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

The meeting is now scheduled to start at 7:25 p.m., 25 minutes late because committee meetings ran long.

A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:26 p.m.

Mayor’s annoucements

Primary election day is Tuesday.

Town hall on city manager search on July 12 at 7 p.m.

Proclaims July as Parks and Recreation Month

Recognizes winners in Special Olympics program.

Public Comment

Tina Paden tells black people “to pack your bags” … says new development in town “is not for you.”

Jeff Masters, a neighbor of the Emerson/Jackson site, says he favors city purchase of the properties at Emerson and Jackson says it fits with the need for affordable housing. Still like to keep “reasonable” height — but would prefer working with the city to working with the current property owner.

Consent agenda

Removed from consent: A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, P2 (tabled in committee), P4, H1, H2, R1.

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) notes that A11 was amended in committee to change the $200 fee for B plates to a $25 fee and applying that fee to all commercial vehicles covered by the program. Previously the permit had been free to other vehicles.

Consent agenda approved.

A6 – Nissan Rogue for parking division

Approved.

A7 – Participatory budgeting agreement with Northwestern University

Approved 7-0-1. Ald. Peter Braithwaite (2nd) and Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) abstain. They both work for NU.

A8 – Hiring participatory budget staff

Approved 9-0.

A9 – Purchase of property at Emerson and Jackson

Price is $1.675M, as established by an appraisal. Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) recaps history of the property. Says he knew without a doubt that if the city didn’t buy the land it would be redeveloped with 90% market rate and 10% affordable housing. With city ownership, he says, it will be possible to have much higher level of affordability.

Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) asks about funding for demolition.

Paul Zalmezak, economic development manager, says would recommend tax increment financing district funding to cover that.

Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) wants a lot of detail about redevelopment design before the city has gone through the process of soliciting proposals from developers. Burns says that’s not up for discussion yet but will be worked out.

Reid says all the concerns Kelly has asked about can be addressed — but this isn’t the time to do so. The thing to do now is to gain site control of this large parcel of land in the 5th Ward.

Approved 8-1. Kelly votes no.

A10 – Louden v Evanston settlement

Reid objects to practice of city paying confidential informants to report on their neighbors.

Approved 9-0.

P4 – Abolishing Design and Project Review Committee

Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) says there’s misunderstanding about the intent of the proposal. Moves to table it until the second meeting in July (July 25). Reid seconds.

Motion to table approved unanimously.

H1 – Amendment to Burglar’s Tools section of city code

Reid suggests he wants to hold or table the proposal. Says wants to reduce negative interactions of law enforcement. He originally proposed abolishing the section of the code. Claims the revised version may be illegal — wants to confirm that it is OK to do that with an outside law firm.

Suffredin asks who’s going to pay for that. Says the city law department should be able to answer that question.

Braithwaite says he’s not in support of “this big idea.”

Reid says breaking into somebody’s house is pretty serious and he’s OK with having it charged as a felony by the state.

Reid moves to amend H1 to strike the burglar’s tool offense from the city code.

Revelle seconds that.

Kelley Gandurski, interim city manager, says can always arrest under the municipal code — but don’t have to — can send to an administrative hearing process instead.

So eliminating the ordinance creates fewer options for alternative adjudication.

Police Chief Richard Eddington, in response to question from Kelly, says police department prefers to have the option to decide when to seek a felony charge and when to have alternatives to arrest options.

Reid withdraws his motion.

Original version of H1 is approved 9-0.

H2 – Amending noise ordinance

Revelle says there’s a need for further amendments to deal with facilities that have outdoor patios. Proposes tabling to the first (and only) meeting in August.

Motion to table approved 9-0.

R1 – Ranked choice voting referendum

Burns says he hasn’t had a chance to discuss this at his ward meeting. Wants to hold until July 11.

Reid claims there are no studies that demonstrate that ranked choice voting increases voter turnout.

No motion to overturn the hold is made — so it goes to the July 11 agenda

Call of the wards

Kelly … 1st ward meeting Thursday virtual.

Braithwaite … announces July 11 will be his last public meeting. Says has met some incredible people along the way.

Wynne … office hours Thursday July 7 at Brothers K

Nieuwsma … Thanks Braithwaite for his years of service to the community. Says has apprehension about what will happen next. “Will be sorry to see you go.” Ward meeting July 5 7p at Crown.

Burns … ward meeting last Thursday of the month, virtual.

Revelle … says to Braithwaite, “My heart sank as I heard your announcement. Says ward meeting 7p Wedneday with presentation on ranked choice voting.

Reid … meeting Thursday at the virtual art park.

Geracaris … Thanks Braithwaite for his service to the city.

Biss … Whatever you want to say about this council, experience is not our forte and Braithwaite has been really really helpful for providing that background.

Council moves to go into executive session for personnel and other issues.

Meeting ends at 9:34 p.m.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you , Bill. Very informative record of the Council meeting and interactions. Much appreciated! I think we have very good governance. Lucky to have leaders who may differ but who really have the best interests of the community at heart, Thanks to them for serving also. Alderman Braithwaite will be missed, esp for his care and accessibility of the 2nd Ward. Thank you, from our daughter’s family who live in his ward.

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