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, JUNE 13, 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, Jim Crowley, Richard Marcus, Dennis O’Malley, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter

STAFF: Business Manager George Kush, Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht

VISITORS: John McGovern (NSSRA), Tony Reynes, Tim Frost, Ty Frost, Tyler Oberlin,  Michael Rushmore, Graham Crosh, Joel Sacks, Chris Aguilar, Eric Crosh (Skate Wilmette),  Tom Rebarchak  (Wilmette Men’s Tennis Assn.), Charyl Parry, Richard Taylor

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:     Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of May 9, 2005, the Annual Meeting of May 9, 2005, and the New Board Regular Meeting of May 9, 2005.

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

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

. . . Letter dated May 27, 2005 from Caroline Goldstein, 1428 Lake Ave. requesting that the Park District support the placement of a pedestrian light on Lake Ave. near Vattmann Park due to safety concerns for people trying to cross Lake Ave.

Director Porter explained that discussion of Ms. Goldstein’s request was included on the agenda under New Business.
. . . Letter dated May 23, 2005 from Village Manager Michael Earl announcing that the annual New Resident Reception will be held on September 19, 2005.

. . . Letter dated May 1, 2005 from Georgia Gebhardt, Chair, 2005 Student Government Program, Wilmette LWV thanking the Board and the staff of the Park District for their support and help with the program.

. . . Letter dated April 26, 2005 from Jordan Zamansky, 329 Sunset Drive regarding providing healthy snacks in the CRC vending machine.

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

. . . E mail dated June 4, 2005 from Jim Schultz, 348 Washington Ave. regarding dog beach hours.

President Miller referred the e-mail to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

. . . Letter dated May 3, 2005  to Commissioner Brault with attached correspondence from James W. Ford, 1630 Sheridan Rd., 3-E requesting that the Park District consider purchasing residences in the area of the golf course to add additional parking to the facility.

During discussion of the letter, it was noted that the Park District has no interest in purchasing the property and that the clubhouse and parking lot plans have been finalized and in process for over a year.  Director Porter was asked to respond to Mr. Ford.

. . . Correspondence between Charlotte Adelman, 252 Lawndale and the Wilmette Park District regarding the plantings at Mallinckrodt.

. . . Copy of letter to Village President Chris Canning & Village Board dated June 4, 2005 from Dolores Rapalee, regarding the demolition of trees at Mallinckrodt.

Commissioner Marcus reported that a number of people had contacted him with regard to the skate park situation.  He noted that there are two public hearings scheduled -- the first on June 27th and the second on July 18th.  Both will be held in the Village Hall Council Chambers starting at 7:00 p.m.  He also reported that he had been contacted by some residents regarding the need for repair of the Vattmann Park tennis courts.


RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Miller recognized the following visitors:

Charyl Parry, 914 13th Street inquired as to the process of obtaining information from the Park District with reference to the schedule for repair of outdoor tennis courts, especially with regard to the Vattmann Park courts, which are in great need of refurbishing.  Ms. Parry expressed concerns that the Park District is considering expending funds on a skate park when there are several outdoor tennis courts which are in great need of repair, such as at Vattmann, Locust Park and Hibbard Park.  She stated that she feels that  it is more important to take care of facilities that already exist rather than spending money on new facilities.

Commissioner Marcus, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, invited Ms. Parry to attend the next Parks and Recreation Committee meeting scheduled for Monday, June 20th.  He stated that she would be welcome to address the Committee regarding her concerns.

President Miller noted that the District has a Capital Improvement Plan, which outlines the projects and expenditures planned through 2009, which could be made available to Ms. Parry at her request.  President Miller also explained that the Park District recently approved a bond issue to complete the golf clubhouse project and as a result, there are some funds available for additional Park District projects.

Richard Taylor, 1944 Beechwood asked how the Park District prioritizes its expenditures and if the bonds that were issued had been earmarked for the skate park prior to their issue.  He expressed concerns that construction of a skate park was taking precedence over necessary maintenance of other Park District facilities, in particular the  outdoor tennis courts.

President Miller explained that the bond issue had not been earmarked for any particular projects besides the golf clubhouse replacement and related golf course improvements.  However, the issue did provide some additional funds for other Park District projects, which will be considered by the Board.  President Miller also noted that there have been numerous requests over a period of more than ten years that the District provide a skate park.  He added that the Village’s Youth Commission has also encouraged the construction of a skate park citing the positive benefits for the community.

Tom Rebarchak, 2600 Old Glenview Road introduced himself as President of the Wilmette Men’s Tennis Association and stated that maintenance of the outdoor tennis courts in Wilmette is very important and he encouraged the Park District to focus on the necessary improvements to the courts.  He noted that some of the courts are not safe for players to use.

