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Board of Commissioners Minutes February 18, 2015

Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

BOARD MEETING

Preserves Headquarters

February 18, 2015

 

PRESENT                                                                  STAFF

Judy Barnard                                                                Mike Holan, Executive Director

Mike Eickman                                                              Steve Chapman, Finance

Audrey Johnson                                                            Vaughn Stamm, Preserve Operations

Gloria Lind–5:33pm                                                      Tom Hartley, Land and Development

Cheryl Maggio – via phone                                           Mike Durand, Golf Operations

Mary McNamara Bernsten -6:07pm                             Jamie Johannsen, Marketing

Jeff Tilly                                                                       Don Miller, Education

GUESTS

Jerry Paulson

Lee Johnson

 

ROLL CALL

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

 

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

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA and MINUTES     Minutes for January 21 were approved. The agenda was amended to reflect the closed session being split into two sessions.

 

PRESENTATIONS and PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Volunteer Program – Volunteer Coordinator Kim O’Malley presented the newly implemented volunteer program. Kim has been the Volunteer Coordinator since June of 2014. She gave an overview of the new programs, plans, the various volunteer groups and who makes up those groups, screening of the volunteers, the new volunteer brand logo, and upcoming events. In addition, the third Saturday of each month is now regularly scheduled volunteer work days. Kim continually speaks to different groups looking for volunteers to participate in this program.   Currently there are approximately 42 active volunteers.

 

ACTION ITEMS

Bills for February – Gloria made a motion, Mike seconded to authorize the payment of the bills for February in the amount of $392,692.57. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Appointment of Officers – Judy has appointed Mike Eickman as Secretary, Steve Chapman as Treasurer, Cheryl Maggio as Assistant Treasurer and Gloria Lind as the Legislative Liaison. No vote was taken, however there was unanimous consent.

 

Acceptance of Bids for Fertilizers and Chemicals – Bids on fertilizers and pesticides are used for application on the golf courses and forest preserve restoration sites. The products are handled and applied by personnel licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The quantities are similar to last year and are budgeted out of various departments. All the fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides included in this bid are registered through the Environmental Protection Agency and have been approved for use on public golf courses and forest preserves. Staff recommends the approval of these products and suppliers. These are all budgeted items. Audrey made a motion, Mary McNamara Bernsten seconded, to approve the purchase of the fertilizers and chemicals for a total price of $46,708.68. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Gambling Ordinance –   Mike Holan presented a list of alternative forms of revenue to the Commissioners. He compiled a list of revenue or revenue generating ideas that the Preserves is looking into and/or needs to consider. The staff is looking into things like grants of various kinds, legislative initiatives, fee increases (implemented in 2014), and increasing farm rentals. They are also considering new revenue streams on different types of golf programs, rental of golf clubhouses and concessions in off-months, and host fees for designated projects. Progress has already been made for additional revenue sources such as creating an endowment, creating a land acquisition fund through Community Foundation, reducing expenses by leasing equipment rather than purchasing, joint purchasing with other agencies, reduce mowing, contracting with the County IT Department for technology services, and selling seed.

 

At the January meeting, the gambling ordinance was brought to the Board to make a change to the ordinance. The ordinance change was tabled until the February meeting to allow staff to obtain public comment on the video gaming issue. At the November 19, 2014 Board of Commissioners meeting, the board approved via a 5 yes to 2 no vote, Resolution #14-1106 to allow video gaming at the golf course clubhouses. The gambling ordinance was more or less to facilitate that change to be made. Mike has talked with Attorney Scheurich about the proposed language change to the ordinance. In talking with people from other agencies, Mike Holan feels that the ordinance doesn’t need to be changed, for us to allow video gaming because the ordinances regulate public use of properties, not necessarily the Preserves use of the properties, but Mike feels this needs to be changed to make the transition clean. Mary clarified that the ordinance regulates public use of the property.

 

The General Use Regulations Ordinances have a section that specifically prohibits gambling. Due to the conflict between Resolution #14-1106 and Section 7-4, Regulation of sports, games and activities, M. Gambling, the Board must approve a modification to this ordinance in order to allow video gaming at the clubhouses. Ordinance #15-0203 allows for the change in the General Use Regulations Ordinance.

 

Mike Eickman made a motion, seconded by Gloria Lind, to pass Ordinance #15-0203 to modify Section 7-4, Regulation of sports, games and activities, M. Gambling. Audrey requested going back to the November vote on the video gaming resolution and re-addressing the vote, as she feels that public information should have been considered in November and she would like to have it reconsidered. Judy mentioned that someone from the prevailing side would have to make that motion. Mike Holan then stated that those on the prevailing side were Randy Olson, Mike Eickman, Cheryl Maggio, Judy Barnard and Gloria Lind, and one of them would have to bring that motion back to have it changed. Mary mentioned that the survey results were not surprising as it was a pretty even split on both sides of the gambling issue. After additional discussion, Judy called for a roll call vote. Motion passed 5-2 (Audrey and Mary voted no).

 

STAFF REPORTS

Preserve Operations – Vaughn Stamm submitted a written report.

 

Land and Development – Tom Hartley submitted a written report.

 

Golf Operations – Mike Durand submitted a written report and mentioned that season pass sales are slightly ahead of last year as are the private golf cart registrations. Mike then gave a sample print out of what the new tee box signs will look like.

 

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

 

Education – Don Miller submitted a written report.

 

CLOSED SESSION

Due to scheduling the Board split the closed session into two sessions. For the first session, Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 5:33 pm to discuss land acquisition. The meeting returned to open session at 5:50 pm and Judy reported that no action was taken, however the board directed Tom Hartley to pursue the next steps on a property that the Preserves is looking to acquire.

 

For the second session, Audrey made a motion to go into closed session at 6:36 pm to discuss personnel.

The meeting returned to open session at 7:08pm.   No action was taken while in closed session.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS

Judy mentioned there may be an opportunity for the Preserves to receive $3,000 from the County for a consultant for the Strategic Land Use Plan for the Land Advisory Council, which would include the board. The Board was in agreement. Judy will see if she can get it arranged.

 

Commissioners agreed that they would no longer like dinner provided for the meetings in an effort to save additional funds.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.

Next board meeting 5:30 PM, Wednesday, March 18, District Headquarters

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Ronelle Johnson

Recording Secretary