Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes 2-06

Attendees: Julie Dickinson, Jeff Allen, Lorrie Elliot, Donna Whitacre, Doug Wood, Kelly Torres, Dina Petrakis, Richard Tilley, John Shirk, Susan Fontana, Daniel Marre, Nick Sommers, Chris Johnson, Amy James, Deborah Oleisky, Kevin Mcghee, Larry Clary, Denise Browning, Elaine Coorens

  1. Dog Park: Two residents came who use the dog park consistently. They are willing to be part of a subcommittee who will oversee the use of the dog park and make recommendations. Willing to use the subcommittee to raise awareness that the people who use the dog park are responsible for cleaning and policing of dogs. Will work to enlist the dog owners to help with cleanup.
  2. Supervisor’s report: Chicago Park District took over the league play here. The CPD will collect the fees for league play and order uniforms for play, T balls and other equipment, etc. Most parks run their own leagues but some are run by the community. The CPD ultimately wants to run all the leagues all over the city. D. Wood expressed concern that this has been destructive to other parks once the CPD has taken over. K. Torres noted that in another park the community failed to pay a vendor and the CPD was responsible. Mr. Torres has asked for the parents to volunteer to umpire the games. He notes the CPD will also soon be requiring background checks on all volunteers, including parents, which may decrease the volunteer pool. The league fee is $65 for baseball ($50 for basketball) and goes toward ordering uniforms, banquet, and awards. Also wanted to know if WPAC could sponsor $100 for supporting two kids (will come out of funds raised from 5K run several years ago). One of the parent volunteers notes that he would often run a fundraiser with donated prizes (like Bulls tickets) and that would raise funds for the kids. J. Allen notes that we will need to discuss in the future whether this should be a priority in the future as a fundraiser, or whether the parents of the kids should be recruited to be involved in a fundraiser. There was a motion, seconded, to use the $100 as two basketball scholarships from the discretionary $550 funds. Motion carried.

    Children’s carnival will occur on Sat 6/17 and tents will be set up at 9am. N. Sommers wanted to know if we would get a climbing wall (the CPD has 4) and J. Dickinson will look into it.

    Shades: taken care of but the Central Region Finance Manager quit. He notes that the Parks in the Central Region cannot buy things until that person is replaced. There is a hiring freeze in the CPD, so there is a question about when that person will be replaced.

    Reseeding of field: Supervisor still has not gotten a date for that from CPD. He will continue to follow up on that. J. Dickinson notes the area manager is also aware and the CPD seems to expect this will occur.

    Lighting of fountain: Unclear if this will happen via CPD, so D. Wood will discuss with connections downtown.

    Park Partners: K. Torres has a meeting with new person in charge of this this week to discuss Around the Coyote as a Park Partner. D. Wood notes the definition of Park Partner is unclear and needs to be clarified.

  3. Treasurer’s Report: No change from last meeting.
  4. Discussion of WPAC plan for the year: No objections to goals of communication on first page. Second page: leisure time in the Park. There was concern over RhymeSpitters last year (regarding security issues); they have not, so far, applied to be in the Park this year. Proposition to do a Movie in the Park on the Saturday of Around the Coyote. No discussion of second page. Third page deals with Park infrastructure and what the WPAC would like to accomplish in 2006. Benches and Fountain Court improvement will occur this year. J. Dickinson notes we should include longer term projects as well, such as
    expanding fieldhouse, new gym floor, air conditioning, new roof, improving picnic benches, and inground watering system. D. Wood notes reseeding the grass should be revised to include far more effort (80-100 hours – a bit of an exaggeration admittedly). Fourth page notes current committee members. Several revisions to committee memberships. Explanation of Park Usage Committee (oversees and coordinates various groups using the Park) and the Fundraising Committee coordinates fundraising efforts among different committees to make sure donors are not approached for multiple donations).

    Brief discussion of lack of programming for teenagers in the Park; restricted by both space in park and lack of volunteers to lead effort. K. Torres is in discussions with a community group to try to expand this. Most programming is now for kids ages 6-12. S. Fontana proposed adding to the programming page a needs assessment for what programs should be added.

    D. Marre moves we adopt the document as a template and guideline for focusing goals and allocating resources in the year to come. Seconded and approved.

  5. Committee reports:
    • Marketing committee: Has initiated posting monthly meeting notices and post signage monthly. March 9 at 3pm will be next posting. Also discussed quarterly newsletter; J. Dickinson showed example of Commercial Park advisory council letter. Goal is to get WPAC newsletter in electronic format with limited printing. Also increasing visibility on other websites (wickerpark.com, etc). Also working on getting WPAC logo more visible.
      • Question about banner: we have $300 in budget to spend on banner.
    • Children’s Carnival: Next meeting March 13. Several donors have committed. Carnival will be Sat, June 17.
    • Movie: Will be on Sat, Sept 9 to coincide with Around the Coyote. J. Dickinson is soliciting opinions for which movies we should ask for. Movie should be family-friendly; Churchill Park tried more adult movies and not many people came.
    • Playground: Tile project is moving along. Carol (artist), Doug, and Julie met to meet. Goal is to have the tiles up for unveiling at Around the Coyote. Hopefully will be fired and glazed in time to display for the Children’s Carnival.
    • Bench Donors: Several donors are interested in contributing special benches with tile mosaics. Liked the idea of doing a carved-wood/tile bench.
  6. Report from D. Wood regarding the Fountain Court fundraiser. Mr. Wood supplied a 4-page document detailing the steps in fundraising and the timeline. Three motions to WPAC: first, that Parkways Foundation is fiscal agent for the Fountain Court Fundraising and the Endowment Project. N. Sommers raised question of whether this should be a separate 501(c)3 so the FOTP and CPD funds do not get co-mingled. D. Wood points out that Parkways is a separate foundation. Motion proposed, seconded, and carried.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm. Next meeting is March 20, 7:30pm.

Based on the decision by the general membership of the WPAC (above) that we will manage funds for the Fountain project via Parkways Foundation, the executive committee has decided based on majority vote to write a check for the amount of $7,500 to the Parkways Foundation. Please see minutes for the November 2005 meeting as a record of the decision to spend $7,500 on 5 benches around the fountain. However, as of the February meeting, the per bench cost is now $2,000. WPAC will therefore get credit for 4 benches.

The funds have been transferred with the following agreements in place:

  1. Only a sanctioned Wicker Park Advisory Council member will have access to the account. The current representative is Denise Browning.
  2. All letters thanking donors that the Parkways Foundation sends out will note that this project is conducted by the Wicker Park Advisory Council.
  3. The Wicker Park Advisory Council will be acknowledged in the permanent fashion as with all donors for the giving of 4 benches.
  4. A full accounting will be given throughout the year.