1. Call to Order
Mayor Robert Barnett noted those commissioners present in Council Chambers and those attending remotely.
Mayor Barnett called to order the Village Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. and led those in the room in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. He explained the protocol for the meeting and the guidelines to submit public comment.
2. Roll Call
Council Attendance (Present): Mayor Barnett; Commissioner Greg Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Rich Kulovany (remote), Commissioner Gray.
Non-Voting: Village Manager Dave Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, Village Clerk Rosa Berardi.
MOT 2021-8875 - A. Motion: Conduct the March 16, 2021 Village Council Meeting Electronically.
Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion to conduct the March 16, 2021 Village Council meeting electronically. Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Walus, Mayor Barnett Nay: None
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.
REP 2021-8893 - A. Report: Economic Development Corporation Quarterly Report
Summary: Downtown Economic Development Corporation (the "Corporation") President Michael Casa presented his quarterly report and reported that Municipal Sales Tax Revenue was down 2% for the same period a year ago; sale tax revenue was down just under 4% for the year in December 2020 as compared to year-end December 2019. Home Rule sales tax revenue was down 14% compared to the same period in 2019; for the year-end 2020, it was down 10% as compared to year-end 2019. Fourth-quarter Municipal and Home Rule Sales Tax figures by category were also reviewed against 2019, all being down (especially the restaurant industry) except for food (grocery), hardware/home improvement, and automotive (auto sales/gas sales). Consumer spending was down nationally, the hotel industry was down significantly, as well as food/beverage taxes.
Mr. Casa explained that his office continually reminds businesses of available grants to assist with business retention. He stated that The Dine DG Take Home for the Holidays (carry-out) program that ended in early January was successful and he is looking to continue this under a different marketing program. Lastly, Mr. Cassa listed the various restaurants, businesses, commercial developments, and warehouse industries that opened or were under construction in the Village in 2020.
The commercial projects that took place in 2020 included: Bar Chido, Foxtail, Gia Mia, Goldfinger Brewing Company, Starbucks, Wasabi, Ross Builders, The Tivoli, Vequity Real Estate (63rd/Main), Vequity Real Estate (1111 Ogden).
The office projects in 2020 included: Crown Castle, DuPage Medical Group, Instant Brands (formerly known as Corelle Brands), and Stenograph.
The industrial projects in Downers Grove were the least impacted of the sectors by COVID in 2020. Most were designated essential businesses and were able to make their "safety improvements/safeguards" in their buildings and continued working. The industrial projects in 2020 included:
Bridge Point Downers Grove is a warehouse and office project on a 53-acre site located on Finely Road.
Amazon opened and occupies a 500 thousand square foot site in 2 of the 3 Bridge Point Downers Grove buildings.
Coopers Hawk opened a 200 thousand square foot distribution center in Bridge Point Downers Grove.
Remedi Senior Care opened a 50 thousand square foot distribution center in Bridge Point Downers Grove.
Thyssen Krupp opened a 25 thousand square foot distribution center in Bridge Point Downers Grove.
Flavorchem completed design and remodeling of their 25 thousand square foot building in the Oak Grove Commons Business Park.
Green Bay Packaging opened a 170 thousand square foot distribution and design center on the northwest corner of Warrenville and Finely Roads.
NTI National Technologies relocated its corporate headquarters to Thatcher in the Ellsworth Business Park.
Precision Arrow Gear's largest facility in the Ellsworth Business Park expanded and made improvements to its two buildings.
Commissioner Gray pointed out that in reviewing where the Village was in Quarter 3 and where it ended in Quarter 4 and also taking into consideration all the commercial and office projects that happened in Downers Grove last year, is a strong indicator of where the Village was headed and where it is now going. He said it's a combination of everyone working together and is a testament to what the Downtown Management Corporation does for the Village.
Commissioner Gray thanked Mr. Casa for all that he does for the Village.
