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, JANUARY 14, 2013
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, Michael Murdock, John Olvany, and Shelley Shelly; Secretary/Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem

ABSENT: Superintendent Bingham

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

VISITORS:  Bryan Abbott, 212 16th Street; James Holland, 610 Maple Avenue

PUBLIC HEARING: ISSUANCE OF $950,000 IN G.O. LIMITED TAX PARK BONDS:

President Brault announced that the public hearing was open for comments on the proposal to sell $950,000 in General Obligation Limited Tax Park Bonds and stated that notice of the public hearing was published on January 2, 2013 in the Wilmette Beacon. The allowable uses for our bond issuance are a) for the payment of land purchase or condemned for parks; b) for the building, maintaining, improving and protecting of land purchased or acquired for parks and payment of expenses incident thereto; and c) for the payment of issuance costs. The reason for the issuance of the Bonds being proposed is for the maintaining, improving and protecting existing land and facilities of the District. The Bonds will go to fund a portion of the District’s Capital Improvement Plan. The Board is contemplating issuing $950,000 in bonds throughout the course of 2013 and it is anticipated that the overall debt exposure of the District will go down. Our projected amortization of debt this year is $2.96 million, inclusive of the $950,000 that the District is contemplating issuing between now and the end of the year, it is expected that the District’s overall debt exposure will go down by $2 million. This is consistent with what we have done in the past. In 2012 our overall debt went down by $2.3 million and in 2011 it went down by $2.5 million so the overall debt of the District is being reduced.

After hearing no comments or questions, President Brault asked for a motion to adjourn the public hearing.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to adjourn the public hearing on the proposal to sell $950,000 in General Obligation Limited Tax Park Bonds. 

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

PUBLIC HEARING: 2013 BUDGET & APPROPRIATIONS FUND:

President Brault declared the public hearing was open for comments on the Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation of Funds for the Wilmette Park District, Cook County, Illinois, for the fiscal year beginning on the 1st day of January, 2013 and ending on the 31st day of December 2013. Notice of this public hearing was published on January 2 in the Wilmette Beacon and the Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation of Funds Ordinance has been on display and available for public inspection at the Administration Offices of the Wilmette Park District, 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, since December 14, 2012. President Brault added that the Board and staff held seven different workshops and meetings regarding this budget which was presented in full on December 5, 2012.

President Brault asked if anyone would like to speak on the 2013 Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation of Funds 2013. 
 
James Holland, 610 Maple Avenue, stated that at a previous Park Board meeting, he heard a report by Commissioner Olvany which indicated the District was 66% in arrears on pension liability but there had been no discussion on how much money was involved or how that deficit was going to be addressed. As a result, he would like to hear on how the District determines or handles that amount and what that amount would be.

President Brault stated the fund is not in arrears since it is an unfunded pension liability. It actually is a calculation based on a scenario that if every current employee of the District retired today then the District would calculate what that pension amount would be starting today. The nature of the calculation is different from saying that the fund is in arrears.

Superintendent Eppelheimer added that the District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) contains several pages that deal with the pension liability of the District through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Part of the calculation’s yearly amount that the District pays is included in that calculation so there is a portion of the yearly funding as we move along to help reduce the unfunded liability. This calculation is done at the end of each year and determines what the District has in assets versus what that unfunded liability would be in total. Then the unfunded portion is posted in the CAFR as well as a number of other documents that explain how that calculation is made and gets funded over the long term.
Superintendent Eppelheimer also explained that the calculation is an actuarial assumption or number that is taken into account for both younger and older employees as to when they will potentially retire and what needs to be in the fund to take care of the pension for the remainder of their lives. That number feeds the normal pension costs that are allocated from IMRF so in addition to what the employees pay into the fund, the District has an additional pension cost which we then pay to help that unfunded position. It changes from year-to-year based on the market value of the assets and the portfolio which is managed by IMRF.As of December 31, 2011, the approximate unfunded pension liability is currently at $6.4 million.

