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 14, 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.

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

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

ABSENT: Commissioner Michael Murdock

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

President Brault provided an update on the advancement of the Thornwood Park natural ice surface project. He stated that at the last Board meeting, the project was approved by a 7-0 vote. The project was then submitted to the Village’s Zoning Board who met on November 2 and approved the seasonal variance for temporary low-level lighting at Thornwood by a 6-0 vote. The Village Board will be considering the recommendation from the Zoning Board on Tuesday, November 22. President Brault thanked staff and those residents who have supported the measure so far and hopes that the changes in the lighting hours will have addressed the concerns of some residents and that this will be a positive development for the Park District as well as Thornwood Park. He encouraged the residents to be a part of the process throughout the winter and particularly next spring when the season is reviewed and possible recommendations are made to make it even better.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2011 Regular Board Meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE

President Brault acknowledged receipt of correspondence from M.R. Crow, 1015 Greenleaf Avenue, in regard to the issues at the beach and President Brault referred the letter to the Parks & Recreation Committee. An email was received from Kathy Dodd asking about the possibility of installing bathrooms at Thornwood Park and the email was referred to the Parks & Recreation Committee. In addition, a letter was received from David Keenan thanking the Park District for the immediate removal of a diseased elm tree on MWRD land which is leased to the Park District. Lastly, a letter was received from Ellen Whittingham regarding fencing at Gillson Park which was also referred to the Parks & Recreation Committee.

Commissioner Crowley added that Kathy Hider had asked him about the snow removal at the bike path in the wintertime along the Western railroad tracks. Director Wilson explained that Ms. Hider is asking the Park District to do a better job of snow removal along that portion of the path in the winter for the joggers. Superintendent Lambrecht stated that the path is difficult to clear since there is a chain link fence on one side and private property fences on the other side which results in there being no place to move the snow. However, he will take another look at it this year.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:

Mr. David Raith stated that until recently he had lived at 1705 Forest Avenue and he was present tonight since he thought there would be discussion on the new procedures at the sailing beach. President Brault explained that those procedures would be discussed at the next Parks & Recreation Committee which will be held on Monday night, November 21, in the Training Room which is next to the Council Chambers in Village Hall.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,721,894.29, a copy of which is to be attached to and become a permanent part of the minutes of this meeting.

President Brault asked about the Tyler Technologies line item for consulting and the purchase of software and a micro-printer. Director Wilson explained that the District is converting its financial software to Tyler Technologies and a staff member of theirs was on-site for nine days and also purchased the printer at that time. We currently use a line-feed dot matrix printer for which we need to purchase card stock. With this new, technologically-updated printer we can buy blank stock and print both the template as well as the check information directly on the paychecks. The software will not be directly integrated with RecTrac but would have ability to output the revenues that we take in through RecTrac on a daily basis and upload them into our financial software. In summary, it will now be an electronic process as opposed to a manual process and staff will be able to create a file as a download and then an upload it though a fast and easy process.

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

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met on November 8 and discussed a number of items including the five-year Capital Improvement Plan with a lot of discussion focused on two major projects that had been discussed over the last several months – the replacement of the chiller system at Centennial Ice and the Golf Master Plan. Discussion at the meeting centered on what should be done at the golf course and what the budget should for these two items and how to fund them. Also discussed at the meeting was the fund balance policy and that we are required to revise it because of a change in the GASB reporting. Most of the time spent was talking about the 2011 Tax Levy and the Truth-in-Taxation Resolution.

Superintendent of Finance Ken Eppelheimer stated that what is actually required in this process of levying taxes is that if a public entity doesn’t have an increase of over 5%, they are not required to hold a public meeting. However, it is considered good practice to notify the public that taxes will be levied sometime before the end of December even if the percentage is lower than 5%. The District’s Truth-in-Taxation Resolution which outlines what we will be levying outside of the debt collection of fees is 3.62%. The next step is to place a notice in the paper about the passage of the resolution tonight and the Tax Levy heaving itself to be held at the next Board meeting on December 5.