Mr. Cassa discussed the Village's reputation nationwide and spoke about how the Corporation turned its focus to assisting the business community.
Commissioner Earl also shared positive comments, stating that the Village has had normal quarters and normal years that didn't look as good as last year looked. She extended appreciation to Mr. Cassa and his team.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt asked if Mr. Cassa saw any future support coming from the recent Relief Bill.
Mr. Casa stated that he read there may be some additional funds for restaurants and small businesses, along with other grants available, which have not been posted on the Small Business Association's website. When such information becomes available his office will notify the business community.
Mayor Barnett, on behalf of the Village, extended his appreciation to Mr. Cassa and his team for switching their focus on business retention.
Commissioner Kulovany also extended his appreciation.
4. Minutes of Council Meetings
MIN 2021-8883 - A. Minutes: Village Council Meeting Minutes - March 2, 2021
Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion that Council adopt the minutes of the March 2, 2021 meeting, as presented. Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Walus, Mayor Barnett Nay: None
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.
MIN 2021-8892 - A. Minutes: Executive Session Minutes for Approval Only - January 19, 2021 and February 16, 2021.
Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion that Council adopt the Executive Session minutes of the January 19, 2021 and February 16, 2021 meetings, as presented. Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Walus , Mayor Barnett Nay: None
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.
5. Consent Agenda
COR 2021-8880 - A. Claims Ordinance: No. 6401 - Payroll, February 26, 2021
BIL 2021-8881 - B. Bills Payable: No. 6582 - March 16, 2021
BIL 2021-8882 - C. Bills Payable: No. 6584 - March 16, 2021
MOT 2021-8878 - D. Motion: Authorize a Contract with Concentric Integration of Crystal Lake, IL for Professional Services in an Amount Not to Exceed $21,725.00 which includes a 10% Contingency.
Summary: This authorizes a contract with Concentric Integration of Crystal Lake, IL for professional services in an amount not to exceed $21,725.00 which includes a 10% contingency.
MOT 2021-8877 - E. Motion: Approve an Extension to the Agreement with Traffic Control & Protection, Inc. of Bartlett, IL in an Amount of $45,000.00 for the Rental of Portable Barriers
Summary: This approves an extension to the agreement with Traffic Control & Protection, Inc. of Bartlett, IL in an amount of $45,000.00 for the rental of portable barriers.
RES 2021-8873 - F. Resolution: Approve a Contract Extension with Snow Systems of Wheeling, IL for Specialty Winter Operations Services in an Amount Not to Exceed $113,135.00, which includes a 10% Contingency
Summary: This authorizes the Village of Downers Grove to enter into a contract extension with Snow Systems of Wheeling, IL for specialty winter operations services in an amount not to exceed $113,135.00, including a 10% contingency.
A Resolution AUTHORIZING a Contract Extension with Snow Systems
of Wheeling, IL for Specialty Winter Operations Services in an Amount
Not to Exceed $113,135.00
MOT 2021-8872 - G. Motion: Authorize a Rock Salt Allocation of 1,700 Tons with the State of Illinois for the 2021/2022 Season
Summary: This authorizes a rock salt allocation of 1,700 Tons with the State of Illinois for the 2021/2022 Season.
MOT 2021-8872 - H. Motion: Authorize a Contract with R.W. Dunteman Co. of Addison, Illinois in the amount of $4,464,000.00 for the 2021 Street Resurfacing Contract B
Summary: This authorizes the Village of Downers Grove to authorize a contract with R.W. Dunteman Co. of Addison, Illinois in the amount of $4,464,000.00 for the 2021 Street Resurfacing Contract B.
MOT 2021-8874 - I. Motion: Authorize a Two Year Extension to the Agreement with Blackboard Connect in the amount of $32,800.00 for a Community-Wide Notification System
Summary: This authorizes a two-year extension to the agreement with Blackboard Connect in the amount of $32,800.00 for a community-wide notification system.
