Recap: City Council


Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.

The aldermen are scheduled to get a budget update, a report on fundraising for the Robert Crown Center and decide whether to landmark a property at 1726 Hinman Ave, over the objection of the property owner.

The meeting is likely to start about 7:45 p.m. A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:53 p.m.

Mayor Steve Hagerty says he sent letter to mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, to share concern about events there on Saturday.

Proclaims Sanders Hicks day, in honor of city’s first African-American fire chief, who died earlier this summer.

Parks Director Lawrence Hemingway announces CommUNITY Picnic from noon to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 20, at Ingraham Park behind the Civic Center.

Public Comment

Ray Freedman, 2300 block of Greenwood, says he and neighbors are opposed to the proposed HOW affordable housing project at Dempster and Pitner.

Eric Passet, favors proposal A14 for resident parking stickers for 2542-2566 Prairie, a building his company manages

Steve Lamson, favors widening of Callan Avenue, where he lives.

Another speaker favors the Callan project.

Gretchen ______ , 1730 Hinman, opposes demolition of 1726 Hinman Ave, says will reduce the value of condos in their building.

Matt Rodgers favors widening of Callan. Says there are 300 units in that corner of Evanston and only 100 parking spaces. 

Jack Weiss says favors landmark status for 1726 Hinman. Says if sold to a private owner it would offer substantial tax benefits.

Sister of 12 year old arrested for riding on the back pegs of a bike objects to his arrest. Says he now distrusts the police.

Other residents of Hinman Avenue speak in favor of landmarking 1726 Hinman.

Jim Kollross says Sigma Chi contributed to the decay of the 1726 Hinman building. Dismisses rights of owner to control the property

Ian Bady recaps his arrest.

Rob Bady, father, says “it’s not cool to arrest 12 year olds.”

Says recognizes that need police, but says all the kids need to have the same set of rules.

Says its a hazard to be a black male.

Says police should say they’re sorry.

Karen Courtright repeats comments she made at last week’s Human Services Committee. Says police are victims of a “white supremacy culture.”

Number of local Boy Scouts speak about the benefits of the scout program.

Manuel Flores, attorney for Sigma Chi, says it’s a charitable organization and has been a long-time member of the community. Says had already petitioned city for demolition of the property. Denies that it intentionally tried to harm the property or tried to violate the city’s demolition policy.

Says landmarking would violate property rights. Says Sigma Chi followed the rules to seek demolition of the property.

End of public comment

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, says wants to apologize regarding the Bady child’s arrests — says it’s his worst nightmare. Says the child was incredibly poised. Says under no situation does it live up to Evanston’s standards as a communty.

Special orders of business

SP1 – 2017 Budget Recommendations

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says key new elements are a furlough day and a parking ticket amnesty program.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asks about bed and breakfast tax as a new revenue source. Asks about having parking meters operate on Sundays.

Deputy City Manager Erika Storlie says rudimentary figures indicate if charged for Sunday in parking garages $450K.

Eliminating 1st hour free would be about $277K.

Sunday fees at meters would be about $400K

That doesn’t consider additional costs for parking enforcement

Alderman Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward, agrees with Braithwaite, says may need more police training. Says should involve an apology from the police.

Says furlough day would a last resort. Suggests not having the lost pay day so close to Christmas. Suggests making it earlier in November.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, says he doesn’t support charging at the meters for Sunday. Says wants to look at equalizing the parking meter fee at $1 an hour city-wide. Also suggests possibly raising the meter violation rate — an idea that was rejected by the Administration and Pubic Works Committee at an earlier meeting.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she won’t support increasing parking meter rates but would support reducing the number of tickets to trigger booting– but only because the city’s about to start an amnesty program.

Storlie says there’s $4.8 million in unpaid parking tickets issued in 2010 and more recently.

Braithwaite says he’s opposed to a furlough day, except as a last resort. Favors the parking ticket amnesty program. Suggests looking at fines in administrative adjudication.

Braithwaite says multiple vehicles registered to the same person have those both count toward booting — thinks three tickets and booting is a little aggressive.

Says would like to be be more aggressive for people who are out of state. (Says he got one ticket in Michigan and ended up with his license suspended.)

Jill Velan, parking division manager, outlines the amnesty program.

Lyons says with a lot of additional social media outreach options he expects to have more success with the amnesty program than when it was done before, six years ago.

Also says city could have parking rate differentials for residents and non-residents. Says wouldn’t recommend raising the resident rate, but the non-resident rate.

