Wilmette Park District
Minutes of Regular Meeting of the
Board of Park Commissioners
Monday, August 18, 2014
7:30 p.m. – Village Hall Council Chambers

Attendees Present

Commissioners: President James Crowley; John Olvany, Gary Benz, James Brault, Shelley Shelly, Bryan Abbott and Amy Wolfe

Secretary/Executive Director Stephen Wilson
Superintendents: Kathy Bingham, Jeff Bowen, Ken Eppelheimer and Bill Lambrecht
Communications Manager Shelagh Donoghue
Executive Administrative Assistant Cindy Felicicchia

Attendees Absent


I. Meeting  Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

A. Roll call taken.

II. Approval of Minutes

A. Commissioner Crowley moved to approve the minutes from the Regular Board Meeting of July 14, 2014, Commissioner Shelly seconded; all voted yes, the motion carried.

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

III. Communications and Correspondence

Commissioner Crowley acknowledged an email from CJ Bendy commending staff on the layout and photos of the Leisure Guide. He congratulated staff on a job well done.

Commissioner Crowley commented regarding a relatively new Wilmette resident, who approached him with a request to offer cross country skiing at the Wilmette golf course. He stated we will look at this to see what the interest might be. Commissioner Crowley passed it on to Director Wilson and Superintendent Bingham to research.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Kathy Routliffe, Pioneer Press
Dan Dorfman, Beacon
Beth Beucher, Wilmette resident

V. Approval of Voucher List

Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Benz seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $2,282,738.64, 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, Olvany, Abbott, Shelly and Wolfe; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

VI. Executive Director’s Report

Director Wilson reported on the following topics:

  • It is the end of the summer season and all of our summer camps are winding down. This year there were 5,844 enrolled in our summer camp program which is up about 400 from last year. Once again it was a very safe, successful and fun summer season.
  • The Lakefront master plan renderings have been put up in large scale banner displays located at Langdon and Gillson. The renderings will also be placed in different formats in many of the District’s remaining facilities which will help increase community awareness.
  • The maintenance mode is more typical this year than last year. The lighting and air-conditioning maintenance work is wrapping up at the tennis facility. West Park has undergone some maintenance work that was needed for concrete and some siding on the building. 
  • The Parks & Recreation Committee reviewed the West Park Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). A report and recommendation will be addressed later in this meeting.
  • During the Financial Planning and Policy report this evening they will recommend a standard business practice ordinance authorizing the disposal of surplus property.
  • A couple of staff changes have taken place:
  • Brad Smith our paddle pro has resigned for a better opportunity.
  • Sarah Heston has resigned as our Arts Supervisor. She was offered a wonderful opportunity.
  • Carla Juliar who has been with the District since 1978 is resigning the end of this month. Next Board meeting we will have a Resolution to recognize her long superb service with the park district.
  • Tim Amorella our Assistant Lakefront Manager at the lakefront has resigned for an opportunity that works better for his family. We wish him luck as well.

The District wishes them all nothing but success.

VII. Committee Reports

Commissioner Crowley stated that New Trier has decided to go with a referendum question on the November 4th ballot. He indicated that, we as a Board and consensus have decided to postpone going forward with a referendum question until, at the earliest April of 2015. He acknowledged that it is a wise decision on behalf of this Board by not putting undue burden on the residents with two referendum questions. This will give the District a chance to regroup and do more due diligence for all the actions involved in a project of this size. 

Commissioner Olvany agreed and stated this will give people the time to take in what we are doing and give the community the opportunity to focus on one project at a time. Commissioner Crowley praised the communication efforts of New Trier official, Al Dolinko, who has gone out of his way to talk to us and communicate what the mood and plan has been.

A. Lakefront Committee:

Commissioner Abbott reported on the following topics:

  • A 2nd Annual Camp-Out was held down at the lakefront which was well attended.
  • Staff is looking into some ideas for food truck events. Commissioner Olvany commented that the Triathlon held on September 14th will have food truck vendors. Superintendent Bingham is working on getting them in place.
  • The staff has finalized their Lakefront master plan estimate of $14.4. Discussions are underway for the construction schedule.

