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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Village of Mccullom Lake Village Board met November 12

By Michael Abella | Jan 21, 2020

Meeting 04

Village of Mccullom Lake Village Board met Nov. 12.

Here is the minutes provided by the board:

President Shepit called the meeting to order at 7:04 P.M.

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call: By the Village Clerk, Sherri L. Messina

Present: President Shepit, Attorney Shaw, Trustees Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek, Trustee Walter arrived at 7:16 P.M.

Minutes: Trustee Matthesius made a motion to approve the minutes with one minor correction; seconded by Trustee Fritz. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Treasurers Report: Trustee Bogacz made a motion to accept the Treasurers Report; seconded by Trustee Matthesius. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Bills: Trustee Bogacz made a motion to pay the bills; seconded by Trustee Mazurek. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Police: President Shepit brought up that the computer in one of the squads died. Chief Beatty is looking at new ones that are under $1000 but he is not sure if it comes with a charging station so it could be more. Attorney Shaw suggested that the board authorize an amount not to exceed $1500 and that we ratify this at the next board meeting. Trustee Matthesius made a motion for Chief Beatty to purchase a squad computer not to exceed $1500; seconded by Trustee Bogacz. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Audience: Johnathan & Chantal Amador – Autism Signage

They are looking for approval but not for the Village to pay for it they can do that themselves for their son to be able to have an Autism sign on their road where cars drive by really fast. A sign to warn vehicles that there is an autistic child in the area and to please slow down. Attorney Shaw – This board has considered the request although not a formal one has come before this board for a long enough duration that they were able to discuss it. This is going back a couple of meetings. The issue that was a primary concern for the board at the time was that the studies that this board has seen including Illinois Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Alaska Department of Transportation and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices have all indicated it doesn’t bring the desired results that the people want to see out of it. I guess the question is, is there data that the Board can consider or that you have available that would change that opinion or at least give them a different perspective. Chantal: You have Child at Play signs you have slow down signs why can’t we have a sign? Our son does not talk, he cannot speak for himself and I feel that all the signs you have up, I feel that ours can be approved. I can read to you what Autism means. Attorney Shaw: This isn’t a question about medical diagnosis it’s not a question about picking and choosing a personal issue. Chantal: I honestly don’t understand what it affects anybody. You have signs out there for people that are blind, people that are deaf. Attorney Shaw: I don’t think “this” board has approved a sign like that in over the last twenty (20) years. Chantal: Right here up the street you have a Child at Play sign. President Shepit: Nobody put up signs in the last twenty (20) years. Anything that is out there is old and a lot of them have been there since some of our Trustees were kids and never replaced they were just left there to just let people know, that’s the only reason you see any of these signs out there. Attorney Shaw: The studies out and available now actually have been done since those signs were approved long ago. I guess my position from a legal stand point and you have to understand I don’t make the decisions I’m just the legal advice to this board. Chantal: Who does make the decisions? Attorney Shaw: Well this Board makes the decision based upon. Chantal/Friend: We are part of an Autism Community all around the world and I have never heard of such a sign being denied to a child. Attorney Shaw: Well then they haven’t read the traffic studies because quite frankly I pointed to three (3) of them that are available to the public that demonstrate through academic studies that the signs actually have a negative impact. Because A: people stop focusing on what signs say when you start putting up signs everywhere, and again I am just quoting the study. I don’t have a personal opinion on this but the next problem is, is that the study concludes that it gives people a false sense of security when those signs are erected. Chantal: It doesn’t give us a false sense of security to keep our child safe. Attorney Shaw: I understand that and I understand that it is a very personal thing because we all want to do what is best for our kids, we really do and I get that and I understand that. What this board needs to see in order to make a decision on the issue is if there is data out there that contradicts what the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Alaska Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have come up with conclusions based upon thorough studies of this issue, is that data available. Is there anything out there that you guys have that you could present to this board that would help. Chantal: I’m wondering what this man has to say.

