Archive | August, 2011

Trustee Spande August 2011 Letter to the Winfield Post

August 26, 2011

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Winfield Post Letter to the Editor Response: Errors and Attacks on the Winfield Riverwalk

Trustee Allen made numerous errors in his August 11th Letter to the Editor regarding Winfield road funding. The letter used words such as ‘children’ and ‘irresponsible’ to insult his fellow Trustees and then noted that he and select Trustees were the ‘adults’ on the Board (another put down). He went on to call the Winfield Riverwalk project ‘candy’.

The errors and mischaracterizations, however, drew my attention. […]

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President Birutis August 2011 Letter to Editor Daily Herald

August 26, 2011

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In response to Trustee Tim Allen’s Aug. 11 letter to the editor, it is clear that Tim will continue misleading residents and slandering other board members. He will continue to make up facts, hoping the residents can be fooled — like the idea that he just found an additional $208,020 of red-light camera revenue that could be used on the roads.

As Trustee Jay Olson clearly explained, the money has been already allocated for expenses in the current budget and is not new found money. In Allen’s letter, he even changed the actual votes at the Aug. 4 board meeting just to suit his story. Trustee Olson voted against Allen’s $208,020 amendment, and the trustee vote was 4-2 against Allen’s amendment. Please review the Aug. 4 minutes at village hall.

Not satisfied, Allen actually reconstructed the board meeting video on his political blog site by cleverly making the meeting sound differently. If you would like to see what really happened at the board meeting please get a tape of the actual meeting at village hall.

If Trustee Allen really wants to fix our roads, there are two options: 1. Slash the village budget drastically. 2. Accept the fact that we need to ask the voters in a referendum to help pay for the roads.

Do not hide the fact that you want to push through a backdoor referendum that can increase taxes without voter approval. Be honest with our residents and ask them to vote on this important issue. Picking off small line items and telling residents you found money is not going to solve a multimillion dollar issue.

Stop wasting time on minutia. Stop lying about what I said and how I voted. Stop trying to be clever in your letters/blogs and start working as a team to fix our roads.

Deborah Birutis

Winfield Village President

(letter reprinted with permission)

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Winfield Appoints New Police Chief

August 19, 2011

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RELEASE DATE:  August 19, 2011

CONTACT:  Curt Barrett, Village Manager 630-933-7115

 

Winfield Appoints New Police Chief

 

The Village of Winfield is pleased to announce the selection of a new Police Chief with the appointment of Deputy Chief Stacy Reever as its top law enforcement official at the August 18 Village Board meeting.  Chief Reever is a 22-year veteran of the Winfield Police Department and had served as Acting Police Chief since February.  Successive positions she held before heading up the department included Patrol Officer, Detective, Sergeant, and Deputy Chief.

 

Village President Deb Birutis was pleased with the hire, sharing that “Stacy has demonstrated excellent leadership in the role, and brings a real dedication and passion to her work for the Village.”  Reever is a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.  Village Manager Curt Barrett noted Chief Reever’s accomplishments have included revamping detective unit investigation procedures, negotiating with bargaining units to reduce overtime, initiating emergency notification improvements, and outreach to Winfield schools and civic organizations. The selection process began in April and garnered over 100 applicants.  Barrett went on to state that “Chief Reever has led the department in exemplary fashion and I look forward to many successes working together.”

 

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Village Board Meetings on the Web!

August 4, 2011

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A recording of the village board meetings is now available on the village website.

www.villageofwinfield.com

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Village Board Meeting for July 21, 2011

August 3, 2011

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Notes of Village meetings are prepared by volunteers of Winfield United as a community service. The notes are not the official Village of Winfield minutes. They are not a complete written and accurate representation of all matters discussed at the meeting nor are it our intention to lead readers to make any such conclusion. These notes are solely for a prompt and quick informational briefing of the agenda and general discussion made by the Village Trustees and attendees at the meeting for the convenience of Winfield United (WU) website visitors. They should not be used for any other purpose. We suggest that visitors to our Winfield United website please visit the official Village of Winfield website to obtain the official agenda and minutes. The Village of Winfield website is http://www.villageofwinfield.com/DocumentCenterii.aspx?FID=41 for the official posting of Village minutes. Please call the Village of Winfield administration at 630-933-7100 should the official minutes for the subject meeting not be posted or for further clarification of the agenda and minutes.

