WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 2008
_____________________________________________________________________
Written notice of said meeting was given to the Commissioners and the Wilmette Life in accordance with the Wilmette Park District Code, Section 2103, and Section 2.02 of the Open Meetings Act.
 
President Crowley called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
 
PRESENT:   President Jim Crowley, Commissioners Jim Brault, Darrell Graham, David Miller, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Tom Grisamore
 
ABSENT:      Commissioner Diana Cohen
 
STAFF: Superintendents Bowen, Lambrecht and Wilson
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
 
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the July 14, 2008 Regular Board Meeting.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE: President Crowley acknowledged receipt of the following:
 
…        E-mail from Jim Graham, Wilmette, who would like to see the Park District sponsor and operate a summer baseball program for children ranging in age from second grade through high school.
 
President Crowley referred the letter to the Parks & Recreation Committee.
 
…        Letter from Nell Cunningham, Glenview, thanking Centennial Pool Assistant Manager Brian Udany for his help with the Evanston Masters Swim Team on Sunday, August 2.
 
 
VISITORS:  Ronnie Crystal (Wilmette); Shelley J. Orbach (Skokie)


Mr. Orbach, a resident of Skokie, stated he would like to compliment Performing Arts Supervisor Bob Bierie for his work on the Ragtime production. The show held at the Community Recreation Center was a remarkable event and made an impact on not only the audience but also the performers and musical and production staff. He also thanked the Board for allowing the performance to be held and that the reputation of the Village of Wilmette has been enhanced because of it.
 
APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,125,811.62, 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 Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
COMMITTEE REPORTS:
 
Financial Planning & Policy Committee -- Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee did not meet in July.
 
Parks and Recreation -- Committee Chair Wolff reported the Committee met on July 2 although he was unable to attend the meeting. Discussion took place on a request to lengthen the time the sailing beach is open. The sailing beach is currently staffed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the walk-in gate open until 10:30 p.m. The sailors have requested that the hours be changed to open at dawn and close at 10:30 p.m. One of the issues they raised was that the earlier the beach is open, the less likely vandalism would occur. The two Committee members in attendance voted to recommend to the Board that the sailing beach be open from dawn to 10:30 p.m. on a trial basis for the rest of the season.  
 
Director Grisamore stated staff does have some safety concerns about this change in hours but it helps the situation that there is a security person on duty past 8 p.m. In addition, the main change is really in the morning when the sailors are allowed to work on their boats or take them out. This change in hours will be reviewed at the end of the season.
 
Commissioner Wolff stated staff provided an update on the current state of the CRC parking lot construction project and at this point the project is complete except for a few punch list items. The Lakeview Grill is doing well and there have been a number of outside crowds coming in to eat and staff anticipates making a profit by the end of the season. Director Grisamore added that the Grill has been doing very well and has been becoming more popular as the summer progresses. Commissioner Wolff reported the July 3rd and 4th events were very successful and that everyone had a good time.
 
The Committee also reviewed a request from the Wilmette Odyssey Adventure Guides for an overnight campout in Gillson Park in early October. The Committee agreed that Lakeview Center would not be opened during the campout. In addition, since there will be more than 200 participants at the event, the request requires Board approval. As a result, the Parks & Recreation Committee is recommending that the Board approve this request. Director Grisamore stated this group used to be called the Indian Princesses and that they have previously had at last one campout if not more in Gillson Park. In the past, the District had been overwhelmed by requests for campouts which resulted in the Board allowing only one major campout per year. There was also some confusion about the date of this campout. As it turns out, another branch of the Adventure Guides, which is for boys, requested a campout in Gillson Park for October 11. This request was approved by the previous director but staff was not aware of it. When the second campout request was made to the Parks & Recreation Committee, the group was given tentative approval for this second campout. The Committee’s recommendation is to allow both groups to hold their campouts at Gillson in October.
 
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to authorize the discussion of the request by the Wilmette Odyssey Adventure Guides for two overnight campouts at Gillson Park on October 4 and 11, 2008 which was not included on the Action List.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the request by the Wilmette Odyssey Adventure Guides for two overnight campouts at Gillson Park on October 4 and 11, 2008 which was not included on the Action List.
 
