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Minutes of the Regular Meting of the Board of Park Commissioners - October 30, 2012


Board Members Present:      

President Mike Reid

Vice President Maureen Yanes

Commissioner Susan Aberman

Commissioner Jerry B. Clarito



Commissioner Michael W. Alter


Others Present:                      

Director/Secretary John V. Ohrlund  

Treasurer William G. Schmidt

Superintendent of Parks Michael Rea

Superintendent of Recreation and Facilities Michelle Tuft

David Hunt, Director of Information Technology

Tod Stanton, Public Research Group



President Reid called the regular meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:30 p.m., followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Joel Farber, 4317 Enfield, Skokie, Illinois, addressed the Board. Mr. Farber reported on the summer events at the pools and summer concerts.  The pool events include Pirate Day, winter in July and

Sun-dae Picnic. There are six Sunday summer concerts and five Wednesday family children’s concerts. The Sunday concerts ranged from jazz, Motown sound, Rock-n-Roll, R&B and big band music.  The children’s concerts consisted of a juggler, BMX bike tricks, the Little People, children’s music and jump rope stunts.  The events were well attended this summer even with the extreme heat.  Mr. Farber requested that the Board continue with these events next year.  Mr. Farber added that it was his eighteenth season of acting as Master of Ceremonies at the Sunday Sundown Concerts.


With no items removed from the Consent Agenda, Commissioner Aberman moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Vice President Yanes seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried. The Consent Agenda consisted of: Minutes from the Special Visioning Board Meeting of September 27, 2012; Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of September 27, 2012; Minutes of the Public Hearing of October 3, 2012 – Skate Park Project; Bills Payable for the months of September/October 2012; Treasurer’s Report; and Staff Reports.


Superintendent Schmidt introduced David Hunt the Director of Information Technology. Superintendent Schmidt stated that the Park District needs to upgrade the phone system at this time.  Commissioner Aberman inquired what was budgeted for this project. Superintendent Schmidt responded $40,000.00.

David Hunt stated that the system needed to be upgraded as support for the current system is not available. The current system was installed in 2005.  To maintain the level of service it is necessary to upgrade the system. The upgrade will integrate email, telephones and smart phones.

Commissioner Aberman inquired how the upgrades will affect the public. David Hunt responded the public will not notice much of a difference, but internally the system will function better. 

Vice President Yanes moved to approve the upgrade/enhancement of the phone system from Sentinel Technologies for a total cost of $37,221.00. Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.


Superintendent Schmidt reported that in February 2012 staff requested authorization to prepare a RFP for a consultant to review the salary structure, salary ranges and job descriptions for full time staff for the Park District.

Two proposals were received.  The two consulting firms were interviewed and staff is recommending Management Association. References were checked, the cost is significantly lower and staff felt that Management Association would best meet the needs of the District.  

Vice President Yanes inquired if part time job descriptions were being evaluated.  Superintendent Schmidt responded yes, some part time positions such as Customer Service would be reviewed.

Vice President Yanes inquired about benefits for part time staff. Superintendent Schmidt responded that part time benefits are a separate issue and is not part of this analysis.  The Park District attorneys, insurance broker and staff are researching what impact the new health insurance law will have on the District.  The law becomes effective in January 2014.

Commissioner Clarito moved to approve a salary structure/assessment job description consultant agreement with Management Association for $14,230.00.  Vice President Yanes seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.


Superintendent Rea requested authorization for disposal of fixed assets, Ordinance #12-012 for the disposal of the following equipment.

Year      Make      Description        Model                         VIN#

2005      Toro       Z Master        74269 Zero Turn            250000165

              Toro       Triplex           Greens Reel Mower       9235668   

The equipment will be auctioned through an online auction.  If the equipment does not sell at the auction, staff will dispose locally.  The funds received from the auction will be returned to the Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund.

Commissioner Aberman moved to approve Ordinance #12-012 authorizing the disposal of (2) fixed assets.  Vice President seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.


Executive Director Ohrlund introduced Tod Stanton of Public Research Group to present the report on the results of the community attitude and interest survey. 

Mr. Stanton began his Power Point presentation. Mr. Stanton discussed a variety of survey questions and responses. Mr. Stanton stated the following preliminary conclusions:

  • The Skokie Park District contributes significantly to the quality of life in the Village and is very highly regarded by the public.
  • The seasonal program guide is a great media outlet, but outdoor signs and the District website are also highly used.
  • 4th of July, Backlot Bash and Festival of Cultures are well attended and important special events.
  • Fitness, swimming and summer camps are important recreational activities.
  • Excellent parks, staff interaction and facilities.
  • Oakton Community Center and Weber Leisure Center are heavily visited.
  • Oakton and Devonshire Parks are heavily visited parks.
  • Walking paths/fitness trails are important park amenities.
  • Community knowledge about Sports Park East development is limited.  Increased tax support to fund a proposed development there is appropriate at this stage of the project.

Mr. Stanton will be attending the November Board Meeting to discuss the reports detailing the staff interviews, Board visioning and focus groups. 


At this time President Reid confirmed the date of the November Board Meeting with the other Commissioners. The next regular meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 7:00P.M.  


President Reid informed the Board that at the annual business meeting of the IAPD held on January 26, 2013, a voting delegate and first and second alternates must be named.  After discussion a motion was made by Vice President Yanes to name President Michael Reid as the delegate, Commissioner Aberman as the first alternate and Commissioner Clarito as the second alternate to the IAPD annual business meeting on January 26, 2013. Commissioner Aberman seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.


Commissioner Aberman stated that since the property at Lincoln Junior High School is not available for the skate park, she has been looking at property for a skate park in the downtown area.  She noticed the property next to Veterans Park on her way to the meeting today and said the property is not suitable for a skate park.   

Vice President Yanes suggested Gross Point Park as a location for the skate park. Executive Director Ohrlund responded the TIF funds will not be available from the Village since the Lincoln Junior High School location is not viable.  The Park District would have to locate another site in the downtown TIF District for the skate park.   Some suggestions that were discussed were the old bowling alley property and the Springer property on Oakton.  Executive Director Ohrlund said that the Park District does not have funds budgeted this year for a skate park. Executive Director Ohrlund said staff will continue to search for other locations.

Commissioner Aberman spoke about an incident that was reported at Weber Center. Commissioner Aberman was approached by a citizen who stated there were three skateboarders skating at Weber on the newly finished gym floor.  The citizen called the Park District and stated that he received an inappropriate response. Superintendent Tuft stated she would look into the incident. Vice President Yanes inquired if customer service staff receives training. Superintendent Tuft responded yes.

Commissioner Clarito spoke about the Citizens Workshop on November 17, 2012 at Oakton Center from 8:30am- Noon.  The workshop is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Vice President Yanes stated that walking paths and bike trails seemed to be a trend in Anaheim at the NRPA Conference.  Vice President Yanes reported on a workshop she attended last year at the IPRA Conference. The workshop focused on an initiative that was done through Provena St. Joseph Hospital for nutrition and fitness for children focusing on childhood obesity. Vice President Yanes said she has been discussing the Fundamental Fitness classes being offered for school children with Sarah Natalie, Assistant Manager/Fitness First. 

Commissioner Aberman suggested we look into hiring an individual who would be responsible for grant writing for acquiring funding for projects.

Superintendent Tuft reported that this summer the Park District received a $10,000 grant from the CATCH program from the American Cancer Society for obesity.   A nutritionist was hired with the grant funds to speak about nutrition and fitness at the summer camps this summer.

Vice President Yanes said the NRPA Conference was great.

President Reid reported on sessions he attended at the NRPA Conference on establishing a non-profit and grant writing.

Executive Director Ohrlund reported on the progress of the remediation at Skokie Sports Park East.  A traffic plan has been submitted for the remediation. 

Commissioner Aberman suggested that the Park District work with School District 68 on obesity programs.


A motion was made by Commissioner Clarito to adjourn the regular meeting. Vice President Yanes        seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.  The regular meeting ended at 8:57 p.m.   


________________________________                 _______________________________

Michael Reid                                                                 John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                       Secretary