Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:00 PM
Moraine Township Office

May 14, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 5:01 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 Peter Koukos and Clerk Ellen Gussin.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of April 23, 2009 stand approved as written.

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

Public Comment

Budget Approval
Supervisor Barnes offered explanation on the budget. There is a projected deficit of approximately $200,000 due to including the $100,000 grant to Community Family Center and the proposed expenses for office renovations. Budget does not reflect the reserve of over $1 million. This year’s budget reflects a more conservative income projection due to the downturn in the economy. The question about the Meetings and Workshops line item in the Assessor’s Office was answered by the Assessor who explained that there is mandatory continuing education for the staff which the projected expenses cover. Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, that the proposed Moraine Township Budget from April 2009 through March 2010 be approved as presented. Upon roll call, motion carried. Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas, that the budget transfers be approved for 2008-09. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Assessor’s Report
Assessor Koukos reported on the significant number of calls the Assessor’s Office has received – about 100 in total – since the tax bills were mailed, in spite of the fact that the appeal process is over and nothing can be done at this time to change the tax bills.

Supervisor’s Report
Supervisor Barnes announced the Open House at the Community Family Center on Tuesday, May 19, from 7 to 8:30 PM.

She also announced the garden planting for Pantry Plants on June 6. One of the volunteers suggested a sign of some sort be installed at the garden for each volunteer to indicate date and service performed, such as watering and weeding. This idea will be taken under advisement for implementation. Township would ideally like to find a garden plot in Highwood.

Trustee Schechter volunteered to attend the Highwood City Council meeting and sit down with newly elected Mayor Charlie Pecaro to see how Moraine Township and Highwood can better work together.

Supervisor Barnes discussed the New Board Member Packet which includes a list of Township Committees: Latino Advisory Committee, Small Emergency Task Force, and Grant Advisory; representatives to Character Counts, Community Family Center, Elderly Assistance, Green Initiatives, Highland Park Hospital Community Advisory, Human Relations Commission, and Senior Advisory; and on-going projects of Food Pantry and Pantry Garden as well as the Holiday Gift Drive.

The Township Office will be closed the entire week of May 18 through Memorial Day. An emergency number will be posted on the door, and the Assessor’s Office can help out with Food Pantry clients as needed.

Committee Reports
Food Pantry – The Postal Food Drive was held last Saturday, and all food has now been shelved thanks to the help of many volunteers. Trustee Moreno questioned whether her help is still needed in soliciting volunteers for Food Pantry, and Supervisor Barnes encouraged her continuing support.

Senior Center – Trustee Gamson reported on the meeting she attended at the Highland Park Senior Center at which she participated in brainstorming on how to address job loss and suggested the services of Career Resource Center, which the Township funds. She asked the Township Board whether they might value the development of a collaborative program offered to the community at large, perhaps a workshop format on networking and new resources such as LinkedIn. The Board consensus was to authorize further exploration as long as no expenditure of tax-payer dollars.

Old Business

New Business
Trustee Moreno advised the Board that she will be missing some meetings due to family illness in Columbia.

Trustee Douglas questioned the Code of Ethics – whether we have one, why we might need, etc. Supervisor Barnes explained that most Boards do circulate such guidelines to their members and that it may become a requirement of government bodies to adopt such codes. She is getting an example from another Supervisor via the State’s Attorney’s Office and will distribute to the Board as soon as available.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, the meeting be adjourned at 6:21 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk


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