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,  NOVEMBER 11, 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  7:37 p.m.

 

PRESENT:   President Richard Marcus, Commissioners Cecelia Carlson, Diana Cohen, Phyllis Cossarek, David Miller, Henry Wolff, Superintendent Tom Grisamore, Treasurer/Business Manager George Kush

  ABSENT:      Commissioner Jim Crowley, Secretary/Director Terry Porter

  VISITORS:    Bill Pell (Public Art Committee Chair), Chris Fichera (Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism), Superintendent Bill Lambrecht

  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:           Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 14, 2002 Regular Board Meeting.

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

 

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

 . . .       Letter from anonymous resident commenting on expanding parking, painting benches, and spot seeding bare areas of the fairway at the golf course.

 . . .       Letter dated September 30, 2002 from John Fatum, 1236 Gregory Ave. regarding the need for more athletic fields and suggesting some of the Mallinckrodt land be used for additional fields.

 President Marcus noted there will be public hearings regarding uses for the Mallinckrodt property and he encouraged Mr. Fatum to attend the hearings and become involved in the process.

 . . .       Letter dated September 30, 2002 from Michael Fatum, 1236 Gregory Avenue expressing concerns about the price of admission to Centennial Pool for non residents, which he feels does not encourage diversity in Wilmette.

 President Marcus referred the letter to the Centennial Operations Committee.

 . . .       Letter dated October 24, 2002 from J.F. Whelan, 2204 Old Glenview Road commending the Park District on the revamped Centennial Park and the pool staffing.  He also expressed appreciation for the way the Centennial Gardens issue was handled.

 . . .       Letter dated November 2, 2002 from Adam Castlewitz, 603 Lavergne Ave. asking the Park District to build a skate park at the CRC.

 . . .       Letter dated October 1, 2002 from Bill Greene, First Class Scout, Troop 2, Wilmette, 2023 Highland Ave. encouraging the Park Board to build a skate park next to Centennial Pool along with an article from the Chicago Tribune regarding the benefits of a skate park to a community.

 

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

  President Marcus recognized Mr. Bill Pell, Chairman of the Village’s Public Art Committee.

 Mr. Pell stated that Director Porter had invited him to the meeting to discuss the Village’s request to use the Park District owned property at Lake and Wilmette Avenues to display the sculpture that had been commissioned by the Village as a piece of public art.  Mr. Pell explained that the plan originally was to have the art in place for the Village’s 125th anniversary celebration.  However, due to several complications, the project ran behind schedule and the piece will be ready early next year.  He noted that the Committee had looked at 45 to 50 proposals before choosing the sculpture.  Originally, the plan was to place the piece in front of Village Hall at Wilmette and Central, but it turned out that this location is not feasible for this particular piece of art.  Mr. Pell stated that after the Committee had looked at several locations in the Village, it was felt that the property at Lake and Wilmette Avenues is the most optimal site for the sculpture due to its central location and the sight lines at that area.  He noted that the Transportation Commission had done a study of the area and their conclusion was that placement of the artwork would not present any additional traffic hazard.  Mr. Pell said that the Village and the Committee would very much appreciate the Park District allowing the artwork to be placed in that location.

 There was extensive discussion regarding the possibility of vandalism, liability concerns, and the lighting of the artwork.  Mr. Pell explained that the artist has done several of these types of sculptures for other public places and there have been no particular problems with regard to vandalism or children getting hurt.  He noted that the design of the sculpture does not lend itself to climbing and that the material repels paint, acid, etc.  He also explained that the piece will be illuminated from the interior, which should not impact on the nearby residence.

 With regard to liability concerns if there should be an accident, Superintendent Grisamore pointed out that any agreement with the Village would address that issue.  He also noted that the Village would be responsible for maintenance of the artwork and the property.

 President   Marcus thanked Mr. Pell for his presentation.  He stated that the Park District will consult with counsel regarding the terms of an agreement with the Village and that Director Porter will be in touch with Village staff.

