Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes August 21, 2006

Present: Kelly Torres (Park Supervisor), Julie Dickinson (WPAC Co-President), Jeff Allen (WPAC Co-President), Denise Browning, Nick Sommers (Treasurer), Doug Wood, Patrick Humphries, Terry Dean (Chicago Journal reporter), Cynthia Rosario (Central Region manager).

  1. Approval of July minutes: Sommers motioned to approve. Wood sended. Approved.
  2. Treasurers report: $6278.08 in account. Of monies in account:
    1. $925 in escrow for brick sales. Sommers has been contacted by brick donor requesting refund of donations as no brick has been installed as promised for September 2005. Sommers moved that we refund all brick donations as we do not have CPD’s required 30-50 bricks sold in order to justify installation. Browning moved that we send a note offering monies back or letting them donate the monies to the playlot upkeep without getting a brick. Sommers seconded. Approved. Sommers to draft note.
    2. $500 from Holstein Run for usage by Mrs. Rodriguez for toys. Sommers contacted Mrs. R. offering to make trip with Mrs. R. to Toys R Us any time she was available.
    3. $2500 budgeted for fixing muddy area next to spitting bears in playlot.
    4. $1900 budgeted for completing tile project.
    5. Dickinson had check from WP/Bucktown chamber for $250 sponsorship of the Children’s Festival. Brought to Sommers Tuesday.
    6. Unallocated funds in account: $703
  3. Fountain Project: Recent hiccup in final approval for project is Wicker Park is in a historic district. Any changes need to be approved via the downtown Landmark committee. Julia B. with the CPD worked it out so that this would only need to be an FYI. The Wicker Park Committee as the neighborhood’s historic watchdog wrote a letter in support of the project. Wood is hoping for approval September 15th when the Landmark committee meets. This would mean purchased historic benches would go in this spring and the current modern ones would move to the playlot at that time.
  4. Budget Hearings: Dickinson presented at Region 2 budget hearings for the Central Region on September 15th. She requested air conditioning and windows that open as a short term solution as well as additional large fans. She also requested a seasonal summer attendant, a year round additional recreational staff and George as a full time landscaper. Wood put together packets with details and many letters of community support. See pdf entitled WickerPark-Budget2007Hearing.pdf.
    The Regional hearing was a new format for hearings that did not include any downtown CPD employees. Central Region manager, Cynthia Rosario, Central Region Ops manager, Marilyn Morales and the region 2 supervisors were in attendance. Alderman Manny Flores spoke eloquently about Wicker Park needs. Wood expressed concern about the effectiveness of the hearing as no one from the central administration was in attendance. Wood contacted Robert Steele to see what the next steps were. Steele responded via email:

    Since the process is new, I will try to share what I know.

    The next step is the regional meeting with the Region Manager. The Area Manager will present to the region manager his/her cases for request, the Region Manger will then begin to gather budget request from around the region. There will then be a meeting hosted by the Superintendent as the region budget get closer to conclusion. The Superintendent will then present to the Board for final review by Mid to late December.

  5. Around the Coyote programming: Assuming the contract is confirmed with AtC as a park partner, Coyote has a schedule for art classes throughout next year. AtC will cover costs for art teachers and supplies and organize classes. The services rendered are estimated to be equivalent to the 20K charge that would be waived for their annual event. Flyer outlining program included below.
  6. Wicker Park Project – aka Charles Wicker statue: Site has been selected, between the 2 picnic tables near Damen. The statue is supposed to up for a September 23rd opening.
  7. Trio Event: It went well. Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Tribune covered it. 30 people paid to sit.
  8. Fieldhouse Bulletin Board: Wood is redoing the board and asked for feedback on what to place. Recommendations included: last meeting’s minutes, generic announcement regarding monthly meetings, current agenda, and announcement regarding October elections.
  9. Tile project: Project is scheduled to be mounted week of August 28th. Ideally that Friday. Rosario recently inherited scheduling of CPD labor to mount project this month from Marilyn Morales. We still need a firm date and time that week for the mounting. Wood distributed a memo with details about materials needed to mount and placement. Artist, Carol Tarnoff, will be there to oversee placement.
    Wood is planning an official unveiling of the mural from 6-7pm at the playground on Saturday, September 9th. Dickinson will get donations of cake and ice cream.
  10. Movie in the Park: Saturday, September 9th around 7:15pm. We will start with a short by an Around the Coyote artist. Dickinson has the DVD. The movie is The Princess Bride. Dickinson will be posting flyers next week, getting popcorn and making popcorn at the event. Dickinson is looking for a couple of volunteers. Patrick Humphries offered to get volunteers for Around the Coyote, the tile mural unveiling and the movie.
  11. Pick Memorial bench in playlot: Oppenheimer agreed to a $12K donation. The CPD will reduce the size of the bench to fit budget. Legal approved wording for memorial plaque Tuesday after WPAC meeting.
  12. Spitting bear bog: Rosario has taken over working with the CPD on this from Morales. CPD gave a $5K quote for limestone benches that would be the same as the Pick benches. WPAC has $2500 set aside and would like to keep within that budget. Dickinson sent Morales an option of bricking in the muddy space and placing one of the benches from the fountain slightly recessed back from the bears in mid July. Rosario is now looking into this option. We do have bricks left over from the council circle that could be used. Dickinson voiced concern about the surface becoming slick or moldy and the bricks/cement cracking or becoming uneven because of wet ground below. Rosario will discuss with Chris Gent in enhancements and Chris Kreiger in landscaping.
  13. Elections for Officers: Moved up to October from January due to Allen moving and Dickinson having a baby at the end of September.
  14. Rosario has secured a computer for fieldhouse coming from the CPD central admin. Didn’t have exact date yet. Thanks Cynthia!
  15. Emerald Ash Borer: There are concerns that some of the recently downed trees from WP have it. Rosario is going to ask forestry to follow up. Chris Krieger in the past has recommended that we put in a request for new trees whenever one goes down even if there is no budget. It will put WP in the cue. Plus if one gets moved from another park, it might come our way. Rosario and Torres will put in request. Allen mentioned that Alderman Flores has a tree campaign and we could put in a request with him.
  16. Upcoming events: Notes from meeting held with Regina Hayes, Cynthia Rosario, Kelly Torres and Julie Dickinson prior to the WPAC meeting are attached. Action items from the WPAC meeting were:
    1. WPAC advises that Toyota puts the car in the grass near the corner of WP Ave. and Damen. This area is quite hard and really needs to be aerated and seeded. Plus putting the car on the mulch near the fieldhouse will interrupt watering of the
      gardens. WP Garden Club will be flexible here, but would prefer the grass option. Rosario to follow up.
    2. Renegade: Had talked about moving all of the booths from around the fountain to under the trees near the chess tables. Dickinson to follow up with Renegade to see if possible. If not possible ask Renegade to communicate with vendors asking them to not throw anything behind them towards the fountain. Also, request that vendors not be placed such that they smash trees. (Did follow up and too late. Materials have been sent to exhibitors and maps printed.) Wood to have booth near fountain to patrol. Dickinson to ask Renegade to assign a volunteer to clear puddle from sidewalk near west side of fountain if needed. Wood requested that no fencing be put up around garden for this event.

Sommers moves to adjourn meeting at 9:30pm. Humphries seconds.