Recap: City Council

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

The meeting is expected to start about 8:55 p.m. A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online. Our streaming video coverage is available here.

Meeting called to order at 8:59 p.m.

Mayor calls for moment of silence for homicide victim and another young person who died recently.

Notes 15 inches of snow in recent days. Notes volunteer program to help people with shoveling their snow.

Mentions summer camp registration problem over the weekend.

Gets report update from Parks Director Lawrence Hemingway.

Says old lottery system caused a lot of complaints and required a lot of staff effort.

Says in 2017 went to first-come-first-served system .. with an online option. That worked OK, except it required pre-registration a day ahead of time.

Had 210 in-person signups that year.

This year had online system crash... which led to a lot more people showing up for on-site registration ... over 300 by 9 a.m.

Says will process registrations in the order they were received in person at the Levy Center on Saturday.

Ended up with 748 by the end of the day Saturday.

Says all those have now been processed.

Says now only about 20 percent of the camp slots are filled now and there are still slots available in every camp program -- planning second chance at online-registration ... now plan to do that this Saturday at 8 a.m.

Luke Stowe, the city's IT director, says RecTrac software had issues.

Says there were 500 or 600 users in the 8 a.m. hour this year. Only had about 100 users at peak last year.

Need to increase CPU capacity and set longer time-out period.

Planning stress tests ahead of next Saturday's registration period.

It costs less to have the software hosted in house. Are looking into third-party hosting with Amazon or Microsoft's cloud services.

Mayor says city ought not add to people's stress -- unfortunately that's what it did Saturday.

Public Comment

Virginia Beatty ... speaks about making Evanston a destination community. Notes its near they 100th anniversary of adoption of the 18th and 19th amendments. Suggests having a women's park -- perhaps at the north end of Centennial Park, near the NU campus.

Mike Vasilko ... calls for delay in approval of Howard Street theater construction contract.

Junad Rizki ... wants the city manager replaced.

Ray Freedman ... of 1300 Pitner block club ... objects to plans for affordable housing at Pitner and Dempster. Claims the development can't be approved as of right.

Darlene Cannon .... agrees with Freedman ... also objects to ETHS special school on Hartrey -- claims its discriminating against black residents to locate it there.

Betty Ester ... objects to rejection by Planning and Development Committee of special use for Rubie's restaurant. 

Water fund update

Presentation from Public Works Agency Director Dave Stoneback.

New map with info on whether your house has lead water service lines.

Consent agenda

What's taken off consent agenda:

  • Minutes (Wilson has concerns about substance and clerk's not present.)
  • Amazon credit card activity
  • Howard Street theatre contract
  • Simple Recycling contract ... rejected in committee
  • Street cleaning schedule revision (off at request of Wilson)
  • ETHS special education institution
  • Rubie's restaurant special use ... rejected in committee.

Consent agenda approved.

Minutes held until next meeting.

Amazon credit card approved 8-0 ... Suffredin abstains.

Howard Street theatre contract 

Rainey says certain people have issues with Howard Street projects. Says one of the objectors bid on Howard projects and lost. Says constuents from the ward are very supportive.

Says Howard street had been a dump ...but now it's improving ...but some people still want to see it be a dump.

Fleming says she's heard from constituents who are concerned about spending -- and will vote against the project for that reason.

Rainey says the only place the money to be used for this project is on Howard Street -- because it's coming from a TIF.

Approved 7-2. Suffredin and Fleming vote no.

Street sweeping schedule revision

Wilson says residents are exhausted by the moving target on street sweeping. Says he understands the staff concerns about efficiency.

Approved 6-3. Fiske, Braithwaite and Wilson vote no.

Special Educational Institution (ETHS) on Hartrey

Approved 8-1. Rainey votes no. Says she is opposed to the rezoning of industrial property for this use.

Call of the Wards

Rue Simmons ... 5th Ward meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Civic Center.

Revelle ... Canal Shores update at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Civic Center.

Fleming ... Ward meeting Saturday 9 am. at Reba Center on Custer.

No executive session tonight.

Meeting adjourned at 10:58 p.m.



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