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 March 18, 2020

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

March 18, 2020


PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard – via phone                             Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                               Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson – via phone

Gloria Lind – via phone

Cheryl Maggio – via phone

Jeff Tilly

Jake Henry



No guests due to COVID-19 restrictions



The meeting was called to order at 5:38 PM, by President Tilly.  Recording secretary Ronelle Johnson called the roll.   Judy Barnard, Audrey Johnson, Gloria Lind and Cheryl Maggio participated via telephone due to the COVID-19 restrictions.  Pursuant to Governor Pritzker’s temporary change to the Open Meetings Act, the change allows for a remote meeting to allow Commissioners to participate via phone conference which will still be considered a quorum.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE     Mike Eickman led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for February 19 were approved.



Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there were no presentations or public participation at this meeting.


Baker-Tilly Audit Results – Baker Tilly will not be presenting the Audit Report until the April meeting.


Klehm Arboretum – Entrance Signs & Rain Garden – In Alex Mills’ absence, Mike Holan advised the Commissioners that before the new entrance sign to Klehm is started, the Commissioners need to give approval before fundraising begins.  The Commissioners were emailed the schematics.  All Commissioners gave approval to move forward on the sign.  In addition, Klehm is applying for a grant for the rain garden.  There is a drainage issue when there is a heavy rain. Fehr Graham drew up plans for drainage to the rain garden so the heavy rains do not flow through the tent.  The grant is through the Com Ed Green Regions and the Kjellstrom Family Foundation has agreed to a $10,000 match to the $10,000 grant if the grant is received.  Due to Green Regions requirements on agencies eligible to apply, the Forest Preserve has to apply for the grant and Alex has done all the paperwork for the application process.  The Commissioners have given consensus to apply.



Quotes for Legal Services – Mike Holan reminded the board that Chuck Prorok notified the Preserves a few months ago that he will no longer be able to represent the Preserves due to health concerns.  An RFQ was sent out to thirteen law firms.  Two firms sent back quotes for services.  Those two firms were Heyl, Royster, Voelker, and Allen, and Sosnowski & Szeto.  The quotes were sent to commissioners via email and hard copies can be provided if needed. Mike has asked the Commissioners to review the information and be prepared to make a decision so that it can be discussed and a decision made at the April board meeting.




Golf Courses – Jake Henry is requesting expenses be added to the Golf Report, in addition to the revenue. Steve Chapman mentioned that while those expenses are not listed in the monthly reports, they are listed in the quarterly reports.  Jake Henry rescinded his request and will use the quarterly reports.



Bills for February – Gloria Lind made a motion, and Judy Barnard seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for February in the amount of $394,791.52.  Motion passed unanimously. 


Non Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy – The Workplace Transparency Act, amended the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act to require governmental entities to adopt an ordinance or resolution amending their sexual harassment policies to provide a mechanism for reporting and independent review of allegations of sexual harassment made against an elected official of the governmental entity by another elected official of a governmental entity. The Workplace Transparency Act also amended the Illinois Human Rights Act and such amendments necessitate further revision of policies prohibiting harassment.  The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County (Forest Preserves) has an Employee Personnel Policy Manual which includes a Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy that does not comply with the aforementioned amendments.  The Forest Preserves seeks to amend its current Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy in order to comply with the aforementioned amendments and bases its updated Policy on a template provided by its insurance carrier, Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA).  The Preserves’ corporate attorney, James R. Pirages of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, reviewed the amended Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and agrees that it is in compliance with Public Act 101-0221. Cheryl Maggio asked that the policy be laid over until next month. Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Gloria Lind seconded, to lay over the discussions regarding the Non discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy to April.  Motion passed unanimously.  This will be moved to the April agenda action items.


Budget Amendment – Law Enforcement Computers – There are two laptop computers and accessories for use in the law enforcement squad cars that need to be replaced.  The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County staff recommend a budget amendment to the 2020 FY Budget in order to accommodate the purchase of two (2) laptop computers and accessories; Entre Computer Solutions was awarded the current contract by the Winnebago County Sherriff’s Department for the purchase of the Getac S410 G3 laptop computers, S410 HAVIS vehicle dock stations, Getac Antennas, and Getac vehicle power adapters.  The total cost as specified for two laptop units and all required accessories is $9,000 or $4,500 per unit.  There are sufficient funds available in the fund balance of the 2020 FY Corporate Budget to facilitate this purchase.  Audrey Johnson made a motion, and Mike Eickman and Gloria Lind seconded to approve and amend the 2020 FY Budget to allow for funds to be utilized from the Corporate Fund balance towards the purchase from Entre Computer Solutions for two Getac S410 G3 laptop computers, two S410 HAVIS vehicle dock stations, two Getac antennas, and two Getac vehicle power adapters in the amount of $9,000.  Roll call vote taken. Motion passed (5-0 – Cheryl abstained due to her husband working at Entre Computers).



Update on Preserves due to COVID-19 – As of the date of this meeting (March 18, 2020) Golf courses are closed due to weather, and it is possible they could be open on Sunday, the 22nd.  The golf staff and clubhouse staff is willing to work so operations will continue.  The Preserves Headquarters office is closed.  Headquarters is working with a skeleton crew.  Kristy Knapp is the only front line staff member working and she is taking calls and assisting customers with online purchases.  The discount is extended until April 30.  Mike sent a memo to staff on Monday that if any staff member does not feel safe working, they are able to be off but must take either vacation or sick time.  The Severson Dells Nature Center and offices are closed.  There is signage up at the clubhouses limiting public access to four people inside at a time.  Food concessions are closed.  Staff in the clubhouses are constantly wiping surfaces down and doing extra cleaning.  All outhouses are also closed.  Sand Bluff Bird Observatory is closed to visitors.  Preserves are open and a press release has been done, as well as it has been posted on social media.


STAFF REPORTS – No staff present due to COVID-19 restrictions

Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Scott Stewart, Scott Wallace and Bryan Helmold submitted a written report.


Golf Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Rich Rosenstiel, Tyler Knapp & Mark Freiman submitted a written report.


Land and Development – Natural Resource Staff submitted a written report.


Marketing and Community Relations – Jamie Johannsen submitted a written report.


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report.


Human Resources/Volunteer Program Report – Kim O’Malley submitted a written report.


Law Enforcement – Sheriff’s Department submitted a written report.





Meeting adjourned at 6:20 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, April 15, Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary