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, FEBRUARY 11, 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, and John Olvany; Secretary/Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem

ABSENT: Commissioner Shelley Shelly

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

VISITORS:   Park Board Candidates Bryan Abbott and Amy Wolfe

President Brault called the regularly scheduled Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:30 pm. Executive Director Wilson conducted the roll call and a quorum was established.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the January 14, 2013 Regular Board Meeting.

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

Commissioner Benz moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the January 21, 2013 Special Board Meeting.

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

COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:

- Email forwarded by Commissioner Olvany from Katie Clarke asking about the flooding process at the Thornwood Park ice rink. Referred to Parks & Recreation
- Phone message from Mike Murphy stating his concerns with the extremely loud sound of the pucks slamming into the backboards at the Thornwood Park ice rink. President then referred the correspondence to the Parks & Recreation Committee.

- Email from Karen Chavers of the Cook County Commissioner’s office thanking staff for their care and attention at an event held at the CRC.

Commissioner Murdock stated he would like to congratulate his son Casey Murdock who hit a half-court shot on national TV as part of the ESPN Game Day event. As a tie-in to the Park District, that is where his son learned how to play basketball and was a Saturday morning participant from grades 4-8. It was a great program and, he encourages other families to enroll their children as well since they may also find their child on national TV someday.

The second tie-in with the Park District is that his other son who is in 7th grade had played in Park District games earlier that same morning and his team won an overtime victory so the parents and coaches went to Homer’s for ice cream afterwards. When Commissioner Murdock heard about Casey’s basketball shot he bought ice cream for everyone. He would now like to expand on that by buying ice cream for all those children who participate in the District’s Saturday and Sunday morning basketball programs on Sunday, February 17, at the Michigan Shores Club. The 1st – 3rd graders who are involved in the Sunday program will be served from 1:30 to 3 pm and the 4th – 8th graders involved in the Saturday program will be served from 3 to 5 pm. He asked that the Park District basketball players should wear their uniforms and jerseys so that they will be able to get some ice cream on that day.

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 $1,125,200.90, 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, and Olvany; voting No -- None. Absent – Shelly; Motion carried.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:

Director Wilson reported that the District once again received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for the Fiscal Year 2011 audit which is the highest recognition achievable for financial reporting. In addition, this was the fifth year in a row that we received this award. Congratulations go to Superintendent Eppelheimer, the financial staff, and the rest of the District for achieving such a prestigious award. The District has also implemented new technology for the hiring of employees which will facilitate the hiring process for the District. Brian Udany had spearheaded this program for the District which utilizes new technology for posting job positions electronically on our web site and will allow applicants to submit their applications electronically as well. The program will be especially beneficial in the summer when we hire a lot of people who are spread all over the country. Director Wilson added that an icon has been placed on the main page of our web site under the category “About Us” which consists of another link for submitting applications. As a result of this change, the District will no longer be using paper applications.

At the end of January, several staff members and commissioners attended the annual IPRA/IAPD conference in Chicago. A lot of beneficial knowledge was shared with other districts which resulted in several new contacts that will be helpful when determining how to do certain things. This conference benefits staff for the entire year.

Director Wilson stated also on the tonight’s agenda under Financial Planning Committee is the deferred and carryover project list. These projects are those that were appropriated last year but for some reason were deferred to a future year. It is not necessary for the District to re-appropriate this money but it is always a good idea that the Board is aware those projects still exist and that everyone is still okay with them. The Financial Planning Committee has reviewed the list and a recommendation is included on the agenda.

Commissioner Murdock stated that the report also shows what the District has budgeted for a number of projects, what the actual costs were to complete those projects, and how close we were compared to budget. Superintendent Lambrecht and his staff are to be commended for the great job they do in managing these projects. Director Wilson agreed and added Superintendent Lambrecht does a fantastic job with all projects both large and small.

Under New Business, Director Wilson stated there was a bond issue on the agenda for which public hearings were held last month. Subsequently, the bonds were issued and the bond ordinance to ratify that issuance is on the agenda. Also under New Business is the annual agreement with the Wilmette Baseball Association (WBA) for the use of the District’s fields. He is asking for an authorization to sign the agreement and forward it to them so that everything can be put into place for the upcoming baseball season.

