July 2006

Gifford Park Association
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
Thursday, July 20, 2006

Members present:  Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Sue Awot, Bill Briska, Doug Tomsha, Karen Bach, Greg Hagen, Joe Kjellander, Barb Counterman and Tony Sanchez, Bill and Sally Wilson, Linda Voss, Jeff McIntire, Jeff and Laura Jacobson, Nancy and Alex Wolfe, Dave Mendiola, Mark and Glenna Preradovic, Alicia and Nick Lykins, Elisabeth Carrel, Julie Schmidt, Chris Bach.
Dan Miller opened the meeting with a round of introductions.
Joe Kjellander moved and Bill Briska seconded approval of the minutes from the May meeting.
Dan Miller gave the Treasurer’s report.  He stated that we have $23,159.00 in our checking account and three $10,000 CD’s.  (I hope I don’t have to explain to anyone that in this instance CD’s are Certificates of Deposit and not three very expensive Compact Discs.)
Our ROPE officer, Dave Mendiola, reported on the status of the neighborhood.  He told us that the area was doing well, and that the kids are starting back to the year-round school program at Channing.  Dave also brought up United Way’s Day of Caring on September 8th.  He asked if we had any project ideas or if GPA would want to form a team to complete a project on that day.  Dave also talked about his plans to put a party together at Gifford Park on August 1st, National Night Out.  He thinks he can get some food donated and games for kids.  We were able to give him some leads on some local bands that may be available to play, among them the amazing, stupendous, unparalleled, extremely talented group, Microskapic.  (Did I mention that my son, Mike Bach, plays with this outrageously talented group of musicians?)  The ROPE camp was in June, and Dave brought GPA a plaque thanking us for our monetary contribution to this successful endeavor.  He also talked about the Randall Road Corridor.  Police officers from communities all up and down Randall will be out ticketing cars for speeding and other offenses on July 24th.  If the minutes came out in a timelier manner, GPA members could have made use of this information.  The GPA secretary is comforted in knowing that GPA members are a law abiding group of people who don’t really need advance warning.   Dave left us with his phone number and encouraged us to use it for any neighborhood problems like loud music.  His number is 847-354-3394.
Pat Miller asked if Dave knew of any ordinance on tree branch removal.  Dave didn’t know but said they should be picked up in the near future.
There was no Housewalk Committee report.
The Membership Committee had nothing to report.
Dan Miller presented items for discussion concerning the Historic District in lieu of a chairperson for this committee or, for that matter, a committee for this committee.  Dan said that the pocket park on Chicago Street needs a trash can.  A good-looking trash can could cost between $800 and $1,000.00.  Glenna thought old cans from downtown should still be lurking around the Parks Dept.  Sue Awot mentioned readapting a funky flea market find into an interesting trash receptacle.  Jeff Jacobson thought he could get a nice cedar trash can made.
Dan next brought up the need for our corner plantings to be maintained.  The controversy was to hire or not to hire a landscaper to maintain both the pocket park and corner plantings.  A heavy down pouring of brainstorms blanketed the room.  Some ideas were to sell bricks with names and use the money for maintenance, have a best corner contest, and ask garden clubs for maintenance help.  Pat Miller thought it was hard to give ideas without having a Historic District Committee Chairperson to turn those ideas into reality.  (Note to Pat Miller.  Give the GPA President a good, swift kick in the pants and tell him to find a chairperson.)
Dan gave a big thanks to Fran Cella for writing and submitting a nomination to the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois for our annual house tour.
Dan went on to talk about 272 Division, St. Joseph’s rectory.  He said that the house is looking great after the Toll Brothers Construction Company contributed six days of labor with a siding contractor and a painting contractor finishing up the work.
Other topics were discussed in brief:  The city should have funds budgeted next year to address parking/park issues for the Grandview property.  The YMCA property has two proposals submitted.  Both the amount of proposals, and the quality of the submitted proposals was disappointing.  The city’s response to the recent storms was tossed about.  Some people were unhappy with the city’s reaction time and their maintenance of the tree banks.  Bill Briska mentioned that the city is on a seven year cycle for regular tree-trimming maintenance.
Dan introduced GPA member Jeff Jacobson, an obviously outstanding employee of 3M Corporation who gave the assembled group a spellbinding presentation of 3M products.  Jeff handed out catalogs and passed around samples while he spoke of their high-quality materials. Did you know that 3M dust masks are in high demand because of the bird flu?  Well, now you know.  Jeff said the 3M masks are effective against all air-borne diseases.  He showed us the N95 OSHA-approved masks and a vapor mask with charcoal to keep fumes down.  He discussed their fabulous blue and green painter’s tapes, safety glasses, and wide variety of ear plugs.  Jeff showed us aerosol spray adhesives for laminates, hobbyists, and a foam adhesive that doesn’t eat the foam!  Jeff spoke tenderly of 3M’s fine strippers and sanders, their paint buster paint remover for hands, tack cloths, sandpapers (contact Jeff for more info on this lengthy topic), ceramic stripper and plucky new duct tapes.
Jeff surprised us by announcing that we could take home everything he had brought that evening. We surprised Jeff by leaving him standing in his underwear with several empty sample cases and not much else.  Thanks Jeff!
Laura Jacobson made a motion to adjourn.  Several people seconded the motion.  We made our way over to the Briska/Cella residence for their terrific old world ambience but more importantly, for the food and booze.