Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, April 23, 2009 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

April 23, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by Supervisor Barnes, and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Bryna Gamson, Cynthia Plouché and Jeff Zaluda. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Trustees-Elect Dwayne Douglas and Jackie Schechter, and community members Harry Crane, Janet Freed, Christine Douglas and Sarah Grace Douglas. Assessor Pete Koukos and Trustee Margoth Moreno were absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of March 26, 2009 stand approved as written and distributed.

Approval of Bills
Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Plouché, approval of the bills. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Public Comment

Budget Hearing
Supervisor Barnes explained that the Budget had been presented to and reviewed by the Board several months ago. By statute the Budget must be available for review by the Public for 30 days; this requirement has been met. There is a question on the Budget for the Assessor, but because the Assessor was absent at this meeting, it was suggested that the Budget approval be tabled until the next meeting.

Budget Approval
Because Assessor Koukos was absent, Budget approval will be tabled until the next meeting. By law the Township has until June to approve the Budget.

Citizen Grant Advisory Committee
Harry Crane, Committee member, addressed the Board, explaining the grant-application review process and that all committee members are Township residents with no vested interest in any of the agencies applying for support dollars. He thanked the committee members not in attendance at this meeting: Wendi Ezgur, Chair; Nancy Rotering, John Sirotti, observer Adela Lozano, and Board liaison Bryna Gamson. Dollars requested by all agencies applying totaled $152,250. Committee recommends funding $120,000, which is the amount the Board had previously allocated as the total for the Grant Program FY2010. The Board was given the recommendations including narrative summaries in advance to review. Harry observed that child care is a major need in the community, and therefore the recommendations include full-funding of the requests by agencies providing these services. These grants, of which there are four agencies, total 40% of the dollars allocated. The Committee recommends funding 19 of the 23 requests received.

Supervisor Barnes expressed gratitude to the Committee for their outstanding work, and asked the Board to consider on behalf of the Committee’s request whether agencies that do not make an effort to attend a Township Board meeting during the year, as requested, should be penalized in the future.

Trustee Gamson expressed her joy in being involved in the process of awarding much-needed funding to community agencies and also expressed her appreciation to the Committee members for their thorough efforts and genuine commitment to the process. She also reminded the Board of the training program suggested by the Committee held last fall to help agencies write better grants, which was very well received.

Board Approval of Grants
Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Zaluda, the $120,000 recommended by the Citizen Grant Advisory Committee (complete report on file in the Township Office) be granted as itemized to the 19 agencies. Motion carried upon roll call.

Assessor’s Report
Supervisory Barnes announced that tax bills will be out next week, early this year because the Assessor’s Office was able to close the books earlier than in the past. Trustee Gamson reported Assessor Koukos’s suggestion that home owners may want to check their property listings on the Lake County web page.

Supervisor’s Report
Township employee Paula Peddle had a baby girl named Brooklyn this week; she will be back in the office after her maternity leave.

May 9 is the Postal Food Drive. Supervisor Barnes suggested donations of dried beans and rice. Volunteers are needed for Saturday afternoon to receive the deliveries at the Township Office from the Postal service and bring the donations to the Food Pantry downstairs. The City of Highland Park has issued a Proclamation for Hunger Awareness Week beginning April 27.

Dan Venturi, Lake County Township Officials Chair, sent a request for Moraine Township’s support of a resolution for extending Route 53. Due to environmental concerns, the Board is not in favor of the extension.

Highland Park Healthcare Foundation has granted the Township $35,000 for the Door-to-Door paratransit program.

Committee Reports
Human Relations Commission – Trustee Plouché reported on the April 19 meeting at Oak Terrace School, entitled Know Your Government, as an outreach to local citizens. The Latino Advisory Committee was present and a printed piece on housing was translated into Spanish and available for distribution. The turnout was lower than hoped, but the program, hosted by the Human Relations Commission, will most likely be repeated next year but most likely at a local church or other venue where there will be a built-in audience to boost attendance. Trustee Plouché has written Mayor Belsky a note to advise that he should appoint a replacement for her to represent the Township on the HRC; Trustee Douglas has volunteered.

Food Pantry – Postal drive on May 9 as noted above and bags of food continue to come in as donations. The red wagons have been a great success.

Talk of the Township newsletter – will aim for June as next issue.

Old Business
Herb Wander, President of the Community Family Center (CFC) Board had requested $25,000 from the Township at the February meeting, and the allocation was tabled at that time. Trustee Zaluda moved, seconded by Trustee Plouché, to advance $25,000 of the $100,000 pledged by the Township over four years ago to be given to the CFC at ground breaking of a new facility. Motion carried, and Supervisor Barnes will issue a check.

New Business
Two new trustees, Dwayne Douglas and Jackie Schechter, have now been sworn in along with the rest of the Board officers by Judge Jay Ukena. They will begin to serve on the Township Board as of the May 14 meeting. Supervisor Barnes extended heartfelt thanks to Trustees Plouché and Zaluda whose terms have expired but will be going on to other civic duties, Cynthia Plouché on the District 112 School Board and Jeff Zaluda as President of Lake County Affordable Housing.

Supervisor Barnes re-announced the Pantry Plants project asking for volunteers to call the Township Office.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Zaluda moved, seconded by Trustee Plouché, the meeting be adjourned at 8:12 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk


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