City of Geneva Committee of the Whole met Nov. 1.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
ELECTED OFFICIALS PRESENT: Burns, Burghart, Clements, Hruby, Kaven, Kilburg, Maladra, Marks, McGowan, Swanson
ELECTED OFFICIALS ABSENT: Bruno
STAFF PRESENT: Dawkins, McCready, Babica, Antenore, Passarelli, Tymoszenko, DeGroot, Fornari
OTHERS PRESENT: Attorney Ron Sandack, SPAC Chair Brendan Cassin
Mayor Burns called the meeting to order at 8:31am at Living Well Cancer Resource Center. The Mayor asked for a motion to waive the rules. Moved by Swanson, seconded by Hruby. Rules were waived by unanimous voice vote.
Dawkins reviewed the items on the agenda and the day’s timeline of discussion, and then introduced Attorney Sandack to provide information regarding general governance ‘best practices,’ how non-home rule affects the city and its governance, and then entertained questions from the aldermen.
After a short break, Economic Development Director Tymoszenko provided information on strategies for improving vacancy rates in the downtown. Tymoszenko provided background on the Business District that ceased in 2016 and what it provided. She also talked about the positive impact that incentives can bring to stakeholders to help bring new business into the downtown.
There was consensus to study implementation of a new business district as well as additional policy discussion on home rule.
Dawkins led a discussion on additional policy items, including a request from the Mental Health Board to increase their levy funding. The committee indicated they were not opposed to an increase, but depends on the rest of the budget. Dawkins stated budget discussions have not yet begun but staff will make a recommendation prior to the final levy being adopted in December.
Chief Antenore announced that with the new fire engine coming into place, they would like to donate the old engine to the Fire Training Facility at the College of DuPage. The committee agreed this would be a good idea and by consensus directed staff to work with legal to determine the means and method.
Dawkins introduced the process of moving the Clerk and Treasurer positions from elected to appointed positions. She referred to the Clerk vacancy in 2017 and that no one ran to replace Lynn Landberg. She also noted that most of the statutory duties of both the clerk and treasurer are already handled on a daily basis by city staff. She cited Yorkville’s passage of a 2016 referendum that enabled that city to appoint those positions, but noted that she was looking for their general preference. The committee, by consensus did not feel a need to make any changes at this time.
There was a brief discussion regarding the new meeting schedule that was implemented in June with City Council and Committee of the Whole occurring on the First and Third Mondays with room for policy discussions and other meetings on the Second and Fourth Mondays. The schedule was implemented on a trial basis with the intent of reviewing at the Strategic Planning Workshop. The consensus was the new schedule works and should be formally implemented.
The committee began a discussion on potential updates to city policy regarding sidewalks. As a result of those discussions, Dawkins indicated she would work with legal counsel to determine if the City could require a fee in lieu if the Council were to grant a waiver to a developer for the sidewalk requirement.
The committee recessed for lunch.
Asst. City Admin. Ben McCready then provided a report on the recent community survey that was produced by SPAC.
Following the discussion on the community survey, Dawkins engaged the committee in a prioritization exercise to select the top objectives from the Strategic Plan as priorities for the upcoming fiscal year (beginning May 1, 2020). Economic Vitality (EV) - II garnered a majority of the votes; followed by Environmental Stewardship (ES) – II, EV – 1, and Strong Governance (SG) – I.
Following the prioritization exercise, DeGroot provided updates on the Mill Race redevelopment, progress of Cetron redevelopment, affordable housing ordinance, and recreational cannabis zoning hearings. Dawkins also reminded the committee they are welcome to attend any of the budget meetings that will take place over the next couple of weeks, noting a tentative date of February 3 has been set for formal budget adoption.
There being no further matters for discussion, the meeting was adjourned by unanimous voice vote on a motion by Ald. Marks at 2:33pm.