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, OCTOBER 11, 2010
______________________________________________________________________ 

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 O’Malley called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

PRESENT: President Dennis O’Malley; Commissioners James Brault, James Crowley, Darrell Graham, David Miller, Michael Murdock, and Henry Wolff; Secretary/Director Thomas Grisamore

ABSENT: None

STAFF: Superintendents Bingham, Bowen, Lambrecht, and Wilson; Communications Manager Donoghue

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Commissioner Murdock asked that the last two lines on page 3 be deleted and in their place the following sentence: “He believes that hearings would provide valuable information that would be necessary prior to a Board vote on a paddle tennis facility.”

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve as amended the minutes of the September 13, 2010 Regular Board Meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.


COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE
President O’Malley acknowledged receipt of the following correspondence:
 
…Letter from Thomas Kolk, Glenview Park District’s Risk Manager, thanking Manager of Recreation Services Jeff Groves for his assistance with one of their senior bus trips at the last minute.

The following people sent emails or letters regarding staffing at the golf course: Elizabeth Burton, Diane E. Charhut, Kathy Clark, Joanne Crawford, Jean Dooley, William F. Lemieux, Ann McArthur, Robert McArthur, Carole and Jim Morrissey, and Leila Winton

President O’Malley referred the correspondence to the Golf Operations Committee.

Commissioner Murdock stated he received a number of positive comments on the Park District’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. and wanted to make sure everyone knew there are additional performances this weekend and he strongly encouraged everyone to see it. Commissioner Murdock also stated the weather was wonderful this past weekend and it was great to see everyone at the lakefront and enjoying our other parks during this nice fall weather.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS
Dale Laackman and Student Government Participants from St. Francis Xavier School, Wilmette; Lakefront Commission Members Brian Maloney, Christy Coughlin, Lisa Williams, Robin Baugher, and Julie Wolf.

STUDENT GOVERNMENT 
Shown below is the complete list of St. Francis students and their Park District counterparts:

 Elected Officials:
 Board President   Lane Ehlman
 Board Vice President  Annie Lawler
 Commissioner    Dylan Flanagan
 Commissioner   Brendan Watts
 Commissioner   Ellen Conway
 Commissioner   Clare Sargent
 Commissioner   Michael Burke

 Appointed Officials:
 Executive Director   Annie Hasson
 Supt. of Recreation   Colin Van Balen
 Supt. of Facilities   Jack Josellis
 Supt. of Parks & Planning  Riley Miller
 Supt. of Finance   Matt Mah
 
 Concerned Citizens
      Patrick Fuller
      Sarah Langill
      Colin Richards
      Molly Buehler
      Keenan Ryan
      Peter Komlofske
      Robert Schaupp
      Joe Van Horn

President O’Malley stated on behalf of the entire Board that this is one of our favorite nights of the year when we are able to meet with the youth of Wilmette who participate in the Student Government Program.

Director Grisamore added he believes this will be the 38th or 39th year the League of Women Voters has sponsored this program which is now called the League of Student Government Leaders. The Park District has worked with St. Francis Xavier for the past five or six years and it has been a pleasure to work with them since they have always worked very hard and enthusiastically. Some good ideas have been generated from this program that have eventually become reality such as the skate park and a water park at Centennial. Staff has a lot of fun with the program and we thank everyone who participates. This year we not only have students as staff counterparts but also “concerned citizens” who will be involved with the mock board meeting. This helps to get more of the students involved which is a very positive result. President O’Malley then administered the Oath of Office to the students.


LAKEFRONT COMMISSION
Director Grisamore stated the formation of the Lakefront Commission is being held tonight which is the next step in the Lakefront Master Plan process that actually began a couple of years ago when preliminary evaluations were conducted by JJR Architects. At tonight’s meeting, the Board will appoint a commission which will assist staff in the entire process of gathering input from the community on what they would like to see in conjunction with what staff has already recognized as areas needing to be addressed. It is hoped to come up with a master plan which will lead the District for the next 50 years since the lakefront is one of the District’s best assets. Terry Porter, the former Park District Director, has volunteered to be Chair of the commission and Steve Wilson will be the District’s staff representative as far as working with the commission along with Superintendents Kathy Bingham and Bill Lambrecht.

Superintendent Wilson added that over the last 24 months staff has been soliciting the community for volunteers to serve on the commission. There are 15 individuals including Terry who have graciously offered their time and talents. The members will help facilitate our public meetings and input and help to advise the Board on the best way to maintain our “crown jewel”.

