Regular Meeting of the City Council, City of Countryside

5550 East Avenue

City Hall, Council Chamber

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – 7:30 P.M.

A. CALL TO ORDER-Pledge of Allegiance


Mayor Krzeminski

Alderman Pondelicek

Alderman Jasinski

Alderman Michalczyk

Alderman Von Drasek

Alderman McDermott

Alderman Musillami

Clerk Sweeney

Interim Treasurer Paul


  1. Approval of City Council Meeting Minutes – February 25, 2015.
  2. Statement of Bills submitted for payment through March 11, 2015: $314,954.64.



  1. Consideration of a Resolution regarding Full Funding of Local Government Distribute Fund Revenues.
  2. Welcome back to Officer Kelly Kalker from her tour of military duty.




  1. Economic Development-Alderman McDermott

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

2. Finance Committee

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

3. Human Resources Committee-Alderman Pondelicek

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

4. Infrastructure Committee-Alderman Michalczyk

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

5. License Committee-Alderman Musillami

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

6. Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals-City Attorney Peck

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

7. Police Committee-Alderman Pondelicek

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

8. Recreation Committee-Alderman Jasinski

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

9. Water Committee-Alderman Von Drasek

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.

10. Flagg Creek Advisory Board – Alderman Von Drasek

a. Status on Committee Items/Comments.



  1. Consideration of Resolution appointing Gail Paul as Authorized IMRF Agent.
  2. Consideration of an Ordinance Authorizing a First Amendment to the Phelan Development Comprising a Part of the Countryside Commercial TIF District.


  1. Chief of Police
  2. City Engineer

a. Consideration of Engineer’s Payment Estimate No. 5 to Riccio Construction Corporation for $29,637 for the 2014 Water Main Replacement.



1. To review the City Council Executive Session minutes of February 25, 2015 under Section 2(c)(21) and to discuss Real Estate under Section 2(c)(5) of the Open Meetings Act.

Sharon Sweeney, City Clerk

* * * * * *


1. Reconvene to open session for consideration to approve the City Council Executive Session minutes of February 25, 2015.


Sharon Sweeney, City Clerk

* * * * * * *

I, the undersigned, posted the above Agenda at the following locations on or before 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 9, 2015.

  • In the office of the City Clerk, being the principal office of the City Council
  • At the front entry to the City Hall at 5550 East Avenue, Countryside, Illinois
  • In the lobby of the City Hall outside of the door leading to the Council Chamber
  • On the City of Countryside website:

Sharon Sweeney

At least 24 hours in advance of a scheduled public meeting, any individual with a disability who is in need of a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the meeting should contact the office of the City Clerk: In person at 5550 East Avenue, Countryside, IL via telephone at (708) 354-7270 or via email at




CALL TO ORDER – Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor Krzeminski called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Acting Clerk Carey called the Roll of those physically present as follows:


Present: Mayor Krzeminski

Alderman Pondelicek Alderman Jasinski

Alderman Michalczyk Alderman Von Drasek

Alderman McDermott Alderman Musillami

Acting Clerk Carey

Also Present: City Admin. Paul, Police Chief Ford, City Attorney Peck, Asst. Admin. Peterson, City Eng. Fitzgerald, ESDA Coord. Norman, Police Bd. Chrm. Welch, Member Burdett, Member Pisone, PC/ZBA Member Benson.


1. Regular City Council Meeting Minutes – February 25, 2015.

2. Statement of Bills submitted for payment through March 11, 2015: $314,954.64.

3. Ald. Jasinski corrected an erroneous date on Item #13, instead of March 28, the correct date is April 4, 2015. Ald. McDermott made two corrections to Page 1 of the Minutes – Item #3 – correct the name to Barbara Flynn Curry. Item #4, 8thline, change in support of the campaign breakfast to in support of his campaign breakfast. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve the Omnibus Agenda as corrected, seconded by Ald. Musillami and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.


4. Russ Nicoletti, Countryside Business Association President, owner of Infinity Signs, and Countryside resident, asked the Mayor what he has accomplished for the City during his term of office. The Mayor stated he would not spell it out one by one in a City Council meeting. Mr. Nicoletti stated he could not name one. He asked if the Mayor supports local businesses. Does he attend CBA meetings? The Mayor stated he does support local businesses and attended a CBA meeting once 3 å_ years ago; he has a full-time job that does not allow time off to attend meetings. He attended a luncheon meeting at William Tell; Gail Paul and Sharon Peterson were also present.

5. Mr. Nicoletti stated that the Mayor attended the first Thanksgiving Day Dinner hosted by the CBA. The CBA has sponsored over 40 events; the Mayor has not attended any of them. The CBA hosted the carnival two years ago wherein the Mayor’s name was not announced; he was upset about it. Mr. Nicoletti cited the Mayor for lack of honesty and lack of integrity in his dealings with residents. He also cited conversations with Ms. Fisher re: the corner property. The Mayor stated that she was misinformed; he called her to discuss events that took place at the City Council meeting. It is sad when everything discussed has to be double-checked by people. Mr. Nicoletti stated that the Mayor lies then forgets what he said and lies to cover it up. He can’t believe the Mayor is running for office again; he has no integrity and is a disgrace; he should resign; he has done nothing for the City but tries to take credit for things he is not responsible for — like the City Center. The Mayor was totally against it. The Mayor stated he is still against it1but it was put into his lap; he wanted to do the best possible with the businesses that went in there. He had no control over Harley getting the property for $10; they are not making the quota they set. Mr. Nicoletti stated that overall the project is successful. The Mayor stated that it will lose $27 M over the next 30 years per public record. Mr. Nicoletti stated that the Mayor has missed five City Council meetings in the past four years, but yet can attack Ald. McDermott as having no time to be Mayor since he has more than one job. He also stated that the Mayor plagiarized the Newsletter with no public apology, stating that he had no time to write his own words. The Mayor stated that during 2011 he was working in Los Angeles and flying back and forth to attend Council meetings. Mr. Nicoletti stated that he was on a plane for 4-5 hours and did have time to write his own column for the Newsletter.

6. Mr. Nicoletti stated that the Mayor handed out bogus information re: rebating RE tax. The Mayor stated that the audit information he viewed on the website at the time showed $18 M – by the time he took office that $18 M was reduced drastically – $11M; so he could not justify the rebate which would cause cuts in City services. The Mayor has a question in return. He asked Ms. Peterson to get information re: carnival details. Did she ever get that information? Ms. Peterson stated she has not. As President of the CBA Mr. Nicoletti received that request and asked why he should present it to the City. The Mayor stated that the City is a public body that donates money to the CBA to operate the carnival; that expenditure should be justified. Where was that money spent? In the past during Countryfest, detailed financials were provided to the City; that’s what was requested of the CBA. Mr. Nicoletti will not produce the document to the Mayor.

7. The Mayor asked who the CBA has donated money to – other than charitable institutions – to political parties? Mr. Nicoletti stated that they never donated funds to political parties. The Mayor asked whether they donated $500 to the Leadership Party. Mr. Nicoletti does not recall. The Treasurer writes the check, the Board approves it; Mr. Nicoletti is the Board President; he does not recall.

1Approved with corrections. Mayor Krzeminski sought correction/clarification. He would like the sentence to read, The Mayor stated he is still against the purchase but it was put into his lap..

8. Ald. McDermott asked Ms. Paul whether the City ever had $18M in surplus. Ms. Paul responded, in cash? The Mayor stated he did not say surplus. Ald. McDermott said how could $18 M disappear from the time he ran until the time he took office. Ald. McDermott pointed out that the Mayor stated he misread the audit report, saw the $18M and thought he could use that to rebate taxes. Ms. Paul stated she is not aware of any surplus amount of that number, nor of a drop to $11M; she will look into it. Ald. McDermott stated that the Mayor made it sound like someone absconded with funds – the money disappeared. The City never had $18M; the Mayor lied to people; he stated he would rollback taxes to 2007 and rebate property taxes, and this happened after one of the worst economic downturns in this country’s history; he knew it was wrong.

9. Ald. Von Drasek asked Ms. Paul about the financial health of the City Center; it has moved forward. The City has received an award for the city Center. If the Mayor was so against it, why did he stand there and receive the award? That contradicts his belief. Why accept the award without a remark. Ms. Paul stated that once Chick fil-A opens the City will receive $450,000/year in annual sales tax. Harley did not bring in their numbers last year; they said it was the worst year for motorcycle sales. But they have rebounded since that time; they are recovering. The City will close on the Chick fil-A property within 45 days. Ald. Von Drasek noted the energy that this project has brought to the City, specifically redevelopment of the majority of the car dealerships up and down LaGrange Road. Had the City done nothing, they would have nothing. Ald. Michalczyk stated that the Mayor is telling everyone that he did it all; she has received numerous calls about that; if the Mayor hates it, don’t take credit for it.

10. The Mayor stated that if he had been on the City Council when the motion was made to buy this property and put public funds in jeopardy, he would have voted NO. When he became Mayor that was already done. He wanted to make sure that the best businesses would be in that development to make it as successful as possible. The numbers he was given by the Finance Department was that over the life of the bond it will end up costing the City in the area of $40M. Since that time the City has renegotiated the bond, lowered the interest rate and saved $2.4 M. Taking in all the sales tax generated from that development will not pay off that bond. The City bought that property for $20 M and took out a loan for $5M; the property was approximately eight acres; after adding the infrastructure the City ended up with 5.5-6 acres. The City sold those properties at the worst possible time and got back approximately $4.5-5 M. The City lost $15 M; the mortgage will be $40M over 30 years. Ald. Von Drasek stated that all those improvements are reimbursed by the TIF; the City did not spend that money. The Mayor stated that the TIF was initiated after the buildings were razed; that was vacant property. Had the TIF been initiated before the buildings were razed, the improvements would have been paid off.2Ald. Von Drasek stated that it would have been a ghost town if that was done.

2Approved with corrections. Ald. VonDrasek sought correction/clarification. Ald. VonDrasek said the Mayor’s statement is false. The Countryside Commercial TIF was designated on 12-8-2010. The bid for demolition of the Toyota-Ethan Allen-Dodge City was approved by City Council on 7-27-2011.

11. Ald. Musillami asked if the Mayor would rather have seen the property remain blighted for all those years – without the development going forward. The City could not control the timing of the economic downturn; he was not a Council member at that time. Who can control the recession; everyone is aware of the blow taken by everybody. The economy was miserable; unemployment was high; everything is coming back. He agrees with Ald. Von Drasek’s statement that the City Center Development has had a stabilizing effect on the City. Car dealerships were ready to leave the City. Where would our sales tax dollars be if the land didn’t get developed? The City might be in worse shape today; nobody has those answers. Ald. McDermott stated that one cannot calculate how much money is coming from other business activities that this development generated – impossible to put a price tag on it – but it is happening because the City is living off the sales tax revenue and not putting the property tax on residents. Ald. Von Drasek stated the Mayor has been riding along that wave, not driving it. Ald. McDermott stated that the City took the savings from outsourcing of dispatch and used it to rebate property taxes and the Mayor vetoed the outsourcing of dispatch.

12. Al Arneson, 121 Constance Lane, has spent some time in the last couple of years, as a result of the property tax assessment, to study City finances. The City has made the information readily available. He is not for leaving property vacant, but from the beginning he never thought it was smart for the City to purchase that property. He was not an active participant in local government at that time. He stated that the City purchased property, almost $19M and it resulted in a bond that will take 30 years to pay off; it has been refinanced and he is not aware of those details. It will cost the City a lot of money; he is happy that the property tax has been abated. Fortunately we have had a healthy economy; car sales have been booming; he hopes it is sustainable. That property purchase, the difference between what they paid and what they sold it for, has been written off to the tune of $13+M; that is a cost to the taxpayers. There should be clarity here; this is no one person’s fault; it is just something that happened. The Decisions made in developing that TIF – and by the way, the property can’t be paid by the TIF, only by the revenue generated by the TIF – because the property was purchased before the TIF was put into place. He is not convinced that the property tax won’t come back because the economy cycles. What is constant is about $1.5M in debt service per year on that property purchase.

