MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT AND
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE VILLAGE OF WILMETTE
HELD IN THE COUNCIL ROOM OF WILMETTE VILLAGE HALL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2002

_____________________________________________________________________

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 7:33 p.m.

PRESENT: President Richard Marcus, Commissioners Cecelia Carlson, Diana Cohen, Phyllis Cossarek, Jim Crowley, David Miller, Henry Wolff, Secretary/Director Terry Porter, Treasurer/Business Manager George Kush, Park District Counsel Charlene Holtz

VISITORS: Jane Spirgel, Eric Anderson (Harris Bank), Tom Bonnie, Tom Kelly, Allen Smith, John Wertymer, Mark Bowen, Susan Eby, Joanne Aggens, Superintendent Tom Grisamore, Superintendent Bill Lambrecht

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 11, 2002 Regular Board Meeting.

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

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

. . . Letter dated November 20, 2002 from the Village of Wilmette Youth Commission recommending that a skate park be constructed on the open space at Mallinckrodt.

President Marcus noted there will be public hearings on the development of the Mallinckrodt park land.

. . . Letter dated December 3, 2002 from Paul C. Fischer, 443 Highcrest Drive outlining a proposal for the weekend golf lottery.

President Marcus referred the letter to the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee. . . . Letter dated November 28, 2002 from Janice Lee, 1207 Richmond Lane requesting the purchase of a small parcel of land from the Park District.

President Marcus referred the letter to the Real Estate Committee.

President Marcus noted that he would acknowledge all communications and correspondence regarding the Mallinckrodt property during the Mallinckrodt portion of the agenda.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

President Marcus recognized the following visitors:

Tom Kelly, 2040 Chestnut Street stated that he has been a Wilmette resident for 25 years and has played golf at the Wilmette Golf Course since 1963, becoming an "unlimited resident" member in 1978. He added that he has played just about every private course and most of the public courses on the North Shore and stated that the Wilmette Golf Course is a very well run facility. The professional staff at this time is the best the course has ever had, and the condition of the course, especially the greens, is exemplary. Also, the current Keep Pace program initiated in 2002 was very successful. Mr. Kelly also referred to his credentials as a finance professor and a trader of fixed income securities. He feels that it is a mistake at this time to increase the unlimited play fees for a number of reasons; mainly the current soft economy and the competition from several new driving ranges and competitively priced golf courses that are available in the surrounding communities. The proposed increase would impact seniors severely and probably many would look for other courses. He suggested that the Park District evaluate other means of expanding revenue at the golf course, and he recommended that a questionnaire be circulated among the facility's golfers to get an idea of what their views would be on increasing golf fees. Mr. Kelly stated that the bottom line is that substantial price increases on unlimited members will not produce the hoped-for revenue. If more revenue is needed, it is essential that rounds of play at the course are increased. He feels that the current price proposal runs the risk of driving away a significant number of Wilmette Golf Course golfers.

President Marcus thanked Mr. Kelly for his comments, and requested that he attend the Golf/Restaurant Committee's next meeting to have further discussion about this issue. Tom Bonnie, 411 Vista Drive noted that he was also in attendance to speak to the proposed fee increases for unlimited play at the golf course. He stated that there would be a great impact for someone who is in the lottery and can play only once a week. A round of golf would cost them approximately $50.00, and it would not be financially worthwhile for that person to have an unlimited membership. There is also the problem of the course being closed on bad weather days further limiting availability. In Mr. Bonnie's opinion, if the prices are increased for unlimited play, the golf course will lose players, and not only would revenue not be increased, but would probably decrease because the unlimited membership fees are guaranteed revenue. He stated that he would like to work with the Golf Operations Committee to explore other means of enhancing revenue without drastic increases in the unlimited play memberships.

President Marcus thanked Mr. Bonnie and noted that a Golf/Restaurant Committee meeting is scheduled for December 28th.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,072,892.99 , 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, Cossarek, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, Wolff; voting No -- None. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Financial Planning & Policy

Public Hearing re: 2002 Tax Levy:

President Marcus called to order a public hearing with regard to the 2002 Tax Levy.

Business Manager/Treasurer George Kush reported that the 2002 tax levy was published in the newspaper last week. This levy is for the Corporate and Special Revenue Funds, exclusive of the Bond and Interest Fund. The taxes are being increased by the inflation rate of 1.6% over last year's tax rate.

