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, AUGUST 9, 2004
_____________________________________________________________________

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 Wolff called the meeting to order at  7:30 p.m.

PRESENT: President Henry Wolff, Commissioners Cecelia Carlson, Diana Cohen,  Jim Crowley, Richard Marcus, David Miller, Dennis O’Malley, Secretary/Director Terry Porter, Treasurer/Business Manager George Kush

VISITORS: Mary K. Dash, Michelle Bamberger, Don Harkins, Superintendent Grisamore

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:     Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the July 12, 2004 Regular Board Meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE: 

Commissioner Crowley reported that a resident had inquired if the Park District would consider some winter boat storage down by the beach. 

President Wolff referred the inquiry to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

President Wolff acknowledged receipt of the following:

. . . Letter dated July 21, 2004 from Barbara & Bill Mitchell, 1006 Linden Ave. expressing interest in purchasing a market rate condo at Mallinckrodt and encouraging the Park District to go forward with the Oculus-Pickus proposal.

. . . E-mail dated July 19, 2004 from Karen Cosgrove supporting an indoor pool at Mallinckrodt.
. . . Phone call received July 20, 2004 from Regina Quintana, 809 Leamington with several suggestions regarding the Mallinckrodt property.

. . . E-Mail dated July 22, 2004 from Ellen Binder supporting an indoor pool at Mallinckrodt.

. . . E-mail dated August 1, 2004 from John W. Gridley, New Trier High School Science Department stating that in the interest of fiscal responsibility, the Park District should not retain any space in the Mallinckrodt Building.

. . . E mail dated June 30, 2004 from Julie McBratney with a copy of an e-mail sent to
all “Flying Fish” families urging the Park District to construct an indoor pool at Mallinckrodt.

. . . E mail dated June 30, 2004 from Ann Meyer supporting an indoor pool at Mallinckrodt.

. . . Phone call received July 19, 2004 from Dr. Frances Belmonte, 913 Columbus St.  recommending that the Mallinckrodt property be kept a passive area, basically as it is now.  She recommended that an indoor pool for seniors only be put in the building.

. . . Letter dated July 19, 2004 from Olga Domchenko, 2034 Elmwood recommending that the Mallinckrodt park be kept as it is now for passive use.  She also asked that the flowerbeds be restored and the wall around the property be retained.

. . . E-mail dated July 19, 2004 from Billy Stoker, 1212 Princeton Place requesting that a skate park be constructed at the Mallinckrodt property.

. . . Letter dated July 16, 2004 from Mary and John Bradbury, 2206 Elmwood supporting the Ronald Knox Montessori School purchase of .75 acres of the Mallinckrodt property.

. . . Letter dated July 17, 2004 from Robert T. O’Brien, 2134 Elmwood encouraging the Park District to sell property to the Ronald Knox Montessori School.

. . . Letter dated July 18, 2004 from Charles C. Porter, 2202 Wilmette Ave. stating that the Park District should sell land to Ronald Knox as it would help the taxpayers of Wilmette.

. . . E-mail dated July 14, 2004 from Edward Tenner, 1035 Elmwood Ave. recommending that the Mallinckrodt property remain unchanged.

. . . Letter dated July 13, 2004 from Carolyn A. Carmichael, 2106 Old Glenview Road  encouraging the Park District to sell property at Mallinckrodt to the Ronald Knox Montessori School.

. . . Letter dated July 8, 2004 from Christopher A. Olson, 1935 Kenilworth Ave. recommending that the Park District sell property to the Ronald Knox Montessori School to receive additional revenue and to insure that the school remains in the community.

. . . Letter dated July 13, 2004  from Jim Whelan, 2204 Old Glenview Road urging the Park District to give full consideration to selling property to the Ronald Knox Montessori School to alleviate traffic problems at the present location.

. . . Letter dated July 19, 2004 from Kathryn and John Corboy, 1140 Elmwood Ave. stating that the Mallinckrodt property should provide recreation for all residents of Wilmette with playing fields, a tot lot, and a walking/jogging path around the perimeter of the property.

. . . Letter dated August 2, 2004 from James W. Ford, 1630 Sheridan Road recommending that the Mallinckrodt property be sold to a developer so that there would be more funds available for a more extensive clubhouse at the golf course.

. . . E-mail dated July 21, 2004 from Mark Cotovsky, 1023½ Linden Ave. recommending that the Mallinckrodt site be used for a state of the art fitness center and an outdoor running path through and around the perimeter of the property.

. . . E-mail dated August 3, 2004 from Sharon Uhlemann, 800 Elmwood endorsing the concept of condominiums at Mallinckrodt and recommending an indoor swimming pool in the building.

