Moraine Township

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

July 23, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:34 PM by Supervisor Barnes and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, and Jackie Schechter. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Jean Wallace Baker, Randy Franks and Janet Freed. Trustee Margoth Moreno and Assessor Pete Koukos were absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of June 25, 2009 stand approved as written.

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

Public Comment

Agency Presentations
Center for Enriched Living, Randi Frank, Director of Development, thanked the Board for its support for many years. The Center serves adults with a wide range of disabilities, and this year they have expanded to a wider range of services for cognitive and physical impairments. This year they have served 36 Moraine Township residents, roughly 10% of their clients with developmental disabilities. Understanding that persons with cognitive and developmental challenges are used to being told what to do, the Center has made “recognizing choices” a priority and is working to encourage and empower clients to make better choices in options such as dietary, physical activity, classes, etc. It has also started serving younger children with the popular program, Fun Factory, offered on Saturday mornings for ages 5 to 12. For parents, the respite is much appreciated, and this thriving program is growing by word of mouth. Its program Young Athletes is the only one of its kind in the County and is a precursor to Special Olympics. The summer camp now includes specialty options a la traditional summer camps, and there are many trips throughout the community offered during the summer. The Diners Club takes clients into restaurants in the community, and some are working on compiling reviews. An Adult Day Care program called Reach for ages 22 and older will be expanding this fall from 3 days to 5 days per week; it will focus on community service as well as career options, helping prepare clients to be more successful independently. The Center issues two Program Guides per year, responding to the activities the families have requested. Satellite programs are offered elsewhere throughout the community. In response to Trustee Gamson’s question about dual language opportunities, Randy responded that there is no demand that she knows of in the immediate area of the Center, but the satellite programs in places like Round Lake may have more of a need. Trustee Gamson also asked about challenges facing the Center, and Randy replied that because they do not get State or Federal dollars they are not seeing the significant cuts that many other agencies are experiencing. Private donors seem to be sticking with the center, and focus is on retaining and maintaining staff at minimum levels to preserve funds. Biggest challenge is in the ability to do outreach throughout the greater community, knowing that there are people out there who have needs. Sometimes, when family members die or can no longer serve their loved one, the challenge to seek outside services escalates. Another issue is how to serve those with borderline needs for services. Everyone needs socialization, but often people are uncomfortable with coming to the Center. Janet Freed asked about licensing requirements for staff, and Randy responded that they do not need to do this. She recited the website, address and phone number for people listening to the broadcast on cable TV.

Highland Park Community Nursery School and Day Care, Jean Wallace Baker, Executive Director, thanked the Board for its continuing support. One hundred thirty children are served with a larger-than-usual before-and-after school program, which opens at 7:30 AM. They have two ½ day programs for both three- and four-year olds. The biggest news is the expansion of the Pre-School for All Program, which is state-funded, serves additional students at risk, and allows better support for unmet needs. One class is all Latino with bi-lingual teachers who focus on developing language skills in Spanish before going on to English. For those children who need later care because their parents are not home after school a “Junior Counselors” program provides supervision and meaningful activities. This summer there are 75 children being served, and for the first time an Art Teacher is on board. A music professional comes in several times per week as well as other volunteers. Cuts of $115,000 are expected in State revenue, and at this time they are not quite certain how they will compensate for the shortfall. They are committed to coming up with a plan and know they will make it work. The blend of low-income parents with paying parents makes for a wonderful mix and diversity. Supervisor Barnes advised that they should not be shy about asking for additional dollars if they run into crisis. Jean announced the website address, phone number and volunteer/donation opportunities. Pre-School for All Program cost is roughly $130 per week.

Assessor’s Report
Assessor Peter Koukos could not attend the meeting but called in to report to the Board that the Assessor’s Office Books have been closed and assessment notices will be mailed out around August 13, 2009.

Supervisor’s Report
TOI meeting at 6:30 PM on August 6 in Lake Villa – everyone is invited to attend.
Supervisor Barnes has been in contact with the Salvation Army Collectors for Christmas. The Township will seek volunteers for collections; she understands Salvation Army provides the vests and kettles and allows collectors to keep the dollars for their organizations.

A client who uses the Township's Moraine Door-to-Door paratransit van called to say she might be able to get an auto donated to the Township. Supervisor Barnes told her she would discuss with the Board. Consensus is to direct Supervisor to pursue further, ensuring that any auto is in good working condition and does not require excessive fuel consumption.

Supervisor Barnes reported on the flooded area at Mooney Cemetery, which can be drained but at a very high expense. She will next appeal to the City of Highland Park for any support they may be able to provide.

Supervisor Barnes reported on the excellent meeting yesterday to coordinate requests for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.) Funds are available from Com Ed and others to help citizens overhaul their energy systems. Current programs are being conducted within the senior buildings, in our greater community, and in Waukegan. Need for privacy is a big focal point. Supervisor would like to have an Energy Fair to cover weatherization and new electrical products to help people be safer and save dollars. There should be collaborative groups that could participate on this Green-aspect program.

Committee Reports
Latino Advisory Committee – Trustees Douglas and Gamson reported on the meeting of July 6. It was decided that a piece of literature, in Spanish, will explain what the Township does and what types of services are offered, and this will be distributed throughout the Latino community. They brainstormed about where to go for specific services, including such places as the Health Center, Schools, Churches, and even the local Laundromat. In response to a query about how many referrals are made to the Health Center, Supervisor Barnes reported the Township is constantly referring people there for the many prevention program offered, and the Chief Nurse Roni Weiss (formerly from District 112) has an excellent rapport within the community. Latino Advisory Committee also discussed the fairness in Affordable Housing. Next meeting is August 24.

Food Pantry – the 501(c)(3) status has finally been obtained, and the Food Pantry is in excellent shape at present.

Old Business
Board offers condolences to Mari Barnes on the loss of her mother, which was the reason for the cancelled meeting on July 9.

New Business
The Board will decide in August how to handle the conflict between our October 22 meeting scheduled for 7:30 PM and the "Know Your Highland Park Government" meeting scheduled for the same evening.

Also, nine bids were received today for the renovation of the Township offices which includes bringing standards up to par to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act/ADA. Supervisor Barnes asked the Board whether they want to authorize her to go ahead with the architect in choosing the lowest responsible bidder or call a special meeting of the Board to decide. Mark McCraren of the Assessor’s Office will be called upon for his expertise. The Board consensus is to give authority to Supervisor Barnes and the team she chooses to select the best company, making sure the winning bid is qualified.

Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, to go into Executive Session at 8:50 PM to review former Exec meeting minutes. Upon roll call, motion passed. At 9:00 PM the Board came out of Executive Session and reconvened the meeting.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, the meeting be adjourned at 9:01 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk


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