Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday night’s Evanston City Council meeting.
The meeting is now scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m., rather than its originally scheduled 6:30 p.m. start time, because the committee meetings preceding it ran long.
A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 7:57 p.m.
City Manager Luke Stowe thanks city staff for work on the 4th of July celebration.
All council members are present except Juan Geracaris (9th).
Mayor says nearly 30 speakers, so each gets 1:30.
Public comment ends at 8:33 p.m.
Off consent: A2, A12, P1 (didn’t emerge from committee), P2 (amended in committee), P3, P4 and HS1.
Rest of consent agenda approved 8-0.
A2 – BMO Harris/Amazon credit card activity
Approved 7-0-1. Suffredin abstains.
A12 – Allowing limited service of wine and craft cocktails at craft breweries
Reid makes a pitch for legalizing more controlled substances, says booze is the worst.
Approved for introduction 8-0.
P2 – Omnibus zoning code text amendment package
Amended in committee to set radius for transit-oriented development area to one-half mile radius around train stations (has been one-eighth to one-quarter mile radius).
Approved for introduction 8-0.
P3 – Plat of subdivision for Mt. Pisgah subdivision
Richard Koenig, executive director of HODC, says has been working to improve situation on 319 Dempster, will provide additional security there through Thanksgiving.
Kelly says need much more security — round the clock — not just one shift. Says the issue isn’t about affordable housing — but caring about residents’ safety.
Moves to table until Aug. 28 meeting. Fails for lack of a second.
Approved 6-2. Kelly and Suffredin vote no.
P4 – Sale of city-owned real property for HODC development
Kelly moves to table until Aug. 28 meeting. Fails for lack of a second.
Approved 6-2. Kelly and Suffredin vote no. (Meets the 2/3rds vote threshold required for adoption.)
HS1 – Cashless establishments prohibited
Reid proposes lowering fine from $1,000 to $100 for first offense (and from $1,500 to $150 for additional offenses). Amendment also would not require having to accept cash from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Would replace food store definition with a grocery story (so doesn’t apply unless sell personal care items as well.
Amendment fails for lack of a second.
Harris says on a visit to Colorado saw machine that took cash and gave credit card. Says she agrees with the intent, but thinks there can be other remedies to the problem. Has heard from a lot of 2nd Ward merchants objecting to it.
Kelly says have to address the discriminatory impact for those not banked — but this not the way to do it. Says cash to card opportunities are becoming much more prevalent. Says many ways to avoid inflicting harm on small businesses.
Reid says he hears those concerns. Says the solution alone is not just providing kiosks that the city pays for. Need solution immediately and that assures that have access across the board, whether or not they are willing to use debit cards.
Reid proposes tabling the measure to the first meeting in January 2024. Harris seconds.
Motion carries on 5-3 vote. Nieuwsma, Suffredin and Revelle vote on.
Call of the wards
Nieuwsma … ward meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Burns … Hill Arts virtual meeting Tuesday on parking congestion issues … info on city calendar
Reid … ward meeting Thursday, July 27, at 6 p.m. at Levy Center.
Council votes to into executive session personnel, collective bargaining, litigation and establishment of reserves or settlement of claims. Public meeting ends at 9:20 p.m.