District Business

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Minutes of the Regular Park Board of Commissioners - January 21, 2014


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                 


John Miller, Ehlers and Associates

Bill Inman, Hitchcock Design Group

Bob Ijams, Hitchcock Design Group

Cassandra Rice, Hitchcock Design Group



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, Commissioner Alter moved to approve the Consent Agenda.  Commissioner Yanes seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.  The Consent Agenda consisted of:  Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of December 17, 2013; Bills Payable for the months of December 2013/January 2014, Treasurer’s Report; and Staff Reports.


Superintendent Schmidt requested approval of the Bond Sale Timeline for the General Obligation Refunding Bond, Series 2014A.  Superintendent Schmidt stated that annually a timeline is presented to the Board for approval to combine two refunding issues. First is the Series 1999 Alternate Revenue Bonds that comes due on 12/1/2014 in the amount of $1,630,000.00 and the second is the Series 2004A alternate Revenue Bonds in the amount of $650,000.00 due 12/1/2014.

One of the changes since the 1994 alternate revenue source capital bond issues have been paid is the Park District will be purchasing limited tax bonds.   The abatement ordinance needs to be done earlier to meet the County tax payments that are due in August. Superintendent Schmidt introduced John Miller, Ehlers and Associates, to answer any questions.

Commissioner Yanes moved to approve the timeline to issue General Obligation Refunding Bonds Series 2014A.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Superintendent Tuft stated that this request is for a repair that will be budgeted next fiscal year. The project will be proposed in the budget for $150,000.00.  There is a short time period to make these repairs in the spring prior to opening the pool.  Superintendent Tuft explained that the coping stones which are part of the gutter system are over 20 years old and are an important component of the water filtration system.  Superintendent Tuft referred to some pictures of the gutters in the board report.  A few different material options will be bid including granite and the traditional concrete. The Board discussed durability, design and workmanship.

Executive Director Ohrlund noted bids would not be approved until the Board has reviewed the 2014-2015 budget.

Vice President Aberman moved to authorize staff to prepare bid specifications and solicit bids for replacement of the pool gutter for Skokie Water Playground’s main pool.  Commissioner Clarito seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


Executive Director Ohrlund stated that the board summary for the change order for Skokie Park Tennis Center was not included in the board report as paperwork for the change order was not received.  This item will be deferred to a later board meeting.


Executive Director Ohrlund introduced Bill Inman of the Hitchcock Design Group to begin a presentation on consulting services for a comprehensive plan.

Mr. Inman began by introducing his team members, Bob Ijams and Cassandra Rice in attendance at the meeting.  Mr. Inman stated the other team members are Barbara Heller of Heller and Heller Consulting and Tom Poulos of Williams Architects.

Mr. Inman summarized his 35 years of experience in landscape architecture and comprehensive planning.  Mr. Inman stated that by using the consultants a new perspective can be gained. His firm has done over twenty comprehensive plans for park and recreation clients. Their firm assists with the implementation of the plan and grant funding opportunities.

Mr. Inman said the purpose of the comprehensive master plan is to focus on the District’s mission and vision for the next five years. The consultants will assess data inventory and analysis, connect needs assessment with community engagement, envision alternate strategies, prioritize preferred strategies, create an action plan and assist with the implementation of the final master plan.

Commissioner Yanes stated that a community survey was recently done and she inquired if it would it is necessary to complete a new survey.  Executive Director Ohrlund responded that the current survey would be utilized as a base document. No new community survey is planned, although significant community input is part of the project.

Commissioner Clarito inquired about any additional consulting service costs.  Mr. Inman stated he is confident that the base agreement of $89,500.00 would cover the consulting services for the comprehensive plan.  Mr. Inman stated there are additional options for community outreach and other services.

Vice President Aberman inquired about funding the consulting services. Executive Director Ohrlund stated that there is some funding available in this fiscal year and the balance will be budgeted in next fiscal year’s budget.

Commissioner Clarito moved to approve an agreement with Hitchcock Design Group to prepare a District-wide Comprehensive Plan for the base cost of $89,500.00.  Vice President Aberman seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye.  Motion carried.


Executive Director Ohrlund requested approval of the Amendment to the Lease with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for property at 3459 Oakton Street.   Efforts are underway for a new retail store on Oakton Street just west of Skokie Sports Park and amending our lease is one of many different steps for this process.

Commissioner Alter moved to approve the amendment to the lease agreement dated April 21, 1994 between the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the Skokie Park District on 34.8 acres located at 3459 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL and known as North Shore Channel Parcels 6.12 and 6.19.  Commissioner Yanes seconded the motion. On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye. Motion carried.


President Reid discussed the date for the February Board Meeting. The next Regular Meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at Weber Leisure Center.  The April Board Meeting will probably need to be moved back a week.

Executive Director Ohrlund asked the Board to consider dates for the Finance Committee Meetings for the budget presentations. The dates of March 6, 2014 and March 11, 2014 were selected. The Finance Committee Meetings will be held at the Weber Leisure Center at 6:30 p.m.


Commissioner Clarito commented that a successful citizenship workshop was held at the Oakton Center this past weekend.  State Representative Daniel Biss attended the event.

Vice President Aberman asked about the drop in participation numbers for the teen drop-in center. Superintendent Tuft said staff has been struggling with teen involvement in programming. The teen dances have had low attendance as well.  Superintendent Tuft will be meeting with Dr. Quentin Shepherd of Skokie School District 69 and a focus group of teens to discuss teen interests. Neighboring communities are experiencing the same issue with teens.

Commissioner Yanes commented on cleaning of fitness equipment in Fitness First! Superintendent Tuft stated that the maintenance staff performs the daily cleaning of the fitness center and the maintenance vendor services only clean the locker room areas.

President Reid informed the Board that the Coming Together in Skokie opening event will be held at Niles West High School on Sunday, January 26th at 2:00 p .m.

The Park District is hosting a Korean beer and wine tasting at the Skokie Heritage Museum on Saturday, February 8 at 5:00 p. m. The cost is $5.00 per person.

Commissioner Yanes commented on the spring program guide.  She stated it is much improved and easier to use.


Commissioner Alter moved to adjourn the regular meeting to Executive Session to discuss the approval of minutes of the October 22, 2013 Executive Session and to review past Executive Session Minutes/Verbatim Records.  Vice President Aberman seconded the motion.  On a roll call vote, all Commissioners voted aye.   Motion carried.  The regular meeting convened to Executive Session at 7:58 p. m.

The regular meeting reconvened at 8:07 p. m.

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 8:08 p. m.



__________________________________                            __________________________________

Michael Reid                                                                           John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                                 Secretary