June 2009

Gifford Park Association

General Membership Meeting Minutes 6/18/2009

The Elgin Public House

Attending:    Joe Kjellander, Gregg Hagen, Jay Kjellander, A. Hallock, Dan and Pat Miller, Evan & Brenda Hennessey, Fran Cella, Barb Counterman, Tony Sanchez, Jeff and Laura Jacobson, Roy and Linda Voss, Chris and Karen Bach, Tom and Donna Leetz, Carol and John Anderson, Julie Schmitt, Arthur and Deborah Allan, Rich Miller, Kathy Skaggs, ROPE Officer Eric Echevarria

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by President Joe Kjellander

Joe’s Handouts:

Dan Miller spaced out and forgot to bring his usual clippings. Joe shared with us a walking tour booklet from Charlotte, N.C. that Roy and Linda Voss had brought back from a recent trip. Roy and Linda discovered that we have a similar one for our Historic District but have not done a good job recently in getting it out to the public. Much discussion ensued about ways to distribute ours.

Secretary’s Report:

Approval of the minutes of May 21, 2009 was moved by Evan Hennessey, seconded by Brenda Hennessey.  Motion carried unanimously. Evan reminded the group that there is still about $4000 coming in from the Golf Outing.

Treasurer’s Report:

Evan Hennessey reported $39,710.04 in our checking, and $53,461.08 in our Money Market account(s) 

ROPE Officer Report

ROPE officer Eric Echevarria reported some activity in our neighborhood but for the most part, things have been quiet.   He reported that Elgin police are stepping up their surveillance in the neighborhoods.  They are currently watching closely a possible drug house in our neighborhood. Eric suggested that people traveling out of town on holidays or vacations should notify him ahead of time, and he will request patrol officers to keep an eye on your property for you. Eric added that he has no report from the gang unit or drug unit regarding our neighborhood. Of the recent ROPE camp for kids Eric said, “THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU! For your donation to this year’s camp. Your money put us where we needed to be. It was a great camp for kids and officers. Twenty–five kids had a fantastic time.” Eric Passed around pictures from the camp. Eric reported that there was one boy in particular that came into camp as a very bitter young man who at one time punched Eric and called him names. Before the camp was over Eric won him over and is currently helping him with a very bad family situation. On July 31st there is a Neighbor to Neighbor celebration planned for Gifford Park. Eric said he plans to have a band. Tom and Donna Leetz offered to donate food and beverages.

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

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

Historic District Committee:

Chair Jeff Jacobson reported that our first porch party was a great success with about thirty-five people attending. The next porch party is scheduled for Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm at John and Carol Anderson’s home at 384 Division.

Our first Saturday party will be July 11 at 426 Prairie.

The July date of 7/24 is still open.  Anyone who would like to host a porch party, please contact Jeff Jacobson as soon as possible.

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

(630) 391-1236 

Membership Committee:

Chair Alicia Lykins was absent.

A reminder to please submit your dues if you haven’t already. 

For further info, please contact Alicia Lykins.

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

(847) 622-8447 

House Walk Committee:

Co-chairs Fran Cella and Laura Jacobson

Fran reported that things are falling in place for this year’s walk. Our artist, Warren Mogler had to decline for this year. Thanks went out to Tony Sanchez for helping us find a very talented replacement. Fran mentioned that one thing we are lacking is a strong marketing person. She reminded the group that the person would not have to produce material, just get it out to the public. Using the Radio Shopping Show had been mentioned at the recent HW meeting. If you would like to take on marketing for the HW or know someone that would be good at it, please contact Laura or Fran. Julie Schmitt suggested that perhaps we could get a marketing firm to do it for us in exchange for advertising in our booklet. Laura mentioned that we are looking for someone to manage the food court which is being considered for Gifford Park. More vendors would be great.

Eric mentioned that he can get a couple of officers to help with parking and traffic control. Dan added that a crossing guard would be great for Liberty St. as people will be crossing it.

This year’s pre-housewalk Pot Luck is scheduled for Friday evening 8/21 at Lord’s Park Pavilion.  (As customary, it will be held in lieu of the August general membership meeting.) 

