MONDAY, JUNE 9, 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.
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, Diana Cohen, Darrell Graham, David Miller, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Tom Grisamore
STAFF: Superintendents Bingham, Bowen, Lambrecht and Wilson; Communications Manager Donoghue
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2008 Regular Meeting of the Retiring Board.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – NoneMotion carried.
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2008 Annual Meeting.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – NoneMotion carried.
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2008 Regular Board Meeting.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – NoneMotion carried.
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE: President Crowley acknowledged receipt of the following:
…        E-mail from John McGovern thanking the Park District for the support he and NSSRA have received over the years and offering some parting words as he begins his new career.
…        News release from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announcing the Park District will receive $4,000 in grants to perform water quality testing and to notify the public when bacteria levels are unhealthy via the IDPH beach monitoring web site.
Commissioner Cohen stated she had a conversation with a resident whose daughter submitted two job applications for the summer – one at the Wilmette Park District and one at a different park district. The job offer at the other park district was for a concessions position but she has since accepted a job at our summer camp program. Her only work history had been babysitting jobs which she used as references. It was interesting to note that whereas the other park district called and checked her references for the concessions job, no reference calls were received from the Wilmette Park District. Commissioner Cohen stated the mother thought it was odd that we did not follow-up on her daughter’s references.
Director Grisamore pointed out that criminal background checks are conducted on anyone the park district hires as a counselor and that references are checked for all full-time applicants. But in most cases, the references for part-time employees are always positive due to their shorter or lack of work history. After going through the interview process and after receiving the “no-record” reports from the background checks, staff is satisfied. The Park District hires approximately 600 summer employees and over 1,200 W-2 forms are mailed at the end of the year. President Crowley added that the Park District is the largest employer in the Village of Wilmette during the summer and that for many young people this is their first opportunity to join the work force.
Commissioner Brault questioned if the reporting of water conditions at our beaches would be available on our web site. Director Grisamore indicated the news release from the IDPH was included in the packet to confirm that the Park District received the $4,000 grant along with four or five other public lakefront entities and it is hoped this money will cover the cost of our testing supplies this year. With regard to the reporting of water conditions, the Village’s Health Department has historically provided that information but the IDPH is now developing a new web site which staff is currently working to become a part of. This site would allow patrons to check if swimming is allowed on a daily basis based on the tests conducted the day before. A predicted modeling test is the other part of the funding we hope to receive in the next year or two which would allow us to make a decision to open or close on the day that the beach is actually open. The Park District has been utilizing a site operated out of California for years which also contains beach data, and many people check for beach closings on that site as well.
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,886,227.17, 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, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
Financial Planning & Policy Committee -- Committee Chair Brault stated the Committee did not meet in May but will be meeting next week. He brought the Park Board up to date on the motion that was passed a couple of months ago about the potential refunding of our bonds. The market has in general moved much closer to meeting the goal that was previously set which amounts to approximately a 5.5% present value savings on our bonds. The market was within approximately $16,000 a week ago and then moved against us. It now appears we will probably be ready to move forward within the next month or two and Superintendent Wilson is watching the situation very closely. President Crowley added that the Park Board has already agreed that staff may move immediately without Park Board action when the market conditions are favorable for refunding.
Parks and Recreation -- Committee Chair Wolff reported the Committee met on May 19. At that meeting, there were three representatives from the Our Place of New Trier Township organization who requested a dedicated space at the Community Recreation Center (CRC) to be used as a drop-in center for young adults with developmental disabilities. It was conveyed to them that space at the CRC would most likely not be available for even a part-time dedicated space since so many of our programs are held at that facility and therefore it would not be feasible. It was difficult to turn down their request since they are doing some very worthwhile activities. It was also pointed out to them that if there was space available, the Park District would be obligated to offer it to the North Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA).
Staff reported on spring sports such as T-ball which has 253 participants which is 100 more than last year and is being run by the Illinois Baseball Academy this year. Spring soccer has 1,646 players, and Lacrosse has 93 boys and 73 girls participating. Preparations continue for the summer season and staff has currently been assisting with the parking lot traffic at the CRC. Sailing opened on May 10 and the swimming beach opened on Memorial Day weekend.
