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 – Feb. 7

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
BOARD MEETING
District Headquarters
February 7, 2012

PRESENT STAFF
Randy Olson – President Tom Kalousek, Executive Director
Judy Barnard
Mary McNamara- Bernsten
Audrey Johnson
Cheryl Maggio

ABSENT
Gloria Lind

ROLL CALL
The meeting was called to order at 6:04 pm. Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Mary McNamara-Bernsten led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.

CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS
The three candidates interviewed were Lenae Weichel, Donald Shriver, and Steven French. Randy Olson explained the process to each candidate. They would be asked the same questions that they submitted in writing and given the opportunity to expand on their answers. The Commissioners would then be given the opportunity to ask additional questions.

Lenae Weichel
Lenae introduced herself and thanked the Commissioners for the opportunity to interview. She has been a Winnebago County resident for twelve years and has been an avid user of the preserves. Community service is a very important part of her life, as well as volunteering for many different organizations and committees. She has served as a Volunteer Coordinator, has served on the board at Severson Dells, and been the president of a neighborhood association. Her strengths are collaboration, organization and keeping people informed. She is reliable, punctual and has experience working with foundations and fundraising. She has some experience with grant writing and has trained volunteers at various organizations. Since she is currently on the board at Severson Dells she is willing to resign if that is what the Board decides she needs to do. She is also involved with Wild Ones and is currently working with a group of master naturalists at Tinker Swiss Cottage to put in a one-acre prairie. She believes it is important to keep the mission statement in mind, regardless of the changes that are happening, and to keep moving forward on the District’s goals and objectives. Lastly, Lenae indicated she would bring to this board collaboration and a real interest in working together to move forward.

Donald Shriver
Donald introduced himself and gave his background and qualifications. He believes being a Commiss-ioner plays an important role in the community. He is an avid user of the preserves. Most of his time has been spent in the legal arena, but he has served on the YMCA board, been a Rockford Kennel Club volunteer, and has been volunteering with Air One for the past several years. He believes every leader needs to be able to listen to what is being presented, be able to understand it, and then build not only a consensus of the staff and the Commissioners, but hopefully a consensus of the interested citizens. He has had a lot of experience with several different organizations, and has worked with various 501c3 organizations. He believes that in the next three years the Board needs to concentrate on improving public communication and information, improving the budget, obtaining more land including adjacent land to the current properties, connecting the preserves, improving the image of the new Commissioners so people understand their responsibilities, educating the public, and finally, working with the schools, private and public, to get nature programs better incorporated into education.

Steven French
Steve introduced himself and gave his background in park management. He is running for Commissioner because he feels that the District needs direction and purpose, and a lot of the public is not happy with some of the things that have happened recently. He feels he could address some of those issues. His volunteer and community service has included coaching soccer and basketball. He has worked with the Jaycees in various positions and been on the board of AYSO and other sporting organizations for a number of years. He worked for ten years with the County Highway Department and learned a lot about wildlife and how to work around and with it. He feels that kids are the future, and if they don’t learn to appreciate it and take care of it, then it will be gone. As a coach, he feels he has learned how to work with individuals and has learned to find the strengths and weaknesses of each person which gives you a chance to work as a team. Steve feels that the District needs to do a better job of balancing wildlife habitat with recreation, needs to do a better job informing the public, and needs to incorporate education by getting the schools more involved with the preserves, Severson Dells and the Pecatonica Education Center.

BOARD DISCUSSION
The Undertaker – The Undertaker has expressed an interest in having an Easter egg hunt in the District, as well as a motorcycle rally. The Board decided that the Undertaker could do a motorcycle rally but not an Easter egg hunt at this time.
Roland Olson neighborhood meeting – Tom Kalousek gave an update on the Roland Olson neighborhood meeting. It is scheduled for February 21, at 6:30 PM at District Headquarters. He clarified that no more trees were being removed, only stump removal is occurring at this time.
Employee focus group – Judy Barnard attended a session on strategic planning at the IPRA conference in Chicago. She learned at that session that it is important for employees to be involved in the strategic planning process. She would like to have the employees have their own focus group. Tom Kalousek will work on getting a date and time set for the employee focus group. Tom also thinks golfers should be a separate focus group as well.
Land acquisition – Judy Barnard also inquired as to whether or not the bid had been accepted for the Stone Bridge Forest Preserve acquisition. The offer put in for the property adjacent to the Stone Bridge Forest Preserve has not yet been accepted.
Storm water – Judy Barnard also mentioned that the Kishwaukee River Partnership is working on developing some storm water management along the I39 Baxter Road corridor. She suggests someone from staff or board should sit in on that. The date of that meeting is unknown. Tom Kalousek will look into the date and time of that meeting.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM.
Next board meeting 4:00 PM Tuesday, February 15, at District Headquarters.

Ronelle Johnson
Recording Secretary