Director Porter explained that it is required by law to file the tax levy by the last Tuesday in December. He noted that this will be the first levy which includes the Mallinckrodt $16.5 million tax exempt bond issue. Director Porter explained that if the District does not come to an agreement with a developer for the Mallinckrodt building, eventually it will be necessary to convert the $4.5 million taxable debt to tax exempt bonds. Therefore, finding a developer for the Mallinckrodt building has an impact of a potential $4 to 6 million in the future in addition to what residents will see on their tax bill. If there is success in finding a developer for the building, the tax burden on the residents will be reduced. If the building is sold, it would be the first time that this building would be on the tax rolls. Since that property has never generated any tax revenue, there is a possibility that the community could benefit in two ways financially - by reducing the bond debt and also by gaining additional tax revenue.

There were no requests to address the Board.

President Marcus closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2002-O-8, AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ASSESSING THE TAXES OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR 2002 as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

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

Committee Chair Miller reported that the Financial Planning and Policy Committee met immediately prior to tonight's Board meeting. At the meeting, the Committee reviewed the possibility of refinancing some General Obligation Bonds and installment purchase debt related to the Community Recreation Center financing.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to appoint the Harris Bank, with which firm the Park District has a current satisfactory relationship and has a high degree of professional skill, as the underwriter for the current refunding of the 1994 General Obligation Bond, and Advance Refunding of the 1994 Installment Purchase Contract and authorize Jane Spirgel, Financial Advisor, to prepare the necessary documents.

Commissioner Miller asked Ms. Spirgel to explain the details of the proposed transaction.

Ms. Spirgel introduced Mr. Eric Anderson, a Vice President at Harris Bank who attended the Financial Planning & Policy Committee meeting with her earlier in the evening. She explained that due to favorable interest rates at this time, there is an opportunity to refinance the debt package for the Community Recreation Center, which would save a substantial amount of money without extending the length of payment time. In addition, this would eliminate the yearly expense for professional services related to the annual rollover bond issue for the CRC project. She noted that this is a concept that has been evaluated every year, and it is felt that now is the time to take action. In addition to realizing a savings of approximately $325,000 in interest over the years, the District will also eliminate interest rate risk. Ms. Spirgel added that this move will be well received by Moody's as the District will no longer be relying on an annual rollover issue to repay the CRC installment contract debt. Ms. Spirgel added that the goal is to do the refinancing in January. However, if it is determined that the interest rate offered at that time is not acceptable, the refinancing will be held off until conditions are more conducive.

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

Parks and Recreation -- Committee Chair Wolff reported that the Committee met on November 18th. The Committee discussed the unsold community garden plots at Centennial Park. During discussion it was noted that the vacant plots had not been sold due to the uncertainty of the new pool development. The Committee directed that staff prepare information regarding sale of the vacant lots for 2003 for the next committee meeting.

Commissioner Wolff further reported that the Committee also discussed the impact to the Center Fitness Club of the new large fitness facility which recently opened in Skokie. It was noted that staff has done an excellent job in keeping costs down when the membership numbers decreased and that memberships currently stand at 3,600. Commissioner Wolff noted that the peak membership was 4,000. The Committee discussed consideration of allowing parents of District 37 and 39 students who live in Glenview to purchase fitness memberships at resident rates just as their children are charged resident rates for programs. Staff noted that this would have far reaching ramifications and would entail a change in Board policy, which would have to be reviewed by the Financial Planning Committee.

Golf/Restaurant Operations -- Committee Chair Crowley reported that the Committee will be meeting on December 28th. He reported that the course was closed for the season on December 1st . The total rounds for the season were 45,765, which fell a little short of projections, due mostly to inclement spring and fall weather.

Centennial Operations -- Committee Chair Carlson reported that the Committee did not meet in November. However, she was pleased to report that there was a very successful holiday hockey tournament held over the Thanksgiving weekend.

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

President Marcus noted that at the joint board meeting held on December 3rd, he had asked for correspondence from individuals who could not attend the meeting or didn't wish to address the boards at that time. He acknowledged correspondence as follows:

. . . E-mail dated December 4, 2002 from Charlie Winship, 1107 Lake Ave.

