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.

Entries in Cell Tower (4)

Monday
Aug012011

Knock Out Blow to Proposed Cell Tower

City Council Meeting of August 1, 2011


Almost one year ago today, I posted an announcement that Meyer Material was looking to install a cell tower near homes in the 3rd Ward. During our monthly ward meeting I asked for feedback on this issue and the response was clear: no one wants a cell tower in their backyard. I collected support and defeated the proposal.

This year, 7th Ward Alderman Dan Wilson faced a similar problem with a proposed tower on city property adjacent to a residential community. Lending a helping hand to Dan Wilson, there was support to defeat the proposal 5-3. A few days later, 1st Ward Alderman Pat Haugeberg (having first voted to defeat the proposal) had a change of heart and asked that the tower be reconsidered. After hearing the debate upon reconsideration, Haugeberg changed her vote. With a deadlocked City Council, Mayor Marty Moylan broke the tie in favor of the tower.

Pro-Tower (5)
Haugeberg
Robinson
Sayad
Cherewicz
**MOYLAN**

Anti-Tower (4)
Bogusz
Brookman
Walsten
Wilson

The cell tower passed first reading. Whew...how's that for background?

Tonight, the proposal came back for second reading (final vote) and the chamber was packed with the same familiar faces, except for one, Mayor Moylan. Away on a personal matter, the pro-tower team didn't have their tie breaking vote. For that reason, Alderman Dick Sayad decided to employ some Roberts Rules gamesmanship to ensure the vote would not result in a tie vote. In other words, if everyone voted as they did on first reading there wouldn't be a consensus to approve the tower because the Mayor wasn't there to break the tie. Sayad switched to the anti-tower team so that he could be counted amongst the prevailing side of the decision. A member of the prevailing side of any decision can ask to reconsider a measure (like Alderman Haugeberg did a week earlier...), and in this case, they could reconsider once the Mayor was back and ready to vote with them. So, what does that look like?

Pro-Tower (3)
Haugeberg
Robinson
Cherewicz

Anti-Tower (5)
Bogusz
Brookman
Walsten
Wilson
Sayad

After Sayad cast his vote and his intentions were clear (to bring the topic for reconsideration following the Mayor's return), Aldermen Walsten, Brookman, and I took a quick sidebar and realized that the rules could be used in our favor. Alderman Brookman motioned for a leave of the body; without objection from an alderman, any alderman can change their vote. With no objection, Brookman changed his vote:

Pro-Tower (4)
Haugeberg
Robinson
Cherewicz
Brookman

Anti-Tower (4)
Bogusz
Walsten
Wilson
Sayad

...and just like that the vote was tied. I quickly asked for a point of order; with the council deadlocked the ordinance didn't have the votes to pass (majority +1) and there was not a group of people on the prevailing side. In other words, there was no one who could later ask to bring this topic back for future consideration. The parliamentarian was stumped so I asked for a 15 minute recess so he could consult his reference materials. My gut was right. With no one on the prevailing side and a 4-4 vote, the ordinance failed and could not be brought back for future consideration. The tower was killed thanks to some quick thinking, teamwork, and Roberts Rules know-how.

Sure, T-Mobile could very well try again but any future proposal would have to be dramatically different (they can't just submit the same proposal again), neighbors would have to be notified, and the process would need to start over.

Wednesday
Jul202011

Imitation: Highest Form of Flattery

City Council Meeting of July 19, 2011

Last night's Council meeting was unique in that both of the contentious issues had been previously decided, added to the agenda for reconsideration, and ultimately overturned.  The Miner Street Tavern has been looking to transfer their business license (read: seek approval for a 4am liquor license) since I joined the City Council.  Search "4am" our "liquor" on 3rdward.org to see all the posts...  Since then, I've maintained that DP shouldn't be a 4 o'clock town.  Last evening, I voted my conscience and voted "no" on the transfer but a majority of the Council disagreed. Decision reversed: Miner Street Tavern now has a permanent 4am license. 

Two weeks ago residents of the 7th ward paid a visit to the City Council to speak their minds on the proposed cell tower in their backyard.  I voted against the T-Mobile proposal and it failed 3-5.  After that meeting, Alderman Haugeberg of the 1st Ward sent a letter to the City Clerk asking for reconsideration of the item ("no" voters can ask to reconsider and change their mind).  We reconsidered, she changed her mind, making the vote 4-4.  When this happens, Mayor Moylan has to break the tie and in this case he voted to approve the tower.  Decision reversed: Cell tower approved.  

I'm excited to announce that this is my 113th post to 3rdWard.org in the past 2 years! (plus 29 discussion threads, 6 newsletters, 69 photos...)  I'm almost as excited to announce another DP ward website is joining the blogosphere...welcome 5th Ward Alderman Jim Brookman and his 5thWard.net!  Imitation is absolutely the highest form of flattery.  

Friday
Jul082011

Reorganization, Vestiges, & Towers

City Council Meeting of July 5, 2011

Monday night's meeting began with some mundane discussion and finished with a fight over a cell tower.

During the 2011 budget process the City Council removed two positions from the Community & Economic Development Department (CED), one director position and one senior (non-management) position.  Following that decision, CED reorganized to give two remaining employees the management responsibility once held by the director who was removed from the organization.  The Council codified this otherwise temporary organization as it saved the department money and improved efficiency.  Just housekeeping.

The Civil Service Commission was designed to protect employees in the workplace.  After the development of union's collective bargaining rights, the Civil Service Commission stopped seeing action.  Without a single member currently appointed and having not been active in over 10years, the City's Human Resources Director proposed a plan to eliminate this vestigial commission over time.  The Council found a way to protect the rights of all employees (union or otherwise) while cleaning up our process.  More housekeeping.  

The 7th Ward and a piece of City owned property was being courted by T-Mobile for a new cell tower.  (See the "A" marked on the map below for the precise location)  A few months ago the residents of Crestwood, Prairie, and Rose opposed the construction of a cell tower on the Meyer Material site.  I heard their message and gathered the support of my colleagues to oppose construction of the cell tower.  In much the same way, I supported Alderman Wilson when he looked for the same result in his 7th Ward.  The cell tower was defeated 5(against)-3.    

 

Sunday
Aug082010

Proposed Meyer Material Cell Tower

City staff has notified Alderman Higgason and I that a cell company has petitioned for a cell tower permit.  While this tower would be located in the 4th Ward, many 3rd Ward residents are near the site. 

Forward me your thoughts, questions, and concerns and I will make sure to represent your interests to the City Council.  We will discuss this proposal at our monthly 3rd Ward Meeting, this Wednesday - August 11th, 7pm at Prairie Lakes. 

Staff memo: 
Verizon Wireless has requested a permit to install a cellular tower, considered in the zoning code to be a Commercial Mobile Radio Service and Accessory Structure, at
580 South Wolf Road, the site of Meyer Material, the ready mix concrete company.

Download the complete memo from our Department of Economic Development.  

Post
your questions about this proposal to The Discussion before Wednesday's 3rd Ward Meeting and I will make sure to have answers in hand.