WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING


Date: September 24, 2012   

Location: Park District Conference Room

Time: 6:30 pm

Attendance
Commissioners: Murdock; Shelley; Olvany; Benz
Staff: Lambrecht; Bingham; Groves; Wilson; Heafey; Eppelheimer; Specht; Bowen
Visitors:None
     
Topics for Discussion:

1) Meeting Called to Order
2) Approval of Minutes
3) Communications and Correspondence
     a. E-mail from Jen Marzouk re: Wiggleworms Camp
     b. E-mail from Brenda Fels re: Soccer Shirt Donation
     c. Spreadsheet re: 2012 Wallace Bowl Schedule
4) Manager’s Reports
5) Old Business
     a. Needs Assessment Survey
     b. Beach Wrap-Up
     c. Wallace Bowl Wrap-up
     d. Lighted Signage at Community Recreation Center
6) New Business
     a. Park Permit Request – Wedding Ceremony
     b. Parks & Planning Budget Review
7) Adjournment

Discussions/Decisions Made:

1) The Committee reviewed the minutes of August 13, 2012 and approved them as amended by general consent.

3) Under Communications and Correspondence, the Committee reviewed an email from Jen Marzouk complimenting the Park District on the Wiggleworms Camp and about what a great experience it had been for her son.

The Committee reviewed an e-mail from Brenda Fels thanking the Park District for the donation of soccer uniforms. Staff reported they had donated extra uniforms from past seasons and specifically those that had been discontinued. They were donated to a group that works with children in Rwanda affected by AIDS.

The Committee accepted the information regarding the Wallace Bowl performances and agreed to discuss it at a point later in the meeting.

4) Under Manager’s Reports, Holly Specht reported that the beach closed on Labor Day and it was one of the busiest days all summer. The parking lot was closed to traffic for 45 minutes due to overcrowding. The Alliance for the Great Lakes held their beach Sweep on September 15. Picnics are still continuing in the park and permits are still being issued. Lacrosse games are being held in the Park as part of our Park District programs. The Coast Guard is planning a flag football tournament in the park and staff will be coordinating with them. The Sailing Beach will be staffed until September 30. Winter storage contracts have been mailed to everyone who has not yet signed up with a deadline of October 15. The Park District rental fleet has been put away and lists made of repairs that need to be completed. The last rigid hull inflatable and jet ski will be removed from the water after the last of the buoys have been removed. There were 21 rentals in Lakeview Center during September.

 Carol Heafey reported her staff has been working on budgets and learning the new systems with the help of Superintendent Eppelheimer. The Daddy/Daughter Dance will be held on September 28 and there are currently 90 couples signed up and staff anticipates the event will fill at 100, The Fall Harvest event will be a small event (30 participants) where participants can decorate pumpkins and eat hot dogs and do other fun projects. The annual Halloween Happening event will be held on Friday, October 26. Staff is anticipating there will be 700 participants compared to 530 last year, many of whom will be walk-in registrants that evening. The event’s hours are also being expanded somewhat. There will be a Mother/Son night on Friday, November 2, at the CRC and will include entertainment by the Rope Warrior. In the Center for the Arts, The Little Mermaid will be presented by the Children’s Theatre and will open on October 12. The North Shore Theatre will be presenting The Producers which will open on November 9. The Early Childhood programs are going very well and all of the programs are currently full.

Jeff Groves reported he is currently looking for a new Manager for the Center Fitness Club. He hopes to begin interviews the first week in October and complete the process with someone starting in early November.  He has been working with Assistant Fitness Manager Julie Mantice until the new Manager is in place. He is also coordinating efforts for the “Haunted Theatre” for the Halloween Happening event. He has been working on the proposed 2013 Budgets for the Community Recreation Facility, the Mallinckrodt Community Center, and the Center Fitness Club. Rentals have been good at the Mallinckrodt Community Center including a rental from a local synagogue that will be using the space every other Sunday until the renovations are completed on their own space.