Terry Porter addressed the Board stating that five of the members are present tonight:  Brian Maloney, Christy Coughlin, Lisa Williams, Robin Baugher, and Julie Wolf. Everyone is looking forward to the process even though it is not yet known where it will lead. A lot of good information has already been provided and it will be passed along to the entire commission. The first meeting will take place next Tuesday, October 19, at 7 pm at Lakeview Center. Director Grisamore stated that all meetings are public although the first two meetings are more organizational in nature.

Terry added the commission will be following the requirements of the State of Illinois Open Meetings Act and all notices will be posted. At this point he wanted to emphasize that nothing has been decided yet and there are no recommendations on the table at this time. The main purpose of the commission is to review and come up with some recommendations for the Park Board and obtain as much community input as possible from all areas of Wilmette. His experience has also been that when people start discussing the issues you realize there are a lot of different areas of expertise. Director Grisamore stated a letter will be sent out to every resident in Wilmette informing them of the dates and locations for the public workshops that will be held in November.

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to appoint
Robin Baugher, Beth Beucher, Christy Coughlin, William Daniels, Elaine Fandell, Karen Glennemeier, Laura Hine, Cary Kochman, Brian Maloney, Glen Noren, Terry Porter, Charlie Shea, Lisa Williams, Julie Wolf, and Chris Wright  to serve on the Lakefront Master Plan Commission.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

President O’Malley commented that he appreciates the residents coming out to support something of this nature. The issue is very important for our future and even though everyone’s time is valuable, their volunteer service is very much appreciated.

Commissioner Brault asked if someone wants to join the commission, would the District have space for them to join. Superintendent Wilson replied that the Board would need to make that determination but what he has been telling people is that there are currently no openings. However, there is already someone who is an alternate. Further down the road, it might not be beneficial to have someone new since they would be arriving mid-stream in the process. As previously mentioned, the public will still be able to make comments.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST
Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,441,801.07, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

Commissioner questioned the first two items totaling $20,000 on the Voucher List for the network administrator. Director Grisamore explained this was a summary of procurement card purchases and the amount of $20,000 was for the purchase of network supplies due to the District working through several issues with AT&T. Superintendent Wilson added our average monthly network costs are $8,000.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported two Committee meetings have been held since the last Board meeting on October 4 and October 11 before tonight’s Board meeting. The purpose of the October 4 meeting was to discuss and come up with a recommendation for the tax levy. The Committee was presented with three issues: 1) How much would the tax need to be increased to maintain current fund balances; 2) what would be needed to hit the maximum tax cap levy of 2.7% plus an additional incremental amount for purposes of new property, and 3) set a tax cap levy of 2.7% but forego any increase on any new property. The Committee is recommending that there be a tax levy of 2.7%, that there be no levy to account for new property and that the Uniform Fee Increases be set at 1.5%. After some debate and discussion, the Committee made a decision, although not unanimously, to recommend an increase in the tax levy by 2.7% and to bring this issue up for discussion at tonight’s Board meeting.

Director Grisamore stated the Board is not required at this point to take a formal vote on this matter but rather to reach a consensus on the tax levy recommendation so that staff can move forward with the budget process based on that recommendation.
 
Commissioner Murdock stated he was involved in the two Financial Planning meetings and appreciated all of the analyses. Last year the Board chose to not raise user fees and there was no increase in the levy. In light of the economy over the last couple of years, this was a prudent decision. The question now is what to do with these two categories that are actually our only two sources of revenue. Along with the three options additional possibilities were also reviewed. One of the items the Committee discussed was what the impact would be on our reserve funds and he believes that with a 2.7% increase in the levy and a 1.5% increase in user fees the 1.5% would have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. He doesn’t think we will raise user fees across the board but that will need to be reviewed. As we go through the budget process, the fund balances will be at approximately where they are at the end of this current year. He feels that in 2011 the Board should consider a fourth alternative as well which is to increase user fees by 3%, as was originally discussed at the Committee level, which would allow the District to leave the levy flat in the coming year. This is something we should consider in light of the economic climate and the impact on property values over the last couple of years.

Commissioner Miller stated that after discussion the Committee decided to go with a lower tax increase as well as a lower increase in fees. His argument with the 3% fee increase is that the Village of Wilmette should have issued bonds to fund the sewer project and then the repayment of those bonds would have been a part of a person’s tax bill that they could at least write off on their income taxes. Instead, they are consistently raising the fees associated with sewer service which residents do not like. He thinks the District would be better off with raising the real estate taxes to the maximum level and lowering the fees.

