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Recap: City Council

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Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting. Among the items up for approval — a resolution opposing increased federal military spending.

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

The militarism resolution is among a range of items up for consideration tonight, including approval of the 831 Emerson planned development negotiation of  contract to sell the library parking lot for an office building development.

Meeting called to order at 7:58 p.m.

Alderman Braithwaite is absent.

Mayor’s proclamations

Presents key to the city to Morris “Dino” Robinson …  developer of Shorefront history center.

Mayor Tisdahl with Dino Robinson.

It’s National Volunteer Week … over 1,000 people have volunteered through the city’s website.

It’s also Preservation Month.

City Manager’s announcements

We’re Out Walking” program .. 10th year … and expanded … formerly was Women Out Walking. Health Director Evonda Thomas says going to target the whole family now.

Robert Crown project update from Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons … says over $7M in funds raised … matching grant would bring to $8.5M.

Says schematic design process is underway now. Having stakeholder meetings with various user groups.

Says hopes to have a design to present to the council in July.

Public Comment

Lori Osborne … of Evanston Women’s History Project and other groups … says the block around the library parking lot is a center for women’s history in Evanston. Suggests development “would potentially damage the place.”

Chava Wu, Chair of Woman’s Club of Evanston, says group wants to be heard as development ideas move forward.

Janet Steidl says images of building are misleading.

Glen Madeja, executive director of the Frances Willard Historical Association, says new building will cast the Willard buildings into deep shadows. Says need to preserve “old timer’s row.”

Darlene Cannon complains about the HOW development at Dempster and Pitner.

Virginia Beatty says she’s come to over 700 city council meetings … provides a daffodil from her garden for each of the aldermen.

Says they money from the sale of the library lot will generate less money that turning Evanston into a destination community would.

Sara Schaestok, former head of Evanston Community Foundation, says the lot is not just any old space — says need to consider what’s the best use.

Priscilla Giles says library parking lot is a beautiful space. Shame to lose it to any kind of building.

Junad Rizki calls the anti-militarism proposal silly. Says city subsidizes parking for developers by under-charging for parking in city garages.

Andrea Versonyi supports the anti-militarism resolution. Decries bloated military.

Susan Wolan, lives at Sherman Gardens, opposes 831 Emerson development.

Michael Stephens, lives in Sherman Gardens, also opposed 831 Emerson development.

Militarism resolution

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, says it will put Evanston on record as supporting a budget that would help people and preserve the planet.

Criticizes Trump budget priorities.

Approved 8-0.

Consent agenda

Off the consent agenda …

A 18 – Library lot 

P 2 – CPAH affordable housing … held in committee

P 6 – 831 Emersion

Consent agenda approved.

A 18 – Library lot sale

Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, says concerned about historic values … and trade off between cash and benefits.

Says haven’t explored all the potential to perhaps incorporate part of the alley. Says could be a parkway between the two historic sites — put the new building behind that, he suggests.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says Woman’s Club and Willard property reps. gave him a tour that gave him a much deeper appreciation for the history captured in that space. Says look forward to this being a collaborative effort.

Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, says hasn’t heard anybody support the project on this site. Says doesn’t think the city wants to build anything on the site. Says everyone spoke against it tonight Says need to heed the desires of the residents

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says this project seems to be driven by push for cash. Says should have a national design competition. Don’t set limits on height — just bring us something brilliant.

Motion fails 6-2. Fiske and Holmes voted on the losing side.

P 2 – CPAH affordable housing proposal.

Held in committee

P 6 – 831 Emerson

Have received letter from developer asking that it be held until a meeting in May.

Motiion is to hold the vote until the May 8 meeting.

Call of the wards

Tendam … congratulates Hagerty and Suffredin. Says have accomplished a whole lot over the past eight years. Says he plans to work on housing and homelessness issues.

Miller … says city needs an independent inspector general to look at ways city is conducting its business –waste and mismanagement. Requests that Human Services Committee consider the proposal.

Fiske … praises service of Tendam and Miller.

Wynne … Thursday 3rd Ward meetin Lincoln School 7p Tuesday May 4, 3rd and 4th Ward meeting about Prairie Moon block. Calls for Plan Commission to consider eliminating the C1a zoning designation … replace it with something significantly less dense than C1a.

Praises Tendam’s sense of humor. 

Wilson … says Tendam and Miller will be missed.

Holmes … says has enjoyed working and serving with Miller and Tendam.

Council moves to go into executive session.

Public meeting adjourns at 9:47 p.m.

 

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