WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, December 3, 2007
_____________________________________________________________________
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 7:40 p.m.
PRESENT:   President Jim Crowley, Commissioners Jim Brault, Diana Cohen, Darrell Graham, David Miller, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter
STAFF:          Superintendents Grisamore, Lambrecht and Wilson; Communications Manager Donoghue; Recreation General Manager Bingham; Golf General Manager Matchen
VISITORS:    John Ostrem, Mark Weyermuller, Chris Porter
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 12, 2007 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 Terry Porter to Langdon Park Neighbors regarding the year-end meeting held on Monday, November 19.
 
…        Two e-mails from Sangita Desai with comments about permit-parking options at Langdon Beach.
 
…        Two memos and three e-mails from James and Carol Farrell regarding the temporary fence at Langdon Beach.
 
…        E-mail from Margrit Kuehn regarding her opposition to the possibility of building a permanent structure at Langdon Park.
 
…        E-mail from Susan Noyes stating that making Langdon a secure park has been very helpful in stopping inappropriate behavior at the beach.
 
…        E-mail from Yana Serdyuk stating she feels the Langdon Beach operation was successful.
 
…        E-mail from Judy Reichard regarding her disappointment in making Langdon a paid beach.
 
 
RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:  None
 
 
APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:
Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,214,160.65, 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.
 
COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Brault stated the Financial Planning & Policy Committee met in November and also this evening to discuss the potential for refinancing some of the Park District’s outstanding debt. However, in light of current market conditions, the Committee is recommending that no action be taken at this time and that the rates in the market continue to be monitored.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2007-O-11, AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ASSESSING THE TAXES OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE YEAR 2007 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.
 
President Crowley opened the meeting for public comment regarding the tax levy.
 
There were no requests to comment.
 
President Crowley closed the public hearing.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2007-O-12, AN ORDINANCE DIRECTING THE MANNER OF ANY REDUCTION OF THE AGGREGATE EXTENSION OF THE 2007 TAX LEVY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE PROPERTY TAX EXTENSION LIMITATION LAW as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.
 
Director Porter explained that staff levied an extra amount for potential new growth. If the new growth is lower than estimated, this ordinance directs the County where to reduce the funds if necessary.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded the motion to approve the Updated Purchasing Policy as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
Commissioner Brault stated the Committee has also been discussing technology updates for the District and it appears that the Park District will not be entering into a joint venture with the Village of Wilmette with regard to a combined network. As a result, we will be creating a separate network with a target date of fall 2009 for a total expenditure of $300,000. The Committee and staff have begun to research software vendors as well as user interface options with the goal of ultimately combining these areas. Creating a network within the Park District is the first step. The hardware must then be purchased so that the network can be built. The process will also consist of staff training, implementation of the financial software and finally the creation of the user interface.
 
Commissioner Brault also stated that a date for the Budget Workshop needed to be finalized before the Park Board meeting on January 14. Commissioner Brault proposed the dates of Monday, January 7 or Tuesday, January 8. After polling the Board, the 2008 Budget Workshop was scheduled for Tuesday, January 8.
Approval of Proposed 2008 Fees
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the 2008 Recreation Program Fees, the 2008 Swimming Beach Fees, the 2008 Sailing Beach fees, the 2008 Golf Fees, the 2008 Centennial Ice Fee Schedule, the 2008 Centennial Tennis fee schedule, and the 2008 Centennial Aquatic Center Fee Schedule as recommended by the various Committees.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Graham, Miller, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None.  Motion carried.
 
Parks and Recreation  -- Committee Chair Wolff stated the Committee met on November 19 for the sole purpose of soliciting public comment on the Langdon Beach operation. In summary, most of the comments received were favorable. The only issue not yet resolved dealt with the usage of post and rope markers versus the installation of signs as a demarcation of property. Although the Committee voted 2 to 1 to recommend to the Board the installation of signs, there was no real consensus and therefore the Committee is asking the Board members for their comments on the issue. Commissioner Wolff explained that the rope was used last summer to differentiate between private and public property and some neighbors felt the rope was not aesthetically pleasing. A recommendation was then made by a few neighbors that signs could be put up along the boundary line. Director Porter added that there would probably have to be at least three signs installed to be effective. He also stated that staff discussed the possibility of removing every other post and taking down the rope at the end of the season as a compromise. After further discussion, a vote of the Committee of the Whole ruled in favor of the post and rope demarcation by a vote of 4-3 with the caveat that every other post would be permanently removed and the rope would be removed at the end of each season.
 
DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Director Porter reported that the annual Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the Wilmette Rotary Club was held at the Mallinckrodt Community Center this year. The purpose of this event is basically to provide an opportunity for those who would normally spend Thanksgiving alone to share it with others in the same situation. A total of 72 seniors were in attendance and everything went very well. The senior center at Mallinckrodt seems to be generally working out and the members are very happy with their new home.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
  None
NEW BUSINESS:
Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the 2008 Regular Board Meeting schedule as follows: January 14, February 11, March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, December 8 with the Annual Meeting scheduled for May 12 immediately following the Regular Board 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.
 
Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2007-R-15, A RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE SERVICES OF TERRENCE C. PORTER.
 
