Recap: City Council

The roof of the Sherman Plaza garage, in an image from Google Earth.

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council meeting.

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.

One of the items up for discussion tonight is whether to put a fence around the roof of the Sherman Plaza garage.

Meeting called to order at 7:27 p.m.

Mayor presents key to the cty to Sir Fraser Stoddart, Nobel prize winner in chemistry.

Sir Fraser Stoddart.

Stoddart says he got a great response from the police when the burglar alarm went off at his house -- and he presents the mayor with a check to the Police and Fire Foundation for $1,000.

City Clerk Rodney Greene administers the oat of office to new Fire Chief Brian Scott.

New Fire Chief Brian Scott takesthe oath of office.

Scott thanks his colleagues and promises to do his best for the City of Evanston.

With that, the Council takes a break ... about 7:40 p.m. .... to have some cake ... to celebrate Stoddard and Scott.

Back with more coverage when the meeting resumes.

Back at 8 p.m....

Parks and Recreation Director Lawrence Hemingway introduces new recreation managers ... Anne Marie Heiser at the Robert Crown Center and Theresa Tevsh at the Levy Center.

Police chief Richard Eddington announces plans for a police community meeting at the Levy Center at 7:30 p.m. at the Levy Center ... invites questions to be submitted in advance through 311.

Says it will be patterned somewhat on a police deployment meeting. Says it will provide a unique opportunity to show citizens how police go about what they do and the information that drives their decisionmaking.

Public Comment

Carolyn Murray, candidate for 5th Ward alderman, raises objection to Sunshine Enterprises contract, a non-profit that employs another 5th Ward aldermanic candidate, Robin Rue Simmons.

Special Order of Business -- Sherman Plaza Garage Fence

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says staff needs to do more research to determine what's a good deterant when people are trying to end their lives on the Sherman Plaza or Maple Avenue garages. Says the problem hasn't been looked at adequately.

Need to turn to professionals and ask what's the best thing to do.

Says may be that health interventions are the best approach. Asks to have the health director look at the problem.

(The annual suicide rate in the U.S. is now about 13 per 100,000 people -- which would translate to about 10 per year in a town the size of Evanston.)

Consent agenda

Most unusually, nothing is taken off the consent agenda... which was approved.

Call of the Wards

Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, asks for meeting of Human Services Committee to discuss public disclosure of dash-cam video from an incident in which an NU student was charged with resisting arrest after police mistakenly believed he had stolen what turned out to be his own car.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said Miller's implication that the video was being withheld was mistaken -- that in fact no one had asked for it.

The mayor and city manager said now that there's been a request for it, it could be released immediately.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said she'll hold a ward meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 at Lincoln School.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, said her ward meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 will be held at Family Focus and will feature presentations from candidates for mayor, city clerk and 5th Ward alderman.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting ends at 8:45 p.m.



suicides from buildings

Fiske's concerns regarding speaking with our health director would be a waste of time. A health director cannot predict the fact that anyone, at any moment of despair, can jump from any building.

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