WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2006
_____________________________________________________________________
 
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 Miller called the meeting to order at  7:30 p.m.
 
PRESENT:   President David Miller, Commissioners Jim Brault, Diana Cohen,  Richard Marcus, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter
 
STAFF:          Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht
 
ABSENT:        Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:          
 
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of November 13, 2006.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley. Motion carried.
 
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE: President Miller acknowledged receipt of the following:
 
. . .       E-mail dated November 30, 2006 from Phil Crittenden expressing concerns about the proposal to cut down two Willow trees on the 6th hole at the golf course.
 
. . .       E-mail dated November 30, 2006 from Thomas Huestis expressing concerns about tree removal at the golf course.
 
. . .       E-mail dated November 30, 2006 from Pat McCann, 617 Hunter Road urging that the two Willow trees on the 6th hole at the golf course be saved.
 
. . .       E-mail dated December 1, 2006 from Gary S. Benson stating that the two Willow trees on the 6th hole should be left in place.
 
. . .       Letter dated November 28, 2006 from Frank J. Charhut requesting that as a non resident, he has the opportunity to participate in the golf lottery.
 
. . .       Letter dated November 27, 2006 from Michaelle Bamberger, 913 Columbus stating that the Park District should retain the Mallinckrodt name for the park.
 
APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $3,370,300.15, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of the meeting.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley. Motion carried
 
COMMITTEE REPORTS:
 
Parks and Recreation --  Committee Chair Cohen reported that the Committee met on November 15th.  At that time, a request by the American Cancer Society to use Gillson Park on May 20, 2007 for a fundraising event was discussed.  Commissioner Cohen noted that staff had denied the request based on the time of year and that the Committee concurred with the decision.
 
Commissioner Cohen also reported that staff presented an overview of the 2006 Lakefront Report.  She noted that the lakefront season began very nicely. However, marginal weather conditions, mostly in August, impacted negatively on revenue for the season.  There was discussion regarding room rentals at Lakeview Center, which have been good. Staff was asked to review the current policy of not renting the room during summer months to see if it would be feasible to rent the room on Sunday evenings during the lakefront season.  Staff was also asked to review increasing the rental rates to determine if a rate increase would negatively affect the rentals.  Staff reminded the Committee that during the course of the year, there are a number of “no charge” rentals to other governmental agencies such as the Village and School District.  Commissioner Cohen further reported that staff presented a brief summary of the proposed 2007 Lakefront Budget.  It was noted that the budget includes expense for operating Langdon Park as a swimming beach in 2007.  Included would be a minimum of two lifeguards, a cashier and a supervisor on duty at all times.  Also included is rental of an office trailer and portable washrooms for the summer.  Staff is proposing some increase in season pass sales to help offset the cost of operating Langdon as a swimming beach.  Capital expenses for opening the beach include bringing in electrical service, phones, and minor fencing.  Staff also noted that the inconsistent weather patterns experienced after the month of May had a negative financial effect on the food service operation at the lakefront.
 
Commissioner Cohen also reported that the Committee reviewed the 2006 Summer Camp Report. It was noted that for the first time in a number of years, total camp participants fell below 3,000, which is partially due to the fact that the Park District is offering a number of new “sport” type camps at other facilities.  These programs are doing well and drawing participants away from the traditional camp programs.  Staff is currently evaluating some of the camp programs which could use updating.  Staff also noted that the Park District has an excellent relationship with School Districts #39 and #37 which allows the use of District #39 buildings for many camp programs and District #37 buses for summer camp transportation.
 
Commissioner Cohen reported that staff also presented an overview of the proposed 2007 Recreation Fund Budget, which does not reflect any expenses for operating the new community center space at Mallinckrodt due to uncertainty regarding the time frame for the opening of the center.  Staff will develop a financial statement based on the opening date and add it to the budget once the center begins operations.  It was noted that programs continue to cover more than the operating costs and that user fees have allowed tax revenues to be distributed to other taxing areas that have no fee revenue.  Staff also reported that gymnastics programs continue to do well and that fitness is doing better as the new staff has made a difference.  It was reported that fitness staff is starting to develop training programs that will be sports-specific for tennis golf, etc.  In addition, the performing arts program revenues are up.
 
Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the 2007 Recreation Program Fees, the 2007 Swimming Beach Fees and the 2007 Sailing Beach Fees as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.
 
Commissioner Cohen explained that all programs show four percent across the board fee increases for inflationary purposes as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.  There are also additional fee increases for programs that vary depending on the cost of operation. 
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley. Motion carried
 
Commissioner Cohen also reported that staff has recommended that a fenced dog run area be constructed at West Park on the property leased from Com Ed, if a new lease can be negotiated.  The plan is for the Park District to install fencing, benches, and possibly add some shade and water. The Committee agreed to the plan and directed that the cost for the improvements be added to the Capital Budget.
 
Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to form an ad hoc committee regarding the naming of the park at Mallinckrodt consisting of one Park Board member, one staff member, and one member of the community at large.
 
Commissioner Cohen explained that the  Committee discussed the formal naming of the Mallinckrodt property.  It was agreed to recommend that an ad hoc committee be formed to receive community input on naming the park and to make a recommendation to the Park Board.  She also noted that the Financial Planning Committee is in the process of reviewing the Park District’s policy regarding the naming of parks.
 
Director Porter added that staff recommends that community input be encouraged with a suggestion submission period of approximately sixty days beginning in January through the end of February. The Ad Hoc Committee will then make a recommendation to the Board, and formal action can be taken by the Board in March or April.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley. Motion carried
 
The Board appointed Director Porter as the staff member and President Miller was asked to serve as the Board member on the Ad Hoc Committee.  Director Porter announced that Nan Hoff has been asked to join the committee as the community-at-large member and she stated that she would be honored to accept the position.
 
Commissioner Cohen concluded her Parks and Recreation Committee report by announcing that bids for the park at Mallinckrodt were opened on Thursday, November 30th.    She explained that staff and the architect are evaluating the bids at this time.  There are a number of items that were listed as options, and staff will be looking at value engineering the project.  A total of five bidders responded  The bid results will be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Committee and will be presented at the January Board meeting.
 
Golf Operations – In Committee Chair O’Malley’s absence, Commissioner Wolff reported that the Committee met on December 2nd at which time, the annual users meeting was held. In addition to discussion about a number of issues at the golf course, several visitors were in attendance to discuss removal of trees from the course at the recommendation of the USGA..  There was much opposition expressed to removal of the two Willow trees on the 6th hole, and the Committee agreed to delay a final decision regarding the removal of those trees for one year. There was also discussion about  changes to the golf lottery to allow non-residents to participate. Commissioner Wolff stated that the Committee will make a recommendation to the Board regarding modification to the lottery policy at the January meeting.
 
Commissioner Wolff further reported that the Committee reviewed the 2006 Golf Report, which included staff recommendations for the expansion of junior hours with associated fee increases, expansion of the weekend golf lottery, the expansion of nine minute intervals to seven days a week, and accepting new non residents into ladies league play with conditions to help solve no-show problems, and the expansion of the lesson program. 
 
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the 2007 Golf Fees as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee.
 
Commissioner Wolff explained that the for the most part, golf fees were raised four percent in accordance with the recommendation from the Financial Planning Committee
 
During discussion, Commissioner Brault expressed concerns that fee increases for non resident play are actually less percentage-wise than those for Wilmette residents.  In his opinion, non resident rates should be increased more percentage-wise than the resident rates.  He noted that the majority of golf course users this year and last year were non residents.
 
During discussion, it was noted that the Wilmette Golf Club already has the highest non resident fees in the area and that there is a great deal of competition from neighboring golf courses.  Superintendent Grisamore discussed the sensitivity of pricing in the golf industry and explained that staff does not want to exceed a $50 per round threshold, which seems to be as high a fee as non resident golfers are willing to pay.  It was also noted that non residents get the least desirable tee times and that non resident fees are very important to the financial position of the facility.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Cohen, Miller, and Wolff; voting No – Commissioner Brault;  Abstaining – Commissioner Marcus.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley. Motion carried
 
Commissioner Wolf moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve a food and beverage concession license agreement with Open Kitchens, Inc. for Wilmette Golf Club food services as recommended by the Golf Operations Committee.
 
Commissioner Wolf explained that at the November meeting, the Board authorized staff to negotiate a license agreement with Open Kitchens, Inc. to provide food service operations at the Wilmette Golf Club. The proposed license agreement, which was prepared by the Park District attorney, has been reviewed with Open Kitchens, Inc.   If approved, operations will begin on January 2, 2007.
 
Director Porter added that staff went to several locations operated by Open Kitchens and was very pleased with the operation.  He noted that Open Kitchens has agreed to use the Park District’s silverware and china during the 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. lunch period from Monday through Friday, which will be table service with a wait staff.  At all other times, a walk up operation will be in place.  The menu is basically the same as has been in place at the golf course.  Open Kitchens will make their own decisions regarding other meal service options.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
Centennial Operations --  In Committee Chair Crowley’s absence, Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the 2007 Centennial Ice fees, the 2007 Centennial Tennis fees and the 2007 Aquatic Center fees as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.
 
