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July 13, 2021

1. Call to Order

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 Hosé Commissioner Walus, Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt, Commissioner Kulovany, Commissioner Gilmartin, Commissioner Glover

Non-Voting: Village Manager Dave Fieldman, Village Attorney Enza Petrarca, and Village Clerk Rosa Berardi

3. Minutes of Council Meetings

MIN 2021-8991 - A. Minutes: Village Council Meeting Minutes -July 6, 2021

MOTION: To adopt the meeting minutes of the July 6, 2021 meeting as presented.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

4. Public Comment

No public comment.

5. Consent Agenda

BIL 2021-9021  -  A. Bills Payable: No. 6604 - July 13, 2021

 

RES 2021-9025  -  B. Resolution: Authorize a Renewal of the Annual Maintenance Agreement and Addendum with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) of Redlands, California in the amount of $15,800.00 for ArcGIS RES 2021-42

Summary: This resolution authorizes the execution of the annual renewal agreement and addendum with Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) of Redlands, California in the amount of $15,800.00 for ArcGIS.

 

MOT 2021-9032  -  C. Motion: Authorize the Payment of Dues in the Amount of $36,776.40 for the Renewal of the 2021-2022 Membership of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference (DMMC)

Summary: This motion authorizes the payment of dues in the amount of $36,776.40 for the renewal of the 2021-2022 membership of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference.

 

OT 2021-9033  -  D. Motion: Authorize a Contribution in the Amount of $30,000.00 for FY21 to the DuPage Senior Citizens Council for the Meals on Wheels Program

Summary: This motion authorizes a contribution in the amount of $30,000.00 for FY21 to the DuPage Senior Citizens Council for the Meals on Wheels program.

 

MIN 2021-9034  -  E. Minutes: Note Receipt of Boards and Commissions Meeting Minutes

Summary: Note Receipt of Boards and Commissions Meeting Minutes: Board of Library Trustees Committee of the Whole - May 26, 2021 and June 1, 202; Community Events Commission May 26, 2021

 

MOTION: To adopt all items on the Consent Agenda as presented.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

6. Active Agenda

ORD 2021-9001  -  A. Ordinance: Approve a Special Use to Permit a Side-by-Side Drive Through at 2500 Ogden Avenue

Summary: This approves a special use to permit a side-by-side drive through at 2500 Ogden Ave.

 

MOTION: To adopt an ordinance authorizing a special use for 2500 Ogden Avenue to permit a restaurant with a side-by-side drive-through:  ORD 5871                                      

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

 

ORD 2021-9000  -  B. Ordinance: Approve a Special Use to Construct a Drive-Through for a 6,480 Square Foot Multi-Tenant Retail Building at 931 and 935 Ogden Avenue

Summary: This ordinance approves a special use to construct a drive-through for a 6,480 square foot multi-tenant retail building at 931 and 935 Ogden Ave.

 

MOTION: To adopt a an ordinance authorizing a special use for 931 and 935 Ogden Avenue to permit a multi-tenant retail building with drive-through: ORD 5872

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

 

Mayor Comment

Mayor Barnett: Special use process has many pieces to it; most drive-throughs in the Village operate under special use; approval of a drive-through as a special use is part of the Village's structure. 

 

ORD 2021-9007  -  C. Ordinance: Approve the Rezoning from DB (Downtown Business) to DB/PUD (Downtown Business/Planned Unit Development) at the Northwest Corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, Commonly Known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue to Permit the Construction of a 167-Unit Apartment Building

Summary: This ordinance approves the Rezoning from DB (Downtown Business) to DB/PUD (Downtown Business/Planned Unit Development) to permit the construction of a 167-unit apartment building located at the northwest corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, commonly known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue.

 

MOTION: To adopt an ordinance rezoning a certain property located at 5240 Washington Street,

928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue. ORD 5873        

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

 

Public Comment

  • Mr. Paul Robertson, Development Director with Opus Development Co.: Appreciates the process; thanked the residents for making this a better project by providing input; thanked staff and the Plan Commission for helping to better the project by meeting tight timeframes and allowing for two public hearings; thanked Village Council and Mayor; look forward to becoming a member of the Downers Grove downtown community.
  • Mr. John Simowicz, resident of Marquis on Maple: Voiced concern about rezoning this property from downtown business to a planned unit development; the density of the area; the loading area; visibility issues from the Marquis driveway onto Maple Ave.

Mayor and Commission Comments/Questions

Commissioner Hosé: Was not at last Council meeting to discuss this development; thanked colleagues for thorough discussion of the issues; thanked staff for the thorough presentation; feels concerns are unfounded regarding density and traffic; Maple has had significant traffic for many years; traffic study demonstrates condition of traffic not going to be materially affected; thanked Opus for their flexibility; the modifications complies with new design guidelines; many checkboxes are in favor of project; meets the standards of the downtown area; read from the sections of the Village's Comprehensive Plan regarding multi-family residential, downtown key focus, downtown edge areas; the height of the proposed building is approximately the same height as Main on Maple and the Marquis sites; this property is part of the downtown edge and in the Comprehensive Plan is  described in part as an area of greater residential density to facilitate a vibrant and energetic downtown while providing economic sustainability to the core; the project has been done thoughtfully and carefully and is in complete accordance with the Comprehensive Plan; he is voting in favor of the project.

Commissioner Kulovany: Agreed with everything Commissioner Hosé said.

Commissioner Walus: Thanked the residents that came out to last week's Council meeting; she and fellow commissioners took notes and asked questions regarding emergency vehicles, handicapped parking and controlled parking in the area; this project fits in with the Comprehensive Plan; she and her fellow commissioners have heard the residents and whether or not all agree on the issues - questions have been asked so that all the commissioners could understand the project to the best of their abilities; neighboring buildings will have more noise and traffic while this project is being built as this is part of the development process; asked all to remain patient as the project moves forward; supports the project.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Supports the comments fellow commissioners have made; supports the project; regarding the zoning criteria, it is to provide housing variety and this checks the box of being compatible with surrounding areas; there are three property owners all willing to sell their properties and this opportunity may not come again for the developer; the vibrancy with residents is critical; tax revenue implications - nearly a $1million in tax contributions to the Park District and School District; this is the type of development called for in the Comprehensive Plan; supporting project.

Mayor Barnett: Commissioner Hosé and Walus did a good job citing Comprehensive Plan; Mayor lives on Maple, near the proposed development;  dealing with traffic and congestion during construction process  will overall be a net positive for the community; downtown designed and planned to have continuous vitality from residents and business activities; the catalyst sites are not all developed at this time - there will be additional development; the people have been heard and changes have been made; there are differences of opinions about what downtown should look like in 2030 as opposed to 2010 - that is what is playing out currently; this will continue to contribute to the goals and vision of the downtown in a positive way; a resident that lives on Washington spoke last week about a development that went in near his neighborhood and spoke of how he was worried when the construction started but he saw how the Village and community managed it and that it was a net positive and this will be as well; fully supports the project. 

ORD 2021-9006  -  D. Ordinance: Approval of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at the Northwest Corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, Commonly Known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue to Permit the Construction of a 167-unit Apartment Building

Summary: This ordinance approves a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to permit the construction of a 167-unit apartment building located at the northwest corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, commonly known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue.

MOTION: To adopt an ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Downers Grove, Illinois to designate the property at 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue as Planned Unit Development #64 and authorize A 167-unit multi-family residential development: ORD 5874

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus,  Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

Commission Comment

Commissioner Kulovany: Received email from constituent; misunderstanding about rezoning to a PUD; the PUD allows the petitioner to combine multiple lots; the height and setbacks did not change or increase - this property has been zoned at 70 feet since 2005; received other comments that there is no parking downtown; there's more of a walking problem than a parking problem; 489 on street parking spaces, 1036 service lot spaces, 772 spaces in parking garage - equaling 2,297 parking spaces available in the downtown, even if  not all parking spaces are in front of Pierce Tavern.

