District Business

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Minutes of the Regular Meeting - November 20, 2012




Board Members Present:      

President Mike Reid

Vice President Maureen Yanes

Commissioner Susan Aberman

Commissioner Michael W. Alter        

Commissioner Jerry B. Clarito


Others Present:                      

Director/Secretary John V. Ohrlund  

Treasurer William G. Schmidt

Superintendent of Parks Michael Rea

Superintendent of Recreation and Facilities Michelle Tuft


Tod Stanton, Public Research Group

Scott Runkle, Risk Management and Special Facilities Manager

Dave Putziger, Aquatics Supervisor



President Reid called the regular meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners to order at 7:00 p.m., followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. 


Mr. Floyd Bednarz, 8051 Knox, Skokie, IL addressed the Board.  Mr. Bednarz stated he has been a resident of Skokie for almost 20 years.  He is here on behalf of the Skokie Independent Landlords Association (SILA) and as a citizen.  Mr. Bednarz voiced concerns about the increases in taxes for the Skokie Park District and the apparent increase in crime and the potential for crimes in the parks. The SILA organization is concerned about the tax rates in Skokie and the way funds are spent in Skokie.

Mr. Bednarz asked about how the District will combat crime in the parks.  He would like to meet with someone from the Park District to discuss the handling of crime and security in the parks.  Executive Director Ohrlund asked Mr. Bednarz to contact him to discuss his concerns.

President Reid inquired if there were any specific parks Mr. Bednarz would like to discuss. Mr. Bednarz replied no. Mr. Bednarz stated he is attending the meeting as an observer. He stated the SILA organization is gathering crime statistics and information on crimes that may have not been reported or investigated by the Skokie Police. Executive Director Ohrlund said District staff meets regularly with the police and annually to discuss crime and review crime statistics.  He said that crime is generally down in the parks.

Mr. Bednarz thanked the Board for their consideration.


With no items removed from the Consent Agenda, Vice President Yanes moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried. The Consent Agenda consisted of: Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of October 30, 2012; Bills Payable for the months of October/November 2012; Treasurer’s Report; and Staff Reports.


Treasurer Schmidt presented the tax levy process to the Board.  Treasurer Schmidt stated that the CPI increase for the 2012 levy year is 3.0% which is an increase of $215,744 in the aggregate funds minus debt service.  The Truth-in-Taxation increase for all funds but Debt Service is 4.86% or $349,535.00.  Since the Truth-in-Taxation increase is less than 5%, a public notice and hearing is not required.

Mr. Schmidt said the process includes starting with the prior year levy, estimating year end fund balances, estimating the EAV, making allocations into the various funds and making prior year comparisons. Special recreation and debt service are not capped, while all other funds are capped. The County determines the actual amount of capped funds dollars levied based on the CPI which is 3.0% minus new property annexations, recent TIF values and any disconnect properties, which are all unknown. Because of these unknowns the District files a levy of just under 5% to capture the amounts affected by these unknowns.  The County ensures that the District gets no more than is allowed for capped funds.

After Treasurer’s Schmidt’s presentation of the tax levy, he stated as part of the legal process, Resolution 12-101 must be approved at this meeting.  At the December Board Meeting the Tax Levy Ordinance must be legally adopted.  Once the Tax Levy Ordinance is approved it will be filed with the Cook County Tax Extension Office.

Commissioner Clarito complimented Treasurer Schmidt on the Tax Levy presentation.

Vice President Yanes moved to approve Resolution #12-101 as part of the legal process.  Legal adoption of the Levy Ordinance will be held at the December Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners. Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye.  Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.


Superintendent Tuft presented an overview of the camp report discussing some of the highlights.

Superintendent Tuft stated that it was a successful year, enrollment was up, but revenues were down.  Larger camps were down in enrollment and smaller camps were up in enrollment.  The net surplus was 30%. There is some outstanding Department of Human Services money in the amount of $40,000 that will be collected for reimbursement to the Park District for summer camps. Fee assistance increased and inclusion costs were up 55% and now total $153,000.00. Inclusion involves one on one supervision of special needs campers and is required by law.  Camp report cards were mostly positive.  Superintendent Tuft discussed each camp where proposed fee increases were requested.

Commissioner Alter entered the meeting at 7:19 p.m.

President Reid inquired if there were any report card comments that were surprising? Superintendent Tuft responded no, there were no alarming comments. 

Superintendent Tuft stated that next year staff will continue to utilize more electronic forms such as the Camper Information Form and Medical Forms, continue with green initiatives and adhere to the 25% revenue policy.

Commissioner Aberman moved to approve the camp fees as proposed with the exception of Fundamental Fitness Camp which will have no fee increase.  Commissioner Alter seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye.  Motion carried.


Scott Runkle, Risk Management and Special Facilities Manager, reported on the 2012 aquatics season.

