Woodstock City Council met May 2.
Woodstock City Council met May 2.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
The regular meeting of the Woodstock City Council was called to order at 7:00 pm by Mayor Brian Sager on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Mayor Sager welcomed those present and explained the consent calendar process and invited public participation.
City Clerk Smiley confirmed that the agenda before the Council was a true and correct copy of the published agenda.
A roll call was taken.
Council Members Present: Daniel Hart, Maureen Larson, Mark Saladin, Joseph Starzynski, RB Thompson, Michael Turner, and Mayor Brian Sager.
Council Members Absent: none
Staff Present: City Manager Roscoe Stelford, City Attorney Ruth Schlossberg, Public Works Director Jeff Van Landuyt, Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson, Building and Zoning Director Joe Napolitano, Police Chief John Lieb, Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Parsons, Assistant Public Works Director Tom Mitgatz, IT Director Dan McElmeel, Grants/Communications Manager Terry Willcockson, Office Assistant Betsy Cosgray, and members of the Woodstock Police Department.
Others Present: Councilmembers-elect Gordon Tebo and Jim Prindiville, Transportation Commission Chairman Andrew Celentano, Board of Fire and Police Commission Chairman Ron Giordano, Judge Michael Caldwell, and City Clerk Cindy Smiley
1. Proclamation – National Police Week
Upon the request of Mayor Sager and without exception, the City Council approved and accepted the Proclamation Honoring National Police Week 2017 and Woodstock Police Department.
Mayor Sager asked Chief John Lieb and Deputy Chief Jeff Parsons to join him at the podium after which he read the proclamation and presented it to Chief Lieb. Mayor Sager commended all Police Officers and Staff on their professionalism in protecting the community 24/7, 365 days per year. He then invited all Police Officers forward to participate in the recognition. He thanked them for their service to the community as well as their sacrifice in protecting and serving the city of Woodstock. All were acknowledged with hearty applause.
Mayor Sager then acknowledged the families of the Police Officers and thanked them for their sacrifice on behalf of the City of Woodstock.
2. Swearing-In of Officers Thomas E. Nickels and Drew Walkington
Officer Thomas E. Nickels was sworn in by Board of Fire and Police Commission Chairman Ron Giordano. Officer Nickels’ wife pinned on his badge. Chief Lieb introduced Officer Nickels to those present, provided biographical information, and presented Officer Nickels with his certificate recognizing the completion of his training to serve as a certified Police Officer in the State of Illinois.
Officer Drew Walkington was sworn in by Board of Fire and Police Commission Chairman Ron Giordano. Officer Walkington’s wife pinned on his badge. Chief Lieb introduced Officer Walkington to those present, noting he was born and raised in Woodstock. He also noted that Officer Walkington was already presented with his certificate recognizing the completion of his training to serve as a certified Police Officer in the State of Illinois.
Mayor Sager welcomed the new officers and thanked them for choosing to serve the city of Woodstock.
B. Acceptance of Minutes of Previous Meeting
Motion by RB Thompson, second by J. Starzynski, to accept the minutes of the April 28, 2017 Regular Meeting of the Woodstock City Council as accepted.
A roll call vote was taken. Ayes: D. Hart, M. Larson, M. Saladin, J. Starzynski, RB Thompson, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: none. Abstentions: none. Absentees: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Mayor Sager extended an opportunity to the outgoing Councilmembers to make comments.
Councilman Joe Starzynski stated his wish to thank Mayor Sager and his fellow Councilmembers for the honor of serving with them for four years. He thanked Councilman RB Thompson for encouraging him to take the step and run for City Council. He also thanked City Manager Roscoe Stelford and City Staff for all of their assistance, noting Mr. Stelford was always available to answer his questions and provide more information.
Councilman Starzynski opined what is great about the Woodstock City Council is the civility and comradery exhibited by the members. He noted there are differences among the members, but they are always expressed with respect. He opined that listening to others and respect are generally missing in government today, noting this is not the case with the Woodstock City Council where the members listen to and respect one another. He stated everyone on the City Council is working for the benefit of the City and its residents, listening to them when they speak.
Councilman Starzynski noted his time as a City Councilmember was an extension of his service to the community and thanked everyone for the opportunity to do that.
Councilman RB Thompson noted he came to Woodstock 50 years ago following his service in the Peace Corps and noted his love for the community. He described his service to the community during these 50 years, including serving for many years on the City Council with Mayor Sager.
