MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011

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.

Vice President Brault called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

PRESENT: Vice President James Brault; Commissioners James Crowley, Darrell Graham, David Miller, Henry Wolff; Secretary/Director Stephen Wilson

ABSENT: Commissioners Dennis O’Malley and Michael Murdock

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


Commissioner Miller moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the February 14, 2011 Regular Board Meeting.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, and Wolff; voting No – None; Absent – Commissioners O’Malley and Murdock. Motion carried.


…. A Letter from John Gridley to the Board relating his opinions on the perceived health risks related to the recent Centennial cell antennae issue.

Vice President Brault referred the letter to the Centennial Operations Committee.
VISITORS: Shelley Shelly, Gary Benz


Director Wilson introduced some of the cast members who performed in the Wilmette Children’s Theater’s (WCT) production of Willie Wonka, Jr. who sang “Candyman” from that musical. After the performance Vice President Brault thanked and congratulated the cast on the show’s terrific run. The next WCT show will be Moulin in the fall. The next musical for the North Shore Theater of Wilmette will be Hairspray beginning on April 15.

Director Wilson introduced Craig Culp from the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) who is in attendance tonight to speak about the services that NSSRA provides as well as the relationship between NSSRA and the Wilmette Park District. It has been about three years since a representative from NSSRA has addressed our Board and since then Craig has assumed the role of Executive Director. He has also made many positive changes that have made an already excellent organization into an even stronger partner for the Wilmette Park District and the 12 other members in the Northern Suburban area.

Mr. Culp stated he has been at NSSRA for over two years and it has been a pleasure to work with the Wilmette Park District as well as its 12 other partner districts that are located as far north as Lake Bluff, south to Wilmette and Glenview and west to Riverwoods. NSSRA’s mission is to provide recreational opportunities for those individuals with disabilities. All of their programming is handled out of their central office in Northbrook and all of the activities our participants enjoy are held in their partner districts’ facilities or in the general communities. 

Mr. Culp added that NSSRA has been in existence for 41 years and last year for its 40th anniversary a slide show presentation was created by NSSRA staff which he then presented to the Board. After the slide show, Mr. Culp provided some other highlights including those individuals who recently participated in gymnastics activities at the Wilmette Park District which turned out to be very successful. In addition, NSSRA is also looking for specific gymnastics programming for all 13 communities. Mr. Culp then distributed NSSRA informational packets that contain statistics indicating there were 594 registrations last year and 350 inclusion placements for Wilmette residents which are excellent numbers.

Mr. Culp also stated that in 2011, the Center for Enriched Living in Riverwoods began its sixth year as a day care program for adults with disabilities. The program runs for five full days per week for 48 weeks and there is currently a maximum of 20 participants at any one time. Thanks to NSSRA and its partners for the opportunities these adults with disabilities now have to experience all of the opportunities that are available. These adults also enjoy a weekly fitness program at Wilmette’s fitness center which they really enjoy.

Mr. Culp added that in conjunction with NSSRA’s foundation – NSSSRF – there are other fundraisers as well. The Spring Fling event was held two weeks ago which included a silent auction and raised over $30,000 for the Foundation. Another event is the annual Swing Golf Outing which Wilmette has hosted in the past. The Shining Stars Banquet will be held on May 6 and this event recognizes participants and their families, staff, and volunteers. On August 17 the second annual Summer Bash will be held which is underwritten completely by the Foundation and included a free picnic with music and entertainment. Last year was the first time it was held and 425 people showed up. Commissioner Brault stated that the Park District will place a link on the Park District’s web site to publicize these events. He also thanked Craig for speaking at the meeting tonight and that the work NSSRA does for Wilmette is very much appreciated.

Commissioner Graham moved and Commissioner Wolff seconded a motion to approve the Voucher List in the amount of $1,144,058.19, 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 Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, and Wolff; voting No – None; Absent – Commissioners O’Malley and Murdock. Motion carried.


Financial Planning & Policy Committee – Committee Chair Graham reported the Committee met on February 28. The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the capital improvement projects and determine which ones could be deferred if needed based upon the budget this year. No decisions were made on any deferrals but they were reviewed and prioritized. This issue will be taken up at the Committee meeting in May and staff will be asked for additional financial information with respect to those projects.

