Save the date for the next 3rd Ward meeting on June 8, 2016 at Prairie Lakes Community Center, Meeting Room 1 (northeast wing) at 7:00 p.m. The guest will be Dan Pontarelli, who is proposing a new development: Blue Sky Residences - an independent living community of 1BR and studio rental units for residents over the age of 62. The location is proposed for the parcel occupied by the former Era Tool manufacturing plant on North Avenue between Second and Third Ave. Dan is the developer of the Prairie Corners Townhomes on Prairie and First and also the mall on Rand and River where the Dunkin' Donuts and Taco Village are located.
Welcome to 3rdWard.org, a website dedicated to communication and transparency between Des Plaines City Government and you. This website, maintained by 3rd Ward Alderman Denise Rodd, is designed to keep neighbors engaged in their community and informed about issues.
I've heard from many of you regarding the topic of the City offering health benefits to the elected officials in Des Plaines. I hold the opinion that this is an outdated and unsustainable practice that costs nearly $100,000 per year and benefits - at most - 10 people in the City of Des Plaines.
On Monday, the City Council will vote on an amendment to the ordinance that specifies compensation for elected officials. If the amendment passes, it will codify health, dental and life insurance benefits for elected officials and their families.
Please attend the City Council meeting on Monday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. Whether you are there to listen or to voice your opinion, it will be good to see you there.
In a 3rd Ward meeting that I attended about five years ago, a neighbor raised his hand and asked the question, "Does the City provide Aldermen with health insurance?" I was as surprised as most in the room that the answer was, "Yes."
The City offers all elected officials and their families the same health and dental benefit package that is offered to full-time employees. This has been a tradition since long ago when insurance was cheap and we had a mayoral form of government. In current times, with health care coverage costs rising, a city manager form of government, and part-time elected officials, this practice should end.
I have researched the topic, listened to residents, and brought it up before Council to discuss. On Monday, February 1, 2016, this topic is on the Finance Committee agenda for discussion.
If you would like to attend and express your opinion to Council, please come to City Hall on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The agenda item is after the Warrant Register item near the beginning of the meeting.
- Read the memo I sent to the Finance Committee chair and the Northwest Municipal Council's health benefits survey.
- Read the Chicago Tribune's coverage when the Naperville City Council voted to end health benefit coverage for its elected officials.
- Read the Daily Herald's editorial about this practice.
The 3rd Ward meeting scheduled for December 9 was moved to December 1 where City Manager, Mike Bartholomew attended as the guest and held discussion on the brand campaign.
The next 3rd Ward meeting is January 13, 2016. To sign up for reminders and the monthly newsletter, click the Sign Up Now link at left.
I'm doing some research, and would like to hold a Ward meeting to discuss keeping chickens in Des Plaines backyards. In the City of Chicago, backyard chickens (including roosters) are allowed in every neighborhood. Here's what some suburbs are doing
If you've driven by the old ice cream stand on Wolf and Algonquin Rd. lately, you've seen a sign in the window suggesting that something new is coming. The Des Plaines Community and Economic Development Department (CED) has confirmed that the parcel with the shop has been purchased, and that the new owner intends to open a hot dog stand. CED will work with the new owner on licensing and business assistance programs to improve the building.
Our tour guide for the Ozinga plant tour scheduled for Wednesday, August 19 was involved in an accident on Friday. He is recovering; however, won't be able to conduct the tour of the Ozinga Plant. Check back here for a rescheduled date and time.
Alfini Alley Closure - between Alfini and Algonquin
Starting Wednesday, May 20, alley replacement work will begin on the alley. This alley will be closed to all vehicles for approximately 7 weeks, weather permitting.
Southwest Place - West Grant to West Villa
Work on Southwest Place involves new 8 inch water main, various storm sewer improvements, and complete street reconstruction and reprofiling. All curb will be removed and replaced. All driveway aprons will be replaced with concrete. Sidewalk will be replaced as needed. Six inches of asphalt pavement will be paved on Southwest. Landscape restoration will be completed with sod. Pavement striping and street signs will also be replaced. Work is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 26, just after Memorial Day.
Northwest Place - West Grant to Thacker
Work on Northwest Place involves new 36 inch storm sewer and new 8 inch water main. Miscellaneous sidewalk and curb will be replaced. No driveway aprons are scheduled for removal. Three inches of pavement will be removed and resurfaced on Northwest. Landscape restoration will be completed with sod. Pavement striping and street signs will also be replaced.
Northeast Place - East Grant to Thacker
Work on Northeast Place involves new 36 inch storm sewer. Miscellaneous sidewalk and curb will be replaced. No driveway aprons are scheduled for removal. Storm sewer trenches in pavement will be patched. Northeast is not scheduled for pavement resurfacing this year. Landscape restoration will be completed with sod. Pavement striping and street signs will also be replaced.
Oxford Road - Oakton Street to Forest Avenue
Work on Oxford Road involves new 8 inch water main and new 15 inch concrete storm sewer. All ditches and culverts will be removed and replaced with storm catch basins. Fire hydrants will be added, and their locations will be changed to conform to current building codes. All driveway aprons will be replaced with concrete. The pavement on Oxford will be widened from the existing 18 to 22 feet to a width of 25 feet. Six inches of asphalt pavement will be paved on Oxford. Several diseased ash trees will be cut down on Oxford. Landscape restoration will be completed with sod. Pavement striping and street signs will also be replaced.
Lincoln Avenue - Oxford Road to Wolf Road
Work on Lincoln Avenue new 12 inch concrete storm sewer. All ditches and culverts will be removed and replaced with storm catch basins. Old fire hydrants will be replaced. All driveway aprons will be replaced with concrete. The pavement on Lincoln will be widened from the existing 20 feet to a width of 25 feet. Six inches of asphalt pavement will be paved on Lincoln. Landscape restoration will be completed with sod. Pavement striping and street signs will also be replaced.
Due to a scheduling conflict, the 3rd Ward meeting this month will be on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 instead of May 13. The time and location - 7:00 p.m. at Prairie Lakes Community Center - remains the same. Our guest will be Mike Bartholomew, City Manager.
This week, the 3rd Ward Meeting WILL NOT take place at Prairie Lakes so that residents can attend the Park District Public Forum at West Park at 7pm on April 8. The forum is regarding the proposed pocket park at 968 S. Second Ave. I will be there along with Park District staff. To view a proposed layout of the park, visit www.Facebook.com/DP3rdWard (no login required).