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 Crowley; Commissioners Bryan Abbott, Gary Benz, James Brault, Shelley Shelly, and Amy Wolfe; Secretary/Executive Director Stephen Wilson; Assistant Secretary Judy Ostrem


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

VISITORS:  Nada Becker, Wilmette Chamber of Commerce

President Crowley announced 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, 2014 and ending on the 31st day of December, 2014. President Crowley stated that all persons desiring to be heard will now have the opportunity to present oral or written testimony with respect to the 2014 Proposed Budget and Appropriations Ordinance. Hearing none, the public hearing regarding the Combined Annual Budget and Appropriations of Funds for the Wilmette Park District was declared closed. President Crowley then called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:35 pm. Director Wilson conducted the roll call and a quorum was established.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Shelly seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the December 9, 2013 Regular Board meeting.

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

Commissioner Brault moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the December 11, 2013 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting (2014 Budget Workshop).

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

- Letter from George Biederman and Beth Richmond expressing their current high level of satisfaction with the Center Fitness Club and thanking fitness staff for being the most positive and helpful group since they joined in 2004.

- E-mail from Mathew and Kim Hartigan thanking Superintendent Lambrecht and his” terrific” crew for their help in trimming tree branches that were hitting their home and dropping sap on their cars. 

President Crowley introduced Nada Becker from the Wilmette Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Becker stated that the Wilmette Holiday Parade has been a tradition for 26 years and is supported by local businesses and residents who look forward to this event which is unique in this area. Two years ago the Chamber decided to present awards to those entries thought to be the best in the parade and the Park District rose to the occasion with their multi-dimensional entry. The crowd was entertained by the musical selections, the costumed characters, dancers and floats that were everything the Chamber was looking for in terms of the holiday spirit. The Chamber has awarded the Park District with best overall entry for the last two years and she knows how much work it takes and the time and effort expended to create these entries which makes our parade so much better. In fact, we can’t wait to see what the Park District will be doing for the parade in 2014. President Crowley then thanked Ms. Becker for the positive contributions that the Wilmette Chamber of Commerce does for Wilmette.

Commissioner Abbott stated he wanted to recognize Eagle Scout Candidate Colin Richards from Boy Scout Troop 5 who is here tonight as part of his Citizenship in the Community Merit badge which is required before moving on to Eagle Scout.

Commissioner Shelly moved and Commissioner Wolfe seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,684,091.69, 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 Abbott, Benz, Brault, Crowley, Olvany, Shelly, and Wolfe; voting No -- None. Absent – None; Motion carried.

Director Wilson reported that 2014 started off with some interesting weather which caused some logistical obstacles for us to deal with. In particular, we received a very large amount of snow that kept our Parks Department busy to keep our sidewalks and parking lots safe for those who visit our facilities. It also kept the rest of the recreation and facility staff making sure that all of our classes were taking place. “Kudos” go to the entire Park District staff for keeping everything running as much as possible. Some of our classes, such as the after school programs, ran all day because the schools had closed. In general, all of our procedures worked out despite the weather.

Director Wilson added that our Summer Camp Guide has been delivered which means it’s time to start planning for the summer. One way to capitalize on the learning experience beyond the camp guide is that we also hold an open house from 6 to 8 pm at the CRC. Our camp directors will be there to figure out what is perfect for you and your child for summer camp. After that on January 28 at 9 am, online and in-person registration opens up for residents to register for those summer camps.

The District received another award recently from PDRMA who annually assess all of their member agencies and we were issued the Loss Control Award which is the highest achievable level.  The award also came with a certificate as well as a $1,500 check to help enhance our safety procedures even more for our staff and patrons.

The annual IAPD/IPRA Conference is being held in Chicago next week from January 23-25. Much of the Administrative Team as well as staff throughout the District will be in attendance. There will be all types of educational sessions as well as sessions related to continual development of our professional skills. There will also be a lot of networking with other park districts in order to gather additional knowledge.

Director Wilson stated that when looking at tonight’s agenda under Financial Planning, we have approval of the Budget & Appropriations Ordinance which is the formal passage of the 2014 budget. This Board and the Committees met several times on this topic and nothing in it has changed from our previous reports.

Lastly, we had our first meeting of the revitalized Ouilmette Foundation and 9 of the 11 members were able to attend. It was about an hour-long meeting and they took care of all of the business, passed the bylaws, appointed officers, passed the Conflict of Interest policies, set a meeting schedule, and set the direction for the next meeting as well. It was overall a very positive and exciting meeting and he really looks forward to working with this group. However, the Ouilmette Foundation meetings are not affiliated with the Park District so their meeting schedules will not be on our web site. However, the Foundation did choose to meet on the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm with the location yet to be determined. A press release will also be distributed shortly.