 

ORD 2021-9005  -  E. Ordinance: Approve the Special Use to Permit the Construction of a 167-Unit Apartment Building Located at the Northwest Corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, Commonly Known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue

Summary: This ordinance approves a Special Use to permit the construction of a 167-unit apartment building located at the northwest corner of Maple Avenue and Washington Street, commonly known as 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue

 

MOTION: To adopt an ordinance authorizing a special use for 5240 Washington Street, 928 Maple Avenue and 932 Maple Avenue to permit a 167-unit multi-family residential development: ORD 5875

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus

AYES: Commissionera Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

7. First Reading

ORD 2021-9002  -  A. Ordinance: Approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) Amendment to PUD #32 for Oak Trace Senior Living Community at 200 Village Drive

Summary: This ordinance approves a Planned Unit Development (PUD) Amendment to PUD #32 for Oak Trace Senior Living Community at 200 Village Drive.

 

PRESENTATION: Stan Popovich, Community Development Director, used a PowerPoint presentation to speak about a planned unit development amendment to the Oak Trace Senior Living Community at 200 Village Drive, Downers Grove.  The property is on the east side of Fairview Avenue, just south of 63rd street.  A map of the property was reviewed.  The different phases of the project were reviewed.  Phase 1 included the construction of the Healthcare and Assisted Building which was recently completed.  Phase 2 is to involve the construction of a five story Independent Living Facility with 160 apartments connected to another building with a commons building and a modified change around to the internal road systems (specifically the loop in front of the Assisted Living Building).  Phase 3 is to involve the installation of 13 Residential Living Villas.

Just after the completion of Phase 1, the pandemic hit and all construction was halted and plans changed; Oak Trace is requesting an amendment to the PUD.  As part of Phase 2, Oak Trace is proposing to build a five story Independent Living facility, consisting of 145 apartments, on the south property line, currently the location of townhomes; the angle of the proposed building has changed a bit and it extends further to the west.  Also proposed is a one story maintenance building on the northeast corner of the property; there will be a loop road connecting the north loop to the south loop.  Also included in this phase are improvements to the south entrance on Fairview Avenue to create a boulevard feel as you come onto the property; leading right to the new entrance of the new building. 

Phase 3 includes the potential construction of the three story Residential Living Villas - the location was reviewed on the map.  Phase 3 will be market driven and will come back before Council and there are no definitive plans on that yet. 

Arial views of the property with the proposed changes were reviewed.  A review of the Comprehensive Plan followed; it is identified as multi-family, provides a variety of housing, located on an aerial street, modernizes an existing community amenity, and allows residents to age in place here in Downers Grove.  Plan Commission found the standards for approval were met and unanimously recommended approved at the June 6, 2021 meeting. 

Mayor Question

Mayor Barnett: Asked if this is a minor adjustment; a slight change of arrangement with neighbors that are pretty much the existing facility.

Mr. Popovich: Correct; staff thought the changes warranted coming back through to get approvals - it's actually a reduction of about 15 units that were approved in the 2017 plan. 

Public Comment

Marie Becker, realtor and resident of Darien, speaking on behalf of Darien Club Homeowners Association:

  • Complaints of nuisances including lighting, noise, unsightly views
  • Property values decreasing of Darien Club homes that back to Oak Trace
  • Requested photometric readings for existing and new plans
  • Requested landscape plans to include Evergreen Trees (such as White Pines) to screen the existing development; as a barrier between Oak Trace and Darien Club.
  • Passed out a packet to the Council members with a letter from the Darien Club residents along with photos. 

Mayor Barnett: Asked Ms. Becker if the complaints she expressed are regarding the existing building - not the   proposed building(s) that will be an addition(s) to the property. 

Ms. Becker: Stated the new buildings being 5 story vs. 4 story and the amendment changing the more southern entrance will have an effect on the Darien Club residents.

Vince Onangan, 1918 Sweetbriar Lane, Darien, IL, residents just south of the Oak Trace Community:

  • Concerns about setback, height of proposed buildings, lighting from proposed buildings
  • Request for berms and substantial landscape along Oak Trace perimeter to provide a physical and visual barrier

Mayor and Commission Comments/Questions

Mayor Barnett: Concerns about lighting issues, whether proper screening was put in during phase one and the proposed phase 3 projects are valid concerns; the Council is taking notes and will get the answers but that won't happen at this meeting; asked Mr. Onangan to focus on Phase 2 - the PUD adjustments.

