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, JUNE 11, 2012
7:30 P.M.
______________________________________________________________________ 

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, 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

VISITORS:  Kathy Routliffe, Wilmette Life

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 14, 2012 Regular Meeting of the Retiring Board.

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

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 14, 2012 Annual Meeting.

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

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Crowley seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the May 14, 2012 Regular Board Meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE

President Brault stated an email was included in the meeting packet regarding the native grasses along the beach from Charlotte Adelman which he referred to the Parks & Recreation Committee. In addition, an email was received from Dean Lindsay regarding the improvements made at Langdon Park which he also referred to Parks & Recreation. Larry Goldstein sent two emails, the first one commenting on how the new procedures at the overlook were not quite right but his second email a week later stated he thought everything was now being done much better.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS: None

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,577,909.51, 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, Olvany and Shelly; voting No -- None. Absent – Commissioner Murdock. Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Financial Planning Committee met on May 21 and discussed the various funding arrangements for the golf course master plan. No vote was necessary on any of the proposals at that meeting since staff is still working on them and looking at ways to finance the project with user fees. Also discussed was the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course and its current status. The District wanted assurances that it would be paid for the water bills that are coming due from them. Director Wilson added he reached out to the President of the Association explaining to them that we expected to receive the $5,000 pre-payment from them for water this summer by the end of June. Subsequently, we received a $1,500 payment and they agreed to make every effort to have the entire $5,000 paid by the end of June. Commissioner Graham stated the final order of business was the Illinois Prevailing Wage Ordinance (PWO) which requires all municipalities to pay their contractors the prevailing wage as determined by the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL). When looking at the PWO, one of Commissioner Graham’s issues – which he also raised last year – was that IDOL’s prevailing wage rates seem to be inflated. He felt this was very disturbing since during a down economy taxes keep going up, public projects are being reduced, and employment is at an all-time low which results in a situation wherein you could improve employment, reduce taxes and improve public works projects simply by taking a more judicious look at the Prevailing Wage Act and the fees or rates set in the PWO. The best example of this is that the PWO in Illinois requires that the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) sets the rates. One of their rates is set for laborers that are typically comprised of unskilled workers. The IDOL prevailing wage for laborers in Cook County is $35/hour plus an additional $25/hour in benefits which totals $55/hour. When looking at the Federal Government’s Department of Labor statistics for a construction laborer, their rates are $19/hour in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area, not $55/hour which IDOL has determined. There seems to be a gross inconsistency between these two numbers and he doesn’t know how IDOL came up with theirs. As a result, someone should take a look at it. In the meantime, we are still required to pass the ordinance nonetheless. The motion for the approval of the PWO will be considered tonight under New Business.

Parks & Recreation Committee – Superintendent Bingham reported on behalf of Commissioner Murdock in his absence. She stated the Parks & Recreation Committee met on May 21. Peter Baugher was in attendance at the meeting and discussion took place on sand management at Langdon Park. In addition, the Committee reviewed a letter from Bob Levi thanking the Park District for the North Shore Theater’s production of Guys and Dolls. A letter was also received from Julie Ressler of the Wilmette Arts Guild thanking CRC staff for their cooperation with the hanging of the artwork that is on display from members of the Guild.

Under Managers’ Reports, discussion took place on the new management hierarchy at the CRC. Jeff Groves is now overseeing building maintenance at the CRC, front desk operations, and Fitness, Gymnastics, and Mallinckrodt operations. In addition, Carol Heafey was promoted to the newly created position of Recreation Program Manager and will oversee the visual, performing and theater arts as well as the two sports departments. Along with these changes, we were also able to make some changes in the maintenance department by replacing one full-time maintenance staff member with two part-time staff members which saved some money and has been working out well.

Summer camps are currently underway. Very little pro-rating was done this year since most of the camps are now offering either four- or two-week options which makes it easier for families to not have to sign up for an entire eight-week session. School District 39 has once again generously loaned us three busses this summer for transportation of our campers. However, since they will be contracting out for their busses next summer, we may experience some transportation challenges in the future as a result.

