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MINUTES
Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, January 14, 2010 4:00 PM
Moraine Township Office

MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
January 14, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 4:10 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: Clerk Ellen Gussin and Township Attorney John Joanem. Assessor Patty Powers was absent.

Executive Session
Trustee Schechter moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas, the Board go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation. Upon roll call, motion carried. The Board came out of Executive Session at 5:30 PM and resumed Regular Meeting.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of December 10, 2009 stand approved as written.

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

Public Comment
Two individuals from the public joined the meeting at 5:30 PM, Bonnie Ferrara and Penny Bartlett Laing. Ms. Ferrara addressed the Board concerning her father’s burial, asking what the Township has done in follow up to the meeting she had attended regarding Mooney Cemetery. The Board of Trustees expressed regret to the Laing/Ferrara family for challenges they encountered last year in interring their father in Mooney Cemetery.  They stated a commitment to professionalizing inherited, inexact cemetery records and to initiating a project to clear up those historic records where possible.  In fact, Supervisor Barnes pointed out, the current Township newsletter deals with that history, and calls for public assistance in creating as complete a record as possible.

Budget
Budget discussion will be deferred to a Budget Workshop to be scheduled for February.

Reports

Assessor’s Report
None

Supervisor’s Report
None

Latino Advisory Committee
No meeting since the last report, trying to schedule for the last week in January

Grant Committee
There is now a full complement of people for the committee, although they would still welcome a new member from Highwood, either male or Latino or both. February 1 is the deadline for grants this fiscal year. Both Trustees Gamson and Schechter will be liaison to the Committee.

Other
Talk of the Township to be printed next week. Trustee Gamson had suggested an article offering Township assistance in completing the Census form, but we were told by the Census Office not to pursue this.

Website is up to date with new pictures.

Human Relations Commission
Trustee Douglas reported that there will be a 9 AM meeting at Highland Park Country
Club this coming Monday in commemoration of Marin Luther King Day. March 24 is the Character Counts and Pillar Awards ceremony; there is a February 12 or 13 deadline for nominations.

The Township will be sponsoring an employment tips/business enhancement talk in cooperation with the City of Highland Park and Career Resource Center.  Michael Gamson, a Vice President of LinkedIn, will be the featured speaker in the program, expected to be scheduled for mid-April 2010 as a "brown bag" event.

Pantry Plants Garden Project
Fern Anderson and Sam Piro, Co-Chairs of the project and chief volunteers addressed the Board on how they think we can improve the Pantry Plants Project. The biggest issue they highlight is that there is no interaction between the volunteer gardeners and the Food Pantry clients. They would like to see the clients be solicited to do more of the work to create a sense of ownership and community. They suggest the volunteers act as the facilitators and stewards of the Project to design and instruct, but designate the clients to maintain, grow and reap the produce of their given plots with a small share that would go back to the Food Pantry for other clients. For those clients that may not be up to the task of gardening, they can act as “garden buddies.” Garden plots would be assigned to a set of clients, and if not properly maintained, they would be turned back to the Township. Volunteers could also pitch-in for gaps that might occur when clients could not be available to perform the maintenance. Other incentives such as contests and recipe exchange might enhance the experience and build a sense of community. Suggestion to buddy a senior citizen and high-school student was voiced, and the issue of how committee clients might be solicited was discussed. Also, the location of the garden may not be ideal for some clients that live in Highwood, but we should get this site (donated by the Park District of Highland Park) working and then go on to a secondary site in Highwood. Fern’s wish list includes more community involvement (Food Pantry clients working with garden volunteers and group structure with Township office); better coordination with the Park District (access to spring mulch and earlier garden preparation); and necessary supplies and equipment (deer fencing, mulch, seed/plant money.) Township will handle a press release and the solicitation of Food Pantry clients to recruit involvement. Another idea voiced was to invite Tri-Con or Highland Park Community to recruit interested families. Pantry Plants clients would need to be eligible as Food Pantry clients. An “adopt-a-plot” program could be established for any available plots not taken by Food Pantry clients.

Unfinished Business
Supervisor Barnes asked that the Agenda for next meeting on January 28 include the Approval of the Ethics Ordinance. Supervisor Barnes has recruited Peter Koukos, Henry Cohen, and Martha Gray to serve as the Ethics Committee.

Township Open House will be on February 11 to share the newly remodeled offices with the community and thank Peter Koukos for his four-year term as Assessor. Board Meeting on February 11 will commence at 4:00 PM, and the open house will be published for 5:00 PM.

Supervisor Barnes will be away for the January 28 meeting, and Trustee Schechter agreed to run the meeting.

New Business
Trustee Moreno reported on a phone call received the Saturday before Christmas from a woman whose son was supposed to be a recipient of the Holiday Drive. She was unable to pick up the gift, because her son had just given her the notice about the gift, and the Holiday Gift Drive had concluded the previous day. Trustee Moreno advised her to call the Township office. Supervisor Barnes reported that a gift voucher was given to this woman. Trustee Moreno went on to express her dissatisfaction with the Township’s Holiday Drive, believing a greater effort should be made to deliver unclaimed gifts. Other Board members responded with enthusiastic support of the program, recognizing its complexity and not wanting to change the practice of donating unclaimed gifts to needy children. Trustee Schechter suggested mailing notices, rather than having the children bring them home, might solve the problem.

Adjournment
With no further business to conduct, Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, the meeting be adjourned at 7:09 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________
Ellen S. Gussin
Moraine Township Clerk

 

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