Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Board Meeting Minutes March 20

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


District Headquarters

March 20, 2013


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard- President                                             Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Mary McNamara-Bernsten                                         Mike Durand, Golf

Mike Eickman                                                             Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Audrey Johnson                                                          Jamie Johannsen, Marketing                                      

Cheryl Maggio                                                            Judi Day, Budget & Personnel

Randy Olson


ABSENT                                                                    Mike Holan

Gloria Lind – Absent                                                   Ray Ferguson

Kevin Haas

Deb Eickman


The meeting was called to order at 5:31 PM.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.


INVOCATION and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Cheryl Maggio led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for February 20 and February 28, 2013 were approved.  No additions or corrections were made to the agenda.




Announcement/Introduction of new Executive Director – Judy Barnard publically thanked Tom Kalousek for his many years of leadership skills, patience, and working with the Board through the last few years. Judy then introduced Mike Holan and gave his extensive background.  Mike was selected out of many qualified candidates for his leadership abilities, ability to work with staff, public and media, all of which the District will benefit from.  Mike then addressed the Board and thanked them for the opportunity to serve.  Mike’s start date will be April 10.


Construction of Stevens Shop – Macktown Living History Education Center – Tom Hartley gave an overview of the construction of the Stevens Stop at the Macktown Historic Settlement.  Construction will be funded by private donations.  Ray Ferguson gave an overview of the goals and master plan of the Historic Macktown Settlement.  The total cost of constructing the Stevens Shop and school will be approximately $250,000 to complete, and funds raised to this point are $200,000, only leaving $50,000 left to raise.   Ray was asking for the Board’s permission to start construction, to be completed by the end of the year.  There was no opposition to the construction.



Payment of Bills – Audrey Johnson made a motion to authorize the payment of the March bills totaling $351,409.07 to be paid by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.  Cheryl asked for clarification on the Williams Manny expense.  Vaughn Stamm explained that the Williams Manny expense is a bond for those handling cash, which will cover employees if there is loss.    Judy Barnard abstained from voting.  Motion passed with the one abstention.



Resolution Establishing Land Advisory Council – Audrey addressed the Commissioners regarding establishing a Land Advisory Council.  She feels the District needs to build an image of value to the taxpayers to encourage land donation and possible acquisition along the greenway corridor, as well as following the land classification matrix with priority acquisition.  She feels an advisory council can be used to inspire confidence in the community and augment the District’s resources for land acquisition needs.  Mary McNamara Bernsten inquired as to how members of the council will be chosen, and Audrey pointed out that it is laid out in the resolution.  Audrey made a motion to re-establish the Land Advisory Council.  Motion passed 6 to 1, Randy Olson opposed.  Judy will bring the name of the LAC chairman to the next meeting.  Judy reminded the Board that the Council will serve in an advisory capacity, and they will develop a strategic land acquisition plan.


Land Donation of Sugar River Alder access – Tom Hartley gave an overview of the three acres in Rock County, Wisconsin that the Natural Land Institute is donating to the District.  The quitclaim deed is in process, and the staff needs formal approval of donation.  Cheryl asked for clarification if the District has to pay Wisconsin taxes on those three acres.  Judi Day advised that whenever a new property is purchased, she applies for tax exemption immediately.  Tom Hartley recommended that the donation is approved conditionally upon whether or not the District has to pay taxes.  Audrey made a motion to approve the donation of three acres in Rock County, Wisconsin from the Natural Land Institute subject to clarification on the taxes.  Motion passed unanimously, with 1 abstention.  Judy Barnard abstained due to being on the NLI board.



Procedure for Commissioner Employment Recommendations – At the February meeting, Judy presented a draft job recommendation form to the Commissioners.  As Commissioners, citizens may approach a Commissioner and ask for assistance in obtaining a job with the District.   Having a job recommendation form will make the process much smoother and will allow a chain of command to be followed.  A motion was made by Mary.  However, since this was not on the agenda as an action item, this will be put on the April agenda for a vote.  Mary withdrew her motion.


IAPD Legislative Reception and Conference Attendance April 30-May 1 – Jamie Johannsen made an announcement that the conference is April 30 –May 1.  If any Commissioners would like to attend, please contact Jamie. 


Car allowance policy –  Cheryl Maggio announced that the Finance Committee will be looking at the car allowance policy and review it due to budget restrictions/constraints.  Judi Day gave Cheryl some statistics that she had requested.  Mary would like to be added to the Finance Committee.  Randy asked if they are looking at possible vehicles that may need to be eliminated that are no longer needed.  Judy Barnard confirmed that that is part of the review process.



Mary is reintroducing the establishment of a Board Governance Committee.  She would like to reaffirm who would like to be on the committee as they will be meeting soon.  It is an opportunity to put into place a visible chain of command.  Gloria will be added onto the committee.  Cheryl requested she be taken off the committee.



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm gave an update to the deer management project.  The project is finished and 44 deer were actually harvested (60 permits were originally requested), and only 1 tested positive for CWD.  He also gave an update to the trout stocking at Four Lakes.  Weather permitting, trout fishing open season at Four Lakes will be April 6 at 5 AM.  Also that weekend, Sunday April 7 is the AMPED up adventure race.  The District Headquarters property will be used as part of the race route.  The District is a co-sponsor with the Rockford Park District.

Dump truck update – lease proposals from one vendor have come back for the large tandem axel dump truck.   The District will now need to send it out to bid for 10 days to see if there are any similar or better lease options available.  Once that process is completed, figures can then be included in the 2014 budget. 


Land and Development – Tom Hartley advised the Commissioners that there is a 10.7-acre piece of property that went for sale at the corner of Seward Bluffs.  The asking price is $20,900/acre and it is zoned agriculture.   The Commissioners agreed that is too much money and are not interested at this time.  The bids for Seward Bluffs overlook and Seward Bluffs bridge were pushed back due to weather. The design and construction for the ADA improvements is being planned for Klehm.  The highest priority is improving the handicap parking at the Visitors Center and the Fountain Garden.  Judy Barnard then asked about the lower lot at Klehm, if a bid for a permeable paved parking lot could be considered when it comes time for that project. Tom will look into that.  Cheryl asked about the Living Lands and Waters Million Trees Project if any of the trees will be planted at Roland Olson.  She would like a letter sent to the neighbors telling them additional trees are being added.  Tom will send them a latter.


Golf report – Mike Durand – Due to the weather, season pass sales and private golf car registrations are down compared to a year ago.  If the courses don’t open in March, it would be the latest opening in 13 seasons.  Over the winter, a lot of the old maintenance equipment that needed attention and work has been done.  The equipment should be in good shape for this summer.


Marketing & Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen – The staff will participate in customer service training on April 18 and 19.  The training will be provided by Work Place Solutions, recommended to the District by PDRMA.  Seasonal, part-time and full-time staff will go through the training.  She also announced that Spring Celebration with Pieta Brown will be held on March 23 and the event has nearly sold out, leaving standing room only.  Promotions were done through newsletters, facebook, emails, and the District’s website.   Lastly, the Atwood Award will be held April 25 at 5:30 at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens.  The Commissioners are to let Jamie know if they are able to attend and represent the District.


Law Enforcement report – Terry Nordberg submitted a written law enforcement report for review.



Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 6:29  to discuss a personnel issue.  The board waived closed session and the leave of absence was discussed in open session.


Leave of Absence – Judi Day requested a leave of absence for emergency surgery.  Randy Olson moved to grant the leave of absence for up to twelve weeks.  Motion passed unanimously.



Spring Celebration at the Pecatonica Education Center, 3:30 Saturday, March 23


Atwood Award Dinner on April 25, 2013


Boy Scouts of America – Judy Barnard read a letter from Kyle Clair Wilke, who has achieved his Eagle Scout.  His Eagle Service Project was Project Warbler.  He built and set up Warbler houses along the Pecatonica and Sugar Rivers to preserve Warbler habitat.



Meeting adjourned at 6:32.

Next board meeting at 5:30 on Wednesday, April 17, District Headquarters

Please Note:  May Board meeting date and location changed to Wednesday, May 22 at Klehm