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 Dec. 19

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District


District Headquarters

December 19, 2012


PRESENT                                                                 STAFF

Judy Barnard – President                                           Tom Kalousek, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                             Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                          Mike Durand, Golf

Lee Johnson                                                                Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Gloria Lind                                                                 Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Cheryl Maggio                                                           Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Mary McNamara Bernsten                                          Judi Day, Budget & Personnel

Randy Olson                                                               Mike Scheurich, Attorney


GUESTS        Deb Eickman              Steve Anderson          Kevin Haas

Lee Johnson                Jerry Paulson


President Mary McNamara Bernsten read the Canvass of Election, validating the election of the Winnebago County Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners.  Total number of ballots cast were 119,867.  Mary then read the individual election results.



Mike Eickman, Audrey Johnson and Cheryl Maggio were sworn in by President Mary McNamara Bernsten.  Mike Eickman and Audrey Johnson were each installed for 6-year terms, and Cheryl Maggio was installed for a 2-year term.


INVOCATION and PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Judy Barnard asked for a moment of silence for the slain children in Connecticut and for the loss of three first responders in the downed helicopter locally, and then led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.



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


Mary McNamara Bernsten presented Lee Johnson with a memento and thanked him for his service to the District as a Forest Preserve District Commissioner.



Gloria Lind nominated Judy Barnard as the Winnebago County Forest Preserve President.  Mary McNamara Bernsten asked for any further nominations, and there were none.  A roll call was taken on Judy’s nomination, and she was elected to President unanimously.  Mary passed the gavel to Judy, and Judy conducted the remainder of the Board meeting.  Judy thanked the Commissioners for their votes of confidence and encouraged the Commissioners to continue with the good work.


Audrey Johnson nominated Mary McNamara Bernsten to the position of Vice President. A roll call was taken on Mary’s nomination, and she was elected to Vice President unanimously.  Judy thanked Mary for a job well done.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for November 19, 2012 were approved.  No additions or corrections were made to the agenda.




Executive Director search – The meeting closed at 5:42 to go into closed session to discuss the Executive Director search.  The meeting returned to open session at 6:16.   No action was taken while in closed session.  Judy announced that dossiers for seven candidates were presented to the Board by IAPD’s Peter Murphy.  She would like the Commissioners to rank the applicants based on their qualifications and to email that list to her by January 3.  Interviews will be scheduled as soon after that as possible, probably on a Saturday.  The Commissioners will also give their January Saturdays availability to Judy.




Appointment of officers – Judy requested that the appointment of officers be delayed until the next meeting so she can have an opportunity to meet with each Commissioner individually.  In doing so, she would like to see what position(s) the Commissioners are interested in, if any.


2013 Board schedule – The Board meetings will be at the same time as currently scheduled unless there are objections. Mike Eickman indicated he may have a few conflicts in the next few months.  Gloria Lind made a motion to table the Board schedule until the next Board meeting and to approve the January 16 board meeting at 5:30.  Motion passed unanimously.    Judi Day will advise the media of the January meeting and will send the remainder of the 2013 schedule to the media after the January 16 meeting.


Budget amendment – Development – At the conclusion of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, some of the development projects budgeted for the 2012 season were not completed.  Unspent funds appropriated for these projects need to be forwarded to the next fiscal year in order for the projects to be completed and paid for.  Therefore, the Seward Bridge repair ($30,000) and the Historic barn ($50,000) should be forwarded to this fiscal year.  Gloria made a motion to approve the budget amendment moving appropriations from 2012 to 2013 for the Capital Development Fund for a total of $80,000.  Motion passed unanimously.


Payment of Bills – Audrey Johnson made a motion to authorize the payment of the December bills totaling $552,456.75 to be paid by the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District.  Cheryl Maggio inquired as to what CDS Technologies is.  Vaughn responded that CDS Technologies is the company that is being used to update the law enforcement laptops for the squad vehicles.  There will be two ordered along with additional antenna parts.    Motion passed unanimously. 




IAPD/IPRA registration – The IAPD/IPRA annual conference is January 24-26.  Vaughn Stamm announced that pre-registration has ended and registration is only available at the door.  If the Commissioners are still interested in attending, let Brenda or Vaughn know before January 5 whether a hotel room is needed.  Cheryl asked for clarification why the District was paying for the conference since the education expenses were cut for this fiscal year.  Judy responded that this conference was included in the budget because of the educational benefit.  Mary indicated that she believes it is the most valuable for the Commissioners.  Judy then reminded the Commissioners to respond to Vaughn by January 5, and to also contact him if additional information is needed for schedules, etc.   Jamie will find out the time of the annual meeting.




Cheryl inquired as to the status of the union contract, and if it was completed.  She was concerned with the delay and was surprised it hadn’t been taken care of since October.  Tom Kalousek responded that it is done and everything is approved, and while there were some delays, Attorney Jim Pirages has taken care of it.  Cheryl then indicated that the District should consider new labor attorneys.  Tom reminded the Commissioners that the current union contract will expire in October 2014, and if they decide to consider new labor attorneys, it will have to be done before then.




Marketing – Jamie Johannsen gave a report on the Restoration Volunteer Task Force.  The volunteer group has been implementing ecological restoration work in various preserves each Tuesday morning since March of 2012.  Greg Keilback, biologist at Severson Dells Nature Center, is the leader of the task force, and the volunteer group ranges from five to eleven workers.  Their priorities have been developing plant lists for the different preserves, wildlife monitoring, and invasive species control and education.


Jamie then gave a 2012 Attendance and User report.  The total of documented visits, excluding casual unregistered visitors, was 145,523.  She gave a breakdown in each preserve, including special events at Klehm, Macktown, Sand Bluff and Severson Dells.  It also included camping, shelterhouse use, equestrian, golf, and other permit-required activities.


Golf report – Mike Durand announced that the Ledges closed on October 31 and Macktown closed mid-November.  He then indicated that Atwood is currently closed (December 15), but if the weather and turf conditions permit, it could be re-opened for play.


Law Enforcement – Terry Nordberg submitted a report for the Month of November.  Terry’s report indicated that Senior Deputy
Keegan has decided to retire and his last day of work was November 29.  Senior Deputy Keegan has been under the contract with the Sheriff’s Department for a number of years and did a tremendous job.  The Sheriff will be announcing his replacement in December.




Judy would like to get information about intern fairs.  She would like to have Tom Kalousek follow up and do some research to see if there are any coming up in this area.  If at all possible, she would like to have an intern at the District this coming summer.


Vaughn announced that a letter was received from PDRMA recognizing the District as a Level A member.  The District continues its long standing tradition of safety and loss-prevention excellence.  As a result, a $1,500 cash award was received this week from PDRMA.


Judy reminded the Commissioners that she will be contacting them to meet individually about the Executive Director candidates and any interest they may have in an officer position.



Meeting adjourned at 6:47.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM Wednesday, January 16, District Headquarters



Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary