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, NOVEMBER 14, 2005
_____________________________________________________________________

 

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, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter

STAFF: Business Manager George Kush, Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht

ABSENT: Commissioner Crowley

VISITORS: Paul & Eleanor Plotnick, Graham Crosh, Xavier Michaels, Joel Rosenthal, Jerry Rosenthal, Marlo, Jay & Larry Goldstein, Ty Frost, Alex Litin, Tim Frost

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:     Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 12, 2005 Regular Board Meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:  President Miller acknowledged receipt of the following:

. . . E-mail dated October 17, 2005 from Charlie Shea expressing concerns about Canada Geese in Gillson Park with regard to the Avian Flu.

President Miller noted that this correspondence had already been reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

. . . E-mail dated October 19, 2005 from Paul and Eleanor Plotnick, 3133 Hill Lane objecting to a skate park at Hibbard Park. 
President Miller referred the e-mail to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

. . . Letter dated October 20, 2005 from Marge Graham, President, Wilmette Arts Guild requesting the use of Hibbard Park for the Fine Arts Festival the weekend of July 15 and 16, 2006. 

President Miller referred the letter to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

. . . Letter dated October 24, 2005 from Ted Flickinger, President/CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts requesting a contribution for a study of Park District issues. 

President Miller referred the letter to the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

. . . Letter dated November 14, 2005 from Sam Judlo & Judith M. Yablong, 725 Chilton Lane re: the vacation of property adjoining 2447 Birchwood Lane.

President Miller referred the letter to the Real Estate Committee.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Miller recognized the following visitors:

Paul Plotnick, 3133 Hill Street stated that he was opposed to locating a skate park at Hibbard Park.  He feels that Hibbard Park is the smallest park in Wilmette and a skate park would take up valuable green space, and the additional concrete could cause drainage problems.  He noted that the park already contains the community center, baseball fields, a tot playground, and tennis courts. Mr. Plotnick also expressed concerns about traffic problems and the noise that would emanate from the facility.  He noted that the skate parks in other communities, such as Northbrook and Mount Prospect, are located in industrial/commercial areas, not in residential neighborhoods.  Mr. Plotnick added that since most users of the skate park would probably be junior high age children, it would be more logical to locate the facility closer to the schools.  He noted that Centennial Park contains a great deal of open space and it is more centrally located with a building close by in case of an emergency.  For all these reasons, Mr. Plotnick urged the Board to reconsider the choice of Hibbard Park as a locale for a skate park.

Ty Frost, 909 Seneca Road stated that in his opinion, it is a good idea to locate a skate park at Hibbard Park.  He noted that the Community Recreation Center is close by in case of an emergency.  Also, there is a Pace Bus stop next to Hibbard Park which makes it a convenient location for people who don’t drive. 

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,655,977.16,  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, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Parks and Recreation – Committee Chair Marcus reported that the Committee held a meeting on October 27th.  Commissioner Marcus noted that Mr. Paul Plotnick had addressed the Committee regarding his objections to a skate park at Hibbard Park.  He stated that since Mr. Plotnick had essentially made the same statements to the Board at tonight’s meeting, it was not necessary to reiterate what he stated at the Committee meeting. However, in response to Mr. Plotnick’s statement at the Committee meeting that the skate park would serve a very small segment of the Wilmette population, the Committee explained to Mr. Plotnick that requests for a skate park have been received every year for many years and that the users were very well organized this year and made a good case for a skate park in Wilmette.  Commissioner Marcus also explained to Mr. Plotnick at the meeting that there has been some consideration given to using a part of the existing parking lot for the skate park, which would reduce the amount of green space that would be used.  However, a parking study will be necessary to determine if this is a viable option.  He also assured Mr. Plotnick that the users have been put on notice that if the skate park is built, they will be held accountable if problems occur and the area would be closed.  Commissioner Marcus also noted that the two main advantages to Hibbard Park are the visibility from Skokie Boulevard and  proximity of on site supervision from Community Recreation Center staff.  He added that staff is giving consideration to installing video surveillance equipment at the location so it can be monitored from inside the building.

Commissioner Marcus further reported that the Committee reviewed the proposed Corporate Fund Budget, and noted the fee increases for Community Gardens, which have not been raised for years.  In addition, the Committee reviewed and approved the increases in the budget for salaries and utilities, which were recommended by the Financial Planning Committee.  The Committee also reviewed capital projects which include Vattmann Tennis Courts and the Skate Park, which will be reviewed as part of the overall Park District budget.  Commissioner Marcus also reported that the Committee reviewed the proposed Motor Pool/Central Maintenance Budget and after discussion, the Committee agreed to recommend the proposed budgets to the Park Board for approval as presented.

Commissioner Marcus concluded his report by noting that staff discussed in general terms the development of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for retaining a design firm for the skate park.  It was stated that it is hoped to have the RFP ready for distribution in the next 30 days.  Staff explained that they would then review the submissions and select finalists who would be interviewed by the Committee.  The plan is to have the selected firm work with user groups to come up with a design to present to the neighbors so that there would be a basis for discussion.  After the Park Board approves the final plan, the project would likely go through the zoning process.  It is anticipated that the earliest any work might begin would be late summer or fall of 2006.

President Miller inquired whether there was any way to fast track the project so that the skate park could be ready for use by next summer.

Commissioner Marcus responded that because of the upcoming holiday season, there are many people who may not be available to participate in the process, and it is important to get input from as many of the neighbors as possible.  He noted that the Parks and Recreation Committee will be meeting on November 30th and it is hoped that staff will have something for the Committee to review at that time.

Financial Planning and Policy --  Committee Chair O’Malley reported that the Committee met on October 12, 2005.  At that time, the Committee reviewed the 2005 Truth In Taxation Law Resolution. 

