Here’s a recap of our live coverage of Monday night’s Evanston City Council meeting.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
A packet with information on the agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 5:41 p.m.
Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) acting as mayor pro tem tonight.
Mayor Biss and Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) are absent.
City Manager Luke Stowe announces that Corporation Counsel Nick Cummings is taking a new job as corporation counsel for the Chicago Park District.
Cummings says he’s ever grateful for the opportunity to have the job here in Evanston.
Stowe says Deputy City Attorney Alex Ruggie will serve as interim corporation counsel pending a search for a permanent replacement.
Various speakers address pension funding and other issues.
Off consent: A2, A12, A17, A22, P1, FB1.
Consent agenda approved.
Items for consideration
A2 – CDM Smith contract $1.57M for PFAS treatment technique study
Darrell King, water plant manager, says study will give the city insight into which techniques will be effective in removing the PFAS chemicals from the water supply.
A12 – Gallagher contract for insurance broker services
Approved 7-0-1. (Nieuwsma abstains because his wife works for the firm.)
A17 – Task force on “baby bonds,” check-cashing at clerk’s office and child care programs
Ald. Devon Reid (8th) says task force will report back by Oct. 9.
A22 – Clesen truck ban
Tabled on motion of Reid until September.
P1 – Zoning ordinance omnibus text amendments
Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) says she favors making continuance mandatory rather than optional at Land Use Commission discretion — in other words, “shall” language would be retained, rather than switched to “may.”
Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) says community objectors now have the right to present their side of the story at the Planning and Development Committee, says there are adequate opportunities for public input.
Melissa Klotz, zoning administrator, in response to question from Nieuwsma, notes that the proposed expansion of the transit oriented development area would expand the area covered substantially — but it would not affect single family and two family homes. So, she says, very few properties would be impacted.
Ald. Tom Suffredin (6th) says he wants to hold the TOD change and the switch in the LUC continuance language.
Reid says doesn’t want to have objectors be able to hold up the process without a good cause. Says TOD change is important to make housing more affordable — says it has real-world practical impacts.
Kelly agrees with Wynne about continuances at LUC and with Suffredin about TOD.
Burns says wants to remove the TOD change — says Jackson and Emerson site would be impacted — says couldn’t vote for that today — wants to give neighbors time to react to that.
Suffredin moves to hold the LUC continuances and the TOD boundary change. Kelly seconds.
Reid supports TOD change — says many other communities are expanding TOD areas to encourage affordable housing.
Moves to restore the TOD provisions but fails to get a second.
Nieuwsma says he will support the TOD provision after review.
Suffredin changes his motion to holding the full ordinance. Kelly seconds that.
Reid moves to override the hold. Nieuwsma seconds that.
Override motion carries on a 6-2 vote.
Reid moves to remove the LUC process change from the omnibus package.
Fails for a lack of second.
Kelly moves to remove the LUC process change (section 13,14,15) and the TOD change (in section 12).
Approved 7-1. (Reid votes no.)
As amended, the package is approved 7-1 with Suffredin voting no.
FB1 – Pension funding policy
Reid says he wants to convert if from a resolution to an ordinance.
Motion fails for lack of a second.
Cummings says City Council could amend an ordinance whenever it wants to.
Nieuwsma says the resolution sends a signal that the council is serious about solving the public safety pension funding issue.
Call of wards
Harris … ward meeting Aug 13.
Nieuwsma … Aug. 1 at Crown ward meeting
Reid … Aug 1 ward meeting at Levy Center.
Geracaris … Aug 1 … “rat walk” in neighborhood. Hybrid ward meetin on Aug 10 at 6 p.m.
Council votes to go into executive session to discuss personnel, purchase of real property, litigation, settlement of claims and other matters.
Public meeting ends at 7:08 p.m.