MOT 2021-8876 - J. Motion: Authorize the Purchase of a Video Management System in the amount of $32,800.00 for the Parking Deck
Summary: This authorizes the purchase of a video management system in the amount of $32,800.00 for the Parking Deck.
MOT 2021-8884 - K. Motion: Award a Contract to Denler, Inc. of Mokena, Illinois in the amount of $176,352.00 for the 2021 Crack Sealing Project
Summary: This awards a contract to Denler, Inc. of Mokena, Illinois in the amount of $176,352.00 for the 2021 Crack Sealing Project.
MOT 2021-8887 - L. Motion: Approve a Contract with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association of Skokie, IL in an Amount Not to Exceed $36,000.00 to Conduct a Promotional Process to Create an Eligibility List for the Position of Fire Lieutenant
Summary: This approves a contract with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association of Skokie, IL in an amount not to exceed $36,000.00 to conduct a promotional process to create an eligibility list for the position of Fire Lieutenant.
Motion: Commissioner Hosé moved that the Council adopt the Consent Agenda as presented. Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett Nay: None
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried unanimously.
6. Active Agenda
7. First Reading
ORD 2021-8885 - A. Ordinance: Authorize the Execution of a Sales Tax Rebate Agreement with Steinhafels, Inc.
Summary: Returning, Mr. Cassa, 5159 Mochel, Downers Grove, discussed the proposed Sales Tax Rebate agreement between Steinhafels Incorporated and the Village of Downers Grove, reporting the Wisconsin family-owned furniture company plans to lease space at 1021 Butterfield Road. Steinhafels is a family-owned furniture store and currently has 14 stores in Wisconsin and will have 3 in Illinois with the addition of the Downers Grove location this fall. Steinhafels estimates sales to be $21M Dollars at the location with a 3% projected increase in sales per year. A net sale projection of $352,000 is estimated for the Village in its first year of operations. Mr. Cassa reviewed the provisions of the agreement reporting that the store shall stay in business for 15 years and the Village shall rebate to Steinhafels an amount equal to 40% of the Municipal Sales Tax generated by the store. Rebate payments will be made for 10 years from the date the store commences operating until the Village has paid a total of $800,000 or whichever comes first. The Village shall hold back an amount equal to 25% of the annual rebate amount should Steinhafels fail to continue to operate the store according to the agreement. In the event Steinfields does not operate the store for the required 15 years, they shall be required to reimburse the Village an amount equal to all or a portion of the rebate payments according to the schedule in the agreement. Mr. Cassa thanked Village staff for working on this project.
Owner, Mr. Fred Schweinert, said the family feeling of the Village of Downers Grove represents Steinhafels. It is a fourth-generation family-owned company that is very humble and consistently looking to improve. He spoke of the solid financial background that the company carries, which got the company through the hard times of 2020. Mr. Schweinert extended appreciation to the Village.
Commissioner Earl stated that she shopped the Steinhafels store in Kenosha, WI, and said that Steinhafels carries a wide variety covering each end of the spectrum in price points. She thinks it will be a great fit for the Village. She thanked Mr. Schweinert for investing in Downers Grove.
Mr. Schweinert said that every time Steinhafels opens a new store, its one step forward - this will be the best step forward. He thanked Commission Earl for her kind words.
Commissioner Walus seconded Commission Earl's comments and thanked Mr. Schweinert for investing in Downers Grove and taking a chance on opening a store south of the other two stores in Illinois, which are in Vernon Hills and Crystal Lake.
Mayor Barnett thanked Mr. Schweinert and his entire team and said he hopes they've enjoyed their time thus far and hope they continue to enjoy their time here in the Village. Mayor Barnett spoke of the Village of Downers Grove representing "family", and last was a testament when the Village doubled down on itself and supported its local businesses. Mayor Barnett told Mr. Schweinert that Steinhafels will be a recipient of a similar kind of attitude. The Village is focused on constantly improving and the opening of Steinhafels is part of those improvements.
