Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council and Town Board meetings.
The meeting is scheduled to get underway at 8:45 p.m.
A packet with information on tonight's agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 8:47 p.m.
Mayor reads proclamation marking the 150th anniversary of St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church.
Town Clerk Rodney Greene calls the town meeting to order.
Mayor Tisdahl and Alderman Tendam are nominated to be moderator.
Tisdahl wins vote 30 to 18.
Financial report … clerk says town is in the black.
Township Supervisor Wally Bobkiewicz introduces Health Director Evonda Thomas Smith to report on expansion of general assistance program and were invited to enroll in health program through Erie Family Health.
Bobkiewicz notes that the County Clerk today certified the results of the township dissolution referendum last month. Says final results show 5,065 people voted for dissolution and 2,889 voted agianst. So the referendum was approved by 63.68 percent of the voters.
He says the township will be dissolved as a result of the vote and a meeting to wrap up the township's business will be held on April 28.
Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson presents wrapup report on her service as assessor.
Mayor praises Wilson … says she did an excellent job under difficult circumstances.
Aldermen including Burrus, Tendam and Holmes praise Wilson as well.
Kevin Johnson … complains that general assistance clients now have to confirm that they're looking for work every month instead of just every six months.
Betty Ester … claims she was elected supervisor of Evanston Township at a special town meeting March 21.
Madelyne Ducre … thanks Bonnie Wilson and the staff of the general assistance office. Says wants to have "irregularities" in township phaseout investigated by the state attorney general's office.
Mitzi Gibbs … deputy assessor working for Bonnie Wilson … opposed to idea of transferring all the responsibilities of the assessor's office to County Commissioner Larry Suffredin's office.
(Alderman Rainey says it's only her who's opposed to continuing the township assessor's function — not the rest of the council.)
Citizen comment ends.
Town meeting adjourned at 9:41 p.m.
City Council meeting called to order
(Aldermen Braithwaite, Wynne and Grover are absent tonight.)
Mayor Tisdahl says think can we argue about how to care better for dogs without demeaning each other. Praises service she got from CARE when adopted a dog.
Library Director Karen Lyons reports on National Library Week … and increase in library visits.
… on revenue bonds for chiaravalle Montessori School.
City Council meeting reconvenes
30 people signed up … 45 minutes … so each speaker gets at most 90 seconds.
Gail Lovinger Goldblatt, CARE board member, says clear city and CARE disagree about the kind of shelter operation they want.
(Most comments by other speakers relate to CARE and repeat the same themes from Monday night's meeting and other recent sessions.)
Alisa Kaplan, leader of the dissident group of CARE volunteers, says before the city intervened CARE had one of the highest euthanasia rates of shelters in the area. Says CARE leadership fought efforts to reduce the euthanasia rate.
Says understands that there are truly dangerous dogs that shouldn't be placed in homes. But many of the dogs CARE slated for euthansia have gone on to have happy lives in private homes.
Says has confidence city officials can come up with a good solution. Says community can count on city's commitment to make the shelter the best.
Consent agenda (at 10:36 p.m.)
We'll note items taken off the consent agenda.
- A 10 – amending class P-1 liquor license … is off consent (was not addressed in committee … beingh held there)
- A 15 – Liquor licens for Sketchbook Brewing is also off consent (it, too, was not addressed in committee … being held there.).
- P 4 and P 5 … 1515 Chicago Ave. extended stay hotel … off consent agenda.
- H 2 – Evanston Animal Care and Control Operations … off consent agenda.
- O2 – Autobarn sales tax sharing agreement …off consent.
Consent agenda approved.
Starbucks … final approval OK'd.
1515 Chicago … with the elm tree saved. Defeated 4-2. Fiske and Wilson vote for it.
1515 Chicago … permitting removal of the elm tree. Approved 5-1 Fiske votes no.
Holmes moves approval of first paragraph … approving the animal control policy, etc.
Second part … Holmes says CARE has not given clear answer about whether it wants to negotiate with the city. Says committee has spent hours and tried really hard … so moves to terminate the relationship with CARE.
Alderman Rainey says thinks the city is going to be in serious trouble if it stops all contact with CARE. Says the board and volunteers are one and the same. Guarantees that if disassociate from CARE the animals at the shelter wil lbe in trouble.
Compares to situation in which Evanston had wonderful tenant organization … a couple of dissatisfied members of the group destroyed the reputation of the organization.
Says this is going to be an animal control facility where we'll distribute racoon cages and pick up dangerous animals.
Also doesn't want city grabbing money that was raised for the protection of animals.
Says city will be left holding the bag.
Council approves the animal control policy on voice vote.
Fiske says the committee Monday night voted to drop CARE …because the group has declined to negotiate. Says its time to take a vote.
Tendam … if there's an RFP … anybody can apply.
Wilson…really unfortunate thing is that it's become a two-sided thing … become unbearably divisive.
Thinks legitimate and significant concerns were raised and wasn't sufficient responsieness to those by CARE.
Says hopes volunteers will regroup and get this thing back on track.
Euthanasia rates and extrordinary amount of money are issues.
Says the dedication and time spent by volunteers is phenomenal.
Burrus says its a little alarming that don't have another prospect for taking over the shelter. Says operation on the city side has been sorely lacking. City needs to step up and say we had a lot to do with what went wrong here.
Need to be partners with any new group, she says.
But says CARE board has been non-responsive.
City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says it's ultimately his responsibility. Says until Rainey and Fiske had the opporutnity to rescue a dog the issue wasn't on the radar screen. At that point asked police chief to look into … and animal warden has done a remarkable job.
Says still will need to grapple with getting a better facility and other issues.
Holmes agrees with Burrus that are problems on all sides …but says lack of respponsiveness by CARE has led to the problems now.
Motion to end relationship with CARE and seek RFP for new volunteer animal organization is approved on 4-2 vote with Rainey and Burrus voting no.
Aubobarn sales tax sharing agreement. Postponed until April 28 meeting …Rainey says …to resolve some neighobrhood issues
Call of the wards
Tendam … 6th Ward meeting April 24 at 7p.m. at Three Crowns. Wants city manager to talk to CARE about getting some of the money contributed for animal shelter expansion.
Bobkiewicz suggests putting the funding issue on the agenda for a future meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 11:19 p.m.