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 12, 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.

President Brault called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Executive Director Wilson conducted the roll call.

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

VISITORS:  Jacquelyn and James Holland, 610 Maple Avenue

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2012 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

Correspondence received included the following:
 
- Letter from NSSRA-NSSRF dated October 5 thanking the Park District for the donation of a golf club and golf course gift certificate for their “Swing 2012” golf event.
- Letter from Ali Wenzke dated November 2 thanking the Park District for the wide variety of activities and the quality of programs that we offer.
- Email dated November 9 from Director Wilson related to a phone call he received from former Commissioner David Miller in regard to the Lakefront Alternatives.
- Email from Sharon Komlofske dated November 8 with suggestions for the Lakefront Master Plan.
- Email from Delia Casa dated November 6 stating she agrees with the Board’s decision to keep everything and that non-residents should be charged double.
- Email exchange dated November 4 between Commissioner Olvany and Glen Noren regarding the Lakefront Master Plan.
- An email from Director Wilson dated November 1 detailing a phone call received from Robert Matz re: Commissioner Murdock.
- An email from Judy Ostrem dated November 1 in regard to a phone call received from Bill McCain re: Commissioner Murdock.
- Email from Robin Baugher dated October 31 re: Langdon Park and the Lakefront Plan Alternatives.
- Email dated October 31 from Mark Falanga to Commissioner Olvany dated October 31 re: Lakefront Master Plan.
- Email dated October 31 from Fred Fitzsimmons to Commissioner Olvany re: Lakefront Master Plan

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS:
President Brault briefly reviewed the Board’s rules for discussion and stated that in terms of questions for the Board there are several ways in which those questions are handled. Sometimes the subject matter is referred to one of the Park District’s committees that specializes in particular issues or it may be referred to staff. In addition, the Board may also collectively talk about the issues at the end of their meetings. However, typically the Board does not engage in a dialogue with visitors at our Board meetings.

Jacquelyn Holland, 610 Maple Avenue, stated she and her husband James Holland have lived in Wilmette for 46 years and she has served on local commissions in the past. She wanted to comment this evening on the activities of the Wilmette Harbor Management, Inc. She then began to read a letter which included a request that Commissioner Murdock resign from the Park Board due to his “inside information” which enabled his group to submit a better bid than the Wilmette Harbor Association.

President Brault asked if this was a matter for the Park District or was it related to the outside group to whom she was referring. Ms. Holland stated she felt it was a Park District matter since it concerns a member of the Park Board. President Brault stated that this is not an issue for the Park Board or Park District but if there is something the Board could consider about her statement the Board would be happy to listen. He added, however, that if this is about a specific issue related to a commissioner’s activities outside the scope of the Park Board or District, then this is not the forum for that discussion and is not considered as Park District business. Ms. Holland replied that this was an issue for the Park Board because it involves a Park Board member. President Brault repeated that this issue is not related to the Park Board or the Park District since the Park Board is distancing itself from that bid which means it is not a Park Board matter. Ms. Holland continued to read her letter which stated she feels that Commissioner Murdock violated the public trust, has shown that his integrity has been seriously damaged, and as a result they would like to see him resign. 
 
APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,372,622.50, 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.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Wilson reported that registration dates for our winter classes this year is now slightly different from previous years in that it will now take place in December instead of early January. As a result, the new registration dates are Tuesday, December 11 at 9 am for residents and Tuesday, December 18, at 9 am for non-residents. The brochure has been sent to the printer and should be delivered sometime between November 21 and 28.

Director Wilson also displayed an award that had been given to the Board of Park Commissioners on November 4 by the Wilmette Historic Preservation Commission of the Village of Wilmette in recognition of our involvement with the Centennial Prairie Project. This project involved the efforts of the Park District and Charlotte Adelman who was the individual who came to District with this idea and backed it financially. It also became a project for an Eagle Scout candidate named Joe Bruner. The project resulted in being a nice addition to Centennial Park and we appreciate the Village’s recognition of their work along with Superintendent Bill Lambrecht, Parks Foreman Kerry Blass, and Humberto Maldonado from our Parks & Planning staff. We are proud of the project and of our staff and grateful that we were able to participate in a project such as this.

Director Wilson reported approximately 100 people were in attendance at the Lakeview Center on Saturday, November 10, for the “Walk the Parks” tour. A lot of good information was received and about 25 people walked through the park with staff. Unfortunately, the tours were interrupted due to some rain showers. The next Lakefront Master Plan meeting will be held on Thursday evening, November 15, at 7 pm at Lakeview Center. The consultants will also be present and will run the meeting in an open house type of format and will receive input from the public. Staff will then provide further input and feedback to the consultants. The step will be a public hearing to be held at the December 10th Park Board meeting and it is hoped we will gather a lot of good information from this public input process.

