Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
  1. Public Meetings Report – March 18, 2021
  2. Public Meetings Report – April 1, 2021
  3. Public Meetings Report – April 15, 2021
  4. Public Meetings Report – April 29, 2021
  5. Public Meetings Report – May 13, 2021
  6. Public Meetings Report – May 27, 2021
  7. Public Meetings Report – June 10, 2021
  8. Public Meetings Report – June 24, 2021
  9. Public Meetings Report – July 08, 2021
  10. Public Meetings Report – July 22, 2021
  11. Public Meetings Report – August 05, 2021
  12. Public Meetings Report – August 19, 2021
  13. Public Meetings Report – September 30, 2021
  14. Public Meetings Report – October 14, 2021
  15. Public Meetings Report – October 28, 2021
  16. Public Meetings Report – November 11, 2021
  17. Public Meetings Report – November 25, 2021
  18. Public Meetings Report – December 9, 2021
  19. Public Meetings Report – January 13, 2022
  20. Public Meetings Report – January 27, 2022
  21. Public Meetings Report – February 10, 2022
  22. Public Meetings Report – February 24, 2022
  23. Public Meetings Report – March 10, 2022
  24. Public Meetings Report – March 24, 2022
  25. Public Meetings Report – April 7, 2022
  26. Public Meetings Report – April 21, 2022
  27. Public Meetings Report – May 5, 2022
  28. Public Meetings Report – May 19, 2022
  29. Public Meetings Report – June 2, 2022
  30. Public Meetings Report – June 22, 2022
  31. Public Meetings Report – June 30, 2022
  32. Public Meetings Report – July 14, 2022
  33. Public Meetings Report – July 28, 2022
  34. Public Meetings Report – August 11, 2022
  35. Public Meetings Report – August 25, 2022
  36. Public Meetings Report — October 20, 2022
  37. Public Meetings Report — November 17, 2022
  38. Public Meetings Report — December 1, 2022
  39. Public Meetings Report — January 12, 2023
  40. Public Meetings Report — January 26, 2023
  41. Public Meetings Report — February 9, 2023
  42. Public Meetings Report — February 23, 2023
  43. Public Meetings Report — March 9, 2023
  44. Public Meetings Report — March 23, 2023
  45. Public Meetings Report — April 20, 2023
  46. Public Meetings Report — May 4, 2023
  47. Public Meetings Report — May 18, 2023
  48. Public Meetings Report — June 1, 2023
  49. Public Meetings Report — June 15, 2023
  50. Public Meetings Report — June 29, 2023
  51. Public Meetings Report — July 13, 2023
  52. Public Meetings Report — July 27, 2023
  53. Public Meetings Report — August 10, 2023
  54. Public Meetings Report — August 24, 2023
  55. Public Meetings Report — September 7, 2023
  56. Public Meetings Report — September 21, 2023
  57. Public Meetings Report — December 7, 2023
  58. Public Meetings Report — February 1, 2024
  59. Public Meetings Report — February 15, 2024
  60. Public Meetings Report — April 11, 2024
  61. Public Meetings Report — May 9, 2024

March 2

Rain barrels, celebrations of women and Irish Americans, and the district’s retirement fund, were among the topics discussed at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board of Commissioners meeting. National Women’s History Month in March was recognized, as was the City’s hosting of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which had been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. A $450,000 contract with a firm to provide rain barrels to Chicago residents was considered. The fifty-five gallon barrels, which residents would purportedly pay for, capture rainwater from roofs to use to wash vehicles, water gardens, and other basic tasks. Board discussion focused on installation and maintenance. The Board also approved the assignment of $30 million in excess revenue to the MWRD’s retirement fund. Later, the Board deferred discussion of an estimated $7 million increase in the budget for a biogas heat and power contract, which would pay for a separate engine house. The meeting concluded with some Commissioners promising to personally test the temperature of the city’s Lake Michigan water supply—during the Polar Plunge, which was scheduled for March 5.

March 8

At its meeting the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate heard that ballooning housing costs are complicating the City’s efforts to shore up Chicago’s middle class through Department of Housing (DOH)-supported homeownership funds. In the department’s fourth quarter 2022 report on the five-year “One Chicago” housing plan, Managing Deputy Commissioner Bryan Esenberg noted that $750.5 million had been committed to create or preserve 6,095 affordable housing units. Overall, the plan is to use a $1.4 billion investment to create or preserve 40,000 additional affordable housing units. Rising costs, however, appear to present significant obstacles to achieving the program’s goals for homeownership in Chicago. For example, the report revealed that estimated budgeted costs jumped 560 percent from 2019 estimates, and 250 percent from 2021 estimates. Committee members also learned that a new kind of commercial kitchen is coming to a long-vacant facility at 5021 S. Wabash Avenue via a developer focused on supporting emerging restaurateurs and chefs. The project is to receive $1.1 million in TIF funding. The members recommended that the City Council approve an Adopt-A-Landmark grant of $900,000 to Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church at 4501 S. Vincennes Avenue for roof and facade repair. Also recommended were the sales of several City-owned lots. 

At the Chicago Transit Authority Board meeting, CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr. responded to criticism from community groups about reduced service by stating that the Authority plans to hire seven hundred bus operators and two hundred train operators by the end of 2023, citing staff resignations as a significant cause of service issues. He also noted that the CTA has partnered with two organizations to assist unhoused individuals who are, in effect, living on the trains. He explained that the CTA sees itself as attempting to improve Chicagoans’ quality of life as well as providing transportation. The need to include more disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in CTA projects was emphasized. One issue, explained Juan Pablo Prieto, the CTA’s director of diversity programs and DBE liaison, is that DBEs don’t always have the necessary capabilities for projects. For example, he said, “There are no DBEs who have the equipment to handle the hazardous waste” involved in one project. The CTA’s chief financial officer, Jeremy Fine, reported a positive cash flow for January.

The relatively new issue of sheltering immigrants sent to Chicago from other states, generated pointed discussion at the meeting of the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations & Subcommittee on the Chicago Recovery Plan. Committee members were looking for more details about how the City’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) is managing the influx, which was estimated at 2,200. Some members were concerned that immigrants were being housed in their wards without their knowledge and wanted to know how placements were made. Maura MaCauley, the DFSS deputy commissioner for homeless and domestic violence programs, explained that placements were made based on 311 calls and coordination with various organizations. The DFSS asked for $20 million to fund this specific work for three months.

March 9

Unanimously and without debate, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks & Permit Review Committee approved consideration of several properties related to landmark status and grants at its meeting. Council members, representatives from the Chicago Police Department, the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and the communities involved endorsed Chicago historic landmark status for buildings and land with historic significance. Chicago properties included Promontory Point, a lakefront peninsula between 54th and 56th streets completed in 1938. It’s built from lakefill and protected by stepped limestone. Adopt-A-Landmark Application for 2023 opened on March 17 and is scheduled to close on May 22.      

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This information was collected and curated by the Weekly in large part using reporting from City Bureau’s Documenters at documenters.org.

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