Recap: Administration and Public Works Committee

Pedestrians try to navigate unshoveled walks.

Here's a recap of our live coverage of this evening's Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting -- at which aldermen discussed stricter rules for shoveling sidewalks along with several other issues.

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

The meeting was scheduled to start at 6 p.m., but as of 6:09 p.m. there's still not a quorum.

At 6:12 p.m. the committee's chair, Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, announces that the start of the meeting is being delayed because of a problem with the city's video system.

Committee now has a quorum, with 4 or 5 aldermen on the committtee present. But the meeting start is still being delayed as of 6:16 p.m.

Meeting called to order at 6:17 p.m.

Minutes approved.

Consent agenda

Off consent ...

A5 - Parking restrictions on Central Street and Hurd Avenue ... removed

A6 - Stopping in bike lanes ... fails for lack of a second

A7 - Clearing sidewalks of snow ... removed.

Rest of consent agenda approved.

A2 - Amazon credit card activity ... approved. Suffredin abstains

A5 - Central and Hurd parking

Suffredin requests holding it in committee, because of upcoming comprehensive parking study.

A7 - Clearing sidewalks of snow

Rainey says Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, has withdrawn her request to suspend rules and adopt this tonight.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite raises questions about fines -- $150 1st time $450 2nd time, $750 3rd time.

Community Development Director Johanna Leonard says it would be 24 hours after snow stop falling before inspetor could go out. Then have 24 additional hours to remove the snow before would get a ticket.

Braithwaite asks about somebody who goes out of town on vacation during the winter.

Suffredin wants to find a way to encourage complaince rather than focus on enforcement and fines.

Rainey says had door hangers at ward meetings that could be placed on doors -- giving them to business district groups and others to pass out.

Leonard says are working on possible approaches to encourage volunteer approaches and perhaps create private-sector snow shoveling jobs for kids.


APW1 - Residency requirement for select city employees

Suffredin suggests encouraging/requiring directors and managers to live in the city if all eat the same cooking may have a better government product, he says.

Perhaps should phase in over time. Says constituents are very supportive of it.

Rainey --- maybe starting after a certain date, for new employees.

Evanston is an expensive place to live, Suffredin says, but ...

Suffredin says it wouldn't be fair to require existing employees to move into town.

Braithwaite says should be a hiring preferene for new hires.

Interim City Manager Erika Storlie says often makes hiring difficult. Says it would be difficult to take a less qualified candidate just because they were a resident for a top-level position. Says job market is very competitive as is and the residency rule would add an additional hurdle

Says will get more info on how other communities handle it.

Suffredin suggests looking specifically at Elgin. 

Meeting adjourned at 6:43 p.m.



Residency Requirement is a bad idea

Chicago is much bigger than Evansotn, and IMO, Chicago's residency requirement limits their labor pool too much. It would be way more restrictive for Evanston. If any private sector company which had to offer its goods or services in a competitive market were to have a specific residency requirment, it would have a very hard time competing because it could not get the same quality staff that it could if it hired from the whole region.

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