April 23, 2020 City Council Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2020 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 7:33 p.m. on a conference call. Clerk Catizone was present in the council chambers recording the meeting.


Mayor Howley lead the pledge of allegiance.


Upon roll call, the following were present:

  • Mayor, M. Howley
    Aldermen, D. Ferrero
    B. Fonte
    H. Kman
    M. McHugh
    P. Purtill
    J. Stachnik
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Attorney, V. Cainkar
  • City Engineer, M. Spolar
  • City Treasurer, A. Vodicka
  • Police Chief, C. Hobart
  • Public Works Director, S. Lehr
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


Mayor Howley noted no comments/questions were received from the public through email or telephone.


Alderman Stachnik moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of April 9, 2020 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight aye. Alderman Zimmerman pass. So approved.



Mayor Howley informed the Council the Stay at Home order has been extended to May 30th. With this news, the Council was in consensus to cancel the HH Street Fair on June 28th.

Mayor Howley thanked the Sue Lehr and the Public Works Department for delivering handwritten notes along with a packet of seeds to the seniors.

Mayor Howley announced the Hills Chamber is now selling “Hickory Strong” and “Palos Hills Strong” shirts. They can be purchased along with yard signs supporting front liners on the Hills Chamber website.

Mayor Howley has been in contact with the Director of Elsie’s Food Pantry. The City is collecting monetary donations to help support this food pantry during the pandemic. The Director noted she does shop in Hickory Hills to fill the boxes.

Mayor Howley stated after talking with Clerk Catizone, Alderman McHugh and Building Commissioner Moirano they are investigating options for the glass safety barriers that will be installed in the City Hall. He noted Clerk Catizone has sent some suggestions and they are looking for something permanent. More details will be shared as they become available.


Clerk Catizone reported the Clerk’s office has been busy over the last two months with twenty-three (23) finals. She noted they will also be processing the refund checks for the Street Fair.

Clerk Catizone thanked resident, Wanda Wagner, for her donation of 50 cloth masks. These will be available at City Hall.

Mayor Howley thanked all for the great communication as we work remotely. All Departments are running smoothly.


Treasurer Vodicka presented the Treasurer’s Report dated March 31, 2020 for approval. He explained in the report, on the last page, the Police Pension Fund shows a loss of approximately two (2) million dollars due to shaken financial markets with the news of the coronavirus. Alderman Kman moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report dated March 31, 2020. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Treasurer Vodicka noted he has received the water rate increases from the City of Chicago $0.11 and $0.4 from Justice Water as of June 1, 2020. Treasurer Vodicka will meet with Finance Chair Kman and Public Works Director Sue Lehr next Thursday to review 2021 budget and that time determine their recommendation for the water rate increase.

Treasurer Vodicka noted he is moving forward with the proposed budget for next year and meeting with city departments and looking at finalizing by the middle of May.


No report submitted.


Mr. Spolar updated on the projects going on in the City. The road program will start next week also the 97th Place sewer main project is on schedule.



Alderman Kman moved to approve the bills payable for the second half of April 2020 in the amount of $698,726.44. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



No report.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Chief Hobart gave an update on his departments’ with the regards to Covid-19. The Department is doing the drive-bys for birthdays but also working on very hard behind the scenes. They were recently part of an evidence recovery from a carjacking.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Ms. Lehr reported Public Works is keeping the employees distant and no reported illnesses.

Ms. Lehr also reported Public Works has begun distributing encouragement notes along with a packet of flower seeds to all registered seniors to brighten their day. They are about 25% done and will continue next week.

Ms. Lehr noted the Roberts Road street resurfacing project which is being done by the County at a cost of approximately $6 million will begin in August.

Ms. Lehr reported Public Works that the brush chipper is in full force as many residents have been in their yards with the nice weather.

Ms. Lehr stated the tree planting program has slowed due to the vendor struggling with crews managing the social distancing requirements.

Ms. Lehr explained the tree program selections to Alderman Ferrero who had a resident with a concern. Ms. Lehr is in contact with the resident.


Alderman McHugh reported he has cancelled bookings for the month of May at the Community Center. With the extension to the end of May, he will cancel events into June.

Purtill/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Purtill reported he is in receipt of one business certificate application from: POLS Consulting at 9525 S. 79th Avenue. Commissioner Moirano voiced his concern over parking at this strip mall. After some discussion, Attorney Cainkar will review the parking requirements. The business application for POLS Consulting will be held until further clarification on parking.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

Alderman Fonte reported Waste Management’s At Your Door recycling collected 1,953 pounds with 23 stops for the month of March.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

No report submitted.

Waight/Chamber Business Development

No report submitted.


Treasurer Vodicka reported the Blood Drive that was held on April 19th at the Community Center has 42 donors which will help 117 people. Everything went well and it was a safe environment for all.


Treasurer Vodicka stated over the last three months the City will have an approximately loss of $150k to $200k due to the loss of revenue in the food and beverage taxes, video gaming revenues and MFT Funds. He noted currently the city departments are running at budget or below.


Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn the meeting into executive session for the purpose of discussing non-union employee salaries. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.