Here’s a recap of our live coverage of this evening’s Evanston City Council meeting.
The meeting is schedule to begin at 5:40 p.m.
A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 5:43 p.m.
City clerk’s office to start offering vital records services — birth and death records — starting next Monday.
3 minutes per speaker tonight.
Off consent A1, A2, A6, A11, A13, P2.
With those deletions, consent agenda approved 9-0.
A1 – Payroll and bills
Nieuwsma abstains because his wife works for an entity that’s being paid on this bills list.
A2 – Cradle to Career funding ($50K)
Ald. Cicely Fleming (9th) says she’s voting against the measure. Says program started with educational mission, says there’s “mission drift” and not enough reporting on performance.
Says the city requires more accountability from anybody else who receives funds.
Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) asks if have any reporting requirements or a memorandum of understanding with Cradle to Career. Says he plans to vote no as well.
Ald. Devon Reid (8th) says city needs a formal agreement and metrics to measure Cradle to Career performance.
Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) says got presentation from Cradle to Career at A&PW meeting. Says understood five years ago when Cradle started, that this was a long term investment. System change does not happen overnight, he says. Says was impressed by presentation from youth. Says the product is good.
Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) says will support the proposal. Appreciates the initiatives and community organizing. But says has a lot of concerns — that it has become too similar to other organizations in Evanston. Also concerned about reporting of performance. Need to know what the goal is — and benchmark those goals against outcomes.
Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) says need memorandum of understanding agreement with goals. Proposes tabling the funding request until Nov. 22 to develop an MOU agreement.
Motion to table approved on 6-3 vote. Braithwaite, Nieuwsma and Burns vote against tabling the measure.
A6 – Andy Frain crossing guard contract — six month extension through June 2022
Fleming asks about substitutes. Mike Rivera of parking staff says Frain has had trouble filling positions because the have lost a lot of workers who are elderly and have retired because of COVID.
A11 – Lakefront parking demand-based pricing year round.
Kelly says she opposes to charging for parking on the lakefront. Has gotten a lot of complaints for residents. Says conflicts with making Evanston a welcoming destination.
Rivera says have make $81K on he program since it went into effect in August. Says has only gotten about 10 complaints, almost all in the first three weeks of the program. Says projects about $240K to $280K in annual revenue from the program.
Reid suggests residents should be charged the fees as well — to raise revenue to make beaches free to all next summer.
Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) says lakefront is a regional asset — so not happy about charging non-residents. In response to Reid says if charge Evanstonians it won’t affect people who live near the lake, but will hit people who live in the western part of the city.
Says she’s also concerned about impact on Artists Bookhouse at Lighthouse Beach — says would “be asking a lot” to have people taking classes there also have to pay $6 to park for a two-hour class.
Rivera says not planning to charge Evanston residents. Says parking lot wasn’t part of the lease of the Harley Clarke mansion and the Bookhouse isn’t scheduled to open until 36 to 60 months from now.
Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) says she’s philosophically opposed to charging for parking at the lakefront. “We are a welcoming community and we welcome people to our lakefront.” Not like in Wilmette, she says.
Braithwaite thanks Rivera for creative approach to find a way to generate income. Says operational costs of beaches will increase, because of rising water levels — will need more revenue. Says doesn’t see the harm in asking nonresidents to pay. Otherwise will have a very challenging budget season, he says.
Nieuwsma supports for introduction and is leaning toward supporting final approval. Says our parks and lakefront are free for all to use. Need to pay for that infrastructure. Charging non-residents to park at the beach is a way of getting them to pick up part of the cost. Says need better signage about the rules.
Approved 6-3. Kelly, Wynne and Revelle vote no.
A13 – Civil Service commission rules amendment
To make it easier to fire Fire Department vacancies.
Fire Chief Paul Polep says it’s for intro and action tonight so can fill department vacancies faster and reduce overtime costs.
Motion to suspend the rules is approved 9-0.
Ordinance approved 8-1. Reid votes no.
P2 – Planned development at 1012 Chicago Ave.
Fleming asked about unit mix. (Wants larger units for families.)
Wynne says she’s happy with the unit mix and that developer has stayed below zoning height limit.
Fleming says city should demand more. Claims city has power to make the standard higher in the inclusionary housing ordinance.
Wynne says did push developer to consider what the community wants and needs. Says there’s been community support for the project throughout the process.
Final approval vote is 9-0.
Call of the wards
Suffredin says Evanston founder John Evans wasn’t “a good dude” who was involved in the massacre of a lot of people.
Reid says founders of the town were racist, sexist, genocidal folks. Ward meeting virtually on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.
Fleming Ward meeting Saturday at 9 a.m.
Braithwaite ward meeting Thursday, 7 p.m. on Zoom. Voices concern about aggressive panhandling downtown and in other business districts — how keep everyone safe.
Nieuwsma shares Braithwaite’s concern about panhandling. Expects appropriate actions to be taken fairly soon. Ward meeting Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at Robert Crown.
Burns: ward meeting Oct. 28, 7 p.m. at Gibbs Morrison.
Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.