Commissioner Cohen stated it was her honor and privilege to commemorate the contributions of Terrence C. Porter to the Wilmette Park District and proceeded to read Resolution 2007-R-15 which detailed how Terry has faithfully served the Park District for 34 years, the last 22 as Director of Parks and Recreation. Under his leadership, the Park District has built, rebuilt, renovated and/or expanded every recreational facility and playground throughout the Village of Wilmette. The projects Terry participated in or brought to successful completion include the first year of operations for the Wilmette Golf Course in 1973; the construction of Centennial Ice Rinks; the development of Howard Park following the closing of Howard School and the Curtis Curling Center; the move into the former Highcrest School; the implementation of a state-wide park district health insurance program through the Park District Risk Management Agency; the construction of Lakeview Center in Gillson Park; the acquisition and renovation of the current Community Recreation Center and the transition of programs from Highcrest School to the new Community Recreation Center; the replacement of the aged Centennial Pools with the Centennial Family Aquatic Center; construction of a new Wilmette Golf Clubhouse and renovations to the golf course following a fire that destroyed the old clubhouse facility; the acquisition of the Mallinckrodt property and its development into a park along with preservation of an historical building for senior condominiums; and the approval of a skateboard park at Hibbard Park. Terry also served as a board member of the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association for over 20 years helping to promote accessible programming in Wilmette and was committed to fostering a productive spirit of Intergovernmental Cooperation which set an example for all governmental agencies in the Village of Wilmette.
 
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 thanked Director Porter for all his years of service and for all his contributions on behalf of staff and the residents of Wilmette. President Crowley then introduced a slide show presentation of Director Porter over the years.
 
Following the slide show, President Crowley asked for parting comments from the Park Board members.
 
Commissioner Cohen added that Terry has always been a class act and that it has been a delight to serve on the Park Board with him over the years.
 
Commissioner Miller stated that it was hard to believe the time for Terry’s retirement was at hand. Working together since 1991, there were many large projects that were


completed successfully and that it was definitely an excellent educational experience. Commissioner Miller also stated that Terry was instrumental in enhancing the daily life of residents in Wilmette and that being on 24-hour call is not easy. Commissioner Miller ended his comments by saying congratulations on Terry’s retirement.
 
Commissioner O’Malley stated that Terry has been a guiding force behind the Park District for 34 years and hopes the public understands and respects that. Terry’s leadership, guidance and vision have been indispensable and since he will still be living in the community, we look forward to enjoying his friendship for the next 30 years.
 
Commissioner Wolff added that with the recent naming of Wilmette as one of the top communities in the United States in which to raise children, much of that honor can be attributed to the recreational opportunities available in Wilmette. He further stated that Terry has had a definite impact on recreation and has always been there for everyone. Commissioner Wolff felt the Park Board and the community owe a great deal to Terry and wished him good luck.
 
Commissioner Brault thanked Terry for being a mentor to him with regard to serving on the Board and for the array of services the Park District provides to the community. It has been a pleasure to work with Terry and when people look at the Park District, they see Terry’s face.
 
Commissioner Graham stated he ran for the Park Board because his family utilizes many of the phenomenal Park District facilities and parks and it is because of Terry. It has been great working with him, he has learned a lot, and extended his thanks on behalf of himself and of the community for what Terry has done for the Park District.
 
Director Porter responded that after 23 years in this position and 34 with the district, he finds it hard to believe this day has come. He calculates that he has presided over 400 board meetings and attended countless committee and special meetings. Many projects were noted in the resolution and he has been proud to be part of that process. The Park District has gone from a district with basically offering only parks and a few activities to one that offers recreational opportunities for residents of all ages and interests as well as retaining the open land. As he looks back, he likes that there is something for everyone in this community from toddlers to seniors. Wilmette is a great place to live and the residents take their leisure time very seriously. The community has a diversity of opinions and residents have never been shy about expressing their views. Thanks to the public for providing input and resources on how we need to do our job. Also thanks to his family who moved here 20 years ago. His children attended Wilmette schools and participated in Park District programs. His wife and children were supportive and encouraging even when he was attending meetings three or four nights a week in the early years.
 


Director Porter also thanked the staff and added there is currently a great blend of seasoned veterans and energetic younger staff members. He can assure the Park Board that these people care about what they do – it is their life and not just a job. With his leaving and Tom moving up, many of our staff members will really have an opportunity to continue to grow. He is expecting something of the new staff members and encourages staff not to settle for good enough but to improve and make things better. Also, the Board members were thanked. He has worked with phenomenal people over the past 34 years. The community has always been blessed with volunteers who have been willing to take criticism when making difficult decisions. The past and present members have made Wilmette a very special place to live. This is not a sad occasion, it is a happy one. He knows the Park District is in great hands and will continue to prosper and grow in the years to come. He will look back and have fond memories of everyone and extended his thanks to all.
 
President Crowley stated that while Director Porter will be greatly missed, he also wanted to welcome Tom Grisamore who will be the next “pilot” of the Park District. The Park Board and staff have worked very well with him over the years. Even though Terry is leaving, the Park District has an experienced, professional staff. President Crowley summarized by saying welcome to Tom and that the Board is very happy he is taking over for Terry. Thanks were once again extended to Terry for his many years of excellent service.
 
Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to adjourn the Regular Board 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.
 
 
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
 
 
 
MINUTES APPROVED JANUARY 14, 2008.