CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE
REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011 at 7:30 P.M.
I. CALL TO ORDER – (PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE)
II. ROLL CALL
III. OMNIBUS AGENDA
All items on the Omnibus Agenda are considered to be routine in nature by the City Council and will be enacted in one motion. There will not be separate discussion of these items unless a Council member so requests, in which event the item will be removed from the Omnibus Agenda and considered separately.
A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – July 27, 2011
B. STATEMENT OF BILLS through August 10, 2011: $170,660.77.
C. Application for a block party from Eileen Baehrend in the 6900 block of Parkside on August 27, 2011 from noon to 10 p.m.
D. Application for a block party from Sandra Dorgan in the 6000 block of Kensington on August 27, 2011 from noon to 10 p.m.
E. From Helping Hand Center requesting permission to hold a Donation Day on September 10, 2011 at 6704 Joliet Road from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
F. From Extreme Fitness, 51 E. Plainfield Road, #1, requesting permission to hold a grand opening on August 13, 2011 from 11 to 5 pm, along with refreshments.
G. Application for a general business license from Terry Plumbing Co., 5503 LaGrange Road. Type: retail and service. Applicant: Kelly Castrogiovanni.
IV. ADDITIONS TO AND/OR DELETIONS FROM THE AGENDA
V. QUESTIONS AND/OR COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE
VI. MAYOR’S REPORT
A. Confirmation of Appointments for a 4 year term: Erik Yehl, City Prosecutor; Steven Drazner, Finance Director; Ronald Belmonte, Hearing Officer.
B. Consideration of attending the Illinois Municipal League 98th Annual Conference, Sept. 15-17, 2011 at the Chicago Hilton. Registration fee $250 or $120 daily.
C. Designation of voting delegate and alternate delegate to the 98th Annual IML Conference to be Edward Krzeminski and Wayne Straza respectively on September 15-17, 2011.
VII. CITY CLERK’S REPORT
VIII. TREASURER’S REPORT
IX. COMMITTEE REPORTS
BUSINESS LICENSE COMMITTEE – ROBERT PONDELICEK, CHAIRMAN
A. Application to conduct additional activities as part of the Barker’s Shop business license, 1404 W. 55th St. Applicant: Kathy Deets.
B. From the Community Extension Project (CEP) Youth Leadership requesting permission to conduct a Haunted Manor attraction from October 14-31, 2011 at 48 Countryside Plaza. (request all fees be waived).
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE – SEAN MC DERMOTT, CHAIRMAN
A. Consideration of adopting an ordinance banning synthetic marijuana.
X. CITY ATTORNEY/LEGAL REPORT
A. ZBA/PLAN recommendation re: the Barker Shop, 1418 55th St. Applicant: Kathy Deets for the following:
1. Approval of a special use permitting a dog grooming facility;
2. Approval of a zoning variation permitting the operation of a doggie daycare facility;
3. Approval of a special use permitting construction and operation of an outdoor fenced dog run; and
4. Denial of a variation permitting accepting up to 8 rescue dogs or cats overnight.
XI. ADMINISTRATOR’S REPOR
XII. STAFF REPORTS
A. Police Chief
B. City Engineer
1. Request approval of engineering agreement for services as they pertain to the redevelopment site at the northeast corner of La Grange and Joliet Roads.
C. Asst. City Administrator
D. Finance Director
E. ESDA Coordinator
XIII. OLD & NEW BUSINESS
Any individual with a disability requesting a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in a public meeting should contact the City Clerk at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting. The City Clerk can be reached in person at 5550 East Avenue, Countryside, IL., via telephone at (708) 354-7270 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Every effort will be made to allow for meeting participation.
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE, ILLINOIS
HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
1. Mayor Krzeminski called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. City Clerk Sweeney called the Roll of those physically present as follows:
PRESENT: Mayor Edward Krzeminski, Aldermen: Robert Pondelicek, John Von Drasek, James Jasinski, Sean McDermott, Karen Michalczyk, Wayne Straza.
