Following the recommendation of the Rules Committee, whose membership includes all 10 members of City Council, aldermen on June 25 unanimously approved a resolution changing the composition of the Transportation/Parking Committee. Aldermen also approved for introduction an ordinance decreasing the membership of the Housing and Community Development Act Committee.

The Transportation/Parking Committee will now have two fewer members. The number of aldermen on the committee will now be three rather than four, and there will no longer be a requirement that one member be a “resident with multi-modal experience.”

The resolution also removes non-voting ex-officio members and updates the purpose of the committee to “cover various modes of transportation which would be able to be met by using the Committee’s experience as a whole to fit any needs; and to consider users of all ages and abilities, including children, youth, families, older adults, individuals with disabilities, Mobility Assistance Device users, and the City’s Complete Streets policy when making recommendations.”

The membership of the Housing and Community Development Act (HCDA) Committee will decrease by one, if Council approves, because having a member of the Plan Commission sit on that committee will no longer be required.

According to a June 16 memo to the Council from Community Development Director Johanna Leonard and Housing and Grants Administrator Sarah Flax, the Plan Commission representative to the committee resigned in May and “no other Plan Commission member was willing to be the representative on the HCDA Committee.”

In 1975 when the Housing and Community Development Act Committee was created, a Plan Commission representative was added “to oversee the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding so that commission would be informed about CDBG-funded projects that affect the built environment and to ensure alignment with the City’s Comprehensive Plan,” according to the memo.

At present, the many ways that information is shared “enables other members of the HCDA Committee and the general public to remain informed about topics relevant to both bodies.” Since the HCDA Committee members agreed that a Plan Commission member was no longer essential, and current members of the Plan Commission did not wish to sit on the committee, the committee agreed to drop the requirement.

Aldermen also approved a resolution that clarified how matters considered in the Planning and Development, Human Services, and Administration and Public Works committees should reach the City Council agenda. The ordinance provides that matters receiving a majority vote from all present voting members will move forward to the full City Council with a positive recommendation and matters that receive a tie vote will move forward with a neutral recommendation.

Under the new ordinance, any matter on the agenda – not just ordinances and resolutions – may move forward to the full City Council with a neutral recommendation.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...