 

Board packets can be obtained from: http://www.villageofwinfield.com/DocumentCenterii.aspx?FID=53

 

Agenda

winfield Village Board OF TRUSTEES

Thursday, JULY 21, 2011

7:00 P.M. – Village Hall

 

1.                  Call to Order

 

2.                  Roll Call

>> President Birutis, Manager Barret, Clerk Mareachen. All Trustees -Present

3.                  Pledge of Allegiance

4.                  Correspondence

>>

5.                  Audience Participation

 

The opportunity to speak to the Village Board is provided for those who have a question or comment on an agenda item or Village of Winfield issue that will stimulate thought so as to make the Village Board deliberations more productive and meaningful. The Village Board appreciates hearing from our residents and your thoughts and questions are valued. The Village Board strives to make the best decisions for the Village and public input is very helpful.

 

Respect for the duties of the Village Board and for the democratic process will be adhered to – in this regard, civility and a sense of decorum will be strictly followed. All speakers must address their comments to the Board. Comments that are personally condescending will not be permitted. Therefore, speakers shall be courteous and should not make statements that are personally disrespectful to members of the Village Board.

 

Please use the microphone when speaking as the proceedings are being videotaped.  Please state your name and address before commenting – all comments under Audience Participation are limited to five (5) minutes and each citizen will only be permitted to speak once.

>> Mr. Garry Barnard Riverwalk Chairman stated that the Riverwalk Advocates have presented the Riverwalk Committee with a grant of $39,000 and the Central Dupage Hospital will present the Committee with a matching grant of $80,000. The Committee is expecting  to receive grant of $68,000 from the Forest Preserve which will offer a partnership with the Village for this project. The Village has awarded $68,000 for engineering work on the Project.

A resident stated an issue of Ethics, noted that although Trustee Reyes agreed with all the other Trustees present at the June 16 meeting, at which Trustee Allen was absent, that some of Trustee Allen’s remarks about other trustees in his blogs were deplorable, offensive and mean and that recording and playing the remarks by the Village Manager left on his voice mail without the manager’s permission was inappropriate. Nevertheless, Trustee Reyes stated that those remarks and actions were Trustees Allen’s prerogative as freedom of speech. He further stated that although he does not read the Winfield 411 site material, it should be regarded as no different than that of Rush Limbaugh who is not a commentator but an entertainer.  The resident also noted that Trustee Reyes proposed in the recent Planning Meeting that comments by residents at Village Board Meetings be limited to 3 minutes for each presentation and a total of only 30 minutes be allocated for Public Comments.  The resident was interrupted three times by Trustee Reyes and asked to stop speaking since he was talking on a topic not on the present agenda. On the advice of Counsel, Pres. Birutis ruled that under present rules a resident may speak on any topic relevant to Council affairs.

Another resident stated that the public needs to have the right to express opinions to the Board and that should not be mitigated or denied, since it is the residents who are the leaders of the Village, not the Trustees.

6.  Consent Agenda

A.        Motion approving meeting minutes from the Regular Village Board Meeting and Committee of the Whole held June 16, 2011.

 

            B.        Motion approving payment of bills for July 21, 2011.

 

C.        Motion declaring obsolete computer equipment as surplus.

 

This is a variety of equipment that is between 5 and 10 years old and has been stored at the Public Works facility for some time.

 

D.        Motion approving the following appointments recommended by the Village President:

 

Public Works Committee

  • Matt Baldwin for a 2-year term

 

Storm Water Management Committee

  • Robert Borsodi for a 1-year term
  • William Walter for a 1-year term
  • Dave Erickson for a 2-year term
  • Christina Traversa for a 2-year term

>> A., B., C., D.   All Approved

Non-Consent Agenda (Items 7-8)

 

7.         Motion to approve an ordinance amending the annual budget for the Village of Winfield for the fiscal year commencing May 1, 2011 and ending April 30, 2012.

