Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

ATTENDED: Clare Rodriguez (Park Supervisor), Adam Housley (WPAC President), Scott Venable (WPAC Vice-President), Doug Wood (WPAC Secretary), Denise Browning (WPAC Past President and Garden Club), Rev. Jason Gliombicki (Wicker Park Lutheran Church), Nick Gecan (Gecan Realty Group)

  1. Secretary (Doug Wood) – December Minutes were distributed, but, it was determined that we should read and discuss them at the next meeting, due to low attendance due to illness and bad weather.
  2. Budget Report – Richard Tilley, Treasurer was absent due to weather.
  3. Park District Report – Clare Rodriguez, Park Supervisor
    • Winter Programming began this first week of January; good attendance.
    • There are still 2 Part Time Physical Instructor staff positions vacant.  One of the positions was vacant since late summer.  Jason Zaffaroni has been promoted to Full Time Physical Instructor and transferred to Eckhart Park; however, he will teach at Wicker Park on Tuesdays and Fridays until a new staff member is hired at Wicker Park. 
    • The Park District is interviewing for one of the two vacant physical instructor positions. Of the two vacant positions, the Park District chose to interview for the 20 hr. per week position but will select a second candidate (during these same interviews) for the second vacant physical instructor position. 
    • Clare noted that they added additional programming for spring: more early childhood development classes and a full Saturday set of programs.
    • In addition, Clare noted that Jason was very helpful in setting up the sound for shows and that another staff member would be asked to pick up that very helpful trait; perhaps interns could provide this service
    • Most of the work orders are complete.
    • New graffiti was found and reported on the posts along Wicker Park Avenue.
    • It was noted that children from LaSalle II will arrive at 3pm during the spring session for the afterschool program.
    • Currently there are 45 children in Park Kids. Park Kids and early childhood are the most popular programs at Wicker Park
  4. Dog Park Report – Adam Housley
    • Adam reported that there will be another Valentine’s Day Dog Park Fundraiser on Saturday, February 15 at the Twisted Spoke, 501 N. Ogden from 7pm – 10:30pm.
    • Dog Park Repair – replace asphalt – repeated request for several years
    • Dog Park Repair – replace bench
    • It was suggested that perhaps a Park District Project Manager could be assigned to insure that the dog park projects, as a whole, would be addressed in a timely fashion: replace bench, replace and add asphalt, address trees, add trees to parkway on Schiller
  5. Develop an Ice Skating Area in Wicker Park – Nick Gecan (Gecan Realty Group)
    Nick Gecan suggested that a committee be formed and funding be obtained to install an ice skating area in Wicker Park Softball Field.  He pointed out how a skating area had been the center of the Chicago neighborhood in which he grew up and believed the Wicker Park community and business community could benefit from a skating area in the park.
    • A committee would need to be set up
    • The committee would be in-charge of obtaining input from the community to determine who would serve on the committee, who would work with Chicago Park District Project Managers from Park Enhancements to determine design-costs-stipulations, who would work to raise funding for this project.
    • It was noted that Brian Culliton has shown interest in this project.
    • It was noted that this topic could be discussed at the 2015 Planning Meeting to be held on January 20 at 7pm.
  6. Community Involvement – Rev. Jason Gliombicki (Wicker Park Lutheran Church)
    Jason said that his church participated in and enjoyed Boo-Palooza 2014.  He asked questions about 2015 involvement.  The council explained the planning meeting and how volunteer groups can be involved in 2015 planning.
  7. The details of the 2015 Planning Meeting were discussed.
  8. Setting a 2015 Security Meeting – The council decided to set a 2015 Security Update meeting and hold it at the February or March advisory council meeting.  The group would like Mike Payette to communicate with presenters, set and then run the meeting.  Doug Wood will ask him if he is willing to do this work.

Adjourn at 8:30pm