. . . Letter dated December 3, 2002 from Mary and John Bradbury, 2206 Elmwood

. . . E-mail dated December 4, 2002 from Molly Ottolini, 2034 Greenwood

. . . E-mail dated December 3, 2002 from Iliana A. Mora, 3135 Walden Lane

. . . E-mail dated December 5, 2002 from Tom Lyon, 909 Cherokee

. . . E-mail dated December 5, 2002 from Shenaya Bhote-Siegel

. . . Letter dated December 4, 2002 from Susan M. Barry, 1619 Walnut Ave.

. . . Letter dated December 6, 2002 from Thelma Brook Simon, 3119 Wilmette Ave.

. . . E-mail dated December 6, 2002 from Kathy Kerrigan, 1817 Elmwood Ave.

. . . E-mail dated December 9, 2002 from Ann Harvey, Pontiac Road

. . . E-mail dated December 9, 2002 from Deborah A. Devaney, 2200 Kenilworth Ave.

Commissioner Wolff reported that he had received phone calls from Jim Ferguson and Bruce Lyon, and a legal opinion from Barbara Baran which may be relevant to the Mallinckrodt referendum.

President Marcus opened the meeting for public comment.

Joanne Aggens, 1915 Highland stated that she is a member of CALM and that on Friday, December 6th, CALM held a meeting with Senior Lifestyle Corporation, Active Living of Wilmette, LR Development Company, and HODC/Brinshore Development. The group was very impressed with all the presentations. There was a great deal of discussion of what the impact of their proposals would be on the Village regarding traffic, parking, etc. Ms. Aggens noted that the most impressive presentations were given by Senior Lifestyle Corporation and LR Development Company. She felt that basically, it was a very productive meeting and very valuable for CALM. In her opinion, all four of the developers seem to truly have the best interests of the Village as their main objective.

Jim Ferguson, 2200 Kenilworth stated that he was surprised about the proposals for the Mallinckrodt Building re-use. He thought that the bond issue was referring to the Park District improving and maintaining park land. There are many homes in the area under construction and undergoing improvements. Many people made these decisions after the referendum was passed because they felt the property was going to be used strictly for park purposes. Mr. Ferguson questioned whether the Park District has the authority to hold another referendum in April regarding the proposal to sell the building to a developer to adapt the building for multi unit purposes. The results of that referendum should make it clear whether the Park District has the authority to do what is now being contemplated. He urged the Board to take a hard look at the issue as the voters of Wilmette should know exactly what is being proposed.

President Marcus asked Park District Attorney Charlene Holtz if it was possible for the Park District to put this type of question on the ballot in April.

Ms. Holtz responded that the Park District does not have the authority to put an advisory question on the ballot. As was done several years ago, the Village could place the question on the ballot.

President Marcus noted that the Park District will not be entering directly into an agreement with a developer. It would be an intergovernmental contractual agreement with the Village who would then enter into the agreement to sell the building to the developer.

Ms. Holtz explained that this transaction would be done in conjunction with the Local Government Property Transfer Act.

Discussion was held on the 13 proposals which had been received, and it was agreed that any proposals which did not meet the qualifications stipulated in the RFP should be eliminated from consideration. It was noted that the proposals of Belmont Village and the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago called for total demolition of the building and that RRG Development proposed adding a parking structure. It was also noted that the Village would like to save the building for historical preservation purposes, which seems to be the desire of the community. There was also discussion about the fact that all of the proposals would be contingent on going through zoning to get approval for any variances that would be required.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to remove from consideration for the sale of the Mallinckrodt Building the proposals of the Belmont Corporation, RRG Development, Inc., and Franciscan Sisters of Chicago due to not meeting the basic terms of the Requests for Proposals.

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

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to appoint President Marcus, Real Estate Committee Chair Miller, Director Porter and Park District Counsel Charlene Holtz to serve as an interview team to work with the Village of Wilmette in evaluating proposals for the adaptive re-use of the Mallinckrodt Building with final determination subject to approval by the Park Board and the Village Board.

Commissioner Miller stated that it will be necessary to have a construction consultant and a financial consultant to work with the Park District and Village interview teams in evaluating aspects of the proposals. It was noted that the Village has a construction consultant under contract and Ms. Holtz recommended that the Park District get several proposals before making a final decision about consultants.

It was agreed that the evaluations of the proposals will be to assess how the proposals will impact on the community, the neighbors and the Park District. In addition, the Village has the issues of preservation and the type of use for the building.

DIRECTOR'S REPORT:

Director Porter reported that the Wilmette Harbor Association is currently in the process of doing work on the pier, which is their responsibility. He noted that the pier has been in very poor condition and the current work is to improve its safety.

