January 2005 Board Retreat

GPA Board Retreat

January 8, 2005

noon to 3 p.m.

Elgin Community Crisis Center


Present:           Pat Segel, Chair; Paul Durrenberger; Joe Kjellander; Brian Stark; Bill Briska; Chris Bach; Fran Cella

Prior to the meeting, an inquiry was received from Pat Miller as to why the board retreat was not open to the general membership. The reason is that this is a special meeting to orient the new 2005 board, review current issues and discuss strategies for improving the organization.. No votes or formal action will be taken at the meeting.


GPA Purpose Statement:

The group began with a review of the current GPA Constitution Purposes Clause (amended 6/15/2002). After considerable discussion, there was concurrence that the main purpose of GPA is to improve the neighborhood. Although the current statement does reflect this purpose, the wording could be improved. There is also a need to better educate the membership about GPA’s purpose. Pat S. will draft a revised statement for review and comment by the board. A final draft will be submitted to the general membership for additional comment and approval.


The group also discussed ways of correcting the perception that GPA is a group of people concerned exclusively with historic preservation. Education, action, increased inclusiveness and more opportunities for socialization were the identified strategies.


Review of Definition and Duties of Standing Committees:

Based on the above discussion, the group discussed the standing committees needed to perform the purposes of GPA.   Per the current By-laws, the chairpersons of these committees are members of the Board of Directors.


The following Standing Committees will be proposed to the General Membership:


  • •Historic Housewalk
  • •Social
  • •Membership
  • •Public Relations & Community Outreach
  • •Education


It was also recommended that the By-laws be amended to include a statement that time limited positions can be created by the Board for important time limited projects or functions.


Review of the Historian Position:

The current by-laws specify that a “Historian” for GPA shall be appointed by the Board. Although there has been no formal appointment to this position, Dan Miller has served in this capacity for many years. It was recommended that Dan be formally appointed to this role and that members be instructed to send pertinent historical information (e.g. newspaper articles) to Dan on an ongoing basis. Pat S. will contact Dan to ask if he is agreeable to officially performing this function.


2005 Historic House Tour:

Planning needs to begin for this year’s House Tour. Fran C. is willing to serve as Chairperson -contingent on specific people agreeing to fill key roles on the House Tour committee. Pat S. will check with the individuals discussed.


2005 General Membership Meeting Schedule and Topics

Following up on last year’s proposal, the general membership meetings this year will become a social/educational forum. Each meeting will begin with a brief program or field trip followed by a social gathering. The possibility of changing the meetings to a Friday night was also discussed.


The next meeting will be Thursday January 20 @ 7 p.m. @ Holy Trinity church (intersection of Division & Chapel).   Please bring a dessert to share.


Update on 132 Channing project

A lot of progress has taken place in the past few weeks. The interior is nearing completion although a variety of specific tasks remain. Exterior painting is on hold due to the weather.


The cumulative effect of several unplanned expenses are of concern. We may not have enough money in our budget to finish the house.


Finance Review

Due to financial circumstances with the project house, the preparation of this year’s budget will be delayed. A variety of strategies for generating revenue were discussed including a large “salvage” type yard sale in the spring.


Board Meeting Schedule

The By-laws require the Board to meet quarterly. It was agreed that Board meetings should be governed by the need to meet & that monthly meetings are not always necessary. The next Board meeting will be Wednesday February 3 @ 7 p.m. @ the Downtown Neighborhood Association Offices.



Respectfully submitted by:

Fran Cella, Secretary