February 10, 2011 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:35 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.


Mayor Howley led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Upon roll call, the following were present:

  • Mayor, M. Howley
  • Aldermen:
    L. DeRose
    D. Ferrero
    T. McAvoy
    J. Moirano
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, J. Jackson
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Attorney, V. Cainkar
  • City Engineer, T. Lang
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Building Commissioner, G. Betcher
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Deputy Clerk, D. Catizone

Alderman Mike McHugh was absent. There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


Alderman Moirano moved to open the meeting to the public. Alderman Stachnik second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Mr. Dwayne Graff
9440 S. 83rd Court

Mr. Graff, a resident, voiced his concern on the deterioration of snowplowing the last two years. He noted he is in the business of snowplowing and would like to offer his help to the City. He also noted the streets are not plowed to the curb. Mayor Howley thanked Mr. Graff for his comments but he received many compliments for the snowplowing during this last heavy storm.

Mr. Graff also had some concerns regarding the budget numbers. It seems the Police Department budget increased by $800,000.00.


Alderman McAvoy moved to close the meeting to the public. Alderman Ferrero second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


Alderman Ferrero moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of January 27, 2011 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Zimmerman second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



    Mayor Howley reported PACE has identified three potential bus shelters. Under the current agreement, the City receives 15% of the revenue. Under the PACE agreement, this would increase to 32% of the revenue. The current contract goes through 2012. The Mayor will reach out to ICSC and if they refuse, he can bring it to PACE. Mayor Howley will keep the City informed.

    Mayor Howley noted Recycling Avenue will place a box at City Hall.

    Mayor Howley reported he met with the realty company today which handles the strip mall where Pitaland is located. They discussed some prospective businesses that may be interested in moving into the City.

    Mayor Howley commended Gordon Betcher, Marilyn Gabrysiak, and Mary McDonald for the work they have done recently on the grant audit. The representative from the State of Illinois was very impressed by the level of detail that was put into this audit.

    Mayor Howley noted this past Sunday, he attended a meeting at Niko’s hosted by the Arab American’s. It was very well attended.

    Mayor Howley reported on the grant that we have submitted for the sidewalk on 91st Street. We are one of nine submittals that are now in the finals.

    Mayor Howley reported that at the SW Council of Mayors’ meeting, Bob Mack, Cook County Engineer, stated the 88th Avenue widening project is moving forward.

    Mayor Howley commended the Public Works Department on the excellent job they did during horrific conditions of the Feb 1st snowfall. He also noted he received far more compliments than complaints.


    Clerk Jackson stated she is in receipt of snowplowing compliments, which she will forward to the Public Works Department.

    Clerk Jackson noted she has received a nice thank you from the family of Josephine Ferrero for the City’s expression of sympathy.

    Clerk Jackson reported she recently read an article stating the blood supply is very low. She thanked Alicia Vodicka for all her efforts at the recent Blood Drive.

    Clerk Jackson stated Hickory Hills Sertoma Club is looking for qualified persons for their Man of the Year Award. She will distribute information to the Council.


    Treasurer Schramm presented the Treasurer’s Report dated January 31, 2011 for approval. Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the January 31, 2011 Treasurer’s Report. Alderman Stachnik second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


    No report submitted.


    Mr. Lang presented Invoice #09-478 for Central Blacktop in the amount of $15,549.61. Alderman Moirano moved to approve this invoice to Central Blacktop in the amount of $15,549.61 (91st Place Reconstruction, MFT 09-00059-00-FP, ERP Job No: C/D-91-114-10, pay estimate #4 final). Alderman Stachnik second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve bills payable for the first half of February 2011 in the amount of $357,531.55. Alderman Ferrero second. Alderman Szeszycki questioned the battery backup purchased by the Police Department. Chief Vodicka stated this was grant funds. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



    Alderman Szeszycki announced as of February 1st, the City will have a new health insurance broker. The new firm is Mesirow Financial. Treasurer Schramm noted he has received feedback from the administrative staff that the services were slipping and this is a larger firm. He also noted they handle several municipalities.

    Alderman Szeszycki noted he would like to discuss the sewer and water rates at the Committee Meeting in February. He noted everyone has a month to review the budget numbers.

    Alderman Szeszycki referenced a letter from Land and Lakes and he will review.

    Zimmerman/Public Safety

    Chief Vodicka gave a summary of the winter storm. He noted direct lines of communication were immediately established between City Police personnel, City Public Works personnel, and both Fire Protection Districts in accordance with the City’s existing Disaster Plan. He stated the Community Center was designated as a warming center in the event of any loss of power to residents. Five vehicles were towed from various City streets due to obstruction of the roadway. Three reverse 911 messages were sent out to residents in an effort to provide them with critical information related to storm conditions and parking restrictions. The Department’s two four-wheel drive vehicles, as well as the Chevy Tahoe Evidence Technician vehicle, proved to be vital to maintaining mobility of police officers working patrol. The Fire Department also had snowmobiles available in the event that the streets became impassable.

    During the 48 hour time period, the Police 911 Center received a total of 86 Emergency 911 calls for service and 145 calls on other non-emergency telephone lines.

    Chief Vodicka distributed a press release regarding the graduation of Sgt. Charles Hobart from the Northwestern University Center of Public Safety. All of the upper command participates in this training.

    Chief Vodicka reported he has renegotiated the agreement with the municipal collection agency. In the past, it was a 50%-50% split and now it will be a 67% – 33% split, with the City portion being 67%. He noted we should see an increase in collections of outstanding fines.

    Moirano/Public Works

    Alderman Moirano reported budgeted funds for salt have already been expended. Public Works has already managed the fifty inches of snow with some reserve to handle at most two moderate snow fall events, but long term weather is unpredictable. Public Works is recommending the Council approve an expenditure of $15,000.00 to purchase additional salt if the need arises. No objections were noted.

    Alderman Moirano noted the City has addressed all issues with the County’s December design of 88th Avenue rebuilding. Right of way acquisition is their major concern especially with the school district which is asking for three times the value of the right of way needed at Glen Oaks School. Mayor Howley will contact the school district to discuss this issue.


    Alderman McHugh was absent. No report submitted.

    DeRose/Health & Environmental Control/Recycling

    Alderman DeRose reported the City is in receipt of a letter from Land and Lakes informing the City of the increase in the fuel surcharge. The City will further investigate this charge increase.

    Stachnik/Laws & Ordinances

    Alderman Stachnik reported Clovers Gardens is again requesting permission for a temporary garden center located at 8800 W. 87th Street. No objections were noted and a permit will be issued.

    Ferrero/Community Services/Youth Advisory Board

    Alderman Ferrero reported this Tuesday she is meeting with the Youth Group and on March 9th they will hold an Ice Cream Social for Seniors. She also noted the Arbor Day Tree Sale will be on May 7th.


    Alderman McAvoy reported he has two Stagg students in need of community service hours. He passed out a flyer regarding this matter.

    Alderman McAvoy noted on Tuesday, February 15th, the Arab American Candidates Event will be held at Niko’s at 6:30 p.m.


Treasurer Schramm explained the comments during open to the public section relating to the budget. He noted the gentleman was looking at the general appropriation budget and for the last few years, the City has kept services at a high level. He also noted the Police Department budget has risen by $100,000.00 not the $800,000.00 that was mentioned.


Clerk Jackson asked with regard to the next newsletter, when it should go out. She will follow up with an e-mail.


Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn until the next scheduled or specially called meeting. Alderman Moirano second. Aldermen DeRose, Ferrero, McAvoy, Moirano, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.