WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Minutes of Regular Meeting of the
Board of Park Commissioners
Monday, March 14, 2016
7:30 p.m. - Village Hall Council Chambers


Attendees Present

Commissioners: President John Olvany, Vice President Amy Wolfe, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott, Stephanie Foster, Ryrie Pellaton, Gordon Anderson

Secretary/Executive Director Steve Wilson
Staff: Jeff Bowen, Bill Lambrecht, Ken Eppelheimer, Cindy Felicicchia, Marlon Rodas

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting  Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m.
A. Roll call taken.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Abbott, Anderson, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

President Olvany moved and Vice President Wolfe seconded a motion to modify the Agenda to discuss Goals and Initiatives for the Board under Unfinished Business.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Abbott, Anderson, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. February 8, 2016 Regular Minutes

Commissioner Anderson moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the minutes from the February 8, 2016 Regular Board Meeting.

III. Communications and Correspondence

A. Email from Maria Welch re: Girl Scout Cookies and Help from West Park

President Olvany acknowledged an email from Maria Welch thanking West Park for their assistance with the Girl Scout Cookie delivery.

Director Wilson acknowledged a thank you letter from the St. Joseph students for the student government program.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Attendance Record will become a permanent part of the record.

Jeff Andreasen, aQity Research and Insights

Tom Nathan, President and Cathy Pratt, Treasurer for Ouilmette Foundation. Mr. Nathan thanked the Board and Staff for their unending support. He commented that the foundation has almost doubled in size and fund raising events are continuing to grow. Mr. Nathan and Ms. Pratt donated a check for $20,000 to the scholarship fund for the Park District.

Tom Tully, Canal Shores, Golf Course Superintendent, commented and read a statement from John Powers President of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association regarding storm water flow with developed property and vacant property. They are requesting a plan showing the proposed development and the impact it will have on water flow and drainage in the area requested. Per Mr. Tully, Mr. Powers stated, “to consider the ecological impact of any development that would remove old-growth forests and wetlands.” The Board asked to get a copy of the read statement. This statement will become a permanent part of the record.

V. Approval of Voucher List

Commissioner Abbott commented on the voucher list report having a minor change to the look so that it is easier to follow. 

Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,640,641.56, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting. 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Abbott, Anderson, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

VI. Executive Director’s Report

Director Wilson reported on the following topics:

  • North Suburban Special Recreation Foundation (NSSRF) will be hosting their Shinning Stars event on April 29th. If anyone has any interest in attending contact Director Wilson.
  • There are many bids that will be addressed under each Committees report tonight.  
  • Jeff Andreasen presented to the Lakefront Committee the final results from the community wide survey. He is here tonight to present a truncated version of the final results report.

VII. Lakefront Survey Results Presentation – Jeff Andreasen, aQity Research & Insights

Jeff Andreasen presented and discussed a high level overview of the final results of the community wide survey to the Board. The total collected surveys used for the findings were 1,703 from Wilmette residents. He commented that the overall response rate of 17.1% is very high for a random survey.

Mr. Andreasen commented that patrons were given three options for completing the survey: 1,224 surveys were completed online; 447 were completed by printed questionnaire; and 32 were interviewed by phone. The surveys were collected between January 5 and February 10, 2016. Mr. Andreasen explained how the sample was representative of the community population based on gender, age, children in the household, and region.

Mr. Andreasen highlighted on a few of the key findings: 93% of respondents stated that they have been to Gillson Park; 97% of respondents feel that Gillson contributes significantly to the quality of life; and 83% of respondent’s satisfaction with Gillson is extremely high. Mr. Andreasen discussed some of the findings with the referendum and stated that 62% voted against the referendum. Mr. Andreasen reported on the top tier needs out of three tiers and what the outcomes were based on the questions. The most important element tested in the survey was to preserve open spaces. The next highest rated was infrastructure of the beach house.

Mr. Andreasen emphasized that the survey report outlines many more detailed findings and explanations. He is very confident that this survey represents a sound, reliable sample of the community.

