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MINUTES
Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, December 16, 2010 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
December 16, 2010

Supervisor Barnes called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno and Jackie Schechter. Trustee Dwayne Douglas was absent. Also Present: Ellen Gussin, Pam Feinberg, Alexandra Beiriger, Janet Freed, and Paul Martinez.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of November 18, 2010 stand approved as written and distributed.

Approval of Bills
Supervisor Barnes explained that the expense breakdowns have been newly formatted, and asked the Board whether they were more helpful than the previous format, and the Board responded positively; they will take some time to review further. The reports will include quarterly summaries as they become available. Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, approval of the bills. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Public Comment
None

Agency Presentations
Pam Feinberg, Executive Director, Tri-Con – Tri-Con has been in operation for 39 years, and Pam has been with the organization for 8 years. This year 88% of the population is from the Latino community. These families have found stable residences within the Township for the most part, and the parents are gaining some hours back in the workplace, making up somewhat for so many hours that were lost last year, although they report it is difficult to catch up. A new study confirms that the Latino community suffers in scholastic performance for several reasons -- before Kindergarten these students are already behind because there is such limited access to early childhood education; they also have the largest drop-out rate. Tri-Con's average family of four earns barely $35,000 annually. The Township's contribution is therefore so very much appreciated, as it allows these families to enroll their children in an early childhood education program. Close to 85% of Tri-Con's population reside in Moraine Township. Pam urged anyone interested in volunteering to do so, and also gave the address and phone number for all listeners.

Alexandra Beiriger, Grants Manager, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center – Alexandra distributed brochures from the Center and reminded the Board and listeners that the Zacharias Center is the only rape crisis service in the County. Moraine Township citizens served totaled 1,676. She spoke about the medical and legal advocacy in which 66 Moraine Township residents were served this year. The Center's Counseling Services program served 33 residents of Moraine Township. Its Education Program is the largest and served 1,577 Township residents. New initiatives include working with the disabled to teach those with special needs how to protect themselves. They have a strong presence on social networking sites, maintain a blog, and can be reached at z.com as well as spelling out the entire name of the Center. Alexandra shared the office telephone and the 24-hot line number with listeners.

Action Items
Tax Levy Approval
Supervisor Barnes explained that the Board had had a lengthy discussion about the tax levy in October, before publishing to the community. The consensus was for a "pull-back" levy calculated by taking all the funds received last year and adding the consumer price index. The total amount of the tax levy requested is $1,353,664. Trustee Schechter expressed her concern that the Township might have less dollars at its disposal to distribute for grants this coming year. Supervisor Barnes and Trustee Gamson reminded the Board that the Township does have reserves to draw upon if necessary. Trustee Schechter agreed to support but expressed the hope that the Board would remember this discussion if reserves are necessary to meet the needs of the community. Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, that the Board adopt the tax levy as presented. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Reports
Assessor's Report

None

Supervisor's Report
The Highlander includes a story about the Township. The Township is currently actively bringing in gifts for the Holiday Drive, which will be distributed over the next few days. We will be investigating how the drive distribution is received by recipients and how accessible the Highwood Recreations Center is a distribution point. Home Instead, a Northbrook agency, dropped off gifts for seniors which will be distributed. An evaluation of the Holiday Drive will be presented in January.

Latino Advisory Committee
Chair Paul Martinez reported. Two guests from the Lake County Health Department attended this month's meeting. The Committee had been discussing Food Pantry items and nutrition as well as the need for greater nutrition education. The speakers shared some very interesting ideas about their perceptions of the Latino community and nutrition – portion size is a very big issue particularly when converting traditional Latino food choices with what is considered a more American-style meal. Visual aids, as provided by the Health Center are very helpful in demonstrating the proportions of protein, fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, etc. recommended for a standard dinner meal. The Health Dept. invited the Township to contact them, as they would love to work more closely with the Township on things like Diabetes screenings, blood pressure screenings, and education, all of which could be provided on days when people pick up food from the Pantry. Many of the health issues such as Diabetes and Obesity are rapidly becoming issues of poverty and greater education would be welcome. New trend in health is to make small changes, like a family walk once per week or walks that are being offered at the Highland Park District Health Club's indoor track.

Food Pantry and Pantry Plants Garden Project
Supervisor Barnes reminded Trustee Schechter that we still want to find a Highwood location for a garden; Trustee Schechter wants to pursue the land right around the Water Tower in Highwood. This would provide a greater community participation opportunity. Supervisor Barnes reported on the City's Green Initiative and the current memorandum of understanding explaining that most groups want to do their own thing but the City urges coalescing wherever possible. There is no request for money. Consensus on the Board to participate. Supervisor Barnes announced that the Food Pantry patrons will be given holiday gift certificates for food this year.

Transportation
Supervisor Barnes was invited to a meeting by Mary Anderson, Director of Public Works for the City, to explore ways to work together on Transportation. Trustee Gamson accompanied her to the meeting because of her familiarity with transportation issues being addressed by the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee/LCCTSC, which among other things is looking at coordinating services in the southeast corner of the County. Residents are reminded that the Township Vans are running to provide transportation as needed, with priority for getting people to medical appointments.

Unfinished Business
Trustee Moreno asked about the Cemetery. Supervisor Barnes said that we will not hear from Professor Horsley until the Spring.

New Business
City of Highland Park will be publicizing January 8 as a day to recycle electronics as well as polystyrene, #6 plastic foam. Collection will be at the site off Half Day Road near Public Works.

Trustee Gamson announced that Grant applications are due no later than February 1.

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, the meeting be adjourned at 8:48 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk

 

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