Councilman Thompson thanked his parents for their example and for instilling in him the commitment to public service, as well as thanking his sister and brother-in-law who are also in public service.
Councilman Thompson recognized incoming City Councilmember Gordon Tebo with whom he worked at Woodstock High School noting the extraordinary number of talented teachers in Woodstock.
Councilman Thompson noted he has always wanted to serve others the way he expects others to serve. He stated public servants should be well prepared and hear everyone before making decisions.
Councilman Thompson noted Woodstock is a caring community, stating looking back over the past 50 years, he made the right decision to make Woodstock his home as he is a Woodstockian for life.
Adjourn Sine Die:
Motion by RB Thompson, second by J. Starzynski to adjourn this meeting of the Woodstock City Council Sine Die.
A roll call vote was taken. Ayes: D. Hart, M. Larson, M. Saladin, J. Starzynski, RB Thompson, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: none. Abstentions: none. Absentees: none. Motion carried unanimously. Council adjourned Sine Die at 7:34 pm.
Recognition Of Outgoing City Council Members:
Mayor Sager stated Mr. Thompson is the consummate educator whether it was in school or as a Councilmember. He stated he was also the consummate Councilmember, noting his passion for Woodstock and its residents themselves, always upholding their needs and interests.
Mayor Sager stated Mr. Thompson is a wonderful listener and student of the community and the people. He noted he always studied the packet in preparation of the meetings and listened to the residents.
Mayor Sager stated Mr. Thompson is one of the finest Councilmembers the City of Woodstock has ever had, thanking him for his incredible service.
With the assistance of Mayor Pro-Tem Turner and Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Saladin, Mayor Sager presented Mr. Thompson with a Woodstock commemorative clock and throw, noting the throw depicts buildings, which were influenced by Mr. Thompson over the years.
Mayor Sager then acknowledged the service of Joseph Starzynski, recognizing his service on the City’s commissions as well as the City Council.
Mayor Sager noted Mr. Starzynski is a wonderful listener, which made him a great representative of the people, stating he was always willing to find out what people thought.
Mayor Sager stated Mr. Starzynski is one of the finest examples of someone committed to true community service, participating in many organizations in the community, dedicated to giving back to others and providing genuine public service with the highest degree of integrity. He opined he is confident Mr. Starzynski will continue in community service.
Mayor Sager thanked Mr. Starzynski for his community and public service and his exceptional work on the City Council. With the assistance of Mayor Pro-Tem Turner and Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Saladin, Mayor Sager presented Mr. Starzynski with a commemorative City of Woodstock lamp.
Administration of Oath of Office to Mayor and City Council Members:
Mayor Sager invited the incoming Councilmembers to come forward, stating the City was honored to have Judge Michael Caldwell, who served as Woodstock City Attorney for 25 years, present this evening to administer the Oaths of Office.
Judge Caldwell administered the Oath of Office to Mayor Brian Sager, which was met with hearty applause.
Judge Caldwell administered the Oath of Office to Councilmember Michael Turner, which was met with hearty applause.
Judge Caldwell administered the Oath of Office to Councilmember Jim Prindiville, which was met with hearty applause.
Judge Caldwell administered the Oath of Office to Councilmember Gordon Tebo, which was met with hearty applause.
Recess for Reception:
Mayor Sager declared a recess of the proceedings at 7:50 PM for a brief reception honoring the former and newly-elected Councilmembers.
Call to Order of Newly-Seated City Council:
Mayor Sager re-called the meeting to order and the proceedings reconvened at 8:05 PM. He invited the newly-seated members of the Woodstock City Council to take their seats and welcomed them to the body.
A roll call was taken.
Council Members Present: Daniel Hart, Maureen Larson, Jim Prindiville, Mark Saladin, Gordon Tebo, Michael Turner, and Mayor Sager.
Council Members Absent: None
C. Floor Discussion
Project Lead the Way
Transportation Commission Chairman Andrew Celentano introduced engineering students from Woodstock High School. He explained the work of this group and how they have worked with the Transportation Commission on various projects, noting this presentation is the culmination of a year’s worth of work.
Mr. Tim Andersson stated the presentation is about WiFi on the Woodstock Square, noting Woodstock is known for innovation and is one of the few cities of its size to have a fiber infrastructure. He noted cities with WiFi benefit greatly from it. He described the surveys and interviews conducted by the students, which revealed that people broadly support WiFi on the Woodstock Square. Mr. Andersson stated the Square is a major area of commerce with store owners and patrons who are largely supportive of public WiFi. He noted the fiber infrastructure is underutilized and that WiFi would provide greater opportunity for commerce and employment.
Mr. Anthony Zepeda discussed other cities, which have implemented public WiFi, including Marion Illinois that also has a historic Square similar to Woodstock’s. He noted the business owners on Marion’s Square saw an increase of commerce and visitation subsequent to implementation of the public WiFi. Mr. Zepeda described the use plan noting it would allow for a peak of 500 users and be designed around the frequent events on the Square such as the Farmers Market and City Band concerts.
Mr. Will Maidment provided information on the two companies that assisted them with development of the plan and selection of equipment, Ruckus and Novantis. He described how the plan would be constructed with the Opera House serving as the anchor point of the network with bridges connecting to six other access points around the Square.
Mr. Cale Feyer-Keane discussed the proposed design and presented a model of the prototype, which they created with the assistance of Novantis IT. He provided additional information on installation of the routers and other equipment, and how they would work.
Mr. Ryan Baier discussed security considerations and litigation protection including the use of a Terms of Service Agreement. He then discussed expandability of the system and future planning and gave a cost estimate of approximately $22,000 for start-up with a monthly bandwidth fee of $330.
The students concluded free, public WiFi on the Square would help tourism and commerce, and bring and keep people on the Square to invigorate the economy.
Mayor Sager thanked and commended the students for their work and all aspects of their presentation.
In response to a question from Mayor Sager, the students provided additional information on the specifics of the project including installation and how the system would work. It was noted the equipment would be installed on public property in the Park in the Square and surrounding areas. In response to Mayor Sager’s question the students noted the equipment would not interfere with holiday decorations. In response to Mayor Sager’s question, a brief discussion ensued regarding the public’s support or opposition to free, public WiFi on the Square.
In response to a question from Councilman Tebo, the students stated the only “con” that was discovered in their study of the Marion system was that some of the businesses experienced people who remained at the business for an extended time without purchasing anything. The students provided information on their suggestions for ameliorating this concern.
In response to a question from Councilman Hart, a discussion ensued as to how Real Woodstock could use this system to market Woodstock events. Councilwoman Larson expressed the wish to direct users of the WiFi to the Real Woodstock website, opining there could be many opportunities with the new innovation.
Councilman Turner agreed this could have great potential and discussed offering local businesses access to the system for a fee, if this is possible. He also discussed having the ability to gain demographic information. The students noted some of the things discussed may require a secure connection, which would result in additional costs.
Councilman Prindiville thanked the students and Mr. Celentano expressing his support of the project. In response to a question from Mr. Prindiville, the students stated they are not aware of any private provider of this service. Mr. Prindiville stated perhaps the City should consider this as a service the City is providing to the property owners on the Square for a fee in the same way the City provides sidewalk snow removal for a fee, as he sees this as an issue of equity.
Mayor Sager expressed his gratitude to the students and Mr. Celentano and congratulated the students.
Mr. Celentano noted he has been told Woodstock and District 200 are the only municipality and school district working together in such a way on a continuing basis in the United States.
Ms. Dianne Ferraro, 1006 S. Sharon Drive, noted the Square is not the only business area in Woodstock. She noted the Hallmark store, where she has been employed for 12 1⁄2 years is closing and that many other storefronts in the strip mall are empty, stating she has been told this is because of the high rent. Ms. Ferraro noted she has heard that other municipalities have enacted measures where they can begin foreclosures on properties that have been empty for three months as a measure to force building owners to keep tenants, rather than having empty buildings for which the owners are receiving tax breaks. She asked the City Council to investigate this and how they may deal with such building owners.
Mayor Sager expressed his appreciation to Ms. Ferraro for bringing this information to the Council, noting his regret this business is closing. He stated he is unaware of any such action the City may take, as this is private property, and requested information from the City Attorney whether there is any legal action that may be taken.
City Attorney Ruth Schlossberg opined there may be some possible action if the building is in violation of any codes or is a recipient of some type of incentive from the City, noting she is otherwise unaware of any possible action. She requested that Ms. Ferraro provide her with additional information, if possible, which she will investigate.
Mayor Sager noted perhaps if a large corporation requests incentives to come in to a building, the City could, at that time, structure a clause in the agreement with such built-in penalties. He requested City Staff to look into whether the City has any such rights or any rights if there is no agreement in place.
Ms. Ferraro stated the Hallmark store is not moving to another location because the Hallmark Corporation has a policy that a relocating store is treated like a new business, requiring the purchase of all new fixtures, which would be cost prohibitive.
There were no Council comments forthcoming.
Motion by M. Turner, second by M. Saladin, to approve the Consent Agenda.
The following items were removed from the Consent Agenda at the request of Councilmembers or the Public:
• Item F-1 – License Issuance – La Placita and Rendezvous Bistro Video Gaming Licenses – by Councilman D. Hart
Mayor Sager noted item F-7 is a result of the appearance by Mr. Meehan at the last Council meeting at which he expressed safety concerns about the intersection of Greenwood and Tappan at which he lives. Mayor Sager gave an update of staff’s investigation and suggestions, including the proposed ordinance, and of the additional safety measures being implemented.
There were no questions or comments on the items remaining on the Consent Agenda forthcoming from the City Council or the Public.
Mayor Sager affirmed the Consent Agenda to include items D, E, and F-2 through F-8 as follows:
D. Warrants: 3758 3759
E. Minutes and Reports:
Department of Public Works Monthly Report March 2017
Woodstock Police Department Monthly Report March 2017
F. Manager's Report No. 89
2. Ordinances – Temporary Traffic Control for 2017 Special Events
a) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-39, identified as Document 1, An Ordinance Imposing Certain Temporary Parking Restrictions in the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois on May 21, 2017, establishing temporary parking restriction for the Girls on the Run 5K of Northwest Illinois;
b) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-40, identified as Document 2, An Ordinance Imposing Certain Temporary Traffic and Parking Restrictions for the Annual Memorial Day Parade in the City of Woodstock on Monday, May 29, 2017;
c) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-41, identified as Document 3, An Ordinance imposing Certain Temporary Parking Restrictions in the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois on Tuesday, July 4, 2017; establishing certain temporary traffic restrictions in or near Emricson Park;
d) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-42, identified as Document 4, An Ordinance Imposing Certain Temporary Restrictions on Various Public Streets in the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois, for the McHenry County Fair from Tuesday, August 1, 2017 through Monday, August 7, 2017.
e) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-43, identified as Document 5, An Ordinance Imposing Certain Temporary Traffic and Parking Restrictions for Woodstock on the Square Car Show in the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois on Saturday, August 19, 2017;
f) Approval of Ordinance 17-O-44, identified as Document 6, An Ordinance Imposing Certain Temporary Parking Restrictions in the City of Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois on October 15, 2017, establishing certain temporary parking restrictions for the Care4 Breast Cancer 5K.
3. Award of Contract – HVAC Preventative Maintenance Agreement
Award of a one-year contract for the City’s 2017 HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program to the lowest responsible bidder, GeoStar Mechanical Inc., Rockford, Illinois at the year-one prices quoted as $12,800.00 for HVAC PM Plan, $132.00 Emergency Hourly Rate, and $92.00 Regular Hourly Rate.
4. Award of Contract – Consulting Services to Update and Develop the City’s Utility Master Plans – Approval and authorization for three (3) work orders for Professional Services from Baxter & Woodman Inc. at a total cost not-to-exceed $166,900 as identified below:
a. Update of the Sanitary Sewer Master Plan;
b. Develop a Capacity, Management, Operation, and Maintenance Plan; and
c. Complete a Phosphorus Feasibility Study and Optimization Plan.
5. Purchase – Zero Turn Mower
Approval of the purchase of a Kubota ZD1211-60 under the National Joint Powers Alliance from Woodstock Power LLC, Woodstock IL for a bid price of $12,970.96.
6. Award of Contract – Sidewalk Maintenance
Approval of the City’s participation in a contract extension being offered to MC-MPI participants by Globe Construction at the unit prices submitted in their 2016 bid for the Village of Cary for an amount not-to-exceed $23,000.
7. Ordinance – Four-Way Stop Intersection of Greenwood Ave. & Tappan St.
Approval of Ordinance 17-O-45, identified as Document 7, An Ordinance Providing for an Amendment to the Woodstock City Code Providing for Revisions to Various Traffic Schedules, creating an all-way stop at the intersection of Greenwood Avenue and Tappan Street.
