By Bill Smith
Here’s a recap of our live coverage of tonight’s Evanston City Council meeting.
The meeting was scheduled to being at 8:10 p.m.
A packet with information on tonight’s agenda items is available online.
Meeting called to order at 8:17 p.m.
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl reads proclamation declaring today Monarch Butterfly Day
Ann Louise Hawk of First Slice Pie Cafe says Gibbs-Morrison Center location will open next month. Brought pies to the meeting tonight. Coincidentally this is “Pi Day” — which, as 3/14/16, references the mathmetical constant for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is, approximately, 3.1416.
Deputy city clerk says 944 people voted in early voting just today. Election day is tomorrow — polls open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Lots of people tonight. Mayor says they’ll each have only 90 seconds.
Eric Paset, landlord, says fears licensing ordinance would require landlords to evict all tenants if one caused troubles. Says that’s impossible and unfair
Diane Skyler, 1112 Hull Terrace, says the landlord ordinances won’t accomplish the goals the city is seeking. Says city should rely on existing regulations.
Michael Filipec, 1567 Ridge, says landlords weren’t consulted in developing the proposal. Says should have meetings with them to help address the problems.
Don Flayton says need to be extraordinarily careful when threaten landlord’s livelihood over the conduct of others.
Albert Gibbs, who’s frequently criticized police in the past, praises the officer who helped him catch a bus the other day — giving him a ride and flagging downt the bus.
Jeff Smith suggests the landlord licensing ordinance is about as stupid as this year’s presidential campaign. Says enforcement likely to be arbitrary and discriminatory.
Mike Moran, 3033 Central, urges vote against the neighborhood integrity and landlord licensing ordinances. Says ordinance could bankrupt property owners.
Dan Schermerhorn says Alderman Rainey has succeeded in ridding her ward of bad landlords using existing ordinances. Don’t need the ordinances under consideration tonight, he says.
Brendan Saunders of Open Communities says could be innocent victims — the tenants.
Amy Meek of Illinois ACLU says concerned about including aggravated stalking in the ordinance — says the victim is almost always the tenant who would suffer if the ordinance was applied.
Several other speakers also oppose the two ordinances related to rental properties
Taken off consent agenda:
– Neighborhood Integrity Ordinance
– Rental Licensing Ordinance
– Artist studios as permitted use on ground floor in D2, D3 and D4 downtown districts.
Consent agenda approved.
A10 – Neighborhood integrity ordinance, and A11 – Rental Licensing Ordinance
Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, suggests in lieu of adopting the licensing ordinance … making some change in the integrity ordinance.
Says should be administrative adjudication … in section J … wouldn’t be just deision by city manager … but require administrative adjudication (or circuit court.
Says also would include options for training course, security review and annual inspections from the licensing ordinance into the integrity ordinance …. and then drop the licensing ordinance.
Alderman Brian Miller, 9th Ward, says would like a flat $100/day penalty for violations of section F … should strike the staff cost provisions. Says existing proposal would be excessive.
Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, seconds Wilson’s motion.
Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, says wants to see registration enforced.
Wilson says existing registration ordinance would be revisited with report to how its being implemented and also what the implementation will be of the neighborhood integrity ordinance.
Says wants to see what are doing and not doing with the laws already on the books
Rainey says this is no way to produce a best practice ordinance by chatting back and forth Suggests that put together a subcommittee to go into depth on this legislation. This has brought out even more people than 831 Emerson — this is city-wide concern. Says she’s looked at the registration ordinance closely but has no idea how it’s being enforced. Says the example for subcommittee is this — received ordinance and resolutions from city staff that most people can’t buy into.
Asks mayor to appoint three aldermen and three landlords to committee. Says think we need an ordinance of this kind (neigborhood integrity). But don’t need licensing. Most landlords at her meeting said they didn’t mind registration.
Wilson seconds Rainey’s motion … and Miller and Wilson withdraw their own motions.
Wilson says need to take licensing off the table. Says he was involved in committee on that a few years ago.
Holmes says she’s comfortable with withdrawing the licensing as long as will enforce registration. Says can’t understand any landlord objecting to registration. She says have thousands of properties that are not registered.
Bobkiewicz suggests return in 60 days with update on registration.
Roll-call vote on rental licensing … is unanimous to reject it.
Wilson moves that neighborhood integrity ordinance be referred to A&PW for appointment of subcommittee … Wilson, Miller and Rainey volunteer to be on it … and subcommittee also review registration ordinance.
Goal to have committee report back by mid-May.
That motion is approved unanimously on a voice vote.