Commissioner Kulovany: Said that the opinions of Darien residents are important; we do have photometric and noise requirements (ordinances); commented on a berm with landscaping being a good buffer for the residents of both Oak Trace and Darien Club.

Mayor Barnett: Requested Mr. Popovich collects staff's opinion for the next discussion regarding the first PUD and whether or not the Phase 1 work was done in accordance with our expectations and existing ordinances. 

Attorney's Report

A.  Pursuant to Section 2.5 of the Downers Grove Municipal Code, Village Attorney Petrarca stated that the following is presented for Village Council consideration:

  1. An ordinance approving amendments to the Oak Trace Senior Living Community Planned Unit Development #32 located at 200 Village Drive.

 

8. Mayor's and Council Member Reports

Commissioner Walus: Rotary Grove Fest needs volunteers; register at rotarygrovefest.com/volunteer/ 

Commissioner Gilmartin: DuPage County Health Department announced July 15th is the first annual Pool Safely Day in DuPage County to prevent children from drowning, visit Poolsafely.gov for safety tips; COVID Delta Variant is out there anyone needing vaccination can attend the Downers Grove North event on July 14th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for anyone 12 years and over. 

Commissioner Glover: Announced the birth of Downers Groves newest resident, his son, Cameron Daniel Glover, born on July 12th; mom and baby are doing good.

Mayor Barnett: Called for short recess at 7:49 p.m. with the meeting to reconvene in the Committee Room to discuss Council dynamics.

9. Manager's Report

INF 2021-9037  -  A. Information: Council Governance Discussion

Mayor Barnett reconvened the Council meeting in the Committee Room at 7:55 p.m. in the Committee Room to discuss Council Governance.

Mayor Barnett: Council governance is a big umbrella description of the way the Council interacts with each other and the public and what the Council's expectations of each other are; wants to make sure all the Council members are on the same page; with seven Council members and opinions it's important to understand what to expect from each other; this group and most of the past Council have done a good job interacting with each other; tonight's conversation led by the Mayor (instead of Manager Fieldman) and the conversation will be amongst the Council members; the subject of Boards and Commissions will be discussed at a different date; this meeting will consist of a conversation and review of the 9 items listed on the memo;

 

Item #1 - Council Meetings

Mayor Barnett: it's difficult for the Council to have an open discussion with the current seating arrangements in the Council Chambers; there are hopes to rectify that with the new facility.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Agrees it's difficult to discuss items with the physical nature of seating in the Council Chambers; feels there should be more opportunities for discussion.

Mayor Barnett:  Agrees that opportunities for discussion are important; one council member questioning another council member may spark questions for the rest of the council; questions are just that questions and not combative.

Commissioner Walus: Past Councils have had questions from one Council member to another that can turn combative; this Council has worked well together and hopes with the addition of Commissions Gilmartin and Glover the Council can remain cordial to one another.

Commissioner Hosé: "Tough on issues, easy on people" has become a mantra; need to be careful not to upset that; try to make more of a statement or ask a question of staff; there are techniques to use to be mindful not to confront a fellow commissioner.

Mayor Barnett: It's important to be mindful of each other.

Commissioner Kulovany: Council's time to speak is their time "at bat"; many times when Council members are speaking at the dais, it's the first time his or her peers have heard their opinion on a matter; there isn't much dialog amongst Council members outside of meetings.

Commissioner Hosé: It's not necessarily a one shot and you're done; said he is guilty of grabbing the floor three or four times on this topic or that topic; encourages everyone to do the same.

Commissioner Gilmartin: During the first reading it's trying to understand where people's heads are; asking questions and understanding as we make decisions. 

Mayor Barnett: Many times the Council is taking things in at the dais; it's a time to ask questions; engage a little better with each other; especially during first readings.

Commissioner Kulovany: Useful for staff or the petitioner to make a statement and then open up comments to the public; after the public speaks to then have the Council comments/questions; the public's expectations are for the Council to listen first and then for the Council to make comments - then the Council can ask questions if things aren't clear. 

