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 (Present): Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Waldack, Commissioner White, Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Barnett; 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.
3. Minutes of Council Meetings
MIN 2018-7686 - A. Minutes: Council Minutes - February 13, 2018
Motion: Commissioner White moved to approve the minutes as presented. Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried by voice vote.
4. Presentation - 2017 Annual Report
Mayor Tully stated that the Annual Report highlights events and accomplishments of the Village for the previous year, 2017. This type of address dates back to George Washington. Mayor Tully then presented the video on the past year in the Village, put together by Chris Derylo and Janene Cerulli of the Village staff.
The Mayor highlighted the accomplishments and significant measurable results of the past year including Long Range Plan goals in Sustainability, Exceptional Municipal Services, Innovation, Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Leadership. He noted the introduction this year of a magazine format for the 2017 annual report that is available in Village Hall. He encouraged people to also visit the Village's website under the categories of Top Stories which provides a summary of the major accomplishments of the previous year.
Mayor Tully explained that the accomplishments for the year could not be achieved without teamwork, working together toward a common vision. He thanked the members of the Village Council for working together as a team for the common good of the Village.
Regarding Sustainability, the Mayor noted that the Village has again maintained a balanced budget. Expenses were cut by $1.3 million due to the decline in sales tax revenue as well as the State withholding 10% of income tax revenue. He noted that cutting expenses is difficult to continue and they will have to be innovative in the coming years. Mayor Tully said that the Village had a successful independent audit with no management letter comments, which is a tribute to solid financial management. In 2017 the Village refunded the Downtown TIF bonds reducing expenses by over $120,000. In addition the Village maintained its AAA bond rating, being one of only 23 municipalities in the State of Illinois with an AAA bond rating. Opportunities were also sought to obtain grants resulting in $900,000 in grants that provided the new Jaws of Life and bulletproof vests for our police officers, installation of a new floor in the Main Street train station, which is a landmark structure, and the publication of four historic preservation brochures.
The Mayor noted that the Village has also sought to preserve the balance between tradition and progress. The landmark program resulted in the registration of nine structures in the Village, bringing the number of landmarked homes to 20. In 2017 the Village was able to landmark Pierce Downer's home, and there are two homes coming for landmarking in the near future. He thanked Friends of the Edwards House and the Historical Society for their preservation efforts in the home recognition program. The Village produced a catalog highlighting the Sears Catalog homes as well.
Concerning economic development, the Village revisited and updated its Comprehensive Plan. The Village aims to update this Plan every five years. The Plan focuses on preservation and economic development, and economic accomplishments include the Rexnord expansion and construction of their Aeronautical Engineering Headquarters which is presently under construction. It is significant because it retains jobs and adds jobs. Other communities and states were courting Rexnord. Rexnord wanted to remain in Downers Grove and the Village had to create an economically viable solution to keep them in the Village. The Village, together with District 58 and District 99, came up with a package to encourage Rexnord to remain. The DuPage County Chairman highlighted this project as a great win for DuPage County. Other projects included an agreement with Vequity at Ogden and Main for a restaurant and retail center; Pugi Mazda extended an agreement with the Village to expand and remodel their Mazda dealership; an agreement to attract a Lincoln Certified Pre-owned dealership in the Village; the sale of the 5117 Main street building which will be restored and remodeled to house the Great Harvest Bread Company. The Mayor thanked the staff of the Village and the Economic Development Corporation for their work in achieving these accomplishments.
The Mayor then addressed the issue of top quality infrastructure by noting the investment of over $10 million in ongoing stormwater projects, streets, sidewalks and the water system. The Village strives to maintain modern infrastructure at the lowest life cycle costs.
In 2017 the Village leveraged technology by launching a new CRC App allowing residents to submit and track service requests, receive updates and make payments from their mobile devices. This also works for parking, which can now be done through mobile devices for overnight on-street parking permission.
Leadership and innovation are celebrated in the Village, but often the Village also receives awards on a national and regional level. The Village's Finance Department received the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Award for the 5th straight year and the Award for Excellence for the 6th straight year. In addition staff received the 3CMA Savvy Award for outstanding public education for the Stormwater Youtility Video series. Village first responders received the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Gold Status Award for their treatment of heart attack patients. The DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group presented its Directors Award to Officer Andres Cardenas for wide-scale undercover investigations. The Fire Department's Marsha Giesler was awarded the Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for leadership in fire safety education. The 100 Club of DuPage County presented its Award of Valor to firefighter-paramedics Quinn Triplett, Scott Sohn and Andy Hoff for their response in a house fire. The Mayor also mentioned that Village Manager Dave Fieldman received the 2017 Governmental Leader of the Year Award from the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, which is a distinguished honor and well deserved.
The Village continues to seek new ways to be innovative and reach out to its residents. The State of the Village is strong. It is well poised to take advantage of opportunities and is well positioned to face challenges. The Village has not increased its property tax levy for operations for seven years, which is a remarkable feat. The sustainability of that will be a future challenge. There is also the impact of the State of Illinois' action on Village revenues and the Village's share of the local government distributive fund that creates additional challenges. Changes in the economy such as purchasing vehicles will affect the Village sales tax revenue, as well as increased shopping online and big box stores. There are a number of things still on the to-do list including ways to better address the Village's stormwater challenges, its infrastructure needs, economic development, and Village Hall and Police Department facilities.