President Shepit turned it over to Mr. Cross – I’m just wondering what the objection is to the signs. Not whether the sign would be effective. I read the same study when I read about this issue I read the study and it said that “They say that the signs are not effective”. President Shepit: And they recommend against putting them up because it does give the parents a false sense of security that if their kid goes out in the road they’re going to be safe. Mr. Cross: That being said in this case I’m getting the feeling that having the signs out there would make the parents feel better and would have no negative impact on the Village, they are already paying for the signs. President Shepit: The signs cannot be enforced by our Police department either. Mr. Cross: Right, there is nothing enforceable for any of those signs it’s a twenty (20) mile an hour speed limit already. President Shepit: If people don’t pay attention to the speed limit signs, if they don’t pay attention to the Stop signs putting up a sign that makes them feel better and I get that, they are not going to pay attention either. Chantal: There are about five (5) autistic children in McCullom Lake and they all feel the way we do. President Shepit: We understand that. Attorney Shaw: Signage is based on State policy the Manual Uniform Traffic Safety Devices. Chantal: What do you suggest? President Shepit: He’s trying to explain that so hold on a second. Attorney Shaw: The problem is that these studies don’t just stop at saying they don’t recommend it, they recommend against it is my point. None of us in this room are traffic experts that I’m aware of and I certainly am not. I have to go by what the Department of Transportation is stating after studying the issue and that’s where my recommendation lies. I don’t know what else to say other than if they are effective there has to be information and studies and quantitative data available out there because as long as the Illinois Department of Transportation is going so far as to recommend against erecting those signs. Chantal: Are they specific Autism signs? Attorney Shaw: I can quote you what the Illinois Department of Transportation study says. Chantal: I would like that. Attorney Shaw: The MUTCD which is the Manual for Uniform Traffic um whatever that works out to be the signage, paragraph thirteen (13) Allows State and local highway agencies to develop special word message signs in situations where roadway conditions make it necessary to provide users with additional regulatory, warning, or guidance information, such as when road users need to be notified of special regulations or warned about a situation that might not be readily apparent. However, the MUTCD, Section 2A.04, Paragraph 01, recommends “Regulatory and warning signs should be used conservatively because these signs, if used to excess, tend to lose their effectiveness. Other word message warning signs dealing with children such as “Autistic Child,” “Blind Child,” or “Children at Play” are not recommended. Chantal: Again you have one of those signs up the street. Attorney Shaw: Again those signs have been erected twenty (20) years ago and this study was done in 2011. So this board has not made a decision on erecting those signs or taking them down. Chantel’s friend: What would you suggest would you allow them to build a fence in their front yard, would you allow some other barrier? President Shepit: Do you have a fence in your backyard? Chantal’s friend: Yes, but their son runs out the front door. Chantal: We’ve literally turned away for a second and he’ll run out the door and we had an incident where a car almost hit our kid and I ran after him and I was eight (8) months pregnant at the time. President Shepit asked that both Chantel and her friend talk one at a time because the Clerk has to try and keep notes, so please just one at a time. President Shepit went on to say that we understand that. Do you have locks on the door where he can’t go out the front door? Chantal: We have cameras, we have locks, he’s four (4), he’s really smart, he’s really fast, we’ve done it all. President Shepit: Just curious. Attorney Shaw: I think what this board needs to hear one (1) of two (2) things. Hear some sort of data that concludes that the sign does help and it doesn’t actually hurt the situation or an alternative proposal that brings about the same result. I can’t speak for the board but I can tell you that this board does keep an open mind as far as I’ve been around. No request is going to fall on deaf ears but you have to allow this board to be able to process it too you can’t just react and I understand that that’s what you are looking for and I would be too as a parent but they can’t just jump because somebody says jump. Chantal: Like I said I’m part of a word wide Autistic community where all the parents have requested these signs for their Village and not one of them have ever been denied and if what you are saying is true I’m wondering why all the other Village’s approved the signs that you are against and they’re all over. President Shepit asked over where? Chantel’s friend: Dupage County. President Shepit: I know somebody who actually work’s with Autistic children and has worked in hundreds of homes and goes house to house and sometimes at the center and out of all those homes she’s been to she has never seen one of the signs and asked the parents just to see what they would think and they said they wouldn’t do that. So we need the study as Jeremy has said showing that this is a good thing because you’re saying that some people are but there’s a whole community that says no as far as autistic parents. Chantel’s friend: What community? President Shepit: McHenry and Lake County all of that area, she works in, hundreds of homes she goes to. Chantel’s friend: the hundreds that I go to are with me. President Shepit: She works with the kids and she works at the center where kids come from Schaumburg and all over the place so she talks with a wide range. Chantel’s friend: well we’re a group of millions. President Shepit: But we are looking for something that shows this actually is against what is out there saying this is not recommended. Is there something out there a study that shows that yes, this does make a difference and we searched for it, and as soon as you find it please bring it forward. We are more than happy to look at it but all the studies we have seen point that you should not do this. It’s not safe for the kid, it gives a false sense of security that if your child runs out there because it’s not going to change the fact right now for you, your son could still run out in the road. Just because there is a sign out there does not put a bubble around that child. Chantal: It does not but it definitely will help when people drive by. President Shepit: If people don’t listen to stop signs and speed limit