February 2010

Gifford Park Association

General Membership Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2010

355 E. Chicago St., Room 239


Attending: Jeff Jacobson, Tony Sanchez, Bill Briska, Evan Hennessey, David & Jennifer Williams, Dan & Pat Miller, Jay Kjellander, Barb Counterman, Donna Leetz, Deborah Allan, Doug Tomsha, Fran Cella, John & Carol Anderson, Dan Skaggs

Guests: ROPE Officer Eric Echevarria; Officers Joe Miklitsch and Jamie Marabillas


Thank you to Deborah Allan for providing snacks.

Meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m.


Jeff’s Handouts and Announcements:

Jeff’s handouts included an update on latest activities from the Summit Park Neighbors & Settlement, a Courier news article regarding Elgin’s purchase of foreclosed homes for rehab, and catalogs for Baer Supply woodworking supplies.

Also, a notice about a grass-roots project committed to supporting local brick-and-mortar businesses called the 3/50 Project.  For details, please visit www.the350project.net.


Secretary’s Report:

Motion to approve the minutes of January 21, 2010 with an amendment of the Golf Classic date to 5/28/2010.  Moved by Dan Miller, seconded by Jay Kjellander. The motion carried.


ROPE Officer’s Report:

Eric Echevarria introduced Elgin Police juvenile crime detectives Joe Miklitsch and Jamie Marabillas.  They gave a presentation and fielded questions regarding juvenile crime, and the rules for detention of juvenile suspects.

Eric then reported some criminal activity in abandoned and foreclosed homes.

Eric also requested financial assistance for the 2010 ROPE Youth Camp.  Motion to contribute $300 by Dan Miller, seconded by Donna Leetz.  The motion carried.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about suspicious activity in the neighborhood, contact Eric directly at:

[email protected]

Or: (847) 354-3394



Treasurer’s Report:

Evan Hennessey reported $46,419.74 in our checking and $53,676.24 in our money market accounts.  Evan also reported the establishment of a new PayPal account to facilitate payments for events such as the Golf Classic and the Housewalk.  The PayPal account currently stands at $201.00.


Finance Director’s Report:

Bill Briska presented the 2009 cash-flow report, attached at the end of these minutes.


Standing Committee Reports:



Chair Alicia Lykins not in attendance.  Jeff issued reminder that the annual membership potluck is scheduled for Friday, April 16th, from 6:30 – 8:30 at the Lord’s Park Pavilion.



Chair Barb Counterman continues to solicit ideas for 2010 programs, include guest speakers and special presentations.  She indicated that current firm plans include the spring Plant Exchange and the holiday Merchants’ Night in November, dates TBD.

In June there will be a Garden Walk sponsored by the American Association of University Women – details to follow.

Please e-mail or facebook Barb with additional ideas or to volunteer.

[email protected]



Historic District

Chair Laura Jacobson not in attendance.  Jeff Jacobson reported that Laura is continuing to develop plans to work with the city for neighborhood signage.


Also, the next Gazette is in production.


As an addendum to the note in the January minutes, thank you to the following for their help and contributions to the DNA Window Wonderland holiday display competition:

Barb Counterman, Tony Sanchez, Jeff & Laura Jacobson, Carol Anderson, Margaret Keen, Gregg Hagen, Amanda Carlson, Kathy Skaggs, and Jim Berry.



Fran Cella reported that at the February 8th committee meeting, it was decided to split the chairmanship responsibilities amongst a group of people, which would include Donna Leetz, Dan Miller, Carol Anderson, Ali Hallock, Bill Briska, and Julie Schmitt.

Please contact any members of the committee to volunteer.

This year’s Housewalk is scheduled for Saturday 9/11/2010, and is planned for the area in the far Northwest, north of Lawrence, near Wing Park.  Dan Miller is currently conducting the search for participant homes.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., March 1st at the DNA offices, 2 N. Douglas.


Public Relations

Chair Dan Miller reported he has been talking with Sue Olafson and others at city hall about including GPA announcements in the city’s event marketing.

Jeff reported that the city has requested that GPA (and other neighborhood organizations) participate at city events such as the Lord’s Park concert series, Movies by the River, and Foxfire Fest with information tents/kiosks to contribute to promoting our neighborhoods and the City of Elgin.