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2005-R-8, TRUTH IN TAXATION, as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

During discussion, it was explained that the purpose of this resolution is to determine whether or not a public hearing is required when the tax levy is presented for adoption, which will be at the December Board meeting.  If the proposed tax levy is five percent higher than the prior year’s  levy, a hearing is required and notice must be published in the local newspaper. It was noted that for Truth in Taxation purposes, the proposed levy increase is 1.9%, exclusive of the Bond and Interest Fund. Including the Bond and Interest Fund, the total proposed tax levy increase is 2.1%.   Therefore, by law a public hearing on the tax levy is not required.  Director Porter noted that while not required, the Park District practice has always been to schedule a public hearing on the proposed tax levy at the Board meeting when the proposed Tax Levy Ordinance is presented for adoption.  

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

Commissioner O’Malley further reported that the Committee reviewed the budgets for the Special Revenue, the IMRF/Social Security, Liability Insurance, Handicapped Recreation, Security, and the Audit Funds.  He noted that during discussion, Commissioner Brault recommended that in preparing the facility budgets, consideration be given to adding an additional expense line item for contingencies.  He explained that this would offset changes in amounts budgeted for capital projects.

Commissioner O’Malley added that the Committee also reviewed the General Administration Budget which includes a consulting services expenditure of $15,000 for reviewing and recommending Park District internal controls.  Staff recommended that an audit firm other than KPMG, the District’s current auditor, be retained for this project.  Commissioner O’Malley also noted that Salary and Wages includes an expenditure of $30,000 for technology support services.  This would be a part time technician to assist in the maintenance of the District’s computer hardware and web-site maintenance.  Also included in the General Administration Budget, is $60,000 to implement on-line registration services.  Commissioner O’Malley noted that staff indicated that participants currently register in Park District programs via e-mail, drop-off, fax, or regular mail and the registrations are manually entered by staff.  The proposed system would allow users to register directly in a Park District program affording convenience, cost savings, and better customer service. 

Commissioner O’Malley concluded his report by announcing that the ice rink expansion group has scheduled a meeting for November 28th.

Centennial Operations – Committee Chair Wolff reported that the Committee met immediately prior to tonight’s meeting.  There was discussion and review of the 2006 Tennis, Ice, and Pool budgets.  He explained that fee increases will be necessary for all three facilities, and the Committee recommended for approval the budgets and fee increases as presented by staff.
DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that Pickus Companies has received all of their building permits for construction of Mallinckrodt Residences, LLC,  and work is progressing in the building.  He added that excavation work for the underground parking on the east side of the building is beginning.

Director Porter further reported that as part of the real estate transaction selling the Mallinckrodt Building to the Village and the Village’s subsequent sale to Pickus Companies, the Park District retained ownership of approximately 7,000 square feet  on the ground floor of  the south wing of the building.  He explained that the plans are to use this space for senior activities and possible camp activities in the summer. Director Porter explained that staff has been working with Williams Associates Architects to develop a floor plan for the space., and because this space is not freestanding, there is a need for close coordination of construction activities with Pickus Companies.  Staff and the architect have met with the Pickus Companies and have been able to resolve the major issues.  The goal is to finalize the architectural drawings and be out to bid this spring for the interior space.

Director Porter also reported that staff is working closely with 3-D Design on a final plan for the open space, which will be reviewed initially by the Parks and Recreation Committee and also will be presented to the immediate neighborhood. Since it will be necessary to go through the zoning process, it is always a good idea to have had meetings with the neighbors of the park.  Director Porter noted that the Park District has already conducted two public hearings for the entire community on the Mallinckrodt Park project and the consensus was for design of a passive park.  The hope is to commence work on the park portion in the fall of 2006.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Commissioner Brault inquired about the status of the new baseball field in Community Playfield.

Director Porter responded that after meetings with the Wilmette Baseball Association, some modifications to the plan have been made and the Baseball Association is satisfied with the design and willing to pay $30,000.  He noted that the field is being moved to a better location at Community Playfield, which will eliminate safety concerns due to proximity to another baseball field.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Cohen inquired about the reinstatement of Friday Night Dinner at the golf clubhouse. 

Director Porter explained that the Friday Night Dinner resumed about four weeks ago and has become very popular.  He stated that it is the same format as previously offered on Friday evenings at the Terrace Restaurant, with a fish fry and some other menu selections offered.  He also noted that there is a Wednesday night chicken dinner and a Thursday night pasta dinner being offered.

Director Porter requested agenda topics for the Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee meeting scheduled for December 1st, which is being hosted by the Village of Wilmette.

After discussion, it was agreed to submit the Skate Park, Mallinckrodt, the Tax Levy and Golf Course improvements as items to be included on the agenda.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to appoint David Miller as Delegate and James Crowley as Alternate to represent the Wilmette Park District at the IAPD Annual Business Meeting on January 28, 2006.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to adjourn to executive session for the purpose of the semi annual review of executive session minutes in accordance with Section 2(c)(21) of the Open Meetings Act.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned to executive session at 7:55 p.m.

The Regular Board Meeting was reconvened at 8:03 p.m.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the June 13, 2005 executive session and to authorize the release of the June 13, 2005 executive session minutes to the public. 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the destruction of the verbatim audio recordings of the closed sessions of the Board of Park Commissioners of the Wilmette Park District held on March 8, 2004 and May 10, 2004 having first been determined by the Park Board that not less than 18 months have expired since the completion of the closed sessions, recorded, and minutes of the closed sessions meeting the requirements of subsection 2.06(a) of the Open Meetings Act have been approved by the Park Board, all in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Open Meetings Act.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.   Absent – Commissioner Crowley.   Motion carried.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

 

MINUTES APPROVED ON DECEMBER 5, 2005