Commissioner Wolff asked Superintendent Lambrecht to report on the status of the CRC parking lot and to provide an overview or the Lakefront Master Plan Request for Qualifications which is on tonight’s agenda for discussion. Commissioner Wolff also asked Superintendent Lambrecht to provide an update on the construction work on Sheridan Road, especially at the entrance to Gillson Park at Lake Street.
Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the CRC parking lot project is well into Phase 3 although the weather has obviously slowed down progress. Staff has been working with the contractor who has been working into the evenings and on weekends. Park District staff also worked on Sunday to make the cuts in the concrete. On Tuesday, the contractor is scheduled to do more cutting, haul the material, and bring the stone back in on one day to prevent the surface from getting wet again. Once the three-inch fabric and stone are down, the weather is no longer a factor. Currently, we are on target to have Phase 3 done by the end of the week and hopefully everything will be ready for camps next week. Phase 4 will consist of the front lot only which will not adversely affect the operations of the facility. After Phase 4 is completed, the last item on the list will be to pave the surface of the entire lot.
Work on the Village’s Sheridan Road construction project has also been delayed due to the weather. There has also been some confusion on the south entrance of the park due to closings and redirections. The Village is putting up a number of detour signage throughout town and the biggest problem to date has been the closure of Lake Avenue which is now scheduled to reopen this week. Superintendent Lambrecht has been working with Village staff as well as the fire and police departments to coordinate areas where people can enter the park on July 3rd. There will also be lighted areas to help people crossing the streets and barricades. The Village’s Communicator publication will also provide directions for those coming from the south. The huge excavation activity taking place at the park’s south entrance is the storm sewer project which will continue north to Central. In summary, the plan is to have Lake Avenue opened by the end of the week and to have the south entrance to the park open by July 3rd. Everyone involved wishes this project was further along.
Commissioner Cohen asked if the work in Phase 4 of the parking lot project is a complete teardown. Superintendent Lambrecht responded that the entire surface will be removed along with the sidewalk and crossing. Over the years, the width of the sidewalk has not been wide enough so it will now be replaced with a wider sidewalk. Commissioner Cohen asked if some kind of barrier like a guardrail could be installed to prevent cars from crashing into the building. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that this type of accident has actually happened twice before and that the new sidewalk is going to be higher which would prevent this from happening. He added that there might not be enough space for a barrier but he will review this option further. Discussion followed on the possibility of moving parking spaces to create more room for barriers in the front of the building and the zoning regulations involved with this option. Director Grisamore stated that staff would follow-up with Gewalt Hamilton regarding this issue.
With regard to the differences between a Request for Proposal (RFP) and a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), Superintendent Lambrecht explained that an RFQ provides the option of soliciting firms and then allowing these firms to explain their qualifications followed by negotiations on the actual project. The Park District creates the RFQ by including what the whole lakefront plan process would involve such as surveying the existing conditions and interviewing staff and the public. The second step is to provide recommendations. Staff has already talked to a number of firms who expressed interest in the project and who also have prior experience with lakefront or waterfront planning.
President Crowley complimented Superintendent Lambrecht on the well written and well presented report. Commissioner Wolff asked how the RFQ would be distributed and Superintendent Lambrecht replied that it will be publicized on web sites and in publications. Also, some firms whom we know have experience with this type of project will be contacted directly.
Director Grisamore further explained for those who may be listening at home that this process begins with the Park Board going through the process of selecting a firm followed by public meetings in various locations throughout Wilmette. The goal is to receive input from as many residents as possible and to provide an opportunity for everyone in the community to participate. Staff is looking forward to this project and it will be an interesting process.
Commissioner O’Malley asked about the timing of the process and Director Grisamore responded that the RFQ will be discussed at the next Parks & Recreation Committee meeting. If the schedule is finalized with dates and the Committee approves it, the RFQ will then be distributed. It was also pointed that the proposed lakefront plan will be part of the Park District’s web site. In addition, a separate web site will also be established.
Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair O’Malley reported the Committee met on May 31. The rain policy for the ladies leagues was discussed including who makes the call when the weather is bad and whether the players are obliged to pay. It was summarized that if the weather is inclement and they do not show up, they do not have to pay. However, if the weather is nice, they must pay if they do not play. Some complaints have been received that the 16th hole is too difficult. Rounds of play are down slightly from last year. The Centennial Celebration golf outing was unfortunately postponed due to inclement weather. The event was sold out with 144 golfers and it has been rescheduled for August 6. Golf memberships are trailing somewhat from last year’s numbers. The Al Mclean Jr. tournament will take place on Wednesday and is sold out with 224 junior golfers from around the state. There have been only a few minor complaints about the condition of the golf course but Golf Manager Mike Matchen has been working hard on the course after the tough winter. With the warmer weather now, growing conditions will improve. Director Grisamore added that the soil temperature was not high enough for the grass to germinate. Commissioner O’Malley also stated the staff at Open Kitchens report they are having a great year and have received compliments from customers on the food and service. President Crowley agreed that Vickie and Marco at Open Kitchens are doing a great job.
Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Miller reported the Committee met this evening and discussed the fact that the revenue in Tennis for May and June has been up since people are moving indoors to play due to the poor weather conditions. The Tennis summer camps are fairly full. The schedule for the pools for the coming year was discussed and there will be a full staff in place when the schools finish for the year. In addition, discussion took place on the contractual hockey users this year. Staff is still waiting for one of the groups to finalize their requirements. Once that is completed, the fees can then be assessed and the remaining time slots can be determined.
Director Grisamore reported the $5,000 check from Cricket was received on Friday and the construction drawings for their installation on the smoke stack were received today. These drawings were forwarded to Superintendent Lambrecht for review. We are still waiting for the $16,800 check from Cricket. They, along with our attorney, have been contacted regarding this payment. Director Grisamore believes that Cricket has part of the zoning application to the Village and that they are hoping to move forward.
The weather continues to have a negative influence on our outdoor activities and programs. The course is currently down approximately 1,200 rounds, or 10%, due in part to closings on Sunday afternoon and all day today. The sale of beach and pool passes is down 4% and camp programs are down about 3%. It is believed some of this is economy driven as people are making financial choices. In addition, more applications for financial assistance are being received this year than in the past. The camp which has seen the most reduction is the two-week extension camp which is down by half.
Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the bid of Hagg Press in the amount of $61,194.00 for the printing of four Leisure Time Guides, one Golf/Tennis Lottery Guide, and one Summer Camp Guide.

Director Grisamore explained that Sheffield Press had been the lowest bidder for the last three years. Hagg Press has bid every year but has not been the low bidder. However, this year they came in almost $3,000 below Sheffield Press whose bid went up only slightly from last year. In terms of savings, the bid process has worked very well.
Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue explained the bid specifications included an alternate 120-page full color brochure instead of doing the brochure in one color and black. The difference in cost was approximately $1,600 which is relatively not that much of an increase. This company has also worked out very well for a number of other park districts. The summer camp and the Golf/Tennis Lottery brochures are already published in color. Director Grisamore added that the decision was made to just do the winter brochure in full color for now and also experiment with using more photos and different graphics. Staff is looking forward to working with Hagg Press and pleased that they were the low bidder.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
Director Grisamore explained the Park District is required by law to pass this Prevailing Wage Ordinance every year since the pay rates change for each county in Illinois on an annual basis. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that bid specifications for outside firms are required to comply with the Park District’s prevailing wage rate determination. The bidder must also submit a certified payroll document showing who worked where, for how many hours and what they were paid. Director Grisamore added that the Park District is not required to comply with the prevailing wages for our full-time staff. Our full-time employees receive insurance packages and benefit time in addition to their salary. State law determines the prevailing wages which vary by area but the Park District is guided by what employees in our industry make. The Park District is also competitive with the Village of Wilmette in terms of its public works department and also with the other nearby park districts. The Village as well as many other municipalities in Illinois are also required to pass this ordinance.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.

President Crowley stated he would like to take a moment to congratulate his neighbor and the entire New Trier Girls Lacrosse Team for their recent state championship victory.
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.