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 Sept. 19

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


District Headquarters

September 19, 2012


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Mary McNamara Bernstein – President                      Tom Kalousek, Executive Director

Judy Barnard                                                              Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                                          Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Lee Johnson                                                                Mike Durand, Golf

Gloria Lind – 5:41                                                      Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Cheryl Maggio                                                           Judi Day, Budget & Personnel

Mike Scheurich, Attorney

ABSENT                                                                    Lori McGirk, Attorney

Randy Olson


Ross Ellison                Lenae Weichel

Jeff Tilly                      Bev Moore


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


INVOCATION and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Audrey Johnson led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for September 5, 2012 were approved.  There were no additions or changes to the agenda.



Appointment of Treasurer – At the September 5, 2012 board meeting, the Treasurer position was left vacant after the appointment of Judy Barnard to Vice President.  The President has the authority to appoint the Treasurer with the approval and consent of the Board.  The Treasurer does not need to be a voting commissioner.  Mary McNamara Bernsten appointed Steve Chapman as the Treasurer, and Audrey Johnson as the Assistant Treasurer.  She requested confirmation from the Board.  Roll call vote was taken.  Confirmation was approved 5 to 1, with Cheryl Maggio voting No.  Audrey Johnson accepted the appointment.  After arriving later, Steve Chapman accepted the appointment.


Agreement with Sheriff’s Department – Before Sheriff Meyers addressed the Board, Judi Day announced that the only change in the agreement was that the Sheriff removed the administrative fees of $400 per month.  Sheriff Meyers indicated he would like to continue to build on the successful partnership with the District.   The Sheriff reiterated that he did not want to reduce the amount of coverage in the preserves. Therefore, in looking at the overall goal, there will be cooperative sharing of services which allows the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police to reduce the budget to the District.  Judy Barnard thanked the Sheriff and his staff for the excellent service provided to the District. Tom also acknowledged Chief Deputy Ditzler for his hard work and efforts for the District.  Sheriff Meyers stated that, with the contract, the District gets the entire department, as it is ultimately the goal to keep the citizens safe.  Cheryl Maggio asked for clarification of Terry Nordberg’s employment as a District employee or Sheriff’s Department employee.  Tom Kalousek clarified that he works for the Sheriff 600 hours and 600 hours for the District.  Judy Barnard moved to approve the agreement between the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and the 60-day extension of the present intergovernmental agreement between the parties.  Motion passed unanimously.


Contract for Board training and code of ethics – In 2011, the Commissioners participated in a Board training session with Nancy Sylvester.  It is in the best interests of the District to resume the training begun by Ms. Sylvester.  However, the Commissioners feel that it would be best to wait until the election of the new Commissioners.  Audrey Johnson made a motion to delay additional board training until the election of the new commissioners.  Motion passed unanimously.


Payment of bills  – At the September 5, 2012 Board meeting, it was decided that the monthly bills be voted on for payment.  Steve Chapman presented the invoices for September that need to be paid.   Judy Barnard inquired if all bills were within the budget and Steve Chapman confirmed they were. Gloria Lind made a motion to authorize the payment of the September bills totaling $638,930.18 to be paid by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.  Motion passed unanimously.




Strategic planning process – The goals and policies of the strategic planning process now need to be finalized and prioritized.  The direction for the District’s staff should be clear so that future goals can be reached.  The Commissioners were given dates that Pam Clark Reidenbach is available.  Judy Barnard made a motion to authorize the Executive Director to extend a contract with Pam Clark Reidenbach to complete the Board strategic planning process.  Motion passed unanimously.  Judy then proposed that the Commissioners meet on Tuesday October 18 and Tuesday October 25 from 9:00 until noon.  Jamie Johannsen will make contact with Pam for those dates.


