Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to begain at 7:25 p.m. A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 7:27 p.m.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz introduces Police Chief Richard Eddington who announced today that he's planning to retire by the end of the year. Related story.
Bobkiewicz discusses Lincoln Street Beach. Related story.
Pauline Sheehan, objects to the 917 Edgemere Court process. Says neighbors not given adequate time to prepare response. Claims due process violated.
Dan Joseph, 1510 Greenwood, says he'd like to buy bonds from the city ... and make them available locally.
Michelle Hayes objects to her arrest at 4th of July parade.
Mike Vasilko asks what the Crown project is going to cost in terms of property tax increase for residents to repay the bonds used to finance the project.
Ray Friedman says he's concerned about the cost of the Crown project.
Mary Rosinski thanks city clerk for session on Roberts Rules of Order. Says increasing real estate transfer tax would be detrimental to the City of Evanston. Opposed to referendum to increase it. Speaks in favor of having rebuilding warehouse take over the reycling center.
Allie Harnett opposed to demolition of Harley Clarke building.
Special Orders of Business
SP 1 - $50 million general obligtion bond issue
Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, says she doesn't like the idea of such a large bond amount. But says Crown project just can't wait any more.
Says will vote for it, but will push for a better finanial plan.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks what the effect of the bonding will be on the next tax bill.Hitesh
Mayor says property taxes are already high -- need to reduce expenses or come up with new revenue sources.
Hitesh Desai, CFO says this year's Crown funding will be about $20 million. Don't need the rest until next year. And want to see how the fundraising goes.
Says staff its looking at new revenue streams other than the property tax levy to pay for Crown.
Says the debt service for the 2018 bonds would be about $1.4 million to $1.5 million annually.
Mayor says it would be about 4.7 percent increase in the city's share of the property tax levy.
Mayor says Parks and Recreation loses 6 to 7 million a year.
Lawrence Hemingway, parks director. Says parks has $12 million budget and generates about $6 million in revenue.
Fleming says the increase in her tax bill would be about $75.
Ordinance is approvd 8-0. (Braithwaite is absent.
SP 2 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Increase Options
Rainey says have to talk about ways to get more money. Says property tax is regressive. Says RETT is only going to affect people selling their house.
Says won't affect most people most of the time.
Suggests increasing the tax on properties valued at over $1.25 million.
Says should look at the least regressive tax options.
City Attorney Michelle Masoncup says no other Illinois communities have a progressive real estate transfer tax.
Rainey says should be in the forefront of good ideas ... notes effort to eliminate the township.
Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, suggests keeping the tax at 0.5 percent on the seller and add a tax on the buyer..
Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, said lkely would be sued and would have to set aside the money and await the outcome of the lawsuit.
Fleming says constituent concerned that downsizing in the city, doesn't want to have to pay the tax.
Says progressive tax would help preserve diversity in Evanston.
Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says should get more information on litigation and on how much additional revenue a progressive tax would raise.
Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says RETT tax increase referendums have failed before.
City manager says will return with more information at the Council meeting in two weeks.
SP 3 - Appeal of Preservation Commission denial of certificate of appropriatenes for 917 Edgemere Court
Mayor suggests, because of late notice, that not take action on this tonight, but to table it to a date certain.
Wilson moves to table until July 23. Rue Simmons seconds.
Fiske says she believes city code is clear that it should go first to the Planning and Development Committee.
Says can go to P&D and then full City Council on July 23.
Motion to table is approved 7-1. Fiske votes no.
Off consent ...
Smylie Brothers and recycling center RFQ/P
2001 Orrington tabled
Appointments off as well
Consent agenda approved.
A 10 - Smylie Brothers lease termination
Fleming says wants better solution ... more money from Smylie Brothers.
Suffredin says agrees with Fleming. Were going to gt $1.5 million from the lease, letting them out for $50K isn't enough
Approved 5-2. Suffredin and Fleming vote no. (Wynne has left the room.)
A 11 - Request for qualifications/proposals for recycling center
Revelle objects to the limitation to only tax-paying entities. Says would like to entertain proposals from not-for-profits as well.
Rainey says the proposal in the packet calls for the payment of property taxes on the property.
Suffredin says no harm in looking at proposals from non-profits.
Approved 6-2 Revelle and Suffredin vote no.
O 1 - Removal of arrest records from website
Revelle says Eddington reqested that arrest records be posted for a rolling 14 day period and that not be indexed by search engines.
Fleming says still can get email of the crime bulletin
Wants to add administrative adjudication docket to that.
Wynne asks whether can get info on what's happened recently in their neighborhood.
Yes, Fleming says.
Main motion approved.
Mayor asks for addtional time to review the appointments. So those are held.
Call of the Wards
Wynne... 7/26 7p ward meeting at Chiaravalle.
Rue Simmons ... 7/30 11:30 a.m. ...documentary on Mayor Morton, who's 100 years old this year.... at Civic Center.
Rainey ... Carl Caneva, health department employee, died last week.
Fleming... 7/11 6:30 p.m. community meeting about Robert Crown construction.
Council vots to go into executive session ... public meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.