October 2008

Gifford Park Association General Member Meeting Minutes

October 16, 2008


In attendance: Joe Kjellander, Jennifer Fritz-Williams, David Williams, Evan Williams, Bill Briska, Roy Voss, Linda Voss, Angeley Mullins, Julie Schmitt, Paul Durrenberger, Laura Jacobson, Tobitha Gray, Nick Lykins, Alicia Lykins, Barbara Counterman, Tony Sanchez, Gregg Hagen, Dan Miller, Evan Hennessey, Brenda Zeid, Doug Tomsha, Margaret Keen


Joe’s Handouts and announcements

Joe Kjellander’shandouts and announcements included a “Thank you” letter from the Crisis Center for our donation of food after the Housewalk party; information regarding the GPA calendars; sign-up sheet for DNA’s window decorating event; self-guided walking tour brochures for Elgin Historic District


Barbara Counterman announced that Sanfillipo would be holding a job fair on Saturday October 18th



Secretary’s Report – review/approval

Evan Hennesseymoved to approve the Minutes of September 18, 2008; Nick Lykins seconded the motion; the motion to approve the Minutes of September 18, 2008 was carried



Treasurer’s Report

Angeley Mullins reported that GPA has about $38,500 in checking; $50k in money market; and that the City has not yet mailed its Housewalk donation


ROPE Report

Margaret Keen reported that she did not mail the meeting minutes or announcement to Eric Echevarria because she had not updated her database to reflect the change in ROPE Officers; she will correct this oversight


Committee Reports

Historic District

Margaret Keen reported that she met on 9-25-08 w/Sean Stegall to discuss banners and that some thought needs to be given to Christmas décor on the light poles because the banner project will not be nearly ready by the Holidays


Discussion ensued regarding the holiday décor and then Nick Lykins made a motion that GPA “limp by” with its existing décor; Julie Schmitt seconded the motion; the motion carried


Margaret Keen agreed to let Sean Stegall know that Memorial Day was the discussed and hoped-for completion date for the banners.


Laura Jacobson confirmed the rumor that Jeff is returning to Elgin and she reported that participants are needed for Wassailing Saunter!



Housewalk Committee

Laura Jacobsonreported that the team is still crunching numbers and a follow-up meeting will be announced



Program Committee

Barbara Countermanreported that she still wants to have a Merchants Night in November



Dream Team Committee

(Secretary’s note: my record of the Dream Team Committee portion of the meeting is sketchy, so I asked for assistance to provide the following report):


Dan Miller reported that Joe Kjellander and he had a very productive meeting with RuthAnne Hall and Jennifer Fritz-Williams regarding 140 N. Channing.  Joe talked about the option of the City giving the home to GPA and Dan talked about the option of the city keeping the property with GPA contributing money, volunteers and acting as the General Contractor.  RuthAnne said that the budget for next year was being prepared and that she would go ahead and pencil in money in the budget for 140 N. Channing, 114-116 N. Channing and 467 Division.


Dan reported to the group some of the advantages of the city keeping control and Joe said that he now sees that as the best option.  Dan reported that in his “dream” plan, the city and GPA would split the proceeds of the sale in proportion to money and time invested. 


Dan also reported that several contractors had visited the house with some bids being given and others being worked on.  Dan felt that no firm decision can be made until we have hard numbers on the cost of rehabbing 140 N. Channing.



Joe Kjellander stated that he has been pricing out salvaged doors and door hardware



Jeff McIntireassembled the slate and Nick Lykins presented the slate as follows:


President                      Joe Kjellander

Vice President               Laura Jacobson

Secretary                      David Williams

Treasurer                       Evan Hennessey

At Large#2                    *** (see below)


Discussion ensued as to whether the position of Financial Director has been dissolved; whether it needs to be formally dissolved.


Nick Lykins then opened up the discussion to any other nominations


***Dan Miller nominated Pat Miller for At Large #2


Dan Miller moved to accept the slate as proposed; Barbara Counterman seconded the motion; the motion carried.