Commissioner Benz asked what the percentage was in the fund. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated he would need to look at the CAFR but it is also posted on the District’s web site. Commissioner Olvany explained that this topic will be discussed over the next few months and those agenda items will be announced to the public. In addition, the document that President Brault was referring to does contain a specific line item that this year the District has to provide a contribution to IMRF which is the pension fund in which employees participate. That number is consistently above the actuarial assumption. We make the actuarial assumption every year and we are above the statutorily required contribution.

Hearing no further questions or comments, President Brault announced that all persons desiring to be heard have been given an opportunity to present oral or written testimony with respect to the 2013 Proposed Budget and Appropriations. Hearing no further comments or questions, President Brault asked for a motion to adjourn the public hearing.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to adjourn the 2013 Budget & Appropriations public hearing of the 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 declared the 2013 Budget & Appropriations hearing adjourned.

President Brault called the regularly scheduled Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:45 pm. Executive Director Wilson conducted the roll call and a quorum was established.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2012 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.

Commissioner Olvany indicated he would like to make a revision to these minutes. In the original document on page five, third paragraph, the second sentence has been eliminated from the original document and the third sentence has been revised. As a result, it now states that “Commissioner Olvany thought it was important to consider the impact of capital expenditures and the overall 2013 budget on fund balances.”

Commissioner Olvany also proposed revising page 8, paragraph two, the second sentence which he would like to strike since he did not tour the Glen Ellyn and Lake Bluff Paddle Tennis facilities as that sentence indicated. In addition, he would like to add a second sentence which would read “This means there were 13 or 14 teams on day one which doesn’t sound like a reasonable assumption to him.”   

President Brault stated the Board would make those changes as an amendment to the motion on the floor.

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

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the December 10, 2012 Regular Board Meeting.

Commissioner Olvany stated that on Page 14, in the second to last paragraph on the third line down, the word “concessions” should be changed to “concussions”.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:

- Email from Robert Kirsch re: research committees and use of memorials.
- Email from Robin Baugher re: Langdon Park/Lakefront Plan Alternatives
- Email from Annie Wolter re: Lakefront Master Plan
- Email from Barb Bischoff Kleeman re: the future development of Gillson Park
- Email from Rachel Liss re: increased fees at the pool for non-residents
- Email from Jeremy Diamond re: his experience with a confrontation between  recreational and hockey skaters at the outdoor ice rink.
- Email from Kara McAlister thanking the Board for their time and support to  making Thornwood Park for hockey players.
- Email from Lee Frank re: his support for Go Green’s recommendations for the  lakefront.
- Email from Steve Jansen re: his previous communications related to the lakefront  which he hopes the Board has reviewed.
- Email from Christine Norrick re: her comments on the existing viewsheds and  how the proposed plan alters them.
- Email from Patty Hanson re: upgrading the sailing shack with appropriate  technology and a permanent restroom for the sailors.
- Email from Dennis McBride re: his comments and suggestions for the lakefront.
- Email from Howard Sandroff re: the length of commissioners’ terms,  Commissioner Murdock, and suggestions for the lakefront including unnecessary  regulations.
- Email from the Gutekanst Donahue Family re: her suggestions for the lakefront.
- Email from Diane Fisher re: the use of organic/natural materials for our parks  and developing a kayak trail with stopovers.

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS: None

APPROVAL OF VOUCHER LIST:

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,118,307.41, 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 stated the two public hearings held earlier in tonight’s meeting and the action item related to the approval of the Budget & Appropriations Ordinance will be taken up under New Business. Also under New Business, there is a resolution for a new bank account which will help to improve our cash control procedures as it relates to paying our vendors and is a system that we already have in place for our payroll disbursements. It is basically just a slight enhancement to our cash handling procedures that Superintendent Eppelheimer has brought forward. Under the agenda item for the Centennial Committee, there are the bids related to the Centennial Ice/Tennis facility.

