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, DECEMBER 5, 2011
______________________________________________________________________ 

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.

PRESENT: President James Brault; Commissioners Gary Benz, James Crowley, Darrell Graham, Michael Murdock, John Olvany, and Shelley Shelly; Secretary/Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem

ABSENT: None

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

President Brault called the 2011 Cook County Truth-In-Taxation Public Hearing to order at 7:30 pm. He stated the Park Board will now hold the hearing on the 2011 proposed tax levy for the Wilmette Park District. He asked Superintendent of Finance Ken Eppelheimer to explain the reasons for the levy and any proposed increases.

Superintendent Eppelheimer indicated that tax levies are really comprised of several different layers of taxes – the tax-capped amounts, non-tax-capped amounts and amounts derived from funding ordinances such as debt issuance. The Park District’s 2011 tax levy includes $1,622,600 for general corporate purposes such as Park Maintenance and Administration Support; $300,000 for Recreation purposes such as special events and no-fee-based recreation; $636,000 for Social Security Tax purposes to fund the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare; $835,000 for Illinois Municipal Retirement purposes to fund the employer’s portion of the retirement funding; $50,000 for Security purposes to fund a portion of security and police aides at various parks (Specifically Gillson and Langdon); $525,000 for Liability Insurance purposes to fund the District’s risk management program including property and liability insurance and workers’ compensation claims; and $24,000 for Auditing purposes to fund the annual review of the District’s accounting records and audit report.

He stated that all of these areas make up the aggregate tax levy which is capped at the lower of 5% or Consumer Price Index from the prior year which would be 1.5% for the 2011 Tax Levy which is an increase of about $59,000 for a total of $3.992 million.

The non-tax capped funds include $615,000 for special recreation purposes which funds the District’s contribution to the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRSA) and fees as well as funding some of the District’s costs for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The District has had an ADA audit of its facilities and will need to make changes in some areas to allow better accessibility. This brings the sub-total levy to $4.6 million or an increase of 3.6% over the 2010 levy.

Lastly, the District will levy $3,711,426 for principal and interest payments on bond indebtedness and to retire debt issued as part of its funding for capital improvements. These bond ordinances are already on file with Cook County. All totaled, the 2011 levy is an increase of $227,344 from the 2010 levy or an increase of 2.8% due to inflation and other costs increases.

President Brault stated that all persons desiring to be heard will now have an opportunity to present written or oral testimony with respect to the 2011 proposed tax levy. He asked if there were any written or oral comments from the Commissioners and there were none. He also asked if there were any written or oral comments from the public and there were none.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to adjourn the 2011 Truth In Taxation public hearing of the Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

President Brault called the December regular meeting of the Wilmette Park District Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:46 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the November 14, 2011 Regular Board Meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE

….Email to Commissioner Shelly from Christopher J. Wieczorek, 736 10th Street, Wilmette, regarding family swim times at the Centennial Family Aquatic Center.

President Brault referred the email to the Centennial Operations Committee.

…Email to Steve Wilson and Bill Lambrecht from Ken Goldstein asking that the Park District reconsider the closing of the ice rink at West Park.

President Brault referred the email to the Parks & Recreation Committee.

VISITORS: Cameron Bielat, Tom Elliott, Fred Fitzsimmons, Candice Luglio, Elaine Fandell, William Daniels, Brian Moloney, Richard Sobel, Charles Shea, Mary Shea

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:
Charles Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue stated he is member of the Lakefront Commission and that he had a letter addressed to the Board which he asked be included in the Lakefront Commission binder which he received on Friday, December 2, as well as another letter relative to lakefront issues.

Fred Fitzsimmons, 2229 Crestview thanked the Board and stated he is a 33-year resident of Wilmette. He and his family have used virtually every service and amenity offered by the Park District and is very satisfied with what has been done during over the years. Following the Lakefront public workshops and meetings at Lakeview Center, he submitted a 20-page report with recommendations that he understands were submitted to the Park Board in addition to the report and all the letters from residents. He stated if the Board has not yet read all of the correspondence, he would encourage them to do so. He believes that the lakefront should be the #1 priority for the next five years at least since it is Wilmette’s most treasured resource and warrants attention. He believes the most important issue at the lakefront is control of access and safety in addition to the beach house, fencing, etc., and feels that a 50-year project would be impractical.  Al of the major items that need to be done to enhance the whole area could be done via Park District capital expenditures and an operating budget. It could also be done in a five-year period which would exclude the development of new activities and facilities elsewhere in the community during that time but would still allow for maintenance and improvements for facilities as warranted. He feels that some of his ideas will not be accepted by the Board because they are too aggressive or have already been addressed. He also made suggestions that had not been included in the recommendation to the Board. His feeling is that we have only one opportunity to do this right and the community will have a low tolerance if the Park District decides to wait instead of doing the project now.

