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

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:40 p.m.

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

Meeting called to order at 7:39 p.m.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the committee meetings will move to Room 2404 in two weeks — with the new TV equipment there.

Proposed city budget now available online. Discussion of budget next Monday night. Tour of capital project sites the following Saturday. Says bus can accommodate about 40 people — so have room for as many residents as are interested in going on the tour.

Citizen Comment

Junad Rizki says he doesn’t believe city can run township operations better than the township does now.

Says city’s water utility is mismanaged.

Madelyn Ducre opposes referendum to abolish the township. Says council needs to provide more information about the costs of the program.

Susan Treishman from Curt’s Cafe says thanks for continued support.

Woman from Schaumburg says she opposes proposed ban on use of electronic cigarettes. Says they’re a much safer alternative to smoking.

Tom Kendall, 724 Mulford, also opposed to restrictions on electronic cigarettes. Says there are no risks to people near users of electronic cigarettes. Says they are the most effective tobacco use reduction technique available.

Says a lot of people using electronic cigarettes in restaurants would be driving out of the city bye the ordinance.

Another speaker says his father died last year of complications from cancer brought on by smoking — says if he’d been able to use electronic cigarettes he might be still alive now.

Junad Rizki says he’s concerned about library building maintenance. Says hiring too many employees but not maintaining the building.

Anjana Hansen, 2017 Seward, chair of Bike the Ridge, says the event was wonderful this year … throngs of bicycles.

Barbara Janes, from NoParkSale, will have community meeting Wed, Oct. 23, at Room 2404 in Civic Center. Says wants to focus on ways to protect lakefront from future Harley Clarke’s.

Linda Damucek, 1318 Judson, says Harley Clarke mansion lease should identify which part will be responsible for specific capital improvements and require annual reports of the improvements to the City Council.

Several other people speak in opposition to restrictions on electronic cigarettes.

Consent Agenda

Consent agenda is in the council packet. We’ll note any items taken off the consent agenda.

  • Lakefront use special events policy.
  • E-cigarette restriction.
  • Township dissolution referendum.
  • Revisions to City Council rules.

Consent agenda approved.

Starbucks liquor license … final approval. 

Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, asks whether this now means all coffee shops will be allowed to serve liquor. Says he’s heard concerns. Wine shops can’t serve wine by the glass, for example.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, asks for comment from Starbucks representatiatives r

Harlin Powell, attorney for Starbucks, and Paul Roscoe from Starbucks. Powell syas not looking to become a bar or tavern — but extend core concept of Starbucks into the evening hours. Says have well-trained staff. Everyone on staff will be Basset trained. Customers will be carded. Limited to one drink at a time.

Says it’s been implemented at several locations around Illinois including Burr Ridge and a location in Chicago about six months ago. Says it’s close to a college campus. Says company made sure there was training for employees. Offer only craft beers and wine … three or four options of each.

Says has been done in Washington state, California and Atlanta, Ga.

Says have been no violations or complaints at stores in Illinois. Have had more challenge in building customer awareness that the beer and wine is available.

About one to three percent of customers are ordering drinks. Says are looking to get more food sales in the evening by having beer and wine available.

In response to question says that customers would be able to buy beer without food. Says that hasn’t happened — no TVs, or other entertainment — that’s not what Starbucks is about, he says.

Calls it a “third space” — familiar to people in morning and afternoon — now looking to replicate that in the evening hours. Not planning to extend business hours. (Sherman Avenue store now closes at midnight.)

Says typically don’t sell beer before 2 p.m.

Paul Roscoe says he opened the Schaumburg store which was first to serve liquor and typically started at 4 p.m. and started at 10 or 11 p.m. Says it’s called “Starbucks evening” concept.

Powell says looking to sell higher-end craft beers, especially locally produced ones.

Alderman Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, says the expande store on Sherman has been packed with Northwestern students and given the prevalence of false IDs think will have trouble staying on the right side of ID rules.

Powell says the store in Chicago is near the DePaul campus and has similar demographic — says have not had problems there — controls in place have been very effective.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, asks how to distinguish a beer and wine license for Starbucks from one for Curt’s Cafe or a bakery on Howard Street — how distinguish that from other carry out restaurants?

Says has no problem with Starbucks, but wonders about others.

Mayor Tisdahl says she’s told the liquor commissioner has discretion to decide who gets a liquor license.

City Attorney Grant Farrar says are asking to amend the definition because ordinance now bars “coffee shops” from having liquor licenses. But city, he says, has broad discretion in approving liquor licenses.

Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says should only approve sales after 5 p.m.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, seconds that amendment.

Wilson says this opens up to basically all the coffee shops in the city. Asks why seeking waiver of two-week delay in final approval. Attorney says looking forward to holiday season, like to have time to get the program rolled out effectively.

Says Starbucks doesn’t want to have its reputation tarnished in any way shape or form. So wants to make sure have proper training before launch.

Wilson says he’s not comfortable with suspending the rules. Moves to hold the issue until the next regular meeting in two weeks. That’s done.

Lakefront Special Events Policy

Held until next meeting at request of an alderman.

Electronic cigarettes restriction ordinance

City manager says staff asks that it be held because the ordinance in the packet was incomplete.

Township dissolution referendum

Holmes moves and Braithwaite seconds that it be held until next regular meeting.

Also asks that city manager provide detail of plans for taking over the township’s responsibilities.

City Council rules revisions

Rainey says wanted to begin A&PW at 6 p.m. and P&D at 7:15 p.m. But says staff thought P&D start time was to be 7 p.m.

Wilson seconds Rainey’s motion to start P&D at 7:15 p.m.

No further discussion. Amendment approved.

Packages of rules changes approved as amended.

Call of the wards

Wynne….meeting on Main/Chicago corner developments Oct 17 at Lincoln School at 7 p.m.

Wilson … ward meeting nov 6 at 7 p.m. at McGaw Y.

Tendam … ward meeting Oct 24 7p at Three Crowns 1st floor community room.

Grover … ward meeting Nov 7 at 7p in Ecology Center.

Braithwaite … Dominicks closing … thanks to city staff for efforts … nothing new to report yet. Next ward meeting 2nd Thursday in November. Maybe will be opportunity to get tenant in store more responsive to the community.

Council votes to go into executive session as city council and town board.

Public meeting ends at 9:23 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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