13. Mr. Arneson finds it disgraceful that there is a constant bashing rather than dealing with issues in a positive, cohesive manner. Ald. Musillami stated that there was negative literature out there during the last election. Mr. Arneson stated that he did not agree with the $18M expenditure that resulted in the bond issue. There were other issues – pre-home sale inspections – but that matter has been reviewed and revised, to the City’s credit. He is happy to see the City Center surviving and the City doing the best it can. Ald. Musillami stated that nobody could have forecasted the downturn, but if that recession had not hit, would that land have sold for minimum. In this situation, the trickle-down effect from that development has brought growth to the City; it has blossomed and businesses are thriving. Mr. Arneson stated that it has come at a cost to taxpayers. Ald. Musillami stated that cost has been taken care of by abating the taxes and getting pressure off the residents. The City Council unanimously agreed to that and they have lived up to their promises. Ald. Michalczyk stated that this is not a private enterprise; this is a public investment – a totally different experience. Mr. Arneson asked what is the forecasted payback – 5-10 years, 20 years?

14. Ald. McDermott stated that the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is very conservative; they recognized this development and complimented the City for the creative way the Council turned the City economy around and obliterated blight. If the Mayor had his way those properties would still be vacant and it would be an eyesore on the City for the next ten years. Mr. Arneson stated that despite the rhetoric, he is not convinced that the City had to be the landlord and purchase that property; that is a judgment call; it got the City into debt and he does not agree. Ald. Musillami asked how long were those properties vacant before the City moved in. The City was proactive and made the right move when it was a difficult choice – but look at the results today. Ald. Von Drasek noted how many new jobs have been created; teens and others are finding steady employment. He is frustrated when the Mayor misinforms residents about City projects so that he can remain Mayor – that is his aim.

15. Carm Scarpace, Westfield Ford, stated had it not been for the City Center Development and City Council action, their dealership would have left and gone to Hodgkins. The Council got involved and made them realize that the development was coming and they stayed to become part of the City’s new growth. On behalf of the CBA and Westfield Ford, they sponsored the carnival, as did the City sponsor the carnival – do they have to account for funds dispersed? They appreciate the City’s sponsorship. The CBA holds many evening events like the Christmas Party. Business men attend these functions and ask why the Mayor never shows up; all the other Council members show up, but not the Mayor.

16. Which event is the Mayor referring to in asking did the CBA sponsor $500. Mr. Scarpace answered YES they sponsored a $500 event – which event was it. the Mayor said it went to the Leadership Party – but for what event? Mr. Scarpace stated that the CBA endorses Sean McDermott for Mayor; they brought business owners to their golf outing; that was the event they sponsored. As owner of Westfield Ford, they 100% endorse Ald. McDermott because they can take his word; he is transparent, he is responsible. Mr. Scarpace can’t trust the Mayor’s word, otherwise he would be mutual. The Mayor never called Carm re: the meeting with Gina Fisher; he said he would call but never did. Ald. Michalczyk stated that Westfield Ford is the biggest sponsor for the concerts – end of discussion.


17. Consideration of a Resolution regarding Full Funding of Local Government Distributive Fund Revenues. The Mayor stated that the Governor has proposed a 50% reduction in the local share of income tax during the FY 2016 budget, reducing local revenues by over $600 million; the loss of this state-shared income tax revenue would result in elimination of countless jobs, local tax increases, program and service cuts and increase debt burdens felt by all citizens, specifically the City of Countryside would lose $291,802.50. The City of Countryside urges the Governor and General Assembly to protect full funding and other revenue sources that allow local governments to provide for the health, safety and general welfare of their residents. Ald. McDermott stated that we need a letter from the Mayor to every one of our six legislators that represent the City of Countryside and the Governor expressing our opinion that we are opposed to these cuts. Ald. McDermott moved to approve the Resolution, seconded by Ald. Jasinski. The Mayor stated that he sent two letters as a private resident and on behalf of his company. Ald. McDermott stated that the Mayor should write that letter to legislators as well expressing the City’s dissatisfaction with those cuts. Motion carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.

Acting Clerk Carey declared that this will be known as RESOLUTION 15-04-R.

18. Mayor Krzeminski welcomed back Officer Kelly Kalker from her tour of military duty. She served with distinction and is welcomed back.

CITY CLERK’S REPORT – no report.




19. Economic Development Committee – Alderman McDermott had no report but reminded residents that going on private property and stealing campaign signs is a crime. In 2013 several were taken from certain neighborhoods; once again this week someone is stealing signs. Mayor Krzeminski fully supports that statement and has never directed anyone to take a sign off anyone’s property. Make sure the homeowner did not remove it.

20. Ald. McDermott also reminded everyone that this is a political season and anyone using government property for any type of political activity – taking photos – putting them in brochures — is not allowed.

Finance Committee – Treasurer Jasinski -no report.

Human Resources Committee – Alderman Pondelicek – no report.

21. License Committee – Alderman Musillami presented the Business License applications submitted for Rebel Bowfishing, LLC, 555 E. Plainfield Road, Suite B, retail sales of fishing equipment. The Mulliganeers have their 20thAnnual St. Pat’s Day Fundraiser on March 7, 6200 Joliet Road. On March 22 the Model Car Show will take place at 6200 Joliet Road, displaying and trading of plastic model cars. They will also be there on October 18, 2015.

Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals – City Attorney Peck – no report.

22. Police Committee – Alderman Pondelicek -no report but FYI – the committee is in the process of hiring a few police officers due to upcoming retirements.

23. Recreation Committee – Alderman Jasinski stated that Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 10 o’clock the Easter Egg hunt will take place in Countryside Park; children of residents up to the age of 12 are welcome.

Water Committee – Alderman Von Drasek – no report.

24. Flagg Creek Advisory Board- Alderman Von Drasek stated that a meeting will take place next Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Flagg Creek Golf Course. Snow is melting so get your clubs ready. All are welcome to attend.


25. Attorney Peck presented the draft Resolution appointing Gail Paul as Authorized Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Agent. With the departure of the former Finance Director there is a vacancy in that position. Ald. McDermott moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Musillami and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.

Acting Clerk Carey declared that this will be known as RESOLUTION 15-05-R.

26. Attorney Peck sought consideration of an ordinance authorizing a First Amendment to the Phelan Development comprising a part of the Countryside Commercial TIF District. He stated that there was a clerical error in the legal description;

all else remains the same. Ald. Jasinski moved to adopt the ordinance as presented, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.

Acting Clerk Carey declared that this will be known as ORDINANCE 15-15-O.



Police Chief – no report.

27. City Engineer Fitzgerald sought consideration of Engineer’s Payment #5 to Riccio Construction Corp. for $29,637 for the 2014 Water Main Replacement. Ald. Jasinski asked whether withholding 10% is sufficient to complete the remaining work. He is concerned with sinkage of the 9th Ave. area. Mr. Fitzgerald stated that he is holding $100,000; more than enough to finish. Ald. Musillami moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.

28. Ald. Von Drasek announced that the news reporter, J. A. Templin, from the Des Plaines Valley News, has just published a book entitled, Shadows, Streams and Other Nightmares; he has a book signing scheduled at Half Price Books. Congratulations!


29. Mayor Krzeminski sought a motion to recess to Executive Session under Section 2(c)21 of the Open Meetings Act for the purpose of reviewing executive session minutes of 2-25-15, and Section 2(c)5 to discuss real estate, and Section 2(c)11, to discuss litigation. Ald. Pondelicek moved to recess to Executive Session, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0/0.

Mayor Krzeminski declared the meeting recessed at 8:28 p.m.

* * *

The Regular City Council meeting returned to Open Sessionwith the same members present minus Ald. Michalczyk, at 9:34 p.m.

Ald. Musillami moved to approve the Executive Session minutes of 2-25-15 as presented, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried by Roll Call vote -5/0/1.


There being no further business to discuss, Ald. Jasinski moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Ald. Musillami and carried by Roll Call vote – 5/0/1.

Mayor Krzeminski declared the meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.


fp By: Margaret Carey, Acting Clerk