signs they don’t pay attention to anything. Chantal: So it there anything we can do regarding. President Shepit: If you come up with something else or you come up with some other idea. Chantal: You are not understanding me even if you are not approving our signs. For the cars that drive by my road where there are kids all the time that speed really fast if you can’t put our sign, what can you do? President Shepit: Get the plate numbers. Attorney Shaw: I mean obviously it’s going to be difficult to come up with anything that works, the board is going to have to think. Chantel’s friend: I will, the information you find, I will find it. President Shepit: If you see people speeding by, write down their plate number if you’re out there. Attorney Shaw: There are temporary traffic control measures that have been utilized, the Chief can speak to this better than me. Portable speed limit signs or something like that to put out there. I mean there are alternatives to just erect a sign. Chantal: I will do all my research on what you are asking me I know it’s out there. Chantel’s friend: Can we maybe have a policeman maybe not patrol but just sit there at high traffic times before and after school and stuff like that to monitor the speed of the area for all of the children to protect all of them. President Shepit: They actually do sit in the Village and if you look at Facebook you’ll see where they are actually being slammed for giving out tickets in the Village constantly. Hey the Village gave me a ticket while I was on my phone driving through the Village or I was going slightly over the speed limit so our Police department does do that. Is there anything else you can think of Zac? Chief Beatty: We can just keep doing routine patrols and patrolling the side streets and there’s only one officer on at a time and if we’re on the one side of town and something happens at the other side of town then it’s unfortunate. President Shepit: And that’s one thing when I first became President our Police Officers spent a lot of time on McCullom Lake Road. I wanted them brought in the Village which they have. They’ve come into the Village to patrol to watch for kids to watch for speeders to watch for other stuff within the Village so it has changed a lot but one of the big things is, is if you see a particular time that this is happening like hey it happens at 4:00 o’clock or whatever everyday or you can write down the license number. Chantal: I can actually say it happens throughout the day there’s no specific time. President Shepit: right, because it’s not just residents that live here its other people driving through here too. They are in the Village and they are in the Village just as much as they are on McCullom Lake Road which has changed our Police Department a lot but they have stopped a lot of speeders in the Village, even school buses, Garbage trucks, Amazon drivers you name it they have stopped them in the Village and you’ll see the Village trashed all over Facebook because they are actually doing their job and trying to protect the residents in this Village and on McCullom Lake Road too so you’ll see that they are doing their job but anything that you can come up with that you could help us with this situation what you see out there, if you see a study that this sign is going to work for you which we have information to the contrary. Chantal: Can I ask where you got that study can from. President Shepit: All over the internet, all you have to do is Google signs. Attorney Shaw: You’re welcome to these. Chantal: I mean that’s not Google. Attorney Shaw: This is only the Department of Transportation. Chantal: Like he said like his something that’s not Google something that’s. President Shepit: It’s not Google, you Google the information you say Autistic signs and it will give you all this information, that’s how I got it. Mr. Cross: You would Google signs. Chantal: Oh, alright. Like he says the Department of Transportation. Attorney Shaw: You’re welcome to take those too and I know Alaska was one of the first ones to study it. I did not bring a copy of that. President Shepit: If you want to see more just put in the words Autistic signage, road signage and you’ll find all sorts of information about it. Chantal: I mean I will, I mean I’m in a group where there are millions of them this is what they suggested to me when I explained to them what I was going through. President Shepit: Do you have a front porch on your house? Where there could be some sort of gate. Chantal: We have a camera where it alerts me. President Shepit: A camera is not going to keep him in the house. Chantal: No, the camera alerts me where it beeps my cell. I felt that maybe if they saw he can’t talk or if they can’t talk to him they know hey, he doesn’t talk where do you need to be, you know. President Shepit: Right, and you did register or the PD has you on a register where if he does get out that they know where he comes too, right? Chantal: Yeah. President Shepit: So the Police Department set that up for you and if he does get out anybody in this Police Department can help. The Village is trying to work with you if there is some other data out there please bring it forward. Chantal: Are you the President of the whole Village. President Shepit: Yes. Chantal: But not for the Police? President Shepit: Yes, I’m the Police Commissioner. Chantal: There is something I would like to tell you that upset me and I feel like you should know. President Shepit: Do you want to talk later? Chantal: Yeah, later. President Shepit: That’s fine. Chantal: Just between us. Attorney Shaw: The Municipality of Anchorage in Alaska. Chantal: We lived in Anchorage. Attorney Shaw: Really? Anchorage has taken down all of their warning signs like that and it says they are no longer recognized by the State of Alaska based upon the Federal Highway Administrations recommendations. Chantal: So the signs that are here up the street, those are left because they were here before. Attorney Shaw: Yes. President Shepit: The Village just never took them down and they probably should come down. Chantal: Because I feel like these are what’s upsetting everybody. Because everyone wonders why those are there and ours can’t be. President Shepit: Those signs have been there forever and we could take them down because nobody pays attention to them, they really don’t. Trustee Mazurek: They’re not doing any good even if they’re up there. Chantal: It’s just not fair. It just seems not fair to me. President Shepit: We could go take them down but the Village has just left them there. Chantal: I guess if you are trying to make a point then it doesn’t come across that you wanted to because they are there. President Shepit: Exactly, but those have been there for many, many years just so you know. Audience Member: I just wanted to say it sounds like it’s an accident waiting to