The process consisted of looking through our budgets and at expense levels for next year as well as reviewing our funds, particularly the special purpose funds so that we have adequate fund balances to cover the expense levels for the 2012. The back end of that is the tax levy is our debt which is generated from bond ordinances that are filed with Cook County and it is also good practice to inform people what the total levy will be and for this year it will be a 2.8% increase. These numbers were recommended by staff, discussed by the Committee, and then will be further discussed at the Board meeting on December 5 when recommendations will be made. President Brault stated that the notice we are talking about indicates a 2.8% increase over last year and to the extent that the resolution is approved tonight, it is non-binding on the Board. Superintendent Eppelheimer agreed and stated that this is really just a notification to the public. 

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2011-R-12, Truth in Taxation as recommended by the Financial Planning & Policy Committee.

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

Parks & Recreation Committee – Commissioner Graham reported the Committee met on October 17 and a wide range of topics was discussed. A fair amount of time was spent going over the lakefront and the closing of the beach for the year. Discussion also took place on the Recreation budget and the 2012 fee increases. The recommendation by staff was a 3.5% increase on most programs. Superintendent Bingham further explained that there were a few fee recommendations that were over 3.5% – one for the aquatics camp and the other for a few minor programs. Most of the increases stayed with the 3.5% increase that was approved by the Financial Planning Committee. Commissioner Graham reported the Committee also discussed some new sailing guidelines that will be addressed at the next Parks & Recreation Committee meeting.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Benz seconded the motion to approve the 2012 Recreation Program Fees as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

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

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the 2012 Lakefront Fees as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

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

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Committee met prior to this meeting. The Centennial Tennis travel leagues are up and running and three of the women’s league teams are now in first place. The Holiday Pro Shop sale will be held at Tennis from November 25-December 31. At Centennial Ice, the Holiday Exhibition will be held on Sunday, December 18. The Loyola Hockey Club will hold their annual Thanksgiving hockey tournament next week with 16 teams. The TGIF public skating sessions have been scheduled for five nights winding up on March 9. The pool has closed but there are some control units for the chemical feeds that need to be replaced but we do not yet know how much it will cost since the units are no longer being made. Superintendent Bowen explained that this item is in the capital plan for $16,000. Chair Crowley added that the new water feature at the pool was smaller than staff had anticipated so an additional piece of equipment will be added to the activity pool. There have been some issues in regard to the lap lanes but it was decided at the Centennial meeting earlier this evening that no action will be taken and no changes will be made.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the 2012 Centennial Ice Fee Schedule as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

Director Wilson stated that these proposed fees are in-line with the 3.5% uniform increase.

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

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the 2012 Centennial Tennis Fee Schedule as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

Director Wilson stated that these proposed fees are in-line with the 3.5% uniform increase with a few exceptions where the increase was even less.

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

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the 2012 Centennial Aquatic Center Fee Schedule as recommended by the Centennial Operations Committee.

Director Wilson stated that the proposed fee increases for pool are actually at 5% which is higher than the recommended 3.5% uniform increase. President Brault stated that we should also look at increasing the differential between resident and non-resident rates at the pool with the objective of keeping our total revenue the same while also reducing the number of non-resident usage at the pool. There have been concerns that the pool has been too crowded and that the non-residents comprise a majority of the attendance. As a result, there may be a way we can continue to maximize revenue and increase overall usage and he would like staff to look at this scenario moving forward. Commissioner Crowley added that this issue was also discussed at tonight’s Centennial Committee meeting. However, he stated it is difficult to have exact numbers since some patrons leave the facility and then come back in so we do not have accurate statistics and until we have better control of the numbers although we do know that the vast majority of the numbers were non-residents in terms of dollars. The Committee had considered this issue and the vote was unanimous.