Commission Hosé thanked Mr. Schweinert as well and the EDC (Economic Development Corporation). He spoke of the previous tenants in the 1021 Butterfield Rd location that Steinhafels will occupy. He said that with the current economic situation in front of us, it is wonderful to have this opportunity and wishes Steinhafels success.
Commissioner Kulovany echoed his colleagues and is pleased with the agreement to stay open for 15 years. He also thanked Mr. Schweinert.
8. Manager's Report
MOT 2021-8879 - A. Construction of Sidewalks in Select Locations Adjacent to Certain Schools in Accordance with the School District 58 Sidewalk Plan
Summary: Director of Public Works, Andy Sikich, presented and reviewed staff's plan for the construction of sidewalks in the proximity of School District 58 grade schools, recalling that last year parents petitioned for a sidewalk on the south side of Norfolk from Saratoga to Carpenter. On September 15, 2020, the Village Council considered the request and directed staff to prepare a plan for the construction of sidewalks near District 58 schools. The FY21 Village budget includes $220,000 for such a project. Mr. Sikich provided a history of previous sidewalk installations and explained the new installation of sidewalks will be challenging. They will require trade-offs, such as tree removals, drainage and grading. A four-year plan was proposed, including five sidewalk segments at four school campuses; District 58 staff supports the plan. A slide presentation depicted the proposal of where the sidewalks would be installed. The areas of the improvements include:
- Kingsley School
- To be completed in 2021 on Norfolk from Saratoga to Main Street; the original request was from Saratoga to Carpenter, but staff feels it's beneficial to extend it from Saratoga to Main Street.
- Fairmount School and O'Neill School
- To be completed in 2022 on Blodgett from 59th to 61st
- Pierce Downer School and Herrick School
- To be completed in 2023 on Oakwood from Grant to Ogden and on Grant from Oakwood to Saratoga
- Highland School
- To be Completed in 2024 on Forest from 39th to 40th
Mr. Sikich relayed that the total cost of the program will be between $500,000- $750.000 over the next four years. He walked through the decision-making steps that will be taken for each proposed segment, which included neighborhood input at public meetings. Also, twenty sidewalk segments have been identified by staff for future
installation but will be bundled with other construction initiatives, such as water main, roadway construction, etc. A schedule of the work followed.
Mayor Barnett invited Council input.
Commissioner Gray recalled at the September 15th meeting the parents, community, Village Commissioners and District 58 representatives were all supportive of this initiative at that meeting. The plan being presented was responsive to those groups. He thanked everyone involved and commented that as a parent hearing that this will be rolled out in tiers is fantastic news.
Commissioner Hosé commented that improving the walkability of Village neighborhoods and making sure the kids get to school are good things. He said there were conflicts with stormwater and trees but he is confident the Village Public Works Department will do everything possible to minimize any issues. He is in favor of this and looks forward to the completion of the projects.
Village Manager Fieldman thanked Andy Sikich and his team for efforts on this project.
9. Public Comments
Mr. Preston Straub addressed the Council and explained he was at the Council Meetings a couple of times before the virus. He stated that he was at this meeting to discuss the Village Square 3 Condominium Association and a past case that ended. He said before it ended he made a request to Jeffrey Pindelski regarding the requirement and maintenance of non-life safety devices and requested that the Association be allowed to do their own thing with "life safety devices interconnected smokes" and Mr. Pindelski denied it. He said he found a procedure to be disconnected from Downers Grove and that was denied by Chris Hull. Mr. Straub stated he attempted to take his matter to the Appeals Board on two occasions and it was denied both times. He then wrote a letter to the Village Manager because he was believed he would be able to have an item put on the Council agenda to take a closer look at the things that the appeals board would not look at. He said that Manager David Fieldman replied and told him to come to a Village Council meeting to speak during public comment. Appearing now, he asked who has the authority to deny his requests; he submitted a FOIA request asking this and his FOIA request was denied. He stated he also filed a complaint with the Attorney General's office, but that is another matter. With regard to the Square 3 building, Mr. Straub wants his issue to be placed on an agenda. He explained there are no common hallways and the units have their own entry doors with an exit at grade. This was an exception in the International Fire Code, which was denied by the fire department, etc. He distributed documentation to the commissioners, explaining he was trying to remove devices that do not save lives and install devices that do save lives. He requested the Council take a look at his documents and consider assisting him with his case.
