February 2008

Gifford Park Association General Member Meeting Minutes: FEBRUARY 21, 2008   

In attendance: Amanda Carlson, John Krzyzanowski, Paul Durrenberger, Pat Miller, Dan Miller, Holly Wiedmeyer, Jennifer Fritz-Williams, David Williams, Gregg Hagen, Joe Kjellander, Dave Mendiola, Beth Sterricker, Al Young, Alicia Lykins, Nick Lykins, Margaret Keen, Zachary Lammers, Tony Sanchez, Barbara Counterman, Sarah Burns, Fran Cella, Karen Bach, Nicole Brooks, Doug Tomsha, David Shroder, Deborah Allan, Mary Aguilar, Jeff Jacobson, Laura Jacobson, Jeff McIntire, Erin Murphy



Welcome and Introductions


Presentation by Jennifer Shroder’s daughter Elaine:   Junior National Young Leaders Conference

Elaine Shroder provided attendees with information about the Junior National Young Leaders Conference held in Washington, D.C., how she was selected to participate in the program, and how she is trying to raise money to help defray costs. Elaine fielded questions from the audience and Nick Lykins, former Junior National Young Leaders Conference participant, provided her with insight and words of encouragement.


Dan Miller made a motion that GPA contribute $200.00

Nick Lykins seconded the motion

The motion carried unanimously


Joe’s Handouts

Joe’s handouts included

  • copies of Rejuvenation catalog (hardware and fixtures for historic homes)
  • GPA’s Membership Directory (gratitude was expressed for the hard work put into the directory by Fran Cella and Jean Bednar). Directories were distributed to all in attendance and will be mailed to members shortly.


Secretary’s Report

Margaret Keen asked that the January 17, 2008 Minutes she typed be amended such that Mike Millikan’s name is spelled properly.


Dan Millermoved to approve the Minutes of January 17, 2008 as amended.

Dave Williams seconded the motion

The motion to approved the Minutes of January 17, 2008 was carried unanimously


Treasurer’s Report

Holly Wiedmeyer reported that

  • the CD balance is $50k and the checking account balance is $42,465.20
  • she looked into changing the payment of storage fees from monthly to yearly (the yearly payment would provide a discount); it was determined that she should change the payment to “yearly”

Joe K stated that the storage fee was inadvertently left out of the 2008 GPA Budget

Dave Williams moved to amend the budget to include storage fees

Deborah Allan seconded the motion

The motion to amend the 2008 budget to include storage fees carried unanimously

Holly Wiedmeyer stated that website maintenance payments also offer a 1-year single payment discount



ROPE Report

Dave Mendiola reported

  • nothing major to report since GPA’s last meeting
  • Warrants and evictions have been made in some neighborhood drug houses
  • Police are catching up on abandoned vehicles
  • that he’s going on vacation, but his voice mail will have the name of whom we should contact
  • that Officer Beth Sterricker (who was present at the meeting) will be the beat office on afternoon shifts
  • that Public Works should be called for potholes

Sgt Al Young (former ROPE officer/currently one of 3 sergeants assigned to the East Side of Elgin) was also present at the meeting


Committee Reports

Historic Committee

Jeff Jacobson reported that

  • the Wassailing Saunter/Christmas Party went well
  • Dan Miller and Margaret Keen will be assisting with research on the Banners
  • The Gazette will be going to print shortly


Membership Committee

Alicia Lykins reported that

  • Membership potluck dinner will be April 18th (no GPA meeting that month)
  • Membership Directories were available at the meeting for pick-up and will be mailed


Housewalk 2008

Joe K announced that this year’s co-Chairs are Karen Bach and Laura Jacobson with a first general meeting to be held at Karen’s on Tuesday February 26, 2008 at 7pm.


Program Committee

Barb Counterman reported that she has been collecting ideas and will be sending an email to members to feel out interest for each idea, including

  • Architecture Tour hosted by Chicago Architecture Foundation
  • Road trip to Island Girl Salvage
  • Get togethers for knitters/crafters, perhaps at a coffee house or at a member’s home
  • Bar/Dinner/After Hours Party to get to know our neighbors and Elgin’s merchants


Joe K mentioned that Councilman Mike Powers wants to talk to GPA members about City Counsel issues

Fran Cella suggested that we have former gang members come and talk to us so that we continue to address neighborhood violence issues proactively


Neighborhood Plan

Fran Cella stated that the plan is moving forward to City Council (which needs to approve the plan in order for it to become part of the City Plan)


House Rehab Ideas/Slide show

Joe K stated that the City, specifically Sean Stegall, is seeking GPA involvement in a rehab project; Joe showed slides of three homes that the City has acquired or is attempting to acquire:

  • 140 North Channing (owner has raised the asking price from $180K to 225K)
  • 467 Division (City owns already)
  • 114-16 North Channing (under contract)

A discussion ensued with members expressing excitement, concerns, past experience, questions


A straw poll was taken to gauge the response to the question of whether or not GPA wants a rehab project


1. Not interested 0
2. Skeptical 5
3. Yes, but need more information 17
4. Very excited 1



What’s happening in the neighborhood

Dan Miller showed slides of neighborhood homes being turned around including 514 Division, 480 Division, 141 North Gifford, 480 Park (to be demolished)



Jennifer Fritz-Williamsrelayed that the City’s deadline for taking down residential Christmas décor was January 31, 2008; if you receive notice that you are in violation of Code, you will have 60 days to comply. A $50.00 ticket will be issued if you fail to comply after 60 days.


Jeff & Laura Jacobson announced that Jeff has been promoted at work and that he and Laura will be relocating to St. Louis; they are not selling right away and Laura will be remaining in Elgin for the time being; someone will need to take over the Historic District Committee Chair position, the Gazette, and the Banners.


Motion to Adjourn

Motion to adjourn was made by Sarah Burns and was seconded by Barb Counterman

The motion was carried unanimously.