ABSENT: City Admin. Paul, Asst. Admin. Peterson.
ALSO PRESENT: City Clerk Sweeney, City Treasurer Jasinski, City Attorney Peck, Police Chief Ruth, Fin. Dir. Drazner, City Eng. Fitzgerald, ESDA Crd. Norman, Police Bd. Members, Burdett, Mussilami, PC/ZBA Chrm. Fullmer, members Benson, Grotzke.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – July 27, 2011.
3. STATEMENT OF BILLS through August 10, 2011: $170,660.77.
4. Application for a block party from Eileen Baehrend in the 6900 block of Parkside on August 27, 2011 from noon to 10 pm.
5. Application for a block party from Sandra Dorgan in the 6000 block of Kensington on August 27, 2011 from noon to 10 pm.
6. From Helping Hand Center requesting permission to hold a Donation Day on September 10, 2011 at 6704 Joliet Road from 8 am to 4 pm.
7. From Extreme Fitness, 51 E. Plainfield Road, #1, requesting permission to hold a grand opening on August 13, 2011 from 11 to 5 pm – with refreshments.
8. Application for a general business license from Terry Plumbing Co, 5503 LaGrange Road. Type: Retail and service. Applicant: Kelly Castrogiovanni.
9. Ald. Jasinski made a correction to the minutes of July 27, 2011 – item #29 – the food vendor is LEDO’S Pizza, not Vito’s Pizza. With that correction, Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried unanimously.
ADDITIONS TO AND/OR DELETIONS FROM THE AGENDA
10. Two additions were noted by Mayor Krzeminski.
QUESTIONS AND/OR COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE
11. Mary Stroud – 5431 – 8th Ave. read a statement to Council and presented copies of photos provided at the last meeting. She seeks Council assistance with the next door neighbor at 5433 – 8th Ave. They moved their garbage cans about five feet away from the Pachak’s windows and sliding glass doors in the kitchen. The garbage cans do not have lids thus leaving garbage exposed during this extremely hot weather, not to mention the odors attracting rodents and insects. The City Code states that all garbage receptacles must be leak proof and covered at all times. Ald. McDermott took possession of the additional photographs. Mayor Krzeminski will personally contact the Code Enforcement Officer to visit the premises tomorrow. The matter will be referred to the PC/ZBA for possible Code review regarding the location of refuse receptacles. She thanked Council for their prompt attention.
12. MIke Neill, 5616 Leitch Ave. asked about the status of refunding the newly-enacted City tax. Mayor Krzeminski stated this is a budget issue and he will be working on it. Taxes were levied in response to the annual bond payment. The City Council votes on abatement in November or December. That information will be listed in the Newsletter so residents may attend the meeting. Ald. Straza stated that the City currently abates two major bond issues for $5 million covering water and infrastructure. The City also pays the police pension in the amount of $900,000; otherwise residents would be liable for that payment. Treas. Jasinski stated that the City has rebated the gas tax from 4 cents to 2 cents; as high revenue businesses return to the City, other taxes will be decreased as well.
13. Mike Neill stated that since property values have dropped, will real estate taxes follow? Probably not; homes with lowered valuations have resulted in increased tax bills due to entities other than Countryside, such as Cook County School district and Fire Department. The City’s share is probably $200-$300. Please see Barb Weyrick to appeal your assessment; the final date for appeal is August 12. When the City can afford it, the municipal tax will go away.
14. Ald. McDermott stated that to abate all taxes back to 2007 levels, the City would need to cut public services severely – by $2 million. Fin. Dir. Drazner stated that figure is actually doubled to $4.5 million. This must be discussed at the Finance Committee meetings – how many staff would be cut including police and public works. Mayor Krzeminski invited all residents to attend Finance Committee meetings – they are open to the public. Using reserves would jeopardize fiscal integrity of the City.
