Berwyn's Arts Blog
Friday, July 29, 2005
City Council Meeting July 26, 2005
We had discussed extensively at the COW meeeting right before City Council about the nail salon moratorium. The first thing on the agenda was to allow a new nail salon on Ogden Avenue. That was voted down.
Diagonal parking and the cutting down of trees was deferred at a condo conversion building at 6701 West 21st. I am confident the units will sell regardless. This was a big deal only because the owner of the building is a close friend of the Mayor. Unfortunately for the owner, who I feel for, he was damned under the previous administration, and now, damned under this one. Of course, for two totally different reasons.
Waste Management, per contract, will be raising its garbage collecting rates 2% as of August 1, 2005.
The Mayor is seeking an increase of allowable pool tables and video machines at establishments. This was referred to COW. At this point, I am against more video machines.
The depot garage is moving forward. The parking consultants have submitted a contract, etc.
16th Street will be completely re done thanks to a 1.1 million dollar grant.
Police promotions in the future will be handled by an outside, independent firm. The politics will be taken out of the promotion process. Should be a great thing.
A new senior advocate was named, Frank Paduch, Jr., who is being paid for with CDGB monies, not by the City.
A new childcare center will be opening at 7115 Roosevelt. A variance was needed and the Zoning Bd of Appeals approved a variance. Of course, city council had to approve and did.
In the 3rd Ward, yeah, street sweeping signs will be added to Grove between the tracks and 32nd.
Three stop signs will be put up: 28th St. at Home; 32nd St. at Maple and 27th St. at Euclid.
Also, someone had come to me to build an oversize garage to house 3 vehicles, rather than the one car garage that is present. I had told the family to obtain permission from the neighbors, which was done. The council approved this variance on a vote of 4 to 3.
Karbon Park, located behind Anderson Ford, which is an unofficial dog park, will be getting some trash cans for the dog waste. Also, plastic bags will be available. Very animated(no pun intended) conversation on this one. So, it appears I do not have to seek an official dog park. Karbon Park is apparently, now, the unofficial dog park. 2nd Ward location by the way. Kudos to Alderman Jim Santiago Ramos for his bravery in wanting to move forward with this.
The 8th Ward Alderman put out items on health insurance for employees , an occupancy affidavit request and other items intended to help overcrowding. While I am against overcrowding, time will tell how the Alderman's items will be received.
Estimates are also being obtained concerning putting up netting at baseball alley.
Miscellaneous ordinances, three of them, were tweaked a shade.
The biggest item on the agenda, a hiring freeze, passed unanimously-one of the few votes that was unanimous. Although I have grave reservations about the freeze(I have no idea what will happen if, let us say, ten employees were to die tonight-are we allowed to replace them?). I would have liked to have had this item deferred for one meeting so we could get answers. The budget Chairperson, Nona Chapman, had sought the freeze. Needless to say, the Mayor was none too happy. I feel wholeheartedly we will get through the financial problems and move positively forward.
A police mission statement was approved. This is a statement that was worked on by the police and will be hung at the police station. It is very symbolic of the positive change hoping to take place throughout the entire City.
We also received a $500,000.00 grant in the fire department. The money will be used to pay off a loan that was taken for a new fire truck.
A timer will be purchased for City Hall for the heating and cooling. Apparently, the temperature was always the same at City Hall. Now, at night, after meetings, we can conserve some energy.
Finally, due to the financial circumstances of the City, the council approved a 3 million dollar line of credit. I am not happy we had to do this, but we did.

Stay posted. As I stated in my previous post, this was a very lively meeting. Everyone's personality shone through for the first time. A lot of bickering, political fighting and frankly, a little less than professional banter took place. Having said that, everyone remainied fairly calm and the public should know that the Alderpeople have voices and will use them.

Stay tuned. Same Bat channel. Same Bat time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
City Council/National Night Out
This city has issues of growing concern in parts of the North side that need to be taken care of, and the best way to get the ball rolling is by joining together as residents, and neighbors. No matter what part of town you live in, we all have issues we are wanting to deal with. On Tuesday, August 2nd, residents from throughout Berwyn are asked to join other communities all over the country in the "22nd Annual National Night Out". For more info about National Night Out, check it out on the web at: From 7:00 - 10:00pm on August 2nd, residents throughout Berwyn are asked to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend an evening outside with neighbors and police. The Cook County Sheriffs Department, with their mobile units, will be located at the Recreation Center at 31st Street and East Ave. Let's all get together with friends and neighbors to make it a night out of discussing issues we might have in our neighborhoods and finding out what other neighborhoods might have issues with as well. Thank you berwyn informer for the above.

I will give a detailed account of Tuesday's July 26, 2005 City Council meeting probably in the next 48 to 72 hours. Besides being a full two hour meeting, on top of the one hour Committee of the Whole meeting, everyone in attendance truly were able to learn everyone's personalities because all the Alderpeople came out of the closet(in a matter of speaking; there's nothing wrong with that).

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2005
Committee of the Whole, July 19, 2005
I again thank Pat R. for the re-cap. I left town July 20, 2005 early in the morning.

