City Council Agenda May 9, 2012 (click here)
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COUNTRYSIDE, ILLINOIS
HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012
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, Scott Musillami.
ALSO PRESENT: City Clerk Sweeney, City Treasurer Jasinski, City Attorney Peck, City Admin. Paul, Police Chief Ruth, Asst. Admin. Peterson, Fin. Dir. Drazner, City Eng. Fitzgerald, City Atty. Stein, ESDA Crd. Norman, Police Bd. Chair Welch, member Burdett, PC/ZBA member Benson.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES -Regular – April 25, 2012; Special Council -April 19, 2012; Electric Aggregation Hearings of April 23 and 25, 2012.
3. STATEMENT OF BILLS through May 9, 2012 – $1,348.225.80.
4. Application for a general business license from K-FIVE Construction Corp., 7023 Willow Springs Road, #101. Type: Business office. Owner. George Krug, Jr.
5. Application for a general business license from Pacholski & Associates, 475 W. 55thSt. Type: Dental lab. Owner: Glen Pacholski.
6. Application for a special use to hold a Car Show on July 28, 2012 at Local #150, 6200 Joliet Road, from 8 am to 6 pm.
7. Application from Roofers’ Local #11 to solicit at various intersections for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Inc., on June 16, 2012.
8. Application for a general business license from Salt Creek Butterfly Farm, 10545 74thSt. Type: Farming and Learning Center. Owner: Lori Harris.
9. Application for a special use to solicit for the Illinois Special Olympics at the Dunkin’ Donuts rooftop for Cop on Top fundraiser on June 1 from 5 am to 2 pm.
10. Ald. Von Drasek noted corrections to the minutes of April 25, 2012 – Item 13- change City is holding a fundraiser to Mayor is holding a fundraiser. Item 24 – Ald. McDermott added police pension contribution is not put on the property taxpayers. Item 27 – Ald. Jasinski spoke the last sentence. Item 18 – Mayor Krzeminski, mid-paragraph, change it would be renewed to it could be renewed. Item 20 – Mayor Krzeminski, mid-paragraph, change business that was created to business that was negotiated. Ald. Musillami moved to approve the Omnibus Agenda with those corrections, seconded by Ald. McDermott and carried unanimously.
DELETIONS FROM THE AGENDA
11. One deletion under Committee Reports was noted by Ald. Musillami re: storage containers.
QUESTIONS AND/OR COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE
12. Judy Novak, 5725 Catherine, thanked her Alderman for doing the job he promised. She stated that residents are unaware of crime happening in the area, especially gypsies coming to homes; there is no notice about ongoing activities or what to watch for. She lives on a dead-end street and has not seen police presence since Christmas. She seeks more stores to bring revenue to the City. Ms. Paul stated that the City site available was not adequate for Meijers. Ald. Von Drasek noted that the new Harley Davidson and many car dealerships and restaurants in the City have chosen to rebuild and remain in the City. The LaGrange Road McDonald’s gross is $3.6 million /year; the highest in the area. Autobarn and Westfield Ford are stalwarts in Countryside. There is tremendous development taking place in the City.
13. Gerry Sobe, 5605 Kensington, is offended by the CBA, as the wife of a two-tour Disabled Vietnam Veteran, for their refusal to run the ad Citizens for Change. The American Legion Post #1941 serves Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Lyons, McCook, Westchester and Western Springs. The event was a smashing success. If Aldermen have personal issues amongst themselves they should leave them at the door; the citizens are paying your wages.
14. Julie Lenoch, 6201 Joliet Road, complimented Ald. Von Drasek’s remarks re: business strength in the community. The Holiday Inn recently received the #1 standing among Inns in the Chicagoland area for the amount of capital expended on the facility; they will be doing a park and drive with Harley Davidson. The community is coming along; citizens need to be more patient. There was a huge outpouring of support for troops from Iraq and Afghanistan at the Union Hall. The CBA does support the troops. In the past the CBA has, on their website, supported IPOC fundraisers held outside the City. Mayor Krzeminski was instrumental in getting the businesses along LaGrange & Joliet Roads to put signs up. He was the only city official at that event and is a 25-year member of the Coulter Post.
15. Carm Scarpace, Westfield Ford, thanked his Alderman for supporting businesses in town. Local #150 asked Westfield to support the troops; he was there at 4:30 a.m. when they arrived. He again thanked the Alderman for all their support.