Finance Director Nadine Alletto will be prepared to present information on amendments to the annual budget required to account for several grant awards not confirmed at budget time and open purchase orders for work anticipated to have been completed last fiscal year but which were delayed for reasons such as breakdowns and poor weather.

>> Approved unanimously

8.         Motion to approve an ordinance amending the Village Code – Title 1 – Administration, Chapter 9 – Ethics.

 

Village Attorney David Freeman will be prepared to present information on revisions to    the Ethics Ordinance concerning individual Trustee interactions with developers on    behalf of the Village, and confidentiality requirements related to blogs and social media.

>> The Council decided to forgo the Attorney’s remarks. There was debate regarding which sections of the Village Code were redundant, which may be at variance with the Illinois Attorney General’s  Codes and if the Village  Code on the issue of  trustee contact with developers is obsolete, a hindrance to them in seeking businesses to locate in the Village and  since this section was not used in some years and may be unenforceable as noted by Trustees Reyes, Allen and Olson several sections of the Code were removed and one tabled by majority vote. The removal vote on the one section that required Trustees not to misrepresent Board actions or policies (section 1-9-8) was opposed by Trustee Spande.  Trustee Hughes stated that in the case of trustees who mislead or misrepresent Board actions, they will ultimately be responsible to the voters.

The sections that were acted upon may be found in Board packets and pointed out by contacting the Village Clerk or other officers. Trustee Reyes, without opposition, suggested that the Village Attorney draw up an Ethics Code document that conforms with Illinois Ethics laws .

9.         Village Trustee Reports of Boards and Commissions

 

A.          Winfield School Districts – Reyes

>> No Report

B.           Administration & Finance – Bajor

>>  There is much polarization on the Board and it  should work to be mitigated as the Board moves ahead with its business.

C.           Winfield Park District – Bajor

No Report

D.        Communication & Technology – Hughes

>> The last meeting was cancelled due to inclement weather. The next  meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month

E.         Riverwalk & Bikeways – Hughes

>> The task force completed its TIFF policy study

F.        Economic Development Task Force- Hughes

>> The next public Open Meeting will be on August 21, The Riverwalk issue is not secondary to the issue of Road maintenance and funding, nor is it the only priority for the Council on which to act.

G.        Winfield Fire Protection District – Hughes

>> the next meeting will be on August 16

 

H.        Winfield Public Library – Hughes

>> The Library is working on developing better access for residents and a meeting will be held on August 10.

I.          Environmental Concerns – Spande

>> There are on-going  talks with the Park District on collaborative efforts on Riverwalk issues. The next open Meeting with be on Aug. 6.

J.          Stormwater – Spande

>> A meeting was held on July 27. DuPage County will be asked to provide information on Stormwater plans and finances

K.        Public Works – Spande

>>  This is the first time a private citizen has joined the Public Works Committee

L.         Traffic & Public Safety – Allen

>> No Report

M.       Winfield Chamber of Commerce – Allen

>> No Report

N.        Planning – Olson

>> An August 3rd Open Meeting will be held and updates presented and discussed. The meeting will be televised as a link on the Village website in due course.

O.        Zoning – Olson

>> No Report beyond the work of the Planning Commission

P.         Community Consolidated School District 200 – Olson

>> No Report

10.       Other Village Officials’ Reports and Comments

 

A.        Village President

>> There will be a  change in percentage  of  funds to be allocated to  municipalities by sales taxes collected by the  DuPage Council  unlike some others, the change for Winfield may be upward, possible to approximately $250,000 annually.

On June 18 Trustee Reyes printed material which falsely stated that the Riverwalk project is the number one  priority project of the Village and that the Village residents will be dunned $3.7 million for it. She stated that the funds for the Riverwalk will be provided by outside sources, such as grants and gifts, much like the construction of the  pedestrian underpass for which the Village provided initial seed money of $230,000 that was later recouped. She urged him to stop slandering Village officers and staff with his inaccurate remarks.

B.        Village Attorney

>> No Report

C.        Village Clerk

>> No Report

D.        Village Manager

>> The Village website  lists the Commissions and Committees , some of which are seeking additional  volunteers as members.  Also the Village does have cooling centers to assist those suffering from oppressive heat conditions this summer.

