January 2004 Board Meeting

Gifford Park Association Board Meeting
January 7, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

Present:            Fran Cella, Bill Briska, Paul Bednar, Jean Bednar, Pat Segel, Julie Schmitt, Dan Miller, Pat Miller, Betty A. Sanders-Webber

Guests: Arthur Allan, Deborah Allan

Purchase of 132 N. Channing

GPA is scheduled to close on the Channing property on Monday, January 12, 2004.   To simplify the transaction, the purchase was originally set up with Harris Bank as the trustee.   Recent experience has led our attorney, Arthur Allan, to recommend that GPA handle the transaction directly as the trust option has become burdensome and expensive. A resolution to this effect and granting power of attorney for the transaction to Arthur Allan was drafted. Dan Miller proposed the resolution be accepted. Pat Segel seconded it. The motion passed. The resolution was signed by Fran Cella, President and Dan Miller, Treasurer and affixed with the official GPA seal.


Director’s and Officer’s (D&O) Insurance


The GPA Board has had several conversations re: the desirability of purchasing D&O insurance. The subject arose again as there was a misunderstanding that using a trust would provide the same protection as the insurance. Mr. Allan advised that we acquire D&O insurance and proposed 2 options for the Board:


(1)D&O insurance which would be purchased by GPA and apply to members of the board regardless of who the individual members are. The cost is estimated to be about $1,600/yr.

(2) Umbrella insurance that would be purchased by individual board members as an add on to homeowner policies (approximately $250/yr) and reimbursed by GPA.


After discussion, it was felt that D&O insurance is a better option for a board with changing membership. It is also less expensive. There was consensus that we should pursue this.


Dan or Pat Miller will check with our insurance agent re: cost.


Pocket Park


GPA currently has an 'adopt a park" arrangement with Kane County for 

the property at Chicago & Geneva St.

GPA was awarded a neighborhood improvement grant to convert the vacant property to a pocket park. To assure that the property will not be reclaimed or sold by the county in the future, Mr. Allan suggested that GPA take ownership of the property. The board previously had concern about assuming liability for the parcel & had not wished to own it. It has since been determined that our current insurance policy will cover the Pocket Park.


Paul Bednar inquired as to whether we would have to pay taxes since we are not currently a 501(3c) organization. Mr. Allan’s opinion is that as a not for profit organization we would be exempt from property taxes.




Pat Miller brought up the possibility of a liability at the Park and losing GPA’s insurance, which would affect all GPA events, including the House Walk and Great Unveiling. Bill Briska felt this discussion was best left to an insurance professional who could advise GPA on insurance issues.


Dan Miller made a motion to accept ownership of the property. Ms. Schmitt seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.


501C Status


Bill Briska and Pat Segel are working the application for 501(3) status. It should be completed shortly.


Neighborhood Planning Orientation Meeting


To kick-off the Neighborhood Planning pilot project, the city has scheduled an orientation meeting for Tuesday, January 13, 2004 at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.   At this meeting, City staff will present an overview of the planning process, provide a list of resources available and answer any questions. A guest speaker, Sue Guio, Community Services Coordinator from

the city of DeKalb will discuss best practices for neighborhood planning and the public input process.


This is a momentous event for our neighborhood and the city – please plan on

attending the beginning of this important process..


Grant to Rehab Exterior of 132 N. Channing

Fran passed out copies of the application for the Elgin Historic Architectural Grant exterior Rehab Program. Comments on this document are due from the Board to Mark Billings by Saturday, January 10, 2004.


Sesquicentennial events


GPA needs to begin planning for any events they would like to do/participate in for the city’s 150th anniversary. The city has planned for tours of churches and to have open houses on February 28, 2004 and a sock hop taking place on July 4, 2004.


January General Membership Meeting


The January/February General Membership Meeting will be an open house/reception at the Channing property. The open house will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2004 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Press releases will be sent and there will be a chance for volunteers to sign up for projects they may be interested in helping

out with. February will involve a working meeting.


Board Retreat


Fran brought up the idea of having a retreat for the GPA Board. A location is still needed. Board members will address the vision for GPA which could result in a revision of the bylaws and possibly the committee structures. Jean Bednar will explore the possibility of having the meeting at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.




Dream Team Meeting to finalize contractor for 132 N. Channing

This meeting will take place on Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. between members of the Dream Team Committee.


Historic District

Pat Miller reported on two issues in the Historic District.


It is anticipated that a change in zoning will be requested to convert the property at 442 DuPage from single family use to special use. This will need to be reviewed at a public hearing. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.


The City of Elgin has decided to follow up on the reported burying of large quantities of brush at the Grandview construction site. Burial is reportedly occurring in the portion of the property for which the City is scheduled to assume ownership. Test digging will be done to determine whether this is occurring prior to the City’s purchase of the property. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.


Pat Miller mentioned that the decorations in the Historic District need to be taken down soon. Paul Bednar will coordinate this effort. Pat. Segel will obtain boxes to store the garland in. We will need volunteers, so if you are interested, please contact Paul at 847-741-2837.


Charity Drive

The response to GPA’s first annual charity drive was disappointing. Continuation will need to be re-evaluated.


Dan Miller made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Julie Schmitt seconded it at 9:00 p.m.


Submitted by: Betty A. Sanders-Webber, GPA Board Secretary