He added that the Board should choose to preserve the quaintness and serviceability of the existing beach house and the sailing operation, concessions, roadways, and other amenities of the lakefront. However, they should not refer to temporary fencing for the south beach area but instead should come up with a solution to have safe access for the entire south beach area. There is some fairly substantial reconfiguration that needs to be done especially in light of the unfortunate incident that occurred this summer since temporary or lack of fencing will not do the job. The community needs a visionary commitment to do what is necessary to improve and protect Wilmette’s most treasured asset and he intends to remain fully involved.

President Brault thanked Mr. Fitzsimmons for his comments and interesting ideas and stated the Board continues to review the issues. The Board also received his communications and as the process continues his thoughts will be included.

Richard Sobel, 507 Lake Avenue thanked the Park Board for the wonderful parks system and stated he grew up in Wilmette and has enjoyed the lakefront which is truly a treasure. He stated he was part of a group that wrote to the Board and the Wilmette Life regarding two issues at the beach from last year. The first issue was what he regards as the imposition of the photo ID system at the beach and he provided a copy of a letter he had previously sent to the Board but did not receive a response. The second piece was a guest essay he wrote which was signed by two other Wilmette residents about not implementing a photo ID system at the lakefront. He added that the beaches belong to everyone, should be widely accessible to as many people as possible, and that there is no reason to wall-off more areas of the public beach or make people provide proof of payment.

Mr. Sobel agreed that the problems with the pier do need to be addressed as do the currents around it. Public access to the entire Illinois beachfront is in essence like a public sidewalk and people should be able to walk and wade in the water. He also wants to make a correction to the September 15th Lakefront Commission meeting minutes which stated he felt the pier should be removed which is not what he said. There were also other statements in the minutes that did not did not accurately summarize his position. The minutes for the October 11th Lakefront Commission clearly indicate that the commission agreed to recommend starting with option C which was that there will be no new fences. So the commission at that public meeting voted to not have additional fencing and the appropriate approach to solve the problem of the pier would be to possibly have more lifeguards on the beach. However, he is asking that we do not fence it off to keep people out. He is also concerned that the motion on tonight’s Board agenda to accept the Lakefront Commission Report tonight is listed as a voice vote instead of a roll call vote. He summarized by stating that he shares the Park District’s interest and appreciation for the lakefront and would like to see it preserved for the people of Wilmette. In addition, he also requests the removal of the lakefront photo ID requirement.

Cameron Bielat and Tom Elliot stated they are from the Sheridan Shores Sailing Club of Wilmette and are here tonight to introduce themselves and thank the Park Board and staff for approving their request for a special access for a three-day sailing event they held in July. It was a huge success mostly because of the access provided by the Park District and the 71 teams who participated raved about it. Unfortunately, the weather was not as cooperative with challenging conditions and heavy winds.

Commissioner Crowley added that he was down at Gillson that weekend and everyone he talked to had very positive comments about the event and that everyone was very well behaved. Mr. Elliot stated he hopes it provided an attraction for the regular beach and park goers. Commissioner Olvany added that his children watched the event and his daughter now wants to start sailing. Mr. Elliot summarized by saying the Park District was great to work with and the access provided to us made the event possible.

Candice Luglio, 1239 Maple Avenue stated she hopes that the process which was undertaken in regard to the public access at the main pool of Centennial could be redone or revised. The first notice she received indicating that there was going to be a decision made about this issue was at 4 pm via email on a Thursday for a meeting on Monday at 6:30 pm. She believes that this late notice biases the outcome of the response toward the status quo especially when considering the population that is impacted by this topic. As a result, she would be willing to help with an online survey or consult with a staff person to make that process more systematic and involve all sectors of the population that use the pool. She wanted to attend tonight’s meeting since she has concerns that the next Centennial meeting is not until January and is afraid that a policy might get “set in stone” by then. Commissioner Crowley indicated to Ms. Luglio that her email had been received and is included in his Centennial Committee report. President Brault added that actually the entire Park Board has seen her email. 

