

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "An Ordinance Rezoning Certain Property Located at 5100 Forest Avenue," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Commissioner Waldack asked how other communities address parking deficiencies, and whether they have a fee in lieu of parking.  He said that overall this is a good project.  The developments that don't meet the requirements expect residents to pick up the tab.  Moving, garbage and parking are issues.  He will support the project but they need to address those issues.  Commissioner Waldack said he attended the Plan Commission meeting, and the volunteers do a tremendous job by looking at the rules and facts; however, applying the rules to the facts may be problematic.  He said that the Plan Commission left issues for the Council to solve. 

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

 

ORD 2015-6321 - C. Ordinance:  Amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to Designate Burlington Station Apartments at 5100 Forest Avenue as Planned Unit Development #53 and Authorize Construction of a Multi-Family Structure with Deviations

Summary:  This designates Burlington Station Apartment at 5100 Forest Avenue as Planned Unit Development #53 and authorize construction of a multi-family structure with deviations. 

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE COMPREHENSIVE ZONING ORDINANCE OF THE VILLAGE OF DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS TO DESIGNATE BURLINGTON STATION APARTMENTS AT 5100 FOREST AVENUE (LOCATED AT THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF GILBERT AND FOREST AVENUES) AS PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT #53 AND AUTHORIZE CONSTRUCTION OF A MULTI-FAMILY STRUCTURE WITH DEVIATIONS

ORDINANCE NO. 5475

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "An Ordinance Amending the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to Designate Burlington Station Apartments at 5100 Forest Avenue (Located at the Rezoning Certain Property Located at the Northwest Corner of Gilbert and Forest Avenues) as Planned Unit Development #53 and Authorize Construction of a Multi-Family Structure with Deviations," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Mayor Tully said he was looking forward to a successful project.

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

 

ORD 2015-6322 - D. Ordinance:  Authorize a Special Use for 5100 Forest Avenue to Permit Construction of a Multi-Family Structure

Summary:  This authorizes a special use for 5100 Forest Avenue to permit construction of a multi-family structure.    

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A SPECIAL USE FOR 5100 FOREST TO PERMIT CONSTRUCTION OF A MULTI-FAMILY STRUCTURE

ORDINANCE NO. 5476

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "An Ordinance Authorizing a Special Use for 5100 Forest to Permit Construction of a Multi-Family Structure," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully

Nay: None

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

 

MOT 2015-6381 - E. Motion:  Direct Staff to Prepare a Request for Proposal and Statement of Qualifications for Solid Waste Collection and Disposal Services

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to direct staff to prepare a two-year contract extension with Republic Services with terms in general conformance with the proposal submitted by Republic Services dated August 17, 2015.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Commissioner Barnett said he is not supportive of this.  He would like to look at other options.  This is a flat cost and there might be savings available.  He noted that they are adding Amnesty Day; however, everything on Amnesty Day goes into the landfill, which defeats the purpose of recycling.  He would hope to solicit bids with a variety of options.

Commissioner White commented that he supports this, as it is not a final contract.  He said that they would see a completed contract with an option for Amnesty Day.  Commissioner White asked for a rate of increases on average as seen by other communities.  He added that extending this might be the best deal.  By going to an RFP they exclude the extension. 

Commissioner Hosé said he reads this as an option for an Amnesty Day.  He likes the idea of flat costs.  More people are using carts but the majority use stickers.

Commissioner Waldack said that if people are interested in garbage pickup, now is the time to let the Council and the staff know.  Feedback for the provider is positive.

Commissioner Olsen said he was thrilled to see a flat cost for two years and he is happy to see this move forward.

Mayor Tully said that going out to a bidding process is important.  The Village has not experienced service problems, and is getting a price freeze.  This will be put together in a contract.  With Amnesty Day included, it is actually a price decrease.  He thinks it is worth pursuing this option. 

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo, Hosé; Mayor Tully

Nay: Commissioner Barnett

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.

11. First Reading

ORD 2015-6378 - A. Ordinance:  Proposing Establishment of Special Service Area Number 9 - 35th and Saratoga Subdivision

Village Manager Dave Fieldman introduced Planning Manager Stan Popovich to explain this proposed Special Service Area. 

Stan Popovich, Planning Manager, explained that this Special Service Area is for 1350 35th Street, at 35th and Saratoga.  He showed a map of the area, and described the proposed subdivision of seven buildable lots with one out lot approved by the Council in June.  The requirement is for the Homeowners Association to maintain the stormwater facilities.  The Special Service Area will take effect if the Homeowners Association fails to maintain the stormwater facilities.  A Public Hearing will be held on November 3, 2015, with final approval expected in January 2016.

12. Mayor's Report

New Business

RES 2015-6373 - A. Resolution:  Appointment to Boards and Commissions

Summary: 

Mayor Tully has made the following appointments and reappointments:

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN REVIEW BOARD

Reappoint Carine Acks to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2018

COMMUNITY EVENTS COMMISSION

Reappoint Susan Carroll and Michael Kubes to three-year terms expiring August 31, 2018

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS COMMISSION

Reappoint John Mlade and Liz Pelloso to three-year terms expiring August 31, 2018

Appoint Jamie Getz to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2018

LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Appoint Art Jaros to a six-year term expiring August 31, 2021

Appoint Edward Earl to a five-year term expiring August 31, 2020

LIQUOR COMMISSION

Reappoint Jeffrey Jacobson and Michelle King to three-year terms expiring August 31, 2018

PLAN COMMISSION  

Appoint Donald Rickard as Chair for a two-year term expiring August 31, 2017

Appoint Mark Cronin to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2018

STORMWATER AND FLOOD PLAIN OVERSIGHT

Reappoint Anthony Civito and William Wicklander to three-year terms expiring August 31, 2018  

TECHNOLOGY COMMISSION

Reappoint Mark Grippando and Chuck Redpath to two-year terms expiring August, 31, 2017 

Appoint John Phillips and Anthony Cheng to three-year terms expiring August 31, 2018  

TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING COMMISSION

Appoint John Aguzino to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2018

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

Appoint Richard Kulovany to a three-year term expiring August 31, 2018 

A RESOLUTION APPOINTING AND REAPPOINTING MEMBERS TO VILLAGE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

RESOLUTION 2015-56

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adopt "A Resolution Appointing and Reappointing Members to Village Boards and Commissions," as presented.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Mayor Tully explained that the Council appoints members to Boards and Commissions that are staffed by volunteers and the Council relies on them to make recommendations to the Council and staff. 

Commissioner Olsen moved to call for a recess due to emergency weather reports.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

Commissioner Olsen moved to return from recess.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote at 8:29 p.m.

Upon return from the emergency recess, the Mayor asked Village Clerk April Holden read the Resolution appointing and reappointing members for Village Boards and Commissions.

Mayor Tully said that all members' named serve as volunteers.  He thanked those returning, and the new appointees.

Commissioner Olsen thanked the Mayor for submitting nominations in advance of the expiration dates.  He stated that he appreciates the Mayor's time.  He noted for the record that Boards and Commissions have staggered terms.  He thanked all volunteers as well.  He has reviewed the nominations and is impressed with the caliber of individuals willing to share their time and expertise with the community. 

Commissioner Barnett commented that with the number of emails received over the last day regarding the nominations, that perhaps the Council would consider putting this vote off.  There are 150 residents who have expressed their opinions regarding the nominees, and they warrant consideration.

Commissioner Hosé said he would also appreciate a delay to consider this and have an opportunity to review the 150+ emails received.  This is unprecedented and he thinks additional time to process this is necessary.

Commissioner Vattimo said she has also received 150+ emails.  She does not know Mr. Jaros personally, but she does know Mayor Tully and his priorities and values, and she has full faith and confidence in his selection of Mr. Jaros for this position.  She has spent time reviewing the Library budget and she believes that it could use more focus on fiscal responsibility and taxpayer value while continuing to provide an outstanding library system. Commissioner Vattimo said she believes Mr. Jaros is the right man for this job. 

Motion:  Commissioner Barnett moved to table this item.  Commissioner Hosé seconded the motion. 

Commissioner Barnett said that while it is desirable to make these appointments in advance of the expiration of appointments, the Village has also done an excellent job of operating without hitting the deadline.  Providing at least one meeting to process the information Council has been given makes sense to him.  He is not sure why Council would want to make a decision without having read the input available to them.  He said he is skeptical if anyone were to say they read them all.

Mayor Tully said he read most of them.  He is reluctant to table this as it has taken a long time to get to the point where the appointments are made on time.  This has been one of his high priority items.  The Mayor said the 150+ emails were the result of an email blast sent out asking people to send the Council emails.  An audience member shouted out "No" to that comment and Mayor Tully replied by asking for decorum from the audience stating that the audience members had their opportunity to speak to this issue earlier in the meeting.  This is the opportunity for Council to debate this point.  The Mayor said this was generated by a single act and the email asked people to contact the Council.  He was disappointed that this was brought to his attention with an email blast and a letter to the editor in the Chicago Tribune; not a personal phone call or request.  He is very skeptical as to how this originated.  The Mayor stated that he was unaware of the events of 1999 regarding Mr. Jaros.  When he became aware of this, he spoke with Mr. Jaros regarding this matter.  The Mayor said it appeared to be an event where Mr. Jaros expressed his right as a parent concerned about a book being used in school.  The Mayor indicated that it did not appear to be an issue of book banning at the public library level.  In speaking with Mr. Jaros, the Mayor said that he is confident that Mr. Jaros would comply with the Library's by-laws and rules of the Library as Trustee.  He further pointed out a section of the Library by-laws regarding certain things that are not allowed in the library, such as obscenity, restricting an individual's right to read, etc.  He read that section of the by-laws regarding parental choice as to reading materials made available to their children.  He thinks that the statement that Mr. Jaros favors book banning is an overstatement.  Mayor Tully then suggested that people who are concerned about the appointments actually attend the Library Board meetings and express their concerns about the budget or other decisions made by the Board.   He therefore did not feel this was a matter to be tabled, and felt that the controversy was orchestrated.

Commissioner Barnett asked if the only issue in the 150+ emails is the appointment of Mr. Jaros.  Mayor Tully replied that there were a few comments regarding opinions on other appointees; however, the majority had to do with Mr. Jaros' appointment. He added that the appointments have been out since August 1 for the Council to review.

Commissioner Hosé said that several members on the dais have encouraged people to come forward on various issue such as the Edwards House, etc.  That is community activism. He doesn't understand the need to move with any more deliberate speed than in the past as people will continue to serve until the new appointments are made.

Mayor Tully replied that the Council has had time to consider this because of his efforts to get this list out quickly.  He expressed his opinion that the more professional thing to have done would have been to come to him or the Council first rather than to the press. 

Commissioner Olsen said he felt it was sad that certain individuals chose to politicize the issue and the appointment of the community volunteers, and to cast aspersions on one nominee.  Freedom of speech is not lost in Downers Grove.  He finds it disappointing and disgusting that character assassination such as this occurred in Downers Grove.

Commissioner Waldack said he has been through the appointment process a number of times over the years.  In the past some very good people have been denied appointment based on political rivalry.  They could not get the fourth vote.  The reason that names are submitted to the Council beforehand is so an individual does not have to go through a public process in a negative manner.  There have been concerns about the Library for years.  The Village has no control over Library policy and finances with the exception of appointments.  The Mayor has conducted the interviews and names have been published.  He is in favor of voting for the nominees.

Commissioner Hosé said it seems that the polarization of this began with the Mayor, stating that the Mayor brought up the political aspect of this.

Commissioner White said one of his concerns about the Library Board is that they have the power of taxation without election.  They might want to consider at some future date to have an elected Library Board. 

Mayor Tully again encouraged everyone to attend the meetings and see for themselves how the Board conducts itself.  He thinks they will find that the people appointed over the years have done a good job and he doesn't feel the two appointed tonight will do any differently.

The Mayor asked for a roll call on the motion to table this item. 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Barnett, Hosé

Nay: Commissioners Waldack, White, Vattimo, Olsen; Mayor Tully

Mayor Tully declared the motion to table failed 5:2.

Commissioner Barnett said the Mayor asked the question as to why this came up.  He said that during the time he has been on the Council under different leadership, this process was different.  In the past there were situations that came up when objections were made from within the Council and the Chair sought a unanimous position that resulted in different appointees.  The point was that a different candidate was selected because it wasn't about who had the four votes, but about who can provide the best service to Downers Grove and which groups can interact with the Council in the best possible way.  That give-and-take changed when leadership changed and this way is a disservice.  We saw this once before.  Commissioner Barnett said he has asked over the past four years for discussion on how appointments have been made.  He has not made it through the 150+ emails he received, and there are two Council members who are not comfortable with the situation as well as 140 residents who are not comfortable.  He hopes this second embarrassing experience will renew the call for change and for consideration of the process that he thinks is broken as a function of leadership.  He is disappointed.

