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 April 21, 2021

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County


Preserves Headquarters

April 21, 2021


PRESENT                                                     STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                  Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                 Steve Chapman, Finance

Jake Henry                                                      Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Audrey Johnson                                              Ann Wasser, Education

Gloria Lind                                                       Kim O’Malley, Human Resources/Volunteer Program

Cheryl Maggio

Jeff Tilly


     Jeremy Oster

     John Rader, Baker Tilly-via Zoom

     Erin Seliger, Baker Tilly-via Zoom

     Alex Mills, Klehm Arboretum



The meeting was called to order at 5:34 PM, by President Tilly.  Recording secretary Kristy Knapp called the roll.


PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE    Jake Henry led the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES      Minutes for March 17, 2021 were approved. Action Item, Authorizing the Purchase of the Mitchell Property Adjacent to Calvin & Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve, was moved to after Closed Session.  No additions were made to the agenda.



Jeremy Oster – Mr. Oster addressed the Board of Commissioners regarding some concerns he has with Macktown Forest Preserve and Macktown Living History. His concerns include, racism towards the Native American culture, how re-enacting and the history of Rockton has been taught through Macktown Living History and pollution in the preserve. In 2019, Mr. Oster and President Jeff Tilly discussed through email, the possibility of starting a program at Macktown Forest Preserve that shows more of the Native American side of Rockton’s history. Mr. Oster would like to once again speak with President Tilly regarding his concerns and the potential program. President Tilly stated he would like Mr. Oster to share more detailed information regarding the program with the entire Board of Commissioners, which can be emailed to each Board Member. Mr. Oster also mentioned that he and his family would like to volunteer and help clean up the thousands of golf balls that have been burned in the preserve due to the Forest Preserves’ burn plan. Later in the meeting the Board discussed Mr. Oster’s comments and issues at length.



Baker Tilly Audit Results – John Rader from Baker Tilly presented the audit results for the year ending October 31, 2020.  John was present via Zoom.  All Commissioners were provided the audit’s Annual Financial Report and the Reporting and Insights from 2020 Audit Report. John reviewed the Reporting and Insights from 2020 Audit Report, which included the Responsibilities, Internal Control Matters, Required Communications, Accounting changes relevant to the FPWC, Informational Points, Audit Team, and Financial Results.


Steve Chapman thanked John and his staff for doing the Audit during this difficult time. He also wanted to thank the County Finance Department for putting most of the audit together. Judy Barnard asked Mike Holan to draft a letter thanking the finance department for the financial reports. Steve stated the letter should be sent to the County Administrator.



Bills for March – Gloria Lind made a motion, Mike Eickman seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for March in the amount of $385,762.07.  Motion passed unanimously. 



Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm, Scott Stewart, Scott Wallace and Bryan Helmold submitted a written report. Vaughn Stamm addressed the Board regarding two ongoing projects that were unplanned for this year’s budget.  The first project is the replacement of a deep well pump and case system at Ledges Golf Course. Quotes have been received to complete the project and there may be a budget amendment needed. The second project is for the replacement of the central shop septic system. Staff is working with the County Health Department at this time and different septic companies to put plans together. Quotes will be received and there may be a budget amendment needed.


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


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


Environmental Education – Ann Wasser submitted a written report. Ann announced that next weekend is the City Nature Challenge, which includes 18 different guided hikes across the forest preserves and other partner agencies.


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


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


Alex Mills – Alex announced the Arbor Day Event on Friday, April 30th, where free trees will be given out. May 7th will kick off  the Go Public Gardens Days Event which will be free for the entire week with many activities. On May 8th, there will be a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Main Street Sign at 10:00am. Lastly, the Garden Fair will be the first weekend in June.



Audrey Johnson made a motion to go into closed session at 6:17 pm.  At 7:43 pm, the meeting returned to open session. No action was taken while in closed session.



Authorizing the Purchase of the Mitchell Property Adjacent to Calvin & Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve – During closed session the Ordinance was discussed and the Board has agreed to lay on the table the Ordinance until the next month’s meeting. Audrey Johnson made a motion and Gloria Lind seconded to lay on the table  the ordinance to authorize the purchase of the Mitchell Property Adjacent to Calvin & Sophia Ferguson Forest Preserve. Motion passed unanimously.



President Tilly stated they will go over Mike Holan’s evaluation in the next couple weeks and will gather more information regarding salary, merit and cost of living increase. The evaluation will be brought back a next month’s Board Meeting.


Mike Holan announced that he will not be at next month’s Board Meeting.



Meeting adjourned at 7:58 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, May 19, Forest Preserve Headquarters



Respectfully Submitted,

Kristy Knapp

Recording Secretary