16. Marc LeCroix, President, CBA, gave his reason for not running the ad Citizens for Change. The Independent Party, Helping Hand and WSCC are all members of the CBA. Citizens for Change is not a paid member of the CBA. He is not obligated to run anything for them; it has nothing to do with Kiwanis or American Legion. He was out there at 4 a.m. supporting the troops. The Mayor’s veto of the printing contract is a problem and is not business oriented. The CBA has canceled the event of July 19 to July 20, 2012.
17. Russ Nicoletti, 5533 Kensington, asked if the Mayor read and signed the contract re: Infinity Signs dated May 12, 2011; the Mayor stated he did. Mr. Nicoletti saved the City $8,500 and provided a high level of quality; everyone was satisfied. He believes if the Mayor did his due diligence he would not have vetoed the contract. Did his decision have to do with failure to provide the Mayor with election signs? Infinity declined that job because the company was doing signs for another party. Nicoletti stated that Dan Pierce told him about cash contributions to the Mayor’s campaign. Mayor Krzeminski stated this has been discussed repeatedly and he has denied ever taking any cash contribution from any business in the City. He did get some signs but did not ask for the signs – he doesn’t know the amount –whatever Pierce paid for the signs – that’s all he knows. Nicoletti stated that Pierce told him directly that he gave Mayor Krzeminski $4,000; is he a liar? Mayor Krzeminski said yes, on the record and asked for documentation with the accusation; his records are open for inspection.
18. Nicoletti has attended City Council meetings for 31/2 years; the past year has been a disappointment. Lines of communication are broken; the Mayor does not return phone calls. He is not willing to work with the current City Council – why? The Mayor responded that he is trying to do so and will read a statement after all the comments are completed. He feels he is on the wrong side of an issue at all times; he returns 80-85% of phone calls. He got into individual call histories with Alderman; results were mixed; some calls were returned some not. Ald. McDermott stated if issues on the agenda will be vetoed the Mayor should call and speak to Council about why he is vetoing – there is a lack of communication. Ald. Musillami stated the City Council is a working team; the Mayor has returned his calls. Nicoletti wants to see the City continue working. The Mayor was initially against Harley Davidson until he heard the details and changed his opinion. He was at the Grand Opening because he supports Countryside Business.
19. Gerry Sobe, 5605 Kensington, was informed that the Mayor stole the election.
If that is a fact, the City Council should do something about it legally and be done with it; otherwise leave it at the door; get on with Countryside business – work together.
Mayor Krzeminski read a prepared statement aloud:
A little more than a year ago, I was elected as the Mayor of Countryside by the majority of our citizens. These were not my citizens but our citizens. They made one request of me, and that was to look out for the greater good of all of Countryside, which I feel I have done. Though I am only one member of the City Council, I take my responsibility of being the voice of all the people seriously. The purpose of the City Council is to work for the benefit of the whole City – to act as one cohesive unit in striving towards the betterment of our great City.
When I returned to the Council last year as your Mayor, I think it might be fair to say that the cards were stacked against me. I have always strived to be transparent, honest and a team player as a public servant. However, I seem to have been forced down a path that I have no control over or could change. I expected that in working with the City Council that I would be working with a team that would represent and work for all of our Citizens – in actuality I have been on my own.
The last Council meeting was a good example of this. I chair a new political party that held a successful fund raiser located outside of Countryside, something for which I was criticized. However, the last three fund raisers that have been held by the other political party have also been held outside Countryside. It would seem, as always, what’s good for the goose is not as good for the gander.
I have over two decades of service to Countryside and when I accepted the Citizens’ request to be their Mayor, I knew it would be a hard road. I hoped that there would be logical voices on the Council that would have heard the voices of our bosses, the people, but I was wrong.
For over 50 years, the City Council has worked well because it has been a unit working towards one goal – improving the City. However, over the past year our current Council has instituted modifications and created blockades that have worked against the grain. These modifications should not be seen as improvements to our City but impairments, which have limited our ability to grow and become what our citizens expect. These blockades have served only one purpose and that is division. I am sure it is as evident to those who have attended the Council meetings in the last year that this division runs deep.
We are each leaders in managing our City and if we want different outcomes, we have to be different and embrace change. Being a leader today is like continuously walking up a down escalator. If one stands still, they go backwards. Change is not easy because you have to step outside your comfort zone. If you get over the idea of change, we can all attain greatness. It does not mean that it is wrong; it is just a different way of thinking. Given with positive change, there will be resistance but everyone is accountable for their own actions and decisions.