Plans for an Aug.15th City wide meeting is being planned for all the residents. Not sure of location yet, could be the police station, rec or VFW hall. Some of the discussion will be on Neighborhood Watch program and how the city is doing under our new administration. This is positive news.
Another Nail Salon wanted to open on Ogden Ave. No one is sure about the location. This discussion was about retail verses service operations in the DD. I agree with Alderman Chapman that we need more service and shopping stores in this area.
The Mural for the back of the Cermak shopping area was briefly discussed. The plans were given to the Aldermen to look over. I am all for it.
Represenatives from Aflec Insurance Company explained their proposal for a supplemental insurance that would be available to any city employee if that employee chooses to participate. This would entail only a very small cost to the city.
The need for additional video games and pool tables in our local establishments was also discussed. Extra revenue would be gained. Space and location within the establishment could be an issue.
Aldermen Braccato is concerned about the cost of Family and individual pool passes for the less fortunate residents of Berwyn, although it was brought up that Berwyn is the most reasonable in the area.
Finally, the variance for the 6 unit condo will be put on the city council floor next week for a vote, and the approval to install diagonal parking in front of 21st and Wesley.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Out of Town
If anyone cares, I will be out of town from Wednesday, July 20th to Sunday, July 24th, 2005. I assuredly will be at the City Council meeting on July 26, 2005.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005
City Council Meeting July 12, 2005
Again, as you read this, if you want to be notified when this (we)blog has been updated, feel free to send me your email address: MarkWeiner1@Hotmail.Com

There were 44 items on the agenda. I will do my normal editing and attempt to write about the interesting matters.

I have now filled my quota on appointing people to the Citizens Advisory Commitee. Go 3rd Ward! Go Berwyn!

Tom Martirano had retired. Instead of replacing him, we will have the next two people be in charge: one of streets and one of water.

My wish to have byob in places that do not have liquor licenses was shot down by the liquor commissioner. I am not done yet. I just need to do some research.

The mayor has asked to increase the amount of amusement devices in places. As it exists, any one place can have five video machines and one pool table. This would be increased, and also at an increased rate pf monies for the license. I have mixed feelings on this. Not in love with the video machine aspect.
As previously announced, I believe, from a COW meeting, the project of 42 condos at East/Roosevelt enters its next stage.
Nora Laureto, the person that ran in the 8th Ward, has been appointed to the Zoning Board of appeals.
The Mayor is interested, as am I, in prosecuting our own DUI cases.
The moratorium on nail salon businesses still exists, but the moratorium has been sent back to study to see if it should be stopped. When it went into affect, there were 55 nail salons. Now, there are 45 in Berwyn. Natural selection?
An owner at 3523 Wesley wanted to build a two flat. The Zoning Board of Appeals did not want that and the Alderpeople agreed.
Jerry Marzullo's grievance was turned down by my Committee at a previous hearing. He wants to be re-instated as a firefighter. He will next have the union take his matter to an Arbitrator for a hearing. I actually heard a couple of very quiet hand claps after this was read.
Alderman Erickson also wants the Berwyn parking problem figured out. Go figure, because at the last meeting, he voted against my wanting to figure out the parking problem.
Alderman Phelan presented two different proposals at two different properties: one was to put in some diagonal parking places in the parkway for a condo conversion. The other, was to build a six flat on a vacant piece of property. Both were referred to the Committee of the Whole. Read the bulletin board, for further details on this one.
Alderman Brocato wants the less fortunate to be able to get into Berwyn pools for free. Love to figure out who is less fortunate. This was referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Finally, a house and garage at 3807 Maple will be demolished for I believe a new house and garage. A teardown in Berwyn?

Monday, July 11, 2005
City Council Meeting's Agenda, July 12, 2005

Hope to see you there. Above is the agenda for the July 12, 2005 City Council Meeting.

Friday, July 08, 2005
Committee of the Whole, July 7, 2005
Anyone seeking to be appointed to the 708 Mental Health Board of the the Library, please get a letter and/or resume to the Mayor.

Two projects are going forward. First, the parking garage in the Depot District will happen. Knock on wood. Everyone is in agreement for a five story structure, to look good, with retail on the first floor.

Additionally, the green light has been given for a condominium building located at Roosevelt and East, southeast corner, for 42 units.

Next Committee of the Whole meeting will be on July 12, 2005, at 7 pm, followed by City Council meeting at 8 pm.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Committee of the Whole
With this post, hopefully, everyone has been contacted via email. I put in approximately 175 email addresses. Hope you appreciate that. If you are here by chance and not because you were notified, and would like to be notified, please send me your email address:

We met Tuesday, July 5, 2005 at 6:30 pm. We discussed the potential mural to be painted on the south side of the Walgreen's at Cermak Plaza. I am all for beauty, as many of you know, and gladly support this project.

Everyone's trash bills will be going up as of August 1, 2005. That is per our contract with Waste Management. 2% is supposed to be the raise.

We also discussed the open forum changes and procedures that will be taking place at regular City Council meetings. We are ironing out the details. Bottom line, as I wanted, people will be able to talk about anything at the meeting, whether it is on the agenda, or not.

Finally, before we went into closed session, we discussed the infamous occupancy affidavit, or certificate of compliance. We are leaning toward the certificate of compliance, which would notify the new homeowner as to how many people are legally entitled to live at a residence. The question that needs to be answered now is when and how can this notice be given.

Next Committee of the Whole will be Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 7 pm. We will be discussing the Depot garage.

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