. . . E-mail dated July 19, 2004 from Natalie Laackman, 1240 Forest with several suggestions for development of a “pre teen/teen park” at Mallinckrodt while keeping the area as a passive place for adult use as well.

. . . Letter dated July 14, 2004 from Myrna Smith, 2138 Iroquois stating that she is strongly in favor of the Ronald Knox School remaining in its present location with the ability to expand by purchasing approximately two acres of land from the Park District.
. . . Phone call received on July 27, 2004 from Pamela Martin, 2611 Thornwood stating her opposition to an indoor pool at Mallinckrodt or at any other location in Wilmette.  She stated that the Board “missed the boat” when they built an outdoor facility at Centennial.

. . . Messages received on August 9, 2004 from Bitsy Winograd and Harriet Levy, 1630 Sheridan Road opposing a skate park at Mallinckrodt.

. . . Letter dated August 9, 2004 from Michelle Bamberger, 913 Columbus St., Dr. Frances Belmonte, 913 Columbus St., and Ann Rutherford, 917 Columbus St expressing opposition to a skate park at Mallinckrodt and suggesting other locations in the community.

. . . Form letter urging the Park District to sell land to the Ronald Knox Montessori School received from the following:

Jolynn and Jim Houlihan
2009 Greenwood Ave., Wilmette

Beth Alwin
2319 Iroquois Rd., Wilmette

Gail and Irwin Schneiderman
437 Sandy Lane, Wilmette

Cheryl A. Gordon (Faculty Member), Ronald Knox Montessori School
Culver City, CA

David G. O’Donoghue
1047 Cherokee, Wilmette

Tom and Diane Blake
2036 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Franci Ann Dichen
801 Chilton Lane, Wilmette

Brian and Jeannie Schafer
2101 Thornwood, Wilmette

M.V. Chacko
2232 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Charles Porter
2202 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Cheryl Haynes
1508 Edgewood Lane, Winnetka

Gus and Mary L. Methe
2128 Old Glenview Road, Wilmette

Jeanne and Bob Savely
2132 Wilmette Ave, Wilmette

Anne Fitzpatrick
2236 Greenwood, Wilmette

Marnie McCall
250 Mary, Winnetka

Julie A. Donahue
485 Valley Way, Northfield

Christine Codo & Patrick Maloney
1149 Ash Street, Winnetka

Kristin & Douglas Struchonem
2029 Chestnut, Wilmette

Shelley & Joe Shelly
2211 Kenilworth Ave., Wilmette

Denise M. Seminetta
405 Sheridan Road, Kenilworth

Mr. and Mrs. Eigel
600 Glenridge Drive, Glenview
Jean M. and Douglas  Petersen
2144 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Michelle & Chris Passas
2228 Greenwood, Wilmette

Audrey & Todd Buchner
1340 Chestnut, Wilmette

Jeffrey M. Drizin
2140 Sandy Lane, Wilmette

Mary Sutherland
984 Spruce St., Winnetka

Anita McGing, Director, RKMS

Fritz & Wendy Hurst
2119 Thornwood, Wilmette

Beth & Bob Healy

Robert & Renee Greening
1014 Pontiac Road, Wilmette

Lisa & Scott Pankoff
716 20th Street, Wilmette

E. Mitchell
5050 Birchwood, Skokie

. . . Form letter from Kenilworth Garden residents encouraging the Park District to sell property to the Ronald Knox Montessori School was received from the following residents:

Jennifer Hasley
2111 Thornwood, Wilmette

Mary and Charles Murdoch
2126 Thornwood, Wilmette
Leslie Longhnare
2100 Elmwood, Wilmette

Christi Skalkotos
2115 Thornwood

L. M. Contesto
2228 Elmwood,  Wilmette

Charles O. Smith
2118 Elmwood , Wilmette

Judy Healy
2214 Chestnut, Wilmette

Elizabeth Carmody
2150 Chestnut, Wilmette

M. Meir
2205 Chestnut., Wilmette

Margery and F. L. Heider
2222 Chestnut., Wilmette

Mike Chabraja
2147 Thornwood, Wilmette

Monica & John Geocaris
2202 Elmwood, Wilmette

President Wolff referred all correspondence which had not been reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Committee at their July 19th public hearing to the Parks and Recreation Committee to be reviewed at the August committee meeting.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Wolff recognized the following visitor:

James W. Ford, 1630 Sheridan Road stated that he was in attendance to follow up on his letter regarding his recommendations for selling the Mallinckrodt property and using the revenue to construct a clubhouse which would be appropriate for this community.  Mr. Ford commended the Park District for saving the Mallinckrodt Building, but stated that with regard to the rest of the property, he did not feel the community would benefit from what would essentially be a neighborhood park.  He noted that the former Terrace Restaurant had for years been an asset to the community where weddings, funeral luncheons, community group events, etc. had been held.  In addition, he felt that the Friday Dinners and Sunday Brunches had contributed to the quality of life for many residents in the area.   Mr. Ford noted that the Park District has invested $10 million in an outdoor aquatic facility that is used for only a few months a year and has so far invested approximately $15 million for the purchase of the Mallinckrodt property, which as he had previously stated, would be no more than a neighborhood park.  He felt it was a mistake to invest only $5 million in a new community clubhouse, which would be a wonderful addition to the entire community and would also generate revenue.  Mr. Ford asked the Board to consider his recommendation to sell the Mallinckrodt property to a developer and use the money for a state of the art clubhouse that the entire community would be able to enjoy.

During discussion, Commissioner Miller explained to Mr. Ford that the referendum to purchase the Mallinckrodt property was passed by the community specifically to purchase the open land for park use and to save the building, if possible, for an adaptive re-use.  It was also noted that the Park District has limited authority to sell real estate, including to another governmental agency under specific conditions, as is the case with the building.  Director Porter noted that the plans for the clubhouse had been discussed at numerous committee and Board meetings with community input.  It was agreed that the new clubhouse should be compatible with the Park District’s mission to first and foremost serve the golfers at the golf facility.  Director Porter noted that the new grill room will be available for rental during the off season. 

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,619,671.49, 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 Carlson, Cohen, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None.  Motion carried.

President Wolff announced that the Mallinckrodt portion of the agenda would be moved up in order to accommodate the visitors who wished to address the Board on the issue.

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

Commissioner Marcus, Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, reported that the Committee held a second public hearing regarding the park land at Mallinckrodt and uses for the Park District space in the building on July 19th.  Approximately fifty people were in attendance.  There was also a substantial amount of correspondence, e mails, and phone calls which were acknowledged and reviewed at the meeting.  Commissioner Marcus stated that there had been some excellent suggestions and recommendations offered at the meeting by those in attendance and those who communicated via correspondence or telephone.  The majority of those who spoke or wrote stated a preference for keeping the open land essentially as it is now, remarking on the serenity and peacefulness of the site.  There was very little support for having athletic fields, however, many felt that an outdoor ice skating rink with a warming house would be appropriate.  There was also support for a gazebo, reconfiguring the walking paths, flower gardens, and keeping the walls intact with additional areas of access to the park.  There were also recommendations that a skate park be provided in the park, or in a suitable location in the community.

Commissioner Marcus noted that with regard to the indoor space, there was a significant amount of support for an indoor swimming pool.  At the meeting, Superintendent Lambrecht explained that it would not be feasible to construct an indoor swimming pool in the Mallinckrodt Building.  The building contains three feet thick structural walls that run the length of the proposed Park District space, which would preclude putting a pool in that area.  In addition, because of the way the building is constructed, humidity from the pool would cause major problems, especially with rot.  Another problem is that the ceiling is not high enough to accommodate a pool.  Other recommendations for the indoor space included moving the Senior Center over to the Mallinckrodt Building to free up space at the CRC, providing an art in the park area, perhaps with a photo lab, putting in washrooms for park patrons, relocating the Howard Park Teen Center,  and having a drop in center for people of all ages.

During discussion, it was recommended that a park planner be brought in to provide some insight regarding how to incorporate the agreed upon features into the park.  Commissioner Cohen expressed concerns about the need for a planner since the park was basically going to be a very passive area.  She felt that community groups might even be willing to design and maintain the gardens. During discussion, it was pointed out that a professional would be helpful in formulating plans for the layout of the park based on the public input.  Director Porter stated that there would be no elaborate designs or great expense involved.  The consultant would most likely be a landscape architect and/or an engineering firm.
Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to authorize the Parks and Recreation Committee to research and recommend to the Board:

    Development  plan for a passive park on the Mallinckrodt property
  Possible uses for the 7,200 square feet of Park District space on the first floor of  the Mallinckrodt Building

 Location of a skate park in the community.

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

Commissioner Marcus noted that the Ronald Knox Montessori School had submitted two proposals to the Park District to either purchase .75 acres of the Mallinckrodt property or to have a land exchange for four lots owned by Ronald Knox on Wilmette Avenue.   He explained that in addition to not being in favor of selling any of the Mallinckrodt property, there are some legal and technical issues which would preclude these types of transactions.

