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, JULY 14, 2003

 

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

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

ABSENT: Commissioner Jim Crowley

VISITORS: Leila Winton, Mark Rolfes, Aaron Schiff, Elliot Schiff, Elaine Fandell (New Trier Times), Superintendents Grisamore & Lambrecht

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of June 9, 2003.

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Village Board/Park Board Meeting of June 23, 2003.

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

 

President Marcus stated that prior to proceeding with the regular business of the meeting, he would report on the fire that destroyed the Terrace Restaurant during the early hours of Sunday, July 13. He expressed his appreciation to Wilmette Fire Chief Joe Robberson and the Wilmette Fire Department for their outstanding work in responding to and dealing with the fire. He also expressed appreciation for the show of support from the community. President Marcus thanked Director Terry Porter, Superintendents Grisamore and Lambrecht, Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue, and Business Manager George Kush for their extra efforts in dealing with this event. He commended Restaurant Manager Cliff Butler and Assistant Manager Jean Winikates for their efforts in locating facilities for future Terrace banquet bookings, and noted that Cliff and Jean have always done excellent work in operating the Terrace Restaurant. President Marcus noted that this building has been a part of the community for over 80 years and countless events, such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, funeral luncheons, family celebrations and numerous community functions have taken place at the facility creating a multitude of fond memories of the restaurant and banquet facility for many people. President Marcus added that many children met Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for the first time at the Terrace Restaurant, and many patrons have enjoyed Friday Night Dinners and Sunday Brunches at the facility over the years. It is a sad loss for the community.

Director Porter stated that he echoed President Marcus’ thanks to the Wilmette Fire Department and to the ten other fire departments in neighboring communities that also responded to the fire. He added that he also wanted to recognize the special efforts of Golf Course General Manager George Bell and his staff, Risk Manager Jeff Bowen, and Tom Tricocci, who have been working tirelessly and have been doing a great job in a very difficult situation. He noted that he had received many calls from colleagues from various park districts and golf course superintendents offering assistance in any way that is needed and suggesting alternative facilities for banquet bookings.

Director Porter reported that the Park District’s Risk Management Agency, PDRMA, is working with the District on the immediate safety issues and with the insurance carrier on getting the clean-up underway. He explained that the south half of the clubhouse, which houses the restaurant and banquet facilities, was totally destroyed. The fire wall saved the north half of the building which consists of the pro shop and locker rooms. However, there is significant water and smoke damage and these areas are not usable at this time. Patrons will be allowed in as soon as it is safe to remove their golf clubs and personal items from the lockers. Communications are in the process of being implemented, and It is expected that the golf course will be open for business at noon tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15th. Golf course staff will be operating out of a trailer. There are no plans to cancel any of the upcoming golf outings. The plan is to provide limited food service in a tent. Outing groups will be given the options of using the food service provided by the golf course, making alternate arrangements at nearby restaurants, or bringing in their own caterers. Director Porter stated that once the insurance issues are resolved, the next step will be to determine what type of facility should replace the old clubhouse. He noted that it is very important to get input from the community and the neighborhood and make an informed decision on what would be the best business plan for the facility.

Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2003-R-4, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND RATIFYING THE EMERGENCY EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS WITHOUT COMPETITIVE BIDDING FOR MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIRE AT THE TERRACE RESTAURANT BUILDING AT THE WILMETTE GOLF COURSE.

Director Porter explained that ordinarily any expenditure in excess of $10,000 requires sealed bids. However, since this is an emergency situation and health and safety issues are involved, this resolution gives the Board the authority to waive the usual regulations to deal with the immediate needs at the golf course.

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

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

. . . Copy of e-mail to the Village Board dated June 27, 2003 from Gail Schechter, 2233 Lake Ave. regarding MUM’s position on the Mallinckrodt issue and noting that since the Park District is not a home rule municipality, the decision on what to do with the building is in the Village’s purview.

. . . Letter dated July 2, 2003 from Charlotte Adelman, 232 Lawndale Ave. regarding the use of pesticides at the golf course.

President Marcus referred the letter to the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee.

. . . Letter dated June 24, 2003 from David C. Kipley, 325 Central Ave. protesting the new "Unlimited" policy, and requesting a mission statement for the golf operation.

. . . Comment sheet from the Village Listening Post from Frances Fay, 1221 Hunter Road suggesting that admission be charged for Wallace Bowl productions.

President Marcus referred the comment sheet to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

. . . Letter dated June 25, 2003 from Dr. Anne Heider, Artistic Director of Bella Voce recommending that the Mallinckrodt Chapel be retained as space for choral music.

. . . Letter dated June 12, 2003 from Mary L. O’Reilly, 641 Romona Road recommending that dog waste bag dispensers be placed at Wilmette parks.

President Marcus noted that there are dog waste bags at the dog beach and at the dog area at West Park. However, dogs are not allowed in the other parks of Wilmette.

. . . Letter from former Commissioner Cossarek thanking the Park District for the retirement party held for her on June 18th.

Commissioner Carlson read a letter from her grandchildren to "Rick their favorite waiter at the Terrace Restaurant" stating their sadness about the fire at the restaurant and wishing him well. Commissioner Carlson stated that she feels that their words speak for many children in Wilmette who spent many happy hours at the Terrace Restaurant and will miss the facility very much.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Marcus recognized the following visitors:

Aaron Schiff, 1134 Elmwood stated that he worked at the sailing beach for four years and is a certified sailing instructor. He explained that there is a new water sport called kite surfing and he has had discussions with the lakefront manager about allowing this sport at the sailing beach at times when the area is not being heavily used. At this point in time, he has been refused permission to kite surf at the sailing beach by the lakefront management. He feels that the Board should review his request rather than having lakefront staff make the decision. He described the sport and stated that it would require an area of about 50 feet by 50 feet.