NEW BUSINESS:

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the bid of Tenacious Cleaning Service, Inc. in the amount of $160,213 to provide third shift custodial services for Park District facilities.

Responding to a question from Commissioner Miller, Superintendent Lambrecht explained that this service will clean all Park District facilities seven nights a week. He also noted that this vendor had excellent references.

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

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve an Intergovernmental License Agreement with the Village of Wilmette for the location, installation and display of artwork and maintenance of property on Wilmette Park District property located at 1049 Lake Avenue, and to authorize the President to sign the necessary documents.

Director Porter explained that at the November 11, 2002 meeting, after hearing a presentation from Bill Pell, Chair of the Village's Public Art Committee, the Board directed staff to prepare the appropriate document which will allow the Village to place a piece of public art at the corner of Lake and Wilmette Avenues. He stated that the agreement has been reviewed and approved by the Park District attorney and it gives the Park District all the necessary protection with regard to insurance and maintenance of the site.

President Marcus added that this is a license agreement and the Park District retains ownership of the property. The total maintenance of the artwork and the site is the responsibility of the Village in addition to the Village's assumption of the liability for any damage.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Carlson, Cohen, Cossarek, Marcus, Miller, Wolff; voting No -- Commissioner Crowley. Motion carried.

Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to reappoint Steven Bezark, Terry Chess, Sue Green, Paul Hahn, and Patricia Siuntres to the Community Relations Committee for two year terms expiring on December 31, 2004. By a roll call vote, voting Yes -- Commissioners Carlson, Cohen, Cossarek, Crowley, Marcus, Miller, Wolff; voting No -- None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Board Meeting Schedule as follows: January 13, February 10, March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10, December 8 with the Annual Meeting scheduled for April 14 immediately following the Regular Board Meeting.

Director Porter stated that there are no changes in the 2003 meeting schedule due to holidays. All meetings will be held the second Monday of the month.

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

Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to schedule a Budget Workshop meeting on Monday, January 6, 2003 at the Lakeview Center.

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

Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to adjourn to executive session for discussion of setting a price for the sale or lease of property owned by the District and for the semi annual review of executive session minutes in accordance with Sections 2(c)(6) and 2(c)21 of the Open Meetings Act.

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

The meeting was adjourned to executive session at 8:50 p.m.

The Regular Board Meeting was reconvened at 9:45 p.m.

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to release to the public minutes of the executive sessions of January 8, 1996, July 28, 1997, May 11, 1998, August 14, 2000, January 9, 2002, April 8, 2002, May 13, 2002, June 10, 2002, July 8, 2002, and August 12, 2002.

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

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to recommend to the Village the elimination of the proposals of Mallinckrodt Condominiums, LLC and the alternate proposal of Active Living of Wilmette LLC from consideration for sale of the Mallinckrodt Building due to price considerations.

President Marcus reported that during the executive session, the Board had held discussion with regard to the sale price of the Mallinckrodt building. At this point, the Park District recommends to the Village that the proposals of Mallinckrodt Condominiums, LLC and the alternate proposal of Active Living of Wilmette, LLC be removed from consideration due to price consideration.. It was agreed that the remaining developers will be interviewed unless there were additional developers the Village wished to remove from consideration. Director Porter will contact the Village immediately to schedule a meeting with their interview committee. President Marcus said the Board would like to proceed as soon as possible with establishing a format and ascertaining which proposals most interest the Village.

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

Commissioner Cohen stated that after listening to the residents speak to this issue, she would ask that the Park District interview team convey certain concerns to the Village's interview team. She noted that one of the points that came up regularly was the future of any development. It is important that there be a long term commitment on the part of the developer. In addition, the use of the chapel, the issue of ingress and egress to the area, protection of the historical value of the building, and parking are all of great concern. She also felt it is important when evaluating the proposals to take into consideration whatever development will have the least impact on density in the community.

President Marcus reiterated that the Park District is very concerned with the impact of any development on the neighborhood, the community, and the Park District, both financially and aesthetically. He added that the interview team will regularly report back to the Board as the process proceeds. He stressed that the entire Board will be involved in the decision making and that all input received from the community is welcome and appreciated.

Commissioner Carlson noted that it will be necessary to make a decision regarding the taxable debt instrument by the middle of February so it is important to move quickly.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.



Minutes approved by Park Board 1/13/03