Village Attorney Enza Petrarca indicated this matter was pending in the Appellate Court.
Mayor Barnett stated the Council could not comment on the matter until it plays itself out.
No further discussion followed.
Ms. Mel Hackett, Principal of Hinckley School, thanked Andy Sikich, Dave Fieldman, the Mayor and Council for the Village's continued partnership with the school district. She spoke regarding the sidewalk installation, relaying it would be an added benefit for the students and with the added sidewalks it would make a tremendous difference in the students' safety.
Resident, Mr. David Rose asked the Mayor if his intention was to "ramrod" through the earlier public comment portion of the meeting as it pertained to the Economic Development Report and the rebate discussion or if the Mayor had gotten used to not having public comment.
Mayor Barnett explained that we do not normally have public comment toward other members presenting to the Council but the Mayor explained that if Mr. Rose had a question he could propose it now and was certain it would get answered.
Mr. Rose stated he did not hear a discussion that provided systematic information from a citizen's perspective. He felt there was information omitted from the report and that it was one sided. He asked that future reports include all information. Mr. Rose voiced concern about the rebate proposal and the financial repercussions of the Art Van closure. He questioned if the new applicant does not receive the rebate, will they decide against coming to Downers Grove. If so, he asked if the location is so good, how important is the rebate agreement and how flexible is it?
Mayor Barnett explained how the (rebate) process works, using the example of purchasing a car and trying to get the best deal possible. He said if someone approaches the Village with a proposal, the Village Council, Village staff and the Economic Development Corporation collectively enter into a conversation with whoever proposed the offer. We then ascertain the answers to those questions. Judgment calls are made and it is unlikely to hear that an organization like Steinhoffels or a Ford Dealership or the next house builder say if they don't get what they proposed, they are leaving. Instead, people are working together. Both the Village and the businesses are looking to make revenue. He said that one of his fellow Council members explained this provides the Village with a net gain, as compared to the previous proposal and is much better than zero. Mayor Barnett quoted Commissioner Hosë stating "some portion of something is better than some portion of zero". The Mayor said businesses come and go; they fail; they get bought; they get sold; people retire. That's just what happens. The Economic Development Corporation is charged on behalf of the Village to engage in the business of attracting and attaining businesses; that is a constant negotiation and dialogue. The Mayor said that Mr. Rose's question about systematic information is a good one and we will ask some additional questions. The answer to the question about Steinhaffel is that it is a negotiation process.
Mr. Rose asked if there's information on the financial impact Art Van had on the Village.
The Mayor indicated that we had a Sales Tax Agreement with Art Van and therefore, we should know what the net was. He said that Mr. Rose should email Manager Fieldman for that information.
Mr. David Rose then asked if Commissioner Hosé could provide the definition of environmentally sustainable that the Council uses.
Mayor Barnett explained what the public comment process was. It is not a time for individual debates with 6-7 Council members.
Mr. Rose further stated he saw inaction by the Council, given the amount of time he spent before this Council on the topic of environmental sustainability.
Commissioner Hosé acknowledged the fundamental disagreement, but he was happy to continue the discussion outside this venue.
Mr. Rose questioned the process the Village Council follows and how it arrived at the definition of environmental sustainability. Mayor Barnett relayed it has been an evolving definition for the past ten years since he has been on the Village Council. He said if the Council is doing its job, it will continue to evolve, as it has been the Village's mindset and focus for the better part of two decades. It affects the Village's priorities, and the Village Council will continue to have a focus. Although it may not match Mr. Rose's focus, the definition and priorities will continue to evolve as well.
Lastly, Mr. Rose asked what actions the Council take over the past year regarding environmental sustainability.
Mayor Barnett explained the Village spent the last year in a "wait and see" mode, as did other municipalities, and he could not point to one particular item at this time. He said most of 2020 was a hunkered-down mode, to try and see what was going to shake out from the pandemic.
10. Attorney's Report
Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, reported the following were presented for Village Council consideration: 1. An ordinance authorizing the execution of a Sales Tax Rebate Agreement with Steinhafels, Inc.
11. Mayor and Council Member Reports
A. Council Member New Business - Land Acknowledgement Statement.
Motion: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt made a motion to approve a Land Acknowledgement Statement and that it be placed on the Village's website. Seconded by Commissioner Gray.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt's motion directs Village Staff to:
- Explore a partnership with the Downers Grove Public Library and the Downers Grove Historical Society to research the indigenous history of the land covered by Downers Grove Village boundaries.
- Consider a land acknowledgment state to be placed on the Village website regarding the history of the indigenous lands.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said some residents approached her on the topic to honor the rich history of the indigenous tribes of this area. She named many of the tribes are known to have called Downers Grove home. She added that while it may be an uncomfortable topic, she noted it would fit well within the Village's long-range plan; stating that it would encourage diversity, equity and inclusion in all the Village does. It would provide culture to the Village of Downers Grove. She stated that many descendants of the tribes previously mentioned are still living; they should be assured the rich history in our area has not been forgotten. She stated it would be a nice first step to explore other cultures that have lived here.
Commissioner Earl asked who would do the research work.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt stated the research work would be done by those residents who inquired, as well as members from the Downers Grove Historical Society.
Commissioner Walus asked if the research is just for the website or if it is to be read at a meeting?
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt stated that for now, the information would just be for the website.
Commissioner Gray stated this is an impactful subject to be brought up. He shared comments about his road trip west and believed this proposal was an opportunity to build better respect and understanding of indigenous people. He said he supported the initiative.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt said the goal of this is to engage everyone to see if this is something we can work on together. She continued by saying the Motion is a good way to start the conversation with the people that operate in these historical spaces.
Commissioner Hosé supported the initiative and partnering with the Downers Grove Library and Historical Society is a great thing. Even though there may be uncomfortable and dark moments in our history we should acknowledge where we come from. He stated he isn't ready to write the Land Acknowledgement because he wants to find out what the research says and he believes the research would be a big benefit to the community.
Commissioner Walus provided a personal statement on the matter as relayed to her by her sister-in-law. "Land acknowledgments humanizes and makes real the land you live in and conduct day-to-day business was once native land. I've met people that said, 'oh wow you're Native American. I didn't know you existed anymore''. Commissioner Walus said that statement was reason enough to be interested in moving forward with the research. She supports moving ahead with the research.
Mayor Barnett respected the comments made but at the same time shared that he was focused on what the Village was doing or not doing. He stated that the Village is not "erasing" anything. He said the Village doesn't teach history, conduct celebrations, or talk about art. He said maybe we should and this is a start. He said over the past five years Village has been focusing on its long-range plan/high-priority action items and certain items have been slated because there were not enough resources to complete them. He proceeded to list those tabled items. He asked what Council would do with information from this research. The Mayor voiced concern that the Village had much to do and did not need to take more of the staff's time on the matter. Instead, he asked that the Downers Grove Public Library and the Downers Grove Historical Society be pushed to be the main participants in the matter and not Village Staff. In conclusion, he asked Commissioners to let him know if they saw that this matter would have a positive effect on Village policy decisions, the scope of operations, services, etc. He said if that is the case, he would like to know more about it.
