May 2007

GIFFORD PARK ASSOCIATION
General Membership Meeting
Thursday, May 17, 2007

Members present:  Doug Tomsha, Dan and Pat Miller, Sue Awot, Chris and Karen Bach, Roy and Linda Voss, Dave Mendiola, Jeff McIntire, Mike and Sarah Burns, Deborah Allan, Nick and Alicia Lykins, Margaret Keen, and Donna Stefani.
Dan’s Papers:  Salvage flyer, Larkin Center Annual Report and homes for sale.  Newspaper articles about a movie being filmed at Emmetts in Dundee (owned by Mike and Sarah Burns), the incredible shrinking man Hans Klemmer and his weight loss, Jean Bednar’s nomination for YWCA’s Woman of the Year,  and James Halik’s daughter’s poetry award.  Also circulated were the Elgin Academy report, cite plan for the Channing Y, Community Crisis Center fundraiser and Preservation magazine article on Earth Lab.
Secretary’s report:  No report.  Procrastination got the better of the secretary yet again.
Treasurer’s report:  $26,495.61 in checking and 5 CD’s at $10,356.67 each for a grand total of $78,278.96 in GPA funds.
Dan would like to send a big shout out along with his undying gratitude to Bill Briska.  Quicken quite mysteriously got messed up and Bill fixed it.  He also did the GPA taxes which was no easy feat since it included our last home sale.
ROPE report – Dave reported that the neighborhood was looking good and everyone is behaving themselves.  He was happy to note that the problem property at 327 DuPage is being downsized and that 55 Park Row has had lots of evictions so we should see some improvement there.  100-103 S. Chapel should also see a change for the better with its impending sale.  There has been a rash of graffiti on public buildings.  Tennyson Court is forming a neighborhood watch group and has some interesting upcoming projects.  ROPE camp will be June 8 – 10 at Lake Geneva.  Dave asked if GPA could make a donation towards this wonderful opportunity for 35 – 40 of Elgin’s kids.
Doug moved and Nick Lykins seconded a motion to donate $200.00 to this year’s ROPE camp.  Motion passed.
Dave finished his report by mentioning that he is starting to make plans for this year’s National Night Out which will be in August.
Dan started the Committee Reports by making yet another plea for a Program Committee Chairperson.  The criteria for the position is as follows: you must be an extremely creative person or at least have the ability to think, you must be between the ages of 18 and 97, you must live in the District or within a 30 mile radius,  your shoe size must be between 4 and 14 and you must like toast, with or without jelly.  You should also own a phone and know how to use it.  If you fit this profile, run to your phone and call Dan NOW!  Remember, only one person can be elected to this position, so your IMMEDIATE attention is required.  Don’t delay, or someone else could snatch this prized position from you!
Historic District – The ever dashing Nick Lykins gave the report in the absence of Jeff Jacobson.  Jeff gave some trumped up excuse about going to a friend’s wedding (on a Thursday night, Jeff???).  The report is as follows:  The second Gazette is completed and is being printed.  The next Gazette will be our House Tour Edition and will be ready by the end of July.  If you have something you want to add please email it to Jeff.  Place a “yes” or “no” if you wish to help deliver the Gazettes.  Porch parties start June 1st at 7pm at 576 Park St.  June 15th is at 429 Division. 137 Channing is June 29th and 15 Rugby is July 13th.  Volunteers were asked for July 27th and Aug 10th.  163 Hill was volunteered for July 27th and 419 DuPage for Aug 10th.
Jeff has set a date of December 15th for the Wassailing Saunter.  Time and locations will be determined at a later date.  This year we will only have 4 houses on the tour and if you are interested, please email Jeff.  He will be on the lookout for houses very soon.
The update on street signs is that the main contact through the city is no longer available to us, so at this point Jeff is just trying to find out where they are because they should have been completed by now.  Jeff will keep the group posted.
Jeff’s final project  is to find volunteers to help with planting street corners on June 2nd at 8:30 am.  Please bring shovels, gloves and anything else that will help with planting on this date.  Pat Miller added that we have $500.00 from the Elgin Beautification Committee and GPA which should be enough to do five corners with carpet roses.
Dan added that anyone can feel free to go to the Pocket Park at anytime and dig in and weed, weed, weed!
Dan also brought up that Hans Klemmer is taking pictures of the neighborhood homes with a city neighborhood improvement grant to update the Historic District photo survey.
Housewalk – Housewalk will be Sunday, August 26th from 9 am to 5:30 pm.  Note the new date and longer hours for this one day event.  The site selection is completed with 8 houses on the near west side.  Dan passed around pictures of the houses.  Sponsor letters have gone out.  We’ve been given lots of support with publicity from Cherie Murphy at the city.  We are looking for house captains.  Thanks to Jim Armstrong for taking over the sponsorship mailings which is a huge task!  We’ve already sold six tickets!
Membership – Fran and Bill are on a romantic getaway in Wisconsin so are not available to report.  Dan gave his kudos for a great membership pot luck to Paul Durrenberger and Fran Cella – with an honorable mention to the deviled eggs!
Channing Y Development – Pat Miller reported pressure from the developer to make a denser area than it should have.  Pat thinks we should hold out for a proper plan.  Current plans do not accurately reflect home sites sympathetic to the neighborhood.  Pat hopes this plan will not be approved even though homes are attractive, lot size is not adequate.  Pat thinks GPA should voice their concerns.  The city bought the ranch house on the SE corner of land to demolish for a better layout.
Salvages –  Dan thanked the helpers at the last salvages.  We split $2,600.00 with the Academy for a profit of $11,00.00 after expenses.  At 219 Spring St, we cleared $400.00 which was quite a bit of work for the money but as Dan always reminds us, we kept lots of stuff out of the landfills.  Jeff McIntire expressed his overwhelming thanks and gratitude for the door he was able to salvage.  The Boys and Girls Club salvage will be the week of May 19 and Dan needs help once again for this one.  A high five to John Steffen for helping to get this salvage arranged.
Calendar – Sue Awot is continuing on her quest to produce a 2008 calendar.  She is meeting with Hans to find some great house photos.
Alicia moved to adjourn, seconded by Chris Bach.
Our lovely hostess for the after-party was Donna Stefani who graciously opened her wonderful home at 429 Division.  Thanks Donna!
Submitted by Karen Bach, GPA Secretary