E.         Village Treasurer – Treasurer’s report for June

>> Treasurer Surgatz reported that the most recent cash balance is $4,669,559. This includes $3,849,02 in liquid cash, $1,578,800 in investments. Total  Balance: $5,420,684

 

11.       Pending Future Business

 

  • Zoning amendments on bulk regulations
  • Review of Village boundary agreements
  • Rules for temporary tents
  • Districting

>> Trustee Meeting adjourned prior to discussion of # 11.

12.       Adjournment

 

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

 

 

1.         Consider Winfield Public Library property maintenance levy request

>> The Village is responsible for the cost of operating the Library and must pay the levy required. The Library budget is approximately $750,000 annually   of which approximately $687,000  is payable by the Village.

2.         Consider Septran request for outdoor fuel tanks

>> The request will go to the Planning Committee and then to the Board for action.

3.         Review AT&T Cellular lease amendment

>>The Committee of the Whole recommends that the Board meeting scheduled for August 4 with its recommendation for approval. If approved, the Village would receive $10,800 annually.

4.         Review bids for completion of the second connection to the DuPage Water Commission

>> A bid of $342,414 was recommended for approval by the Board

5.         Review proposals for a Village tree survey/emerald ash borer management plan

>> The Committee of the Whole  debated taking the tree survey issue to the Board to decide if the expenditure of $12, 000 is warranted to determine how many of the  estimated 900  ash trees on public property  should be inspected so that the ones in danger of falling and injuring people and destroying property should be tagged for removal before they do so . If  not removed when needed, the Village may be sued if injuries, deaths or property damage occurs. Trustee Allen suggested that the $12,000 would be better spent on buying new small trees after the sick trees fall and that after all people all die from something.  If the Village does not know a tree is in danger, it will not be sued. The Attorney stated that even one telephone call to the Village prior to the tree falling and causing damage  will make the Village liable. An arborist stated that several years ago a dead ash tree killed a young girl in a neighboring town. Trustee Spande suggested that it may be possible to gain a grant for this project. Trustee Olson stated that it may be prudent to wait until next year, given the financial priorities of the Village  .  Trustee Hughes suggested that the survey be done so that the Village would know future costs involved. The Village Council will discuss the matter and make a decision at its own future meeting.

6.         Review Winfield Riverwalk landscape design and engineering proposals

>> The Riverwalk Committee has recommended  accepting a $140.000 bid  for a design engineering agreement and a $68,000 bid for an  architectural design service agreement, for a total cost of  $208,000. The result would dovetail with the Forest Preserve’s planned extension of the Trail System . It would be supplemented by $100,000 that the Village budgeted from the use of impact fees in the TIF fund according to Manager Barrett. Trustee Reyes insisted that getting money from impact fees and from grants from other governmental sources like the DuPage Council and the Federal Government and groups that get their funding from public sources and in reality taxpayer money and should not be regarded as anything else. Both Trustee Reyes and Allen suggested that  remaining impact fees from the Shelburne Crossing for road development might  be potentially used for road maintenance in areas in proximity of  Shelburne Crossing, if the term  ”proximity” is broadened a bit. They stated that bidding for  this  or any project without getting a written agreement from potential financial contributors to help pay for these investments without the possibility of major costs to the Village is not wise. Trustee Spande stated that in the past the Village refused to make big commitments to improve things and walked away from promising opportunities. Developers might well have greater interest in moving here if they see that the Village is committed to move forward, to develop the Town Center  and do things that show a dynamic turn of philosophy. Trustee Hughes agreed to the philosophy of  prudently thinking big and acting big which would show great benefit to the Village and its  residents.

7.         Consider regulations for banners in the public right-of-way

>>

8.         Consider revisions to regulations on home occupations

>>

9.         Review clarifications to the Village Code regarding Committee of the Whole procedures

>>

10.       Presentation of the 4th Quarter Financial Report

>>

11.       Requests for future Committee of the Whole items

>>

12.       Public comments

>>

13.       Village Board comments

>>

14.       Adjourn to executive session for purposes of reviewing previous executive session minutes

>>

ITEMS 7 THROUGH 14 WERE NOT ADDRESSED SINCE THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED BY UNANIMOUS VOTE AT 11 P.M

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Emerald Ash Borer hits Winfield

August 1, 2011

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Winfield and the Emerald Ash Borer – YOUR  ASH CAN BE SAVED!