Mary Shea, 735 Michigan Avenue, stated she has been a neighbor of Gillson Park for 34 years and submitted two communications to the Lakefront Commission that were included in the binder. She attended the meetings as a visitor and is at tonight’s meeting to regrettably report the omission twice of a unanimous vote taken by the commission at the October meeting and then again at the November meeting which recommended the inclusion of a comprehensive and coherent professional landscape plan for Gillson and Langdon parks. At the time, this was not seen as a controversial idea by the commission members and was quickly agreed to both times as a responsible and intelligent stewardship of our parks. She urges the Park Board to engage in a professional landscape person or persons to participate in the development of the lakefront plan whose focus is the park as a unique entity deserving specific attention and care. There are some areas that need specific attention including the parking lot and the picnic area on the west side of it, the machinery storage shed, and what looks like septic fields going up the hill to the street.

President Brault stated that when the Lakefront Master Plan was distributed to the Board the item for a landscaping professional was omitted from the binder but this has since been included and was approved by a 14-0 vote. Ms. Shea stated the Commission had to vote twice on this item and the second time it was restored but there is still some resistance to a landscape plan on some people’s part. President Brault replied he wanted her to know that what the Board is seeing right now is the unanimous recommendation for a landscape professional. Ms. Shea responded she is very pleased that this item has been approved and included in the report and stated that the Park Board deserves and needs to know what has been advised by the commission in regards to professional landscaping.

Ms. Shea stated there is a strong interest in building expressed by staff, and JJR was invoked to having answers to the plan but there has been no mention of a landscape plan as part of their planning process. The commission has been told they are only an advisory body but the Park Board deserves and needs to know what they advised. The commission has been advised twice to have a landscape professional included as part of this process and she hopes that the Board makes that a part of the process.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:
Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,779,554.64, 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 Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

ACCEPTANCE OF LAKEFRONT COMMISSION REPORT

Terry Porter, 115 Seventeenth Street, Chair of the Lakefront Commission, thanked Ms. Shea for bringing to everyone’s attention the inclusion of a professional landscape designer into the Lakefront Plan and stated that the 14-0 vote was obviously not intended to be hidden from anybody. The problem was that this issue came up as a separate item to be added to the spreadsheet at the November meeting but was inadvertently omitted. He stated the not-yet-approved November minutes indicated that the vote was taken and he apologizes for that omission. He added that JJR is actually a landscape architectural firm and part of their charge was to develop a landscape plan and the commission wanted to confirm that.

Mr. Porter stated he is here tonight to present the Lakefront Commission Report to the Board and this represents the next step in the process which began in 2008 when the decision was made to retain JJR to work with the Park District on a lakefront master plan. Part of the contract was for the consultant to development three alternatives for the plan and as part of the information gathering process in the fall of 2010, the Board appointed a 15-member volunteer group of residents to assist in the development of the plan. The volunteers came from a variety of interests and diverse professional backgrounds and he recognized them as follows: Robin Baugher, Beth Beucher, Christy Coughlin, William Daniels, Elaine Fandell, Karen Glennmeier, Laura Hine, Cary Kochman, Brian Moloney, Glen Noren, Carol Shea, Lisa Williams, Chris Wright and himself. Mr. Porter stated he is pleased to present the report tonight. In addition, the commission members understand their role is advisory in nature and that any final decisions and recommendations made to the consultant would come from the Board since the contract is between the Park District and JJR. 

The first section of the report contains an Executive Summary of what the commission is recommending. The first phase of work began in October 2010 through February 2011 and this was considered the “education” phase. At that time a few professionals were brought in to talk about the legal and technical issues with JJR. In addition Charlene Holtz, the Park District’s attorney, was present at a meeting since there were questions about what we could do as far as restricting access or parking concerns. A lot of discussion centered on Phase 2 of the plan which was the community workshop portion of the plan. Members of the commission acted as facilitators for the two community workshops that were held in April 2011 and letters were sent to every household in Wilmette inviting them to participate which helped to make it as open of a process as possible. A total of 125 people attended the two workshops which was lower than anticipated but still a pretty good number. The summary of the workshops was prepared by JJR and it is included in Section 2 of the report.

