Berwyn's Arts Blog
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Bank Building Tour
There is an open Committee of the Whole meeting at 6 pm, Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at the Bank Building at Cermak and Oak Park. If you have always wanted to see the inside, I strongly urge you to go-do not be late.
Everyone will have to sign a Release, and give up your first born. Well, sign a Release.
See what all the fuss is about.
Monday, June 26, 2006
BewynCARES meeting Monday 7:30 at the Library
I urge anyone interested in education to attend the CARES meeting tonight, Monday, June 26, 2006, at 7:30 pm at the library. Unfortunately, I can not attend since I will be at a closed Committee of the Whole Meeting at City Hall.
Those people that are interested in running for the Morton High School Board should defnitely attend.
Citizens Aligned to Renew the Educational System
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Thanks to everyone that attended. The picnic was well-attended and everyone had a great time.
The weather was perfect, the residents on their best behavior, and the volunteers were spectacular. Thank you very, very, very much to everyone that helped make this event such a success.
Many people who had never met before, did meet fellow 3rd Ward residents. Many questions were answered. Many City employees were in attendance. The Fire and Police were well-represented and the hit of the picnic, and of the City, is the Police segways-great pr tools, but more importantly, will help the citizens of Berwyn.
Again, thanks for all that attended. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I certainly did.
Have a safe and healthy 4th! Many of us will enjoy a four-day retreat from work.
You know where to find me. Mark
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
201Morton High School Board
There are five seats up for election in the April, 2007 election. Many of you know that furthering Berwyn's educational future in a positive way is key for the City.
Two of my friends, very capable and outstanding people, have decided to throw their hats in the ring to become High School Board members. Three other people are needed so there is a cohesive slate.
They seek three other people to run to become Morton High School Board members. Consequently, if you are interested in becoming a Board member, please contact me to get the ball rolling. It is very important for the future of Berwyn.
Monday, June 19, 2006
City Council Meeting, June 13, 2006
Cermak Road will be getting a landscaped median improvement design.
A parking and traffic report will be done by T.Y. Lin International to create more responsive parking arrangements, increase pedestrian safety and improve traffic flow.
Our City received a $100,000.00 grant from the RTA to be used to hire a consultant that will work with the BDC in preparing a Transit-Oriented Development study for the entire BNSF corridor in the City.
Mike and Sons, located at 6333 W. Ogden is receiving up to $19,500.00 in TIF funds to be utilized to pay for engineering and architecture costs associated with a redevelopment project that would allow this entity to make significant improvements to their parking lot and business.
An ordinance will be created that allows rebates of municipal taxes to all other taxing bodies within the City.
The hiring of one lateral police officer was approved. This puts an officer on the street in one month, as opposed to six months for a new police officer. A signing bonus of $2,000.00 will go to the selected officer.
There is now in place an intergovernmental agreement with the North Berwyn Park District basically letting the Park District manage Kriz Park.
The Council agreed with a legal opinion that a house that was being built on a 25 foot lot, located at 1325 Home, should not be allowed to be built.
A 3rd Ward Resident, Dave Miklos, who sits on the West Suburban Mass Transit Board, has secured grants totaling $1,357,000.00, to be disbursed as follows: $122,000.00 to complete the wrought iron fencing from Oak Park Ave. to Harlem; $800,000.00 for a complete platform improvement of the Lavergne Station; $435,000.00 to pay for all the costs incurred for the engineering and design plans for the Depot District Parking Garage. Additionally, thanks to Dave, the Harlem Avenue train station will be built much quicker than it was going to be.
There was a vote to refer and defer a decision from the Zoning Board of Appeals concerning the garage to be built at MacNeal. Since our meeting, MacNeal met with the residents and has scaled back the garage, seemingly making the residents happy.
There is now one block in all of Berwyn, the 1200 block of Wesley, that is resident only parking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sevilla's Tapas Restaurant is getting a loading zone for its valet parking. If you have not been there, please go. It is a great restaurant located on Cermak, just east of the Post Office, 6543 Cermak.
It is official, unless the Mayor vetoes the 5-3 approval vote, for a house to be built on a 25 lot located at 1523 Clarence. I voted against a house being built on this 25 foot lot, along with the 2nd and 4th Ward Alderpersons.
