Friday, July 28, 2006
City Council Meeting, July 25, 2006
City Hall will hopefully be getting a renovation. Bids were open. It should become more user friendly. That is the idea.
Applebees is no more. The BDC Director said he should have the top two or three new proposals for the block within 60 days.
The MacNeal parking lot was not voted on, but instead, sent to the Committee of the Whole for further discussion.
The Fire Department is down manpower and we are discussing hiring a Deputy Fire Chief, which is not as easy it sounds based on the Fire contract between the Union and the City.
We now have a new Public Works Director who was voted on with the advice and consent of the Alderpeople. I voted for the new director, Patrick Ryan, who comes from Lake In The Hills, Riverside and Oak Lawn. I voted with the 2nd Ward Alderman, 6th and 7th. He should be good for the City and the department.
Alderwoman Chapman, from last meeting, had wanted information of people who consulted in the transition after the election. A list of people and what they were paid, if any, and current status, if any, with the City, has been provided to the Alderwoman.
The Mayor sent a communication concerning the status of his Mayoral appointments, which has been held up in the Administration Committee. He would like the issue addressed.
The City owns a lot at 1307 S. Harvey, which the Mayor would like to sell. The matter was sent to the law department to look at.
At the last meeting, the 6th Ward Alderman had requested copies of all the blight tickets given out since May, 2005. There were 9,000 tickets issued. The Computer Director prepared a report in digital format, which still was not good enough for the Alderman. Apparently, he wants to see copies of each and every ticket, of which, if they are carbon copies, are next to impossible to copy(not to mention the time it would take). Although seemingly all the information from the ticket was on the computer information sheets, there is something else the Alderman wants to look at. He was invited to come to City Hall and look at and locate each ticket himself to look at.
The bar owners who have outdoor drinking gardens are looking to lengthen the hours the gardens are open by one hour by having them open until 11 pm during the week and midnight on weekends. This will be discussed at a later date.
As of September 1, 2006, Waste Management is increasing its price by 2%. As I have previously discussed, we are seeking bids on a new waste provider, which should be selected by December 31, 2006.
Next, are my four communications of which I already sent out notice that the Council voted 8 to nothing to hire Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. at a cost of $5,640.72 to study how to most cost effectively to silence the whistles along the CN/IC tracks that split the 3rd Ward. Riverside and North Riverside are paying the same cost. It is better strategy to piggy back with other municipalities.
Second, I am seeking to change the times bars can open. During the week, bars can open at 6 am, 8 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday. I would like bars to open at 11 am every day of the week. I believe there are 3 or 4 bars that open up earlier than 11 am. A couple of Alderman asked why I would want to prevent people and third-shifters from publicly drinking at 6 am? The Chicago Tribune reported as follows: "Also at Tuesday's meeting, Ald. Mark Weiner proposed a new ordinance to further limit bar hours in Berwyn. His proposed change would require bars to open no earlier than 11 a.m. every day of the week. The current ordinance states that bars are allowed to open at 6 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Sundays."I take the train every morning at 8 a.m. and often see people straggling out of bars," said Weiner. "I don't believe that is a positive image of our city." "
Third, I have received two phone calls in the past two months concerning female gingko trees in the public parkway in front of these persons' house. They smell real nasty when they bloom and flower. Washington D.C. does not allow this tree to be planted. Of course, they would be replaced. I sent this to the Tree Board to hopefully take care of the problem.
Finally, as I have posted before, we are getting very close to having automated traffic law enforcement devices set up in Berwyn. These automatically send out tickets to the owners of cars who go through red lights, and will also be configured to send tickets to those that go around railroad gates. I submitted the local ordinance establishing the sysem so we can get moving soon. Once we decide on the company who will do this system, it should be in place within 60 to 90 days.
The Library is looking to repair and fix its leaking roof and bids are being sent out for this project.
The Police Department was given the go-ahed to hire a Communications Director.
An ordinance to grant a variance for a 3 flat building on the north side was allowed by a vote of 4-3 with the 7th Ward Alderman abstaining. The Mayor said he will veto this.
Charter One Bank, located at 6201 W. Cermak, entered into a settlement with the City concerning its 2002 and 2003 property taxes owed.
The Council also voted to change the City's Worker Compensation insurance carrier, which will save the City(you)money, and, get us a better insurance company.
The Computer Director will be saving us money by changing our maintenance agreement, also to a better company at a cheaper price.
Once again, National Night Out is set for Tuesday, August 1, 2006. This is an event that is in support of neighborhood watch, and also, is supposed to get neighbors to meet one another. There will be many festivities going on at Morton West High School, including at 9 pm, the showing of the Wizard of Oz. There should also be a small fireworks show.