Commissioner Marcus moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to decline the offer of the Ronald Knox Montessori School to purchase or exchange .75 to 2 acres of open park land located on the Mallinckrodt property to allow for the expansion of the school as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

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

President Wolff recognized the following visitors:

Michelle Bamberger, 913 Columbus Street stated that perhaps the residents of the planned condominiums at Mallinckrodt would be interested in having a gardening club to maintain the flower gardens at the park.  She further stated that when she was at the public hearing, she did not hear significant support for a skate park at Mallinckrodt.  Therefore, she doesn’t feel that it is fair to say that there is strong support for a skate park.  In her opinion, this would not be at all compatible with the senior condominiums and the passive nature of the planned park, and she strongly opposes a skate park at Mallinckrodt.

Commissioner Miller commented that the Park District has been receiving requests for a skate park in the community for many years.

Don Harkins, 401 Maple stated that as long as he can remember, there have been requests from pre teens and teens that the Park District find a location for a skate park in Wilmette.  He noted that the Park Board always responded that they would like to provide a skate park in the community, but that there was no appropriate area  available.  Now, with the purchase of the Mallinckrodt property, there is land available for a skate park.  Mr. Harkins added that while Mallinckrodt may not be the ideal spot for a skate park, it is fairly centrally located and the location is accessible by public transportation.  He added that he hopes that the Park Board will not let this issue fall by the wayside.

Commissioner Marcus thanked Ms. Bamberger and Mr. Harkins for their comments.  He agreed with Commissioner Miller that the issue of a skate park has been brought up many times over the past several years.  He noted that the Parks and Recreation Committee agreed that it is time to find a suitable location in Wilmette to accommodate this request, and he assured Mr. Harkins that the Park District is committed to this project, and does not plan on letting it fall by the wayside.  Commissioner Marcus added that he cannot predict where the skate park will be located, but that staff will be investigating options and will make a recommendation based on what is felt would be the most appropriate location.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Golf Operations – Commissioner Crowley reported that currently there is a great deal of activity at the golf course with the new irrigation system being installed and work being done on the 18th green.  The first bid package for the clubhouse construction should be back by September 2nd.  It is anticipated that work will begin by October 1st.  He noted that the golfers have been very supportive and in general, have not complained about the inconveniences at the course due to the work in progress.

Commissioner Crowley noted that rounds of play are up 2,000 over last year at the same time.  He feels it is a combination of favorable weather and promotional activities, particularly twilight golf.

Director Porter added that the Golf Operations Committee authorized some key remodeling projects which are on the master plan.  Since the earth moving equipment is  already in place at the golf course for the course remodeling project, work on the 6th and 15th tees can be done at about fifty percent of the usual cost.
Centennial Operations – Committee Chair Cohen reported that the Committee met prior to tonight’s meeting. She stated that she will give a full report  at the next Board meeting. 

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve early termination of the license agreement between the Wilmette Park District and Pro Skate and Hockey Unlimited to operate the Pro Shop at Centennial Ice effective May 31, 2004.

Commissioner Cohen explained that the current operator of the Pro Shop at the Centennial Ice Rink,  Pro Skate and Hockey Unlimited., has asked to be released from the remainder of their contract which expires in May of 2005. 

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner O’Malley seconded a motion to approve a license agreement between the Wilmette Park District and Phase One Sports, LLC to operate the Pro Shop at Centennial Ice for the period of August 1, 2004 through July 31, 2005.

Commissioner Cohen explained that this is approval of a one year license agreement from August 1, 2004 through July 31, 2005 with Phase One Sports LLC for a continuation of the license period.  The monthly rent will remain at $800.00.

Commissioner O’Malley noted that the new licensee, Phase One Sports, is operated by Faye Andreas, who has been a long time instructor at Centennial Ice.  He stated that Faye is well known and well liked at the facility and should do a good job with the Pro Shop.

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

Financial Planning and Policy – Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to accept the audited financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2003 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

Commissioner Miller, Chair of the Financial Planning & Policy Committee, reported that the District had received an unqualified opinion from KPMG for 2003.  He noted that the Committee had reviewed the Financial Statements during the budget process.  It was also noted that the document had been used as the basis for upgrading the Park District’s Moody’s Rating for the recent bond issue.

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

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that most of the camp programs had concluded on Friday, August 6th.  The District offers camp extension programs of up to three weeks.  He noted that the Park District provides child care opportunities for working parents in the community from 48 to 50 weeks per year.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2004-R-8, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING ASSESSMENT APPEAL (CARSON PIRIE SCOTT).

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Carlson, 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 9:03 p.m.


APPROVED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2004