July 2009

Gifford Park Association

General Membership Meeting Minutes 7/16/2009

The Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago St.

Attending:    Joe Kjellander, Gregg Hagen, Dan & Pat Miller, Evan & Brenda Hennessey, Fran Cella, Bill Briska, Jeff Jacobson, Chris & Karen Bach, Tom & Donna Leetz, Rich Miller, Kathy Skaggs, Alli Hallock, David & Jennifer Williams, Paula White, Margaret Keen, Doug Tomsha, Maribel Andino, ROPE Officer Eric Echevarria

Meeting was called to order at 6:58 p.m. by President Joe Kjellander

Joe’s Handouts:

Included were the article from This Old House magazine which recognized Elgin as “Best Place for Fixer-Uppers,” and included quotes from GPA member Brenda Hennessey; Various press clippings related to the This Old House article, including a large write up in the Chicago Sun Times featuring GPA members Bill Briska and Fran Cella; A thank you letter from the Elgin Police Department for our donation to ROPE camp for kids; A thank you letter from the Community Crisis Center for last month’s donation; A large article in the Courier News Real Estate section featuring GPA member Jay Kjellander; An announcement flier for the Kiwanis BBQ fundraiser (see Tom Leetz for tickets); A letter from the city which explained why we did not receive an architectural grant for the140 N. Channing project; Newspaper clippings with varying viewpoints regarding the Odd-Even parking program.

Secretary’s Report:

Approval of the minutes of June 18, 2009 was moved by Evan Hennessey, seconded by Brenda Hennessey.  Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report:

Evan Hennessey reported $39,759.81 in our checking, and $53,496.75 in our Money Market account(s).  

ROPE Officer Report

ROPE officer Eric Echevarria reported Elgin police have been conducting home visits of known gang members, and executing search warrants on suspected drug houses, none of which are in our neighborhood.  Otherwise, he was happy to report diminished criminal activity in our neighborhood overall. 

Eric is organizing a Neighbor to Neighbor celebration for July 31st at Gifford Park.  Eric said he plans to have a band and other activities.  Tom and Donna Leetz offered to donate food and beverages, as well as host a petting zoo.


Volunteers are urgently needed for the event, which runs from 5-9 p.m. 

To volunteer, please contact Eric. 

If you have other questions or concerns about suspicious activity in the neighborhood, please contact Eric directly at:

[email protected]” href=”mailto:[email protected]“>[email protected]  Or: (847) 354-3394 

Historic District Committee:

Chair Jeff Jacobson reminded us of final two scheduled porch parties for the summer:

Friday 7/24 at Hans Klemmer’s – 376 Prairie

Friday 8/7 at Roy & Linda Voss’ – 440 E. Chicago

Parties run from 7:00 p.m. – ?

Also, Jeff is putting together the next Gazette.  If you have articles for the Gazette, please submit them to Jeff ASAP!!!

[email protected]” href=”mailto:[email protected]“>[email protected]

(630) 391-1236 

Membership Committee:

Chair Alicia Lykins was absent. 

We have new neighbors at 373 Park St.  Alicia plans to go by for a meet & greet as soon as time allows.

House Walk Committee:

Chair Fran Cella had a lot to report, but our meeting venue was too noisy to allow her to speak at length.  She indicated she would put her report into e-mail format and send it to us.  Please look for that e-mail soon.

The most important point she indicated was that she still needs volunteers for important positions, notably she needs a volunteer immediately for coordinating advance ticket sales.

To learn about positions still available, and to volunteer, please contact Fran ASAP.

Fran Cella [email protected]” href=”mailto:[email protected]“>[email protected] (847) 695-4022 


Program Committee: 

Chairperson  Barb Counterman unable to attend.  Nothing to report.

Public Relations Committee:

Chairperson Fran Cella had nothing to report.

Dream Team Committee:

Chairman Dan Miller had nothing to report.

Other Concerns:

The GPA donated over $500 to buy plant materials for the planters in Gifford Park.  Thank you to Paul Bednar and Paul Durrenberger for developing the plans.  Thank you also to the volunteers who came out on Saturday, July 11th to do the planting.  List to follow.  Thank you also to Paul Bednar for providing extra plants to fill in for the plants we provided.  Motion to reimburse Paul in the amount of $62.98.

Motion by Margaret Keen, seconded by Jennifer Fritz-Williams.  The motion carried.

The volunteers included: Julie Schmitt, Evan Hennessey, Paul Bednar, Dan and Pat Miller, Joe Kjellander, Barb Counterman, Carol Anderson, and Alli Hallock.

It was moved that the GPA should write a letter to the City Council expressing our concern about the historic grant programs, urging them to renew the programs for 2010. 

Motion by Joe Kjellander, seconded by David Williams.  The motion carried.

The GPA offers deep condolences to member Tony Sanchez and his family on the passing of Tony’s mother.  GPA will offer a gesture in the amount of $50, flowers or donation as family prefers.

Motion by Dan Miller, seconded by Evan Hennessey.  The motion carried.

Remember to visit the rain barrel art display at the Gail Borden Public Library through July 31st.  The barrels will be auctioned at the Fox Fire Fest on August 1st. Thanks again to Karen Bach for creating a beautiful barrel featuring drawings of historic homes from the neighborhood.  See how quickly you can identify the homes she featured!

There will be no general membership meeting in August.  Instead, by tradition we will hold our pre-housewalk pot luck at the Lord’s Park Pavilion on Friday, August 21st, start time to be announced at a later date. 

Hope to see you there!

Also, beginning with the meeting on Thursday, September 17th, we will be returning to our regular venue at the U-46 building, 355 E. Chicago, Room 239.  Thank you to Karen Fox with U-46 for her assistance.  Thank you also to the Elgin Public House and staff for accommodating us for our June and July meetings. 

Motion to adjourn:

Motion to adjourn by Jeff Jacobson, seconded by Evan Williams via David Williams.  Meeting adjourned at 7:22 p.m.  After-party held at the Elgin Public House.