The annual state conference of the Illinois Parks & Recreation Association/Illinois Association of Park Districts will be held at the end of January. Several staff members will be attending the conference and partaking in sessions. In the past, staff submitted entries for the Agency Showcase which consists of marketing competitions and the District has performed extremely well with winning First Place twice and Second Place once. This year we chose not to enter the competition but staff did enter into several sub-categories and we anticipate being recognized in those categories as well.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany reported the committee did not meet in December. However, Commissioners and staff met as a Committee-of-the-Whole on December 5, 2012 to discuss our financial plan and budget. The Committee will next meet on Monday night, January 28, 2013 to discuss the bond issuance for which the public hearing was held tonight. Discussion will center on the term and market conditions of that bond offering.

Parks & Recreation Committee – President Brault stated that Parks & Recreation also did not meet in December but will be meeting immediately following this Board meeting to discuss the design of the paddle tennis facility. The regularly scheduled Parks & Recreation Committee meeting will be held next week Monday night, January 21, 2013.

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Committee met on Saturday, January 12 and reviewed the 2012 year-end numbers. Rounds for the year totaled 41,984 compared to 137,000 last year. Round revenue was $$1.5 million which was $170,000 higher than the prior year. Pro shop sales totaled $184,000 compared to $176,000 last year. Driving Range sales totaled $180,000 vs. $85,000 last year. Total rounds of golf for December totaled 476 rounds compared to 393 in 2011 and 6 in 2010. Commissioner Olvany added this season was the longest the course had ever been open and had not closed for one entire day all season. Commissioner Crowley stated a total of 30 diseased trees will be or have been taken down this winter and there will be more to come. The Committee also discussed the surcharge for the golf course and settled on a $3 per-round across-the-board charge. It was also reported that everything is on track for the project and the architect is moving forward and on target.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met this evening prior to the Park Board meeting. The main topic of discussion was the replacement of the ice chiller system which has been discussed for several years. The facility is 37 years old and the equipment to maintain the ice has never been replaced during that time. As a result, it is beyond its useful life. In recent years there have been some issues with the ice and staff anticipates there will be more issues in the future unless it is replaced. This project has been delayed for several years and the decision was made to do the project this year so a budget was set and the bids came in last week. However, the bids exceeded the budget by more than what we were comfortable with so we spent time discussing why the bids were higher than anticipated  and what the next step should be. When budgeting for the project, we hired a consultant to advise us on the cost of the project. However, no action was taken at tonight’s Centennial Committee meeting since it was decided we needed more information from the consultant on what the budget was based on and how it relates to the bids that came in. The Committee then decided to delay a recommendation on the ice project until they could discuss this with the consultant sometime this week. If there is another meeting scheduled regarding this issue, it will be a public meeting and hopefully we will get some questions answered and then a recommendation will be made to the full Board, hopefully at a Special Meeting of the Park Board next week.

President Brault added that a Centennial Operations Committee meeting will be scheduled for Thursday, January 17, at 5:00 pm to discuss the bids for Centennial. In addition, a Special Meeting of the Park Board will be held on Monday, January 21 at 6:15 pm and be followed by the regularly scheduled Parks & Recreation Committee meeting.

President Brault then clarified that all of the bid recommendation items listed on the agenda will be deferred until next week Monday’s public meeting. 

OLD BUSINESS

President Brault stated the Board has been contemplating the renovation of the lakefront for several years now. To date, the role of the Board has been one of taking input from the public on what improvements they would like to see from a variety of sources through workshops, our web site, and several open meetings wherein we had asked for input. To date, our consultants have been trying to consolidate the input which has been provided to us but of all the ideas discussed and put forth, none of them have been advocated to date by the Board. Given that we have not really commented officially as a Board, this item under Old Business is to allow for our own discussion on what the Board has seen to date. This is not an effort to shape the next step for the consultants but rather to provide input to each other on what we have seen in terms of specific content as well as the process we have been following. We are now at a point where we should reflect at what we have done so far and determine if we should enhance or modify our process or stay on the same course.

President Brault stated that the next formal step for the consultants is to narrow down the presentation items and again review what has been put forth by the public. Ultimately it will be our job to determine what goes into the plan and the specifics will be our responsibility. In terms of the process itself, he believes now is a good time to determine if we should stay on the same course or correct it.

