WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Lakefront Committee Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
6:30 p.m. – Mallinckrodt Community Center


Attendees Present

Commissioners/Committee: Chair, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott, Stephanie Foster

Staff:  Kathy Bingham, Bill Lambrecht, Ken Eppelheimer, Jeff Bowen, Cindy Felicicchia

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order 6:30 p.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Foster moved and Commissioner Abbott seconded a motion to approve the minutes from July 6, 2015 as amended; all voted yes, the motion carried.

III. Communication and Correspondence

None

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Attendance Record will become a permanent part of the record.

Commissioner Shelly asked if any visitors would like to address the Committee.

Tom Sparks, 931 Westerfield Dr., Wilmette, commented on how he likes Langdon Beach and Gillson Beach. He commented that he is a new resident of Wilmette. He is looking forward to what is going on in the community. Commissioner Shelly welcomed him to the Community.

V. Manager’s Report

Kathy Bingham reported on the following:

  • The Lakefront has been very busy despite the earlier less than perfect weather. The July numbers are well ahead of budget compared to this time last year by 36,000. We are currently $21,000 over what was budgeted for the end of July.
  • Staff is working with the State of Illinois on a grant program from the Illinois Department of Public Health. This grant program is money funneled through the EPA that helps pay for all the water testing at the lake. qPCR lab is the testing that is used which makes for much quicker results when testing the water and fewer closing hours. Staff has been invited to the Great Lakes conference which is partly funded by the state. This conference covers some of the topics of the Great Lakes water levels, water quality, water testing methods and other topics. A few of the staff will be attending this conference in October. 

Commissioner Shelly asked when beaches would close for the season. Superintendent Bingham stated that after Labor Day staff will no longer be available. The sailing beach will be open to the members until the middle of October. Gillson beach will close after Labor Day as well. The Park will be open but there will be no staff at Gillson beach and Langdon.

  • Superintendent Lambrecht reported that after the storms last week a couple of trees were destroyed. There are also three trees that will have to be removed from Gillson Park due to Dutch Elm Disease. Commissioner Shelly asked about the replacement of trees. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that trees have not been replaced in the park since the lakefront plan started 6 years ago. He stated that the Committee did not want anything new planted until we developed a lakefront plan. Commissioner Abbott asked Staff what their recommendation is now on replacing some of the trees. Commissioner Shelly stated that she does not want to put trees in without knowing where the lakefront plan is going. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that he does not think it would be prudent to start planting random trees. Commissioner Shelly asked to make this topic an agenda item at a future meeting.
  • Superintendent Lambrecht commented on the flooding of the parking lots in Gillson Park due to the rain. Cars were getting stuck in the water and were towed out. The beach parking lot has been pumped out at least once a week for the past month. There is nowhere for the water to go even with a ½ inch  rainfall. 

VI. Unfinished Business

A. Lakefront Priorities Memo (Deferred Sections  2016, Beach House)

Commissioner Shelly commented that there is nothing new that has to be reported at this time due to the Lakefront Plan. The items that were addressed for 2015 were the must-dos and they have been addressed. The Committee agreed to defer the Lakefront Priorities Memo from 2016 on to a later date due to community input and a survey.

B. Request for Proposals (RFP) re: Survey Options

Superintendent Bingham stated that two reputable companies responded to the RFP. She stated that 6 or 7 companies were interested at first but did not want to work with the methods that staff and the Committee proposed. Superintendent Bingham presented and discussed the proposals of the two companies, Fako Research & Strategies and aQity Research & Insights, Inc. and what they had to offer.

Commissioner Abbott commented that he is disappointed in what seemed like a cookie cutter approach with Fako. He does not like the idea of getting a postcard and then having to go to the internet. In regards to aQity, he feels they were extremely responsive and were adding value already in their proposal with their expertise. He stated he would like to find out if when aQity sends the ID number to a household, could more than one person in that household do the survey. Superintendent Bingham stated she will find out from aQity how to handle this. Commissioner Abbott would like to get data from the younger adolescents since they are big users of the parks as well. He would also like to make sure the data is separated such as phone, mail and email when collecting the data. 

Commissioner Foster agreed with Commission Abbott. She stated she feels that aQity’s proposal demonstrates how they want to help us with the process. She stated she feels the hybrid method whether it is 5,000 or 10,000 households is important to reach people. She feels that there should be many options on how to fill out the survey.

Superintendent Bingham commented that the multiple companies she talked to stated that with a community our size a 500 sample was adequate. The District is clearly going out to a much wider range. Three times the number of responses you would like to see is the general rule for getting back the amount of responses you want.

Commissioner Shelly stated that her thoughts are similar to Commissioner Abbott and Commissioner Foster. She stated she did not like the recommendation from Fako that they would only call cell phones. Superintendent Bingham stated they would do what we wanted them to do but preferred that method. Commissioner Shelly is in favor of aQity and liked what they had to offer along with their expertise in working with neighboring park districts. She feels that everybody should have a chance to respond to the survey and giving people many options to choose from.

The Committee discussed the different options available. The Committee feels that everyone should have something delivered to their house and giving them the option of getting a paper copy delivered or completing it online. The Committee agreed that this includes the emailing and email blast to every household. Commissioner Shelly commented that once the contract is in place Staff, the Committee and three additional representatives; one from the Friends of Wilmette Beaches, one from Save Wilmette Beaches and one from Go Green will meet to discuss the survey process in more details.

Commissioner Shelly stated that the Lakefront Committee recommends staff pursue a contract with aQity based on the feedback from the Committee. The Committee will bring this to the full Board. All agreed. 

VII. New Business

None

VIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.