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 of Commissioner Minutes July 18

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
District Headquarters
July 18, 2012

Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard Mike Durand, Golf Operations
Mary McNamara- Bernsten Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations
Audrey Johnson Jamie Johannsen, Marketing
Lee Johnson Judi Day, Budget & Personnel
Gloria Lind
ABSENT Lori McGirk
Cheryl Maggio James Rodriguez

Carol Gustafson Lynda G. Johnson
Gordon G. Conover Bev Moore
Ross Ellison Richard Nelson
Larry Gustafson Rob Baxter
Jeff Tilly

The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

Gloria Lind led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Minutes for June 20 were approved.


Approval of Strategic Plan – Judy Barnard, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee presented the Strategic Plan, which includes the District’s mission statement, core values and goals, to the Commissioners. Judy gave the Commissioners an overview of the Strategic Plan process that had taken place up to this point, including review of the focus groups and the development of the four strategic plan goals. Judy then advised that staff is still working on developing work plans under those four goals. There will be meetings next month as the staff has developed time frames under the objectives of the goals. Judy then made a motion to accept the Strategic Plan. The mission statement, core values and goals were approved and will be presented in resolution form at the August meeting. Motion carried unanimously. Jamie Johannsen will also be working on a new logo and branding. Social media will be worked on as well.

Revisions to Code – Mary McNamara Bernstein, chair of the Codes and Regulations Committee, presented the recommended revisions to the District Code. This agenda item was laid over to August 15 meeting.


Parlimentarian – Mary McNamara Bernsten made a motion to contract a parliamentarian to advise members of the Board on correct procedures during meetings. Randy Olson advised that since this is not a resolution, it will be on the August agenda under Action Items.

Bill payment procedure – When this Board took office in 2010, it was decided that oversight of the payment of bills would be the purview of the Board’s Director of Finance, Steve Chapman. Currently, the District’s Manager of Administrative Services, Brenda Unger, prepares the purchase orders and requests for payment based on invoices received for goods and services. Steve examines the documents prepared by Brenda and authorizes payment. It is suggested that, to uphold the Board’s fiduciary duties, the Board should become more directly involved with the authorization for payment of the District’s bills. The recommendation is as follows: The County Finance Department will compile the list of bills to be paid; Steve Chapman will continue to authorize prepaid checks and to review the monthly invoices; District bills will be presented for Board review and approval. Judy Barnard talked to the States Attorney about the bill payment procedures, and he was appalled that this Board is not approving bills. Judy then gave the history of the bill payment procedures over the last several years. In 2010, Steve Chapman became the bill payee for the Board, and since the States Attorney advised that this is not a good practice, Judy is recommending that the District go back to paying its own bills.

Randy Olson appointed a Financial Committee to get together and come back with a resolution. Therefore, the bill payment procedure will be put on the agenda as an action item for August 15.

Land Advisory Council – The prior Land Advisory Council was disbanded due to the District’s Land Acquisition fund having virtually a zero balance. In 2011 the Board authorized the selling of bonds, increasing the Fund to $270,000. This money can be enhanced and expanded with the use of land grants and donations to purchase desirable property. The Land Advisory Council would consist of citizens from various and appropriate backgrounds, be reformed to advise the District about acquisition priorities and to make recommendations to the Board on specific parcels of land. Audrey Johnson would like to see the Land Advisory Council reinstated. She feels that there was great information that came forth from the focus groups process and the fact that the citizens will be more knowledgeable about where and when lands are available. Audrey then made a motion to reinstitute the Land Advisory Council. Randy asked for Audrey to reconvene her Land Advisory Committee to prepare a recommendation for the August 15 meeting.

Amending the 2011-2012 Appropriations Budget – Judy Barnard distributed an Ordinance amending the 2011-2012 appropriations budget to transfer excess funds in the Corporate Fund personnel budget to the Land Acquisition Fund, and is requesting that it be laid over for the August 15 meeting.