Velan says with 10 parking tickets can submit info to the state and end up having drivers license suspended.

Suffredin asks about credit reporting for traffic tickets.

Velan says are investigating that, but checking on credit reporting law issues.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, suggests handing out fliers about the amnesty program at the farmers markets.

Wynne asks about trying to get better payment level from NU students. Says is confident that students can’t graduate if they have unpaid NU parking fines.

Alderman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, says she likes the higher non-resident parking rate.

Hagerty says should get comment from business owners — if their out-of-town employees will have to pay more.

Council votes in favor of amnesty program.

SB 2 – Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Dan Berg, from Sikich, the city’s auditing firm, makes brief presentation.

Report accepted and placed on file.

SB 3 – Robert Crown Community Center update

Details here.

Lyons says will have more info on an upper expectation for fundraising by September.

Have 275 donors to the project so far.

Mayor thanks all the volunteers involved in the fundraising effort.

Consent agenda

Items taken off consent agenda …

A 3.10 – Callan Avenue paving

A 5 & A 6 – Cafe Coralie

A 7 – 100 Chicago Avenue contract for sale

A 14 – Resident Parking on Prairie Avenue

P 3 – 325 Greenwood zoning relief

P 4 – Landmark status for 1726 Hinman

Consent agenda, minus those item, is approved.

Items off consent agenda

A 3.10 – Callan Avenue paving

Rainey pushes for doing it this year.

Sufferdin says it was scheduled for next year and should be done then.

Rue Simmons supports the proposal. Says she understands what it’s like not to have a parking spot. Will give some relief for the families in this area

Braithwaite says he used to live there — says the added parking is needed.

Fleming says she used to live on Callan too, but says need more transparency in decision-making. Says should stick to the plans.

Fiske says there needs to be more communication with aldermen in every ward about needed projects.

Approved 6-3, Fleming, Suffredin and Wilson vote no.

A 5 – Cafe Coralie loan

Wilson says it want to not do loans, could change the policy. But city has had process and procedure that the applicant’s gone through.

Says have agreement to pay back, accept a personal guarantee.

Suffredin says he doesn’t think the City of Evanston should be in the business of making loans. Says it’s great for the neighborhood but terrible for my constituents.

Fiske says should look at the process in the Economic Development Committee, but will support this loan, says the terms are better than what the city has done before, and hopes the business will be successful.

Rue Simmons says owner has a great business downtown, not the time no to change the process.

Rainey says the city has a process and has followed it.

Says people have said it can’t possibily work, but city has shown that it does.

Fleming says may need to scale back economic development programs because of tight budget issues, but will vote for this project.

Approved 8-1, Suffredin votes no.

A 6 – Cafe Coralie lease

Approved 9-0.

A 7 – 100 Chicago Avenue contract for sale

Approved 8-1, Suffredin votes no.

A 14 – Resident Parking on Prairie Avenue

Approved 9-0.

P 3 – 325 Greenwood zoning relief

For introduction and action.

Approved 9-0.

P 4 – Landmark status for 1726 Hinman

Defeated 7-2, Rainey and Fiske vote yes.

Call of the Wards

Revelle … meeting on Thursday about Canal Shores ecological plan. 7p at American Legion Hall, 1030 Central

Rainey … says votes tonight put two properties on the tax roles in the TIF.

Fleming … asks for police data at Human Relations Committee meeting regarding arrests of juveniles.

Aug. 24, 7p at Pope John ward meeting. and Aug, 26 meeting in Fire Station #2

Fiske … Tuesday Sept. 5, 7 p at Library. To discuss the performing arts center project in 1700 block of Sherman.

Wants to include 1726 Hinman in the Lakeshore Historic District.

Braithwaite … asks for budget memo on cost effectiveness of bidding out the phase one and phase two Main Street project all at once.

Wynne … office hours, Thursday, Sept. 7, 7-10a Brothers K

Notes passing of architect John Macsai.

Wilson … wants ordinance drafted to provide for automatic expungement of juvenile arrest records where the juvenile wasn’t charged with any crime.

Rue Simmons … community mixer Aug 20…during the community picnic. … various workshops.

Ward meeting 7p Thursday at Gibbs-Morrison.

Mayor Hagerty says had 26 applcatons for the police complaint review committee. Will recommend 9 members for appointment at the Sept. 11 meeting. Says wants to re-open the application process to try to get some younger applicants to apply. Will have until Friday, Aug. 25 to apply.

Councl votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting ends at 10:38 p.m.


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