Director Wilson stated he has gathered contact information for all of our various PTO’s and Rotary Committees along with other community organizations as a follow-up to the directive given to him at last month’s Board meeting which was to seek out additional input for the Lakefront Master Plan. He plans on executing all of that information unless the Board has further suggestions. However, he had only contacted the grammar schools so he will also follow-up with Wilmette Junior High.

Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue has just launched the first District-wide Twitter account for the Park District with a handle of “@wilmetteparks”. This will be another method of providing updates on all types of types of activities and special events throughout the District. It is also planned to set up a Park District Facebook page as well.

Commissioner Olvany asked about the language in the motion related to the Wilmette Baseball Association in regard to conducting the youth baseball programs. He wanted to confirm that we pay them a fee in order to maintain our fields and programs but they do not conduct any of the programs since they do all of their own registration. Director
Wilson stated that this was the case and it is stated in that way because if they were not conducting such programs there would be expectations that we would.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Olvany reported the Committee had a very full agenda for January since they did not meet as a Committee since October. Discussion took place on the aforementioned capital carry-over project list which was described as being a great job done by staff. We also discussed the aforementioned bond issue. There were two other items under Old Business, one of which was the establishment of the Park District’s foundation which is better known as the Ouilmette Foundation. The Committee had previously discussed re-organizing and resuscitating this foundation and staff provided an update. It is anticipated there will shortly be revised by-laws so that we can move forward with the reinstatement of our 501(c)(3) status which would be followed by reaching out to the community for volunteers to be a part of that organization.  

Previous discussions had taken place at meetings in regard to the Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course Golf Association (EWCGCA) and the funds that had been in arrears to the Park District. Commissioner Olvany stated that Director Wilson indicated the EWCGCA seems to be getting their financial issues resolved and that it is anticipated they will pay all our bills in full within 30-60 days.

Committee Chair Olvany stated that the Committee reviewed the District’s financial report for 2012 which was a very strong year and that seven out of our eight operating divisions ran at an operating surplus which was a very nice result. The one division which did not have a surplus had actually been budgeted to run at a deficit. This then was another good example of the great operating year we experienced last year.

Lastly Superintendent Bowen reviewed the revisions made to the District’s Personnel Policy manual since it had not been revised in a number of years. The Committee will be reviewing this document over the next couple of months before making any recommendations to the full Board.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the carryover of capital projects totaling $513,777 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

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

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Murdock seconded a motion to approve Ordinance, 2013-O-2, AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF UP TO $950,000 IN GENERAL OBLIGATION LIMITED TAX PARK BONDS OF THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

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

President Brault asked what the District’s interest rates were on these bonds. Superintendent Eppelheimer replied they are .8% through year one, 1.0% for year two and 1.2% for year three. President Brault added that those projections exceeded less than what had been projected.

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

Parks & Recreation Committee – President Brault reported the Committee met on January 21 and the first half of the meeting consisted of a joint meeting with the Municipal Services Committee (MSC) of the Village of Wilmette. The primary topic for the joint meeting was the future of the Elmwood Avenue right-of-way. The Village has determined it will be retaining the right-of-way for passive use and that they will not be selling it to the neighbors or turning it into an active facility. The Committee had asked the Park District to take a look at this property although the Village would like to keep it as a passive park but does not want to operate it. As a result, they have asked the Park Board to consider operating it on the Village’s behalf. At the end of the meeting it was agreed that the Park District would provide the ViIlage with some cost estimates on what the various scenarios would be for running and monitoring the beach including guards in the busy season and maintenance. However, the Park District made no commitments on what involvement we may have on the right-of-way since that would be discussed after the Village informs us what they would like us to consider. The Park District would then return if it would be something we would entertain. At this point we are in a fact-producing mode and will relay any information to the Village for further discussion.