 

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

 Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,056,358.12, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

  Commissioner Cohen inquired about the purchase of a new trailer for moving mowing equipment to Mallinckrodt.

 Superintendent Lambrecht explained that special equipment is needed to handle the landscaping at Mallinckrodt and the old trailer, which is approximately 15 years old, would not accommodate it.

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

  

MALLINCKRODT PROPERTY:

 President Marcus noted that the deadline for receipt of proposals from developers is Friday, November 15th at 5:00 p.m.  He stated that several groups of developers have toured the building, and it is hoped that more than one proposal will be received  by Friday’s deadline.  All of the potential developers will be required to provide an executive summary, which will be made available to the general public. President Marcus suggested that the Park District and the Village of Wilmette schedule a special joint meeting early in December to give the public an opportunity to comment on the executive summaries before there is a final selection of a developer. This would provide sufficient time to select a developer prior to early February when a decision regarding the $4.5 million taxable debt certificates will have to be made.  The consensus of the Board was that such a meeting should be held.  Commissioner Cossarek suggested that the Board meet in executive session prior to the public meeting to review any proposals which are received.  After discussion, it was agreed to look at whatever proposals are received and make a decision at that time whether an executive session is necessary before the public meeting.  It was determined to schedule the special joint meeting on either the first Monday or Tuesday of December.  Director Porter will check with the Village to establish a convenient date.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

  Parks and Recreation   --  Committee Chair Wolff reported that the Committee met on October 21st.  The Committee reviewed the 2002 Summer Camp Report and staff noted that the total number of campers increased from last year by nine percent and that the camps were a great success.

 Commissioner Wolff stated that in reviewing the proposed 2003 Recreation Fund Budget, staff reported that there are reductions in revenue in fitness and some other areas.  It was noted that there has been an approximate decline of ten percent in fitness membership, much of which is attributed to the opening of the Lifetime Fitness facility in Skokie,   which has impacted all of the park districts and fitness centers in the area.

 Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Recreation Program fees as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

  Commissioner Miller expressed concerns about raising the fees at the fitness center when membership is declining.  He felt this could have a negative impact on attracting new members and membership renewals.

During discussion, it was noted that with the decline in membership, the fitness center is actually at the optimum number of members for its size and type.  Also, the Fitness Center Club fees, even with the increase, are less than at most of the surrounding park districts and fitness centers in the area. It was also noted that some members have already come back to the center from Lifetime Fitness. Superintendent Grisamore pointed out that there are ongoing marketing and promotions at the fitness center to attract new members and keep current members, and staff is always working on marketing and incentives.

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

 Commissioner Wolff further reported that the Committee reviewed the proposed 2003 Lakefront Budget.  Staff reported that the beach benefited from the sale of combination passes due to the opening of the new aquatic center.  However, overall beach attendance was lower this season as compared to 2001, which was also attributed to the opening of the new pool.

 Commissioner Wolff moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Lakefront Swimming and Sailing Fees as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

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

 

Golf/Restaurant Operations --  In Committee Chair Crowley’s absence, Commissioner Cossarek reported that the Committee held the annual golf users meeting on October 26th.  The golfers who attended the meeting felt that in general, the golf course had a very good year.  The main area of concern is still the golf reservation system.

 Commissioner Cossarek further reported that after the users meeting, the Committee held the regular meeting. The 2002 golf report was reviewed.    A memo from Superintendent Grisamore which outlined eight recommendations for the 2003 golf operation, was also reviewed. The Committee held lengthy discussion regarding the recommendations.  After lengthy discussion on the concept of reserved time at the course, its beginning and ending dates, and the number of reserved times per week  allotted to a golfer, the Committee directed golf staff to work with the WGA to establish the amount of time needed per week by each league and discuss with the leagues the concept of contraction to two days per week and the ending of all reserved play around Labor Day.   Staff will report back to the Committee on these discussions.  The rest of the recommendations contained in the memo were approved by the Committee.

