District Business

Board Business

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Minutes of the Regular Park Board Meeting of September 17, 2013


Board Members Present: 

President Mike Reid

Vice President Susan Aberman                                       

Commissioner Jerry B. Clarito

Commissioner Maureen Yanes


Others Present:                 

Director/Secretary John V. Ohrlund                                 

Treasurer William G. Schmidt

Superintendent of Parks Michael Rea

Superintendent of Recreation and Facilities Michelle Tuft

Assistant Superintendent of Recreation Jon Marquardt

Director of Information Technology David Hunt                          

Executive Administrative Assistant Ann Perez



Commissioner Michael W. Alter


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.


There were no citizen comments.


With no items removed from the Consent Agenda, Vice President Aberman moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Commissioner 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 of the Regular Board Meeting of August 20, 2013; Bills Payable for the months of August/September 2013, Treasurer’s Report; and Staff Reports.


Superintendent Schmidt introduced Mr. John Epperson Audit Manager and Ms. Susan Jones Principal from Miller Cooper & Co., Ltd. Mr. Epperson oversees the day to day operations of the audit.  Mr. Epperson explained the highlights of the audit report and the financial statements in detail to the Board.  Mr. Epperson stated the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Governmental Financial Officers Association will be included in the final report. The CAFR represents the highest level of financial reporting. The audit opinion the District will receive is a clean opinion or unmodified opinion. The District had fund surpluses and an increase in its total net position.

Ms. Jones addressed the required communication letter. Ms. Jones said the District is free of any material misstatements, all significant policies are in place and the audit was executed in a timely manner. She explained some of the GASB requirements that will impact the District in the next few years.

Ms. Jones stated that there was one control deficiency.  Procedures require all check payments to be supported by an approved purchase or approved contract.  It was noted that an approved purchase order was not used for the payment for hockey referees.   This practice could allow for unauthorized expense to occur without detection.  The recommendation is for any check disbursement a purchase order or approved contract be executed.

President Reid thanked Mr. Epperson and Ms. Jones for their presentation.

Vice President Aberman moved to approve the fiscal year end 04/30/2013 audit, management letter and control deficiency letter.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.  Motion carried.


Maureen Murphy, Director of Human Services for the Village of Skokie began the presentation. Ms. Murphy said that the Park District were terrific partners in establishing the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program with School District 69.  Ms. Murphy said when she joined the Village of Skokie she reviewed various programs and looked at the increased incidents with kids engaged in the youth court call. She wanted to see what could be done to provide additional preventative programs to keep kids from contact with Police.  Research has shown that when kids are engaged in one on one relationships with adults they do better.  The BBBS program is the gold standard for mentoring programs. The program has a research process that is outcome based to make sure kids come out with strong outcomes in the socioemotional, risk avoidance and academic areas. School District 69 was chosen because the student population has a compelling demographic.

Mr. Jeremy Foster, Senior Vice President of Development, and Paul Lewis, Site Coordinator for the Skokie program for Big Brothers Big Sisters were introduced.

Mr. Foster gave an overview on the program for the 2012-2013 year.  The year program is held at Lincoln Junior High School.  The program is not exclusive to the students at Lincoln Junior High School. Children are recruited from the entire school district. The program served 21 youth and 16 matches.  All of the children are from Skokie and the goal is to have more mentors from Skokie. President Reid said his son is a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sister program.

Some Skokie companies have been contacted to see if they could help fund the program and assist in expanding the program to the workplace for teens.

Commissioner Yanes inquired if the faith community was contacted for assistance. Mr. Foster responded yes, but there has not been a lot of response.

Mr. Foster stated that there was a 67% improvement in academics in at least one subject for the students.  A goal for daily school attendance was 100%. The program achieved 86% in daily student attendance.

Vice President Aberman inquired about previous data on attendance.  Mr. Foster stated that this is a baseline and that they would look at the comparative data.

Mr. Foster spoke about some of the activities the students attended including a fitness night with Jon Kahney and mini-golf at Skokie Sports Park.

Mr. Foster said the program started integrating parents by inviting them to the graduation ceremony to celebrate with their student.  Parent involvement is critical.

Mr. Foster said the goal is to reach the capacity of 20 children in the program for this year.

Mr. Foster thanked the Park District for its investment in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.


Superintendent Tuft requested approval for the bid for carpet replacement for Fitness First.

Superintendent Tuft reported that one bid was received from Scharm Floor Covering.  The bid had 3 alternates.  Staff is recommending alternate #3 which includes carpet replacement in all areas with the exception of rubberized flooring in the new fitness studio (former spin room). Superintendent Tuft discussed the reasons for this choice.  The former spin room is being used as a group fitness studio, stretching area and personal training. Rubberized flooring is more appropriate for the activities held in this area.

