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

The meeting is scheduled to start about 7:45 p.m.

A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.

Meeting called to order at 7:39 p.m.

Aldermen Grover and Tendam aren’t here tonight.

Mayor says Grover’s son is on the ETHS baseball team that’s in the state playoffs. Alderman Wilson says Evanston is trailing 3-2 …but closing the gap…score had been 3-0l.

Mayor says Tendam is absent because of his father’s death.

Plans for Bike to Work Week announced.

Citizen comment

Junad Rizki says there’s too much information in the financial policies document that’s supposed to be adopted tonight for anybody to digest in the time available.

Says proposed increases in reserves amount to a slush fund for city staff. Says will require increase in taxes to fund.

Lon Porter, 2100 Greenwood, says traffic from soccer center is really a problem for his building.

Says cars are unloading kids in the intersection. Says came as total surprise. No one talked to me about it, he says.

Suggests using the Dominicks parking lot or the Temperance Brewing building.

Says kids could have monitors to help them cross Dempster.

Says 600 kids are being dropped off twice a week. It’s not a safe situation, and takes away from the value of his building.

Several other people say they’re also concerned about the pickup and dropoffs at the soccer facility.

Discussion of Long Term Financial Policies

Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says existing policies were adopted before 2008 — so don’t reflect current economic conditions.

Says will be plenty of time to discuss the proposals — envisions changes being adopted this fall during budget approval process.

Lyons argues for financing more capital improvements on a “pay as you go” basis.

Rainey objects — saying it can hurt residents.

Lyons says since have to replace mains every year save significantly by not having to make interest payments.

Burrus says she’s going to say absolutely the opposite of Rainey — says important to go with pay-as-you go. Have been putting off for years. Need to think seriously about the debt problem.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the other way can get to it is to stop doing things — so can free up some cash to further more important council goals.

Says there are some things that are not top priorities and may need to be cut — though probably in small doses to start.

Mayor says we’re leaving our children with huge amounts of debt and pay-as-you-go is the way to go.

Intergovernmental Personnel Benefit Cooperative

Lyons says joined the group about three years ago. Says it has resulted in substantial savings.

Says will have close to a $4 million reserve on the $13 million health progrram this year — up from no reserve when started.

Is recommending taking back $1 million from the pool.

Says wellness program has helped save substantial money and will result in a “payment holiday” for employees in December.

Consent agenda

We’ll note any items taking off the consent agenda. They are:

  • Sale of beer at Shell gas station on Oakton
  • Liquor license for DMK Burger Bar
  • Local Employment Program amendments
  • 910 Hinman (withdrawn by applicant)

Consent aganda approved.

Shell gas station beer sales

Fiske says she’s philosophically opposed to permitting sale of liquor at gas stations. Rainey says it’s not unlike selling beer at grocery stores.

Approved 6-1. Fiske votes no.

DMK Burger Bar

Holmes reports it was held in committee, pending meeting of Holmes and Fiske with bar owners. Hope to have it back on council agenda for June 23 meeting.

Local Employment Program

Wilson says should refer it back to MWEBE committee in light of the recommendations that developed in meeting of Lyons with contractors for more positive approach to the issue. Alderman vote unanimously to do that.

Call of the wards

Rainey … meeting at Levy Center re James Park last week … three residents and 10 staff members showed up. Seems all is fine.

Burrus …. 9th Ward meeting at 7p at Levy Center on June 19.

Fiske … condolences to Tendam on death of his father.

Braithwaite …. June 12, rather than ward meeting, will have special meeting for Spanish-speaking neighbors in the ward. Says will have meeting at 7p June 19 at Hill Center re soccer center. Says lot of people didn’t seem to learn about it. Says problem was mainly during the first week when outdoor fields weren’t open. Says in future indoor use will be staggered.

Wilson … unfortunately ETHS baseball team didn’t advance to the final four tonight. But did well … and looking forward to next season

Public meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m. Council goes into executive session.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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