President Marcus thanked Mr. Schiff for his interest and recommended that he attend a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting to state his case. He explained that most Board policy decisions are determined by committee recommendations.

Mark Rolfes, 2240 Kenilworth noted that he is a former Park Board Commissioner who served from 1995 through 1999. He stated that he was in attendance to express his concerns regarding the re-use of the Mallinckrodt building. Mr. Rolfes said that in his opinion, the voters of Wilmette supported the referendum to issue bonds for the purchase of the property, but do not necessarily support the sale of the building to be used for senior housing, a concept which would benefit a handful of seniors, but not the entire community. In his opinion, the Park District should retain the building for Park District use, even "mothballing" all or part of it, if necessary. He suggested that it might be a good idea to hold another referendum on the issue to get a sense of what the community wants done with the building.

Elliott Schiff, 1134 Elmwood stated that he appreciates that the Park District has provided the community with a dog beach. However, he feels that the hours are too limited and the dog beach should be available during the daytime hours.

President Marcus suggested that Mr. Schiff attend a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting to discuss the issue.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,457, 613.17, 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, Marcus, Miller, O'Malley, and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent - Commissioner Crowley. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Parks and Recreation -- Committee Chair Carlson reported that the Committee met on June 16th. There was extensive discussion about the current ordinance regarding dogs in the parks and a review of previous staff recommendations to allow dogs in the parks with the following stipulations: Dogs must be on leashes not exceeding six feet in length; dogs would not be allowed in playgrounds or tot lots; owners would be responsible for carrying bags or equipment to clean up dog waste and to dispose of it in containers provided; proof of ownership would be Village registration. During committee discussion, staff explained that changing the ordinance would better reflect the Village’s ordinance, which could improve enforcement by the Wilmette Police. The Committee directed staff to contact the Police Department to find out if they would step up enforcement of the dogs in the parks ordinance if the Park District ordinance were changed.

Commissioner Carlson further reported that the Committee heard managers’ reports regarding the beach season, which has gotten off to a slow start due to poor weather conditions, the camp programs which have begun without any major problems and the plans for the July 3rd and 4th events. Commissioner Carlson also noted that the Fitness Center has teamed up with the Edens Bank with a new promotion. With every checking account opening, the bank will give a 30 day membership to the Center Fitness Club.

Golf/Restaurant Operations -- In Committee Chair Crowley’s absence, Commissioner O’Malley reported that the Committee met on June 28th. Visitors were in attendance to discuss the 70 round unlimited play cap, which was implemented this golf season. After extensive discussion, the Committee agreed that any rounds played after 6:00 p.m. would be charged as "half rounds." It was also agreed that the charge for rounds played over the 70 round cap would be $14.00 instead of the regular fee as was previously discussed. This figure was derived from dividing the $1,000 fee by the 70 round cap.

Centennial Operations -- Committee Chair Cohen reported that the Committee met prior to tonight’s Board meeting. The Committee discussed the issue of the $10.00 fee which is being charged for replacement of Photo I.D.’s. She stated that she will give a full report at the next Board meeting.

Financial Planning & Policy -- Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the engagement of KPMG for audit services to the Wilmette Park District for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2003 for a fee of $44,500 as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

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

Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to defer action to authorize staff to seek proposals for an Administration Office space study as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

Commissioner Cohen explained that on the agenda there was a motion to authorize a space study for the Administration Office. However, due to the uncertainly of what expenditures would be necessary as a result of the Terrace fire, it is recommended that the space study for the Administration Office be deferred at this time.

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

MALLINCKRODT BUILDING:

President Marcus reported that the interview teams of the Park District and the Village have met to discuss ways of increasing the affordable component in the proposals for the Mallinckrodt Building development. He noted that it was indicated at the June 23rd joint meeting that community groups, such as MUM, feel that a greater percentage of affordable units should be provided in any development. President Marcus stated that from the Park District’s perspective, since the Park District does not have the statutory authority to subsidize housing, the key elements in any sale are purchase price, compatibility with the parkland, compatibility with the neighborhood, and public access to some parts of the building. Since all three of the proposals currently under consideration meet these criteria, it is now up to the Village to make a decision based on the community’s needs and desires. President Marcus stated that the Park District will continue to work with the Village on this issue, but he is looking forward to a timely decision on the building, after which the Park District will be able to focus on the issue of development of the parkland.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to extend the contract of North American Capital Opportunities, Inc., Chicago, IL as financial consultant to the Mallinckrodt interview team through December 31, 2003.

Director Porter explained that in March, the Board approved a contract with North American Capital Opportunities, Inc. to provide financial consulting services regarding the Mallinckrodt project. The contract called for an expenditure not to exceed $12,500 for the period of March 1 through April 15, 2003. Director Porter added that at this time, approximately $4,400 has been spent, so the District is still within the $12,500 limit, but the time frame for the consulting work needs to be extended.

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

DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that the Independence Day Celebration was a great success. The weather was beautiful on July 3rd and he heard many positive comments regarding the concert and the fireworks. The July 4th race also went well and many people were able to enjoy Gillson Park on the afternoon of the 4th.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

 

Minutes approved on August 11, 2003.