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City Council Round-Up: Matt Grevers, Hands-Free Ordinance and Elewa Farms

Miss Tuesday night's meeting? Patch has the run down to catch you up on Lake Forest happenings.

Honoring a hometown hero, evaluating a new cell phone ban and taking steps to reinstate an Elewa Farms commission were the big topics of Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

Following Matt Grevers' welcoming ceremony, Mayor James J. Cowhey, Jr. headed to City Hall to proclaim Sept. 4 the official day for the gold medal olympian.

Earlier: 

But the two biggest items on last night's agenda included an update on the Hands-Free Cell Phone Ordinance and new potential developments with Elewa Farms.

Acting Police Chief James Held highlighted that the ordinance is being implemented under violators will only receive warnings. Starting in October the law will go into full-effect and drivers will be ticketed. The city has gone around putting up proper signage and is hoping this will deter behavior, according to Held.

Meanwhile, the city is reassessing the cell phone plans it's issued for employees to align with the ordinance.

"The best plan to take on is being studied right now," said Susan J. Banks, Lake Forest's Communications Manager.

And while the ordinance doesn't apply to hands-free devices, like speaker phone or blue tooth, some city council members raised concerns that those are just as dangerous. But banning the city doesn't intend to ban these devices, according to Banks.

"We are anticipating that there will be an Illinois-wide law that will include all hands-free and cellular devices," she told Patch, "We wanted to be proactive so we took action now with tis ordinance."

The evening closed out with the approval to move forward on amending the City Code pertaining to the Elawa Farm Commission. Council members voted unanimously in support of a first read on an initiative that would re-create the commission. Next steps will be to vet potential members of the seven-person commission, according to Cowhey, who added that the group would be integral to maintaining the historic land.

"We want to have a commission that will create a long-term plan to make sure the farm staus sustainable without drainingta taxpayer funding," said Cowhey.

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