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Friday Mayor Meetings

No council questions or comments regarding Friday Mayor Meetings

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Publication of Council Meeting Agenda and Materials

Mayor Barnett: Asked if everyone is good with the timing of the Council Meeting agenda materials.

Commissioner Kulovany: Likes that the Council sees the agenda and packet at the same time the public does.

Mayor Barnett: The Council is transparent and the Council meeting agenda and packet are made available to the Council at the same time they are made available to the public.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Monday Phone Calls

Mayor Barnett: After the Council members have the weekend to review the packet, Village Manager Fieldman circles around to all the Council members to try and elicit questions and see if there are any subjects that come up from that.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Responses to Council Questions

Mayor Barnett: This process has come around: this is part of the transparency process; those questions that the Village Council has are typed out and the responses from Village staff are posted online for the public and other Council members to view.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Three Council Meetings Per Month

Mayor Barnett: Throughout the history of Downers Grove there have been meetings with different frequencies - a meeting here and moved there or a meeting every week; a few years ago 3 meetings a month was agreed upon and seems to be sufficient; gives room to schedule additional meetings if something comes up.

Commissioner Kulovany: Useful to note that staff has work to do other than prepare for Council meetings.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Commented on Long Range Planning meetings taking place on Tuesday night's following Village Council meetings; feels it's hard to change gears of his mindset - thinking about short-term immediate actions taken in the Council meeting to long term/long range planning.

Mayor Barnett: The Council tries to break them into bite size pieces; used to have meetings on Saturday's and they turned into long infrequent meetings.

Commissioner Walus: Have there only been budget meetings on Saturdays or were there others.

Manager Fieldman: The last strategic planning meeting that took place on a weekend was in 2008 or 2009. 

Commissioners Walus/Hosé: There were facilities planning meetings that took place on Saturdays.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: There have been Coffee with the Council Budget meetings at Fire Station #2 on Saturday mornings.

Commissioner Hosé: There were full budget planning meetings regarding the budget on Saturdays years ago. 

Mayor Barnett: Piggybacking the Village Council meetings for LRP meetings is necessary; open to change if needed. 

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Placement of items on Consent, Active and First Reading Agendas

Commissioner Hosé: If any Council member feels that something needs to be pulled off of the Consent agenda, speak up; if there are items you want to discuss pull them off for discussion; most items that require discussion are on active but occasionally it happens. 

Mayor Barnett: It's a right we have in the process: keep that in mind.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Council Member New Business

Mayor Barnett: Don't want colleagues to be surprised; asked for comments on the process.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Having it in writing and emailing it to Manager Fieldman is helpful.

Mayor Barnett: Have the right to write it yourself but better for staff to help you; makes for better conversation at the dais.

Commissioner Hosé: There have been times when bringing new business to staff and discussing/getting their insight has prevented him from bringing items to the dais.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Council Member Reports

Mayor Barnett: Who says what during that time has varied; the time do discuss connection with other boards or entities or government agencies; not comfortable with those items turning into mini-proclamations; proclamations should all go through him - they an endorsement with the Village stamp on it; Council reports should be used to disseminate information about stuff going on in the community. 

Per the memo these are the guidelines for Council member reports:

  • Rule 36. Personal announcements. A member shall not address the Council with regard to:
    • to his/her or another person's candidacy for election or re-election to any public office;
    • events sponsored by organizations other than the Village or other local civic organizations; or 
    • other matters not related to the business of the Village, except as such matters may concern mayoral proclamations properly before the Council.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Doesn't like the current writing of the rules - especially Item B.; wants to use that time as positive community building; feels the current guidelines are negative.

Mayor Barnett: Years ago people used to run down a list of events; we all have one or two organizations we are attuned to and that's the time we usually discuss them.

Commissioner Kulovany: Agrees with Leslie; feels we should bring up community events; draw the line at proclamations and new policy issues.