5. Old Business:

     a. Superintendent Bingham reported on the information she has gathered from other park districts regarding a needs survey. Skokie recently completed one which was in the $15,000 to $20,000 range. She has also talked to companies that provide surveys and some who do referendum surveys as well. The companies would conduct a mailing and then follow up with a phone call to validate the results. They would also write the questions with input from the District and provide recommended questions based on the survey’s goal. It was also stated that the companies she talked to guarantee a certain number of responses. After discussion, the Committee asked that funds be provided in the 2013 Budget to complete a needs assessment survey in 2013.
     b. Superintendent Bingham reported that the beach season had just completed and which was the first year that staff began to aggressively patrol the overlook area at Gillson Park. What was soon discovered after the season started was that staff had underestimated the amount of staff needed to patrol the beach. Holly Specht reported they discovered five people were constantly needed seven days a week. Commissioner Murdock asked if the crowds ever tapered off. Superintendent Bingham replied that it did not and that if there was ever a time when staff moved away from a position, people would return and go right back into the water. Commissioner Murdock asked what the cost of the extra patrolling had been. Superintendent Bingham replied that the Park District spent $33,000 in labor and $16,000 in supplies such as stands, megaphones, etc. Executive Director Wilson added that those numbers did not include the labor expenses that are forthcoming from the Village for the Park Patrol staff hired by the police. Superintendent Bingham added that staff will continue to budget to patrol the overlook area for Fiscal Year 2013. Commissioner Shelly asked if any of the staff that worked there last year will return. Superintendent Bingham replied that staff is hopeful they will but that they took a lot of abuse from users. After further discussion, the Committee asked to see a total cost for the overlook patrols at the November meeting and that staff be prepared to discuss the Sailing Beach, recap the year and discuss changes for 2013.
     c. Commissioner Murdock opened the discussion regarding the Wallace Bowl season by stating he wants to see something running at the Bowl every weekend. Staff replied that the season began earlier than it had in the past in that for the third year, there were concerts before the July 3rd concert which had previously been the typical kick-off for the summer season. Superintendent Bingham added there was something scheduled every weekend through August 25 in 2012. There were some “dark” nights when the rehearsals for the Broadway musicals needed to rehearse on stage but those times were minimal. Commissioner Olvany asked how the groups are selected to perform. Superintendent Bingham replied that Bob Bierie selects the acts and many artists submit videos of their performances. Commissioner Olvany asked how someone could get on the list. Superintendent Bingham suggested that if he was aware of someone they could submit their information directly to her. The Committee discussed the option of having more local groups perform.  Executive Director Wilson replied that given the issues that came up at the Hoopla Concert this year, staff is sensitive to which acts are selected.  The problem with local bands is that there can be an issue of what age group you are targeting. Commissioner Olvany asked when the acts would be selected. Staff replied there is a November 14th copy deadline for the brochure. Superintendent Bingham added that staff will come back with a schedule and budget for the 2013 season.
     d. Commissioner Murdock asked about the possibility of installing a lighted message board at the Community Recreation Center. Executive Director Wilson replied that the money had been budgeted three years ago but had not been brought forward. Staff believes there are benefits for publicizing special events, registration deadlines and other activities. Commissioner Shelly added that she sees benefits for the theater performances in lieu of the banners. Superintendent Lambrecht reported that the budget had been $40,000 for a one-sided sign. After discussion, the Committee asked that the staff include a two-faced sign be added to the five-year plan.
     e. The Committee discussed allowing hockey at Gillson Park on a set schedule like had been set at Thornwood Park. Superintendent Lambrecht submitted a report that discussed this issue. Staff recommended that since there was no ice at Thornwood Park in its first year and there was no experience with trying a schedule such as that, the issue be tabled until after we have had experience with scheduling time. Staff has concerns that since the rinks are not supervised, what happens when there are conflicts between users and hockey players who are using the ice when it is supposed to be for recreational use only. After further discussion, the Committee directed that staff develop a schedule for Gillson which is opposite that of Thornwood Park. The Committee asked if staff believed boards were essential at Gillson. Superintendent Lambrecht replied that you have to have something to place behind the pond hockey goals to keep the pucks from leaving the rink and injuring someone. It was suggested that hay bales be used. Superintendent Lambrecht reminded the Committee that the original boards at Thornwood were supposed to be short but the decision was made to make them four feet so they would be in eyesight of a skater. Staff also has concerns about what people will do to the hay bales in a public setting.

6. The Committee reviewed a permit request for a wedding to take place at Wallace Bowl on November 3, 2012 at 4 pm. The group already has contracted to rent Lakeview Center for the reception. After some discussion, the Committee unanimously approved the permit.

7. Superintendent Lambrecht presented the Proposed 2013 Budgets for the Parks and Planning Department. There were minimal changes to the overall dollar amounts. Expenses were shifted between line items after using the newly formatted budget for the first time in 2012. Some items of note were that additional funds were added to complete updated property surveys. There was a program in place many years ago to complete this but it had been cut out. Staff believes it is important to put the program back into place and the Committee concurred. Any increases in other line items were based on the uniform increases approved by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee. After further discussion, the Committee agreed to recommend the budgets as submitted to the Park Board for approval.
 
 There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:22 pm.

Minutes taken by Bill Lambrecht

MINUTES APPROVED ON OCTOBER 15, 2012.