February 2007

GIFFORD PARK ASSOCIATION
General Membership Meeting
Thursday, February 15,2007

VIP:  Officer Gary Neal Sr. – ROPE Officer supervisor
Members present:  Dan and Pat Miller, Chris and Karen Bach, Glenna Preradovic, Jeff McIntire, Bill Briska, Doug Tomsha, Sue Awot, James Halik, Jen Morales, Dave Mendiola, Daniel Skaggs, Roy Voss, Tony Sanchez and Barb Counterman, Paul Bednar.
Dan’s papers:  Crisis Center auction newspaper article, Bednars and Knobs in dance contest for Pads in newspaper, copy of Jeff’s new historic district gazette and a copy of the old gazette.  Houses for sale in the district.
Secretary’s report:  Due to a serious miscommunication between Dan and Karen, the minutes were not available in a timely manner.  Consequently, approval of the minutes has been postponed until the next meeting.  The secretary suffered near delusional episodes because of this problem and had to be repeatedly medicated with large quantities of medicinal whiskey.  Again.
Treasurer’s report:  GPA has 5 CD’s at $10,234.07 each.  Our checking account is at $29,332.07 for a total of $80,502.42.
ROPE report:  Dave Mendiola said the crime biz has been slow other than one itty-bitty shooting at the traffic circle three weeks ago.  No one was hit.  It is a gang-related case that is still open.  There’s been some graffiti south of us.  The food drive was canceled because of the cold.  It may be rescheduled for St. Paddy’s Day.  (Maybe we could collect only green food???)  Dave is also considering sponsoring a spring clean-up in the neighborhood.  Dave introduced his new boss, Gary Neal Sr.  Gary and Dave spoke about Channing School and the ongoing problems with parking and pick-up and drop-off points.  Community services came to look at the situation.  One suggestion was to have no parking on DuPage Street east of Channing.  Gary spoke of safety for the children and taking a proactive stance.
Committee Chair positions:  Approval was sought for the appointments of Jeff to Historic District Committee, and Dan and Pat Miller as co-chairs for the Housewalk Committee.  Glenna Preradovic moved to approve the appointments, and Bill Briska seconded the motion.  Motion PASSED.
GPA is still in desperate need of chairpeople for the Membership Committee, Public Relations, and the Program Committee.  Please give serious thought to heading up one of these committees.  Call Dan Miller if you are interested.  Don’t make him grovel.
Historic District Committee report:  Jeff was not able to attend the meeting, so Dan went over a written report that Jeff had ever so thoughtfully provided for Dan:  I have followed up with the city about the street signs and they said that they have been ordered and they expect them within 5 weeks.  I want to say thank you to Joe Kjellander, Gregg Hagen, Paul Bednar, Alicia Lykins, Jennifer Williams, Paul Durrenburger, Laura Jacobson, myself (Jeff) and the restitution team who volunteered to help take down the garlands.  We set out at 9 am and were completely finished by 10:30 am.  It was only 24 degrees but looking back now it was very warm.  The Gazette is completed and ready to print.  I am looking for volunteers to distribute them to the neighborhood.  I will be sending out an email when they are printed and ready.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday Feb 22nd at 7 pm.  We will meet at 576 Park Street.  Our topics of discussion will be:  1.  Banners on our light poles to signify the Historic District.  2.  Porch and Patio parties need some volunteer porches.  3.  Spring issue of Gazette need some articles.  4.  Neighborhood Beautification street corners.
Channing YMCA property development:  A small focus group of GPA’ers have been meeting with developers to discuss ideas for  the Y property.  The developer is enthusiastic.  Dan showed plans for 15 units on the lot and a park.  Bill Briska talked about these developers being experienced with in-fill housing and that there were many good ideas presented.  The amount of 15 units could be reduced.  There are three footprints with nine facades that are quite clever – they have a traditional look with a detached garage – a compatible house style for the existing neighborhood.  They are priced in the high 200’s to low 300’s.  It’s quite a deal for the 1,800 – 2,300 sq. ft. houses with full height basements.  The city is giving land and incentives to allow a normal $375,000 to $425,000 house to be sold for less.  The city figured there is a maximum price for the area, and this allows them to get a better quality house on the parcel.  There was a discussion as to the value of a larger park.  Paul was very passionate on the subject.  The committee plans on formulating a unified response to the developer’s plans.
Salvages:  Elgin Academy granted salvage rights to GPA for 3 houses and outbuildings on their property.  The salvage will be March 31 – April 1.  Dan will need lots of help.  Get your work boots on and lend a hand.
Preservation Week activities:  It will be the tenth anniversary of the great unveiling and GPA is anxiously looking for a great property to unveil.  If no one volunteers their home, an unnamed GPA member suggested we conduct a “midnight unveiling”!  You’ve been warned, if your home still has substitute siding, watch out for bands of rogue GPA members in the wee hours of the evening!  Mayor’s Award applications are now available – GPA is proud to have received several awards in the past.
Fran has a meeting set for Feb 26th at 7 pm in room 239 of the U-46 offices to introduce the findings of the neighborhood plan.  The whole report will be available online at Paul’s website, paulbednar.com.
Sue Awot and Hans Klemmer are diligently working on a historic home calendar while Hans updates the photos of the Historic District.
A flyer circulated touting the wonders of the Leadership Academy.  GPA has sponsored membership participation in the past.  Contact Dan if you are interested in this excellent program.
The beautification program was a hot topic.  Paul talked about our corner plantings and the possibility of doing five to eight new corners this spring.  Each corner costs about $100.00 in soil and plants to implement.  The real issue, however, has become maintenance.  We now have about 25 to 30 corners and Paul suggested we hire someone to maintain these corners throughout the summer.  A lively discussion ensued.  Dan suggested Paul apply for money from the Elgin Beautification program to plant the corners.  Paul made a motion that GPA apply for $250.00 from Elgin Proud and Beautiful along with a commitment from GPA to provide funds for maintenance of all existing corners with a price cap of $2,000.00.  The motion was seconded by Doug Tomsha and PASSED.
Other concerns:  Dan Skaggs commented on the GLARING “No Entry” signs on the corner of Chicago St. and Dundee.  Paul mentioned the terrible condition of Channing Street by Grandview.  The 100 block of Channing is slated to be fixed this summer.  Paul also brought up another group’s plans to expose the brick street on Hill and the possibility of continuing the effort in our own neighborhood.  James talked about restricted parking and his hopes and dreams to see more of this. There was a motion to adjourn by Bill Briska.  The motion was seconded by Glenna.
Everyone hung out for awhile and feasted on the snacks brought by Sue Awot.  Thanks Sue!  What are you bringing next month???
Respectfully submitted by Karen Bach, secretary.