Executive Director search process – Audrey Johnson and Mary McNamara Bernsten met with LoRayne Logan of WorkPlace, a staffing agency in Rockford.  While they thought they would do a great job for the District, they felt the cost ($20,000) exceeded the District’s budget.  At the direction of the Board, the Illinois Association of Park Districts was contacted regarding the search process for the Executive Director position.  Audrey and Mary met with Peter Murphy, the President and CEO of IAPD and a timeline was established and presented to the Board.  Because some of the work is already done, IAPD is willing to cut the cost from $9,000-10,000 which was the original estimate, to $6,800 and they will start right away.  Audrey made a motion to contract with IAPD to administer a search for Executive Director at a cost not to exceed $6,800.  Motion passed unanimously.


Leave of Absence – Frank Williams is currently on extended sick leave.  He is requesting that his IMRF service credit is protected until such time as he is able to return to work.  By law, his FMLA leave is twelve weeks which covers August 17 through November 17, 2012.  Cheryl Maggio made a motion to approve the IMRF Benefit Protection Leave and request for leave of absence for Frank Williams from August 17 through November 17, 2012.  Motion passed unanimously.


Interim Executive Director – At the September 5 closed session of the Board meeting, Tom Kalousek reviewed his employment history as Interim Executive Director since his retirement on October 14, 2011.  He shared documentation and an explanation of his accomplishments and involvement.  He offered to continue as Interim Director under several conditions.  The Board agreed with Tom’s conditions and requests and agreed to ratify the March 1, 2012 Employment Agreement signed by former president Randy Olson.  Audrey made a motion to approve the terms of employment for Thomas Kalousek as Interim Executive Director.  Motion passed, 5 – 1, with Cheryl Maggio voting No.




IAPD legislative survey – The Commissioners have received the IAPD Legislative Survey in the mail.  Tom described what the survey was and that they are due September 24.    Tom then encouraged the Commissioners to complete the survey and have it returned to Judi Day by Friday, September 21.




Events planning  – Jamie Johannsen announced a couple of upcoming events.  The District will have a booth and display at the Winnebago County Wellness Fair, held downtown Rockford.  It is an opportunity for county employees to come through and pick up District information and learn about how the outdoors is beneficial to their health.  She also announced that throughout the month of October the District is launching the Leave No Family Inside guided hikes program.  Vaughn, Jamie and Lee Johnson came up with the concept of the series of the guided hikes that will be taking place.  Jamie distributed the list to the Commissioners.  There will be 5000 flyers distributed to District 205 students.


Preserve operations – Vaughn Stamm gave a year-to-date revenue comparison for campgrounds, equestrian, and shelterhouses.  The campgrounds and shelterhouses have had a great year.  He reported that the equestrian registrations are good and the self-registration kiosks have done really well.  The feedback has also been good for the self-registration kiosks.   Vaughn then gave an update on alternate fuel systems.  The District sent an employee to alternate fuel school and purchased two retro-fit kits for two golf carts at the Hononegah campground.  Those carts will be retro-fitted this winter for use next spring.


Golf operations – Mike Durand shared that rounds of golf are very strong, considering the hot temperatures and uncomfortable conditions in June, July and August.  The number of days closed has been low.  Gift certificate sales are up this year compared to last season, largely due to the rewards program.  It is doing better than anticipated, and he feels that largely accounts for the stability in revenue.  The trend right now is 60% of rounds played is greensfees, and 40% is golf pass rounds.  The Ledges will be closing at the end of October.  The course that will be the last to close is Atwood.


Audrey mentioned that the District recognized the Macktown Women’s Golf League, which is the oldest golf league in the area, for celebrating 60 years.  The league had a luncheon at Cliffbreakers and honored Pat Hopkins from Rockton, who is an original member.  Mike was in attendance at the luncheon and the District will be having a plaque made with a photograph of the entire group, recognizing their 60th anniversary.


Law enforcement report – Terry Nordberg distributed the monthly bulletin from August.  Mary thanked him for the reports and appreciates the updates.




Lee Johnson made a motion to go into closed session at 6:47.  The meeting returned to open session at 7:58.  No action taken while in closed session.



Meeting adjourned at 8:00.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, October 17, District Headquarters




Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary