Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

ATTENDED: Claribel Rodriguez (Wicker Park Supervisor), Cynthia Rosario (Area 1 Manager), Adam Housley (WPAC President), Scott Venable (WPAC Vice-President), Richard Tilley (Treasurer), Doug Wood (WPAC Secretary), Denise Browning (Former WPAC President & WPGarden), Susan Fontana (Former WPAC President & WPGarden), John Shirk (Wicker Mic & Urban Encounter), Elaine Coorens (Our Urban Times), George Mariner and Mike Payette (Long Term Wicker Park Residents), Alisa Hauser (DNA Info.com), Mary Tamminga (WPC and WPGarden)

  1. Minutes from August 2013 Read and approved with one Change: Jim Boldt reported that Cynthia Rosario was not at the meeting, since her daughter needed to attend an orientation session at the same time as the WPAC meeting – Doug Wood
  2. Treasurer’s Report – Richard Tilley – Presented an Updated Report
  3. Park District Report
    • Claribel Rodriguez discussed her first month in the park and gave us all the impression that she was pleased to be in Wicker Park and was excited to work with the community to make the park an even better focus for the neighborhood. She met most of the leaders of various groups like Scott Venable (Mosaic Church), coordinators of the senior high rise, Doug-Denise-Susan and the Garden Club members, many of the regular park patrons, and spoke with the Rail Riders. She spoke with several groups that were interested in enhancing the programming options for all ages. She experienced the pre-planning and day of event preparations for several events: movies, concerts, puppet shows, Wicker Mic, etc. In addition, she noted that the dog park would be closed for a few hours on September 9.
    • Cynthia Rosario reported that the two part-time physical instructors were nearly finished with their processing and may be in the park soon. The part-time attendant must go the interview process again.
  4. Security Discussion – It was pointed out that Jenny, the Part-Time security guard was not on duty during the meeting and that when the WPAC members entered the park there was open drinking at the tables and a drug deal earlier in the evening along Schiller. Mike Payette, George Mariner, and Susan Fontana live across from the park and witness drug deals and drinking on a daily basis. Mike stated that it has gotten much worse each year over the last 6 years; this year was the worst. The group noted that there was a meeting with the 1st Ward Alderman, Park Security and 14th District Police to focus more efforts to curb overnight campers, drinkers, and the rail riders.
  5. Board of Supervisors – It was decided that the WPAC would attend the September Chicago Park District Board of Supervisor’s meeting and present the two topics:
    1. Security must be enhanced in Wicker Park: weekend security, overnight security, cameras that are viewable. This topic will be presented by Mike Payette.
    2. Positions listed in the Wicker Park Budget must be filled – The community has lost $250,000 due to vacant budgeted positions since 2008. In addition, waste management needs to extend into the winter season; it is now slated to end before October. This is to be presented by Adam Housley.
  6. Dog Park – Adam Housley and Scott Venable noted that the dog park latches do not work well. The Northbrook Dog Park has better latches – we will take photos and submit to Park District.
  7. Website – Tim Koleck Absent
  8. Landscape – Doug Wood reported that the Garden Club will give two tours: Sunday, September 15 at 1pm a power point presentation with a tour and on Friday, September 20 a tour for Friends of the Parks with a discussion of how the park has been developed.
  9. Teen Group – Scott Venable reported that the group had a great summer with a high light of taking 55 teens to Streeterville to camp, hike, and swim. The teens loved it.
  10. Repair of Bear Water Feature: Doug reported that David Ginople (WPB SSA Chairman) asked that we obtain a quote to repair the bear water feature. Doug has been working to obtain a quote from the Park District.
  11. Waste Management Plan – Doug reported that we requested that the WPB SSA#33 Green, Clean, and Safe Committee fund cleaning of the Park on several days per week to supplement the lack of funding experienced by the Department of Natural Resources. Clare said the Park Staff could assist on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The request was denied and we instructed by the WPB SSA to ask the alderman to request that Park District use tax payer’s funds to fund it. This is to be included in presentation to the Board of Commisioners.
  12. Setting Up New Partnerships – the group discussed techniques of how to set up new collaborations to increase programming.
  13. Thank You Communications for Summer Series: Adam Housely will write and thank the Worm Hole Coffee for their support of 3 movies ($3,000); Doug wrote all music contributors and thanked them.
  14. Budget Hearings – It was noted that all is the same as submitted last year except sidewalk was repaired.
  15. The Discussion of Upcoming Events was not realized due to lack of time.