October 2009

Gifford Park Association

General Membership Meeting Minutes 10/15/2009

355 E. Chicago, Room 239


Attending:    Joe Kjellander, Gregg Hagen, Dan & Pat Miller, David Williams, Jeff & Laura Jacobson, Roy & Linda Voss, Donna Leetz, Ali Hallock, Jeff McIntire, Doug Tomsha, Bill Briska, Fran Cella, Tony Sanchez, Barb Counterman, Deborah Allan, Mark & Glenna Preradovic, Tobitha Gray, ROPE Officer Eric Echevarria

Thank you to Deborah Allan for providing snacks for the meeting.

Meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.

Joe’s Handouts:

We received a letter from the Elgin Community Crisis Center thanking us for the food donation after the Housewalk after-party.


Secretary’s Report:

Approval of the minutes of September 17th moved by Dan Miller, seconded by Laura Jacobson.

Motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report:

In Evan Hennessey’s absence, Dan Miller reported $47,299.86 in our checking, and $53,583.58 in our Money Market account(s).  It was suggested that some of the checking account funds be re-allocated as soon as possible to interest-bearing accounts.


ROPE Officer Report

ROPE officer Eric Echevarria thanked us for all the congratulations he received on recently being awarded the Partners in Peace award by the Crisis Center.

Eric reported that crime in the neighborhood continues to be down, in spite of the economic pressures that usually produce spikes in crime rates.  But he reminded everyone of the benefit of taking precautions.  E.g. not storing valuables such as phones or GPS’s in one’s car(s) at night, and to leave outside lights on to discourage theft.  

Eric also indicated that there are ongoing investigations into some suspected drug houses, which he did not cite in order to protect said investigations.  However as always, a reminder to contact him if you notice suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Eric directly.

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

Or: (847) 354-3394


Historic Committee:

Chair Jeff Jacobson reported that this year’s Wassailing Saunter is scheduled for Saturday evening, December 12th.  Anyone in the historic district who would like to volunteer to open up their home for GPA’s annual celebration of good cheer, please contact Jeff ASAP.

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

(630) 391-1236


Membership Committee:

Chair Alicia Lykins was unable to attend, and did not forward any news to report.


House Walk Committee:

Chair Fran Cella described this year’s Housewalk as a “perfect event,” in its planning and execution.  (Even the weather cooperated!)  Fran noted in particular that the event seems to be attracting a lot of new people from outside of Elgin.  For those who would like more details about this year’s Housewalk, please contact Fran.

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

(847) 695-4022


The first planning meeting for the 2010 Housewalk will be held at the DNA offices at 2 N. Douglas on Monday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m.  Those who would like to help out by taking a leadership role with next year’s Housewalk are encouraged to attend.


Program Committee: 

Chair Barb Counterman is working on putting together another Merchant Night for some time in November.  Please contact Barb for further details.

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

(847) 917-8857


Public Relations Committee: 

Chair Fran Cella had nothing to report.


Dream Team Committee:

Chair Dan Miller had nothing to report.


2010 Board Elections:

Nomination committee chair Pat Miller presented the following slate for 2010 officers.  The floor was opened for additional nominations.  There being none, Fran Cella moved to close the nominations, seconded by Donna Leetz.  The motion carried.


The nominations for the 2010 officers is as follows:

President:  Jeff Jacobson

Vice-President:  Tony Sanchez

Finance Director:  Bill Briska

Secretary:  David Williams

Treasurer:  Evan Hennessey

2nd At-Large:  Ali Hallock


Voting on this slate shall take place at the November 19th general membership meeting.


The 2010 board will also include Pat Miller, as 1st At-Large and Joe Kjellander as immediate past president.


At some point after the election, the new board will schedule a meeting to appoint the 2010 chairpersons for the standing committees.  If you would like to volunteer to chair one of the committees, please contact the board ASAP.  As a reminder, the standing committees are Historic District, Membership, Housewalk, Program, and Public Relations.


Holiday Garlands Program

A date was set for Saturday, November 7th at 9:00 a.m. at Joe Kjellander’s house (467 E. Chicago) to sort the garlands and bows.  We will  sort through them to assess their condition, disposing of any worn-out materials.  We will take an inventory, and determine purchase requirements (if any) to continue the program.  A report will be presented at the November meeting, where we will make a determination about the future of the program.


Other Comments & Concerns:

Dan Miller indicated that there may be some salvages coming up soon.  Dan expressed some dismay at what he regards as “hastiness” in demolition of certain properties the city has acquired.


Dan mentioned the need for repair & maintenance and/or replacement of the Historic District wood entry signs.  Discussion ensued regarding several ideas for new signage, etc. to highlight the neighborhood, and possible GPA contributions to same.  It was decided to assign the project to the Historic District committee for further study and discussion.


Laura Jacobson reported that we have received the application for this year’s Window Wonderland holiday decorating competition.  This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays.”  Laura will chair an ad hoc committee to carry out this year’s decorating.  She is looking for suggestions of downtown store-fronts that would be good locations to put together a display.  To offer suggestions or to volunteer to assist with the decorating, please contact Laura.

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

(630) 689-8857


Glenna Preradovic also had questions regarding Elgin’s Design Review Guidelines, regarding some painting activity she noticed in the district.  As the discussion was not immediately germane to GPA business, discussion was curtailed until after adjournment.


Motion to Adjourn:

Motion to adjourn by Fran Cella, seconded by Barb Counterman. 

Motion carried, with meeting adjourning at 8:21.  After-party held in room 239.