Mayor Tully said the Village looks forward to 2018 to face the challenges and work together toward achieving its goals. He is confident that 2018 will continue to see success if everyone continues to work together.
5. Public Comments
This is the opportunity for public comments.
1. Scott Oberle, Pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, spoke about the local, state and national issue of school shootings. He referenced Newtown, Parkland, Columbine, etc., saying that we cannot accept this and cannot just wring our hands. He asked the Council to participate in a community forum to focus on an informational session for the at-risk population. He would like them to discuss what we are doing for those at risk, what are we not doing and what can we do collectively. He asked to address what law enforcement and first responders can give in terms of common sense suggestions. He is not suggesting that citizens do not have the right to bear arms. However, this is a shared responsibility and affects our common life together, regardless of race, creed, politics or religious affiliation. He wants to build partnerships. He thanked the Council for their service.
Mayor Tully thanked Pastor Oberle for his passion and concerns. Tragic events such as this are in the forefront of our minds. He has had conversations with faith-based organizations regarding reacting to a tragedy. He noted that there are drills in our schools, and there are plans in Downers Grove, DuPage County and regionally. People have reached out to the Council since the events in Florida.
Commissioner Waldack said he would call Pastor Oberle tomorrow.
Mayor Tully said some of the things the Pastor mentioned might be appropriate for the Human Services Commission.
2. Janet Kruz, 4633 Drendel, said last week she learned that Public Works plans to install sidewalks on the 4600 block of Drendel. She and a neighbor went door-to-door to learn neighbors' feelings and 14 residents signed a petition asking that the Village exempt their block from the requirements of a sidewalk on every street. The block is a deadend and has very little traffic. She submitted a petition to the Council, saying that installing sidewalks would destroy the rustic feel of the neighborhood and would destroy large established trees on their block. She asked that the Council exempt their block.
Mayor Tully said the Council would take that into consideration.
3. JoEllen Siddens, resident of the Drendel block for 36 years, said that it is wise to bundle construction projects. She takes issue with a template for sidewalks. She thinks it is not reasonable for this block. She does appreciate that the Village is addressing drainage issues for that area. However, she does not think sidewalks are reasonable for this block. There is little foot or vehicular traffic. They need to preserve the prairie. She said that the runoff situation will be exasperated and a waste of resources.
4. Liz Chalberg representing the Downers Grove Historical Society discussed four educational programs in 2018 on landmarking homes or obtaining historical information on individual homes. The former curator of the Downers Grove Museum, Sarah Stasukewicz, will discuss how to research the history of your home at Emmett's on February 28. The second event will take place on April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Avery Coonley, Nina Koziol, a teacher of garden design and horticulture at Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanical Gardens will give a presentation on American Home Garden Design, 1830-present. In late July, Doug Gilbert will speak about architectural styles in Downers Grove, and in November there will be a Sears Kit Home presentation by Lara Solonickne of Sears Homes of Chicagoland. Ms. Chalberg said additional information can be obtained at the Historical Society's website.
6. Consent Agenda
COR 2018-7684 - A. Claims Ordinance: No. 6249, Payroll, January 19, 2018
BIL 2018-7685 - B. Bills Payable: No. 6380, February 20, 2018
Motion: Commissioner White moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.
7. Active Agenda
8. First Reading
ORD 2018-7680 - A. Ordinance: Approve an Amendment to Planned Unit Development #1 to Allow Construction of a Convenience Store with a Drive-Through at 2001 63rd Street
Stan Popovich, Director, Community Development, reviewed the three items all of which refer to 2001 63rd Street, the Meadowbrook Shopping Center. He showed the site location at the southwest corner of Woodward and 63rd Street. The previous plan presented last year has been revised, with greater green space being added and a slightly smaller building constructed. There will be a reduction in the access cuts, and the drive-through lane has been changed. He explained that the outlot will be re-seeded, and a sidewalk will be located on the north side of the site. Mr. Popovich displayed an elevation drawing of the Walgreens building, saying that staff is requesting that the EFIS extension overhang comes across the whole façade.
Mr. Popovich said staff also is requesting a Plat of Subdivision to include an outlot and easements. The plan meets the Comprehensive Plan. This is a catalyst site and focus area. All standards for a PUD, Special Use and Plat of Subdivision have been met.
Commissioner Earl thanked staff and agrees with the Condition 6 regarding the building design feature.
Commissioner Barnett also agrees with Commissioner Earl and staff's recommendation. He asked if there is a way to replicate the north end of the east elevation on the south end so as to control the look around the entire building, if possible.
Commissioner Waldack said he agrees with the removal of Condition 9 and also Condition 6. He thinks the extension of the EFIS is an aesthetic improvement.