Dan Miller discussed the 1400 Villa Salvage that took place on October 11, 2008 (Secretary’s Note: Dan provided me with a written summary of the salvage which I will retype below in full although it does not convey the enthusiasm with which he delivered his summary at the meeting):


“Thanks” goes out to Paul Durrenberger, Pat Miller, Evan Hennessey, Brenda Zeid


25 people participated; $607 was taken in; $250 in expenses (400 fliers sent)


75 items were bid upon – lots of plants (hydrangea, lily of the valley, iris, vinca); 2 entire rooms of oak flooring; whole house full of door and window casings; incredible crown molding; windows-scavenger friend took two pick-up trucks full of metal; aluminum facia and storm windows, hundreds of books







Jennifer Williams stated that RuthAnne Hall asked her to:


thank us for our patience regarding the Channing Y space and to inform us that a timetable has been established for improvements (Secretary’s note: I have included RuthAnne’s timetable-email at the end of the minutes)


Jennifer Williams brought copies of the new Design Guideline Manual (which are also available for pick-up at City Hall)


Laura Jacobson, having seen from the handouts the DNA’s sign up sheet for a window display, asked if GPA members were interested; at which point a discussion ensued and it was decided informally that we should sign up/fill out the form


Motion to Adjourn

Motion to adjourn was made by Tobitha Gray and was seconded by Evan Williams; the motion carried







RuthAnne Hall’s email:

GPA Neighbors –


First I want to thank you for your patience with the condition of the Channing Square site over the past few months.  Next, I am pleased to provide you an update on the work that will be happening in the next couple of weeks to clean up the site.  Here is the schedule for the work:


·         Friday, October 17th contractors will be out to stake the property for the road improvements that will be constructed. 

·         Saturday, October, 18th equipment will be moved on to site for the road improvements

·         Monday, October, 20th crews will be on site to cut the road to grade and prep them for initial stone layer and prepare for the curbs to be installed.  Bruce has informed me that they will be on site beginning at 7 a.m.

·         The fence around the perimeter of the site will be removed either Monday or Tuesday of next week.

·         Alley improvements will also commence next week with the removal of the existing asphalt.  I have asked that Bruce Hawkins and his crew personally notify the residents who are adjacent to the alley of the specifics of those improvements.  From what I understand, once the asphalt is grinded off, similar to our work on Division Street, the alley will still be drivable…just a bit bumpy and perhaps muddy if it rains.  The final layer of asphalt will be added when the other streets are being paved, which may take a week or so while they are completing the curbing and grading.

·         In conjunction with this work, the remaining property will be graded and seeded.


In addition to the work that is happening at the Channing Square site, you are going to see the work crews there to complete the curb, gutter and sidewalks along Channing and Division Street in the next week.  Following that will be the resurfacing of Channing and Division Streets, Hill Avenue, a portion of Park Street, Academy Place, and Kimball Avenue.   So, undoubtedly, your neighborhood is going to be a hub of activities over the next few weeks while we complete these necessary improvements.  Again, we thank you in advance for your patience with the construction.


As a friendly reminder, please be aware that the odd/even parking regulations are still in effect.  During resurfacing, contractors will be placing signage requesting that no parking be allowed on both sides of the street Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is critical that you abide by this request so that they can effectively and efficiently grind and resurface the street from curb to curb.  One caveat is that when the crews are not actively working in your neighborhood (perhaps due to inclement weather) you may park on the street, but please remember when doing so to abide by the odd/even parking regulations.


Leaf pick up has commenced in your area and leaves are picked up on Thursday and Fridays through the month of November.  Please remember to rake your leaves to the street before the morning of Thursday each week to ensure that Public Works will be able to remove them.   For those of you who miss the deadline or are eager to be “green”, residents are encouraged to bag their leaves.  Bagged leaves will be collected weekly on your regular garbage pickup day for no additional cost through December 5, 2008.


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.




RuthAnne K. Hall

Management Analyst

City of Elgin