Director Wilson stated that the annual Truth-in-Taxation Resolution is on the agenda tonight which is required by the State of Illinois as part of the tax levy process. Commissioner Olvany and Superintendent of Finance Ken Eppelheimer will provide the details of that process during their Financial Planning & Policy Committee report. There is also an agenda item pertaining to the acceptance of a proposal for the architectural design of the paddle tennis hut facility at West Park. Under New Business, there is a property tax assessment appeal which involves a consortium consisting of the Wilmette Park District, Village of Wilmette, and the School Districts although we only see these appeals when the appealer is looking for a reduction in assessed values in excess of $100,000. Also under New Business there are a couple of bids that normally would have gone through a committee but due to the timing of the bid openings, they were placed on the agenda for tonight’s Board meeting. The first bid is for the catered lunches for our Early Childhood program and the other is for the reconstruction of the Wheeler Park playground. Staff’s recommendation for these bids were Included in your packets. In both cases, staff is recommending the low bidder for the lunches at $1.32 per meal served and for the Wheeler Park equipment at approximately $150,000 for the construction and installation plus approximately $62,000 for equipment. When compared to budget, this bid is very close at just $2,000 over the budgeted amount of $210,000.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany reported the Committee met on October 22 and the primary order of business was to discuss the Truth-in-Taxation Resolution. The Committee had previously recommended a proposed increase of 0% in the levy. As a result, staff worked very hard to put together a budget which reflected that recommendation. Superintendent Eppelheimer and his staff then pulled together all of the details and placed all of that information into the actual tax levy.

Superintendent Eppelheimer reported that the Park District goes through this process every year beginning at least 20 days prior to the actual enactment of the Tax Levy Ordinance when the Board determines by resolution an amount of the total tax it estimates we will need for the levy year. This levy is for all of our tax-supported funds excluding debt service. This year the Committee recommended an increase in the aggregate funds of 3% but later on felt it prudent to keep the overall tax levy flat as compared to 2011. This was accomplished through reductions in some of our other funds including Special Recreation. The total tax levy reported on the Truth-in-Taxation Resolution that is before the Board this evening includes the combined proposed rate for the tax cap funds and the proposed rate for the Special Recreation fund. They also recommended consideration of a tax decrease in those funds of  1.3% which gave the District some room for bond ordinances that were already in place or are planned for the future in order to take the total levy to an increase of only $294 on an over $8.4 million dollar levy. As a result, the increase from 2011 to 2012 is at 0.0%. It is anticipated a tax levy hearing will be held before the December 10th Board meeting and a notice will be placed in the local paper announcing the hearing to the public.

Commissioner Olvany stated that in terms of reducing our other funds, all the reductions were made significantly above our recommended and required balances in all of those funds. Commissioner Murdock added that if the Board approves the tax levy tonight, it would be the second time in four years that a levy has been approved which is basically the same as the prior year.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2012-R-7, Truth in Taxation 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 Olvany reported the Committee also discussed the financial results through the third quarter of 2012 and once again our results are very strong from an operating perspective with seven out of our eight operating units continuing to earn a profit and our surplus from operations is over $4 million through September 30. That continues to be a job well done by all Park District staff overall. The last item the Committee discussed was the review of the pension situation in regards to the Park District. We are part of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and the Committee has been discussing exactly where our unfunded status is in our particular pension plan. The Committee has also been discussing whether we want to increase the Park District’s funded liability level or not. At this point the Committee has not made any recommendations and will continue to discuss the matter at the Committee level. President Brault stated the current status is that we will continue to meet the IMRF guidelines in terms of funding the liability. Commissioner Olvany added that as part of the tax levy that we have been reviewing, the Board would be recommending an increase of $735,000 for that portion of our tax levy which would be used to fund IMRF. That is what is required and expected on the part of our actuaries but our unfunded amount is at 66% as of last year so we do not know where we will be a year from now. As a result, we will continue the discussions on whether this would be a cause for concern for bond rating agencies, etc.

Parks & Recreation Committee – Director Wilson reported the Committee met on October 15 at the Administration Office. They also had a full agenda which included the budgets for approval as well as interviews with four architectural firms for the proposed paddle tennis facility at West Park. Each group was allotted about 45 minutes to present their submittals and to take questions from the Committee and the public. After all the presentations were completed, the Committee discussed and then decided to accept the proposal from Williams Architects.

