Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday afternoon’s Evanston City Council Administration and Public Works Committee meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.
Update 4:45 p.m.: The committee still lacks a quorum. Staff says they need three of the five committee members in the Council Chamber to hold the session. So far only Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) is in the room. Committee Chair Devon Reid (8th) and Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) are phoning in their presence.
Not present at all are Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) and Ald. Clare Kelly (1st).
Update 4:51 p.m.: Meeting is called to order for the limited purpose of doing a presentation to the Fleet Services unit for the group being ranked among “100 Best” in America … and for public comment.
Only public comment comes from Mike Vasilko who complains about repair costs at the Robert Crown Center.
Reid arrives at 4:58 p.m.
Gets into discussion about how much money the Friends of the Robert Crown Center have provided. (Story updating those numbers here. Transfers from FRCC to city now top $11.4 million, according to FRCC.)
Reid asks corporation counsel about the ruling that the needed three members present to conduct business for this committee.
Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings says the standing committees of the City Council were not included in the mayor’s notice authorizing other committees to meet completely virtually and that only the mayor has the authority to make that decision — not the chair of an individual committee.
Burns requests discussion of one item…
A10 – Excluding cannabinoids from city pre-employment drug screening program
Burns says shouldn’t disqualify people from jobs because they consume legal substances during non-work hours.
Says some of his constituents report they’ve lost out on jobs with the city.
Megan Fulara, HR manager, says currently only applies the testing for “safety-sensitive positions” — to police, water department, heavy equipment operators and workers using dangerous equipment.
Burns says wants to only test where there are federal requirements — such as jobs that require a commercial driver’s license.
Burns says don’t want anybody working for the city if they use cannabis during work hours — but otherwise only on what’s required by the federal government.
The “safety sensitive” jobs list is broader than that.
Burns suggests city should assume people can manage work life and home life appropriately — and not disqualify them from being hired because of pre-employment cannabis use.
With that, the drug testing discussion ends and the committee recesses at 5:26 p.m., apparently to decide whether there’s a way forward to address the rest of its agenda items despite the lack of members present in the Council Chamber.
At 5:33 p.m. Ald. Burns arrives in the Council Chamber.
Reid calls the meeting to order.
Items for consideration
A6 – Intergovernmental agreement regarding crossing guards.
A7 – IGA with Willow Springs, Wilmette and Winnetka
A8 – IGA with Forest Preserve District
A9 – Abolishing water shutoffs
Approved 2-1. Nieuwsma votes no.
A10 – Limiting pre-employment drug testing for cannabinoids
Meeting adjourned at 5:38 p.m.