 Commissioner Cossarek added that the Committee reviewed the 2003 Golf/Restaurant Budget.  Superintendent Grisamore reported that the proposed budget is predicated on 45,000 rounds of play and that final rounds of golf for 2002 should exceed 47,000.  There was lengthy discussion regarding the proposed $200 increase for Unlimited Play Memberships.  It was agreed that the Committee will meet and discuss revisions to the operating policies for 2004 that would be equitable for the golfers, but would still be acceptable for the golf operation financially.

 Commissioner Cossarek moved and Commissioner Cohen seconded a motion  to approve the 2003 Golf fees as recommended by the Golf/Restaurant Operations Committee.

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

 

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Carlson reported that the Committee met on October 30th.  The Committee reviewed correspondence from residents regarding recommendations for the pool.  The Committee and staff agreed that lap lanes should not be restricted to adult swimmers.  Use should be determined by ability.  The Committee reviewed the 2002 Pool Report.  It was noted that the first year of operation was very successful and that over 160,000 customers enjoyed the new facility.

Superintendent Grisamore referred to an article in the Best of Aquatics Magazine which named the Centennial Family Aquatic Center as one of the best international aquatic facilities.

Commissioner Carlson further reported that due to concerns expressed by several residents about the price of non-resident daily pool fees, the Committee reviewed the daily admission fee for guests of Wilmette residents.  It was decided to implement a new guest fee of $7.50, which is higher than the resident $6.00 daily fee, but less than the non-resident $12.00 fee.  After extensive discussion, the Board agreed to the Committee’s recommendation.

Commissioner Carlson added that the Committee reviewed the proposed 2003 budget which is predicated on a ten percent decrease in season pass and daily admissions revenue resulting from being the second year of operation.  Recommended fees for the facility include a 25% increase in non-resident passes and an increase in swim lesson fees necessary because of the number of staff required at the new facility.

Commissioner Carlson further reported that the Committee reviewed and approved the 2003 Ice Budget. The proposed fees, which include a $10.00 per hour increase in the ice contract charges, which will be passed on to the contract holders in the spring/summer season.  The Committee also reviewed the proposed 2003 tennis budget.  The proposed tennis fees include increases in membership fees along with increases in private lesson and group lesson fees.

Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Centennial Pool fees as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

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

 Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Centennial Ice fees as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

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

 Commissioner Carlson moved and Commissioner Cossarek seconded a motion to approve the 2003 Centennial Tennis fees as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

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

 

Financial Planning & Policy --   Committee Chair Miller reported that the Committee met immediately prior to the Board meeting.  The 2002 tax levy and the special revenue budgets were discussed.  The tax levy ordinance will be adopted at the December Board Meeting and a public hearing will be scheduled.

 Commissioner Miller also reported that the Financial Planning Committee is recommending that a budget workshop be held the first week in January at the Lakeview Center.  It was agreed to schedule the workshop as a separate meeting to give the Board more time to review the budget.  Commissioner Miller requested that all commissioners contact the Director’s office regarding their availability so the Budget Workshop can be scheduled.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 Commissioner Cohen moved and Commissioner Carlson seconded a motion to approve a reimbursement not to exceed $2,800 to Commissioner Cossarek for expenses related to IAPD and NRPA meetings. President Marcus stated that he feels that Commissioner Cossarek’s involvement in the IAPD and NRPA are very valuable to the Wilmette Park District.  She keeps the Board apprised of legislation and information relating to park districts statewide and nationally.  Commissioner Wolff added that Commissioner Cossarek is an excellent ambassador for the Wilmette Park District.

There was discussion about participation of commissioners in seminars and workshops offered by the various organizations affiliated with the Park District.  Commissioner Cossarek encouraged the commissioners to attend the upcoming IAPD/IAPD Annual Conference held in January.  It was noted that all commissioners are entitled to up to $500.00 per year for registration fees.  President Marcus asked the Financial Planning & Policy Committee to review this policy to see if the amount should be increased.

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

 

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

 

                                                Minutes approved on December 9, 2002