First off, my apologies for the fact that this post didn't run at its usual time. My wife and I were away on a quick mini-vacation for our anniversary, and I'm working on catching up today.
With that said, I'm back in town now and the full council meets Wednesday night at 7 to discuss action items including the following:
I know I also said this before the last full council meeting, but I'm almost certain the top story from this week's meetings will be the final resolution of a LONG debate about bike lanes on Mason Street. This is an issue the council has been discussing since March (before I was elected), but I think it might finally be time to put it to bed.
At the last council meeting in May we elected to send this issue back to committee one more time for consideration of a plan that would have split the north and southbound bike lanes onto two streets to allow parking to remain on one side of each street. However, after hearing discussion of that plan the Municipal Services Committee voted 4-0 (with one member excused) to revert back to the plan that had been in front of council previously and reaffirm their support of it.
At this point I'm convinced that we've done everything we can to consider alternatives, but we have yet to find anything that serves the community as a whole better than the original plan. I understand that not everyone will be happy with the decision, but as of this writing I intend to support the installation of bike lanes.
As I just said, I know this won't be a unanimous or popular decision. I do hope those on the other side, though, will realize and recognize the amount of work that's gone into trying to find a way to make everyone happy. We've spent months trying to find a way to resolve this, and regardless of how you feel about the outcome I think some recognition is due to everyone who worked on it.
Back to issues taking place in District 13, the Board of Public Works will meet at 6 pm Wednesday and two of their action items deal with the plans to add on to Cherryvale Avenue. I talked at length about this project two weeks ago.
This item was held at the last BPW meeting on May 15 due to some issues with the agreement with the developer, and to be honest I haven't heard any updates about it since then. Assuming the disagreements have been resolved, this project is still in line to be done this summer.
Assuming the BPW acts on these items at their 6 pm meeting, their actions will appear as recommendations before the full council at 7.
Parks and Recreation
Elsewhere in topics we've discussed before, about a month ago I mentioned a discussion about allowing Bazil's and Old Town Tavern to lease some space behind their property in Houdini Plaza for a patio for their facility. The city and owner Mark Behnke have reached a tentative agreement, which passed the Parks and Rec committee by a 3-0 vote back in May and will appear in front of the full council on Wednesday night.
You can view the full council agenda on our new Granicus system here. This will be our first meeting using the new system (which I'm being trained on tomorrow afternoon), and while I have some concerns about how it will affect the openness of our meetings I'm curious to see how things will go.
Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as an alderman. Making the council's activity as accessible as possible to as many people as are interested is part of my goal to make it easier for more people to get involved with issues that matter to them.