January 2002 Meeting Minutes

GPA General Membership Meeting Minutes
January 17, 2002

In attendance: Fran Cella, Rich Hirschberg, Bill Briska, Dave Segel, Deb Aguinaga, Joe Aguinaga, Jean Bednar, Paul Bednar, Kevin Sosnowski, Laura Becerra, Joe Becerra, Paul Durrenberger, Jason Musser, Kari White Musser, Deborah Allan, Julie Schmitt, Caroline Oswald, Karen Bach, Glenna Preradovic, Mark Preradovic, Hans Klemmer, Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Sean Fried, Vanessa Hobson-Darnieder, Greg Darnieder

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm by President Dan Miller

Welcome and Introductions

Julie Schmitt was introduced as a candidate for the Great Unveiling next Spring.

Secretaries Report

A motion was made and seconded to accept the November 15, 2001 minutes. The motion passed.  A motion was made and seconded to accept the November 1, 2001 board minutes.  The motion passed.

Treasurers Report

There was no treasurers report.

Approval of Board Positions

The following board positions were presented for approval:
Education – Jean Bednar
Membership – John Gately and Christine Lee
Housewalk – Pat Miller
Historic District – Paul Durrenberger

A motion was made and seconded to approve the board positions. The motion passed.  It was noted that the Public Relations chair remains vacant.


Pat Miller has agreed to chair the housewalk committee.  The theme is KISS and have fun (Keep it Simple Stupid).  Dan Miller reported that he has edited the mailing list for housewalk using feedback from the Post Office.  Pat Miller addressed the group and expressed the need for 10 persons to take on leadership positions for key committees.  If Pat cannot find 10 persons to take on the responsibilities, then she doesn’t feel that Housewalk will happen.  (Pat to provide list of subcommittees for the minutes).  Dan reiterated we need to rally around Pat and help her to make housewalk successful.  Rich Hirschberg expressed an interest in having another energy display at the next housewalk.

Dream Team

Looked at 406 Dupage and 321 Dupage as possible purchase and rehab in the future.  Pat Miller expressed a concern over realtors when purchasing properties.  She would like to come up with a way to work with a buyers agent, and not a seller’s agent.  Some discussion occurred regarding the choosing of realtors.

501 c 3 Status

Dave Segel gave a report on 501 c 3 status.  501 c 3 tax status could give the GPA several advantages, most importantly the ability to receive certain types of grants.  There are issues to consider when determining the tax status, such as the value of the organization to the city as a whole and other things.  Dave feels that for many reasons, GPA can be a 501 c 3.    Dave suggested that we look at rewriting the constitution as a possibility to get closer to 501 c 3 status.

Crocker Theater

Rich Hirschberg gave a report on action to date regarding the Crocker Theater.  He talked about the possibility of saving the façade, at a cost of $250,000.  It was brought up to the City Council, but was turned down.  Rich suggested that anyone interested in helping to save the Crocker façade could put out yard signs and mail postcards to increase support.  The developer agreement is coming up at the next city council meeting.  Rich asked that those who are interested should show up and voice their opinion.  There was some discussion about parking, and possibly “hiding” the proposed parking garage behind the Crocker façade.

Elgin Community Network Meeting

Elgin Community Network is in the process of getting started.  GPA received an invitation to the first meeting, and Pat Miller attended.  Invitations were sent to several neighborhood groups, schools, churches, etc.  It was explained that the meeting will be the last one coordinated by the start up team, and that further meetings and activities must be supported by the members.  Pat was concerned that the group may not prosper due to poor participation, and suggested that GPA designate a member to attend all of the Neighborhood Network meetings.

ROPE officer report

Officer Kevin Sosnowski reported that January was a relatively quiet month.  Crime statistics are down.   Elgin police have been assisting with evictions of problem residents in the LaRocca neighborhood.  Also doing some after school activities.  It was reported that the Original Eastside Neighbors are having a food drive on Valentines day to benefit senior citizens.  A flyer with details will be distributed to homes in the historic district.  A children’s Olympics was discussed as a possibility for neighborhood kids, to be held in the park by Channing Elementary School.


Jean Bednar reported that North East Neighbors would like to meet with GPA, however they have their meetings on the same night as GPA.

Historic District Brochures

Jean Bednar reported the new Historic District brochure will be ready in a few weeks.  Jean suggested that a color brochure would have much more impact.  The brochures are “giveaway” items available at city hall, tourism bureau, etc.    It was mentioned that it will be important to have the new brochures ready for distribution at the Elgin day in Springfield.

Facilitated Team Building

Dan Miller reminded the membership to look at the team building material provided at the meeting.


Jean Bednar has stopped producing the Gazette due to a perceived lack of impact and believes it is time consuming to produce and distribute.  Jean believes we could save a lot of time and hassle by mailing the Gazette rather delivering it by hand.  The circulation is about 1200 copies.  It would cost about $160 per mailing.  It was moved and seconded that we spend up to $160 for mailing the Gazette.  After some discussion, the motion passed.  Some discussion occurred about the possibility of doing an issue in English and Spanish in order to reach more historic district residents.  It was decided to try an issue in both languages and ask for feedback.

Historic Home Calendar

Hans Klemmer brought up an idea of producing a historic home calendar, using photos of Elgin homes.  The calendars could be printed up ahead of time and sold at Housewalk.  Hans has made some inquiries regarding costs and is waiting for responses.


Joe and Laura Becerra represented GPA at Neighborfest.  Joe and Laura reported that many people asked about Housewalk.  GPA gave away posters and post cards at the Neighborfest booth.

Vacant Lot at Geneva and Chicago Lot

Paul Bednar gave a report on the vacant lot at Geneva and Chicago.  The property does have some back taxes.  The current owner indicated he would take care of the back taxes.  Paul has spoken with the Community Crisis center, which expressed an interest in acquiring the property.  The Crisis Center could accept the property as a donation and take care the property maintenance.

2003 Neighborhood Grant

Dan Miller reminded the group to think of ideas for the 2003 community grant.

Meeting adjourned at 9:12.