Commissioner Hosé: Regarding Item B.-Be sure to read "other than"; this means other local civic and charity and not-for profit organizations; i.e. Historical Society, Library, Rotary; agrees proclamations are proclamations and the Mayor should be the only one to write and read them.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Wants to take it out of the negative; feels it's rather restrictive; takes the point of not having mini-proclamations; thinks it should be less restrictive; have talked about COVID vaccines and mask wearing which could be considered a contentious or political issue; thinks there's been a delineation between official proclamations and reports he's been part of or other commissioners have made; doesn't want to be limited in his report to the public based on what may not be important to fellow Council members.

Commissioner Hosé: All need to be cognizant that there are six other people that are part of the Council; don't want to end up in a debate at the end of a Council meeting; that said it's pretty easy to tie back to other civic organizations and events going on with civic organizations; it's very much in the matter in which you approach it.

Commissioner Walus: Guilty of breaking Rule 36; sees proclamations as an acknowledgements. When someone makes a mini-proclamation, the thoughts of that one person can be seen as the views of the rest of the Council or even of the Village; need to remain non-partisan - we need to be cognizant of that.

Commissioner Hosé: Has gotten negative feedback for not joining in on partaking in conversations; doesn't feel the need to chime in if someone already spoke his thoughts.

Commissioner Gilmartin: A proclamation is  proclamation; questioned if the other commissioners feels that when the other commissioners give a report - is it representative of what they all think or believe; feels we should give the public more credit than to that that just because he reports on something the entire Council feels the same way he does. 

Mayor Barnett: It is not fine to get onto any particular subject and turn it into a debate session with fellow Council members; when debates happen during Council meetings it should be on agenda items that both the Council and the public is prepped on with agendas and background information; hard to draw that line, but we need to think through what is reported on; if the six other people on the Council would be in agreement with what is spoken of before speaking; if it's something that would drive debate- it's a bad set up; the reason that the public and Council get their packet's on Fridays or that Manager Fieldman calls all the Council members on Monday is to give everyone the same level of information on the subjects - the same rule applies here. 

Commissioner Sadowski-Figitt: Reiterated shifting this portion of the meeting to be more inclusive and build community.

Commissioner Kulovany: Not the right venue for controversial subjects; not sure what the best venue is to bring up a topic that is controversial; likes to quote facts and figures; remember what Council member lanes are and what they were elected for.

Commissioner Walus: Remember current the current Council will change and there could be a new Council member in the future that other members could be offended by.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Finding something that all seven Council members agree on has turned into a short list; as an elected official feels he should be allowed to report on what's important to him and the public; shouldn't be a speak one - speak for all; doesn't think that's how the Council should be perceived.

Commissioner Hosé: There's a difference talking about Community events and getting on a soapbox; people don't get offended if just announcing an event; it's a bad trend to get on a soapbox and start a debate.

Mayor Barnett: Agrees they've been elected and should be able to speak; it's a matter of being careful of what we are talking about; there have been different trends going on the past six months; past Councils have waited for those moments to call out fellow members; lets avoid bringing forward the things that will put others in the wrong positions; this is a group that sits together and works as a group.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Reminded all that this gets revisited every two years; wants to set up focus on building community.

 

Item #1 Council Meetings - Public Comment

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Thinks five minutes is good; Mayor does a nice job formally reminding people they have five minutes; appreciates the flexibility during COVID allowing people to comment throughout the meeting.

Commissioner Kulovany: Mayor does a good job keeping comments at 5 minutes; asked if inappropriate to ask people to spell their last names.

Mayor Barnett: Wants to be sensitive to the fact that most people making public comments are usually under duress - he is trying to make them comfortable; could have people that have never spoken in front of large body, people that don't speak English well or people that have issues with people with authority - doesn't want to freak people out any more than they are. 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Questioned commissioners about responding to public comment when they have been individually called out.

Mayor Barnett: The Mayor should take over the conversation and veer from confrontation; it is not a time for a debate.

Commissioner Hosé: When he's been called out the Mayor usually redirects the conversation; there are times where he will offer to speak after the meeting; never respond when you're upset.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Doesn't respond during the meeting; lets the Mayor redirect.

