Public comment will be limited to Lincolnwood Village meetings – Nadig Newspapers

by JASON MEREL

At its May 5 meeting, the Lincolnwood Village Board of Directors changed the way future meetings will be conducted, including removing opportunities for public comment during Committee of the Whole meetings and limiting public comment during regular board meetings.

Changes were made “to update outdated language to bring it into line with Village Code and to improve and make the public comment period more efficient,” according to the Village.

There will be a public comment period at regular Board business meetings in the future, but not during Committee of the Whole meetings. Exceptions will be made if the meetings are held on different dates and not consecutive as they usually are.

A public comment period of no longer than 6 minutes will be allowed before administrators conduct their regular business, according to Deputy Village Manager Charles Meyer.

Additional public comments will be heard at the end of the meeting following the conclusion of business for speakers who did not have a chance to speak during the initial comment period. During this time, no one may speak for more than 3 minutes unless the presiding officer confirms a shorter or longer speaking time at the start of the meeting.

Other changes include language detailing censorship of elected officials and clarification that speakers need not list their address but can identify themselves as residents or non-residents.

“Any member (of the council) acting or appearing in an obscene or disgraceful manner, or who uses disapproving, obscene or insulting language towards or about a member, or who does not obey the order of the president, will be, on motion, censured by a majority vote of the Village Council and, in addition, may be fined in an amount not to exceed $25 for each occurrence,” the order reads.

In addition, board members will direct all comments and discussions through the session chair. Each member should address the Chair as “Mr./Ms. President” or “Mr./Ms. president,” but must not proceed with his remarks until he has been recognized and appointed by the president, the order states. The members of the council cannot hold any private discussion, nor pass between the speaker and the president of the meeting when one of them speaks, specifies the ordinance.

A question asking why the public comment period needed to be improved or made more efficient was acknowledged by staff, but an immediate response was not provided at press time.

Many people have spoken recently at Committee of the Whole meetings, which has delayed the start of regular Council meetings.

Also at the meeting, the board approved an extension of the certificate of registration for a recreational cannabis dispensary currently under construction at 4656 W. Touhy Ave., due to delays in issuing state licenses. The Chicago Tribune reported on May 5 that licenses awarded in a state lottery last summer were the subject of litigation.

Administrator Chris Martel said he had no issues with the expansion, but wanted to make sure construction stayed on track.

A representative from Green Renaissance Illinois Holdings, the future operator of the dispensary, said interior demolition is complete and a permit for work on the roof is pending.

“We don’t want to do the interior until the roof is fixed,” the rep said. “Disputes aside, we wouldn’t be ready for the inspection until August or September.”

Administrator Craig Klatzco wondered if the village was tying its hands while waiting for the applicant to receive the license.

“I understand that all the licenses that have been issued are being used,” Mayor Jesal Patel said. “But yes, if we have a licensee with a license who comes to see us tomorrow, we don’t have the possibility of saying yes (to him).”

“Our hands are tied and there are too many unknowns for us to speculate on what might happen,” administrator Atour Sargon said.

The trustees approved the village’s annual allocation order and a certificate of estimated revenues by source. The order, which is based on the fiscal year 2023 budget approved at the April 19 council meeting, allows up to 115% of the approved budget to be spent. Some expenses will still require the approval of the Head of Department, Village Director or Village Council, depending on the Village staff.

On April 19, the Trustees approved the budget for the fiscal year which began May 1 and ends April 30, 2023.

The approved budget includes $37,103,662 in revenue and $39,580,652 in expenses. The general fund includes $25,254,511 in revenue and $26,107,736 in expenses of this total. The budget included $1,466,064 for capital improvements, a reduction from original proposals, after a State Department of Natural Resources Flowers Park Improvement Grant was cut from the State Department’s budget. fixed assets.

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