President Crowley added that two members of the Board, Commissioners Olvany and Wolfe who have really championed for this Foundation. He added that the two of them worked hard to make the Foundation become a reality and we that them both for all of their hard work.

Commissioner Olvany asked that for those residents who have children coming home for the summer are there any employment opportunities at the District for them during the summer camp season and when does that whole process start. Director Wilson replied that the process has started and staff has already begun the summer hiring process. During the holiday break, a lot of students returned home and filled out job applications which can also be done online on our web site. In general, the District is moving “full board” on the hiring process for all of our seasonal positions so if anyone knows someone who is looking for a summer job, direct them to our web site (www.wilmettepark.org).

Financial Planning & Policy Committee
Committee Chair Olvany reported the Financial Planning Committee did not meet in December since both a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting and a Capital Planning meeting were held with the full Board in December. However, he does want to mention some of the financial results for Fiscal Year 2013 that are in our packets and despite all of the issues that we had, he thinks the Board and staff did a phenomenal job in terms of getting as close to the budget as possible even through the various trials and tribulations of 2013. He added that kudos go to the staff for dealing with weather- and construction-related issues and he is looking forward to the next Financial Planning meeting in a few weeks.

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-O-1, AN ORDINANCE MAKING A COMBINED ANNUAL BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS FOR THE WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2014 AND ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2014 as recommended by the Financial Planning and Policy Committee.

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

Parks & Recreation Committee
Committee Chair Shelly reported the Committee did not meet in December but does want to thank Bill Lambrecht and his crew for building the outdoor ice rinks. We have had some great weather this year so and the rinks at Thornwood Park and Gillson Park were especially enjoyed over the winter break. In addition, “101 Dalmatians” will be the next Wilmette Children’s Theater production and auditions are currently ongoing. The next Parks & Recreation Committee meeting will be on held on Monday, January 20, at 6:30 pm.

Golf Operations Committee
Committee Chair Brault stated that the Golf Operations Committee also did not meet in December but staff did provide a brief update. In regard to the condition of the golf course and even though we have had cold and snowy weather, all of the newly seeded greens and tee areas have been covered through the bad weather and we don’t think at this point that any damage was sustained on those newly seeded areas. The freeze-thaw cycle in the spring could be a key concern but so far we are managing everything. We are also working on marketing ideas for the reopening of the course in the spring. We are currently on target to open around Memorial Day so in conjunction with that we will have some kick-off events and staff is currently in the process of generating those ideas.

The last item being worked on is the possibility of setting up a two-year membership for 2014 and 2015 so we are looking at pricing models that may include a slight discount in order entice the golfers to sign up for that two-year period.

Lakefront Committee
Committee Chair Benz stated the Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, January 21, at 6:30 pm and he apologizes to the Board since he stated at the last meeting that we would have a plan for approval at tonight’s Board meeting. However, he did not take into account the busy holiday schedule and in addition, our consultants now need more time as well which is why the Committee meeting was moved from last Monday to next week Tuesday.
Facilities Operations
Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee met earlier this evening and it was reported that the holiday camps were successful and Tennis registration lessons start on Saturday, January 18. A new program for high school match play has also been set up for those students who are contemplating trying out for a high school team and sign-ups for that will be held at Centennial.

This year’s participation in the ice rink’s open skating programs is up almost 10% over last year. For example, our “Skate with Santa” event had 215 children opposed to 166 last year. Other upcoming events include the ISI District competition which will be at our facility on March 14-16, 2014. Also scheduled this season at our ice rink are some college hockey and high school girls’ championships.

The Paddle Tennis facility is now completely open and the interior looks terrific. We also added another women’s team for our second session and there are 12 men’s teams resulting in a total number of 158 registered players. The Committee also looked at a recap of the costs incurred because of wall falling down at Centennial. In total we expect the total cost we will incur will be just under $2 million ($1.996 million) which is inclusive of the last couple of pieces for which we have not yet been billed. However, staff believes it will be around $2,000 and 100% of that cost will be reimbursed to us by PDRMA. The second component of that is we will get the additional work on the other pods in the building and that cost will be just under $500,000 dollars and none of that cost will be covered by our insurance.

President Crowley stated that at the Facilities Committee meeting held this evening before the Board meeting, there was some conversation about the facility being used for children’s parties and he thought one staff person mentioned we were booking a lot of those. Chair Brault stated that a Paddle Tennis party for children had taken place yesterday and added that the facility is open to anyone who would like to book a party which can be done by calling Manager Brad Smith, our head pro. Chair Brault added that when booking a party, the players will have exclusive use of the facility and all four courts for $375. It is also a terrific place to host parties for adults or children and it has a cozy fireplace with terrific view of the courts, a sink and coming soon, an oven as well.



There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 7:48 pm.