15. George Smith, 5407 — stated that after the heavy rains playground chips from the park are scattered all over his grass; why did the City remove the sand? Ald. Von Drasek stated that the sand is not sanitary and harbors bacteria; it was a cleanliness issue. The Mayor suggested erecting a better barrier, as has been done in other areas.
16. Diane McHale, 101 Meadowlark, asked what was the bond mentioned used for? The Mayor stated that it was used to purchase the property at Joliet Road and LaGrange Road three years ago.
17. Mark Burdett, 9814 W. 57 St. asked what the Mayor was referring to when he said he was busy before. The Mayor will discuss it now. First of all, he has become a new grandparent and showed a photo of his first grandchild, Ellie; mother and child are doing well. This is the first grandchild for the Mayor.
18. Mayor Krzeminski read a prepared statement regarding recent allegations of misconduct, abuse of power or conflict of interest by him or his wife. Kathy Krzeminski was hired by Work Right in June 2011 to do marketing for them. She does not work on a commission basis. Last year Mayor Conrad invited Work Right to resume providing services to the City, which the City Administrator confirmed on Thursday, August 4, 2011. On July 13, Kathy Krzeminski approached the City to use their services; that decision is solely up to the City Administrator. Mayor Krzeminski had no knowledge of anything concerning Work Right prior to August 4, 2011. The Police Memo given to the news anonymously was written on July 25, 2011. The Mayor and his wife never discuss any issues concerning her job at Work Right; they never talk business. She goes to other municipalities to deliver flyers. She presented a flyer to a Countryside HR person. At no time between July 13 and August 4 did the City Administrator ever discuss anything about Work Right, even though she directed the HR person not to do anything until she talks with the Mayor. She never spoke to the Mayor. Andy Shaw of the BGA stated there was nothing illegal about this situation. The Mayor recommends that sealed bids be received for occupational health services for City employees so that the best-qualified bidder may provide services to Countryside at the lowest cost. The Mayor should be completely left out of any decision making in this issue.
19. Ald. McDermott stated it is completely unacceptable for the spouse of an elected official to lobby employees of that City on behalf of a business in this town; it’s unethical, inappropriate and should not be tolerated. The City Administrator is not present to confirm the Mayor’s statements.
20. Sam Ramsey, Medical Director for Work Right, stated he has done business with the City for the past 15 years until 2008 when the City stopped using them and gave no reason why. Mayor Conrad recognized their request and allowed them to resume business with the City in August-September 2010. This attack is an insult to the company; they value their reputation. He doesn’t see this action as a conflict of interest. Ald. McDermott stated there is an appearance of impropriety in this situation. Ald. Straza urged Council members to get back to the meeting agenda.
21. Continued discourse between the Mayor and Ald. Von Drasek regarding the Mayor’s unavailability for City employees to meet with him face to face. Ald. McDermott suggested that the City strengthen its Ethics Ordinance to specifically prohibit this type of behavior. Mayor Krzeminski opened up the floor to residents. Jackie Pilade, 10735 Forestview, worked for Willowbrook, just retired; ethics statements were filled out yearly; she agreed with the Aldermen’s opinion. Kathy Birkel, 5803 Rose Court, agreed with Andy Shaw, there was nothing illegal. Who called CBS News to get the City on the 10 pm news? Ald. McDermott stated when media sheds light on a problem, it is prevented from continuing. Ald. Von Drasek stated there is a lack of communication with the Mayor. Ald. Straza stated that he will bring this matter to the Ethics Officer or the Executive Office of the Inspector General of the State of Illinois. He will file a formal complaint, request an investigation and seek a final conclusion. Please move on with tonight’s Agenda. Mark Ritchie, 7001 Golfview – this is sad; the new Mayor has been here a short time; Council members are not giving him a chance; they are at each others’ throats; this should never happen again. Audience agreed. Mayor Krzeminski apologized for the delay; he only wants to do the best for the City.
