February 2012 Board Minutes


February 13, 2012


IN ATTENDANCE: Dorie Alpha, Carol Anderson, Karen Bach, Bill Briska, Fran Cella, Barbara Evans, Donna Leetz, Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Tony Sanchez



Alerted by the bank that the signatures required for check cashing needed to be updated and could be simply by a resolution from the Board, Bill requested that he, Dan and Karen be designated as those whose signatures are required for check cashing. Barbara so moved; Donna seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Bill, Dan and Karen will meet at the bank at 10 a.m. Tuesday, the 14th, to sign the required papers.

All were in agreement that the third checking account, which was intended only to serve as a holding place for PayPal payments, be closed, especially as the bank had informed Bill that it was not necessary to have a separate account for them.

After Bill presented his proposed budget for 2012, Dan moved that it be accepted. Carol seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. A copy of it is attached to these minutes.

Discussion of specific items on the budget prior to its approval yielded the following comments.

•That the city had informed Dan that giving the Pocket Park back to the city to maintain was not an option at this point

•That it would be great if we could cut expenses by finding a member or two to store the things that are currently in GPA’s $1,015-a-year storage locker

(Carol will check to see if the buildings at the back of her property could be used.)

•That given our pattern of spending more than we make and with housewalk no longer the big money maker it once was, we need to be looking for other money-making projects

(Many think that the Turkey Trot has the potential to be a lucrative one.)

•That if the Turkey Trot were held in GPA’s neighborhood, the event would be more costly because more streets would have to be closed

•That GPA needs to make it more apparent that we are putting money back into the neighborhood

HOUSEWALK (Bill Briska)

Those on the Board who are also on the Housewalk Committee had no objection to Barbara’s request to lower the fees for some of the sponsorship categories to attract more sponsors. The one-liner will now be $50 rather than $75 and the two-liner $100 instead of $175. Barbara and Julie Schmidt will revise the tri-fold sent to potential sponsors to reflect these changes as well as to put the focus on sponsorships as first and foremost a means to show support for an event that brings many to Elgin and is truly a community effort.


As February is Spay & Neuter Month, given our interest at the last Board meeting, Donna is arranging for a speaker on this matter.

For the March general meeting, Gretchen Vapnar, Executive Director of the Crisis Center, will speak. The Board unanimously agreed that her suggestion that we hold the meeting at the center was an excellent one.


No one has yet stepped forward to volunteer to chair this standing committee.

Karen is going to approach John LaFleur to see if he would be willing.


No clear consensus was reached as to whether, as Margaret Keen suggested in a note to Bill, members who are no longer active should be surveyed about their reasons for reducing their GPA profile. Barbara and Bill, especially, felt strongly that when we start seeing much less of someone, at the very least a note saying s/he is missed could help to ensure that the person does not drop out altogether.

In her evite to the April potluck, Dori will include a message to this effect, something she now can do because we do have an updated list of GPA members, current and past.

Also discussed was the need to be actively involved in calling on those new to the neighborhood sooner rather than a year or three later as well as making more of an effort to retain members.

All concurred with Dan’s conclusion: that we need to do as was done with the job of treasurer several years ago, which was to give Dori some direction by detailing specific tasks for this committee.

The membership potluck is scheduled for Friday, April 20th, at 6:30 p.m. at Lords Park Pavillion.

All liked Karen’s idea about developing questions about historic Elgin to engage people at the potluck. Just who would do this was not discussed, however.

BRAINSTORMING SESSION: Saturday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. at the Historical Museum

A continental breakfast will be served.

Poor Fran, who never was able to detail just what kind of a structure she envisioned for this session, for we got sidetracked into discussing several things we thought might be discussed and in so doing, served as the perfect illustration of what the brainstorming session should not and will not be: a debate about the merits of suggestions made.

The main goal of this session is to get people together to talk about what GPA should be focused on doing in/for the neighborhood and the organization. As for the framework or structure— Reminded that Fran has facilitated such sessions professionally, we all agreed to give her free rein in developing it.


Donna made and Dori seconded the motion to give $300 to support this day camp, which gives underprivileged children the chance to interact with police in a positive setting. The motion passed unanimously.


Bill noted that in 2011, GPA had 24-26 events (excluding meetings), which led some to wonder if we need fewer rather than more activities.

•As no one contacted Karen about bringing treats to the general membership meeting this Thursday, the reminder for that meeting will include a note that treats would be appreciated.

Dori Alpha motioned that the meeting be adjourned. Seconded by Dan, it then passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Evans, Secretary