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

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
October 22, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:36 PM by Supervisor Barnes, and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, and Margoth Moreno. Trustee Jackie Schechter was absent. Also Present: Pam Feinberg, Noelle Moore, Fern Anderson, Sam Piro, Janet Freed, and Clerk Ellen Gussin. Assessor Pete Koukos arrived a little after the meeting began and stayed through his report to the Board.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of October 8 had several changes which will be made by the Clerk and re-distributed to the Board for approval at the next meeting. The Executive Meeting Minutes of October 8 stand approved as written.

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

Public Comment
Fern Anderson and Sam Piro introduced themselves to the Board. They have been active volunteers in the Food Pantry Plants Garden Project. Supervisor Barnes requested they come to the meeting in order to be publically recognized and thanked for their conscientious efforts. This past season was most productive, and they have submitted a proposal about ways to improve upon the plan for next season. Fern is the lead gardener. Supervisor Barnes asked if Fern and Sam can come back in January or February to address their concerns and spend some time with the Board to brainstorm; both agreed that they would make time and would very much like to return. There was a core of five strong volunteers but they can use more help and would like to see some Food Pantry patrons come out to participate next year. Sam would like to see partnerships created and the leaders helping the Pantry patrons as opposed to the reverse. They also thanked Rosborough Partners, Inc. for their contribution in donating professional help with the landscaping. There is now a compost pile for next year’s use. Fern and Sam would like to work out details for a winter food drive this winter that would include ideas for the Garden.

Assessor’s Report
Assessor Peter Koukos clarified the report that Supervisor Barnes gave on his behalf last month. Because the process of filing an appeal has been greatly facilitated by the Assessor’s Office in explaining on-line resources available to anyone who wishes to access, many more appeals than expected were in fact filed. The County had 7,000 appeals, many more than ever before, and many are first-time appellants.

Agency Presentations
Tri-Con Child Care, Pam Feinberg, Director – Tri-Con and all its parent families are extremely grateful for assistance from the community including Moraine Township and many private supporters who helped greatly to offset the challenges presented with government funding this year due to budgetary cuts. Additionally, Tri-Con parents’ hours continue to be reduced, and some therefore fall off the scale for government funding because one of the parameters is a minimum number of working hours. Then, scholarship dollars must take over. Full-fee cost of care is $200 per week per child. A number of families have experienced job losses by at least one parent and loss of hours by the spouse. In answer to a question from the Board, families leaving North Shore Estates impacted Tri-Con more last year than this – currently only four families live there. Many former residents of North Shore Estates have found housing in Highland Park, possibly in shared homes. Tri-Con’s website is http://triconchildcare.com, and the phone number is 847-433-1450.

A Safe Place, Noelle Moore, Director of Development – Ms. Moore reported she is pleased to present to the Board in October, Domestic Violence Month. She stated that Domestic Violence is a crime that knows no boundaries of geography and socio-economic background. Often the women who are victims are not weak, nor have they made bad decisions. A Safe Place offers emergency shelter for up to 35 women and their children, housed for up to six weeks; after that they can make arrangements for temporary residence in apartments elsewhere in the County. They also assist victims with Order of Protection. Forty residents of Moraine Township have used these services. After filing an Order, a victim has the assistance of the Sheriff and Police in maintaining the Order. Four residents of Moraine Township have availed themselves of group counseling sessions. From there they can go on to 1-on-1 counseling. There is also a 24-hour crisis line for assisting women in leaving their abusive homes in a safe and efficient manner, with the proper documents, thereby enabling a more positive transition. A Safe Place also conducts a prevention program with students, advising on red flags in dating relationships. One in three women over the course of their lifetime will be involved in some sort of abuse – physical, emotional or financial. Community member Janet Freed questioned whether in the work with teens there is guidance in helping their mothers or other family members who may be suffering from abuse. Response is that there have been empowering results with some teens that find their voice and are able to make changes in their families. The website is http://asafeplaceforhelp.org; the phone is 847-249-4450; and the 24-hour number is 800-600-SAFE.

Supervisor’s Report
There has been new proposed legislation due to the Burr Oaks Cemetery criminal travesty that would make it extremely difficult for townships to operate their cemeteries. TOI is urging everyone to contact their elected officials to ask for exemptions.

Supervisor Barnes has started the process for the Holiday Food and Gift Drive. There is a November 16 deadline for schools to submit the names of children and families as recipient candidates. Schools will be visiting the Food Pantry throughout the fall.

Committee Reports
Food Pantry – New statistics were distributed to the Board; traffic has been a little lighter than in the heaviest periods. There are many improvements to the Food Pantry as part of the construction, which is due to be completed before Thanksgiving.

Clothes Closet – still closed due to the construction; in answer to Trustee Douglas’s question about the frequency of clothing requests, Supervisor Barnes said many individuals come just for food; we have given several certificates for clothing to individuals since the construction started.

Citizen Grant Advisory Committee – Supervisor Barnes announced that this committee is seeking additional volunteers. Interested people can fill out an application, available on the website and/or call the office [847-432-3240].

Latino Advisory Committee – This committee also looking for new volunteers.

Transportation – New stats are available for Board on the Vans. The large expense in July was for a van rental when one of the Township vans broke, there was minor accident with the second, and a few other repairs were completed.
  Trustee Gamson attended the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee meeting yesterday. Focus was on PACE and a resolution to support rescinding the “seniors ride free” RTA discount and return to the 50% off policy in effect prior to Governor Blagojevich’s term.

Old Business
The TribLocal published an article about the Moraine Township renovations.

New Business
Freedom of Information Act goes into effect on January 1 and the Clerk is usually deemed to be the FOIA Officer. Clerk Gussin will assume this role.

Trustee Moreno asked the Board how it feels about publishing the costs of construction on the website. Supervisor Barnes responded that the public is always welcome to come to the Township to see what we are doing and to view the bids. The entire project is approximately $125,000, for a space that needed many repairs and was below standards. Also, the Township had been operating without a lease prior to the negotiations with the landlord. The Board had decided that this project was in the best economic interests of the taxpayers, rejecting the proposal to purchase its own building.

A donation of $2,000 was once again received from the Immaculate Conception Parish, and the Township gratefully acknowledges their generosity.

Trustee Douglas urged follow-up on the new cemetery legislation, and he wants to make sure we do everything necessary to make sure that the proposed legislation does not apply to townships. TOI is advocating that we protest Senate bill # 1471 or 662. Supervisor Barnes urges us all to contact our State Senator Susan Garrett.

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas, the meeting be adjourned at 8:54 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk

 

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