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updated: 7/17/2014 4:42 PM

Prospect Heights mayor defends workshop style

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  • Nick Helmer

      Nick Helmer

 

The rooms where city councils and village boards meet are often decorative and formal.

But perhaps once a month governing bodies want a less formal atmosphere to hold a workshop or meet as a committee of the whole.

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Arlington Heights has a separate room that can be opened to the council chambers when big crowds attend meetings. The Rolling Meadows City Council moves to the other end of the room and sits around a table rather than spread out along a dais.

In Prospect Heights, Mayor Nick Helmer decided several months ago that on workshop nights the council and relevant city staff should move down in front of the dais and sit at a U-shaped table facing the audience.

First Ward Alderman Luis Mendez objected to that setup during Monday's workshop meeting.

"The city spent thousands of dollars building the dais," he said. "Whoever had this idea, it is the worst idea ever."

Helmer responded that it was his idea and the plan would not change.

"I don't have to look down this way and that to see who's talking," he said.

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