Commissioner Olsen replied to Commissioner Barnett's comments that this is a disservice.  Commissioner Olsen completely agrees that it is a disservice because certain individuals have completely politicized this process.  He is outraged about this and he looks forward to supporting the nominees and thanked every one of the nominees who have volunteered to put forth their service to the Village.  He hopes it does not temper their enthusiasm for serving the Village.  He looks forward to supporting these nominees.  He would hope in the future to avoid this.

Mayor Tully said he could understand why some of his colleagues would want to throw the blame for this at his feet, which he won't discuss at this meeting.  There will be a meeting on governance coming up.  He would disagree that the roles of Boards and Commissions has fallen on deaf ears, as they are scheduled to discuss the role of Boards and Commissions later at the Long Range Planning meeting in the Committee Room.

Commissioner Barnett asked if that was something that would be considered as a potential item for future discussion.

Commissioner Hosé said fiscal responsibility has been brought up and it is a good point.  They should make sure that the people at the Library Board are taking that seriously as they are an unelected taxing body.  For the record, the Trustee they are replacing is someone who voted against a budget because the Trustee thought that too much money was being spent.  He has an issue with the process and is glad that there is a governance meeting coming up.  He met with Mr. Jaros and appreciates that he sees the policy issues differently with regard to schools and children and the Library.  But the past is prologue and Commissioner Hosé said he cannot get past that.  There are too many concerns from his point of view.  He would like to see the nominations for Boards and Commission members presented differently.  He has an issue with one nominee and a "No" vote forces him to vote against all of the nominees, which was not his intent.

The Mayor asked for a roll call.

Roll call on the Motion appointing the nominees passed 5-2.

 

Votes:  Yea: Commissioners Olsen, White, Waldack, Vattimo; Mayor Tully

Nay: Commissioners Hosé, Barnett

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried 5:2.

13. Manager's Report

14. Attorney's Report

Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, the following are presented for Village Council consideration:

 

  1. An ordinance proposing the establishment of Special Service Area 9 - 35th and Saratoga Subdivision

 

15. Council Member Reports

Commissioner Vattimo said that Pierce Downer's Heritage Alliance is celebrating summer 2015 with guided Wilderness & Wildflower Walks in the Belmont Prairie on August 22 at 9:00 a.m.

Commissioner Barnett expressed his condolences to former Commissioner Durkin whose mother passed away yesterday after a difficult struggle with dementia.  It is a difficult process for a family to face, and he wanted residents to know about her passing.

Mayor Tully congratulated the Downers Grove Lions Club on its new teachers' luncheon.  District 58's luncheon was held today.  He said the Village is proud to have such fine schools in the Village, and organizations such as the Lions Club recognizing Downers Grove teachers.

16. Long Range Planning Session - Committee Room

Mayor Tully said the Council would be adjourning to the Committee Room for the Long Range Planning (LRP) meeting.

Commissioner Olsen moved to call for a brief recess.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

Commissioner Olsen moved to return from recess.  Commissioner White seconded the motion. 

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.

Mayor Tully called the Long Range Planning discussion to order at 9:18 p.m.  Tonight's focus is on Council priority action items.  He noted that the LRP helps drive the budget and work plan.

Mr. Fieldman said that the focus of this meeting is to create Council priority action items.  He pointed out the Village goals.  As a result of the LRP on June 2 Council identified 27 potential priority action items, and these were published on the Village's website.  Mr. Fieldman discussed a five-step prioritization process:    Step 1 - review the list of potential priority action items.  Step 2 - identify additional actions for consideration.  Step 3 - tonight Council will be asked to identify six top and six high priority items.  Staff will tally those results and put together a draft prioritization from that exercise.  Step 4 - bring the results back to the Council for further discussion; and Step 5 - direct staff on the priority action items for finalization in September.  He then asked the Council to take the list and identify their six top and six high priority items.

The Mayor asked about combining some of the items.  Mr. Fieldman said that while there are projects that are highly inter-related, they have a different scope, such as the downtown area project which might affect both the downtown business district and the downtown transitional district.  It would be difficult to determine which would actually take priority. 