Also reported at the meeting was that the sailing beach had just opened and has been very busy. In addition, almost all of the rack spaces at the time of the meeting were full and nine catamaran spaces were left. There is also a new food service contractor at the lakefront and staff has been pleased with them so far. They have been very responsive and patrons have been pleased with the operation and the quality of their food offerings. Staff also reported on the preparations being made for the changes in staffing at the overlook and looking at security and safety issues at the south beach including the rocks on the pier.

Platform tennis was discussed and staff recommended a public hearing be held at the CRC on Monday, June 18 and a second hearing in the Village Hall on Monday, June 25. Both hearings begin at 7 pm. In addition, the next Parks & Recreation meeting will be held at the CRC before the public hearing on Monday, June 18, at 6 pm.

There was some discussion on ice hockey even though there had not been any ice last year. At the meeting, Commissioner Murdock presented the idea of adding a second rink for hockey or allowing some time for hockey to be played at the Gillson Park ice rink. After discussion, staff recommended we wait to make a decision until we see how well the ice rink operation works out at Thornwood Park this upcoming winter and then evaluate whether it would be a good fit at Gillson. Lastly, the Committee discussed the possibility of a needs assessment survey and what that would involve for the District. Staff had done some research a couple of years ago and although there was no money budgeted for it this year, the Board indicated they wished to proceed with it in the future. As a result, staff will be putting the numbers together for review.

Golf Operations – Committee Chair Crowley stated the Committee met on Saturday, June 9, with a re-formed committee. It was reported that so far we are having a terrific season. The weather has been incredibly good and the course is in excellent shape. As of June 9, rounds totaled 13,500 vs. 9,400 for the same time last year. May revenue from rounds stands at almost $113,000 which is up 10% from the three-year average. Total revenue from rounds this year is at $217,000 so things are going well at the golf course. Golf memberships stand at 529 with revenue at $99,356. The Family Golf Night was held on Sunday, May 20, and was very successful with over 150 participants and staff at this family event. Camp numbers also look very good. The annual Al McLean Open will be held on June 20. This year the Junior Golf Association is taking over sponsorship of the event and at this point, it looks like there will be approximately 150 participants. The golf master plan is on schedule and there have been no major road blocks so far.

President Brault stated that the numbers for annual memberships seem slightly down but our rounds of play and revenue are up. He then asked if there had there been any discussion on the dynamic of how that could happen. Chair Crowley responded that the weather has really made all the difference in the world in the number of rounds being played.

Centennial Operations – Commissioner Graham reported the Centennial Committee met tonight before the Board meeting and discussed the progress being made on the renovation of the Tennis locker rooms. One item of note was that when some of the piping was pulled out, a 1” pipe was almost blocked because of all the corrosion in it. Overall, the project is going well. The Committee talked about the pool and it was reported attendance is also up this year and everything seems to be moving smoothly. The Committee discussed the revisions to the ice time schedule and the ice rink shutdown in 2013 for the replacement of the piping and Freon system. Also discussed were the different schedules and options for that project. After discussion, the Committee chose Option 2 which would entail a tentative rink closing date of April 22, 2013 and a rink opening date of September 16, 2013. There were a number of reasons why Option 2 was considered the best option including that it is the option which is most directly related to costs and benefits for our various user groups at the ice.

Commissioner Crowley stated he was at the pool this past Sunday on a beautiful summer day and everything was running smoothly, staff couldn’t have been kinder, and everything looked like it was being very well run.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Wilson reported that today was the District’s first day of summer camp and there are currently 3,987 children enrolled across all of our different sections of summer camps which shows how widely used our summer programs are. It is also enjoyable to see the army of camp counselors going to their various camps in the morning. Before the Board meets again, the 3rd and 4th of July events will be over. As a reminder to everyone, the fireworks take place on Tuesday, July 3 at approximately 9:30 pm. The various games, activities, rides, and food will begin at 4 pm, the roving entertainers start at 6:30 pm, and at 7:15 pm there will be a preview of our summer musical – Brigadoon. At 7:30 pm the Palatine Concert Band will begin playing. The Fun Run will take place on Wednesday, July 4 and registration will open at 7 am. The adult run is scheduled for 8 am followed by the youth runs for various age categories at 9:15 am, The fees for those races are $20 for Early Bird registration for adults or $25 the day of the race and $10 for children for both Early Bird and day-of registration. All of our facilities have brochures outlining this information and is also posted on our web site (www.wilmettepark.org).

