Recap: City Council

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council meeting, at which aldermen were scheduled to vote on a death with dignity resolution and deal with a couple dozen other agenda items.

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

Meeting called to order at 7:52 p.m.

Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, is absent.

Mayor Steve Hagerty announces $50K grant to Robert Crown Center from Chicago Blackhawks Foundation.

Hagerty introduces "Evanston Own It" group of minister ... which supports the summer youth jobs program ... with $5K this year and an additional $1K for the police department's Officer and a Gentleman program.

Lara Biggs, city engineer, does a presentation regarding a proposed animal shelter grant. Related story.

Resolution approving the grant application is scheduled to be on the Feb. 24 Council agenda.

City Clerk Devon Reid says the compenstation committee wasn't appointed in an open process. Wants a more public process for it.

Public Comment

45 minutes ... 1:30 per person... 30 people signed up.

Public comment start at 8:23 p..m.

Fay Clayton ... says fears regarding medical aid in dying legislation are unfounded -- have been no abuses.

Says several City Council members have asked for more time to discuss the issue.

So asks that item be withdrawn from agenda for now.

James Engelman wants higher fines for snow shoveling violations.

Dan Joseph wants changes to snow removal rules ... says city should remove snow that plows push into sidewalks at intersections.

Public comment ends at 9;24 p.m.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says resolution raises extremely imporant concerns in the community. Says Human Services Commission advanced it to the Council with a recommendation for discussion -- but says that action was a nullity -- should have come with a recommendation.

Suggests its not properly on the agenda. Moves that be stricken from the agenda.

That passes on a voice vote.

SP1 - Appeal of preservation commission denial of certificate of apropriateness for 612 Judson

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, moves acceptance of the appeal.

Proposes holding hearing at next Council meeting, Feb. 24

Approved on voice vote.

SP2 - Lakefront stabilization discussion

Related story

City Engineer Lara Biggs provides presentation.

Kimberly Kull, Emergency Preparedness Manager in the Fire Department, suggests there may be funding available through a disaster declaration.

Says have about $80K of damages so far. Repair of the revetments could cost nearly $6M.

Mittigtion efforts could cost far more ... rebuilding the underlayment of the Revetment could cost $34M

Installation of additional groin walls could cost another $8.5M

Interim City Manager Erika Storlie says will return with a consulting contract for approal

Consent agenda

Items taken off.... A2, A7, A9, APP1.. at request of aldermen

O1 already removed

A5 held in committee

A6 failed in committee for lack of a second.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, requests amendment to minutes.

With those changes, consent agenda approved.

A2 -Amazon credit card

Approved 7-0-1. Suffredin abstains.

A7- Snow removal

(Just for introduction. Not for action.)

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says he's concerned about the fee schedule. $150, $400, $700.

Proposes $50, $100, $150 fines instead.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, 5th Ward, seconds

Community Development Director Johanna Leonard says that the current fine structure is $100, $250, $500.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, suggests making distinctions between business and residential districts.

Leonard says could be difficult to enforce whether it's a commercial property or residential property.

Some storefronts have residences.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says wants more time to think about the proposal.

Leonard says if snow at noon Sunday, would get violation notice no sooner than noon Monday, would get ticket no sooner than 24 hours after that.

Would be summonsed to court -- could be hearing week to 10 days later.

Rainey says could have situation where snow doesn't get shoveled for 12 days.

Says should be lethal injection after 14 days.

Says can have biggest fine in the world but the system doesn't lead to compliance

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward says the chronic non-shovelers are the problem -- and they seem to always live on the corner.

Suggests perhaps a lower initial fine, and then escalate up after that.

Fiske asks whether SSAs do snow removal.

Leonard says generally no.

Fiske says should talk to SSAs about it .Should get estimate of what it would cost to have an SSA plow downtown.

Braithwaite withdraws fee reduction amendment.

Ordinance is approved for introduction unanimously. 

Some revisions anticipated before final vote in two weeks.

A9 - Liquor license for Welsh-Ryan Arena

Approved 5-3. Suffredin, Revelle and Wynne vote no.

Appointments to Compensation Committee

Members, with capsule backgrounds provided by the mayor, ... Cheryl Wollin (former alderman), Rebecca Berneck (local business owner) , Omar Brown (former school board member and HR professional), Nehanda Loiseau (newish resident of town), Eric (Rick) Marsh (on board of Curt's Cafe had 30 year corporate career).

Committee convened every four years to recommend compensation levels for the next city council -- not the current one.

Mayor says wanted people who understood the work of the elected officials.

Approved 7-1. Suffredin votes no.

Call of the Wards

Rue Simmons -- 5th Ward meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Suffredin -- increased traffic enforcement around Willard School

Revelle -- Green Bay Road improvement project meeting Feb. 22 at Ecology Center

Rainey -- meeting upcoming regarding the recycling center reuse.

Braithwaite-- 2nd Ward meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at 1500 McDaniel. Makes referral to staff to consider attached accessory dwelling units -- including in basements and attics.

Wilson -- says traffic enforcement is important on Ridge and elsewhere.

Council votes to go into executive session to discuss litigation at 10:22 p.m.


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