Recap: City Council


Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting. Contracts with two city unions, possible changes to Dodge Avenue bike lanes and changes to rental restrictions on coach houses were among the items on the agenda.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:50 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 8:57 p.m.

Mayor makes several announcements.

City Manager introduces Hitesh D. Desai, the city’s new chief financial officer and city treasurer.

He also announces plans for special council meeting next Monday at 6 p.m. to discuss affordable housing and city budget issues.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asks about questions on financial disclosure form that addresses residence ward and ethnicity.

Says the form the clerk has prepared doesn’t follow what’s required by the law.

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, asks about a question regarding “significant others.” Reid says that’s been on the form for a decade.

Mayor says what was on the form distributed a year ago is what’s required by law.

Public comment

23 speakers. 2 minutes each

Herb Harms says he saw material having fallen off the roof of the Harley Clarke mansion … says should be roped off.

Janet Kirby says she’s disappointed about the vote to not lease the Harley Clarke mansion to the Evanston Lake House and Gardents group. Urges reconsideration of the vote.

Ben Gaspara, 6th Ward resident, also disappointed in Harley Clarke vote. Asks reconsideration.

George Feeney, 47 year resident of 300 block of Dodge Avenue, doesn’t like the protected bike lanes. Says its endangering the safety of motorists.

Wants return to previous, unprotected, bike lanes.

Judy Fraden, thanks Rainey for trying to get reconsideration of the Dodge bike lanes. Says making a left turn onto Dodge is nearly impossible now.

Jim Young concerned about public safety contracts up for approval tonight. Says appreciates work of all the public employees. Says 3 percent base salary increase is only part of the story — says also getting track and longevity increases — which have growing at a much faster pace.

Says median household income in Evanston has grown at about a 1 percent per year rate over the past decade. Says median cost of a police sergeant is now close to $170K a year — with benefits.

James Engelman urges approval of public safety contracts — we need good fire and policemen.

Hanna Arronberg, of Kirkland & Ellis, representing Evanston Lake House and Gardens group, presents revised lease proposal from the group.

Changes fundraising benchmark to $5 million in three years. Says has also revised lease insurance provisions.\

John Walsh, v-p of ELHG, says last November the council overwhelmingly approved the RFP submitted by ELHG and directed city manager to negotiate a lease.

Says there was a disconnect between what the city negotiating team told them and what the City Council apparently wanted.

Several other speakers make similar comments

Consent agenda

Off consent:

Bills list

A 3.2 — Dodge bike lane changes — rejected in committee. (So won’t be discussed at this meeting.)

A 3.16 — Firefighters contract.

A 6 & A 7 — Hip Circle … off consent for revisions to terms.

A 8 — Fund deposits

A 10 — Falcon Eddys liquor license & P 6 … special use for Falcon Eddy’s

P 5 – Front Porches … was tabled in committee

Consent agenda approved.

Bills List … 

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, asks why the city is paying for Lyft rides. City clerk says he reimbursed the city for the charges.

Mayor suggests staff should indicate when charges have been reimbursed.

City manager says there were 15 charges for Lyft.

Motion to approve the bills excluding the disputed charges carries unanimously.

Amazon bills approved with Suffredin abstaining.

A 3.16 – Firefighters contract

No discussion. Approved 7-2. Suffredin and Fleming vote no.

A  6 – Hip Circle loan

Rent cost is $15/SF, mistated in packet as $18/SF.

Approved unanimously.

A 7 – Hip Circle lease

Rainey requests suspension of the rules to give final approval tonight. Says because of upcoming termination of lease on existing location need to get moving on new property.

Approved 9-0.

A 8 — Fund deposits authorized signatories.

For introduction and action.

Approved 9-0.

A 10 – Falcon Eddy’s BBQ liquor license.

with suspension of rules for final approval tonight.

Approved 9-0.

P 6 – Falcon Eddy’s BBQ special use permit 

with suspension of rules for final approval tonight.

Approved 9-0.

Call of the Wards

Wynne … 3rd Ward meeting this Thursday

Wilson … 6:30p May 16 Crown Center… ward meeting.

Rainey … 7p tomorrow … Howard STreet business association at Peckish Pig. 

Fleming … 4:30p tomorrow CTA/Pace meeting at Levy Center on bus service in Evanston

Braithwaite ….seeks report on administrative adjudication fee collection.

Council votes to go into executive session.

Public meeting ends at 10;38 p.m.

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