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MINUTES
Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
March 26, 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, David Neiman, Cedric Lee, Dwayne Douglas, Jackie Schechter, and Janet Freed. Assessor Pete Koukos and Trustee Margoth Moreno were absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting of March 12 was cancelled for lack of a quorum. The Regular Meeting minutes of February 26, 2009 stand approved as written and distributed.

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

Public Comment
None

Agency Presentation
PADS – David Neiman, Director of Development, and Cedric Lee addressed the Board with a power point presentation, “Pillars for PADS Crisis Services.” In existence since 1987, PADS (Providing Advocacy, Dignity and Shelter) today has over 2,000 volunteers with an annual increase in clients of 10% each of the past three years. Cedric is a PADS success story, once homeless and now working for PADS. He defined homelessness as extending beyond the poor; actually, the typical homeless person in the U.S. is a nine-year old girl, and this is true in Lake County as well. Fifteen percent of PADS clients are veterans, and PADS collaborates with the V.A. on theses cases. Most homeless suffer from one or more addiction issues. Safe Haven is a PADS program that addresses this problem; opened in 2006 as a replacement for the Help Center which was closed down due to duplicated services within the County, Safe Haven addresses the needs of mental illness and substance abuse patients. There is a PADS Street Outreach Team that goes out to find and assist homeless people. Their Family Center is a 42-bed fixed emergency shelter site for chronically homeless families with children. Cedric related how he himself had suffered from an addiction problem for nine years, and found help when he realized he was homeless – the homeless are not necessarily on the street but have no permanent address; there are many “couch-surfing” individuals who are essentially homeless. David explained the Pillar Program of giving, thanked the Board for its generosity and expressed the hope that PADS would continue to receive our support, and closed with a statistic from CNN that punctuates today’s growing problem of homelessness – 1 in 45 Illinois homes are in foreclosure.

Budget Discussion
Because Assessor Koukos is out of town, the Budget approval will be postponed until the next meeting. By law we have until June to approve the budget.

Assessor’s Report
None

Supervisor’s Report
A Chicago Tribune employee visited the Township to explain a new upcoming program designed to encourage “citizen contributors.” People will be invited to an on-line information session at Triblocal.com, and the Township will be able to post relevant information about events and opportunities for volunteerism. The Tribune may print certain items in the paper as they deem newsworthy.

A non-profit group Home Instead has approached the Township offering to fund specific unmet needs for seniors. Eyeglasses and hearing aids are two possibilities; the Township will be pursuing ways to obtain these items on behalf of seniors in need with this organization.

Calls are already coming in regarding the Pantry Plants program at Woodridge Park in southwest Highland Park, given to the Township for cultivating fruits and vegetable to augment the Food Pantry stock.

Committee Reports
Latino Advisory Committee – Trustee Plouché reported on the March 7 meeting at which two guests discussed Housing issues, which has been identified as a priority by the group – Rob Anthony, Executive Director of the Highland Park Illinois Community Land Trust, and Betsy Lassar, Policy Analyst and local resident. Trustee Plouché reported that the discussion was most informative and well-received. A document of information, covering the eight programs that exist including Affordable Housing and the Housing Commission of Highland Park, will be compiled from the meeting and Trustee Moreno will translate into Spanish. The committee also discussed the Small Emergency Task Force established by the Township last year.

Food Pantry has been very busy as usual with a small food drive this coming week from Edgewood Junior High School students. New green recyclable bags are being used to distribute food pantry items to families, hoping the clients will bring the bags in with them on subsequent visits. Also, new red wagons are in place to help transport heavy food from the cars to the office.

Citizen Grant Advisory Committee – Trustee Gamson reported that the committee has met twice, March 2 and 16. They have studied all requests and are ready to recommend to the Board allocations of $120,000 at the April meeting. Three applications were denied for various reasons as will be explained in the committee’s full report. In a concerted effort to rotate the chairmanship of the committee, Harry Crane will assume the position next year.

Old Business
None

New Business
Township has once again asked for bids for the landscaping contracts for the two cemeteries; five bids were received from both local and out-of-Township companies, ranging from $4,600 to $8,400. Supervisor Barnes asked for the Board’s direction on awarding the contract; the Board advised to seek the lowest bid. Supervisor Barnes thanked the trustees for their guidance.

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Zaluda moved, seconded by Trustee Plouché, the meeting be adjourned at 8:28 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk

 

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