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Council Bytes: Highlights from the Dec. 10 City Council Meeting


‘Twas the last Council meeting of two thousand twelve
But one could scarce view it as drawn up by elves

‘Twas a Jekyl-begun meeting interrupted by Hyde.
Not a meeting for Council to speak of with pride.
We began with good news: That our Wildcats will play
In the Gator Bowl at 11 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Then came police promotions, a proud, happy occasion
Jason Garner, now Sergeant, no need for persuasion.
Nor for Aretha Hartley to Deputy Chief,
Angela Hearts-Glass to Commander – Ah, what a relief!

And then came the bills list with its mind-numbing data,
Spelled out by department but not meted pro rata,
Including $17 million to pay back our debts –
All passed without comment and, it seems, no regrets.

More good news in that some insurance is cheaper:
liability, workers’ comp., property – this company’s a keeper.
As a self-covered City we still pay a chunk
Saving 168th of $17 million – now that’s a slam-dunk.

Our murals have been vandalized by unfortunate souls
Diminishing what’s on our public-art rolls.
Looking at City code, staff found a hole therein,
As nothing directly addressed so mighty a sin.

They drafted an ordinance addressing the matter.
But Council returned it: “You know what’s the matter?
“This new code’s for murals and not other art works
on the streets and in parks, so go fix these quirks.”

Then the mood turned again sober as people recall
Violence occurring outside ETHS’s halls
Security cameras along Dodge set for placement next year
Will go up much sooner, at a time very near.

The budget for these was in 2013,
But a City Manager’s fund came up with the green.

Will the City sell water to more villages and towns?
Is a question we have sought help for till the answer is found.

CDM Smith, our consultant, has been working all year
Researching whether it will be profit or arrears
If we increase our sales and pipe H2O
To towns that now get theirs from Chicago.
For a quarter mil more CDM Smith will keep looking
So let’s hope someone is doing some customer-booking.

Then came the TIF which labels as “near blighted”
A shopping area where at least customers are delighted
There was one “no” vote, Ninth Ward Ald. Burrus
The other votes cast were, to-a-one, “yes.”

But this was just introduction; in January we’ll see
Whether those eight aldermen still agree
That Main and Chicago is ripe for a TIF.
We’ve so many of them now, it’s a theme – or a riff.

Evanston does not provide for banquet halls in its code,
And someone, it seems, will take on the load
Of opening one, but the zoning’s not quick.
No banquet halls in residential – that one should stick.

Council said, sure, but there’s one other exclusion.    
They can’t be industrial, a stated conclusion.

Now introduced, once the new ordinance passes,
Upon special use-request, it will allow for the masses
New banquet halls here for weddings and such –
Evanstonians do like to party so much.

And finally, the taxes. The tax-tax-tax taxes.
The end of the year and yet no one relaxes.
The levies, the official tax documentation.
Four of them this year for implementation:
The Township, the City, special-service areas, library
There are more, but at Council these four were primary.

The chambers emptied, Council gone for the night,   
Another year behind them filled with tales of TIF blight.

But some seemed to hear, far away form the light,
City Manager Bobkiewicz calling with all of his might,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."




 

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