Michael Rushmore, 939 Romona Road thanked the Board for scheduling the public hearings on the skate park so quickly.  He stated that the Skate Wilmette blog has received numerous e-mails from the community and that many people are against the construction of a skate park for various reasons, and he wished to refute some of the misconceptions about this type of facility and those who would use it.  He explained that when the cost of construction and the minimal maintenance required is factored in, the tax burden amounts to about $1.00 per resident over a ten year period.  He also noted that skateboarding is the fastest growing sport in the United States and this is a facility that will be used and enjoyed by not only youngsters and teenagers, but adults in the years to come.  He cited a statistic that in 1993, there were approximately 5 million skateboarders in the country.  The latest figure in 2004 was given at approximately 10 million.  He also noted that skateboarders are like any other sports enthusiasts, such as baseball players, soccer players, etc.  They just want to enjoy their activity in an appropriate environment and are not out to cause problems or damage property.

Graham Crosh, 2339 Thornwood stated that he sees no problem with a skate park in Community Playfield with regard to the proximity to tot lots and parking problems.  He noted that currently there are junior high students in the park and soccer and ball fields which does not seem to adversely affect the children in the tot lots.  He also stated that there should be enough funds to have a skate park and to also maintain the outdoor tennis courts.

President Miller thanked all who spoke and introduced John McGovern, Executive Director of the Northern Suburban Special Education Association (NSSRA).

Mr. McGovern stated that he was in attendance to update the Board on the current status of NSSRA and the programs for Wilmette Park District residents with disabilities who participate in NSSRA programs.  Mr. McGovern began his presentation with a brief history of NSSRA.  He explained that in 1969, the Wilmette Park District and its neighboring park districts began the formation of the organization, which is an intergovernmental partnership.  NSSRA began operating in 1970 and was the first organization of its kind in the United States.  The benefits of this program are reduced cost for the taxpayer because the cooperating park districts eliminate the need for duplicate supervisory costs; enhanced programs for persons with disabilities because more staff can be hired cooperatively than could be employed by any single park district to concentrate on special recreation; and the enhanced ability to recruit and retain skilled therapeutic recreation professionals.  Mr. McGovern noted that due to some changes in legislation in 2003, there are now almost 180 communities participating in  special recreation agencies throughout Illinois and that the Wilmette Park District can take pride in being one of the first park districts to recognize the value of providing special recreation services cooperatively with other communities.

Mr. McGovern explained that NSSRA began by serving children with disabilities.  At the beginning, NSSRA served people primarily with cognitive impairments and as time passed, began to serve people with physical disabilities, behavioral disorders, sight impairments, deafness, and childhood psychiatric conditions.  In the 1980’s, many of the young participants became adults and the organization began servicing people with health disorders associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, which continues through the present time.

Mr. McGovern noted that the greatest change in NSSRA’s service occurred in the mid 1990’s when more and more families chose to enroll their children with disabilities in Park District programs alongside others without disabilities.  Inclusion has become a growing trend in special recreation and the Wilmette Park District is probably the largest provider of inclusion programs in the cooperative. 

Mr. McGovern explained that the NSSRA Board of Directors is a policy board, which includes one person appointed by each partner governing board. He noted that the Board supervises the Director, and sets budget, policies, and long range plans.  He explained that that Terry Porter is the Wilmette Park District representative and that Mr. Porter has been a very active board member, has served as the president of the board and also serves on several committees.  The Board approved a plan in 2003 for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006 which maintains all current services and slightly expands NSSRA.  The Board is currently in the process of gathering information to make a plan for 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Mr. McGovern further reported that the successful Joint Summer Program conducted by NSSRA and the Northern Suburban Special Education District remains strong.  The number of children participating rises each year and at this time, surveys and focus groups are being conducted to plan the 2006 program.  He also noted that the Board will be considering a number of new program issues, which include expansion of programs for people with physical disabilities, providing more service to preschoolers with concentrated disabilities such as autism, and increasing NSSRA’s capacity to support the growing inclusion demand.
Mr. McGovern concluded his presentation by noting that NSSRA has been working with the Center for Enriched Living to develop a recreation-based day program for adults with disabilities who are not working.  The program is called Enriched Lifestyles for Adults and it is anticipated that the pilot program will debut in 2006.  He stated that this should present some very exciting and worthwhile opportunities for adults with disabilities.

President Miller thanked Mr. McGovern for his excellent presentation. 

Director Porter noted that currently School District #39 is going through a transition and is working directly with NSSRA rather than through NSSED on providing a morning summer school program for children with disabilities.  The children attend the District 39 summer school in the morning and then go directly to Camp Connection, which is operated by NSSRA.  There are fifteen to sixteen children registered in this program.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:  Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,810.696.36. 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, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.  Motion carried

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Golf Operations --   Committee Chair Crowley asked Superintendent Lambrecht to report on the golf clubhouse project.

Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the project is now heading into the last fifty days of construction and a great deal has been accomplished. Work is complete on the heavy timber framing for the grillroom, and the framing contractor is currently over framing the timber frame and is filling in both sides of the space and tying it into the rest of the building.  He also noted that the windows are scheduled to be delivered this week.  The drywall contractor is currently working on hanging drywall on all of the walls on the first floor.  The ceramic tile work in the locker rooms is scheduled to begin shortly and the finish carpenter has installed most of the steel and aluminum doorframes throughout the building, and has also completed installation of the blocking for paneling, wood trim, bathroom accessories and shelving. 

Superintendent Lambrecht also reported that the masonry work is almost complete. There is still some minor work to do in the basement that can be done once the elevator is installed.  He stated that the last thing for the mason to complete will be the fireplace, and that the complicated arches at the main entrance and over the cart ramp turned out very well.   The brick washing and cleaning is scheduled to begin this week. 

Superintendent Lambrecht further noted that the kitchen has been completely primed and painted and the walk-in coolers and freezer have been installed. The electrician is currently hooking up all of the electrical systems for the walk-ins. The kitchen hood system for the cook line has also been installed and the ductwork welded all the way to the roof and fire insulated.

Superintendent Lambrecht also reported that the fire sprinklers are installed in all parts of the building except the grillroom, and that the electrician is currently installing drops for ceiling fixtures where there will be suspended ceilings.  Frames for fixtures in drywall ceilings have already been installed, and installation of emergency lights in finished areas such as the kitchen and basement is in progress. He further noted that the plumbers have completed all of the water lines throughout the building, and the hot water heaters are ready to be installed.  Insulation of all of the drainage and water pipes in the building has been done. And installation of the natural gas piping throughout the building has been completed.  The electrician has completed wiring and control wiring for the roof top units.

Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the exterior site work came a long way last month. All of the curb work that could be completed has been done, and the parking lot was paved up to the front of the building and a fifteen-foot wide path on the north side of the building to the cart ramp.  The parking lot lights in the islands were installed so that landscaping could be completed.  The bases for the lights at the front of the building were also poured.

Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the anticipated occupancy date of the building is August 1st, but the opening of the clubhouse for operation should be around August 15th.

Director Porter reported that the 18th green is now open and work has begun on the new warm up green and is proceeding very quickly.  He stated that comments have been very positive and that the new configuration is a much safer arrangement for the golfers.

Commissioner Brault asked if there are any marketing ideas for the golf course to bring in more business.  He commented that golf business is down from last year.
Director Porter stated that actually at this time, the numbers are up.  He said it is interesting to note that there are more rounds being played by non-members and that it is actually unlimited play rounds that are down.  Director Porter also noted that sunrise play at a discount is now being offered, and there has been positive response from the use of the e-mail data base.

Commissioner Crowley commented that he feels that when the new clubhouse opens, many people will return to the course.   He also stated that the new reservation system has been a big step forward and has proven to be very successful.

Director Porter explained that there will be a ribbon cutting in mid August when the clubhouse opens for operation and that there are plans for a community open house in the fall when more parking will be available.

Centennial Operations – Committee Chair Wolff reported that prior to the Board meeting, there was a joint meeting of the Centennial Operations Committee and the Financial Planning Committee.  The purpose of the meeting was to review a cost study for a possible second sheet of ice on the assumption that private contributions could be raised to pay for the construction cost of the facility.  Commissioner Wolff stated that the report estimated that the cost would be between $10.6-$11.1 million depending upon the location of the ice rink.  After discussion of the report, the Committee directed staff to contact the USA Hockey Association to ascertain if the numbers in the report are valid.  It is hoped that the information can be obtained at no cost to the Park District.  However, the Committee authorized an expenditure of up to $4,000, if there is a fee.

Financial Planning & Policy --  Committee Chair O’Malley reported that besides tonight’s joint meeting, the Committee last met on May 9th.  At that time, the Committee heard a report from the District’s Financial Advisor regarding the issue of bonds. The sale of the  Taxable Refunding Park Bonds Series 2005B in the amount of $2.5 million and Limited Park Bonds Series 2005C in the amount of $1.4 million took place on May 25th.  Commissioner O’Malley noted that the interest rates were as anticipated.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that a mailing went out to each household in the community inviting comment on the proposed skate park at either Community Playfield or Hibbard Park.  Residents began receiving the notification of the public hearings on June 9th, and e mail response and correspondence has been coming in. Director Porter stated that rather than distributing information on a piecemeal basis, it will be delivered in a single packet to the Board prior to the first public hearing which is scheduled for June 27th.  He noted that although at this point, more than half of the correspondence is not in favor of a skate park, generally the tone has been very civil.

Director Porter announced that it was his pleasure to present an IAPD 15 year anniversary award plaque and pin to Commissioner Cohen. He congratulated Commissioner Cohen on this achievement.

Commissioner Cohen thanked Director Porter and stated that it had been a real pleasure and adventure serving on the Park Board and working with excellent commissioners and staff. 

President Miller congratulated Commissioner Cohen on behalf of the entire Board for her years of service to the community and her accomplishments as a commissioner.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2005-O-5, AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING PREVAILING WAGE RATES TO BE PAID TO LABORERS, MECHANICS AND OTHER WORKERS PERFORMING CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT.

Director Porter explained that each year in June, the Park Board is required to pass the Prevailing Wage Ordinance. This ordinance requires contractors who perform public works projects for the Park District to pay the prevailing rate of pay to their employees.  He noted this ordinance does not apply to labor rates for Park District labor, only when an outside contractor is used. 
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Brault, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.  Motion carried

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the bid of Sheffield Press, Hammond, IN in the amount of $61,410 to provide printing of four Leisure Time Guides and one Golf/Tennis Lottery Brochure.

Director Porter explained that the District bids the four brochures plus the Golf/Tennis Lottery Brochure as a package. He stated that the recommended bidder is Sheffield Press, which is the printer that has done the Park District’s brochures for the past several years, and that their price is exactly the same as it was a year ago.  Director Porter noted that staff is not recommending the low bidder because the bid did not meet the District’s specifications.

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

Director Porter referred to a letter from Caroline Goldstein, which was presented to the Board under Communications and Correspondence, requesting that the Park District support a plan to install a pedestrian signal on Lake Avenue in the vicinity of Vattmann Park.  Director Porter explained that this is an issue that has been discussed for a period of time by the Village Transportation Commission, and although it is primarily an issue with respect to the schools, the Park District has received requests for Park District support of a pedestrian signal which would improve access and safety for residents going to Vattmann Park.  Director Porter noted that in her letter, Ms. Goldstein asks the Park District to formally endorse a plan that would add a traffic signal somewhere between Park Avenue and Sixteenth Street.

During discussion, Commissioners Wolff and Marcus expressed support for a pedestrian signal on Lake Avenue somewhere in the vicinity of Vattmann Park.  Commissioner Brault pointed out that while he agrees there are safety concerns, the Park Board shouldn’t take a position on an explicit solution to the problem as the Park Board is not qualified to make such a decision.  President Miller concurred with Commissioner Brault, and the Board agreed that the Park District should encourage the Village to expedite action on this issue without making any specific recommendation with regard to placement of a pedestrian signal.

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve the dissolution of The North Shore Theater of Wilmette Advisory Board.

Director Porter explained that since 1996, the North Shore Theater of Wilmette has been a program of the Wilmette Park District.  Prior to that time, it was operated as an independent organization with a close relationship to the Wilmette Park District.   The set up of the program has been that the Park District operates the program and members of the Advisory Board have been appointed by the Board of Park Commissioners.  Director Porter noted that for the past few years, the Advisory Board has had a difficult time attracting and retaining board members, and on several occasions, has been unable to meet due to a lack of quorum.  He stated that It has become apparent that the current format is not working and in March 2005, the North Shore Theater Advisory Board made a determination to dissolve.  The Wilmette Park District will continue to operate the community theater programs, and  will continue to use the name The North Shore Theater of Wilmette.  Director Porter also noted that there will continue to be an advisory committee, but the membership and attendance requirements will be far less stringent.

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

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve a contribution to the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission in the amount of $250.00.

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

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Marcus seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2005-R-7, A RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF CATHERINE “KATIE” BELL.

Director Porter read Resolution 2005-R-7, which commemorated the contributions of retiring staff member Katie Bell.  The resolution stated that Katie Bell had been a member of the Administration Office Accounting Department for over 17 years, primarily handling Accounts Payable.  The resolution commended Ms. Bell for her excellent work in all areas of the Accounting Department in addition to valuable contributions with regard to the District’s computer system.  The resolution noted that Katie Bell was held in high esteem by her co-workers and the vendors with whom she had worked over the years and had been willing to take on additional responsibilities and to work on special projects.

Director Porter added that after 17 years of excellent and loyal service to the Park District, Katie Bell was retiring and moving with her husband to the Washington D.C. area.  He stated that Katie will be missed and the Park District staff wishes her a very happy retirement.

President Miller thanked Ms. Bell on behalf of the Board for all her years of loyal service and wished her well in her retirement.

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

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner O’Malley 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, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.  Motion carried

The meeting adjourned to executive session at 8:40 p.m.

The Regular Board Meeting reconvened at 8:49 p.m.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to release to the public the executive session minutes of November 8, 2004 and March 14, 2005.

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

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:51 p.m.

 

MINUTES APPROVED JULY 11, 2005