Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, February 25, 2010 5:00 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

February 25, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM by Supervisor Barnes and upon roll call the following members were present: Trustees Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno, and Jackie Schechter. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin and community members Janet Freed, Patricia Favelli, Deborah Moroney Clark, Bonnie Ferrara, and Penny Bartlett Laing. Trustee Dwayne Douglas and Assessor Patty Powers were absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of February 11, 2010 are corrected as follows:

The Executive Session minutes of February 11, 2010 will be approved at the next meeting as well as the minutes from the Special Meeting of February 18, 2010.

Approval of Bills

Public Comment
Community member Bonnie Ferrara asked how many trustees had visited the Mooney Cemetery and all raised their hands. Ms. Ferrara then asked about the timetable for rectifying the cemetery flooding problem and Supervisor Barnes responded that the Board will make an educated decision when the costs are available and reviewed. Trustee Schechter commented that the Board is committed to arriving at the best possible solution, and Trustee Gamson said that the Board needs to look at the entire picture including the effect on contiguous property. Patricia Favelli stated her displeasure with a comment she attributed to Supervisor Barnes referring to Mooney Cemetery as the Pauper Cemetery, which Supervisor denied saying. Penny Laing asked how many trustees serve on the Cemetery Board (response was “three”) and how many times the committee has met (response was never – the Board conducts all the business of the Township and has been addressing the cemetery issues). Penny Laing referred to the Township Mission statement and asked the Board what they see as its responsibilities toward the cemetery. Ms. Laing read a statement to the Trustees (Clerk asked for a copy, which she said she did not have) concerning Township budget figures, salaries and increases in salaries. Supervisor Barnes and the Board Trustees attempted to address the concerns and give more complete context. Trustee Moreno expressed sympathy for any emotional distress experienced by individuals who have family buried at Mooney Cemetery whose graves have been flooded. Supervisor Barnes expressed the need to get on with the meeting.

Agency Presentations
The Art Center
Gabrielle Rousso, Executive Director, explained the many events and exhibits at the Art Center – a total of 18 this year. There has also been an increase in the number of classes for both adults and children, including workshops and new programs like Ladies’ Night Out and Kids Night Out. The Moraine Township grant funds the Scholarship Program, There are a total of 100 scholarships given with the youngest recipient age 5 and oldest 82; ten of these are funded by Moraine Township. There is also a Latino Jewelry Program and Quilting Program with a constant number of eight people that take the program all year-long. These enrollees participate in the Art Center’s Craft Festival and sell their wares in the Art Center’s Gift Shop. Many of their children come as well, and Family Network sends volunteers to help with the kids. In addition there are 15 scholarships given to kids for an 8-week summer program, “Make Art Count;” many of the scholarship recipients give back to the Center by volunteering. The value of a single scholarship ranges from $150 to $300 in tuition; recipients are asked to pay for supplies. Next event is Friday, March 5, and will feature the puppets of David Rudman. A display of District 112 art students is currently being shown.

Cathy Curran, Executive Director, explained that PADS is the only non-restrictive shelter serving all of Lake County; they accept everyone other than a registered sex offender or anyone under the age 17 not accompanied by an adult. Moraine Township gives a grant to the Family Center, which is open year-round and sleeps 42 people per night. PADS is trying to have all of their shelters open year-round, appealing to the churches, synagogues and other volunteers to help. Client numbers are up in all categories except Veterans. Cathy passed out a sheet on Client Demographics and cited an example of a family of 8 who came to PADS recently because their house is being foreclosed on. As the fiduciary of the Catholic Charities program “Rapid Re-housing,” PADS is trying to get this family re-housed as quickly as possible. There is a government act that allows the children to stay at their schools and the school district provides transportation.

Assessor’s Report

Supervisor’s Report
  • PACE wants the Township to certify all drivers and employees involved in the Township paratransit program with their recommended drug-testing program. Supervisor Barnes advised that this is intended to provide a layer of safety, that she endorses it, and has drafted an addition to our Employee Policies for the Board to review and vote on at the next meeting.
  • PACE has advised the Township to keep the old van. A newer model choice is a minivan with a ramp but it would not have the lift. Township will try the minivan out soon. Having two wheelchair vans would provide better coverage. Trustee Gamson asked if the vans we receive from PACE are brand new, and the answer is “yes.” Trustee Gamson also asked if a seat is lost because of the wheelchair, and although it does reduce seating capacity, Supervisor Barnes says the van is rarely filled to capacity on any given trip and thinks it would be good to retain the larger van with the lift.

Latino Advisory Committee
Meeting scheduled for March 3 will need to be changed, because both Trustees and the Superintendent of the High School cannot make the date; Trustee Moreno will email Paul Martinez to pick a few new dates.

Citizen Grant Advisory Committee
February 16 was the first meeting, and the second meeting is scheduled for March 15. Committee was well-prepared and had read all the grant requests.

Supervisor Barnes said it is time to get started on the Pantry Plants Garden Project and asked for the Board’s input on how to reach out to the community to get more people, both seniors and youth – anyone interested in gardening. Trustee Schechter suggested flyers out in the community, such as school districts, recreation centers, grocery stores and libraries.

Trustee Gamson updated the Board that on April 19 at lunchtime, roughly noon to 1:30, there will be a program at the Highland Park Library, a JobTalk, presented by LinkedIn and other partners in the community. The exact title is yet to be determined. The program is free but seating is limited to the 87 seats in the auditorium. Reservations will be taken.

Unfinished Business

New Business
  • The Highland Park Illinois Community Land Trust is having an open house at 839 Burton on Wednesday, March 10, from 4:30 – 6:30 PM.
  • March 11 meeting may be canceled. Supervisor Barnes will advise the Board next week. The April 22 meeting will be changed to April 29.
  • Trustee Gamson brought up the issue of whether the Township should take a position on repealing the PACE/RTA free rides for seniors. The House has passed a bill which reverts to charging seniors half-fare, but with a means-test based on income to award free travel to those in need. Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, to send a letter of support to Representative Karen May and Senator Susan Garrett as well as a press release. Motion passed.
  • Clerk Gussin announced the 2010 Illinois Fair Map Amendment and advised that petitions are being circulated to place an amendment on the ballot in November; this is an important grass roots measure against political corruption in creating boundary lines for Illinois House and Senate districts and is supported by League of Women Voters and many other organizations throughout the State.

Executive Session
Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Moreno, to go into Executive Session at 8:25 PM. Motion carried.

Board resumed the Regular Meeting at 8:44 PM.

As the last item under New Business, Supervisor Barnes announced that she has asked Trustee Schechter to visit a lady in Highwood who is having difficulty getting out of her house when she calls for the Township Van to take her to a medical appointment, and has called the Fire Department to assist. Trustee Schechter will explore alternatives to assist this citizen.

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Moreno moved, seconded by Trustee Gamson, the meeting be adjourned at 8:45 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk


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