Scott stated that it was an excellent season. The season was defined by the extremely hot weather.   There were 46 days of 90 degree temperatures.  Attendance set a new record of nearly 136,000 people this summer.  Season passes were up slightly, with Splash Passes up 37%.

The food concessionaire was new this year. Rent-a-Chef provided the pool concessions. Some new patron policies implemented were: Coast Guard approved life jackets were allowed, a swimwear policy was enforced and no outside food was allowed. 

Recommendations for 2013 are no changes to the pool schedule and no fee increases.

Commissioner Alter moved to approve the 2013 pool fees as proposed.  Commissioner Aberman seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Superintendent Schmidt requested approval of equipment replacement for the Pitney Bowes postage machine.  The five year lease will expire on April 30, 2013.  The District pays $313.00 per month for the current postage machine.  Once the lease comes due, there will be no guarantee of parts support and maintenance support for the postage machine. 

The Pitney Bowes representative has proposed a new upgraded postage machine for a five year lease with a Coverbind machine for a cost of $299.00 per month for the five year period.

Staff received proposals from other suppliers but they cannot match the offer or the quality offered by the Pitney Bowes postage machine.  Staff is recommending the approval of the Pitney Bowes five year lease at a cost of $299.00 per month.

Commissioner Aberman moved to approve the lease with Pitney Bowes for the lease of a Pitney Bowes Connect + 1000 Digital Mailing System for 60 months at a total lease cost of $17,940.00.  Commissioner Alter seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Superintendent Rea reported that two vehicles are scheduled to be replaced this year. The first vehicle is a pickup truck; a 2003 GMC Sierra utilized by the operations crew and is budgeted at $36,000.  A pickup up truck has been bid out through the Northwestern Municipal Conference and will not need to be bid out.  A 2013 Ford F-250 XL 4X4 regular cab with propane prep kit is available through Currie Motors of Frankfort for $22,844.00 through the Northwestern Municipal Conference.  Aftermarket equipment including light bar/strobe, rear lift gate and snow plow will add $8,000 for a total cost of $30,844.00.

The second vehicle to be replaced is a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid and is budgeted at $31,000.  Staff is requesting authorization to prepare specifications and bid a similar small SUV as a replacement vehicle.

Vice President Yanes moved to purchase a 2013 Ford F-250 4X4 regular cab pickup from Currie Motors of Frankfort for $22,844.00 plus aftermarket equipment in the amount of $8,000.00 for a total of $30,844.00.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.

Commissioner Aberman moved to authorize staff to prepare specifications and to bid a replacement administrative vehicle.  Commissioner Alter seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Tod Stanton of Public Research Group presented the report on the Community Attitude and Interest Study.   Mr. Stanton discussed the survey highlights, recreation program analysis, visioning sessions, focus group meeting, conclusion and potential next steps.

Mr. Stanton gave some suggestions for potential next steps for administrative, parks, facilities, and recreation programming. Mr. Stanton concluded his presentation stating that it was a pleasure to work with the Park District on the survey.


President Reid confirmed the date of the December Board Meeting with the other Commissioners. The next regular meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at 7:00P.M.  


Commissioner Aberman informed the Commissioners about a park containing a walking trail with fitness stations that she noticed in Northfield. She thought it would be a good idea for Commissioners to view this walking trail to see how durable the fitness stations were on the walking trail.

Commissioner Clarito reported the Citizen Workshop held on November 17th at the Oakton Center was very successful. Approximately 90 people attended the workshop including Mayor VanDusen and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  Commissioner Clarito stated traffic control was handled very well.

Commissioner Alter complimented the Princess Ball event at Oakton Center.

Commissioner Aberman inquired about additional SPACE programming for school children on additional days off of school like teacher institute days. Superintendent Tuft responded that additional programming will be evaluated and additional SPACE programs have been offered for extended care for children on days where school is not in session.

Vice President Yanes inquired how staff will use the information received from the Community Survey.

Executive Director Ohrlund responded that administrative staff will thoroughly review the report and contemplate the information. The next step will be to update and revise the Comprehensive Plan which is now 10 years old. The plan is scheduled to be revised in the next budget cycle.

Executive Director Ohrlund distributed a letter from the Village of Skokie Department of Human Services to the Commissioners for their review.

Executive Director Ohrlund reported that the Skokie Sports Park East remediation project is moving along.  Nicor will have a press release on December 3, 2012.  Some site set up is scheduled for December 10th with excavation of the site beginning the middle of January. 

Executive Director Ohrlund asked Commissioners to contact him if they will be unable to attend the Board Meetings to be sure a quorum is available.

Superintendent Tuft announced the promotion of Jon Marquardt to Assistant Superintendent of Recreation effective November 26, 2012.


A motion was made by Commissioner Alter to adjourn the regular meeting. Vice President Yanes        seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.  The regular meeting ended at 8:45 p.m.   


________________________________                 _______________________________

Michael Reid                                                                 John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                       Secretary