Trustees decide more rules on masks in public not necessary
by JASON MEREL
The Lincolnwood Village Board of Trustees at a special meeting July 7 considered additional rules to state rules concerning face masks and coverings in public during the pandemic but took no action and decided to let residents "do the right thing" and use common sense.
"I’m proud of how the state of Illinois’ numbers are low compared to outbreaks all over the country." Trustee Craig Klatzco said. "By implementing these measures that we have, we’ve protected the people of Lincolnwood and the people that come into Lincolnwood. As a business owner here in Lincolnwood, I require anybody on my premises to have a mask and they must maintain social distancing. And I think that there are many other businesses in town, under the direction of the board, that have put up barriers and require people to wear masks and this helps keep our numbers down."
Masks are required at all businesses per state rules or when social distancing is not possible.
Trustee Atour Sargon noted that she requested a discussion of additional rules so that the village of Lincolnwood can stay ahead of the pandemic.
"We are not in the clear," Sargon said. "As Trustee Klatzco mentioned, there are states across the nation that reopened very quickly and have seen spikes and our state and our community have been able to get ahead of the curve but we’re definitely not in the clear yet."
"What I’d like to propose is that we make a requirement that if you are in a public place, you must possess a mask," Trustee Jesal Patel said. "I’m an avid runner and a regular pedestrian and often I’m by myself or able to maintain significant distance. However, if I can’t, if I come to an intersection and somebody else is standing at the corner I have a mask."
Patel then backed off the idea of a formal requirement and said, "To give tickets and to spend a lot of time and effort with our police department tracking and doing warnings just isn’t realistic. We just have to call on the good nature and civility of our residents and our neighbors to do the right thing and keep your social distance and when you can’t, wear a mask."
Trustee Jean Izekoe-Hallevi commended village staff and residents for doing their part to combat the pandemic, noting that there were no COVID-19-related deaths reported for the village of Lincolnwood in the 2 weeks since the previous board meeting. She attributed this to the community’s commitment to wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing but expressed concerns about what she has been seeing in the village.
"I do see younger people in Proesel Park not doing either, and that worries me," Izekoe-Hallevi said. "A lot of young people think they’re immune. If you get it, you’re putting all of the people at the hospitals at risk, you’re putting your family members at risk, you’re putting older people at risk. You may inadvertently hurt someone or kill someone and never know it."
Village manager Anne Marie Gaura said that people who don’t have a mask and visit Village Hall will be given one to put on.
She also said that marked social distance decals, barriers at counters, one-way foot-traffic configuration and touch-less arm and foot bars on doors throughout the buildings have been implemented for safety.
Also at the meeting, village clerk Beryl Herman said that the Cook County Clerk’s Office would be sending a letter or an e-mail to all residents who had voted in the previous four elections with requests for mail-in ballots for the November election.
"They said that they would send them to everybody," Herman said.
Finally, the water transmission main project is nearing completion. Gaura said all piping has been installed and pressure-tested. She said the next step would be to fill the main, chlorinate it, take samples and provide them to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She said staff met with Evanston officials and agreed to perform this work during the week starting July 20. Once samples pass the necessary tests, the village will remain partially on Evanston water until the full switchover on Friday, July 31.