Lakefront staff reported they have been busy shutting down the sailing beach for the season and the Lakeview Center had been busy with outside rentals. Recreation staff reported there had been another sold-out Daddy/Daughter Dance this year. Director Wilson stated the Halloween Happening event was once again very successful with over 100 more children participating this year compared to last year. The Committee then reviewed and approved the budgets for the Fitness Center, Lakefront Operations, and the Recreation Fund which includes all of the camps, programs and operations based out of the Recreation Center. 

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to accept the proposal from Williams Architects for a new Platform Tennis Facility and Warming Hut at West Park, 3555 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois.

Commissioner Murdock stated a number of architectural firms came forward and he thought it the process went well with a lot of interesting ideas submitted. However, he feels that the proposal from Williams Architects was clearly the best choice moving forward and President Brault concurred.

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

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley stated that Golf had a surplus as well this year. The Committee also reviewed the Proposed Golf Budget for Fiscal Year 2013. The course itself was discussed at length and staff reported 2012 was a very good year. As a result, staff is anticipating a $105,000 surplus in 2012. In addition, green fees from non-residents, golf car usage and the driving range were all up. Budgeting for Fiscal Year 2013 will include the closure of the course in July and staff decided to budget it as if we were going to be open and then later on strip out some of the revenue. The Committee will continue to review next year’s closing of the course which will begin in July of 2013 through the following spring. Staff also took out operational revenue from August through September for greens fees, pulls carts and operations and reduced the pro shop revenue by 50% from August through December. Also reduced was the driving range revenue by 20% during that same time period. Labor costs and operations from part-time personnel were stripped out as well.

The pro shop and driving range will remain open during the project and our full-time staff and key part-time supervisors will remain as well which would be our only labor expense in operations. There will also still be maintenance staff on hand to maintain those areas of the course that are not under construction. They will also be used to supplement the construction work that will take place in that timeframe. In a normal year, staff budgets for a 34-week part-time maintenance schedule and we are actually adding an extra $14,000 to help with some additional tree removal and other activities on the course. The bottom line is that staff is anticipating revenue to be down in operations by about 38% overall. Expenses are budgeted to be down about 4%.

Member fees for next year were raised 2.5% but it is important to remember the fees for next year will actually be a two-year fee so part of that will be in 2013 and part in 2014. As a result, 50% of that revenue will come from contributions to operations and will be assessed in 2013 and the rest in 2014. There was some discussion in the meeting about private lessons and raising that fee from $55 but it was later decided keep it at $55 since there will not be as many golfers on the course on a regular basis so we want to encourage people to play at the course. In summary, it was a pretty good year at the golf course but it will be a challenging two years in terms of the reconstruction project. Golf staff is also reaching out to the Glenview and Winnetka Golf Courses to work out a possible reciprocal deal with them since they will be looking at future golf course renovations as well.

President Brault asked about the status of the MWRD permit process. Commissioner Crowley responded that at the time of the Committee meeting everything was on schedule so we should be ready to go to bid at the beginning of February. Director Wilson added that this was the general timeframe and that staff has had subsequent meetings with the engineers and the architects who think we are almost there although there are some items still needing to be finalized.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met last month before the regular Board meeting. He stated that at the meeting the main discussion topic was related to pool hours and the potential changes to the schedule. The Committee has held multiple meetings over several years and at the last two meetings representatives from the various groups were in attendance. As a result, staff has gathered all of the information and developed a plan that will keep the pool open for the general public. This issue will be further discussed at the next Centennial Committee meeting on November 26 when the Committee will review the options that staff has prepared. An email blast will also be sent to residents inviting everyone to attend and share their usage thoughts with the Committee. The meeting will be held in the Village Hall Council Chambers starting at 6:30 pm on November 26.

OLD BUSINESS:  None


NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2012-R-6, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (1131-1147 GREENLEAF AVENUE).

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

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the bid of Open Kitchens in the amount of $1.32 per meal for the supplying of catered lunches for Early Childhood Programs per specifications renewable annually through June 2017.

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

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the bid of Elanar Construction in the amount of $212,448.00 for the demolition, excavation, drainage, pavement, landscaping, surfacing, equipment and installation for the Wheeler Park redevelopment project.

Commissioner Murdock stated the Park District had budgeted $210,000 for this project and the lowest bidder was only $2,448 above that amount. President Brault asked how long ago Wheeler Park had been redeveloped and Director Wilson replied 20 years ago which is our normal schedule.

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 8:02 p.m.

MINUTES APPROVED AS AMENDED ON DECEMBER 10, 2012.