The City is attempting to put in a computerized, magnetic swipe time-keeping system, but it has not yet been voted on. It appears many of the Alderpeople are against bringing Berwyn's time-keeping system into the 21st Century. Right now, all time is kept by hand for over 500 employees.
The Building Director has proposed providing incentives to ease overcrowding and parking by giving a homeowner two incentives to deconvert their legal nonconforming residence: first, waive the deconversion permit fee and charges for inspections and second, waiving the transfer tax upon eventual sale of the property. Great idea. Simple. Let us see what happens.
The Building Director also has proposed incentives for Condo conversions: first, by again waiving the conversion permit fee and charges for inspections, and second, returning the transfer tax amount paid by the apartment building seller to the investor upon completion of the conversion. Great idea. Simple. Let us see what happens.
The Building Director also would like to add another new compliance inspector. Hopefully, the Alderpeople will go along when a vote comes up.
There has been a demolition moratorium for several years and if anyone wants to demolish, that person needs to seek approval from City Council. An ordinance is going to be drafted to this effect.
Aproval has been given to get bids for replacing the City Hall roof; tuckpointing City Hall, etc., and to seal coat and strip both City Hall parking lots.
For some reason, the plan to modify how City Hall is set up was referred to the Committee of the Whole for further discussion. The Building Director is attempting to reconfigure City Hall so people going to the Building Department do not have to start downstairs, go upstairs, and then finish downstairs.
The Finance Director will be seeking proposals from qualified firms for providing financial advisory services concerning the restructuring of City debt(bonds), to save the City(you/me/us) money.
The Public Works Department is going to be seeking bids to repair and replace the brick pavers on Ogden Avenue.
Public Works is also looking at a relatively new coating that could be applied to the streets to make them last longer. One block was tested with the coating, the 2300 block of Euclid.
That is about it.
Reminder, that the 2nd Annual 3rd Ward Picnic is being held this Saturday, June 24, 2006, at Proksa Park, the south end, from noon to three pm. Come and meet your neighbors of the 3rd Ward.
Also, on Saturday, at Cermak Plaza, is Cartopia, which is "art" cars being displayed.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
City Council Meeting, May 23, 2006
This was a short meeting. A new ordinance has been passed wherein if you apply for a handicap parking sign, and you receive it, your vehicle will be the only handicap vehicle allowed to park there. There have been complaints where a neighbor will park in another neighbor's handicap spot, wherein the person that applied for the spot, and received it, and has paid money for the application, is not allowed to park in that spot.
The Mayor sent to my Police and Fire Committee a communication to looking into the procedures of how Berwyn tows vehicles.
A variance was allowed for the owner of a 25 lot to build a house at 1523 Clarence. I voted against this, but it passed 5-3. This means that the owner can build a house on this 25 foor lot.
A new motor vehicle noise statute passed. Now, when a vehicle gets stopped for producing too much noise from its stereo, the vehicle will be immediately impounded and a $500.00 fee will have to be paid by the owner to get the vehicle back.
The City will now be formally cooperating with the school districts concerning overcrowding.
Some municipalities are seeking a utility tax exemption; this means that a school district that pays to the City the City's utility tax, wants a rebate of that money. In other words, double taxation. In the future, the City will rebate the utility taxes that another Berwyn government body pays to the City.
That is all. Do not forget the 2nd Annual 3rd Ward Picnic at Proksa Park on Saturday, June 24, 2006 from noon to 3. Pray for good weather.
This next meeting, Tuesday June 13, 2006, will be a much longer meeting. Stay tune.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Berwyn Bungalow House Tour
Do not forget, this Sunday, June 4, 2006, from noon to 5 pm. You must go to Proksa Park to begin; buy your tickets or get them validated at the Park. Prices on Sunday will be $25.00 per person. If you buy them now at Serendipity Antiques in the Depot District, they are $20.00 per person.
I am a House Captain of a bungalow on Riverside. There are two houses on Riverside, one house on Grove just north of Riverside and a house on the 2800 block of Maple and a house on the 3100 block of Maple.
Should be a great event. Walking is your best option, but feel free to burn some gas if you like or must.
School District 100 Board Opening
If anyone is interested in being a school board member, please contact District 100's office as soon as possible. There is an opening. As many of you know, I am a Board member of Citizens Aligned to Renew Education for Students(CARES) and we need great District 100 Board Members to further Berwyn along in betterment of education.
I have a link on my website for District 100.