NORTH AURORA VILLAGE BOARD MEETING
VILLAGE BOARD MEETING MINUTES
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Gaffino called the meeting to order.
SILENT PRAYER – MEDITATION – PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
In attendance: Mayor Mark Gaffino, Trustee Mark Carroll, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Tao Martinez, Deputy Village Clerk Natalie Stevens
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel, Public Works Director John Laskowski, Police Chief Dave Fisher, Administrative Analyst Dave Hansen
1. Resignation of Trustee Position: Mayor Mark Gaffino officially resigned his previously held Trustee position.
2. Appointment and Swearing in of New Village Trustee: Mayor Gaffino nominated Carolyn Salazar for the open Trustee position. Mayor Gaffino noted that Ms. Salazar has been an active member of the community, attending Village Board meetings for two years and is a board member of the North Aurora Days Committee.
Comments: Trustee Curtis opposed the appointment due to Carolyn Salazar’s current run for the Trustee position in the upcoming April election. Trustee Curtis felt this appointment would be equivalent to an endorsement by the Village. Trustee Guethle said that he thinks the appointment is a good choice as Ms. Salazar has attended board meeting for over two years and has participated on the North Aurora Days committee.
Carolyn Salazar’s appointment to Trustee was approved with a vote of 4 yea/1 nay with Trustee Curtis casting the opposing vote.
Trustee Salazar was sworn in. Trustee Salazar commented that she appreciates the appointment, she has been a resident for twenty years and has raised her family here. She commended the Board on their hard work in the village.
3. Appointment and Swearing in of Village Clerk: Mayor Gaffino nominated Jessi Watkins for the open Village Clerk position through the April 6th election. Mayor Gaffino noted Ms. Watkins is involved with the North Aurora Mothers Club, North Aurora River District Alliance and is a board member on the North Aurora Days committee.
Jessi Watkins’ appointment to Village Clerk was approved unanimously and she is sworn in.
4. Services Committee appointments: Mayor Gaffino Appointed Trustee Salazar to the Services Committee and appoints Mike Lowery to Chairperson of the same committee.
Appointments unanimously approved.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – Trustee Curtis explained that she recently had a discussion with a resident regarding the upcoming election. The resident had expressed that there is limited information on the candidates running for election. Trustee Curtis went on to question if going forward elections could be partisan in an effort to provide voters with more information about the candidates. Attorney Drendel informed the board that the Village’s form of government would need to be changed by referendum in order for that to occur. Trustee Curtis suggested looking further in to this possibility, that the change would benefit voters to know where the candidates’ parties’ allegiances lie.
Trustee Carroll mentioned that he has had positive feedback from Village residents regarding Public Works’ efforts to remove snow. He commended PW and their diligent effort. PW Director John Laskowski appreciated the comments and will pass them along to his staff.
5. Appointment of Mayor Pro-Temp: Position formally held by Mayor Gaffino under former Mayor Berman, Mayor Gaffino suggested appointing Trustee Guethle to the position as he is the most senior Trustee.
Appointment passed unanimously.
1. Village Board Minutes dated 01/18/2021 and Committee of the Whole Minutes dated 01/18/2021
2. Bills List Dated 02/01/2021 in the Amount of $121,231.28
Motion for approval made by Trustee Carroll and seconded by Trustee Curtis. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes, Trustee Salazar –yes. Motion approved (6-0).
1. Approval of an Engineering Agreement with Engineering Enterprises Incorporated, for the Design and Construction Inspection of Well #5 Improvements in the Amount of $48,724.00
Comments: Cost of project includes the installation of pitless adaptor, a valve vault, air release valve and electrical work. This project will bury a pipe to protect said pipe from exposure to elements. Staff recommends the board approve the cost of the improvements.
Motion for approval made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Guethle. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes Trustee Salazar –yes. Motion approved (6-0).
2. Approval of Motion Authorizing Designated Signers on Village Bank and Investment Accounts
Comments: Finance Director Bill Hannah explained that with recent turnover with the mayor, updating the designated signers on the Village’s cash and investment bank accounts is necessary as past practice to have the Village President as an authorized signer assists with proper internal controls. With the update, the Village President, Village Administrator and Finance Director/Treasurer are the signors.
Motion for approval made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Carroll. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Curtis – yes, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes Trustee Salazar –yes. Motion approved (6-0).
3. Approval of Ordinance Granting All Prior Approved State Of Emergency Powers and Executive Order Authority to New North Aurora Village President
Comments: Village Administrator Steve Bosco explained that this item will transfer all prior approved state of emergency powers and executive order authority to new Mayor Gaffino as well as extend the orders that had been previously approved. Trustee Carroll asked what the executive orders that had been issued, Administrator Bosco explains that they were:
1. Liquor Sales and Delivery
2. Executive Order Allowing Outside Dining In Keeping With Phase 3 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan
3. Amended Executive Order Allowing for Establishments With Valid Liquor Licenses to Now Sell Alcoholic Beverages Via Pick-Up and Delivery
4. Amended Executive Order Allowing for Outside Dining Extension of Hours
Trustee Curtis questioned whether or not the ordinance is only granting Mayor Gaffino power over the existing orders or grants him the ability to create and execute additional ordinances going forward. Administrator Bosco explained that the ordinance will allow Mayor Gaffino the ability to issue executive orders during the pandemic without consent and/or approval of the board. Trustee Curtis and Trustee Carroll expressed concerns of granting sole power as they feel the emergency state has passed. Administrator Bosco explained that in the original ordinance if either the Governor of Illinois states there is no longer a pandemic or if the Village Board chooses to rescind the Executive Order it will be removed. Trustee Guethle stated that he would like to pass the motion as is and expressed his trust in Mayor Gaffino.
Trustee Curtis expressed that she also has trust in Mayor Gaffino but believes as we are coming up on a year of the pandemic, the emergency state has passed and believes moving forward any ordinances passed should also pass through the board in the best interest of the residents of North Aurora. Trustee Carroll remarked that he can agree with both points of view. He trusts Mayor Gaffino and would like to see the ordinance pass but would also like see more discussion and input from the board on making decisions going forward as well as discussing a way to scale back on the need for executive orders. Mayor Gaffino stated that he can understand Trustee Curtis’ point, and he has an ambivalent stance in regard to allowing for the continuation of the Executive Order Authority. Trustee Martinez was in favor of the motion as it stood. Trustee Salazar requested confirmation that the board can choose to rescind the Executive Order Authority, which Administrator Bosco confirmed. Trustee Salazar expressed support for the motion as it stood because there is the opportunity to remove the Executive Order Authority should the board feel the need. Administrator Bosco told the Board that should the Board choose to, the motion can be revisited or changed to separate the two ordinances, Granting All Prior Approved State of Emergency Powers and the Executive Order Authority to the New North Aurora Village President. Trustee Curtis stated that she’d like to separate them.
Motion for approval made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Martinez. Roll Call Vote: Trustee Carroll – yes, Trustee Curtis – no, Trustee Guethle – yes, Trustee Lowery – yes, Trustee Martinez – yes Trustee Salazar –yes. Motion approved (5-1).
Comments: Trustee Carroll would like to revisit looking in to grant funding for outdoor dining and relief for businesses.
OLD BUSINESS – None
COMMITTEE REPORTS – None
TRUSTEES COMMENTS – None
ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT – None
ATTORNEY’S REPORT – None
VILLAGE DEPARTMENT REPORTS
1. Finance – None
2. Community Development – None
3. Police – None
4. Public Works – None
VILLAGE PRESIDENT – Commended Public Works for the good job with snow removal.
EXECUTIVE SESSION –
Motion to adjourn was made by Trustee Guethle and seconded by Trustee Carroll. All in favor. Motion approved.