Financial Planning & Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes

Date:   September 23, 2013

Location:  Administration Conference Room

Time:  6:30 p.m.

Committee:  G. Benz, J. Brault, and Chair J. Olvany
Board Members: J. Crowley
Staff: S. Wilson, K. Bingham, J. Bowen, K. Eppelheimer, B. Lambrecht, S. Holloway
Visitors: Ron Amen, Lauterbach & Amen, LLP

Agenda Topics:
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Communications and Correspondence
4. Recognition of Visitors
5. Old Business
6. New Business
7. Adjourn to Closed Session
8. Reconvene Regular Meeting
9. Next Meeting
10. Adjournment

Discussion Items
1) The Meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.

2) The Committee approved the minutes of August 26, 2013 subject to changes in the discussion on IMRF.

3) Communications and Correspondence – None.

4) Recognition of Visitors – Chair Olvany recognized Ron Amen of L&A, Commissioner Crowley and staff in attendance.

5) Old Business

          a. Personnel Policy Manual – Superintendent Bowen briefed the Committee on the last review and provided follow-up requested by the Committee on the proposed use of unused/unpaid sick time towards retirement and the fact the District cannot withdraw from IMRF. There was continued discussion on the pension impact of unused/unpaid paid sick-time and the concern of proper funding of the plan given the many retirements anticipated over the next 5 to 10 years. It was requested a pension projection be developed by IMRF to show the impact to the District’s pension funding status. The financial impact of potential payout of earned sick time was requested by the Committee.  Discussion of including sick time in the paid time off rather than a separate grouping of sick time was discussed, and the Committee asked staff to continue research of options.  

The Committee discussed Sections 7 – Safety in the Workplace, 8 – Disciplinary Action, 9 – Grievance Process and Procedure and 10 – Separation of Employment.  There were no issues on Safety in the Workplace.  There was some discussion on need for employees to sign written warnings (documents that the discussion took place), examples of reasons for disciplinary action and the failure to maintain valid driver’s license (if required for a position).  There was a question of how often the review of dismissals reaches the Executive Director (fairly often).  Finally, the grievance process and procedure was reviewed along with the final separation of employment.  Appendices A through H and the required legal standing will be reviewed at the next Committee meeting along with the requested research by the staff on pension and PTO issues.

          b. Audit Plan Progress – Chair Olvany started the discussion by welcoming Ron Amen of Lauterbach & Amen.  He asked if Mr. Amen had an opportunity to revisit issues brought to the Committee in May.  Mr. Amen responded that he did have several conversions with Executive Director Wilson, Superintendent Eppelheimer and Mann Weitz & Associates, read the status report provided by staff and briefly reviewed reconciliation documentation prepared by staff to evaluate the progress the District staff in addressing management letter concerns.  Although he reserved the right to audit, he felt the District was on the right path and took his concerns seriously enough to make the changes a priority.  When asked if his firm would return to perform the 2013 audit, Mr. Amen confirmed that he had provided an engagement letter to the Executive Director.  The Committee was pleased that Mr. Amen took the time to make the evaluation and confirmed that these issues are still a priority.  There was no action required by the Committee at this time.

          c. 2013 Capital Plan Update – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented year-to-date expenditures and estimates to complete the items in the 2013 capital improvement plan.  He confirmed that the Committee’s request that the status report be shared with other Committees including Golf, Parks & Recreation, Facilities and the Lakefront was done during September.  There was some discussion on the impact the total spending has on the budget, if the deferred projects meet the over spending on other projects and other evaluations that need to be included as part of the five year capital plan.  There was no action required by the Committee at this time.

          d. Debt Certificate Issue for Golf Course Master Plan – Ordinance 2013-O-6 – Superintendent Eppelheimer presented an update on the financing of the planned $500,000 debt issue for the golf construction work. A revised debt retirement schedule was presented.  Since there was no guarantee that the course would open in late May of 2014, the Committee suggested the retirement schedule be revised to retire more of the debt at the end of the five year period.  The Committee also asked questions on the draft Ordinance including that the method of funding the debt retirement (golf surcharge) was not specifically spelled out in the Ordinance, “The District agrees to appropriate funds annually and in  a timely manner so as to provide for the making of all payments when due.”  Superintendent Eppelheimer noted that there was no statutory authority for the levy of a separate tax to pay any of the amounts due.  Funding will come from operations through the surcharge per round of golf.  The Committee recommended Ordinance 2013-O-6 be approved by the full Board.

5) Evanston Wilmette Community Golf Course Association (EWCGCA) – Superintendent Eppelheimer updated the Committee on the recent payment received from the EWCGCA for $366.  An invoice was sent for the recent water bills covering mid- June until mid-September for $2,825. There was discussion on the success of the Northwester football game parking and whether the District would be willing to allow parking to expand onto the Park District leased property. Consensus was to not favor this activity and that the Village may place additional restrictions. There was no action needed by the Committee at this time but they wished the topic to be on the agenda for the next couple of meeting.

6) New Business – None

7) Adjourn to Closed Session: Discussion of the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the District per Section 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act – On a motion made, seconded, and with a roll call vote, the Committee adjourned to closed session at 8:06 p.m.

8) Reconvene Regular Meeting – The Committee arose from Closed Session at 8:14 p.m. and reconvened the Regular Financial Planning & Policy Committee meeting.

9)  Next Meeting – The next meeting is scheduled for October 28, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at the Administration Office.

10) Adjournment – With no further business to discuss, the Committee adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Minutes were taken by Ken Eppelheimer.