The third phase of our work really began this fall from September through November when the commission participated in five meetings to develop a series of recommendations. As part of the Executive Summary, there is a chart which lists the 34 recommendations from the commission. It was a very aggressive meeting schedule in the fall to achieve these results although there were times when not all of the members were in attendance at every meeting. As a result and after going through the list of recommendations at the November 16th meeting, it was decided to let those commission members who were not present at the meetings to be able to vote electronically. The feeling was that since they were active participants throughout the whole process they should be allowed to cast their ballots and would result in a more comprehensive report since it represents the views of 14 people, not just 7 or 8. We didn’t want anyone to feel disenfranchised after they put so much time and effort into the process. It was also felt that at least one or maybe more members might be uncomfortable with signing off on the report if their votes weren’t counted. The issue was that the electronic votes tipped the vote from one decision to another on the issue of fencing. Before the electronic votes were counted, there 5 voting in favor of enhanced enforcements and no fencing and 4 who were in favor of some type of temporary fencing. In all cases everyone who voted on fencing was concerned about the aesthetics. However, when adding in the electronic votes, there were now 9 in favor of some type of fence and 5 still in favor of no fencing. What resulted from the electronic voting was that it added 5 votes to the temporary fence issue.

Mr. Porter indicated there was a strong consensus on the commission’s part that there was a need to upgrade the existing elements at the lakefront but there should not be a major expansion. The commission felt very strongly that the improvements should not change the basic character of Gillson and Langdon Parks. There was a strong consensus on the need to better control the overlook area where unauthorized swimming is a common occurrence but the commission members were split on how to do that. Some issues not addressed included the Wilmette Harbor, the Elmwood Avenue right of-way, and for a variety of reasons we did not get into the financing or phasing portion of the plan since it was determined that there just wasn’t enough information to know what was on the Park Board’s capital list.

Mr. Porter stated he has been living and working in Wilmette for 35 years and is always amazed with the dedication and professionalism of the residents. He thanked his fellow members of the commission who put in a lot of time and effort in presenting this report. Thanks also go to the Park District senior staff who served as resources. The next steps will consist of JJR developing three alternatives based on Park Board direction and then the commission as a group would be willing to share their opinions on the three versions of the master plan once they have been developed.

President Brault stated that on behalf of the entire Board he would like to thank Mr. Porter for directing this effort. He knows it was a long and sometimes arduous task and the Board appreciates all the work that had been to help us assimilate all the information. Thanks also go to all of the commission members who had to deal with several complex issues and he complimented them on the way they attempted to resolve them. He again thanked the commission for the information which will make the Board’s job easier as the process moves along.

Commissioner Olvany asked why the historical surveys from 1981 and 1991 were included in the report and what the conclusions were. Mr. Porter thanked Commissioner Olvany for asking that question since he neglected to talk about these reports earlier. He stated that the last two sections of the report included all the minutes of the meetings and all the correspondence. These items were included since they are considered part of the public record. In addition, some of the issues that were discussed this year were discussed in 1981 and 1991 as well so it was thought that it was time to finally do something about the overlook area which has been a real problem. He also thinks that the pier, while it’s not part of the Park District’s responsibilities, is also an issue that needs to be addressed.

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to accept the Lakefront Commission Report.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met before the Board meeting tonight and discussed a number of issues that are all motions to be considered tonight. The first issue was the consideration of the current debt issuance of $280,000 for 2012. The second item was the fund balance policy and discussion took place on the different ways of handling the fund balance and how to afford the fund while possibly reducing the fund balance. The third issue was the tax levy ordinance and the final issue was the tax levy aggregate reduction resolution.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2011-O-3, AN ORDINANCE LEVYING AND ASSESSING THE TAXES OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE YEAR 2011 AS RECOMMENDED BY THE Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2011-R-13, AN ORDINANCE DIRECTING THE MANNER OF ANY REDUCTION OF THE AGGREGATE EXTENSION OF THE 2011 TAX LEVY OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE PROPERTY TAX EXTENSION LIMITATION LAW  as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2011-R-14, A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE DECLARATION OF TRUST OF THE ILLINOIS INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS TRUST AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION THEREOF, AND AUTHORIZING OFFICERS TO ACT ON BEHALF OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

Director Wilson stated the purpose of this resolution is to approve a carryover from a fund the District currently uses which has now merged with another fund resulting in the formation of a new fund. In essence, the District is staying with the same fund but it now has a slightly different base.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

The final issue discussed at the meeting was that Director Wilson, Superintendent Eppelheimer, and other staff were recognized by the Governmental Finance Officers Association (GFOA) by qualifying for a Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting. Director Wilson stated this was the fourth year the District has received this award.