Director of Public Safety and Risk Management Position – Judy Barnard is questioning the funding of the Director of Public Safety and Risk Management position. This will also be laid over to the August meeting. She is bringing the Resolution to defund the position until the Board has further input into that position.


Preserves – In an effort to continually provide the Board with an approximate user usage in the preserves, Vaughn Stamm distributed a spreadsheet showing the usage through the middle of July with the number of people using the shelters, shelterhouse reservation sales, camping, and camping revenue. Shelterhouse reservation sales are a little down in some categories more than likely due to the hot weather and the economy.

Development –Tom Hartley attended the Special Districts Conference in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The conference was held at the Three Rivers Park District. Tom prepared a report about the conference.

Marketing – Jamie Johannsen announced that the Winnebago County Fair is August 14-19. The District will have a display at the fair and will need to be staffed throughout that week. If Commissioners would like to work the booth, see Jamie and she would be happy to schedule a time for you.

Golf Report – Mike Durand distributed the golf statistics through July 15. The hotter than average conditions have impacted the play. A typical day with comfortable conditions would produce approximately 130-140 golfers at each golf course on a week day, and approximately 240-250 on a weekend. The courses are running at about 50-60%, so the hot weather has hurt the rounds played recently. The trees are impacted by the drought, and the grounds crews are taking care of that within the reasonable amount of resources available to District. Gloria said she has visited several courses and she feels the employees should be commended because they are taking the best care that they can and she applauded Mike for keeping the greens as well kept as possible. Mike then expressed that excessive heat can damage the turf, so it needs to be monitored every day. The maintenance staff are doing a great job as they have been very challenged.

Law Enforcement report – The Law Enforcement report for June was distributed. If there are any questions contact Terry Nordberg and/or Tom Kalousek.


Land acquisition – The meeting closed at 5:52, to go into closed session to discuss possible land acquisition. The meeting re-opened at 6:04. No action was taken while in closed session.

Issues of Governance – The meeting closed at 6:05. to go into closed session to discuss issues of governance. The meeting re-opened at 6:16. No action was taken while in closed session.

Mary McNamara-Bernsten made a motion before the Board and asked President Randy Olson for his resignation. Mary felt that it is in the best interest of the Board, and more importantly to the residents of Winnebago County, for President Olson to resign. Gloria Lind stated that this situation is very unfortunate. She believes what has happened is a lack of communication, and has gotten out of control. She went on to state that the Commissioners have to have the legal knowledge to address the situation, and she believes the Commissioners all want to do what is right, and Randy has meant no harm to the Board. She suggested “higher powers” are needed and if the Commissioners want Randy to resign, it should be through the court system, through the States Attorney’s office or someone else. Mary believed that would make the situation more drawn out and the District would not be put in a very good light. Gloria inquired as to how many votes it takes to remove the President. Mary and Judy both answered five votes, and Mary then read the District Code section. Attorney James Rodriguez advised that the District Code requires five votes to remove the presiding President. He then advised that 30 days after the intent to remove is declared, a vote may be taken by the Board. Attorney Lori McGirk clarified that if the removal vote passes, the Vice President steps in; if it does not pass, President Olson remains as President. Gloria then stated that she feels that this Board works very hard together, but feels the District needs direction from the attorneys as to if this Board takes Randy to court, who pays for the costs. Randy then stated that there are no grounds in court. Gloria thinks it should be researched. Attorney Rodriguez said the attorneys will look into the issue, but made it clear as to what the District Code says, but will look into what the State statutes say. Attorney Rodriguez will also confer with the States Attorney’s office.


Letter from Rolf Thinemann – Rockford Rotary commending Jamie Johannsen for a great presentation to the Rockford Downtown Rotary.

Law enforcement contract – letter from Sheriff Meyers regarding continuation of police services contract.

Meeting adjourned at 6:31 PM.
Next Board meeting (first budget review) 5:30 PM, Wednesday, August 8, Headquarters
Next regular Board meeting, 5:30 PM, Wednesday, August 15, Headquarters
Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secret