Posted on May 19, 2008 4:24 AM
Weekly Update, 5/16/08
CMAP Meetings. The focus of this week’s Programming Coordinating Committee was on developing a process for reviewing DRIs (Developments of Regional Importance). The committee reviewed and discussed a draft document and directed the staff to refine the document to include a recommendation at the next Programming Committee on the following: how a DRI is identified and referred to CMAP (including the criteria and thresholds for identifying DRIs); a recommended review process for a DRI; and a recommendation for a public comment process (to include CMAP’s committees and stakeholder groups) and a timeline for input on the document. The materials from the meeting can be found here, and the next meeting is scheduled for June 11.
The Planning Coordinating Committee also met and the focus of the meeting was discussing the draft regional vision, which is an interim product of the GO TO 2040 planning process. The committee recommended the regional vision for endorsement by the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee at their June meetings. The materials from the meeting can be found here and the next meeting is scheduled for July 9.
The Board met following the Coordinating Committees. Highlights included:
- New CMAP Board Member. The board welcomed Russell Hartigan, who replaces Mayor Tony Calderone as the representative for west Cook County. Mr. Hartigan is a practicing attorney and a Trustee in Western Springs and Lyons Township.
- Legislative Update. The board discussed and endorsed a strongly worded letter addressed to Illinois Works coalition co-chairs, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and SIU president Glenn Poshard, in which chairman Gerald Bennett called for a capital bill that meets the state's infrastructure needs. "The CMAP Board wants to enthusiastically support a capital bill, but the funding must be adequate to preserve the state's economic competitiveness," says the letter. "Half-measures will not work," the letter continues. "To be very direct, CMAP's support must also be contingent on our agency being part of a transparent process that emphasizes clear outcomes and accountability."
Additionally, in other legislative news, HB 5152, which among other things, allocates the funding for the state's highway program in a 45% northeastern Illinois and 55% downstate split passed out of the House yesterday. We will be aggressively working with our partners and contacting our Senators to oppose this bill as it moves to the Senate. As discussed at this week’s meeting, the issue isn't that we want to talk about whether 45/55 is fair, but rather that if codified,it allows for no flexibility and goes against every needs based programming principle that the Board has endorsed.
- Fiscal Year 2009 Budget & Work Plan. Staff presented a proposed budget and work plan for FY 2009 for discussion. Board approval will be requested at the June meeting.
For more information or materials, please see the agenda and materials. The next meeting is scheduled for June 11 at 9.30 a.m.
Green Fest. CMAP is all geared up for Saturday's Green Festival to be held at Navy Pier this Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18. We have put together some fun materials and displays. We will be staffing the booth, which we're sharing with the Metropolitan Planning Council. For festival details, contact Phillippa Cannon (312-353-6218 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Competitiveness summit. The 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness is being held May 22, 2008, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by a networking reception. It will convene the national leaders of business, government, and academia to discuss steps the public and private sectors can take to secure America's competitiveness. It's hosted by Carlos M. Gutierrez, U. S. Secretary of Commerce, with honorary co-chairmen Mayor Richard M. Daley of the City of Chicago and Ronald J. Gidwitz, former CEO of Helene Curtis. The summit will feature discussion on how to bolster the business climate, link entrepreneurship with economic prosperity, and utilize free trade agreements. It will also highlight the accomplishments of top state and local leaders who have successfully driven economic transformations in their regions to bolster competitiveness in global markets. Confirmed speakers to date include CNBC Anchor Maria Bartiromo, Intel Chairman of the Board Craig Barrett, YouTube Co-Founder and CTO Steve Chen, and Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. On-line registration is $150. For assistance, please contact Lindsey Loy of the Department of Commerce (202-482-2477 or email@example.com).
PPP event. Following its successful "How to Seal the Deal" event last November and "Development Incentives" event in March, CMAP's Community and Technical Assistance unit is hosting the third in a series of panel discussions focusing on best practices in planning and economic development. "Public/Private Partnerships: Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally" will be held Tuesday June 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the ComEd Commercial Center, 1919 Swift Dr., Oakbrook, IL 60523. It is co-sponsored by Commonwealth Edison and organized in partnership with the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation. The panel will highlight practical advice on how to develop public/private partnerships and recommend ways to engage the public and private sector in building active participation. The panel will include Greg Hummel, Partner with Bell, Boyd, & Lloyd specializing in public/private partnerships; Roger Dahlstrom, AICP Senior Research Associate at the Center for Governmental Studies; Michael Kirchhoff, Vice President of Retention and Recruitment, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, MO; and Adam Prager, President of Prager Company. The event will offer municipal managers, planners, economic and community development practitioners, the opportunity for a lively discussion and networking. Please contact Brian Rademacher (312-386-8668 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
EIS for proposed EJ&E acquisition. The Surface Transportation Board is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement regarding the Canadian National Railroad's application to acquire the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad. The EIS will identify and analyze possible environmental effects of the proposed transaction. Among other environmental topics, the EIS will study indirect and cumulative effects on the environment that could result from the proposed action when combined with other projects within the vicinity of the EJ&E right of way. The STB is requesting information from local communities and agencies describing existing or planned projects that interrelate with the proposed acquisition and have caused or may cause environmental impacts, i.e. energy use, filling of wetlands, loss of threatened species or other natural resources, increased noise, air emissions and/ or traffic, etc. For example, such a project could be a highway/ rail at-grade crossing on the EJ&E that will be widened to allow more vehicle traffic to cross, which could then be delayed by added CN trains running over the EJ&E rail line, resulting in greater vehicle emissions. Other examples might be a large shopping center or warehouse near the EJ&E right of way, or a public park or recreational complex being built adjacent to it. If you have specific questions about the kind of information being requested and where to send it, please call Richard Christopher of HDR at 773/867-7238. To learn more about the proposed transaction, visit the Board's website (http://www.stbfinancedocket35087.com/html/newsinfo.html).
Planning Support Systems brownbag. Last week, CMAP staffer Sef Okoth had the opportunity to be a speaker at the APA national conference in Las Vegas, where he met with one of, if not "the" world's leading authority on Planning Support Systems (PSS), Dr. Richard E. Klosterman, Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Akron. Sef invited Dr. Klosterman to do a presentation at CMAP during one of his visits to Chicago, and that is now scheduled as a brownbag on July 9 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Please see http://www.whatifinc.biz/us.htm for more information.
Event reminders. Here's one final reminder about the conference of the Lake Michigan Watershed Academy from May 20 to 22 in Hammond, Indiana. I'll be among the speakers at this CMAP-hosted event on water quality issues and regional policy development relevant to Lake Michigan and its basin. And CMAP is sponsoring "Designing Pedestrian Facilities for Accessibility," a 1 1/2 day workshop on June 9-10. It is for Illinois engineers, planners, and other design professionals who plan, design, and/or build pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. Registration requires a nominal fee, and space is limited. Click here for more information and to register.