Village Perspective: Q&A with Sandy Frum

Village Perspective: Q&A with Sandy Frum

Northbrook Village President Sandy Frum responded to questions from the Chamber about the impact of the pandemic on Village life and policies.  She will share more insights and answers your questions in a Zoom conversation with members on Wednesday, May 13.

How are you coping with the “stay at home” order? What are you doing to stay positive?

Obviously, like everyone else, I’m working from home.  I’ve had time to get out and walk – a lot. Despite the ups and downs of the weather, I’ve gotten out every day. That clears my head. I’ve had great conversations with people around town – from a distance. As we get into May, I’m looking forward to new places to go – on foot.

What has been the Village’s process for enacting COVID-19 emergency measures — and how will decisions be made on when rules should be lifted?

There’s been a Village order dealing with groups congregating on playing fields and one on the wearing of facemasks.  The order on masks will be superseded by the Governor’s order as of May 1.  We take into consideration requests from our residents and talk with other Mayors/Presidents and Managers as to what they are looking at doing.  As a member of the North West Municipal Conference (NWMC), a consortium of over 40 municipalities, we have access to information on what all those communities are implementing. Through the NWMC, we will be participating in a regional Task Force that will look at reopening the economy. I believe this should be done on an areawide basis, not individually.

What are some of the notable impacts on Village services? How has the Village adapted?

I’m proud to say that the large majority of Village services have continued using various technologies.  We’ve made some exciting and lasting adjustments, including online vehicle sticker sales and the ability to conduct building inspections via video.  We’ve had to postpone in-person activities including Administrative Hearings, annual fire life safety inspections and re-inspections, the electronic and plastic bag recycling programs, and many of our Police Department’s Community Relations programs such as the Citizen Police Academy, the Drug Take Back Program, and car seat installations.

How is the Village enforcing rules related to COVID-19 (business closures, face masks, social distancing, etc)?

Generally speaking, our enforcement philosophy has been to educate and assist in order to gain compliance.  We’ve encouraged people to contact business owners/managers directly or State-provided resources when appropriate.  Most people are choosing to self-police, and we appreciate that.

What major changes in Village events or services can we expect to see through the summer months?

We’ve heard from State and Federal officials that group gatherings will need to be phased in, and we expect further guidance on how and when this phasing will begin.  At the beginning of April, Governor Pritzker suggested that everyone needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events like festivals and concerts. We take these guidelines and suggestions very seriously but have not made any broad statements about summer events.  At this time, the Memorial Day festivities and Friday Night Flights in June have been cancelled. We hope to reschedule the latter for sometime this fall.

As far as Village services, we will gradually restore in-person services once the Stay-At-Home Order is lifted and the Village buildings reopen to the public. We will continue to encourage residents and businesses to use online or phone services when possible.  We’ve seen great success with our online services, and hope to incorporate more online options that enable residents and businesses to conduct business with the Village from anywhere at any time.

What is the best way for businesses to contact the Village with questions?

Businesses with questions can contact Tom Poupard, Director of Development & Planning Services, at 847-664-4051 or via email at tom.poupard@northbrook.il.us.

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