June 2012 Board Minutes


JUNE 21, 2012


Held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the June 21st meeting of the membership was called to order shortly after 7 p.m.  by President Karen Bach ([email protected]“>[email protected]).



Carol/John Anderson, Karen/Chris Bach, Bill Briska, Fran Cella, Barbara Evans, Donna Leetz, Pat/Dan Miller, Amy Munro, Glenna/Mark Preradovic, Chris/Warren Tejes, Doug Thomsha, Linda/Roy Voss



Made by Carol Anderson, the motion to accept the corrected minutes of the May 17th meeting passed unanimously.



The $96,618.68 that GPA has in its checking account, money market funds and four CDs is approximately $4,500 less than it had at this time last year.


R.O.P.E. OFFICER’S REPORT  (Eric Echevarria)  

In addition to thanking Donna Leetz for her help on “many things,” Eric thanked GPA for its $300 donation to R.O.P.E. Leadership Camp, a two-day, overnight outing in Ingleside that 27 Elgin girls and boys were able to attend this year.  Chosen by the schools, these are children that have leadership potential but lack the means to afford such camps on their own. 

In order to use its officers more efficiently, the EPD has analyzed the top 75 areas in the City for service calls and the reasons for them.  Because simply being able to fill out a police report online would, it seems, eliminate the need for many a call, this will eventually be possible.  While some calls, such as those about runaways from the two Larkin Home half-way houses in the Historic District, probably are unlikely to be reduced, the EPD believes others can be by being proactive.  For example, at an apartment building in the Historic District where calls about domestic problems abound, posters have been put up and mailboxes stuffed with information about agencies that help victims of domestic abuse.  In buildings such as this one, the EPD is also asking landlords to take steps to reduce the problems.

As for drug issues in the Elgin Historic District— Eric referred to them as “little” ones that are being dealt with.  Though he was not at liberty to say more, he did declare the drug unit of the EPD “fantastic.”  Eric again asked people to call the EPD if they notice something suspicious.


HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMITTEE  (Dan Miller  [email protected]“>[email protected])

As was reported in detail in the minutes of the June 20th Board meeting, the City is giving GPA financial help with the Historic District signage.  Because both designers want to be present when the focus group meets, Dan is waiting after the first week of July, when one has returned from vacation, to schedule the meeting.  He will send out an email notification of its time/place.  

The vintage Avon bottles that John LaFleur inherited from an aunt are on display and are available for repurposing at Spacetaste Gallery, now at 215 E. Chicago Street. To see photos of some already done, visit GPA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GiffordParkElgin ; As half the proceeds from their sales will go toward the new Historic District signs, please encourage people to stop by Spacetaste to see these unusual bottles, which will be available for purchase during Art and Soul on the Fox and thereafter. 

The times/places of the two porch parties already scheduled are in the Dates to Note. Those who would be willing to host parties on June 29, July 27 and August 24 should contact Dan ASAP.  Again, this year the parties are BYOB-and-food-to-share affairs; the hosts merely provide the place.

The printed version of recent online Gazettecomplete with a membership form and instructions for getting future copies online—will soon be ready for delivery to every residence in the Historic District.  Thus Karen Bach will be calling those who signed up to deliver them to finalize routes.  A few more helpers would be more than welcome, so call Karen if you’re willing.

The city of Rock Island’s Preservation Specialist asked for permission, which was readily given, to include a link to our website’s “Articles for Restorers” on their web page. 


HOUSEWALK COMMITTEE   (Bill Briska   [email protected]“>[email protected])  

The houses—all in the SWAN District (Southwest Area Neighborhood, south of Walnut St.)—have been selected, and four have already been toured by those involved in writing about them and making sure all runs smoothly in them on the day of the tour.

Those who are interested in being House Chairs should contact Donna Leetz at[email protected]“>[email protected].  Those who aren’t on our docent list but wish to be should contact Dan Miller.  Those who haven’t been called to be a docent the past two years need to make sure that Dan has their updated phone numbers and/or email addresses.

For the first time the City will charge for banners to be put up ($269.12 for one on Highland Ave. or Chicago St., $134.56 for a second).  Whether GPA will spend the money for them will be discussed at the July 2nd committee meeting. 





President Karen Bach, ever the optimist, hopes that soon she’ll get a call from someone willing to be GPA’s Public Relations Chair.



Attached to these minutes are the just-compiled results from the 20 people who returned the survey asking what ideas generated at the March brainstorming session they would most like to see accomplished.  Asterisks indicate the number of people who said they’d be willing to work to carry out the suggestion.  Two should be added to establishing a Historic District curriculum for the schools.

Fran felt that time was needed to digest the results before discussing them.  Barbara Evans suggested that a discussion of them be put on the agenda for the next Board meeting.  Fran added that unless the Board demonstrates active interest in the results, she will do nothing further with them.


ELGIN AL FRESCO: A Taste of the Arts  (Glenna Preradovic & Karen Bach)

The bistro set that Glenna Preradovic and Karen Bach enhanced for GPA is now on display outside Villa Verone.  Captioned “Hungry in Gifford Park,” it illustrates the entire story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a great choice to complement Gail Borden’s “Reading Is Delicious” summer campaign.  Voting to determine the winners can be done online atwww.gailborden.info between July 12th and 26th.  The silent auction of the sets will take place during Art and Soul on the Fox.


GPA FLAG  (Glenna Preradovic  [email protected]“>[email protected])

Glenna is looking into 1) making a GPA flag that will use the design of the new Historic District signs and 2) having it flown on the pole at the corner of S.Chapel and DuPage Streets.  Donna Leetz volunteered to donate the American flag that will be needed to fly above it.    



Asked to say a few words, Amy Munro—the City’s new Preservation Planner who was featured in the recent Gazette—announced that in the brief time she’s been on the job, she’s very much impressed with preservation efforts in Elgin and the well-established program which flourishes, she believes, because many individuals are involved.  She then encouraged everyone to share ideas with her.


•As usual, many thanks were given to Karen Bach and Glenna Preradovic for providing the after-the-meeting refreshments—this time wine, blueberry cobbler, rhubarb pie and cookies. 



The motion to adjourn—made by Donna Leetz—passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Evans, Secretary