Director Wilson stated there are other promotional materials on the dais tonight including a very colorful brochure about all of our various summer concerts throughout the summer. The District has two separate concert series – the Starlight Theater at the Wallace Bowl and the Sunday afternoon concerts at Mallinckrodt. The Wallace Bowl performances will kick off with a tribute to “ABBA” on Friday, June 22 and a local group named “Hoopla” who performed last summer will return to the stage on Saturday, June 23. Brigadoon will begin on July 12 and will run for three weeks. There is also a variety of other shows running through the end of August and most of them begin at 8 pm. The first performance at Mallinckrodt was held on June 10 with a jazz group called “Breeze” and there will be four more concerts through August 5 beginning at 4 pm. Further information can be found on our web site and brochures are available at all of our facilities.

In regard to paddle tennis, Director Wilson stated that staff attempted various methods of publicizing the paddle tennis public hearings to be held on Monday, June 18 at the CRC and on Monday, June 25 at the Village Hall. The notice was emailed to everyone in our database and approximately 150 letters were mailed to the property owners around West Park. In addition, a press release was sent to the local media who have been writing articles on the subject.

President Brault asked that in terms of the number of people who have been contacted or reached through other means, does staff have any idea of what that number might be. Director Wilson replied that a total of 72 emails were received comprising of people on both sides of the issue and from the letters that were sent to the homes, we received one phone call. Emails were also sent to the approximately 7,000 people in our database along with the 150 letters to the neighbors as well as those people who read the local media. President Brault summarized that the District had reached about a quarter of the population.

President Brault asked if there was an update on the status of the Harbor. Director Wilson replied he had a phone call with one of the consultants from JJR late last week who indicated they were hoping to get their report to us by the end of May. As it turned out they missed that deadline. However, they did mention they have visited the harbor and reviewed the diver’s reports. Director Wilson then helped clarify for them the information that the District was looking for and asked them to focus on the infrastructure, timing and costs as opposed to focusing on the utility lines that were coming in. As a result, the consultants are aware of what their focus should be and it is hoped to a draft report this week.

The second item under New Business is the matter of a property tax appeal. The District is part of group that employs a set of attorneys who specialize in these types of legal matters. Whenever a Wilmette property owner receives an assessed valuation in excess of $100,000, the District gets notified of the assessment and the resolutions come before the Board who then decide whether the District should intervene or not.

Commissioner Olvany asked Director Wilson to provide an update on how things are going at Gillson Park and the south beach. Director Wilson replied the beach has been open for three weekends so far and two of those weekends saw temperatures in the 90’s. The first weekend was the Memorial Day holiday with temperatures in the 90’s and the lakefront was very heavily used. This was our first shot at testing our new system which was not as effective as staff would have liked. On the positive side, Superintendent Bingham spent a lot of time at the lakefront that weekend and saw which areas needed improvement and looked for ways on how to accomplish that. The following weekend experienced cooler weather which drew smaller crowds. This allowed staff the extra time to make those changes and to actually see what has worked so far. There was hot weather again this past weekend with larger crowds but not as many people as on Memorial Day. In general, it appeared most people worked very well down there and we heard from many of you going down there and also seeing it for himself that our staff people were listening better and were less confrontational that weekend. It also seemed as if the patrons as well as staff had a better understanding of the rules.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:  None

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2012-O-9, AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING PREVAILING WAGE RATES TO BE PAID TO LABORERS, MECHANICS, AND OTHER WORKERS PERFORMING CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT.