President Olvany thanked Mr. Andreasen, Commissioner Shelly and the Committee for the work that went into making this survey happen. Commissioner Abbott thanked Mr. Andreasen for all the information that was gathered. He commented that the Board will take time to digest all this information before moving forward. Commissioner Shelly commented that this will be an ongoing working document with very helpful information as the Committee moves forward.

VIII. Committee Reports

A. Lakefront Committee:

Commissioner Shelly reported on the following topics:

  • The Committee met on March 7th.
  • The final survey report is posted on the website. The Committee will look into a condensed version that is easier to read for the community.
  • The Committee is in the process of looking at ways to get this information out to the community.
  • The Committee discussed the sailing beach waitlist and how to best accommodate everyone that would like to be at the sailing beach. Staff presented several ideas. The SUPs are causing a safety concern with the other vessels at the sailing beach. It is hard for the faster vessels that are coming in with people floating on SUPs. At this point Staff is not opening up any more spots at the current sailing beach. The Committee agreed that Staff will create 20-25 more SUP storage space and access to water at the south end of the beach. This will be set up as a pilot program. This will not be a separate beach it will be for people who are interested in getting their SUPs on the water and store it there. Staff is making calls on the waitlist to see if people would be interested in this option.
  • The Committee discussed moving the beach house further south on the beach.
  • The Committee approved the bid recommendation for Organic Life for $10,000. Organic Life has been the vendor for the last 4 years. This was the only bid received due to the lack of capabilities at the current beach house.

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Wolfe seconded a motion to approve the bid recommendation from Organic Life as the vendor at Lakefront as recommended by the Lakefront Committee; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

  • The Committee approved a Park Permit Request for Precision Multisport.

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Abbott seconded a motion to recommend accepting the Lakefront Survey final report from aQity Research and Insight as recommended by the Lakefront Committee; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

B. Facilities Operations Committee:

Commissioner Pellaton reported on the following topics:

  • The Committee met tonight.
  • Tennis:
  • Court time lottery application deadline is April 11th. The selection process will be held on April 23rd where you can pick your court time for next year.
  • Tennis will take a break from classes due to spring break the week of March 21st through March 27th.
  • Classes are full and staff enjoyed a large Mid-Winter registration with 545 enrolling into the Basic Level classes, 121 more than last year.
  • March yearly pro shop sale is currently going on.
  • Staff is busy assembling the summer camp staff.
  • Pirate camp sold out within hours and 150 are on the waitlist.
  • Paddle:
  • A New spring program will run for the next two months. Registration was March 8th.
  • There is a new program for 18 and over in-house league.
  • There were 34 hut rentals this season compared to 22 last year.
  • On Friday, March 11th there was an adult mixer held.
  • 14 out of the 17 men’s leagues made it to the playoffs.
  • Pool:
  • Interviews are underway for many positions.
  • Since the weather has warmed up hopefully people are starting to think about the pool and beach for memberships.
  • Promotional marketing ideas will be going out to community.
  • Pool passes can be purchased at any facility.
  • Ice:
  • Public skate numbers in February were at 1,962 patrons compared to 2,202 last year.
  • Winter Learn to Skate program has 751 patrons enrolled compared to 800 last year.
  • The Ice Show tickets go on sale April 18th.
  • Promotional marketing ideas are underway.
  • Open hockey will resume on March 8th and go through the summer.
  • Wilmette Hockey finished their season on March 6th with the Wolves Cup.
  • Spring hockey began March 8th.

Commissioner Pellaton moved and Commissioner Wolfe seconded a motion to approve the bid recommendation from Design Temperature Corporation to replace two pool heaters as recommended by the Facilities Operations Committee; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

C. Parks & Recreation Committee:

Vice President Wolfe reported on the following topics:

  • The Committee met February 15th.
  • The Committee discussed field rental rates for all the parks within the community. The Committee also looked at field configurations at West Park with the new turf field completed.  
  • The Wilmette Baseball Agreement has been finalized and it was agreed upon that all costs will be split 50/50 for maintaining all the baseball fields.