There are still some committee chairs and other positions open.  If you would like to serve on the committee please contact House Walk chairs Laura Jacobson and Fran Cella.

Laura Jacobson                                                                 Fran Cella

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

(630) 689-8857                                                                   (847) 695-4022 

Program Committee: 

Chairperson Barb Counterman reported that GPA’s first plant swap went very well despite it raining all morning. Sixteen people participated. She thanked the Andersons for hosting it. Only two plants were left and they were given to the Andersons as a hostess gift.

Golf Outing Update

It was reported that the outing was great, especially since it was our first year and with the state of the economy. The sponsors enjoyed themselves and want to do it again. The President of Judson College mentioned that he had a great time and wants to participate next year. There were thirty–two golfers with the ultimate number being one hundred twenty-four. Several other tournaments in the area have been canceled. Jeff Jacobson reported that our total income was $8405 and total expenses $6708.18 for a profit of $1696.82. If you would like to see a breakdown of the numbers, contact Jeff. The Golf Outing is scheduled for May 21’st next year. We will be looking for sponsor starting now. We bought a lot of things this year that   we will not have to buy next year allowing us to make a bigger profit. Golf outing shirts are available for $10. They are a high quality white shirt with green logo.


Planters in Gifford Park

Dan reported that last year we had considered taking advantage of an Elgin Proud and Beautiful grant to buy materials for the planters in Gifford Park. Paul Bednar and Paul Durrenberger made a plan for the planters and Paul Bednar estimated that the plant materials would cost around $500. In the past the GPA has offered to maintain the planters but have not done a good job of it. Currently they look terrible. Fran added that it would be nice for them to look good as we are going to be in the neighborhood for Housewalk. Pat Miller added that it was her perception that the city agreed to maintain the planters if GPA planted them. The biggest job is weeding and fall and spring cleanup. The city has been asked recently about the planters and said that they have absolutely no money to buy plant materials.   Dan Miller suggested that GPA buy the plants and ask the city to plant them and maintain them in the future. Brenda Hennessey agreed but added that we need to confirm with the city that they are willing to maintain them. Evan Hennessey moved that we spend up to $500 to buy plant materials for the planters and install the plants conditional on the city’s agreeing to maintain them in the future. Brenda seconded the motion. It passed unanimously. Look for an announcement for a planting party.  

Pocket Park

At the last meeting Dan Miller was asked to look into the idea of the city taking ownership of the pocket park at Chicago and Geneva. In a previous meeting it had been decided that it was best, for liability reasons for the city to take over the park. Dan contacted the city and they said because they are currently shorthanded (thirteen people retired on May 29) they cannot work on the project at the current time. Tom Leetz suggested that GPA set up a limited liability corporation to accept the park to take it out of the Boards hands. He offered to help with such and endeavor.

Crisis Center 

Fran Cella reported that because of a lack of State funding and private donations, the Crisis Center is in danger of having to close. Lots of other social service agencies are in the same boat. Fran mentioned that as a country, we do not take domestic violence seriously enough. It affects one in four families. It is a huge issue that no one wants to talk about.   Without some major help the Crisis center will only survive for a month or two. They are in a crisis mode and whatever money they get allows them to continue another day. They understand that they are going to have to make some major cutbacks. Fran suggested that we donate $500 to the Crisis Center. A suggestion was made to up it to $1000. Fran made a motion to donate $1000 to the Crisis Center and Julie seconded it. The motion passed unanimously. Laura added that since we are going to be in the area, perhaps we can tie in a fundraising effort to our house walk.

Other Concerns

Laura Jacobson reminded the group that we need to vote for the GPA rainbarrel so nicely done by Karen Bach. They will all be moved to the Library on July 15th where you can vote. You can currently pick up a passport anywhere there is a rianbarrel displayed. It gives the locations of all the rainbarrles and a chance to wind some prizes.

Motion to adjourn:

Motion to adjourn by Julie Schmitt, seconded by Fran Cella. The motion passed unanimously.

After-party with lots of great food, beer and discussion was held at the Public House.


Respectfully submitted by Dan Miller in David William’s absence.