I would like to invite the Council to begin finding ways to bridge the gap. In finding some sort of middle road, I am confident, as I am sure our citizens will be as well, that we can achieve our mutual goals in bringing prosperity to our residents and businesses. Continuing on this divided path is not honoring the commitment and oath each of us has taken to our City and ourselves.
In closing, this Council should listen to what the people want because if we do not, they will again make their voices heard at the next local election because the citizens of Countryside have proven they will not sit on the sidelines anymore.”
20. The Mayor urged Council to work together for the common good. He invited Council members to call him at any time; he has given out his home phone number. After 26 years of service this is his fourth time on the City Council, he deserves respect for his knowledge and past experience. He voiced his opinion re: the veto at the last meeting; he did not receive any phone calls from Aldermen. Ald. Musillami did call to disagree with the veto and discuss equal Ward representation. The Mayor did not agree with him and said this is the way it is. Mayor Krzeminski appreciates his comments. He stated that he committed to an individual about his appointment to the ZBA and suddenly the rules changed. Ald. Musillami stated that this matter is best discussed later; keep communications open to work together as a Council.
21. Veto Ordinance 12-33-O amending the Plan Commission-Zoning Board of Appeals appointment requirements. Mayor Krzeminski is exercising his right to veto the ordinance for one reason only – due to lack of qualified volunteers. The Mayor has a list of people but the problem is if no volunteer from the needy Ward is qualified, what happens – you leave the position vacant. City Council may change the ordinance to add that language. The temporary appointment covers a 60-day period, two times. Ald. McDermott stated that every Alderman can walk his precinct and find qualified individuals for a fair and balanced Zoning Board. Council members have nothing against Mr. Bednar personally. Council is changing the way business is done for betterment of the City – to maintain equal balance. There was a qualified individual who was interested. The Mayor suggested some flexibility if no qualified individual is found. He suggested using the coupon he produced in the monthly flyer to make comments or apply for an appointment — contact the City. Ald. Von Drasek stated that the Mayor should begin by using the word WE rather than I when discussing the City Council working together.
21. Veto Ordinance 12-34-O providing for temporary appointments to City Boards. Mayor Krzeminski is exercising his right to veto the temporary appointment. He would like to see the same wording and rules used that pertain to elected officials – follow the State of Illinois rules for temporary appointments. Ald. McDermott stated that a temporary appointment is not an indefinite period of time; it needs limitations. The State of Illinois was silent on the time period. A Home Rule City has the right to define what a temporary appointment is. The Mayor said that City Council should follow the rules for elected officials. When the name was put forth, this Council refused to vote; if the vote was no, he would have moved on; they didn’t vote at all.
22. FYI: Cook County Resolution No. 12-R-172 providing awareness to the Growing Heroin Problem in the Greater Chicagoland Area. Mayor Krzeminski did not read the Resolution aloud. Ald. McDermott stated that it merits some discussion since there is a huge and growing problem in this immediate area with young people who are heroin addicted and going through rehab. There have been fatalities in the City and one kid has overdosed and died. We need to educate our citizens; they call LaGrange Road Heroin Highway from Orland Park to Melrose Park. There is a significant increase in heroin usage; it has become a major epidemic. We are trying to save our young people; we should come together as a community to address this problem. He urged audience members to take this information back to their families and make local officials aware of this problem.
23. Reconsideration Upon Veto: Mentioned by Ald. McDermott, seconded by Ald. Musillami, to approve the 2012 Printing Contract awarded to Infinity Signs for $29,419.65. Ald. McDermott moved to reconsider the motion made by Ald. McDermott and seconded by Ald. Musillami to extend, for an additional year, the contract with Infinity Signs & Graphics, to provide printing services for the City at the same cost as the prior year. Ald. McDermott moves to extend the contract previously presented notwithstanding the Mayor’s refusal to approve it, seconded by Ald. Musillami. Mayor Krzeminski noted Ald. Musillami’s comment that it is unfair to the business to have the owner rebid the contract. Everyone knew that the price was as of last year. He is still opposed. Ald. Musillami believes everything should be put out for bids. In the future the City should offer one-year contracts. Ald. McDermott stated that the signed contract was clear that it was a one-year contract with opportunity to extend it provided the price is maintained at the same level; that was done. The Council’s discretion was to extend it for one year. It’s unfair to veto this contract now; it should have been done one year ago. Mayor Krzeminski stated one year ago there was one other bidder who was disqualified. The RFP was clear that Council had the discretion to extend the contract. There is no purpose in vetoing it now, thus the motion to override. Ald. Pondelicek voted against the contract not due to quality but because it didn’t go out to bid. Motion carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0.