Commissioner Graham indicated he has discussed fees and the elasticity of demand with respect to fees with a number of staff who feel there are limits to how high we can raise fees. He has also noticed some demand decreasing over the last year and that there is some concern that if fees are increased too much, we will have even less in 2011 than in 2010. In addition, when looking at what is happening with the incremental increases of taxes, that money is actually being allocated to the Corporate, Liability Insurance, the IMRF/Social Security, and Audit/Security funds. The money that is coming in from incremental taxes are actually being used for overhead and other expenses for the District. There is a small portion of that, approximately 7%, which is being used for recreational programs. So to place the burden on users of these programs of this incremental amount does not seem like a fair allocation of the burden. Most of the money being used is ultimately to maintain parks and facilities which is something that can be spread among all people in the community. No one wants taxes to go up and we are looking at ways to reduce expenses and costs which has been a directive of the Committee and Board for some time. At the same time the District has two major projects coming up – lakefront and golf – and we need to be thinking about how we will fund those projects. There are also some significant infrastructure issues we need to prepare for and that needs to be taken into account. He believes the recommendation of the Committee is a reasonable compromise.

Commissioner Murdock agreed that we should be very careful and look at the other side of the argument. However, since fees were not raised in 2010, a 3% fee increase would still be reasonable. The likelihood of the increase having a significant impact on program demand is probably limited.

Commissioner Graham added he thinks this is a fair compromise of how we are allocating the increase in costs. If we were to allocate fees, the burden would then only be on users of certain types of activities within the District since there are many services we provide that are not fee generated such as the maintenance of our fields and facilities although they still have expenses associated with their operation. By increasing taxes only a portion as well as fees with an even lesser portion it would work out that about half of the increase would effectively come from fee generating sources and about half of the increase would come from non-fee generating sources such as taxes which is an appropriate balance between fee and non-fee activities. Commissioner Graham concluded that he feels this is a balanced approach in allocating our revenue.

President O’Malley agreed with Commissioner Murdock that the economy is still an issue so he is hesitant to raise taxes. Director Grisamore pointed out that staff is currently in the middle of the budget process and we need to know relative to fees where we stand. Also, a consensus from the Board is needed to determine what the tax levy will allow us to do in order to move forward in the budget process. As a result, staff needs a direction from the Board regarding the proposed fees for budget preparation.

Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a procedural motion to add a motion to the agenda for approval of the Fiscal Year 2011 Uniform Fee Increases as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to approve the Fiscal Year 2011 Uniform Fee Increases of 1.5% based on the recommendation of the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Graham, Miller, and Wolff; voting No – Commissioners Crowley, Murdock, and O’Malley. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Parks & Recreation Committee – Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee met on September 20 and discussed the successful summer season. The lakefront had a very strong year and our summer programs were largely filled including the Aquatics Camp and Sailing. The budget process has started and the Committee approved the Motor Pool and Central Maintenance fund budgets. There are over 1,500 children in fall soccer this year although the fall programs are already nearing their conclusion. A number of lakefront permits were reviewed and approved. Camp evaluations were sent out electronically to over 1,900 via our RecTrac system. Discussion also took place on extending the controlled swimming beach at Gillson and further discussion will follow at a future Committee meeting. Commissioner Crowley added that a petition from the sailing beach patrons will be presented to the Parks & Recreation Committee requesting an extension of the sailing season.


Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Committee met on Saturday, October 9 and the Annual Users Meeting was held. In addition, Greg Martin from Martin Design architects presented what was essentially the first phase of our golf master plan. The meeting was well attended with members of both golf associations. Comments were very positive and everyone was very upbeat. The course is currently in great shape. Rounds of play total approximately 39,000 which is up 3.5% from last year at this time. Some maintenance projects are being completed on the course from now until the end of the year.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Miller reported the Committee did not meet in September.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Director Grisamore stated that the April 5th consolidated election is approaching and candidates have been allowed to begin circulating petitions on September 21. Anyone who has an interest in running for the Park Board can go online and the web site is www.elections.il.gov. The web site also has available the Candidate’s Guide which contains all the forms and regulations. Nominating petitions can be submitted from December 13-20 at the Park District Administration Office.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS
Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to appoint Commissioner Miller as delegate and Commissioner Graham as alternate to represent the Wilmette Park District at the IAPD Annual Business Meeting to be held on January 29, 2011.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Miller seconded a motion to adjourn to Closed Session for the discussion of the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the District in accordance with Section 2(c)(1) and discussion of the employment of a specific employee of the District in accordance with Section 2(c)(5) of the Open Meetings Act.
 
By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

The meeting adjourned to closed session at 8:15 pm.

The Regular Board Meeting was reconvened at 9:16 pm.
 
Commissioner O’Malley moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Closed Session of September 13, 2010.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, Murdock, O’Malley and Wolff; voting No -- None. Absent – None; Motion carried.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:17 pm.

 MINUTES APPROVED ON NOVEMBER 8, 2010.