Discussion followed by Commissioners Walus and Sadowski-Fugitt that this matter was to involve the DG Library and Historical Society and not staff. It was a way to consider the Village's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and attracting people to the Village.
Commissioner Gray stated when he heard Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt speak, he heard the importance of partnership versus burden to the Village. He doesn't want to have this proposal tabled and wants to continue to discuss this issue. He stated the Village should continue with this research because it relates to the conversation of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Mayor Barnett concurred. He said unless directing staff resources on this research is going to direct the scope of operations he does not believe it would be beneficial.
Commissioner Earl voiced the challenge of obtaining the information, what to do with it, and how this Council fits that information into the conversation. She spoke of her Native American son-in-law. She stated that he felt that our differences being called out would be injurious to his feelings. It would be a constant reminder of what he no longer has anymore. He would prefer moving forward and being "all one people". Commissioner Earl is not against the research; she just doesn't know what we will do with it once we have it. She commented on the basic services the Village provides: water, zoning, assistance with garbage. She doesn't think this research is something the Village should provide and doesn't want to cause anyone pain with this research.
Commission Sadowski-Fugitt stated that we are the front-line and the leadership of the community and we should make a statement that we are in support of and working with our partners to acknowledge this. She believes this is a step in the right direction to build a more inclusive community.
Commissioner Kulovany, an officer of the Historical Society, believed the research could be done by the Library and Historical Society; a not-for-profit organization and a taxing body. He said if we add this information to the website, he believes it needs to be redesigned. He spoke of the funding and stated that perhaps it can come from the organizations or potential grants. He supported the matter.
Mr. David Rose returned and shared that Native Americans seemed to live more environmentally sustainable than the current population and a policy connection may need to be explored.
Mayor Barnett asked the Clerk to take the roll.
Votes: Yea: Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Hosé Nay: Mayor Barnett
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried.
Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt shared a story about a Native American actress in honor of Women's History Month. The actress tried to raise awareness many years ago about the poor treatment of Native Americans in the movie industry but she was eventually blacklisted. She eventually became a producer. Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt stated that she is proud of her fellow female Commissioners and the females on the Village staff.
Commissioner Walus announced the Downers Grove South Key Club is holding its Mustang Trot 5K (virtual) between April 10th and April 18th. They can choose any 5K route they want. Registration closes on April 10th.
Commissioner Gray commented on a statement made at a recent Commissioners' forum. He honored those that participated and those that were running for a Commissioner position. He invited the community to attend "the Civil War" - a soccer match at Downers Grove South High School that will be between the North and South High Schools. It will be an exciting game to unit our community.
Commissioner Earl announced that a good friend of the Village and previous member of the Transportation and Parking Commissioner Bill Wrobel passed away recently. She thanked his family for his many volunteering efforts in the community. She shared a memory of Mr. Wrobel volunteering for the community and he was always out for the better good of all. She wished his family the best and said they are in our thoughts and prayers.
Commissioner Hosé expanded upon Mr. Wrobel's many efforts also. He quoted Manager Fieldman stating "Bill was a professional resident". Bill was involved in so many things at the Village and attended so many Village Council meetings. Commissioner Hosé said that it was a sad thing to lose him. He asked the community to celebrate St. Patrick's Day responsibly and continue to practice the three W's. to keep safe.
Commissioner Kulovany announced his release from Marian Joy Hospital and thanked everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support. He said he looks forward to seeing everyone face to face at the next meeting on April 13th.
Mayor Barnett reminded the Commissioners this was the last meeting before the (local) election and so he asked everyone to take the time to vote. Stating that local elections don't always get the attention they should. Early voting to start on March 22nd.
Mayor Barnett asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Motion: Commissioner Hosé made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Earl seconded the motion.
Votes: Aye: Commissioners Hosé, Commissioner Earl, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gray, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Walus, Mayor Barnett Nay: None
Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:34 p.m.