ORD 2018-7681 - B. Ordinance: Authorize an Amendment to a Special Use for 2001 63rd Street to Permit a Convenience Store with Drive-Through
RES 2018-7682 - C. Resolution: Approve the Final Plat of Subdivision for 2001 63rd Street
9. Mayor's Report
10. Manager's Report
11. Attorney's Report
Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, the following are presented for Village Council consideration:
- An ordinance approving an amendment to Planned Unit Development #1 to allow construction of a convenience store with drive-through at 2001 63rd Street
- An ordinance authorizing an amendment to a special use for 2001 63rd Street to permit a convenience store with drive-through
12. Council Member Reports
Commissioner Hosé reported that he, Mayor Tully and Mr. Fieldman attended the Downers Grove EDC meeting regarding redevelopment opportunities on catalyst sites in the Village. He added that Mission BBQ held their grand opening in Finley Square. This is the first Illinois location for this national chain. The Downers Grove Visitors Bureau is part of the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau new sports tourism program. They have retained a national sports tourism consulting firm to help develop a plan to attract more sports-related events to DuPage County. The Downers Grove EDC annual luncheon is coming up on May 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel.
Commissioner Waldack mentioned that the improved weather brings to mind the upcoming Car Shows held in the Village during the summer. He noted that the Downtown Management Corporation is looking for volunteers to assist with the Car Shows. More information can be obtained at www.downtowndg.org.
Mayor Tully encouraged people to volunteer so as to keep this summer event in the Village. This is an opportunity to ensure that event continues in Downers Grove.
Commissioner Walus said there will be two opportunities for the public to learn more about the District 99 Master Facilities Plan: February 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Downers Grove South, and February 22 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Downers Grove North.
Commissioner Earl thanked the Public Works Department for their work with the continual snowplowing and repairing water main breaks during the extreme weather conditions of the last weeks. She thanked them for a job well done.
Mayor Tully reminded everyone that District 99's Education Foundation is holding its 5th annual Pizza Wars on March 1 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Downers Grove South. Tickets can be purchased on line at www.pizzawars.com. It will pit a number of pizzerias from the area. Funds will support local education.
13. Council Member New Business
MOT 2018-7674 - A. Motion: Direct Staff to Prepare a Draft Operating Process to Reinstate the Peer Jury Program
Commissioner Hosé said that this item has been on the Agenda for a couple of weeks. The Peer Jury program was run by Downers Grove Township and was by all accounts very successful. It is a great diversionary program to keep people out of the courtrooms and provide closure to the victim and the community. He noted that the Township jettisoned the program after six months. Different attempts to restart the program were unsuccessful. He would like to see whether the Village can get this program going again. He said he reached out to Commissioner Barnett and others involved in the Peer Jury program. They are looking for concurrence to research this and see whether it can be started again. He said there might be ways to make it more efficient.
Motion: Commissioner Hosé moved to direct staff to draft an operating process to reinstate the Peer Jury Program. Commissioner Barnett seconded the motion.
Mayor Tully said he has no problem with asking staff to research this.
Commissioner Hosé said that other communities are vital to this and they need to have partners in this.
Commissioner White said he would support researching the options as well. In Fall 2017, he was involved in trying to persuade the Township to re-instate the program. The budget attached to the new business item is the budget he gave to Mark Thoman, the Township Supervisor, as a possible way to move forward. He said we do not know whether that budget will fit with what Council wants to do. Research needs to be done.
Commissioner Earl also said she would be on board with researching this.
Commissioner Walus said the program helps students with critical thinking and analyzing skills. She is interested in researching the options.
Commissioner Waldack said this has been presented as more of a directive with a predetermined result. This is not a study of options but a directive to reinstate Peer Jury. His first consideration is restorative justice and what will they do with young offenders. Kids should not be treated as adults. They need options and he supports options. He wishes the proponents would have waited before presenting this as a New Business item. He opposes the directive, but will support a study with options. He wants to see details with budgets. He is concerned about how records and statistics are put together, and he questions the timing of this because the Village has a new Police Chief. He would like to see a study of options to start within about sixty days. Commissioner Waldack then addressed the Village's 2018 budget as the Village has not yet completed two months of this year's budget, and this project will affect the Village's budget. He thinks they should take time to figure out whether the Village is on track with its own budget. He added that the peer jurors must be trained. The school system should be more involved and educate the peer jurors. This Motion does not say they will look at different options. The first priority is restorative justice and offenders.
Commissioner Hosé replied that this is not predetermined. He then read from portions of the report, stating he trusts staff to come up with the right answer. He knows that staff will research this matter thoroughly.
Mayor Tully agreed that staff will come back unbiased with details including costs, and with input from the Police Chief and others involved in the project. The Motion is not asking the Council to make a decision one way or the other. This will allow the Council to obtain further information.
Commissioner Waldack said that everyone seems to be looking at this as a study and not as a directive. He can agree with that, and can support moving forward.
Votes: Yea: Commissioners Hosé, Barnett, Walus, Earl, Waldack, White; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried.
Mayor Tully asked for a motion to adjourn.
Motion: Commissioner White moved to adjourn. Commissioner Waldack seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioners White, Waldack, Walus, Earl, Hosé, Barnett; Mayor Tully
Mayor Tully declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.