Mr. Fieldman said that there are items on the list that are clearly projects, while others are not.  He reiterated that the scope of the projects would affect how staff would prioritize the projects more clearly.

Commissioner White suggested that they define strategic issues versus non-strategic issues.  They need to frame the issues.  They want to protect the AAA bond rating in the context of other goals. 

The Council reviewed the lists and provided their six top and six high choices to staff.  A five-minute recess was called while staff tallied the lists provided by the Council.

Mayor Tully asked for public comments about the Long Range Plan.

Lauren Smalley said she is a resident of Deer Creek and said she was happy to see that stormwater management is part of the LRP.  She said looking at the map for Deer Creek, there are only two entrances in and out of the neighborhood.  It is a life safety issue in an emergency.  She said they should consider this a priority.  There are two issues.  One has to do with Westmont.  The retention does not work on the Westmont side due to the upward slope.  She would like to see the Council authorize working with Westmont regarding dredging the drainage area.  She said she was asking for the annual maintenance of a drainage area.

Jon Povlivka spoke to the stormwater utility fee saying that the Village has a constant source of revenue.  He would think they would need a revenue stream of the stormwater fee and property taxes for separate functions. 

Laurel Bowen spoke regarding stormwater.  She said that the Council talks about new projects, but she believes they should be maintaining what we already have.  Lot splits and teardowns are still being approved and these cause problems downstream.  She asked that they maintain the current sidewalks rather than forcing more in neighborhoods that do not want sidewalks, as that displaces water.

Staff provided the results of the Council's priority actions for 2015 to 2017. 

Top priorities:

1 Facilities Plan - 7 top

4 Changes in the downtown zoning - 6 top, 1 high

5 Update Comprehensive Plan - 3 top, 4 high

2 Stormwater Utility changes - 5 top, 0 high

8 Increase Sales Tax Revenue - 4 top, 1 high

25 One major consolidation initiative - 4 top

High priorities:

6 Update Sign Ordinance - 1 top, 4 high

16 Partnership for Human Services - 4 top, 4 high

7 Update Zoning Map - 0 top, 5 high

3 Amendments to Historic Preservation Ordinance - 3 top, 1 high

13 Review building permit process - 1 top, 3 high

11 Residents survey

14 Business Friendly Metrics

Commissioner Olsen said he was pleased they went through this process, and he appreciates the innovation of staff.  He said he was pleased with the list. The top priority items appear to have a general consensus.  He thanked staff for the work.

Commissioner White said that the top six are clearly in the lead.

Commissioner Barnett commented that he didn't think the list is long enough.  Residents expect more.  Having the capacity to do more is the bigger issue. 

Mr. Fieldman said that staff provides updates quarterly.  If they have the capacity they will prioritize medium priority items.

Commissioner Waldack asked how they arrived at six priorities.  Depending on the priorities, some people will be very busy.  He would like to see the tasks assigned to the priorities.

Mr. Fieldman said that the report would include a one-page summary of each item including the scope, deliverables and timelines to include resources.  He noted that some portions of some items may have to out-sourced.

Mayor Tully commented that this reflects the diversity of the Council and the community.  Mr. Fieldman said that most of these are extremely large in scope.  The Mayor said that there are other things that have to be done, but are not on the list.  He noted items such as collective bargaining, storm issues, etc. 

Commissioner White said he thought that #27, the Super Retreat, could be held in the Comprehensive Plan process.

Commissioner Olsen commented that #8 increase sales tax base plan is actually a plan to increase the tax base, and not increasing the sales tax.  He suggested calling it an Economic Development Plan to Increase the Sales Tax Base.

Tom LeCren asked whether the Village has completed all of the items on the previous list.  Mr. Fieldman replied that a couple were not completed including the facilities plan, and right-of-way standards.

Mayor Tully replied further to Mr. LeCren that the direction could be changed, but only after discussion.  Generally they try to stick with the plan. 

There was a discussion about environmental sustainability, including measuring sustainability and private property rights.

17. Adjournment

Mayor Tully asked for a motion to adjourn. 

Motion:  Commissioner Olsen moved to adjourn.  Commissioner White seconded the motion.

Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

April Holden
Village Clerk