Commissioner Walus: If someone is upset at the podium - engaging in a conversation at that time your response won't be well received; best handled one-on-one not in that format; let the Mayor redirect.

Mayor Barnett: When it's happened at the podium he's tried to get everyone back to civility.

Commissioner Kulovany: Likes that Public Comment is at the beginning of the meeting; it allows people to speak their peace and leave.

Commissioner Walus: Likes that we allow people to speak throughout the meetings on different issues.

 

Item #2 - Council Meetings in the Committee Room

Mayor Barnett: The Village has standing committee meetings but they haven't used them for at least 10 years; unsure as to what the purpose of them was; works against the idea that they are all dealing with the same information; there was a process - the Council members had assignments, the subjects would get a degree of vetting and there would be situations where two people were having more dialogue, with the meeting ending and the conversation continuing with staff and other people; there's an accumulation of information that those people don't have and are expected to weigh in; it would offset the Council being on the same page. 

 

Item #3 - Boards and Commission Meetings

Skipped for discussion at a future meeting.

 

Item #4 - Other Government/Agency Meetings

Mayor Barnett:  Have had these in the past; been a variety of ways they've been handled; used to have a Council member liaison assigned to various groups, boards and commissions; also entities like District 99 and 58, the Sanitary District.

Commissioner Walus:  Haven't had those in her tenure; staff does a great job of sharing information from all of the entities on a consistent basis; staff does such a good job maintaining relationships with these entities and does a good job communicating information to the Council.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: There are some organizations that the Village holds a role in their bi-laws including Economic Development Corporation, Downtown Management Corporation, DuPage Mayors and Managers Corporation.  Very easy to watch the other meetings online. 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Questioned going to County Meetings.

Mayor Barnett: That would be a full time job.

Manager Fieldman: DuPage Mayors and Managers sends a person to every County meeting and they summarize it and send it out; Mayor Barnett gets a copy and he will start to send those to all the Council members.

Commissioner Kulovany: Doesn't like the idea of Council members attending other organizational meetings; it's out of their lane; likes having the senior staff liaisons.

 

Item #5 - Coffee with the Council

Mayor Barnett:  These have been done in the past but have been on hold since COVID; questioned if the Council wants to start them again. 

Commissioners Sadowski-Fugitt, Hosé and Walus are all fans and want to restart them; they spoke of having great conversations; it gives the people a less intimidating venue to speak to Council members.  

Commission Kulovany: Spoke of the Council Budget meetings at Fire Station #2 and November Coffee with the Council at Fire Station #2 to discuss the Budget.

Manager Fieldman: For many years there was a staff and Council driven Budget Review at the Fire Station - with a line item approach for two weeks; then the third week was a Coffee with the Council Budget review that was resident driven; over the years the meetings driven by staff and Council became so short they were moved to Tuesday nights.

Mayor Barnett: The resident portion of Budget has always been valuable.

Manager Fieldman: Coffee with the Council will start up again in August; monthly on a recurring Saturday.

 

Item #6 - Communicating with the Public

Mayor Barnett:  All need to make sure on the same wavelength in terms of expectations with each other; so many ways to receive communication inbound; asked if anyone feels uncomfortable in that role; we all have different levels of social media involvement; social media will continue to change in the years to come.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Thinks the Village is doing great with the communication in comparison to neighboring communities.

 

Item #7 - Responding to the Press Inquiries

Mayor Barnett: Almost always has Doug Kozlowski, Village Communications Director, respond; requests are usually emergency, disaster or legal related.

All Council members agree to send all responses through Doug.

 

Item #8 - Responding to Resident Inquiries and Requests for Service

Mayor Barnett: Many emails go out to the Council and Mayor as a group, but many communications go out through different channels and it's tough to keep track.

Commissioner Gilmartin: Struggling with how things are getting responded to as a group; understanding how to be efficient and know if things have been responded to via email; if people send him something via a different channel he asks them to send it to his Village email and he disseminates it that way; hard to know if the blanket emails are responded to.

Commissioner Walus: Its helpful staff sends out a blanket response to the requestor.

Mayor Barnett: Hard because of compliance with the Open Meetings Act (OMA)and responding at the same time.