B. Facilities Operations Committee:

Commissioner Shelly reported on the following topics:

  • Tennis: fall lesson registration will be on August 23rd. Classes will begin on August 25th. The lights and air conditioning maintenance at the tennis facility are just about completed. Tennis pro shop is having a sale September 1st through September 30th.
  • Centennial Ice: the rink will host a PSA coaches’ seminar on August 17th.  Ice contracts are out and waiting on returns. In regards to the Look-Up Line the District is in a wait and see mode. USA Hockey and most of the surrounding areas are not endorsing it at this time.
  • Pool: The cooler weather has equated to the overall numbers; memberships were down about 284 from last year. Staffing has been running smoothly. There were 4 lifeguard classes held with great results.
  • Paddle: a new pro has been hired her name is Ania Kazakevich.

C. Parks & Recreation Committee:

Commissioner Wolfe reported on the following topics:

  • Camps have been very successful this summer with 3,948 campers; over 200 more campers from last year.
  • Try Me classes were offered for some fall classes, enrollment went very well.
  • Nonresident for fall classes starts tomorrow.
  • On September 8th all the after school programming will be starting; except for Harper which starts in January.
  • Early childhood and Kindergarten enrichment will start August 28th.
  • Committee is looking at a new contract for the Kindergarten enrichment lunches which will be presented at the next Board meeting.
  • Eagles football is starting on August 23rd.
  • Soccer starts on September 6th.
  • Gymnastics late summer camp is still going on with over 625 enrolled.
  • Community Recreation Center is currently doing their annual clean-up of the building. The Fitness Center will be closed for their annual clean-up from August 20th through August 22nd.
  • Committee would like to recommend approval of Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Wilmette in regard to usage of West Park to install a sanitary sewer reservoir and to authorize the Board President in conjunction with legal counsel to make any immaterial changes. Commissioner Brault seconded; all voted yes, the motion carried.

Commissioner Crowley asked for a brief update on what all this entails. Director Wilson commented that in conjunction with the Village of Wilmette they are going to excavate the majority of the baseball field area and what we use for lacrosse in West Park to install a 5½ million gallon tank that takes sanitary discharge during major rain events that is caused by infiltration of storm water into the sanitary system. This tank is designed to fill up so it does not go into resident’s basements. The benefit beyond the storm water and sanitary control is that the District will be installing a synthetic turf field complex in that location so the District would have more useable fields. The tentative schedule for excavation to begin is October 2014 through September 2015; synthetic field complete by March of 2016.

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

D. Golf Operations Committee:

Commissioner Crowley reported on the following topics:

  • A video was shown that pertained to the golf course opening.  Great reviews have been received on the renovations of the golf course. The course looks spectacular with just a few areas where there is new grass and new seed off the fairway which will need some more time to mature.

E. Financial Planning Committee:

Commissioner Olvany reported on the following topics:

  • The committee reviewed the financing options for the Lakefront Master Plan. One of the analyses discussed is what the impact on the average tax payer is if the referendum did not happen in November which will be discussed again moving forward. The plan was to come up with a financing plan that will not raise taxes for the first five years and then have a tax impact of less than the rate of inflation for the remainder of the life of the financing. The completed analyses will be dusted off and committee will come up with another estimate that is closer to the expected date that we will have a referendum out.
  • 2013 Tax Levy – the amount of your tax bill that is related to the Wilmette Park District has dropped slightly. This Board has been monitoring this very closely. On the other hand the overall evaluation of all the property that happens every three years has also dropped substantially. We will keep that into consideration when we put together the budgets for the next few years.
  • 1st Quarter Financial results and golf was a little behind given the weather but overall we are doing a very good job of keeping our financial house in order.
  • Commissioner Olvany moved and Commissioner Brault seconded a motion to approve Ordinance 2014-O-4, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND PROVIDING FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY 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, Olvany, Abbott, Shelly and Wolfe; voting No: None. Absent: None; motion carried.

VIII. Old Business

Commissioner Wolfe commented on the renderings at the facilities around town and getting the positive reactions from people.

Commissioner Brault asked if the District has created any type of vehicle to coordinate community’s expressions. Director Wilson stated that a project specific website is currently being worked on that will allow direct feedback from the community. Commissioner Olvany asked about getting the word out at soccer events. Director Wilson stated that soccer is right around the corner and we can pick a few key dates. Commissioner Crowley asked staff and everyone on the Board to work backwards with a timeline from April to make sure we hit key target dates. Commissioner Crowley asked if anyone was interested in doing the French Market to show renderings. Members all agreed to participate.

IX. New Business


X. Adjournment

There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at
8:03 p.m.