Commissioner Abbott moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the bid from Wilmette Bike Shop in the amount of $325.00 per bike (approximately 100 bikes) for Camp Fusion, as recommended by the Parks & Recreation Committee; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

Commissioner Wolfe moved and Commissioner Pellaton seconded a motion to approve the bid from Direct Fitness Solutions for new spin bikes in Fitness in the amount of $27,205, as recommended by the Parks & Recreation Committee; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

D. Golf Operations Committee:

Commissioner Shelly reported on the following topics:

  • The Committee met on Saturday, March 12th.
  • The golf tee-time lottery was held on March 8th. Forty-five foursomes were registered for this year compared to 49 last year. The District’s numbers look good in comparison with the surrounding area courses. There are still prime time tee spots still available.
  • April 14th and 15th there is a Midwest Junior Golf event scheduled.
  • CDGA event will be held with 90 players in attendance. This will be good exposure. 
  • The golf range has been opened all year.
  • The golf course greens were discussed and how the winter weather affected it. The course is coming along fine with no damage they can see so far.
  • Staff has been working on a marketing plan along with trying to attract female golfers with two new programs being offered. Staff is working on a marketing plan for high schoolers.

Commissioner Shelly discussed having only one bidder for the reel grinders. The Committee will be discussing how to get more bids in the future during their goals discussion.

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Foster seconded a motion to approve the bid from Reinders for the reel grinders in the amount of $40,290, as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee; voting No: Commissioner Anderson. Absent: None; motion carried.

E. Financial Planning & Policy Committee:

Commissioner Abbott reported on the following topics:

  • The Committee met on February 22nd. 
  • This year’s audit is underway. The District has received good reports for many years.
  • Asset inventory has been completed. He thanked Steve Holloway for a job well done.
  • 2015 Financial Report came in at roughly about $1m in surplus. 
  • The ordinances that were discussed at last month’s meeting will have saved the community almost $700k. Superintendent Eppelheimer updated the Board on the ordinances that were filed with the Cook County Clerk on February 16th. 

IX. New Business

A. Ordinance 2016-O-7, Disposal of Surplus Property

Commissioner Anderson moved and Commissioner Abbott seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2016-O-7, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE SALE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, IL.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes: Commissioners: Abbott, Anderson, Foster, Pellaton, Shelly, Wolfe, Olvany; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

B. Easement of Property

President Olvany commented how the Board was approached last year by the representative of the Keefe family trust that owns the property adjacent to the Canal Shores Golf Course. President Olvany believes this property has been in the control of this trust for a number of years. The Keefe family trust is interested in getting an easement. The Board asked the representative of the Keefe family trust to get a letter from Metropolitan Water and Reclamation District (MWRD) stating what they are specifically asking for. The District asked their attorneys at Tressler for their input. Director Wilson updated the Board and community the history and the latest requests. President Olvany asked the Board what their thoughts are and how the Board should go about this. Commissioner Anderson stated he would like to see the property. Commissioner Abbott stated that they are proposing to get an easement so they can build a driveway. Tom Tully commented that an easement would impact the trees and the natural environment. Commissioner Abbott commented that if the easement was exercised it would permanently alter the area. Commissioner Abbott would like to engage the community on their input. President Olvany asked if the Commissioners could walk the site. Mr. Tully reply yes. President Olvany commented that further analysis needs to be done. He stated that this will be referred back to the Real Estate Committee to review and discuss further.

X. Unfinished Business

A. Goals and Initiatives for the Board

President Olvany commented that he and Commissioner Wolfe came up with a draft document on some general themes for the Board’s goals and initiatives. The Lakefront plan will be discussed further now that the community wide survey is complete.  The goal is to create a timeline by this time next year. President Olvany discussed the document in further details. Commissioner Wolfe commented on the goal of enhancing communication in the community and improving how we notify the community of what the Board and the District are doing. She touched on improving the overall efficiency for the benefit of the tax payers.

The Board discussed other goals and initiatives. Commissioner Abbott commented on reviewing capital and operational transfers as a whole. This would help to create a long term capital plan as a whole. Commissioner Pellaton commented on debt service cost and ways to continue to reduce debt.

XI. Adjourn to Closed Session for the discussion of the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity), per Section 2(c)1 under the Illinois Open Meetings Act
The meeting adjourned to closed session at 9:15 p.m.

XII. Reconvene Regular Board Meeting

 A. Consideration of Action, If Any, of Items Discussed in Closed Session.

XIII. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m.