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Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting of March 6, 2014

The Finance Committee Meeting of Thursday, March 6, 2014, was called to order by Chairman  Michael Alter at 6:05 p.m. In attendance were President Reid, Vice-President Aberman, Commissioners’ Alter and Clarito, Commissioner Yanes was absent. Staff in attendance was Director John Ohrlund, Superintendent of Recreation/Revenue Facilities, Michelle Tuft, Superintendent of Parks Mike Rea, Marketing Manager Jim Bottorff, Assistant Superintendent of Recreation Jon Marquardt, Oakton Center Manager Crystal VanHyning, TLC Manager Fouzia Khan, SPACE Director Nancy Eschker, Office Manager Dima Kirland and Superintendent of Business William Schmidt.

Budget Presentation By Fund

Director Ohrlund opened the meeting with an introduction on the budget, the format of this year’s budget presentation, the overall strong state of the financial picture of the Skokie Park District and reviewed the Vision statement, Mission statement and the Core Values of the District. Half of the funds were to be discussed this evening on a financial basis only. A comprehensive detailed analysis of the Childcare portion will be explained by Jon Marquardt with help from Fouzia Kahn and Nancy Eschker. Director Ohrlund introduced Superintendent of Business Bill Schmidt who took the Committee through the budget.

Mr. Schmidt started with the overall summary of all of the funds, operating, auxiliary and capital, showing the addition to fund balances and the use of these fund balances to finance capital projects. Mr. Schmidt pointed out the assumptions highlighted in the budget book on page five. The biggest difference was the transfer of fund balance dollars from the Corporate, Recreation and Fund 89 Debt Service Fund into a Major Projects Fund for a total of $6,085,000 to be used to finance major capital projects, mainly SSP East. Other differences were the utility, health and salary increases. Mr. Schmidt described the Corporate Fund (#10), administration area only, explaining the highlights of the center. Vice-President Aberman asked about the increase in Professional Fees. This is for the comprehensive plan being conducted by Hitchcock Design.

After answering all questions, Mr. Schmidt introduced Jim Bottorff, Marketing Manager who made a detailed explanation of the Marketing and Sponsorship activities.  Vice-President Aberman asked for an explanation of what C/S stood for in the budget, (contractual services) and why the increase. The increase is due to annual update of website and website repairs/additions. Commissioner Clarito asked if there is a way to measure return on the website/marketing investment. Hits to our website keep increasing, more registrations are being done on our website but we cannot tell if a person registers for programs due to website changes. Mr. Bottorff highlighted some areas of increased marketing for next year including Skatium and Golf. Mr. Bottorff went through the fundraising process and how those dollars get transferred out to various events and festivals.

When all questions were answered, Mr. Bottorff introduced Mike Rea who took the Committee through revenues and expenses at both Park Services and P.O.O.C.H. Park. Mr. Rea began by expressing the fantastic job the men and women of Park Services do in support of the rest of the District. One new item at the dog park will be an installation of different type of sod/seed that will hopefully last longer.  After answering all the questions from the committee, Mr. Rea introduced Jon Marquardt who took the Committee through the Recreation Fund including Devonshire, Oakton, Teens, Camps, and Special Events/Festivals.  Mr. Marquardt highlighted the major change in the next year’s budget in these areas.

Mr. Marquardt then went into depth in explaining the Childcare areas of the Recreation Fund. This included TLC Administration, TLC operations and the S.P.A.C.E. programs. Mr. Marquardt went through every line item of each budget area and then opened up a few different budget accounts to show the Committee how staff calculate the individual  budgeted amounts. Questions were $10 Facility Rental at TLC answer Talking Farm. Mrs. Eschker and Mrs. Khan contributed immensely to the discussion. Director Ohrlund explained that staff go into this level of analysis for every line item throughout the budget.  Mr. Marquardt then went through the Teen area and finished with Special Events and Festivals. One new Special Event will be a family sleep over at Lorel Park to help celebrate First Friday’s with IMODS.

Mr. Ohrlund wound up the presentation with remarks about the proposed development of SSP East and thanked the staff for their time and effort and told the Committee the balance of the funds would be covered on Tuesday March 11, 2014 at 6:30 pm.

With no more business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned by Chairman Alter at 8:05 pm.




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Michael Reid                                                               John V. Ohrlund

President                                                                       Secretary