Director Grisamore stated this group has historically cleaned up very well after their events in Gillson. The groups would most likely start setting up at 2 p.m. on Saturday and would be out of the park by 9 a.m. on Sunday. In addition, Lakeview Center will not be open since the District does not want to provide staff for the entire night. President Crowley asked if the groups would pay for staff could the Lakeview Center then be opened for them. Director Grisamore stated that staff will look into that option but the focus of these events is to actually camp outside in the park. In the past, only the restroom areas of Lakeview were open and now with cell phones, there is no need for emergency phones. President Crowley stated he was in favor of keeping at least the restrooms open for the event and Director Grisamore added that the group will be provided that option. Commissioner Brault stated that the District currently has a limit of


one or two campouts per year and he feels that after September anyone should be able to hold an event at Gillson since the season is essentially over. Director Grisamore replied this change in policy is something the Parks & Recreation Committee could consider.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the bid from Complete Fence for supplying and installing Black Vinyl Chain Link Fencing in the total amount of $14,245.00.
 
Commissioner Miller asked if this work at Hibbard Park differs from what was done at Thornwood Park. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that this work involves the replacement of base line fencing going just past first and third bases on both sides. In addition, this fencing will be ten feet high instead of eight feet and there will be no dugouts installed.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to authorize the discussion of the request by sailors to change the Wilmette Sailing Beach hours to open at dawn and close at 10:30 pm which was not included on the Action List.
 
Director Grisamore explained that from sunrise to 9 a.m. the sailing beach is unguarded and sailing is at ones own risk just like it is during the first two weeks of October. Staff will make sure everyone is aware of these conditions. Entrance to the sailing beach after 8 p.m. will be through the walk-in gate only as the drive-through gate will continue to be closed at 8 p.m. Commissioner O’Malley asked that this experiment be closely monitored so that a decision can be made for next year and Director Grisamore agreed.
 
Wilmette Resident Ronnie Crystal addressed the Board regarding the request to change the sailing beach hours. He has been sailing for years and the beach is the best facility in the North Shore in his opinion. Many people enjoy the lakefront, some of whom do not even have to pay especially early in the morning or later in the day. He feels the hours should be changed since they pay for and maintain their boats as well as their own equipment. Because of the contracts the sailors sign, the District has no liability if a boat is damaged or if someone gets injured. The morning is the best time to sail or kayak. The lake is beautiful and there is excellent visibility.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the request to change the Wilmette Sailing Beach hours to open at dawn and close at 10:30 pm.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair O’Malley reported the Committee met on July 26. Rounds of play were down from last year but it is hoped the number will increase by the end of the season. Memberships are virtually the same as last year with 88 new members. Last week the Centennial Golf Outing was held with approximately 140 golfers and everyone had a fun time. The golf maintenance crew is currently working on routine maintenance. The condition of the course has improved since the beginning of the season and Mike and his crew deserve credit.
 
Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the bid from J.W. Turf for supplying one Rough Mower in the total amount of $22,900.00.
 
Commissioner O’Malley pointed out that this bid came in significantly under budget.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Miller reported the Committee met this evening. The Centennial Aquatics facility in Wilmette was voted the third best aquatics facility in the Metro Chicago area by Fox TV viewers. A crew from Fox visited the facility to take photos and interview staff. In addition to our swimming and dog beaches, Wilmette now also has one of the top pool facilities in the Chicago area. There is also new federal legislation regarding requirements for pool drains and swimmer entrapment which is currently being reviewed by staff to determine how it will affect our pool and what changes may need to be made. The Wilmette Hockey Association’s spring contract will soon be arriving and it appears they will be cutting their spring time by over 50%. The tennis facility is getting ready for the fall session and the lottery for lessons is coming up on August 23.
 
DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
 
Director Grisamore reported that the skate park is scheduled to be completed by the end of August and that a date for the dedication needs to be determined. After
discussion, it was decided to hold the dedication at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 14 which would then be followed by the final 100-year anniversary celebration event at the CRC. Staff will also try to contact some of the children who participated in the skate park process. In addition, former Director Terry Porter will be invited to the event since he was instrumental in getting the project approved.
 
Director Grisamore reported that most summer camps and programs finished for the season last week Friday although there are still some combination camps, camp extensions and the Beat-the-Heat gymnastic camps. Director Grisamore thanked staff for all of their work, especially Superintendent Lambrecht for all he did at the CRC during the parking lot construction project. Camp staff and parents of campers should also be thanked for their patience during this project which lasted longer than anticipated.
 
With regard to the cell service at Mallinckrodt, a $21,800 check was received from Cricket Communications today and it appears they overpaid by $5,000 so the District will send them a refund. John Adler of the Village of Wilmette informed the District that the zoning hearing will be on the Zoning Board agenda for October 1.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 
 
None
 
NEW BUSINESS:
 
Commissioner Graham proceeded to read Resolution 2008-R-5 which detailed how Deborah has faithfully served the Park District since 1985 as Assistant Gymnastics Supervisor during which time the District’s Gymnastics program has more than doubled. In addition, she was a nationally ranked Gymnastics Judge and her expertise in this area helped the Park District’s Girl’s team immeasurably.
 
Commissioner Graham and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2008-R-5, A RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE SERVICES OF DEBORAH HUGELIER.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Cohen. Motion carried.
 
Commissioner O’Malley stated that with regard to water testing, he was at the beach on a Sunday when it was 87 degrees and it was a beautiful summer day. However, the test results taken on the day before came back as unsafe which meant staff was forced to
shut down the swimming beach on Sunday which could have been one of our largest revenue days of the year. Lakefront Manager Bill Miller is working on obtaining more of a real-time testing system in place wherein tests can be done hourly so that when the bacteria level returns to normal, the beach can reopen. These efforts by staff should be supported by the Board. Cities in Lake County are currently using these new systems which includes Lake Forest, Highland Park, and Waukegan. When the swimming beach is closed, some people move over to the south beach area and swim there illegally. This is an issue which will hopefully be addressed by the Lakefront Master Plan.
 
Director Grisamore added that this is a predictive type of equipment and is computer generated. The District would be in line for a grant of up to $25,000 from the State of Illinois and staff had hoped to get involved with the program this year. Unfortunately, we were only able to get funding for the cost of supplies. Hopefully within the next year or two, we will be able to get the funding for this system which measures waves, wind, temperature, and humidity and can create a predictive basis which indicates at which point the water can be opened or closed. The District could possibly pay for this equipment but there is a lot of work involved with the State to obtain the equipment.  However, staff will follow up with the State to determine what options the District may have. Even when the new system is installed, the District will still need to go through a year or two of correlating the results with actual tests. It will also involve mounting a pole in the middle of the beach approximately 20 yards out from the shore onto which the equipment and sensors will be installed.
 
Director Grisamore stated four Requests for Qualifications have been received for the Lakefront Master Plan: JJR, LLC of Chicago who worked on the Highland Park and Lake Forest lakefronts; EDAW, Inc. from Chicago who worked on the Evanston Master Plan; Topografis, PC of Chicago who worked with the Chicago Park District and the City of Waukegan; and from Thompson Dyke Associates who have worked with the District before and are tied in with William Baird, a very knowledge coastal engineer. Staff feels these are four good proposals which will be reviewed and then the selected firms will be interviewed by the Committee at the September 15th Parks & Recreation Committee meeting.
 
Commissioner Brault wanted to recognize the Friends of Thornwood Park who in July organized a terrific outdoor concert in Thornwood which was attended by 300-400 people along with three or four community bands who played and sang songs. It was a fabulous use of the park and this was the third year this event was held. The first year the event was held on three nights but this year it was held on one night which worked very well. The event went very well and enough money was raised to cover the cost of this year’s party and to provide a surplus for next year.
 


 
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at      8:05 p.m.
 
 
 
 
MINUTES APPROVED SEPTEMBER 8, 2008.