Manager Fieldman: When a resident sends a Mayor and Council blanket email, Manager Fieldman, Deputy Manager Baker and Attorney Petrarca get copied on it; when an item that Council has not been briefed on is questioned, staff will send an immediate answer - i.e. what is going on with this building permit (Council wouldn't have an answer to that question); staff also responds to code enforcement items; when there's policy level stuff it gets more challenging - staff waits to see what happens; some council members copy staff members on their responses - staff finds that helpful; some Council members don't copy staff and talk about their responses on their Monday call and catch up on things; the challenge is complying with the OMA- it's important to the integrity and trust of government; it will take a couple weeks to put a system together.

Commissioner Kulovany: Will forward the emails to Dave and ask for facts behind it; 5300 Belmont was a great example - weren't supposed to get involved but received many constituents' concerns; best to get the answer from staff and not insert personal opinions.

Mayor Barnett: Need to parrot the specific data we've gotten from staff or make sure the public knows it's just an opinion and not Council policy; be thoughtful of doing this.

Kulovany: Likes to copy Manager Fieldman on his responses because it gives him accountability and gives Manager Fieldman a heads up.

 

Item #9 - Neighborhood Meetings

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: Went to one in her neighborhood and it ended well; sat back and watched; nothing was expected of her.

Mayor Barnett: Happening all the time because of the Village's high level of service; thinks having an elected official there draws too much attention; feels people would expect Council involvement; if things become an issue Council will get emails and be involved at a later time.

Commissioner Kulovany: With Washington and Maple the neighborhood was given information before the Plan Commission or the Village Council had information; Council started getting emails from people who attended the meetings and he was ill prepared because he hadn't seen the packet yet; wonders if there's a way to get to Council members at that time of the meetings.

Mayor Barnett: He also got thosé inquiries 10 minutes after the meeting; reminded people there was a process in play and he wasn't made aware yet of what had happened in those meetings, so he didn't have a role in it yet.

Manager Fieldman: The term neighborhood meetings are referred to in two entirely different types of interactions and processes.

 

  1. Information about a project that has had no policy discussion at all; lets the residents know what they can expect from the Village in terms of a construction project that has already been approved - interaction received there is ground level; details the engineering staff would like to share before something is built and sharing information with the neighborhood. 
  2. Part of zoning review and approval process; just finished a policy level discussion on how those should run; great policy direction that said the neighborhood meetings we have now as a requirement for any rezoning, PUD, etc. are running quite well as an early look process designed to inform the residents before the Plan Commission sees it.

 

Commissioner Kulovany: The Council to review at a point after the process: there is sworn testimony at the Plan Commission meetings and it's part of the record; agrees with the Mayor that we need to let the process play itself out and not engage until it comes through the Plan Commission process.

Mayor Barnett: Worries contrary to Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt experience there could be expectations of having Council members there.

Commissioner Sadowski-Fugitt: The meeting she was at was when the project was done and the engineers were laying out the plan and what to expect.

Commissioner Hosé: Agrees with Mayor, it's best to let it play out.

Commissioner Kulovany: Best to know the meetings were happening so as not to be blindsided; agrees the Council shouldn't intervene until after it goes through Plan Commission.

 

Item #10 - Council Directed Work by Staff 

Commissioner Gilmartin: Not sure how to keep requests to four hours of staff time; is there a template.

Mayor Barnett: Usually have a conversation first with staff; staff may redirect you to narrow down.

Commissioner Walus: Staff is great  in helping with this.

Mayor Barnett: Taking OMA into account, talk to a colleague before going to staff.

Mayor Barnett: Thanked all for their input.

10. Adjournment

MOTION: To adjourn the July 13, 2021, Village Council meeting.

RESULT: Motion carried unanimously.

MOTIONED TO APPROVE: Commissioner Hosé

SECONDED BY: Commissioner Walus,

AYES: Commissioners Hosé, Walus, Glover, Gilmartin, Kulovany, Sadowski-Fugitt, Mayor Barnett

NAYES: None

 

Mayor Barnett declared the motion carried by voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 9:49 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Rosa Berardi

Village Clerk