CITY CLERK’S REPORT
24. Approval of Executive Session minutes of: City Council – 1-11-12 and Finance Committee minutes – 11-29-11. Clerk Sweeney asked for approval of the above Executive Session minutes. Ald. Michalczyk moved to approve both sets of minutes, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried unanimously.
25. Treasurer Jasinski addressed the Harley Davidson Grand Opening on Saturday, May 5, 2012; he was very impressed; they sold three motorcycles that day. He was happy to see the crowd and the general increase in activity; it will keep the City financially strong. He looks forward to the City Council working together in the future.
26. INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE – ALD. MICHALCZYK, CHAIRMAN, sought authority to advertise for bids on the 2012 Street Rehabilitation. The streets to be resurfaced this year are Peck, Leitch and 57thSt.; CDBG funds will be used on Prescott Road off 5thAvenue Cutoff. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve as presented, seconded by Ald. Jasinski and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0. Ald. McDermott commended Ald. Michalczyk for her work on that issue.
27. BUSINESS LICENSE COMMITTEE – ALD. MUSILLAMI, CHAIRMAN, sought consideration of approving Business Licenses administratively rather than legislatively, keeping the listing on the Agenda to notify citizens, posting on the Website and posting public notification in City Hall. Ald. Von Drasek moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried unanimously.
28. Ald. Musillami sought consideration of approving Special Use applications and Special Event applications administratively rather than legislatively, keeping the listing on the Agenda to notify citizens, posting on the Website and posting public notification in City Hall. This will prevent Council from occasionally approving the event after its date has passed. Ald. McDermott moved to approve, seconded by Ald. Pondelicek and carried unanimously.
29. Consideration of licensing storage box containers in the B-1 Zoning District was deleted from the Agenda.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
30. City Admin. Ms. Paul added to Treas. Jasinski’s comments about the Harley Grand Opening; it took one-half hour to get through the check-out line to buy a toy motorcycle. She heard many comments from residents and employees about how nice it was to see the restaurants and bars filled with people who came to see Harley and stayed in town to dine or shop. Ald. Musillami stated that although the bikes and the music were loud, he is happy to have people in town but is also happy that the Rallies will be few and far between. Ald. Von Drasek said his wife was on a three-wheeler with their 9-year-old son. The Harley people thanked the City but mostly the City Administrator, Gail Paul, for all the time and effort she put into this project; also past Mayor Conrad who was instrumental in Harley choosing the City of Countryside. This is just the beginning.
31. City Engineer Fitzgerald stated that the 2012 Street Rehabilitation project will go out for bids next week; perhaps the contract will be awarded at the first meeting in June.
32. Ald. Jasinski stated that the Recreation Committee meeting will take place shortly. Beginning June 14 the Concerts in the Park are beginning for an 8-week period. He invited all residents to come out and have a good time. Thanks also to all the staff involved in the Harley event, plus the police presence. The people there may look rough wearing leathers and tattoos, but they are a very good group; they were spending a lot of money in Countryside. Mayor Krzeminski wished all the Mothers in the Audience — HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
33. Ald. McDermott stated that many residents are not happy about C-side Tobacco that came into Ward 3 in the Triangle Area. He asked Attorney Peck to do some legal research re: Home Rule authority to restrict the distance between tobacco shops and schools. Other municipalities have done something similar; we need to prevent these types of establishments from opening up near or right across the street from schools.
34. There being no further business to discuss, Mayor Krzeminski sought a motion to adjourn into Executive Session under Section 2Ac and 2Ah of the Open Meetings Act for the purposes of discussing real estate and litigation and to review Executive session minutes of the EDC meeting of 2-2-12 and Council Executive session minutes of 1-25-12. Ald. Michalczyk moved to adjourn to Executive Session, seconded by Ald. Von Drasek and carried by Roll Call vote – 6/0.
Mayor Krzeminski declared the meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
SHARON SWEENEY, CITY CLERK