Commissioner Benz proposed a fourth plan which would consist of bringing the consultants back to provide input on what they had heard from the public and then have them enumerate the assumptions they would use moving forward with the plan to make sure it conforms with our notes.

Commissioner Olvany thought Commissioner Benz had a great idea and stated one idea previously discussed which made a lot of sense was to bring the consultants back with a list of “must haves” and include an estimated budget and a time period for those “must haves”. We would then explain what our expectations are for the enhancements, create a wish list and set a time period for implementation. He added that this process was very similar to what we did in regard to the condition of the Wilmette Harbor and what the necessary steps would have been to get the Harbor through the next 50 years. It would also be very helpful to have a timeline, prices, and a budget.

Commissioner Shelly agreed and stated this process is similar to what the Golf Committee did and she feels we cannot move forward until we get an idea of what some of these items will cost and prioritize what absolutely must be done. President Brault thought the next step should be the evaluation of the process and at this point we have been gathering ideas. One of the things he would like to see happen is to change the way we have been gathering input. So far we have been asking people to tell us what they would like. He feels staff should come up with a plan and then go out to certain segments of the community to make sure input is received from a variety of places. President Brault added he was hoping Director Wilson could come up with a program wherein we would be projecting our information to specific places to make sure we are reaching all aspects of the community. Commissioner Shelly thought it would be a good idea to reach out to those families with younger children as well as other users of the lakefront to gather their input in some way.

President Brault stated the consultants are not scheduled to come back until a few months from now. As a result, he would like the Board to continue the discussion of obtaining additional community input and would like to raise this question again at our February 11 Board meeting to see if the Commissioners have come up with any other ideas.

Commissioner Olvany stated that as Commissioner Benz pointed out, all of this information is currently in the hands of staff in terms of passively received information. As a result, instead of giving that information to the consultants and asking what they heard, maybe we should have our staff ask them. Commissioner Benz stated he thinks it is important to make sure the people who are going to formulate the plan have an accurate idea of what everyone’s input was. Director Wilson stated he thought it would be reasonable to ask our consultants what they think before they do more work.

Commissioner Crowley asked what the cost would be to prepare a “must-have” list and Director Wilson replied that he believed it would not be difficult to do. Commissioner Crowley stated it would be interesting if we had a “must-have” list from our point of view and then compare that list to what Commissioner Benz created as well as the list the consultants came up with. Director Wilson stated that as Commissioner Benz pointed out, he also thinks it would be a good idea to know if we would be comfortable moving forward with the next step since eventually the consultants will return with drawings and we do not want the Board to say they never heard back from anyone. Commissioner Crowley asked if a dollar figure could be attached to the “must-have” list since that could dictate a lot of where we go next. Commissioner Benz asked if that would be an assignment for staff and Director Wilson replied it would be. Commissioner Benz stated we should get as much information together as possible and that everyone has heard the same things.

Director Wilson stated that when talking about the “must-haves”, there will always be room for debate. Staff could say one thing and the community would say another. There is a certain amount of what staff believes needs to be done but there is also public opinion. As a result, we all need to make sure we are on the same page moving forward. He added that if he was asked to put together a plan to seek further input of from different segments of the population, it would take longer than a month to do so.

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve Ordinance, 2013-O-1, AN ORDINANCE MAKING A COMBINED ANNUAL BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGININNG JANUARY 1, 2013 AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2013 as recommended by the Committee-of-the-Whole.

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 Graham seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2013-R-1, a banking resolution to establish a new account with Chase Bank providing additional cash management controls.

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

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2013-R-2, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (CARSON PIRIE SCOTT).

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

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve Resolution 2013-R-3, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING INTERVENTION IN A PENDING PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEAL (1120 MICHIGAN AVENUE).

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 reminded everyone that the Parks & Recreation Committee will be meeting immediately after this meeting to review the paddle tennis designs.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

MINUTES APPROVED ON FEBRUARY 11, 2013.