October 2018 Minutes

Gifford Park Assoc. General Membership Meeting
Elgin History Museum
October 18, 2018

DATES OF NOTE
•Sat., Oct. 27: GPA Fall Fest at Gifford Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
•Thurs., Nov. 1: House Tour Wrap-up Meeting at Elgin History Museum, 7 p.m.
•Thurs., Nov. 15: GPA General Membership Meeting at Elgin History Museum, 7 p.m.

IN ATTENDANCE
Deborah Allan, Walter & Veronica Beaudette, Paul Bednar, Bill Briska, Joanne Clement, Barbara Evans, Mike Haskins, Tom & Moe Lee, Laura Knoerr, Sue Kuester, Dan & Pat Miller, Mark & Glenna Preradovic, Julie Schmitt, EPD Officer Ramirez, EPD Sgt. Van Mastrigt

R.O.P.E. REPORT (Officer Ramirez 847-289-2700)
Last September there were 15 vehicle burglaries citywide; this September had 47. Of these, 80% of the cars had been left unlocked. The good news is that only one was in the Elgin Historic District, which suggests that Officer Ramirez’ repeated plea via GPA minutes to lock cars has not been in vain. As winter approaches, however, he is reminding people without automatic starters not to leave cars unlocked if they leave them unattended while warming. And it goes without saying that whatever the season, to avoid smashed windshields in locked cars, any valuables left in them should be out of sight
We are also reminded that as the Christmas season approaches, there is typically an increase in package thefts. To avoid being a victim of one, unless you plan to be at home when your packages are delivered, consider having them delivered to package centers and pick them up there.
And remember that to the EPD, no call is too small. Thus if you see someone walking down the street looking in cars, for example, call 911, for at the very least, the appearance of an officer at the scene signals to would-be-thieves that ours is a neighborhood on the alert.
To make sure everyone knows this, Walter Beaudette expressed interest in starting a Neighborhood Watch for his area. Officer Ramirez then passed out pamphlets from the EPD’s Community Relations/Crime Prevention Department that explained how to do this. If you are interested in forming a watch with your neighbors, you can pick up information packets at the EPD or call Christy Schmidt at 847-289-2588.
Once again dismay was expressed about the window-rattling loud music and parking problems that resulted from St. Joseph’s annual three-day September festival.

The EPD’s upcoming events follow:
•Mon., Oct. 22: The Chief’s monthly meeting, 6 p.m. at the EPD
•Sat., Nov. 3: Two sessions of active shooter training (ALICE), one from 9 a.m. till noon, the other from 1 p.m. till 4:00 at the Centre’s Heritage Ballroom. One must be 18 or older to register for a session.
•Sat., Nov. 3: Pet Expo at Hemmen’s Auditorium from 1 p.m. till 4:00
•Tues., Nov. 6: Pet Pictures with Santa at the EPD from 5 p.m. till 9:00. All that is required is a donation of anything suitable for a pet, such as a leash, pet food, toys, bowls. The donations will then be distributed to those who have pets but need help providing for them.
•Thurs., Nov, 8: Coffee with a Cop at Starbucks at 2480 N. Randall Road from 4 p.m. to 5:00.
All upcoming events are also posted on the EPD’s Facebook page as well as on its website at www.cityofelgin.org/82/Police.

SECRETARY’S AND TREASURER’S REPORTS
After Dan apologized to Barbara for “correcting” her correct apostrophe, the minutes of the Sept. 20th general membership meeting were unanimously approved. So, too, was Pat Miller’s treasurer’s report of $125,153. Of that, $43,846 is in checking, the rest in four CDs.

HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMITTEE (Paul Bednar [email protected])
GPA’s Fall Fest will be held in Gifford Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Featured will be pumpkin and cookie decorating and other games for children as well as apple cider and donuts for all. And the first 200 children who come will be given a free pumpkin or trick-or-treat bucket. As flyers about the event have been handed out to every child at Channing School, we’re optimistic that the event will be well attended. Help is still needed to make sure it is a success, however. If you’re willing to help set up, be at the park at 10 a.m. If you’re willing to help supervise any of the events, let Paul know. Although donations by Donna Leetz and Joy Symonds will help defray the costs, Bill Briska moved that GPA contribute up to $500 to cover the rest. Seconded by Mike Haskins, the motion was unanimously approved.
Although no one from either the City or Elgin’s other community gardens were able to attend, much discussion about possible uses for the Channing Street square where the YMCA once stood ensued. The end result was that before GPA enlists the help of other groups to petition the City Council to consider allowing the 2-acre plot to be used for a community garden and/or other recreational uses, we need to thoroughly investigate what might be possible/practical there. Thus Paul Bednar will schedule a special meeting in November to do that. So be alert for his email notice of the time and place.
In the meantime, any research those interested in attending do will be most welcome. Laura Knoerr, for example, will bring photos of the Chicago park near where she works, a park that serves a variety of interests, including a dog run. Also meriting consideration is Elgin’s 2.4 acre St. Francis Park at 277 Jefferson Ave., which includes a new community playground, fenced synthetic turf soccer field, custom picnic shelter and re-surfaced tennis/basketball courts.
To the expressed concern that such a space would attract vagrants, Julie Schmitt, who lives beside the square, noted that in the 11 years that it has sat vacant, it has been used primarily as a playground. And Officer Ramirez noted that the reason the homeless tend to gather at Carlton Rogers Park downtown is that this is where food is served to the needy.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT (Moe Lee 708-828-9706)
Because we’ve gained no new members in the past two months, it is important to spread the word that there is no charge for membership in GPA and that one does not have to live in the Elgin Historic District to belong.

ELGIN HISTORIC HOUSE TOUR (Mike Haskins 630-880-7276)
Those who wish to participate in a discussion of the 2018 tour’s pros and cons should plan to attend the wrap-up meeting 7 p.m. at the Elgin History Museum on Thursday, Nov. 1.
With very few minor bills left to pay, Mike was able to give us a preliminary report of what this year’s tour netted: $24,448.47. Based on tickets sold and complimentary tickets redeemed, attendance is estimated to have been 1,700.

MISCELLANEOUS
1. Officers and members at large will be elected at the November general membership meeting. Current GPA president Dan Miller, Treasurer Pat Miller and Secretary Barbara Evans urge others to consider taking a turn at these positions. Please call Dan at 847-697-3370 if you are willing.

2. The GPA Board approved a donation of $100 to a memorial for Lee Anderson, whose wife Laura has been an invaluable recruiter for house tour houses. And Lee and Laura together have opened their home on Douglas Ave. for two Elgin Historic House Tours.

3. Thanks again to Deborah Allan for providing goodies for our meeting.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Evans, Secretary