Commissioner Graham indicated that the next motion pertains to the District’s fund balance and net assets policy.

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the Fund Balance/Net Assets Policy as discussed at the Financial Planning and Policy Committee meeting which sets an overall minimal fund balance and sets categories of presentation for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in order to comply with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Pronouncement 54.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the 2012 Regular Board meeting schedule as follows: January 9, February 13, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12, December 10 with the Annual Meeting scheduled for May 14 immediately following the Regular Board meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

President Brault added that the Annual Budget Workshop for the Board has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 4, at 6:30 pm at the Mallinckrodt Center.

Parks & Recreation Committee – Committee Chair Murdock reported the Committee met on Monday, November 21, and a lengthy discussion took place on the sailing beach and sailing rules. The Committee had contemplated making some changes as a result of several incidents over the summer, one of which was when a staff member went into the water in a hazardous situation to rescue a distressed boater. Based on that and other factors, it was decided to invite the sailors to a committee meeting to hear what they think about the current policy as well as the proposed changes. After discussion, the Committee came up with several recommendations for 2012. The first recommendation is that regardless of conditions the District will not place any sailing restrictions on those sailors who are leasing space at the District’s beach. However, we will cease to call our boater’s assistance efforts a “rescue operation” and to reserve our aquatics boat for lessons, camps and rental fleet assistance. Finally, the US Coast Guard will be the first responder should a boater offshore be in distress which is in line with other lakefront sailing operations. This will be the policy moving forward and it was well received by the sailors.

Commissioner Murdock also reported that on Friday, November 11, the District had its first Daddy-Daughter Dance at Lakeview Center. It was such a success that another one is scheduled for Friday, February 10 at the golf course where there is more space available and he encouraged everyone in our community to participate. Also, at one of our recent Parks & Recreation meetings, the Committee discussed the possibility of holding a triathlon after a group presented a proposal. The Committee expressed openness to the proposal although there are still many questions. As a result, the group will be returning to the Committee with additional information. At this point it is unclear if they want to do this event in 2012 or 2013 so it is anticipated there will be additional conversations in the coming months.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Committee met on November 14. Tennis held its winter registration with 401 students signing up with a waiting list. The Mid-Winter Leisure Guide was mailed in mid-December with information on half-year memberships and mid-winter class listings. Registration will begin on January 3 and the basic lottery registration will be held on January 14. The tennis facility will be closed at 2 pm on Saturday, December 24, and 5 pm on Saturday, December 31 with the Holiday Pro Shop currently running through December 31.

At the ice rink, the Holiday Skating Exhibition will be held on Sunday, December 18, from 4-7 pm for skaters of all levels. The Loyola Hockey Tournament just wrapped up their season with 16 teams participating. A TGIF public skating session will be held this Friday from 7:30-9:30 pm and an additional TGIF with a DJ on the Fridays of January 13, February 17 and March 9. There will also be extended holiday skating hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve where there are usually at least a couple hundred skaters.

At the pool, a total of 140 letters have been mailed to last year’s employees inviting them to re-apply for 2012 summer positions. So far 35 letters have been received from returning staff. This past week eight emails were received from pool users including one from Candice Luglio who is in attendance at tonight’s meeting.

Chair Crowley stated that at the October Centennial meeting, the Committee voted to keep the pool schedule as it is currently laid out. They originally took this issue under consideration in August and staff was asked to elicit responses from our membership. The Committee continues to be open-minded about all issues concerning the pool and its staffing. There are six different users groups of the pool and this is one of those issues wherein if you give one group what they want it means that another group may have something taken away. As a result, it is not necessarily an easy decision to take a few lap lanes away and then negatively affect another group. It was a hard decision and it was a split vote among the Committee members. When asked at that meeting if there was room for the Committee to reconsider the issue, we stated we would gladly do so. Since the District received an additional seven or eight emails regarding this issue, it will be left on the table for further discussion.

President Brault stated that the next Centennial meeting would be held on Monday, January 9, before the Board meeting and this issue would be included as an agenda item. Chair Crowley added that another email would be sent out to our pool membership base as well as other concerned patrons who have contacted the District about this issue informing them that this topic will be included on the January 9, 2012 Centennial Committee meeting agenda. Commissioner Shelly agreed she thinks that people would be very happy that this issue is being revisited and she will inform people as well.

