Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.
There’s no Planning and Development Committee meeting tonight, so the full City Council meeting is scheduled to begin after the Administration and Public Works Committee meeting — but no earlier than 7 p.m.
A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 7:25 p.m.
Mayor Tisdahl is absent tonight. Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, is chairing the meeting.
Plans for the 4th of July celebration are announced.
Award from Government Finance Officers Association for the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report announced. (140 other municipalities in Illinois get the award, says Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons.)
Because July 4 is on a Friday this year, not much change in garbage collection schedule for the holiday — but condo collections normally on Friday will happen on Saturday.
Recycling Fair (and “Touch-a-Truck” event) coming up July 12 at ETHS starting at 8 a.m.
Margaret Tarr, 907 Sherman, opposes sale of beer at gas stations.
Junad Rizki repeats concerns about the water fund.
Ann Mallow, 2215 Hartzell, says city should go after CARE for animal shelter expansion funds.
Several other speakers on animal shelter issue — most opposed to CARE’s position, one in favor.
Two people living across Sherman Avenue from Revolution Spin complain about noise from the business.
Special order of business … CARE update
(City manager reads from his memo in the packet.)
Says city attorney thinks don’t have substantial chance of success if city sues CARE for the funds. Says asking state attorney general to pursue the matter looks like the best option.
Says shelter now is operating very well — and that’s the biggest issue.
Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, moves to pursue the attorney general option. Says of course he’d prefer to have the money for the shelter. But says people have pointed out that fundraising CARE did was not exclusively for the building fund. Each person has an individual reason for doing so. If 1,000 donors, may have 1,000 different reasons.
CARE never took money from the city — should leave it to the attorney general to handle the investigation, Wilson says.
Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says doesn’t disagree with Wilson, but says volunteers who’ve been involved actively with the fundraising recall that the fundraising was done for the shelter expansion. Wants to know what money was raised after 2007.
Grant Farrar says the attorney general’s charitable trust division has opened an investigation and it wouldn’t be wise for the city to get involved at possible cross purposes on that.
Fiske says she’s concerned that if this isn’t resolved it may harm fundraising for the shelter in the future.
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says she doesn’t want to call it a “witch hunt” but seems to be getting close to that. Should just drop it she says. Says agreement dissolved and it was everybody’s fault that it dissolved. Has no doubt that any money CARE raised will be used to help animals.
Council votes to go with the attorney general option.
Off the consent agenda:
- Sherman parking garage fencing
- DMK Burger & Fish liquor license
- Beer sales at gas stations
- FEW Spirits expansion loan
- Great Merchants Grant Program (off consent at Fiske’s request because her business is on Noyes, one of business districts receiving funds from the program).
Consent agenda approved.
Sherman garage fencing
No vote here because proposal failed 4-1 in committee.
DMK Burger and Fish
Fiske proposes amendment to expand the restrictions to try to block future liquor licenses for other carryout restaurants.
After substantial discussion, aldermen decide to drop that idea and vote on the original motion.
Approved on roll call vote 8-0. (Holmes, as chair, doesn’t vote.)
Beer sales at gas stations
Fiske says she’s opposed philosophically.
Rainey says city recently approvedgas station at Food4Less — which sells beer, wine and liquor.
Rainey says she’s never walked to a restaurant or grocery store or any other place where she’s bought liquor — always driven. Doesn’t understand why the gas station in this situation — which has a 3,500 square foot convenience store — should be any different.
Doesn’t understand what’s the difference.
Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, says she agrees with Rainey. You drive to buy alcohol. Using a car to purchase beer is not unusual at all.
Wilson says he considers it an experiment. Will be watching closely to see if it works well.
Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, says back in Ohio where he visited again recently, they have drive through liquor stores. Doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Great Merchants Grant Program
Fiske says she’s recusing herself from the vote because she’s in the business district … grant is for banners and planters.
Few Spirits loan agreement
Approved 6-2. Fiske and Wilson vote no.
Adjourned at 8:58 p.m.