Berwyn's Arts Blog
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Recap of May 24, 2005 Meeting
Where to begin. I will simply follow the agenda.

The City Sealer, the person who weighed things, is no longer. Position eliminated. State will do it for free.

The administrative committee will look into hours of operation of City Hall. Seems other places have longer and more convenient hours.

All the appointments to Committees were made official. See previous post of my committees.

Parking & Traffic and Library committees are no more. Parking is now part of a new committee named ordinances and something or other. Nona will be the Library liason.

The Fire and Police Committee, mine, will be studying cost effectiveness of our outsourced paramedics. Anyone care to tell me how to begin?

Teacher parking for the new shool at Ridgeland/31st was approved to use some of the police building parking.

Gerry O'Connor was re-appointed to the building department: blight inspector.

The matter concerning 2nd floor additions was deferred to the Building committee then to the ordinance committee. See calendar for when we meet. I would love to have an architect show up at the meeting.

Community Relations is being expanded to 11 members, from 5. Any 3rd Ward resident interested email me immediately: If you speak spanish, that would be great, but all should contact me.

As reported earlier, it is now official: you do not have to show proof of insurance to obtain a City vehicle sticker.

An Iraqi veteran also was allowed to have his building permit fee of $90.00 waived by the City. He will not have to pay the fee.

Dollars for Scholars was dropped by the previous administration, but has been resurrected by our City Clerk, Tom Pavlik. MacNeal apparently gives away money to students.

Two houses were up for zoning variances. One got a variance and the other did not.

The biggest reaction of the night, besides Appleby's, was my communication to end free gas for city employees. Was referred to budget(one of my committees).

Then, various other inane communications. Some alleys will be improved this summer.

We received money from Cook County and IDOT for keeping up their roads within our City; approximately $95,000.00.

The building at 6936 Windsor is getting TIF funds to redo its facade.

Appleby's now has 120 days to be diligent to see if it can make the Old Bank building at Superblock into one of its restaurants. The flat lands of the Superblock would be for parking for the Applebys. I recused myself from voting on this matter because my partner is best friends with the representative from Appleby's. I do not want to be accused of any conflict of interest problems.

Finally, Olive or Twist is getting TIF monies, $10,000.00, for a Martini Patio(beer garden).

OOh! I'm crossing my fingers for an Applebees!!!
Applebee's will not attract people from outside of Berwyn. They can just go to the Denny's or other generic diner in their own towns if they care to go to a bland corporate diner at all. We should invite businesses like Trader Joe's grocery store. But it's probably too late for a Trader Joe's because Oak Park, unlike Berwyn, has vision and beat us to it. I hear a Trader Joe's will soon be opening there.

Mark, can you explain how TIF $ works? How does a beer garden help the community?
Mark - you wrote: "The Fire and Police Committee, mine, will be studying cost effectiveness of our outsourced paramedics. Anyone care to tell me how to begin?". This is a bit late, but it seems to me that you will need to establish a baseline of imformation from which to work. I don't know how much recordkeeping has been done in the past, but here are some of the issues you'll need to establish:
(1)An approximation of the number of calls answered annually, broken down by month if possible (because there are probably seasonal variations. (2)The annual trend; i.e., is are the annual number of calls increasing, constant, decreasing, etc.?, (3)The total annual cost of the services, so as to be able to establish an average cost per call incident? (4) By comparison, what are other local communities budgeting for their paramedic services on a "per incident" basis, and how do we compare?(5)Catagorization of the types of calls received to estimate, if possible, the percentage of annual calls that may be non-life threatening in nature. For example, some calls may be requests to take patients for follow-up doctor visits, and there may be alternative and cheaper methods to handle these cases. (6) Berwyn patient approval ratings ( may need to poll patients, family members, caregivers to gain some basis of understanding)of the current services (e.g., are there providers that charge more than others, and provide inferior or less services?).
Nothing terribly original here, but hope it is of some help.
I share "sourpuss's" question relative to how TIF $ works. Is there a brief explanation available anywhere?

I do support the Applebee initiative. They are a major franchise - a clear breakaway from mom & pop beauty parlors and geasy spoon "beaneries". Further, while Applebees may not be considered haute cuisine, their restaurants do appeal to virtually all dining tastes, and their name recognition makes them a "safe" choice for out-of towners". Finally, while it would be terrific to be able to attract businesses such as Trader Joe's, Berwyn clearly has to "walk before it can run". I doubt seriously that LaGrange attracted its headliner stores during its early stages of resurrection. Applebees will make a significant statement to residents and visitors that Berwyn is changing and "open for business". We intend to support it, as we do other quality businesses in our community!
Dollars for Scholars dropped by the old administration? Ummm...No, I think that information is wrong. Woodward initiated that during his campaign, so I guess since he lost that makes it dropped by the old admin. Interesting spin there Doctor.
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