Golf Operations Committee – President Brault reported the Committee met on November 17 and the golf course season has essentially finished. Overall rounds were down for the season at 36,984 which is about 5,000 down from 2010 primarily due to the inclement weather. Most of the meeting was spent discussing the scope of the proposed Golf Master Plan. At the October meeting, the Committee created a survey that was then refined over the course of the month and sent out to over 500 registered golf users. By the time of the November meeting there were approximately 125 responses and he assumes that a few more have been received since then. Of note was that over 95% of the respondents indicated they wanted drainage conditions improved at the course. It is interesting to note that of that group almost 80% felt they would continue to play at the course whether or not any of the changes that are being contemplated in the master plan would be made. The golf survey is still available on-line for those who would like to comment on it.

As a result of the survey, the Committee considered a number of different approaches on how to improve the drainage and a line-item by line-item summary was provided and considered. After reviewing and discussing it with staff, The Committee rejected the proposal and asked our consultant to come back with a revised proposal for the first phase of the master plan which will focus primarily on drainage and to incorporate some of the elements that were included in the master plan as long as they help with the drainage. The Committee anticipates that the revised proposal will be presented to the Committee at its January meeting and hopefully at the following Board meeting there will be a recommendation made on what to consider in regard to the master plan. The Committee is not recommending anything in terms of either expenditure or scope but expects to do that next month.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Director Wilson stated that since it is December, the District is a fairly quiet right now. However, there are a lot of seasonal workshops and events going on and most of them are fully booked. Yesterday afternoon he had the pleasure of attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly redesigned Youth Warming House at Howard Park. The event was very well attended with over 40 people and special recognition was given to State Representative Daniel Bliss, Village Manager Chris Canning, and District 39 principals from both Highcrest and the Junior High. The place looked amazing in comparison to what it looked like before. The Center’s target audience is for children in late junior high or early high school and staff had the opportunity to meet the members of their board and staff at the event. Representatives of the Warming House came to the Park District asking for help in fixing up their roof, the HVAC system, etc., and our staff did a great job. In particular, thanks go to Bill Lambrecht and his staff including Jerry Ulrich, Ernie Josellis and Jamie Koppenhoefer. They did a great job on behalf of the Park District and everyone was very appreciative. We were also able to get a grant from Designs for Dignity headed up by Wilmette resident Diana Falanga to bring in some professional designers and have some furniture donated. It was a very nice event and he hopes everyone enjoys using the new space.

Director Wilson stated that the Leisure Guide for mid-winter class registration will be delivered to the post office on Tuesday, December 13 and will hopefully be delivered to everyone’s homes shortly thereafter. There will also be a copy of the brochure on the Park District’s web site by the end of this week. Registration begins immediately after the holidays on Tuesday, January 3, at 9 am. In addition, he hopes everyone has a safe and happy holiday.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Crowley stated that in attendance tonight is an employee who has been with the Park District for a very long time and we have been fortunate to have an employee such as Jim Scully. Director Wilson then proceeded to read Resolution 2011-R-15 which indicated that Jim has faithfully served the Park District since 1976 as a Gymnastics Coach and Gymnastics Supervisor during which time the District’s Gymnastics program has more than quadrupled, has become the ambassador to one of the District’s largest programs instructing participants from toddlers through high school, and that the Park Board on behalf of all Wilmette residents and users of the Park District’s Community Recreation Center programs does acknowledge and pay tribute to Jim for his contribution to recreation in Wilmette and expresses its sincere thanks and respect for him.

Jim Scully thanked the Board and stated that the Wilmette Park District is an exceptional place to work because of the Park Board members and staff and he feels blessed to have worked at the best park district in the country.

Commissioner Murdock stated he calculates that 18 members of his extended family have gone through the gymnastic program and they all had an exceptional experience thanks to Jim.

Commissioner Shelly thanked Jim for his years of service and finds it hard to believe that it was 35 years ago when she saw her friends go through the gymnastics program and now her children are enjoying the privilege of being there over the last 10 years. His presence at the facility will be missed.

President Brault thanked Jim and wished him the best of luck in the future.
 
Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2011-R-15, A RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE SERVICES OF JAMES SCULLY. 

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Murdock, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – None. Motion carried.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:43 pm.

MINUTES APPROVED JANUARY 9, 2012.