8. Award of Contract – Pavement Patching Contract
Award of contract for pavement patching for an amount not-to-exceed $58,700 to J.A. Johnson Paving Company adhering to the unit cost of $25.50 SY utilizing results from the MC-MPI joint bid.
A roll call vote was taken on items D, E, and F2-F8. Ayes: D. Hart, M. Larson, J. Prindiville, M. Saladin, G. Tebo, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: none. Abstentions: none. Absentees: none. Motion carried unanimously,
Item F-1 – License Issuance – La Placita and Rendezvous Bistro Video Gaming Licenses:
Councilman D. Hart recused himself and left the Council Chambers at 8:58 PM.
Motion by M. Turner, second by M. Saladin, to approve the issuance of video gaming licenses for La Placita, 108 Cass Street, and Rendezvous Bistro, 2400 Lake Shore Drive, in the City of Woodstock contingent upon satisfaction of all City license fees and requirements.
Councilwoman M. Larson called for division of the question to consider approval of the two video gaming licenses separately.
Mayor Sager stated based upon the Councilmember’s request the two video gaming licenses will be considered separately with consideration of the request from La Placita first.
Councilwoman Larson stated since the previous decision to grant a liquor license for La Placita was clearly made with the owner’s promise not to pursue video gaming, she is inclined to vote no on this request. She noted she reviewed the minutes to confirm she was remembering this correctly.
Mr. Urbina, owner of La Placita, stated the Councilwoman is correct that he made a commitment two years ago, but that unfortunately his business is down 30% and he is finding it difficult to sustain it. He stated he is asking for the same opportunity that has been given to neighboring restaurants and bars near his establishment with which he is in competition. He reiterated he is asking for this so that he may stay in business and asked for this support to keep one more business on the Square.
In response to a question from Councilwoman M. Larson as to what precipitated the drop in business, Mr. Urbina opined it is the competition, noting the new restaurants that have moved in near him.
Councilman M. Turner stated this is a very difficult decision for him as Mr. Urbina did made the commitment, but he does not want to see him go out of business. In response to a question from Councilman Turner, Mr. Urbina opined the income from video gaming will help him pay the bills and offset some of the costs of doing business. In response to further questioning from Councilman Turner, Mr. Urbina opined a video gaming license would help attract additional customers as he has had people mention to him that they are going other places that offer video gaming.
Councilman M. Saladin expressed his concern with the visibility offered by all of the windows afforded by Mr. Urbina’s establishment. He stated he understands circumstances can change and does not wish for Mr. Urbina to leave the Square. He noted video gaming is now part of the state of Illinois and the City of Woodstock, stating there are pros and cons. He further noted he is inclined to give Mr. Urbina the benefit of the doubt.
Mr. Urbina stated this is not something he wants to do and assured the Council he would not be making the request if he did not feel it was necessary. He noted he employs Woodstock residents.
Mayor Sager expressed his appreciation for Mr. Urbina’s investment in Woodstock and opined he is being forthright. He stated he recognizes that time changes situations and that businesses are dynamic and are affected by a number of factors.
Mayor Sager wished to point out that the City recently did set a limit on the number of video gaming licenses, which is one license for every 850 people, and noted with recent licenses being relinquished by other businesses, the total number of licenses in Woodstock will be reduced and further noted one of the licenses being relinquished is in the downtown. He stated there will be a net reduction of one license and two gaming terminals within the community.
Mayor Sager stated the City Council is trying to find the right balance within the City while making sure businesses are provided with the advantages they need. He opined it would be unfair to limit the opportunity for Mr. Urbina to have video gaming when other nearby businesses have that opportunity when Council is aware his circumstances have changed. Mayor Sager stated while he is not dismissing the expressed concerns, the Council has taken steps to limit video gaming and voiced his support of Mr. Urbina’s request.
Councilman J. Prindiville expressed his appreciation of Mr. Urbina’s restaurant and what he is doing there. He voiced his concerns with video gaming issues and stated to him it is a question of what kind of town the community wishes Woodstock to be. He noted there are families and children that frequent this area, noting that the building housing Mr. Urbina’s restaurant is an iconic location and stated his feeling video gaming is not compatible with this location. He also stated his feeling that it is not compatible with the Disney vision for the City of Woodstock.
