Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online. Items of interest on the agenda include a plan to hire armed guards for the Civic Center and a contract to build a water supply connection for the Village of Lincolnwood.

Meeting called to order at 6:08 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Bills and payroll approved.

Consent agenda is being read.

Item A22 taken off consent at request of Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward.

Consent agenda approved. 6:22 p.m.

A22 - Sikich LLP audit service contract.

In response to question from Fleming, CFO Hitesh Desai says the plan is to replace Sikich with a new audit firm after this two year contract renewal, as part the regular practice of periodically switching audit firms.

Items for consideration

A3.1 & A 3.2 Amazon credit card activity. Approved. Suffredin abstains

A7 - Bolder Contractors agreement for Oakton Street water supply connection for the Village of Lincolnwood.

Approved

A18 - Phoenix Security cotract for armed guards for the Civic Center

Police Chief Demetrous Cook says if going to have guards they should be armed -- because of violence in the workplace and in country in general

Have more than 172 calls for service over past three years at Civic Center.

Says will have two police officers here tonight at a cost of about $50 an hour, versus $29.50 for the Phoenix guards.

Says a number of Phoenix employees are retired police officers.

Assistant City Manager Erika Storlie says security has been an issues over the years. Says there are a number of entrances and exits -- but bcause of building design and ADA access issues need to keep at least four exits open.

Says electical system won't support other security doors or other security measures.

Fleming asks about costs in time of tight budget. Cook says city has managed to get more financial help from NU in covering football games. 

Cook says guards will have roving patrols inside and outside the building.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says should send issue to executive session to get more details about what the threats are. Says doesn't want to be sitting here one day with grieving families because there was an active shooter.

Says she was called to a school in ward, and asked to not have polling places ins the schools because have people wandering around the buiding. Says that's a sad commentary on our society, but it isn't things people are making up in their heads. So if can do anything to make the building more safe, she is in favor of that.

Braithwaite says wants to be in front of the security subject rather than reacting after a tragedy.

Suffredin asks corporation counsel whether can discuss in executive session

Assistant corporation counsel says security issues are an exception to the open meeting act.

Motion to send to exectuive session is approved.

A19 - ETHS crossing guard contract

ETHS to cover the cost.

Fleming asks referral how crossing guards are funded for D65 and private schools

Approved.

A20 - RFP to evaluate city real estate assets

Rainey says this has nothing to do with selling any city propoerty.

Desai says looking to get information about the highest and best use of each property.

Approved.

A21 - Home rule sales tax rate increase

Raise from 1% to 1.25%

Approved 4-1. Suffredin votes no.

Meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m. 

Planning and Development meeting to start at 7 p.m.

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