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Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners - November 20, 2013


Board Members Present:                

President Mike Reid

Vice President Susan Aberman

Commissioner Michael W. Alter                                          

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

Executive Administrative Assistant Ann Perez

Risk Management and Special Facility Manager Scott Runkle



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.



There were no citizen comments.


With no items removed from the Consent Agenda, Vice President Aberman 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 22, 2013; Bills Payable for the months of October/November 2013, Treasurer’s Report; and Staff Reports.


Commissioner Alter entered the meeting at 7:37 p.m. Superintendent Schmidt presented the 2013 tax levy to the Board. Superintendent Schmidt stated the CPI increase for the 2013 levy year is 1.7% which is a $125,257 increase in the aggregate funds minus debt service.  The tax levy is based on an overall increase of 0.04% without loss and cost.

Superintendent Schmidt explained the process for the tax levy.  He said it starts with the prior year levy, estimated year end fund balances, estimated EAV, allocated dollars in funds, prior year comparison and the Truth in Taxation Resolution.  The County determines the actual amount of capped funds dollars levied based on the CPI which is 1.7% minus new property annexations, recent TIF values and any disconnected properties, which are all unknown.    The Truth-in-Taxation increase for all funds but Debt Service is less than 5% therefore a public notice and hearing is not required.

At the December Board Meeting the Tax Levy Ordinance must be formally adopted.  Once the Tax Levy Ordinance is approved, it will be filed with the Cook County Tax Extension Office.

Commissioner Yanes moved to approve Resolution #13-100 as part of the tax levy legal process. Final adoption of the Levy Ordinance will be held at the December 2013 Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners.  Commissioner Alter seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Superintendent Rea requested authorization to bid the Service Center repairs for the replacement of down spouts and gutters.  The current gutters have been on the structure since the 1960’s and are in need of replacement.  The project is budgeted for $18,000.00. Commissioner Yanes inquired about closed gutter systems as an option.  Superintendent Rea responded the gutters are commercial sized gutters.

Commissioner Alter moved to authorize staff to prepare bid specifications and solicit bids for gutter improvements at the Service Center.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Assistant Superintendent Marquardt requested authorization to bid replacement tile floor in the multi-purpose room of the Oakton Community Center. The current tile floor is approximately 15 years old.  Tiles are loose, chipped, cracked and faded.  The project is budgeted at $20,000.00.  Commissioner Yanes inquired about the type of flooring that is presently in the room.

Commissioner Clarito moved to authorize staff to prepare specifications and bid out the replacement of the tile floor in the Oakton Community Center.  Commissioner Yanes seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Assistant Superintendent Marquardt presented the 2013 Camp Report and 2014 Camp Fee Proposal to the Board.  Assistant Superintendent Marquardt said it was a great year with increased enrollment; net revenue was lower than budget and expenses were lower as well. Enrollment in smaller camps increased. Enrollment in the larger camps, inclusion costs and fee assistance were lower. As of today, there is approximately $24,000.00 outstanding from the State of Illinois Department of Human Services for the camp fee assistance program.

The camp report cards reflected positive comments. There were some negative comments about swimming and restrooms.  All negative comments will be addressed with the camp supervisors.

President Reid said he received a compliment from a resident whose child attended the Kids Cooking Camp.

Assistant Superintendent Marquardt said one of the recommendations for 2014 are more electronic forms and tablets for records management by camp directors.  Commissioner Yanes inquired about the cost of the tablets. Assistant Superintendent Marquardt responded that costs are minimal and that there will be a test camp to determine if the tablets will be viable. Commissioner Yanes inquired if any other camps were using the tablets. Assistant Superintendent Marquardt responded that he was not aware of any other camps in our area using tablets.   Superintendent Tuft responded that some overnight camps use the tablets.

Assistant Superintendent Marquardt reviewed the explanation of the 2014 fee proposals for some of the camps. The requested increases range from 0% -5%.  The 9% increase for Fundamental Fitness Camp  is due to adding field trips for this camp as requested by parents.

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


Risk Management and Special Facilities Manager Scott Runkle presented the 2013 Aquatics report and request for 2014 pool fees.  Mr. Runkle reminded the Board that the rainy and cooler summer impacted the 2013 pool season.

Mr. Runkle reported on maintenance repairs prior to the 2013 pool season. Mr. Runkle reported that 2 ADA required chairlifts were installed this year, one at each of the pools. These chairlifts received no use.

Mr. Runkle said season passes were lower this year due to the cool, wet weather.  There were 138 birthday parties averaging 20 parties a week.  The pool staff passed all of its audits and received a 5 star rating from the Starfish program, which is their highest rating.  There were a total of 67 rescues performed between both pools.  This was a reduction in the number of rescues. One factor in the rescue reductions was the lifejacket policy that was instituted.  Approved Coast Guard lifejackets are allowed in the pools.

Mr. Runkle discussed programming for the swim classes which were held at Niles West High School due to the construction of the new pool at Niles North High School.

Mr. Runkle discussed the 2014 operating recommendations for Devonshire Aquatics Center and Skokie Water Playground.  Mr. Runkle recommended keeping the pre-season pass fees the same and increasing the cost of the birthday parties to cover the cost of additional party staffing.

Mr. Runkle discussed the change in end of season operating hours due primarily to the change of the School District 219 calendar. This change severely impacts the availability of high school aged lifeguards and support staff in August.

Commissioner Yanes moved to approve the 2014 pool hours and fees as proposed.  Vice President Aberman seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Superintendent Schmidt requested authorization to bid District-wide vending services as the contract with the current vendor expires on January 31, 2014.  Superintendent Schmidt asked the Board to consider extending the contract with the current vendor.  The Commissioners discussed bidding the vending services and decided to table the request until further information on healthier options for vending services can be researched.


President Reid discussed the date for the December Board Meeting. The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Weber Leisure Center.


Commissioner Clarito presented the Resolution #13-101 on the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan to the Board. Commissioner Clarito stated he appreciated the initiative for the resolution.

Commissioner Clarito moved to approve the Resolution #13-101 on the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan.  Commissioner Alter seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Commissioner Yanes inquired about beginning a gyrokinesis class at the Oakton Community Center. Superintendent Tuft responded that she will speak with staff.

Commissioner Yanes and President Reid spoke with some of the Skokie Village Trustees about a

“Walk around the Block” program.  The Village Trustees were interested in the idea and would like to partner with the Park District and schools. The idea of the program is to get the community involved and exercising.

Vice President Aberman reported that she saw an article regarding the Westfield Ice Rink located near Bloomingdales.  Superintendent Tuft responded that the Skokie Park District staff will be responsible for the operation of the skating rink along with providing some skating exhibitions. Vice President Aberman complimented the staff for their assistance with the skating rink.

President Reid mentioned the Springfield Legislative Conference next year.

Vice President Aberman inquired about the Park District health insurance rates for next year. Superintendent Schmidt stated that he will be meeting with the District’s insurance broker to discuss.

Superintendent Rea mentioned the special report by Nels Johnson included in his Park Board Report.  

The winter program guides were distributed to the Commissioners. Superintendent Tuft said the winter edition has been re-designed. Commissioner Yanes stated that it was user friendly.


Commissioner Alter moved to adjourn the regular meeting.  Vice President Aberman seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye.   Motion carried.  The regular meeting ended at 8:53 p.m.


__________________________________                            __________________________________

Michael Reid                                                                           John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                                 Secretary