Councilman G. Tebo opined the City must maintain consistency. He stated this is a good business and Mr. Urbina has made a good attempt to fit in. He noted the Council is also considering giving a new business a video gaming license, but is questioning giving one to an existing business, which he finds inconsistent.
Councilwoman Larson stated this request is difficult for her as was the original request for a liquor license. She stated she wants Woodstock to be the City that says “yes” to business, but feels this must be discussed because a promise was made. She also realizes nearby businesses have this opportunity, but noted she is struggling because of the original promise.
Mayor Sager opened the floor to public comment.
Ms. Lisa Hanson, Woodstock, noted the last time she spoke on this issue was in July 2015 when the agenda item was listed as lifting of the moratorium to allow Mr. Urbina a liquor license. She stated she has no problem with Mr. Urbina’s business, but her issue is to advocate for a restructuring of the liquor license and video gaming license process. Ms. Hanson stated there are 22 establishments which hold both a liquor license and a video gaming license, 11 of which are within a two-block area. She stated it would be nice if the location of the establishment is considered when issuing a liquor license or a video gaming license. She opined the area of the Square is problematic and stated she does not understand why the City continues to add to this by issuing more licenses.
Ms. Hanson expressed her appreciation for the attempt to limit these licenses, but opined bars and gambling have become the focus for Woodstock, which discourages her. She stated Woodstock must decide what it wants to be and then embrace that. She opined part of this would be to address the licensing structure in place for Woodstock locations. She suggested looking at what Crystal Lake has done in looking at the locations, requiring businesses to be in the community for a year before being allowed to apply for a license, and also limiting the number of terminals to three.
Ms. Hanson urged the City Council to enforce the moratorium and restructure the licensing process to benefit the community rather than to benefit the bars or establishments. She noted for the month of March there was $450,000 in video gaming losses in Woodstock and wishes people to remember that while this is profit for the establishments, there is actually someone losing money. She urged the Council to be bold and do something different.
Ms. Hanson opined the City should take into consideration the statements made by Mr. Urbina when his liquor license was approved. She opined the City would be setting a precedent by now approving a video gaming license for his establishment. She encouraged the City Council to vote no on Mr. Urbina’s request.
Mayor Sager noted when the City Council enacted the original video gaming ordinance, the City was not Home Rule. He stated now the City has the ability to control this more. He concurred with Ms. Hanson, stating it would be good to review the licensing structure across the board, perhaps raising the population standard and looking at the number of terminals.
Mr. John Meehan, Woodstock, stated to him it is an issue of competition, noting it would put Mr. Urbina at a disadvantage if a video gaming license is denied to him while issued to nearby businesses. He noted if Mr. Urbina cannot be issued a license, then the licenses issued to businesses around him should be revoked. He urged Council to allow Mr. Urbina to compete and look at what is fair and noted he does not wish Woodstock to be Crystal Lake.
Mayor Sager noted video gaming licenses, including the number of terminals for each, have been issued for this year, but as businesses must re-apply each year, restructuring could be looked at for a future year.
Councilman Tebo asked if approval of Mr. Urbina’s liquor license was contingent upon him not getting a video gaming license. Councilwoman Larson stated she did not know if this was the case, but she does know a promise was made.
Mayor Sager stated if that issue were before Council today, he would vote in favor as the request would not fall outside the set limits.
Councilman Saladin agreed, noting if an establishment is granted a liquor license, it has a right to apply for a video gaming license.
Mayor Sager agreed that this is a unique business location with prominent windows, which provides unique visibility. He stated the gaming machines are required to not be visible from the street or the Square, and also noted there is a prohibition on signage.
Mr. Urbina stated he has already built a wall, which will limit visibility and understands the issues with signage.
Ms. Arlene Lynes, owner of Read Between the Lynes, stated Mr. Urbina has been a good business partner on the Square and expressed her regret that his business has dropped. She noted most businesses on the Square have seen a large drop in business the past four months.
Ms. Lynes expressed her concerns about having video gaming at Mr. Urbina’s location and at other locations on the Square, asking what is the balance and what is Woodstock trying to project. She noted Mr. Urbina has created a family environment and believes people visit his restaurant because it does not have video gaming.
Ms. Lynes opined people seek out locations that do not have video gaming to take their families. She expressed her concern that Council will not be able to say no to requests from businesses that come before them in the future.
Mayor Sager expressed appreciation for the public comments, noting the limitations that have been set on certain liquor license classifications. He stated this could possibly be investigated for video gaming licenses on the Square.