22. Confirmation of Appointment for a four-year term for Erik Yehl, City Prosecutor. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
23. Confirmation of Appointment for a four-year term for Steven Drazner, Finance Director. Ald. Straza moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried unanimously.
24. Mayor Krzeminski was called away unexpectedly. He appointed Ald. Wayne Straza as Mayor Pro Tem. Ald. McDermott moved to appoint Ald. Wayne Straza as Mayor Pro Tem, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
25. Confirmation of Appointment for a four-year term for Ronald Belmonte, Hearing Officer. Ald. Jasinski moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried unanimously.
26. Consideration of attending the Illinois Municipal League 98th Annual Conference, September 15-17, 2011 at the Chicago Hilton. Registration fee is $250. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve participation, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
27. Designation of voting delegate and alternate delegate to the 98th Annual IML conference to be Mayor Ed Krzeminski as primary delegate and Ald. Wayne Straza respectively, on September 15-17, 2011. Ald. Pondelicek moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
28. Treasurer Jasinski reminded residents that Harley Davidson will have a Grand Opening on April 1; they are well on their way to bringing in tax dollars.
29. BUSINESS LICENSE COMMITTEE – ALDERMAN ROBERT PONDELICEK, CHAIRMAN, presented the request from Community Extension Project (CEP) Youth Leadership, for permission to conduct a Haunted Manor attraction from October 14-31, 2011 at 48 Countryside Plaza. After researching the fees, it was agreed to charge one daily fee for the permit and one fee for food; the total cost is $150.00. Ald. Jasinski moved to approve with the fee recommendation, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried unanimously.
30. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE – ALDERMAN MC DERMOTT, CHAIRMAN, presented consideration of adopting an ordinance banning synthetic marijuana. He stated that there was a large article in the Chicago Tribune regarding this product being sold at gas stations and smoke shops resulting in a high rate of calls in poison cases among children. It is sold legally as incense and has caused two deaths by smoking the product. Twenty states have banned it; Illinois has taken no action. He would direct the City Attorney to provide options for regulating this product. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Michalczyk and carried unanimously.
31. City Attorney Erik Peck presented the PC/ZBA recommendations re: The Barker Shop, 1418 – 55th St. Kathy Deets owner of The Barker Shop, addressed the audience. She is seeking two variances and two special use permits including a doggy day care facility, an outdoor fenced dog run, a dog grooming facility and permission to keep up to 8 rescue dogs or cats overnight. She is not trying to make this a boarding facility. She needs to keep the rescue dogs overnight because they are adopted from the Oak Park facility on weekends; volunteers bring the dogs back and forth; it is a great deal of work. Rescue work educates people; volunteers come forward to work with dogs. She is willing to start with 5-6 rescue dogs if necessary. She is trying to grow her business.
32. Atty. Peck presented the PC/ZBA recommendation re: permitting a dog grooming facility at 1418 – 55th St. After the hearing held on July 5, 2011, the PC/ZBA found that the applicant fulfilled the requirements for a special use. The PC/ZBA recommendation allowed the special use subject to the following condition, that the construction be in compliance with all City Codes and that the use be established within six months of the date of the ordinance. Ald. McDermott moved to concur, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried by Roll Call vote- 5/0/1 abstention.
Clerk Sweeney declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 11-49-O.
33. Atty. Peck presented the PC/ZBA recommendation for a special use permitting the operation of a doggie daycare facility at 1418 – 55th St. After the hearing held on July 5, 2011, the PC/ZBA found that the applicant fulfilled the requirements for a variance; there were no objections to the variance at that hearing. The PC/ZBA recommendation was to approve that variance subject to the following conditions: that the doggie daycare is limited to 15 dogs and the hours of operation are 6 am to 7 pm Mon-Fri; that there be no overnight housing of animals at the facility, that construction and operation be in compliance with all City Codes and that the use be established within six month of the date of the Ordinance. Ald. Michalczyk moved to concur, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried by Roll Call vote – 5/0/1 abstention.
