Permit Parking Consolidation and Ward Council Meeting Minutes #6

It’s almost time for new city stickers and that means, Permit Parking Consolidation. When purchasing your 2012 City Vehicle Stickers from the City Clerk’s office, please be aware of the following permit parking zone consolidations in our neighborhood:
Zones 1394 and 126 are consolidating into Zone 62. Zone 62 will remain 62.
Car owners in these areas need to be sure the new zone number is printed correctly when purchasing their new city sticker.
II. Ward Council Notes
I was unable to make the 6th Ward Council meeting this Wednesday May 16th, but it was attended by Area 5 Alternative Representative, Linda Wilson. Thanks for the great notes, Linda, here they are:
A. Report from the Alderman:
1.  Infrastructure trust
This has been covered extensively in Pawar’s newsletters.
– it’s the right thing to do
– it was messaged and presented in a way that guaranteed opposition
– there are limits to what can be done with municipal bonds
– he supported the amendments and all but one of the Aldermanic changes were accepted by Emanuel
– he would have voted for the alternate proposal but it wasn’t stated in a way that was legal, so he didn’t
– as with all political decisions there were lots of aspects to consider, compromises were made.  Look at the extremes that were said about the issue and the truth is somewhere in the middle
2.  Speed cams
Alderman Pawar voted against it.
3.  Clark Park Stadium
The funding has passed and the next step is the legal documents, then the ground-breaking.  The funding is a combination of money from Cubs Charities (1M), Kerry Woods and his wife (1M), Turner construction ($750K), Park District ($500K) and TIF money (didn’t get the amount).
It’s a flagship project, first of its kind, will be completed sometime this year.  He’s worked with the Clark Park Advisory Committee on this.
B. Questions and Answers:
1. Have any other projects been described yet?  None other than the one on retrofitting public buildings.  This will be revenue neutral, reallocating monies that would have been spent on energy to the developers with the plus being jobs for tradespeople in unions, which have high unemployment rates.
2. Is the revenue used for debt service too?  Yes, that’s the cost
3. Has anyone compared the cost of this system to the cost of municipal bonds?  Not able to do so because the cost of bonds (and the cost through the trust) vary project to project.
 Final statement:  The trust is a shell with subject-matter experts.  He saw the way aldermen stood up and succeeded in changing it on the floor as a positive.  He’ll put out more information in an e-mail.
4. Was there any further information on NATO?  Check the web site for OEMC and sign up for “Notify Chicago.  Sure, there will be protests – most will be a good thing but they may be some provacateurs.  He said no big, the United nations is in New York and they handle protests daily with no issue.

C. Ward Council Discussion:

Dara took the stage and handed out pads of paper and slips with questions on it.  We broke up into small groups to answer them.  Dara and Jim collected the responses and are below.
The questions were:
What are the most useful/best elements of the Ward Council Meetings?
What are the least useful elements?
How would you like to see the Ward Council meetings develop from here?
Are there any issues that you would like to see included on the Ward Council Agenda?
What role should delegates/alternates have in the Ward Council?
Are there presentations from any organization you would like to have at the Ward Council?
How often do you think the Ward Coucil should meet – monthly, every other month, or quarterly?
The representatives enjoys the “tour of churches” throughout the ward that the Council meetings have given us and would like the local neighborhood group to “host” along with giving a short presentation about their area, schools, highlights, etc. General consensus was hearing all the inside stuff from the Alderman and the transparency of the process is the best thing, meetings can get too bogged down in reporting to us as a passive audience, lots of suggestions for different organizations (but these may be different meetings), and monthly meetings are too frequent but quarterly meeting aren’t frequent enough.  Figure every 6-8 weeks (next one will be mid-July at Addison Community Church at 2132 W. Addison, exact date TBD.
The discussion also asked about what are the two or three things the delegates to the council should accomplish, and what is the mission statement. This is independent of all the committees and working groups Dara is working to set up.
The alderman ended the meeting with saying the terms on the Zoning Advisory Committee are coming to an end (they go for one year), and anyone interested in serving on that group to contact the office.

D. Suggestions from the Small Group Discussion (emailed by Dara this week):

• More presentations/education (CPS, Police, Parks, etc.) – topics could be: how the ward and city work, how a successful Neighborhood Group is organized. Some of these could be outside of Council Meetings and be part of what the Ward Council sponsors.
• Coordination of local projects which the audits will help.
• Agenda on the website
• Create working groups; environment, recycling, safety, CPS & parks in the ward, etc.
• Role of the delegates and alternates: what is their mandate? Communicate with
neighborhood group and neighbors, be involved with committees, get to know the
other delegates.

The Council discussed their purpose and tasks. Jim spoke of supporting one another, organizing their neighborhood group and informing the alderman of what’s happening in their area.

Additional recommendations: Members would like to be informed in advance of major city ordinances which would be posted to the website and accept comments, discussion of menu expenditures.

Ward Council Members will now take this back to their respective Neighborhood Groups to discuss these issues and what they would like the Ward Council to be moving forward. So…

III. Our next neighborhood meeting:
June 4th at 7pm at All Saints Church on the corner of Hermitage and Wilson. Please come to meet your neighbors and discuss the above and other items that are of concern for our neighborhood. The agenda will be posted on the blog. I hope to see you all there!
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