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

Golf Operations Committee – President Brault reported the Committee met on October 15, 2011 and there was a very good turnout of about 30 people for the annual Golf Users meeting. Several topics were discussed including the changes made to the end of the ladies league season which will be moved from August to September. Another change will be the permanent discontinuation of the Wilmette Amateur tournament and then the moving the date of the Men’s Club Championship to after Labor Day based on usage from the last several years. A number of comments were received from our users about the course and the process being made Mike Matchen and his crew battling the elements and keeping the course in very good shape. Also discussed at length was the master plan and that it might mean for the District and a variety of opinions were received from the users on what they think should be done. As an outgrowth of that commentary, the Golf Committee commissioned a survey that was commented upon by all Park Board members and submitted to approximately 500 golf members about a week and half ago and so far there has been a very good responses rate. Staff expects to see the first summary of responses over the next week or so and hopefully it will also result in meaningful input at the next golf meeting this week Thursday, November 17, held at the golf course. Total rounds through the year are actually down about 15%. Rounds through October totaled 34,593 which is down about 6,300 rounds from October last year. Fee paid rounds were down 12% and Unlimited were down 8%. Total net revenue for the course is only down slightly as a result of very good cost management this past year.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Wilson stated that the Park District’s Lakefront Commission has been meeting for over a little over a year and have completed a draft of a summary report that the Committee will be reviewing Wednesday meeting in the hopes of submitting a final version to the Board at its next meeting on Monday, December 5. All reports, correspondence, and the summary are already available on our web site so there will be a good comprehensive packet of information for the Board to review and provide further direction to staff. Staff would then provide direction to our consultants in regard to the next phase which is the “alternatives” phase wherein they will come up with three options for a master plan for both Langdon and Gillson Parks. The next step would then be to hold more public workshops.

Commissioner Crowley asked if JJR was going to look at the Elmwood Avenue beach as well. Director Wilson stated that at this point, that property has not part of the conversation for this commission or for the consultants. At this point, he believes that the Village of Wilmette is no longer seeking to sell the property. Also, President Brault and Village President Canning have had some conversations on Elmwood and will be providing more information to the Village and Park District staff on how we are to proceed moving forward but there has yet been no direction.

President Brault further explained that that the Elmwood Avenue easement itself is controlled by the Village and not controlled by the Park District so at this point we don’t have a say in the matter about what the potential uses of the easement area would be. He did meet with Mr. Canning to talk about the fact that we as a Board suggested we would be willing to participate in future discussions of what to do with the easement and this was related to him and so far there has been no additional steps taken beyond that. He does expect that Park District and Village staff will be meeting to talk about the potential scenarios for that property. Other than that, there has been no progress. He added that the easement is controlled by the Village so the Park District does not have any legal standing in which to make any type of statement or pursue any potential future endeavor because since we do not control the property in any way.

Director Wilson stated that a new event was started at Lakeview Center this year which was the Daddy/Daughter Dance to which he took his five-year-old daughter. It was a very popular event with 15 registrants on the waiting list. As a result, another dance will be held in February at the golf course since there will be more space. It was a fun event and a big hit that left all participants happy and staff looks forward to adding this to our rotation of events through the year.

OLD BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS: None

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to adjourn to Closed Session Move for the purposes of review, approval, or release of minutes previously closed under the Open Meetings Act and for approval of the destruction of the verbatim audio recordings of closed sessions of the Board of Park Commissioners which took place not less than 18 months previously in accordance with Section 2(c)21 of the Open Meetings Act.

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

The meeting adjourned to Closed Session at 8:00 pm.

The Regular Board Meeting was reconvened at 8:54 pm.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the Closed Session minutes of August 29, 2011.

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

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the destruction of the audio recordings of April 13, 2009; May 11, 2009; August 10, 2009; September 14, 2009; October 12, 2009; January 11, 2010; March 8, 2010; April 12, 2010; and May 10, 2010 Park Board closed session meetings having first been determined by the Park Board that not less than 18 months have expired since the completion of the closed session, meeting the requirements of subsection 2.06(a) of the By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, Crowley, Graham, Olvany, and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Murdock; Motion carried.

Open Meetings Act have been approved by the Park Board, all in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Open Meetings Act.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 pm.


MINUTES APPROVED DECEMBER 5, 2011.