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.


Look familiar? 

The Des Plaines Police Department is participating in a traffic safety pilot program entitled Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 ®, a project that focuses on reducing speeding in residential neighborhoods.  After several local Des Plaines Police Department Neighborhood Watch Meetings, the Des Plaines Police received unanimous support to engage and educate all citizens in creating safer streets.  It was decided that Thacker Street, between First and Wolf Road, would be the first traffic safety zone of the pilot program.  The goal of the program is to attract the attention of drivers as a means of reinforcing the message to observe the posted speed. To this end, signs that read “Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 ®” were posted up and down Thacker Street, between First Avenue and Wolf Road, this past week.  Pre and post speed tests are conducted prior to and after implementation of the campaign and the installation of the signs. Members of the Des Plaines Traffic Safety Task Force, such as the Neighborhood Watch groups and the Des Plaines Police Community Action Team (CAT), distributed brochures to residents along Thacker Street to advise them of the pilot program and the posting of the temporary signs. The signs are to remain in the parkway for approximately three weeks, throughout the testing period.  The program is funded through the Des Plaines Police Department’s asset forfeiture funds. For additional information call 847-391-5410.
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Des Plaines is Cool! 

Des Plaines has joined 1,000 cities to fight global warming. Des Plaines has joined over 1,000 cities nationwide in signing the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.  Mayor Moylan is committed to reducing our community's emissions through improved energy efficiency and environmental practices.  By signing the agreement, Des Plaines became one of the Sierra Club's "Cool Cities."  Learn more about the Sierra Club's "Cool Cities" initiative HERE.

This month Des Plaines was awarded the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), awarded for the completion of a city-wide emissions inventory and sustainability plan, LED (light emitting diode) retrofitting of traffic lights, alternative technology street lights, and Metra access improvements.



Issue Update: DP Historical Society

Here is a copy of the email I sent to over 40 concerned friends of the Des Plaines Historical Society. (Read it HERE)  After reading my note, consider posting a response and join the discussion.


Ward Meeting Minutes - 10/14/09

Here are the last Ward Meeting Minutes for your review.  Thanks Denise for taking great notes!


City Council Meeting - 08/21/09

In preparation for a long and difficult budget season, most of the Council's noteworthy activity has taken place in executive sessions* before and after regularly scheduled council meetings.  Regarding Mayoral appointments to City Commissions....the Mayor makes the appointment and the City Council is asked to advise and consent.  Since taking office, I have constantly asked for notification on commission openings so you third ward residents can have a shot at an appointment.  (HERE is my latest posting on commission openings)  That said, I don't believe I should have to make a special request in order to get information out to my constituents.  The City should work to publicize openings, promote different opportunities, and encourage new blood to enter our City's government.

At both September meetings I pulled  appointments from the consent agenda.  In other words, I asked that we discuss the appointments of two individuals to the Des Plaines Public Library Board: an ex-wife of our mayor, and a daughter of an Alderman.  I did this after receiving a large number of phone calls from residents who expressed their disappointment (and some even anger) upon hearing the names being appointed to the Library Board.  I told the individuals on the phone and the folks at Council that I would not object to the Mayor's appointments.  He was elected by the voters just like I was, and the code gives him the power to appoint.  Both appointments were given to women who are leaders in public office and business, and capable residents.  Was I disappointed that new faces, names, and backgrounds individuals were not brought into our organization?...yes.  Do I think this sort of activity sends the wrong message to voters like you?....probably.   Will I work to make you aware of appointments as they come available?....absolutely!  The Mayor graciously agreed to provide the Aldermen with frequent lists of vacancies and the letters of those who seek appointments.  I appreciate that and look forward to approving new blood for City Commissions.

*These closed-door meetings are held when topics not suitable for open conversation are before the Council: litigation, personnel, etc. Minutes and tapes of these meetings are kept and released at a later date.  You'll hear Alderman Robinson, as chair of the Legal and Liscensing Committee, report out on the results from executive sessions during the general council meeting.

Sorry for the delay. It's been a busy couple of weeks!


Ward Meeting Minutes - 09/09/09

Read the minutes taken by Denise Smith Rodd HERE.


West Park Plans

You have likely heard that West Park is about to see some serious upgrades.  Residents along Greenview and Orchard have been asking about the drainage improvements.  I have this note from our Engineering Department regarding the drainage:

"The Utility Plan shows the catch basins that will be installed adjacent to the residential property south and west of the park to drain the low points adjacent to the park.  The Grading Plan confirms that the adjacent property will be drained into the park detention basins and, after detention, will be released to the Wolf Road storm sewer."

These images are a bit technical, but they make sense after a few minutes:

Site Location Map        Overall Grading Plan        Site Utility Plan


City Council Meeting - 09/08/09

Tonight's meeting focussed on two main issues: the levee 37 flood wall (or the hole in the flood wall to be more precise) and a State grant for streetscape improvement in downtown.  Pictured to the right is a section of levee 37 that will remain incomplete until a number of intergovernmental agreements are reached. Read this letter to the editor from Mayor Moylan to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and lend us your voice.  Contact our Congresswoman:

Write an Email or call (847) 328-3409 

I raised a question regarding a consent agenda item (items that are of a non-controversial nature).  The grant in question was one where $800k of State money would be available should the City contribute $200k, with the total $1m being spent on streetscaping in our downtown.  I asked if this was the right time to spend money on streetscaping....could we hold off on a decision and still be eligible for the matching State grant?  The answer to this question was disappointing.  Delaying action on this item would have forfeited the State money.  With that detail in mind, I supported the measure.  If our downtown is to stay competitive (in attracting new business and maintaining the existing business) we need to take advantage of these State grants when they come available.


DP101: Infrastructure Reading

If you have a few minutes before Wednesday evening's meeting CLICK HERE TO READ.  These articles should provide some context for the presentation and conversation on city infrasructure. 


Intro to Infrastructure - 09/09/09

Do you know the difference between pervious and impervious pavement? Is your sewer combined? How long should streets last and how are they built? Where does that rainwater go? Our next ward meeting will be dedicated to understanding the piece of government you interact with every day: infrastructure. Our engineering staff will be on hand with an interesting presentation and a clipboard to record your infrastructure-specific concerns. Please tell your neighbors about this unique meeting. Every few months, we will have a new "Des Plaines 101" meeting to discuss an interesting topic in depth.

Wednesday, September 9th            7:00pm            Prairie Lakes