November 2017 Minutes

GPA General Membership Meeting

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Attendance:  Dan & Pat Miller, Chris & Karen Bach, Rich Evans, Brian Schmidt, Jim Berry, Bill Briska, Paul and Susan Kuester, Christine Lee,

Officer Lisandro Ramirez, Officer Nelis, Warren Tejes, Maureen & Tom Lee, Barbara Evans, Paul Bednar, Paul Durrenberger, Deborah Allan

Introductions:  Since there were some new people, we all introduced ourselves.

ROPE Report:  Officer Ramirez gave us a neighborhood update from our previous meeting on October 19th to the present.  There were 284 calls for service and 42 traffic stops.  There was one call to a landlord who was not aware how to evict a problem tenant.  There was one burglary to an unlocked vehicle.  Officer Ramirez reminded us again to always lock our cars.  There was nothing else of significance to report in our area.

On Oct 27th there was a major news story in another area of Elgin of a missing elderly woman who was subsequently found dismembered.  An arrest was quickly made of the woman’s son.  This was only the second murder in Elgin this year.  Officer Ramirez also reported that Nightmare on Chicago Street went well with no arrests made.

Secretary’s Report:  Barbara Evans made a motion to accept the October meeting minutes.  Tom Lee seconded it.  Motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: 

Pat Miller reported that we have the following amounts in various accounts:

Checking            $35,000.43

PNC Cd’s            $40,673.32

First Fed Cd’s     $40,818.14

Total                    $116,541.89


Pat Miller passed around a thank-you note from Elgin Academy thanking us for our $5,000 donation towards the restoration of the exterior of the Laura Davidson Sears building.

Warren Tejes made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report.  Tom Lee seconded it.  Motion passed.

Historic District report:  Paul Bednar talked about the straw poll taken concerning the traffic circle on Gifford and Division.  Of those responding, 2/3 were in favor of removing it and 1/3 voted to leave it in place.  The results were sent to the Elgin city senior staff.

The Historic District Committee will meet in January to identify projects that GPA should take on in the near future.  Paul also talked about decorating the neighborhood for Christmas with a few easy to do displays.  He wanted to hang some garland on the pocket park and put red bows on some of our Historic District signs.  Members volunteered to help with this project.

Paul then told us about the Neighborhood Works Day.  NHS used to coordinate volunteers to clean and plant on private property.  With the absence of NHS in our city, DNA is taking over the organization of this event.  Paul talked to Jennifer Fukula about keeping the event going and GPA was asked to participate.  The project usually involves helping people in need to remove chain link fencing, trim trees and shrubs, etc.  Paul said he would try to pinpoint some neglected properties in the Historic District

Dan talked about where we were with the David C. Cook property.  The bank is anxious to unload the property.  GPA has been lobbying for a feasibility study to be done and Dan asked the bank to contribute more money for funding this with GPA also kicking in some of the necessary funds.  Dan also talked to the Landmarks Preservation Council and is applying for a $1,000 grant.  Dan is hoping to get the ball rolling on a feasibility study as soon as possible.  He sees an urgent need for the study. (Update since the meeting:  Landmarks Illinois gave us a $2000 grant, the city’s Community Development Dept. is putting in $1000 and the bank is contributing $1000.  That leaves GPA to pay $1600 which the board thru an e-mail vote agreed to do.  Papers have been signed for the study to begin.)

Tom and Moe Lee brought up that the 50/50 Grant Program is not in the city budget for the upcoming year.  People should lobby for it to be kept in as it has been a godsend to our neighborhood in getting people to restore the exterior of their homes.  The city will still be offering deconversion money in the budget. (Update since the meeting:  The city has placed funding for the 50/50 and Deconversion programs.  Substitute siding and Chain link fence removal will not be funded for 2018.)

Chicago Street rebuilding – Dan had lunch with a city employee and got an update on the project.  There has been a holdup with the legal department.  They must get an easement agreement from every homeowner in the affected area.  The city hopes to start the project in the spring of 2018.  The start of the project will mean that Chicago Street will be an eastbound one way street for about one year.  Historic District residents will have to put their thinking caps on to figure out how to get to and from their homes!

Housewalk Committee Report:  Pat Miller said that Mike Haskins is interested in being the Chairperson for the next Historic Elgin House Tour.  Appointment is deferred until the new Board takes office. (Update since the meeting:  The next planning meeting for the Housewalk is Monday January 22nd at the Historical Society museum at 360 Park. Anyone interested in working on the committee is welcome.)

Membership Committee Report:  Moe Lee reported that not much has changed.  GPA stands at 185 members.

Tom Lee brought up code compliance.  He will be meeting with Colby Basham in the New Year for a discussion.  (Update since the last meeting:  Colby will come to our February to discuss Code compliance and answer any questions.) Tom is concentrating his efforts on code compliance with landlords.  Please email any concerns that you would like to see addressed to Tom at             .


2018 slate of Officers:  Only change to the existing Board is to the At Large positions.  The proposed new officers are: At Large 1 – Tom Lee (Update since the meeting:  Barbara Evans has agreed to take on the responsibility of the Secretary.)

Tom Lee made a motion to accept the entire slate of Officers for 2018 which was seconded by Moe Lee.  The motion passed.  Congratulations to our new Board Members.


Dan Miller asked that we appoint the Committee Chairs for 2018:  Housewalk Committee – Michael Haskins, Membership Committee – Moe Lee, Historic District Committee – Paul Bednar.


Barbara Evans made a motion to accept the appointments and Tom Lee seconded it.  The motion passed.


Dan Miller asked if there were other concerns.  Deborah Allan said to talk to her if you have any questions about the County budget.


Warren Tejes made a motion to adjourn which was seconded by Tom Lee.  The motion passed and we all faded out into the cool, dark night…


Respectfully submitted by Karen Bach, GPA secretary.