Superintendent Grisamore explained that for the most part, ice fees were raised four percent in accordance with the Financial Planning Committee’s recommendation.  The major increase is the main ice time rental charge, which was $255.00 per hour.  Beginning January 1, 2007, there will be an increase to $280.00 per hour except for the Wilmette Hockey Association and New Trier Hockey.  Due to their seasons, the new rate for the WHA and New Trier will take effect in April, 2007 when a proposed rate of $290.00 per hour will go into effect, which will give all the groups an opportunity to adjust their budgets.  Superintendent Grisamore noted that the main reason for the increase in rental fees is the anticipated large raise of approximately 45% in energy costs.  He also noted that the rink will be closed in May after the ice show for some capital improvements and will reopen in mid June.  The closure of the rink will cost the District about $10,000.   Commissioner Brault suggested evaluating the financial impact of closing the rink for the entire summer as early as 2008.
 
Superintendent Grisamore stated that the tennis program had an excellent year and the 2007 fees will be increased by approximately four percent in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Financial Planning Committee. Some very slight increases over the four percent will yield an additional $6,920.00 for the tennis program.  It was   noted that tennis staff has done an excellent job of filling times with lesson programs   
 
With regard to the aquatic center, Superintendent Grisamore noted that the Committee used the four percent benchmark for fee increases with the exception of Fair Share passes which are proposed to be increased approximately eight percent.  Staff looked at neighboring pools and recommended that non resident daily passes be raised to $13.00 rather than $14.00 as had been originally planned.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
Financial Planning and Policy – Committee Chair Brault reported that the Committee met immediately prior to the Board meeting.  At that time, the Committee reviewed the current policy for naming parks and will have a recommendation for some changes to the policy for Board approval at the January meeting.  He noted that the major change in policy will be defining the difference between neighborhood and community parks.  A neighborhood park will be one that is less than eight acres, and the naming process will be more restrictive for community parks.
 
Commissioner Brault further reported that the Committee discussed the budgeting process.  It was agreed that staff should make an effort to identify overall revenue and expense trends for the District at the onset of the budgeting process rather than waiting until all the individual parts of the budget are assembled and adjustments are made to balance the budget at the end of the process. 
 
Commissioner Brault further noted that the Committee reviewed and approved some enhancements to the Voucher List.
 
Public Hearing re: Tax Levy:  
 
President Miller opened the meeting for public comment regarding the tax levy ordinance.
 
Director Porter explained that while not required this year, the Board’s practice has been to conduct a public hearing prior to the adoption of the tax levy. 
 
There were no requests to comment.
 
President Miller closed the public hearing.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2006-O-9, AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ASSESSING THE TAXES OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE YEAR 2006 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2006-O-10, AN ORDINANCE DIRECTING THE MANNER OF ANY REDUCTION OF THE AGGREGATE EXTENSION OF THE 2006 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 and Policy Committee.
 
Director Porter explained that for the first time, the proposed levy includes a levy for new growth, which is exempted from the property tax cap.  Ordinance 2006-O-10 directs the County Clerk to levy for the new growth. He noted that if staff has overestimated the amount of new growth, the County will reduce the tax levy for the funds which exceed the rate limit, but not less than the current tax cap limit of 3.4%.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
After brief discussion, the Board set a tentative date of January 29, 2007 for the Budget Workshop.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
President Miller stated that it is with great regret that he announces that the Board has received a letter of resignation from Commissioner Marcus effective after the Board meeting of January 8, 2007.  President Miller stated that Commissioner Marcus has served on the Park Board as president, vice president, and  chair and member of most of the standing committees.  He added that Commissioner Marcus has been an exemplary Board member. 
 
Commissioner Brault stated that he wished to thank Commissioner Marcus for his tutelage and help since he became a member of the Park Board.
 
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to acknowledge receipt from Commissioner Richard Marcus of his resignation as Park Commissioner effective at the conclusion of the Regular Board Meeting of January 8, 2007 and declare his seat vacant at that time.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to authorize and direct Terrence C. Porter as Board Secretary to publish notice of the vacancy and the date of the Consolidated Election of April 17, 2007, at which a member shall be elected to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, and to notify the proper County officials of the vacancy.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried.
 
Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the 2007 Regular Board Meeting schedule as follows:  January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, and December 3 with the Annual Meeting scheduled for May 14 immediately following the Regular Board Meeting.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried
 
Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to adjourn to executive session to review the performance and compensation of a specific employee of the District in accordance with Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings  Act.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried
 
The meeting was adjourned to executive session at 8:35 p.m.
 
The Regular Board Meeting reconvened at 8:48 p.m.
 
Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the executive session minutes of November 13, 2006.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried
 
Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve the form, terms and provisions of the proposed employment agreement with Director Terrence C. Porter in the form presented to the Park Board at this meeting, and to authorize the President of the Board to execute the agreement in the name and on behalf of the District and a commissioner of the Park Board to attest to the President’s signature.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, and Wolff; voting No --  None.  Absent – Commissioners Crowley and O’Malley.  Motion carried
 
There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.
 
 
MINUTES APPROVED ON JANUARY 8, 2007