Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

January 22, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:31 PM by Supervisor Barnes. Upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno, and Jeff Zaluda. Also Present: Assessor Peter Koukos, Clerk Ellen Gussin, Jordan Friedman of Family Network, and community members Janet Freed and Dwayne Douglas. Trustee Cynthia Plouché arrived at 7:50.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of January 8, 2009 stand approved as written.

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

Agency Presentation
Family Network -- Jordan Friedman, Executive Director, told the Board how appreciative Family Network is of the Township’s help, especially in these lean economic times. The agency operates three programs; the first two are housed at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church at 330 Laurel:
  Parent Child Drop-In program for parents and their pre-preschool-aged children is offered Tuesday through Friday mornings and includes Dual Language Day on Thursdays where talents and traditions are shared to help transcend cultural barriers.
  Right From the Start for families with children from birth through age 5 is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the County; a program for school-aged children is now being piloted. Teaching and monitoring parenting skills and offering advice on community resources – including pediatricians and immunization programs, Family Network provides transportation as needed.
  After School Activity Program (ASAP) is offered at Oak Terrace and Indian Trail Schools in cooperation with District 112. For over five years this needed program, now accommodating 74 students, is the only school-based program in the community. They offer homework assistance, which is especially important for students in the dual-language program where some parents do not speak Spanish and therefore cannot help their children with their assignments.
Trustee Moreno inquired about fees, and Jordan explained the sliding-scale fees charged for the first and third programs.

Public Comment

Assessor’s Report
Assessor Peter Koukos reported that the Appeal period concluded on January 16, and as a result changes can no longer be submitted to the Board of Review. He expects a 3% equalizer to be placed upon the Township this coming year, a decrease from this past year’s 4%. He thanked Trustee Gamson for her fine editing of the Assessor’s article for Talk of the Township.

Supervisor’s Report
Supervisor Barnes announced the Welfare Council meeting next Tuesday, January 27, at 8:45 to 10 AM.

The Township with the Board’s approval will need to set up a Charitable Fund as a 501(c)(3) corporation to comply with the Northern Illinois Food Bank requirements. After much research, there is no other way to get around this, and Supervisor Barnes reports that the other townships are doing the same. The Supervisor and one other outside individual will be named as the heads of the Fund.

Supervisor Barnes passed out Pantry Monthly Totals, which show significant increases for Highland Park residents, and this is in addition to many Food Stamp program applications being executed. Highwood numbers are down because more careful screening of residence is being completed which has weeded out those that were coming in for food from outside of the area. She also passed out the Monthly Maintenance Van Report for Vans 1 and 2. One van is currently broken down and out of service, but the Township will be renting a van from Enterprise to fulfill appointments and meet the needs of so many that rely on the program. Report copies are filed with these minutes.

The Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging is organizing a Stakeholders Meeting to take place in early March in Highwood. They are looking for about 40 seniors living in Highwood to attend.

Budget Discussion
Budget discussion will take place at 4 PM on February 12 at the Township Office, prior to the 5 PM Township meeting.

Committee Reports
Food Pantry – Supervisor Barnes relayed to the Board a remarkable effort by Moraine Township resident Sam Piro, inspired by President-Elect Obama’s message to give back to our communities. Piro organized a food drive this past weekend, which resulted in the collection of a truckload of food and $500 for the Township Food Pantry, all donated by Highland Park Jewel Food Store shoppers, whom he stopped in the parking lot and asked to buy food for the Township Food Pantry. Shoppers were given the Township card of food items most needed. Trustee Moreno reported that she and a volunteer are coming in on Monday to help put the food on the shelves.

Citizen Grant Advisory Committee – Deadline is February 1 for Grant Applications. The committee will be reading the applications before meeting several weeks later to begin the process of making their recommendations to the Board for the awarding of grants for the next fiscal year. The Township has thus far received six applications, but 20 are expected based on past year’s experience. Supervisor Barnes advised Trustees to think about whether the total dollars allocated for Grants should be changed prior to the Budget meeting.

Talk of the Township is going to the printers this week and will meet the January deadline.

Latino Advisory Committee will hold its second meeting on Saturday, February 7. It met on January 10 with five in attendance – Trustees Moreno and Plouché as well as two Highwood and one Highland Park residents. It was an excellent first meeting, seeking to understand each person’s role and background as well as understanding the mission of the committee. The group is very enthusiastic, and shared ideas about how to spread the word of the committee; opportunities to increase the presence of the Latino Community; and rentals of affordable housing, which is a big issue they will be pursuing while connecting with agencies like Interfaith that have expertise in this area. Trustee Zaluda suggested two other resources in Lake County – Lisa Tapper of Lake County Affordable Housing and David Northern, who works for the County.

Human Relations Commission – Trustee Plouché reported on the plans of the HRC including two upcoming dates – Character Counts on Monday night, March 30, and a program on April 19, at 2 PM at Oak Terrace School on Latino Outreach sponsored by the City of Highland Park in which Moraine Township will be participating as well.

Old Business

New Business

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Plouché moved, seconded by Trustee Gamson, the meeting be adjourned at 8:15 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk


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