Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

December 10, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:33 PM by Supervisor Barnes and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno, and Jackie Schechter. Also Present: Assessor Elect Patty Powers, Clerk Ellen Gussin, Barb Werhane, and family and friends of Patty Powers.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of November 19, 2009 stand approved as written.

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

Public Comment

Swearing-In of Patty A. Powers as Assessor
Assessor Elect Patty Powers received her oath of office from Clerk Gussin. She becomes the official Assessor of Moraine Township in January, 2010.

Tax Levy Hearing
Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, that the Board go into public hearing on the tax levy. With no public audience to address the tax levy, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas that we adjourn the tax levy hearing. Motions carried.

Tax Levy Approval
Supervisor Barnes explained that after careful deliberation last month, the Board recommended the Township request a $1.39 million tax levy. A median house in the Township pays approximately $85 of their tax bill to the Township and this levy will increase the tax bill on the median home by $6 to $7. Board agreed that any excess dollars received from the levy will allow the Township to grant additional dollars to local agencies which are seeing the most challenging year ever due to shortfalls in other funding sources, particularly the State. Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Gamson, to approve tax levy at the dollar level recommended and published in the Pioneer Press newspaper of last week. Upon roll call, motion passed.

Ethics Ordinance
Supervisory Barnes distributed to the Board today a copy of the Ethics Ordinance as suggested by the States Attorney. She advised that it would not be approved tonight because she wants everyone to have the opportunity to read through the document. It is suggested that the Township appoint an Ethics Advisor and an independent Commission of three individuals. The Ordinance will be approved at the January 14 meeting, and at that time Supervisor Barnes will recommend her appointments of the Advisor and Commission. It would be helpful to have an attorney in the position of Ethics Advisor and Trustee Douglas has agreed to his appointment.

Assessor’s Report – None

Supervisor’s Report
Request to hold the next meeting on January 14 at 4 PM. There is a need for an Executive Session and speakers on behalf of the Pantry Plants volunteers are scheduled for 6 PM.

Township is ready and organized for January when the new FOIA rules go into effect.

RTA and Election information and applications are also readily available for citizens in the front office as people walk in.

Tonight marks the first time the Board is meeting in the newly renovated offices; Supervisor Barnes was congratulated for the professional look and functional design of the new space.

Holiday Gift Drive distribution will be Thursday and Friday evenings, December 17 and 18 at Trinity Church in Highland Park beginning at 4 PM.

Latino Advisory Committee – nothing new to report; next meeting is yet to be scheduled in January or February.

Grant Advisory Committee – Supervisor Barnes had staff check to see which agencies have not yet visited with the Board; there are five that have not, and they are being contacted by the office to come in during January, February or March. Trustee Gamson advised that the Grant Advisory Committee is looking forward to welcoming back Judy Datz who had taken a leave of absence. Still a need for new committee members – would like to have Highwood representation and someone with school-aged children.

Other – None

Unfinished Business – None

New Business – Trustee Moreno reported on a new after-school program in Highwood at Oak Terrace School. Three women including Trustee Moreno are involved; about 13 families are coming with their children for 1½ hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, the meeting be adjourned at 8:20 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk


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