The second portion of the joint meeting primarily focused on the sailing beach operations at Gillson. Staff presented three potential options for the reformatting of the sailing beach with the main issue being the congested runway at the end of the beach wherein the hobie cats, sailboats, the stand-up-paddle (SUP) boards, and the kayaks are all going out or coming in at the same time which creates a dangerous situation for the sailboats since when they come to shore they need to pull up their rudders which results in less mobility. Three options were discussed and the first was to move the SUPs and kayaks to the south end of the controlled beach where the non-swimming beach starts. The second option was to move it to Langdon Park and the third was to move it further south in order to extend the sailing beach another 70 feet to the south. We are still taking input on this issue and will review the options again and gather additional information from our user groups at the next committee meeting.


Director Wilson added that of the three options, the recommendation from staff was to relocate the sailing area all the way down to the south beach just north of the pier. President Brault stated that after the Committee reviewed the options, there still wasn’t a consensus and that is why we will still be talking about this issue at the March meeting. He added that the biggest concern is having the paddle boards and kayaks in the same general vicinity as the sailboats which will result in “traffic jams” even if we attempt to redirect the boats. Commissioner Murdock stated the greatest concern is the number of yards that the sailboats need in order to come ashore since when they are pulling up their rudders, they do not have a lot of control. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen until they are further out into deeper water where the sailboats have more control. President Brault agreed and stated that was the issue.

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Committee did not meet in January or February. The Golf/Tennis lottery brochure was delivered this week and the reserved court time lottery will be held on Tuesday, March 19, at 6 pm. Commissioner Olvany stated the brochure also includes information for golfers in regard to their memberships especially and highlighting the fact that this year they will be receiving a membership for both 2013 and 2014 which means they will get two golf seasons for the price of one and a half seasons. President Brault added the expectation is that the course will be open until July 28 which will be the last day of play in 2013.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met this evening. Discussion took place on the District’s new online job application process. Chair Graham also emphasized that a “button” has been placed on our home page which will direct applicants to the new program. Centennial staff is currently conducting CPR certification for approximately 50 staff members in groups of four classes. The ice rink will be taken down in April in order to replace the fan system which is 37 years old and to make any other necessary repairs.

Two figure skaters who train at Centennial competed in the US Freestyle Nationals. Tomoki Hiwatashi competed in and won the Novice Division and Eric Stinehart competed in the Intermediate Division and took home the silver medal. The annual Ice Show will take place on April 19-21, 2013. In addition, there are 800 participants in the Learn-to-Skate program.

President Brault asked how the District was communicating the fact that the rink would be closed this spring. Director Wilson replied staff has definitely communicated with our participants that the Ice Show was going to be held in April this year instead of May. In addition to communicating with our patrons, this information has also been included twice in our brochures and we continue to communicate with those groups who rent time from us. We will also be providing updates on our site as we move closer to the weekend of the show.

At the tennis facility, several sections of Pirate Camps have sold out so staff is trying to expand some of those sections. The lottery application deadline for tennis is April 8 with the actual lottery taking place on Saturday, April 20 at 8 am.

OLD BUSINESS

President Brault stated that at last month’s Board meeting, discussion took place on the Lakefront Master Plan and on the Board’s review of that plan which included seeking additional public input. As a result, Director Wilson has indicated to the Board how he would be reaching out to the schools, PTO’s, etc. President Brault then asked the Board members if they had any further thoughts for the next round of what items must be done at the lakefront along with some cost allocations. Director Wilson stated staff has been working on that with JJR and should have a solid outline by the next Board meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to sign a license agreement with the Wilmette Baseball Association specifying the terms of the Wilmette Baseball Association’s use of Park District properties to conduct youth baseball programs, including an expenditure of $48,150 by the Park District for the Wilmette Baseball Association to conduct house league programs.

President Brault indicated this is essentially the same license agreement that we have had in place for many years.

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

Commissioner Murdock moved and Commissioner Olvany seconded a motion to adjourn to Closed Session for discussion of the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of a specific employee(s) of the District per Section 2(c)(1) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

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

The meeting adjourned to Closed Session at 7:58 pm.

The Regular Board meeting was reconvened at 8:16 pm.

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 pm.

MINUTES APPROVED ON MARCH 11, 2013.