Clerk Sweeney declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 11-50-O.
34. Atty. Peck presented the PC/ZBA special use recommendation permitting construction and operation of an outdoor fenced dog run on the property known as 1418 – 55th St After the hearing held on July 5, 2011, the PC/ZBA found that the applicant fulfilled the requirements for a special use permitting construction and operation of a dog run subject to the following conditions – that the dog run be built in substantial conformity with Petitioner’s Exhibit A, attached to the recommendation; and that use be established within six month of the effective date. Ald. Pondelicek moved to concur, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried by Roll Call vote – 5/0/1 abstention.
Clerk Sweeney declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 11-51-O.
35. Atty. Peck presented the PC/ZBA recommendation to deny a variation to permit the acceptance of up to 8 rescue dogs or cats overnight. At the hearing held on July 5, 2011, The Barker Shop and Ms. Kathy Deets appeared to request the keeping of 8 dogs or cats overnight at the real estate commonly known as 1418 – 55th St. The PC/ZBA heard the testimony and evidence and found that the petitioner failed to establish the requirements necessary to grant such a variance. Ald. McDermott met with the applicant at her place of business and found it to be a well-run facility. He believes that if she could begin with five dogs that would be very helpful, and revisit the issue at a later date. Ald. McDermott moved to not concur with the PC/ZBA and to permit the applicant to keep up to five dogs or cats overnight with the option to revisit the issue in six months, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried by Roll Call vote – 5/0/1 abstention.
Clerk Sweeney declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 11-52-O.
36. Ald. Pondelicek presented the application to conduct additional activities as part of The Barker’s Shop business license, 1404 W. 55th St. Ald. McDermott moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried unanimously.
37. City Engineer Fitzgerald requested approval of the engineering agreement for services as they pertain to the redevelopment site at the northeast corner of Joliet Road and LaGrange Roads. Ald. Jasinski moved to approve the agreement as presented, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried unanimously.
38. Mr. Fitzgerald provided an update on demolition activity. The contract has been executed; the company began work this week getting up fencing; asbestos removal involves a 10-day wait period required by the County. They will begin the abatement on 8-17 with the Toyota building – and begin demolition around the 24th. The Ethan Allen abatement is five days – they will begin demolition on the 29th. The Dodge building abatement is six days and begin demolition on September 6. They plan on completing the work in 30 days. Mayor Pro Tem Straza stated that this has been a long time coming to fruition. This City Council has worked very hard in putting this project together; thanks to Ald. McDermott and Ald. Michalczyk for their due diligence and all Council members for their efforts.
39. Ald. Von Drasek asked about the status of street resurfacing. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that contracts are being executed; they must get IDOT approval. Work should begin in 2-3 weeks; affected residents will be notified. Mr. Fitzgerald will have a report at the next Council meeting.
40. ESDA Coordinator Norman stated that regarding the FEMA grant related to the February 2011 blizzard, the City has received the funding of $19,566.17; that application has been closed. Mayor Pro Tem Straza complimented Mr. Norman and his entire crew on the continuing excellent job they do for the City.
41. Ald. Jasinski reminded residents that tomorrow night is the final Concert in the Park at Countryside Park. The food vendor is LEDO’S Pizza and the Rag Tops will entertain. He invited everyone present to attend.
42. Ald. Von Drasek noted the Retirement Party for Chief Hermes and Fire Marshal Dan Tholotowsky; he wishes them well on behalf of the City.
43. There being no further business to discuss, Mayor Pro Tem Straza sought to adjourn to Executive Session. Ald. McDermott moved to adjourn to Executive Session under Section 2Ah of the Open Meetings Act for the purpose of discussing pending litigation, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried by Roll Call vote – 5/0/1 abstention.
Mayor Pro Tem Straza declared the meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
SHARON SWEENEY, CITY CLERK