President Brault asked what would happen if the District failed to pass the Prevailing Wage Ordinance tonight. Commissioner Olvany stated he was going to read one of the sentences in the memo from Superintendent Eppelheimer which was as follows: “Ány officer, agent or representative of the public body who willfully violates or omits to comply with any of the provisions of the Act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, a criminal offense for which a jail sentence of less than one year may be imposed.” President Brault asked if by passing the ordinance would the District need to use the attached list of wages specified by Cook County. Superintendent Eppelheimer confirmed that the District would have to use the Cook County list of wages. President Brault then asked would it be financially feasible to do our own independent study. Superintendent Eppelheimer replied you could do a study but the financial costs to do so would be very high because of the involvement of attorneys and possible challenges.

Commissioner Graham stated the reason he is bringing this issue up is because when he looked at the list of Illinois prevailing wage rates and compared them to the Bureau of Labor Statistics rate for the Chicago metropolitan statistical area there was a significant difference of about 50% to 100% in many of the categories which was shocking to him. It seems to him that we should determine if the Prevailing Wage Act makes sense and determine what the methodology is for calculating the rates. He thinks it is a biased and one-sided view which results in inflated wage rates that we as municipalities and taxpayers are required to pay. If a comprehensive survey was done similar to what the Bureau of Labor Statistics does and then look at the real data over a wide base there would be much different results. However, the District is required to pass it because of our state legislature. President Brault suggested that we approach other communities near us to see if there would be any interest in studying rates that would apply specifically to our neighborhoods. The answer may be no but it might a good idea to at least try to determine if there would be a willingness to study what the rates are more specifically to our area.

Commissioner Shelly stated she doesn’t understand why the Board is required to approve of something when if we didn’t approve it, we could go to jail. President Brault replied that it is done this way in order to promote recognition of this issue and for the public record.

Director Wilson explained that by way of approving the ordinance tonight, the Board will also be approving the attached list of wage rates. Commissioner Shelly stated this would directly affect the golf course and other projects. Director Wilson added it would affect the plumbing work for which we contract out. Commissioner Graham clarified that the rates at issue are not the rates that the Wilmette Park District pays to its employees but rather they are the rates that outside contractors who do work for Wilmette are required to pay to their employees. President Brault added the District’s contract form has a statement on it that requires vendors to certify they are paying the prevailing wage.

President Brault then stated that staff and the Board could investigate and conduct a study of other nearby municipalities to be performed over the course of the next 12 months to evaluate the current conditions for wage rates.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Benz, Brault, and Olvany; voting No – Commissioners Crowley and Graham. Abstain – Commissioner Shelly; Absent – Commissioner Murdock. Motion failed.

Commissioner Olvany pointed out that the question is what would happen if our municipality does not comply with the provisions of the Act. He then read the sentence directly off of Superintendent Eppelheimer’s memo to the Board as follows:

“Any officer, agent or representative of the public body who willfully violates or omits to comply with any of the provisions of the Act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, a criminal offense for which a jail sentence for less than one year may be imposed.”

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded an amended motion to approve Ordinance 2012-O-9, AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING PREVAILING WAGE RATES TO BE PAID TO LABORERS, MECHANICS, AND OTHER WORKERS PERFORMING CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT IN CONJUNCTION WITH A STUDY TO BE PERFORMED OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWELVE MONTHS EVALUATING THE CURRENT CONDITIONS FOR WAGE RATES.

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

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2012-R-5, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (1132 MICHIGAN AVENUE).

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

President Brault reported that the Family Aquatic Center is holding a “Dads Get in Free” event this Sunday in honor of Father’s Day. In addition, season passholders will receive a voucher for a guest admission to be used anytime during the summer. Beginning on Wednesday, June 13 and running through August 8, the “Buddy for a Buck” program allows season passholders to bring one guest to the pool for $1.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.


MINUTES APPROVED ON JULY 9, 2012.