Director Wilson asked Superintendent of Finance Ken Eppelheimer to present an award to the Board. Ken stated that each year for the last three years the District has submitted its financial information to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFRA). As a result, the District once again received this award for 2009. This award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting as well as its management. The entries are judged by an impartial panel of usually four or five people who review it and include a comprehensive and constructive spirit of full disclosure which is one of the reasons the District began this program since it provides a lot of information to the community and residents on the operations of the District from a financial perspective. The Certificate also contains suggestions on management reports and the District received three very minor comments. These comments will be worked out with the auditors so that a new CAFRA will have that information incorporated into it. The GFOA is a non-profit organization of 17,500 government finance professionals across the country. Their offices are in Chicago so we have a nice opportunity to use some of their services. Ken then presented the certificate to Vice President Brault and it will also be posted in the Administration Office.

Vice President Brault added that this is the District’s third year of participating in this certification program and it is a real testament to our staff members who work very hard on both the managing and reporting aspects of the District.

Parks & Recreation Committee – Committee Chair Brault reported the Committee met this month and discussed various ways to increase revenue through some of our activities. One of the recommendations made was to potentially install a beer tent at Gillson Park for the July 3rd celebration. However, since that meeting there has been some new information. Director Wilson stated staff has been looking into the feasibility and costs of doing this and then it was eventually determined that the District does not hold a current liquor license so we may need to partner with another group or a non-profit entity who could possibly be issued a temporary license. There is a lot of information that still needs to be sorted out at this point even if it would be feasible.

Commissioner Crowley moved and Commissioner Graham seconded a motion to table the motion to install a beer tent at Gillson Park for the July 3, 2011 firework festivities as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Committee.

By a roll call vote, voting Yes – Commissioners Brault, Crowley, Graham, Miller, and Wolff; voting No – None; Absent – Commissioners O’Malley and Murdock. Motion to table carried.

Commissioner Brault reported the Committee also discussed how to secure the sailing beach to prevent people from climbing over the fence. Also discussed was the possibility of moving the ice rink at West Park to Thornwood Park for next season and staff will be coming back with cost estimates for a trial basis next year. Lengthy discussion took place at the meeting on future changes at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) and the Wilmette Harbor. The harbor’s lease is expiring next year and the Park District is currently in the very beginning stages of becoming involved in those discussions. The next step is to set up a small timetable on how to proceed with the Wilmette Harbor and the MWRD.

Golf Operations Committee – Committee Chair Crowley reported the Reserved Time Golf Lottery for 2011 was held on Tuesday, March 8, which resulted in a total of 61 teams, the same number as last year. The driving range has been open for a couple of days and the course officially opens this week Thursday, March 17 at 9 am. The Committee will officially meet on Saturday, March 19, to discuss the golf course master plan in more detail and to come up with some preliminary numbers on the costs and on the project in general.

Centennial Operations Committee – Committee Chair Miller reported the Committee met earlier this evening before the Board meeting and discussed the operations at Tennis, Ice and Pool. The tennis lottery is coming up soon and staff anticipates there will be over 180 applications. The Tennis pro shop is having a sale this month and summer tennis camps currently have 256 campers signed up. There are approximately 360 students enrolled in the Ice facility’s programs and classes and this is approximately the same number as last year. Also coming up is the Ice Show to be held on May 13-15 with 231 participants. At the pool this summer there will be a new combination membership with the fitness center which will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A total of 1,031 pool passes have been sold to date. Discussion took place at the meeting on the issue of potential new sources of revenue which the different operations are continuing to investigate.

Director Wilson reiterated that the District’s partnership with NSSRA is very valuable and helps us to fill a void for families and participants. In addition Executive Director Craig Culp has accomplished a great deal in the last two years at NSSRA as far as shaping the staff and creating their level of energy. Director Wilson now sits on their board and it has been very rewarding to learn about the program and meet the staff.

In addition, Mike Selep from the Illinois Parks & Recreation Agency (IPRA) was also supposed to be here tonight but his schedule changed. As a result, he will be in attendance at the April Board meeting. Steve will also be sending to the Wilmette Baseball Association an updated copy of their agreement. Language has been inserted into the agreement similar to last year that indicates prior to receiving payments from the District, we need to be in receipt of their schedules not only for games but also for practices so that we can accommodate any and all other requests for field usage in and around the times they need.

The Lakefront Commission has set some dates in April for the public hearings. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, April 9 at the Community Recreation Center (CRC) in the morning. The materials for that meeting will be available for viewing at 9:30 am and the workshop itself will start at 10 am and run for two hours. A weekend date was chosen for the CRC location since staff wanted to make these meetings accessible to those with children and babysitting will be provided. The second workshop will be held the following Thursday on April 14 at Lakeview Center. Once again materials will be available for viewing at 6:30 pm and the workshop will begin at 7 pm and will run for two hours. Staff is currently writing a letter which will be mailed to every household in Wilmette probably next week. The letter will also be posted on the District’s web site along with some special pages with materials for viewing.



There being no further business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 8:04 pm.