Unfortunately, the Emerald Ash Borer (aka EAB) has officially taken up residence in Winfield. This destructive insect was first discovered in western St. Charles in 2006. In 5 short years the EAB has now been located in hundreds of cities and towns all over Illinois. It is estimated that Illinois has 130 million Ash trees and it is known that all non-treated Ash trees will be dead in the next several years.

The EAB is a ‘boring’ type insect – the most destructive kind. The adult female is a metallic green insect which is about a half-inch long. Where it was once believed to only be able to fly a half mile it is now known to fly over 11 miles. The female reproduces and lays between 60-90 eggs on the bark of the Ash. The eggs hatch and the almost microscopic offspring burrow their way into the tree. As they grow they feed off the vascular system of the tree obstructing the trees ability to transport water and nutrients. It is important to know that an Ash tree can be under attack from the EAB for up to 3 years before any aesthetic signs of damage appear.  At that point, the tree will start declining rapidly. Homeowners have been told to look for ‘D’ shaped exit holes on the bark to help in identifying the insects presence.  In our opinion, from what we’ve seen in St. Charles, by the time these holes are evident for the homeowner to see at eye level, the tree is beyond help.

What can we do now?

Be proactive! Where once thought untreatable it is now known that EAB can definitely be controlled! There is no truth in the statement that even with treatment there is no guarantee that the tree will survive. If the tree is properly treated by a Certified Arborist who understands the insect, and a viable treatment is started before any significant damage has occurred, valuable Ash trees will be saved!  Our company has already proven this in Geneva and St. Charles in some of the hardest hit areas. We have clients calling us, overjoyed that they have the only live and flourishing Ash trees in neighborhoods in which every other Ash tree has since died.

One problem we find is that many homeowners don’t know whether they have an Ash tree on their property or not. Consider calling in a knowledgeable Arborist to evaluate your property and identify the varieties of trees that you own. It would be a shame losing a beautiful focal point Ash thinking it was an Oak or a Maple. Mature healthy trees can add up to 15% to your property value, therefore it makes sense to care for them.

If Ash trees are identified, treatment in Winfield needs to start now. We do not have the luxury of waiting until trees in your neighborhood are giving you a warning sign. The Department of Agriculture recommends beginning treatment as soon as the EAB has been located within 15 miles of your house. All of Winfield qualified the day the EAB was discovered in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn in 2009. But in most cases it is not too late to begin treatment.

Can a homeowner treat their tree themselves?  There is a product available at Nurseries or Hardware Stores called Merit. It contains the active ingredient Imidacloprid.  It is mixed and poured around the base of the tree in question and is absorbed into the tree through its roots. It flows through the tree killing the Borer. This product alone should work well on Ash trees with small trunk diameters up to 6 inches in our opinion.  We would suggest treating twice yearly – once in the Spring and again in the Fall.

Larger, more valuable Ash should be treated by a knowledgeable Certified Arborist. The Arborists ‘weapon of choice’ may vary from company to company.  Merit soil drenching (which is stronger than the hardware store variety) coupled with a trunk injection of another product also containing Imidacloprid has given us the desired results. Or, some Arborists have been trunk injecting with a different product called Tree-Age.

Not every Ash tree should be considered for treatment, as treatment can be expensive and would need to be continued until every Ash tree in the area has died and been removed. At the current rate of EAB activity we feel this will occur within the next 5 years.  Ash trees that are focal point trees should be saved.

Questions to ask yourself are….. Does this tree shade my house, deck or patio? Is it a sentimental tree having been planted by someone in the family or did it come from a relative’s property? Due to its size and location on my property would the death of the tree be devastating to my property? How much will it cost to remove my Ash once it dies and what will the cost of a replacement tree be?  And, most important, how many years will it take for a new, two inch diameter tree to grow to the size of the tree that could have been saved?

Again, if homeowners are proactive and begin treating Ash trees soon, they can be saved.

Craig Casino

President

Certified Arborist

Tree Green, Your Tree M.D.

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