Recap: Evanston City Council

Here's a recap of our live coverage of tonight's Evanston City Council meeting, in which it took a rare tie-breaking vote by the mayor to win approval for an economic development grant to a local business.

8:37 p.m.
Meeting called to order.
Presentation from Citizens' Greener Evanston postponed
2012 Preservation and Design Awards presented by the Evanston Preservation Commission.
Grant Farrar, corporation counsel, announces arrival of new assistant city attorney, Henry Ford Jr., who lives in the 9th Ward.
Deputy City Clerk reads the election calendar for next spring's municipal election.

  • Sept. 25 first day to circulation petitons.
  • Dec.17 first day to file petitions. Last day Dec. 24 at 5 p.m.
  • Early voting March 13 to April 4.

8:54 p.m.
Citizen Comment
Junad Rizki says aldermen should take a pay cut, not get a raise. Says as part-time employees mayor and council should not get medical benefits -- no other part-time employees get medical benefits from the city.
Mike Vasilko objects to lack of notice for recent focus group meetings about planning for arts developments in the city.
Rizki says city staff is obstructing requests from citizens for information under the freedom of information act.
Tina Paden, of 1122 Emerson, says city contractors not following rules for doing renovation and demolition work at 1509 Emerson St., next to a building her family owns at 1507 Emerson.
(The property was originally proposed for renovation, but now is scheduled for demolition -- but is now sitting open.)
"If this was my property, you'd be giving me code violations," she says.

The building at 1509 Emerson St.
9:20 p.m.
Consent agenda
Info packet for agenda items can be found online.
Items removed from the consent agenda ...
A8 - Only to be introduced, not adopted tonight ("Secondhand, junk and antique dealers")
P1 and P2 -- Chase bank branch ...off consent agenda.
O3 - off the consent agenda -- nNow We're Cookin' economic development grant
Consent agenda approved.
Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says the committee sent the Chase Bank proposal back to staff -- with encouragement to have the developer consider a revised proposal that would be limited to the gas station site.
O3 - $35K Economic Development Grant for Now We're Cookin'
Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, objects to the grant program, says it's not economically prudent. She says the city is starting to have a record of loaning money to businesses -- on Howard Street, and for the Chicken and Waffle's restaurant. Should provide that rather than grants.
Rainey, Fiske, Braithwaite and Wilson vote no. Mayor votes aye to break the tie.
Rainey asks city attorney for ruling. Attorney says the action requires a simple majority vote and the mayor can break the tie.
So, it's approved. The grant is designed to help the firm expand to become a full-scale food business incubator.
9:31 p.m.
Call of the Wards
Rainey ... food truck fest at Brummel Park on Thursday. Bring cash, she says, food trucks don't take credit cards.
Wilson ... Run for Walker this weekend at Ryan field.
Grover ... says can see yourself cross the finish line on the jumbotron at that event.
Holmes ... dialog on race Aug. 9 in parasol room at Civic Center.
Council votes to go into executive session.
Meeting ends
9:35 p.m.

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Comments

Mayor approves grant - shows her lack of fiscal leadship

The Mayor breaking the tie- on the issue of the grant, for a business shows her continue lack of fiscally responsible leadership.   
One good thing here at least some council members are starting to see the waste of our tax dollars.
Citizen should be appalled by this nonsense.

By the way - I also spoke against this item at the regular agenda.

Grant money giveaways to friends

I wonder who in the Let's Cookin is friends with Tisdahl?  It appears she likes giving grant money to friends- facade improvement for Hecky's?
It appears that the only way to get a business going in this town lately is to be friends with someone.   WE turn away hot dog stands and banks because people complain, but if you are friends with a council member or get money from the city it's clear sailing.
It's like a page out of Ayn Rand.