January 2007

GIFFORD  PARK ASSOCIATION Regular Membership Meeting Minutes Thursday, January  18, 2007
VIPs present:  Mike Shons,  Jose Fuente and Human Javitz
Members present:  Roy and Linda Voss,  Sue Awot, Dan Skaggs, Mark and Glenna Preradovic, Chris and Karen Bach, Jeff  and Laura Jacobsen, Dan and Pat Miller, Fran Cella, Dave Mendiola, Paul  Bednar, Alicia Lykins, Elisabeth Carrell,
Glen Dettman.
Others present:  Dave, Rachel and Derek Jurina.
Dan’s papers – Dan  sent around his usual barrage of interesting and
semi-interesting articles,  ads, etc.  The only one of great import was a special edition, spring  gardening Better Homes and Gardens publication featuring Pat Miller’s  beautiful garden!  If you haven’t seen it, it should still be on the  newsstands.  Way to go, Pat!
Special guests – Dan introduced U-46  employee Human Javitz and two gentlemen from Landmark Engineering, Mike Shons  and Jose Fuente.  They showed us the reconstruction plan for the parking  lot at the U-46 Central Administration Building on Chicago Street and  adjoining streets.  Drawings were passed out showing diagonal parking on  Chapel and DuPage streets.  Reconfiguring the school parking lot gains 2  stalls and 5 motorcycle stalls.  New landscaping will also be introduced  including trees.  Pat Miller sparked a debate when she questioned why the  tree bank on DuPage was eliminated. Lost trees was also an issue.  Paul  Bednar had looked at existing trees and deduced in his usual
knowledgeable  fashion that there was only one substantial tree worth saving and another big  tree closer to the docking area that was still viable.  He suggested curb  cutouts to save these.  The representatives from Landmark Engineering  pointed out that changing the streetscape would almost double available  parking.  Dan suggested we try for grant money to help save some of the  existing trees.  The plan also calls for the lighting to be the same as  the historic light poles used in our district.  The engineering firm is  waiting for the lighting specs from the city (they’ve made 10 attempts to contact them so far).  They would like to  finalize plans by mid-February, get bids in March, approval in April, and have  the work completed during summer hiatus.  This is for the parking lot  only, no mention was made as to a time schedule for changing street  parking.
ROPE report – Dave Mendiola reported that there has been  little crime in our area.  There was one purse snatching on Geneva in the  early morning hours of New Year’s Day but luckily our fearless officer was  nearby and foiled this dastardly crime!  Dave also reported on a  successful Christmas party and that he is coaching a Channing basketball  team.  He also told us that Glenn Theriault is now working midnights and  a new guy, Gary,  is taking over his ROPE duties.  There are also  two new ROPE officers on Jay and Union streets.  Pat asked about reported  problems on Gifford and North.  Dave thinks there have been some problem  residents so he is keeping a close eye on the area.
Secretary’s minutes  – Fran moved to accept the November minutes and Elisabeth seconded  it. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s report – Glenna reported that her careful calculations  reveal that GPA has a total of $79,688.74 in all  its accounts.
Election of officers – Dan presented the slate of  officers yearning for election to the GPA board.  These erstwhile  candidates are:
President – Dan Miller Vice  President – Deborah Allan Secretary – Karen Bach Treasurer – Glenna Preradovic At Large – Joe  Kjellander At Large 2 – Nick Lykins Votes were 100% in  favor of slated officers.  Cheers erupted, horns blew, confetti flew, and  doves were released.
Dan is looking for Committee Chairpersons.   The following committees are looking for someone great to step in.  Is it  you?              Historic District Housewalk Membership Public Relations Program  Committee
Jeff said that he would do Historic District again.   Thanks Jeff.  Fran gave an impassioned speech about chairing the house  tour.  She needs a break for a year but is willing to mentor anyone who  could chair the committee this
year.  She talked about all the wonderful  people who help each year and really, the thing practically runs itself.   Really.
Historic District –     Jeff thanked everyone  for  attending the Christmas party.  A good time was had by  all.  He is thinking of doing something similar in spring on  porches.  (Sorta like a Porchfest?)  Jeff had good news about
the  Historic District’s street signs.  The city has agreed to replace our  signs with the same style signs.  Jeff also thanked people for helping to  put up the garland and bows.  Of course this  was just a ploy to get volunteers to help take the things down.  A  district newsletter is the next item on Jeff’s
agenda.  He has a good  start on it.  Glenna asked about the different colored lights in our  light poles.  Jeff stated that the city has said that when the light  starts to glow green, the light is ready to go out.
Neighborhood plan  meeting –  Fran Cella gave a condensed history of our
neighborhood  plan.  Paul recorded data and made a draft of the plan.  He will  give a presentation  in the near future.
Salvages: We had a  successful salvage at 279 Spring St. and made $960.00 with $250.00 in  expenses.  Even though there wasn’t much at the house to salvage, many  items were taken for reuse.  The city also purchased a house across
the  street which will be torn down, too.  Elgin Academy is tearing down 3  houses on Park and Kimball and is willing to give us salvage rights.  Dan  has also approached Schock’s Greenhouse about salvaging their building and  Dunkin Donuts about salvaging the cottage north of their  store.
Sponsorships: We received a request from Elgin American Little  League, located on the north side of Summit Street and serving the kids in our  area, to
sponsor a team for $300.00.  Laura moved that we sponsor a team,  and Fran seconded.  The motion passed.  Fran suggested that the GPA  sign on their grounds be changed to read, a sponsor since:  The city is  trying to have the sponsorship signs removed, but this won’t happen for  another 3-4 years.
Glenna requested GPA take out an ad in the playbill  for the upcoming Elgin High musical, “High School Musical”.  A motion was  made by Paul Bednar to take out a $50.00 half-page ad.  The motion was  seconded by Sue Awot and passed.
Other concerns: Rachel Jurina thanked  GPA for the monetary donation for her trip to Washington DC for Leadership  Camp in March.  She has almost raised the $1,927.00 needed for the  excursion.
Paul mentioned that Jean needs signatures to get on the  ballot for re-election to the library board. Also, Paul and Jean are  dancing their way to fame and fortune in the PADS dance contest  fundraiser.  He had $10.00 tickets for sale for those who wish to sponsor  their endeavor.  Paul gave us a quick demonstration of his new-found  dance skills by doing a back flip off the table followed in quick succession by  a graceful grande jete, a pas de chat, a beautiful arabesque, and finishing with three perfect pirouettes and a deep bow. Just kidding,  everyone.  It was only two pirouettes and his left arm extension was a  little droopy.
Dan mentioned that a powerpoint presentation of before  and after photos of homes in the Historic District is available.  Contact  Dan if you would be interested in using this inspiring  presentation.
Sue Awot suggested using home photos to produce a  calendar that could be sold at housewalk.
Homes for sale in the area  were also discussed.  Vanessa Hobson sold her house on Liberty and  Margaret Place, and Ken Mahr sold his home on Liberty and Park.
Fran  moved and Elisabeth seconded to adjourn for the evening.  Motion passed.
Dutifully submitted by Karen Bach, GPA secretary