happen because whether they feel secure or not that little boy is going to run out in the street regardless. I came because of the Facebook post and if it makes them feel better and if it slows one person down then that’s one less person. Chantal’s Friend: I guess what does it harm? Audience Member: It’s not a busy street, it’s in the very back of the Village and I don’t really see what harm it would be. I did see the studies on line and I understand how putting something up like that on McCullom Lake Road or in a busier area. To me it doesn’t sound like they are letting this little boy play in the front yard it sounds like, and I work with kids and I think there has to be a solution, I think as a community we should find one. President Shepit: That’s why we have asked them to do a little research to see what can be done. If there is something out there we would like to know, something contrary to the studies we’ve seen. Chantal: I feel it’s so indifferent when it’s your child and you actually have a child that’s autistic for you to understand, I can’t expect you to understand because I don’t know if you have. President Shepit: I told you my daughter works with autistic children so I understand that. Chantal: It’s still not the same thing. President Shepit: I also have a Down syndrome grandson so I totally sympathize with you. It’s not that hey, we don’t care, we do this board does understand. Chantal: I know. President Shepit: If you can come up with something please bring it back and we will go from there. Chantal’s Friend: What our idea would be is to allow her the permit to erect a fence or something of that nature in her front yard. Attorney Shaw: That is something we can certainly discuss and take a look at. It may ultimately be a no but it is an option so it’s worth talking about. Chantal: If you guys feel like hey it’s best not to have it because of the studies but in your honest opinion does it hurt anybody. President Shepit: In the mean time didn’t our Police Department come over and show you where you could have them in your front yard when they actually couldn’t be in the road easement but they could be in your front yard? Chantal: We knew that because we saw it on your website before he came back. President Shepit: No, the Police Department. Chantal: We saw online and research that thirty (30) feet from the road we don’t need permission to put up a sign. President Shepit: That’s where he came over and told you to put it. Chantal: Yeah. We wanted to come here because we weren’t comfortable to where nobody could see our sign in the middle of our house. President Shepit: In the mean time you can put it where the Officer showed you. Chantal: Yes, we will but we wanted to come here first. Attorney Shaw: But to your point, both of your points I understand that this could be a street on the far corner of the Village that no one ever drives down. The problem we have is if you put one up and now it’s created the exception for every other sign and unfortunately that’s partly how we’re here because we have signs that are twenty five (25) years old that are sitting out there that this board has had no say in. It’s just that no one thought to take them down because quite frankly you’re the first request I’ve ever seen in this Village come forward with a request like this. So the fact of the matter is, is if you put one up you’ve got to start drawing lines somewhere and at some point in time you just can’t accommodate it. So I understand the point and yeah that rings true, it’s a street that’s out of the way it’s clear over here yeah why not just put it up. Chantal: I guess the reason it’s being denied is for legal reasons. Attorney Shaw: My position is the reason it is being denied at this point in time and hasn’t been denied yet but my recommendation to deny it is based upon the fact that the only quantitative data available tends to suggest, and it doesn’t tend to suggest it comes right out and says that it is not recommended. I don’t know what else to rely on other than traffic experts who have studied the issue. Chantal’s Friend: Where I have seen the other signs put in place for example the City of Elmhurst and DuPage County should I ask them hey where did you source your logistics for their signs. Attorney Shaw: Absolutely! If you can bring us anything to look at. Chantal’s Friend: Okay, I’ll just ask the City of Elmhurst. Attorney Shaw: Absolutely, ask them what their policy is and why they adopted it. Chantal: This is the first time I’ve ever heard a signed denied, well not denied but not approved. Chantal’s Friend: I’ll contact Elmhurst PD. We have about 400 signed petitioners for our sign I don’t know if that helps. Attorney Shaw: Public opinion unfortunately doesn’t change traffic studies and that’s what I rely on at this point in time. Mr. Cross: are those all signatures from the Village? Trustee Walter: They can’t be. Chantal’s Friend: No, they’re like from all over. Chantal: If it makes a difference I’ll go door to door if it’s from the Village if that makes a difference I’ll go door to door. I’m going to do what she said. President Shepit: Okay. We are now going to move on, Glenn? I was just thinking about what was going on here, why don’t you just let them put a sign up if they are going to pay for it themselves as long as you’re not going to fine them and give them a ticket for it if it will make them feel better. Attorney Shaw: Because then I think we’ll have the domino effect. I hate to quote law school jargon but they say a slippery slope, it’s a flood gate. The problem is you can’t. its spot zoning is what it is Glenn if you allow one exception you’ve just created the loop hole, you’ve just opened that door. Glenn: Right, then anyone could put up whatever they want. Another thing about the cars speeding and I see them all the time and I see the officer sitting down about half a block from Parkview and Orchard. I haven’t seen them catch one yet but when I sit in my living room I can look right out my picture window and I hear these cars coming and I see them flying by I get up as quick as I can to get their license plate but their going so fast. It was two (2) this week and I know they didn’t stop at the stop sign. President Shepit: That’s the thing the stop signs are there and haven’t changed and they don’t stop for them, the speed limit signs they don’t pay attention to them which we think was a reason for these studies and the answers they came out with is because it’s not going to change the drivers. Some people just don’t care, they don’t understand and still continuing doing it and in the mean time the child is still going to be in danger going out there and a lot of it did say it gave parents a false sense of security. There’s not a bubble around that child that’s going to protect him because that person that is driving past there that doesn’t care.

Glenn: Yeah I understand that. President Shepit: And that’s the point. Chantal: We definitely need to have something done. It doesn’t matter if people. I guess what I feel even if they do talk or judge or say I don’t feel like when it comes to the protection of your kid it doesn’t really matter what people say. President Shepit: Which is where if you come up with a study then we’ll look into something else and we’ll look into the possibility of having a fence out front and maybe a gate by your door or around your doorway where he can’t get through if he does get out of the door. Something that actually will protect him there’s got to be something out there that can actually protect your child that can’t let him get to that street or he’s never going to be safe on the street. He’ll never be safe on that street no matter what there’s always going to be that one idiot that’s driving faster than they should and not paying attention. So to find a better way that actually protects him is better than putting up a sign that’s really not going to give him the protection you’re looking for, that would be a good thing to look at. You know some kind of gate but maybe there is something you can put outside your door where there is a gate he can’t get through, something. If you can look into all of that stuff we will be more than happy to look at anything you can come up with that way too. Do you understand what I’m saying, okay. Chantal’s Friend: So then would, could we possibly get a permit to erect a fence. Attorney Shaw: Anything you could provide is going to create more dialog for this board and that I think right now the best you can hope for is to create dialog. So anything you can produce that is an alternative to a sign or data supporting the use of signage I think is going to be a catalyst for more dialog. Chantal’s Friend: Right but what I’m trying to understand is like I should go and contact the city. Chantal: Anything you can do to show them that our sign is based on study, based on that the sign is good there. Right now what he is telling us based on what he researched and what he came across that they advise against the sign. President Shepit: Okay do you understand all of that, okay. You guys can work that out on finding that info. Cindy: She is interested in renting the Village Hall for a class it’s called Reiki for Pets. Chantal: I’m so sorry to interrupt but he has to head to work he’s a Police officer. President Shepit: Okay, see what you can come up with and get back to us. Attorney Shaw: Tonight we’ll table it, but we’re not going to make a decision tonight okay. Trustee Matthesius: It’s not on the agenda anyway is it? President Shepit: It’s just under discussion. Chantal: If we just can see how we can make, in general just safe for everybody, yeah they drive really ugly and it’s really scary. President Shepit: When you see that stuff on Facebook trashing the Police Department for doing their job make sure you let them know hey we want our Police to do their job. It’s always on Facebook McCullom Lake Police Department pulled us over for anything, that’s why they do that to try and protect the people in this Village. You guys can go ahead and go if you want just get us whatever you can get. Chantal: Thank you. President Shepit: What do you think of Cindy’s idea? Trustee Bogacz: I believe this has been brought up before. Attorney Shaw: I think we’d have to check with our insurance carrier first. Trustee Bogacz: There would be a lot of questions such as shots all dogs would have to have etc. Cindy: O.k. scratch that.

Old Business: Amend Section 5.8 Building & Regulations – Trustee Fritz: No changes were made and he did talk with the Building Inspector over the phone. President Shepit: So nothing’s really changing except slight verbiage. Trustee Walter: Didn’t we have something for Denise’s emergencies? Attorney Shaw: Yes, table it please and I will be happy to add that amendment. Trustee Bogacz made a motion to table this until the next board meeting; seconded by Trustee Mazurek. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek, Walter=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

New Business: Abatement Ordinance – Trustee Walter made a motion to approve Ordinance #523 Abating 2019 Taxes for Series 2011 General Obligation Bond; seconded by Trustee Bogacz. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek, Walter=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Approve only One Meeting in December – Trustee Matthesius made a motion to approve one meeting in December on December 10th, 2019; seconded by Trustee Given. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek, Walter=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

Discussion: Neighbors Helping Neighbors next meeting is December 3rd, 2019 at The Knoll at 6:00 P.M. December 8th, 2019 is the annual Children’s Christmas Party. If anyone knows of a family that needs a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. Also Froggie will again be doing Toys for Tots any families that have children that are in need of toys for Christmas. Please contact Froggie on either of the dinners or toys.

Trustee Matthesius made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:07 P.M.; seconded by Trustee Bogacz. Voice vote: Bogacz, Fritz, Given, Matthesius, Mazurek, Walter=ayes. All in favor, motion carried.

The next board meeting will be November 26, 2019 at 7:00 P.M. at the Village Hall.

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