May 28, 2010 Golf Classic:

Chair Jay Kjellander thanked Barb Counterman for her graphics contributions, including the development of the brochure for selling four-somes and sponsorships.

Jay reported that we have already sold some sponsorships.

Jay reiterated that we have added a PayPal account to facilitate donations.  His objective is to have all major sponsors committed and paid by mid-April.

Jay requested that all facebook users consider forwarding the Gifford Park Golf Classic to friends and acquaintances to solicit players.

Finally, Jay indicated plans for an After-Dinner to wrap up the day, admission cost TBD.

Jay is requesting EVERYONE’S help to solicit sponsors and players!

For more information please visit the website:


Or go to facebook and search for Gifford Park Golf Classic


Feral and Friendly Cats:

Donna Leetz gave a presentation about her efforts (along with Fran Cella, Amanda Carlson, et al) regarding a spay-and-neuter program to control the feral cat population in Elgin.  Since they began their efforts last spring, they have successfully spayed/neutered over 200 cats.  They are in the process of establishing a 501(c) to further their efforts.  They have been working in cooperation with the organization Fixin’ Feral Felines: fixinferalfelines.org

However, a large portion of costs has been out-of-pocket for the Leetzes.

Motion for GPA to contribute $300 by Dan Miller, seconded by Evan Hennessey.  The motion carried.

Finally, they are looking for homes to place friendly cats.

To report cat problems or to volunteer please contact Donna Leetz.

[email protected]


Grandview Park:

Dan Miller gave a presentation regarding a long-standing issue of development of a park in the Grandview area.  Dan requested GPA support for a petition to City of Elgin to fund the park and move forward with its development.  A specific detail of his proposal includes a parking lot to alleviate parking problems for rental properties in the immediate vicinity.  It was decided that members should be allowed to visit the area to observe the matter, with further discussion of Dan’s proposal at the next meeting.


Pursuant to issues of park development, Jennifer Fritz-Williams of Elgin Community Development Department reminded everyone of meetings currently being conducted by the City Parks Dept. to gain public input for their 10-year Master Plan for parks development in Elgin.  The public is strongly encouraged to attend ANY meeting to provide input.  The final scheduled meetings are February 23rd – 25th.

For details and full meeting schedule, please see their website:

Elgin Parks Master Plan


Motion to adjourn:

Moved by Donna Leetz, seconded by Evan Williams (per Jennifer Williams).  Motion carried with meeting adjourning at 8:50 p.m.  After-meeting continued in room 239.

Next general membership meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, 3/18/10 in the same location.


Recorded by David Williams, Secretary



Cash Flow Report 1/1/2009 – 12/31/2009

Category Description

Checking Interest 463.40
Golf Tournament Income 7,547.00
Membership Inc 499.00
Salvage Inc 1,514.50
Housewalk Inc  
Promotions Table 196.00
Register-Ticket 12,427.82
Sponsors 2,310.04
TOTAL Housewalk Inc 14,933.86




Gazette 1,040.00
Golf Tournament Expense 7,001.98
Historic District 59.92
Salvage Expense 21.46
Charitable Donations 1,637.16
Improvements – brick, mortar, landscaping 597.05
TOTAL Community 2,234.21
Housewalk Expenses  
Booklet 2,308.68
Crtr Comforts 342.61
Flowers 250.00
Homeowners Appreciation – Drawings, etc. 1,491.96
Housewalk Potluck 650.74
Other 690.24
Postage – Housewalk Only 731.89
PR – Brochure and Advertising 908.14
Refreshments & After Party 1,715.31
Site Selection 41.87
Staffing 211.37
TOTAL Housewalk Expense 9,342.81
Childcare 30.00
Insurance 1,642.00
Miscellaneous 67.95
Office of the Secretary 372.53
Office of the President 25.85
Office of the Treasurer 7.00
Postage – other than Housewalk 51.40
Refreshments & Potluck 703.93
Storage Locker Rental 816.00
Upkeep at Pocket Park 997.36
Website 419.38
TOTAL Operating 5,133.40


2009 NET PROCEEDS 123.98