Councilwoman Larson stated she would like to have further conversations concerning this, including about implementation of a waiting period.
Mr. Allen Stebbins, 508 Dean Street, expressed his concern that this is a slippery slope. He stated he and many of his friends have chosen not to patronize any establishment in Woodstock that has video gaming. He wished Council to know there is a large group of people in Woodstock that will not patronize a business with video gaming.
Ms. Diane Ferraro, Woodstock, stated she wished to give a balance to the conversation, noting she is a video gamer. She stated she looks for places to go for video gaming, noting this is her form of recreation and entertainment. She opined this is not a moral issue stating she spends 15 to 45 minutes gaming and having fun. She stated she does not like the idea of limiting terminals and described why she feels it is good to allow five terminals.
Jen Feeley, 116 1⁄2 N. Benton Street, expressed her support for spreading out the video gaming licenses, noting she does see problems on Benton Street. She noted the question this evening; however, is whether to give Mr. Urbina a video gaming license today. She opined the question should be if Mr. Urbina is denied a license, is the Council punishing him for decisions made previously in giving the businesses around him video gaming licenses. She opined the City should consider giving him the opportunity as it would not be fair to deny him today.
Ms. Feeley stated if Council wishes to discuss restructuring licensing that would be fine, but today Mr. Urbina should be given the opportunity to save his business. She opined an empty storefront is not compatible with the Disney vision.
Ms. Lisa Hanson, Woodstock, read a portion of the July 21, 2015 Council minutes at which Mr. Urbina stated he did not wish to have video gaming in his establishment. She stated her belief that the correct action would be to say no to this request.
Councilman Turner stated Ms. Hanson’s comments are valid and must be considered. He noted the Crystal Lake criteria cited by Ms. Hanson would be met by Mr. Urbina so he sets that argument aside.
Councilman Turner noted the comments he gets from the public most do not concern video gaming, but rather the support of local business and giving people opportunities and options. He stated if Mr. Urbina’s restaurant closes, the City will have an empty landmark building. He further stated he does not like that Mr. Urbina is back here asking for a video gaming license, but that he recognizes that the situation is dynamic and ever-changing.
Mr. Turner stated the City Council is not a judge and does not set precedent. He stated the Council can make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
He noted that the comments made concerning Mr. Urbina’s location in relation to other businesses with video gaming licenses carry a lot of weight with him and that perhaps it is not fair to deny him a license while granting licenses to others.
Councilman Turner stated he does not want to see any gaming from the outside if this license is approved. He noted for him this is a very difficult issue, but stated he will support Mr. Urbina’s request.
Councilman Tebo stated he is also torn, but opined the City should be fair and denying issuance of this license would not be fair in this instance.
There being no further comments, Mayor Sager requested a vote on the original divided motion first to approve a video gaming license for La Placita, 108 Cass Street, in the City of Woodstock contingent upon satisfaction of all City license fees and requirements.
A roll call vote was taken. Ayes: M. Saladin, G. Tebo, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: M. Larson and J. Prindiville. Abstentions: none. Absentees: D. Hart. Motion carried 4-2.
Mayor Sager then requested a vote on the original divided motion to approve a video gaming license for the Rendezvous Bistro, 2400 Lake Shore Drive, in the City of Woodstock, contingent upon satisfaction of all City license fees and requirements.
A roll call vote was taken. Ayes: M. Larson, J. Prindiville, M. Saladin, G. Tebo, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: none. Abstentions: none. Absentees: D. Hart. Motion carried 6-0.
Councilman D. Hart entered the Council Chambers and rejoined the proceedings at 9:55 PM.
Future Agenda Items:
Councilman Turner requested the addition of a discussion of the Benton Street Pedestrian Way be added to the May 16th agenda.
Mayor Sager indicated there will also be an agenda item pertaining to a revision of the Governance Chapter of the Woodstock City Code.
Motion by M. Saladin, second by J. Prindiville, to adjourn this regular meeting of the Woodstock City Council to the May 16, 2017 City Council meeting at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers at Woodstock City Hall. Ayes: D. Hart, M. Larson, J. Prindiville, M. Saladin, G. Tebo, M. Turner, and Mayor Sager. Nays: none. Abstentions: none. Absentees: none. Meeting adjourned at 10:02 pm.
Organizations in this Story
415 Washington St
Woodstock, IL 60098-3310