Superintendent Tuft reported to the Board that the electrical work planned for Fitness First is a challenge. Staff and a contractor are working on finding solutions to the complex project. Assuming electrical repairs can be completed the project would be scheduled for spring break next year.   The flooring vendor is willing to work with the District, but stated that there may be an increase in the carpet product in the beginning of the year which would be passed on to the District.

Commissioner Yanes inquired if the electrical work was necessary.  Superintendent Tuft responded yes.  Commissioner Yanes inquired what to expect as to the increase in carpet cost. Superintendent Tuft responded a 2-3% of an increase for the carpet product.

Commissioner Yanes inquired about covering the electrical with tall boxes.  Superintendent Rea said the knee walls were investigated but would not be workable.

Commissioner Clarito moved to award the bid for Fitness First carpet replacement to Scharm Floor Covering in the amount of $41,744.00.  Vice President Aberman seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.  Motion carried.


Assistant Superintendent Marquardt requested approval of the bid for carpet replacement at Devonshire Cultural Center.  One bid was received from Scharm Floor Covering.  The bid includes carpet replacement for the first and second floor corridors, elevator, and the first floor offices.  The bid includes an alternate for after hour’s installation pricing.  Staff is recommending that work be done after hours.

Commissioner Yanes moved to award the bid to Scharm Floor covering for Devonshire Cultural Center carpet replacement in the amount of $30,943.00.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.  Motion carried.


Superintendent Schmidt requested approval to purchase hardware and software to expand the District’s network storage (SAN).  Superintendent Schmidt explained that the District needs to expand the network storage because it is at full capacity.  Network storage is hard drive space that is needed by virtual servers in order to operate. A quote from CDW – Government was received for this project in the amount of $28,952.00.  Formal bidding is not required, however additional quotes were received.

Staff recommends approval of the expansion of the network storage with CDW-Government.  The project is budgeted at $30,000.00.  The total cost of the project is $28,952 and will be under budget.

Commissioner Yanes moved to approve the expansion of the District’s network storage environment through CDW-Governmental for $28,952.00.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.   Motion carried.


President Reid discussed the date for the October Board Meeting. The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners will be held on October 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Weber Leisure Center.


Commissioner Yanes commented that the fall brochure was one of the nicest brochures she has seen.  It is very user friendly and well organized.  Superintendent Tuft said it is the last in the retro series.  Superintendent Tuft will relay Commissioner Yanes’ comments to the Marketing Department.

Vice President Aberman gave kudos to the staff for the Backlot Bash. She said the employees were very devoted and work very hard over the three day event. The weather was beautiful and the cleanup was so quick.  Superintendent Tuft stated that Park Services staff and the Village of Skokie do a great job of setting up and taking down the event.

President Reid said he received a lot of compliments on the event.

Executive Director Ohrlund said the event brings the community together.  It is a collaborative effort of the Park District, Village of Skokie, Skokie Library, Skokie Chamber and IMODS.

The additional beer tent was discussed and Superintendent Tuft stated that with the extra staff and beer tappers in the main tent, the second station was not needed.  Superintendent Tuft said a re-cap meeting will be held next week to discuss the event.

Vice President Aberman complimented the food service for the Superfan this year.  Everything went smoothly and was well organized.  Dima Kirland and Mary Setter handled the Superfan area very well.

President Reid discussed the storm damage of the week following the Backlot Bash.  Executive Director Ohrlund stated that Emily Oaks Nature Center, Lockwood Park and Carol Park were affected by the strong winds of the storm. Many trees were damaged or destroyed.

Commissioner Yanes inquired if the damage is covered by insurance. Executive Director Ohrlund responded that a claim will be submitted to PDRMA.

Commissioner Yanes commented on the cleanliness of the ladies’ locker room sinks and vanities.  Superintendent Tuft said she will address it with staff.

Executive Director Ohrlund reported that the contract with the Park District auditors will be expiring. A discussion followed.  Executive Director Ohrlund recommended an extension of the audit contract with Miller Cooper and Co., Ltd. for a future board meeting.

Executive Director Ohrlund announced the tentative date of the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast is October 25th at the Evanston Country Club at 7:30 a.m.


Vice President Aberman moved to enter into Executive Session to review/approve Executive Session Minutes/Verbatim Records and the lease or sale of real property.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent. Motion carried.  The regular meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:15 p.m.

The regular meeting reconvened at 8:47 p.m.

Commissioner Clarito moved to approve Ordinance #13-013 providing for the destruction of verbatim recordings of closed session meetings of the Skokie Park District. Vice President Aberman seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.   Motion carried.

Commissioner Clarito moved to adjourn the regular meeting. Commissioner Yanes seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Commissioner Alter was absent.   Motion carried.  The regular meeting ended at 8:48 p.m.



__________________________________                            __________________________________

Michael Reid                                                                           John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                                 Secretary