Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, November 17, 2011 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

November 17, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 7:34 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Supervisor Mari Barnes and Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, Margoth Moreno, and Jackie Schechter. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Grizell Toledo, Paula Peddle, Shannon Mosier, Robbie Boudreau, Lisa Brewer, Paul Dean, and Janet Freed. Assessor Patty Powers was absent.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of October 27, 2011stand approved as corrected by Supervisor Barnes.

Approval of Bills
Trustee Douglas moved, seconded by Trustee Gamson, approval of the bills: $4,696.44 for GA and $43,349.89 for Town Fund for the period of October 16-31, 2011, and $7,247.18 for GA and $31,398.39 for Town Fund for the period of November 1-15, 2011. Upon roll call, motion carried.

Public Comment

Agency Presentations
Southeast Lake County Faith in Action, Robbie Boudreau, Executive Director, explained the agency's goal in serving more residents in Moraine Township, and passed out Service Statistics for 2008-2011 detailing the number of volunteers, care recipients and hours served. The yearly goal for care recipients is 125; they are already at 96, of which 50% reside in Moraine Township.
  The agency's mission is to help fill the gaps that other agencies cannot meet, enabling residents to stay in their homes. They complete a detailed intake form for each care recipient and take care to match a volunteer to establish a long-term relationship with the individual and family. The volunteers are very committed and conscientious. They collaborate with many other agencies and programs including the Elder Services Ad Hoc Committee (founded by the City of Highland Park and Moraine Township). The Care Director is now making home visits. They also provide volunteers to stay with care recipients while a spouse or other family member attends a program offered by Family Service. They have taken over the Grocery Shopping service, and Youth in Action is a new program which allows teens to get involved in helping seniors. Although they cannot go to the senior's home unaccompanied, the Key Clubs are very supportive, and there are ways to set up visits with parents. The volunteers come from the 60035, 60045, and 60015 zip codes – Deerfield and HP account for about 85% of the volunteers. Trustee Gamson asked if Faith in Action might be involved in the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee; Ms. Boudreau said they are listed on the website and working with others in Lake County on transportation and would like to find out more about the committee's work. People interested in volunteering or in need of services should contact Faith in Action at 847-433-9441 or at

Nurture, Lisa Brewer, Executive Director, explained that Nurture was established in 2008 and is a 100% volunteer, non-profit organization helping people provide nutritious meals, aiding in stretching the food budgets and addressing health concerns. They have been in Highland Park since 2010, starting with Oak Terrace School and Family Network. With the help of the grant from Moraine Township they have been able to expand their services. They participate in Family Network's Prenatal Program teaching and demonstrating the preparation of healthy meals for moms-to-be. Nurture worked with JCYS this summer for the first time to partner and provide nutrition classes for the campers, and they have worked with North Shore Health Center for the first time this year, providing family programs for children with obesity. They supported the Township's Pantry Plants Garden Project through work with the Health Center by bringing in a master gardener to give participants more confidence in preparation, gardening, harvesting and preservation. Nurture's program at Oak Terrace School started in 2010 as a once-per-week classroom visit to discuss healthy eating issues. This year it has become a once-per-month program for all grade levels to present a variety of programs including packing healthy lunches. They applied for and received a grant to write customized lessons with tie-ins to the Power Standards of the curriculum including P.E., math, and language arts components. Fitness is included in the nine topics covered, and they focus on three each year per grade level with subsequent year's programming building upon the past instruction. They are measuring the impact through student and teacher surveys, and District 112 is watching closely and considering rolling out throughout the District. In response to a question about whether the volunteers are credentialed in any way, Ms. Brewer responded that there are a few stipend positions to help develop the curriculum but it is taught by volunteers who carefully follow a script along with instruction on what they can and cannot say. The basic information provides fundamentals in a very positive, interactive, and fun manner to create enthusiasm and commitment. They give away rice cookers and slow cookers to families and prenatal moms as part of the program as well as providing some of the ingredients for the recipes. Nurture's website is, and they can be reached at 847-433-7075.

Family Service, Paul Dean, Executive Director, thanked the Board for its generosity. They have been serving the community for 85 years. He reported on the progress of the reconstruction of the Nuestro Center, made possible by a special capital grant from the Township, as well as the Township's grant for three other Family Service programs. A plaque will be dedicated and displayed at the official grand opening which will recognize Moraine Township for making the Center possible. Mr. Dean passed out a copy of an article written by Northwestern University's Medill School students about the Latino population increase in the suburbs, in which the Nuestro Center is mentioned as well as the struggle of a 50-year Highwood resident who had never had the funds to become a citizen but has now accomplished his goal due to the help he received from Nuestro and Family Service. Some of the specifics that the Township dollars enabled include building a second washroom to be handicapped-accessible and a kitchen to meet code for the preparation of meals for their programs. When students are given a healthy snack, they are better able to do their homework and achieve success. Nine computer banks were made possible through a large grant from an educational foundation. The Township dollars were also used for construction and revision of the space–existing walls were demolished and others constructed to make the space more efficient, including an office for program staff and a Multi-Purpose Activity Room. The Center is now able to offer services to people from both Highwood and Highland Park. The Grand Opening is Tuesday, November 29, 4-6 PM, with transportation from the Ft. Sheridan train station.

Township programming support goes to Counseling, Seniors, and Youth. The Latino Senior Program (new this year) responds to the isolation and need for medical services uncovered originally in a Family Service door-to-door study. One employee, has worked with over 50 seniors this past year to assist them with Circuit Breaker, Medicare applications, Rx assistance, overdue bills, etc. They partner with Faith in Action as well as other agencies. Because parents and seniors are working two and three jobs, Family Service brings in volunteers to help with ESL instruction, and most have succeeded in passing the primary exams and are now going on for additional education. Grandparents who provide day care have very low education levels and lack language facility. The projection is to help well over 1,000 recipients this year. An extremely successful field trip sponsored by Family Service involved 65 children and 10 adults on a trip to the Willis Tower sky deck in downtown Chicago–many had not been out of Highwood and they were astounded by the sights of the city. For the first time this year they are collecting income information from 48 of 52 families in their target group; almost all are at the poverty level. One of the key goals is to have students achieve at least a C level in language arts, math and sciences–90% did. Family Service has helped 540 Moraine Township residents; 3,000 hours of mental services have been provided with an average paid fee of $16–far below the going rate. All therapists hold Masters degrees with 20 years of post-license experience. Our grant adds over $6 to the hourly fee, which is vital. The waiting list is great, but without the Township support, it would be even greater. The Counseling program receives high ratings from recipients.

Mr. Dean reported on a Halloween night incident in Highwood where a large fight took place in which several youth were injured and taken to the hospital. HPHS had a meeting concerning the issue last night; Family Service participated. Cease Fire, a Waukegan program dealing with gang issues presented information to the high school. There are ongoing efforts to partner with HPHS and Northwood Junior High to address the situation. Mr. Dean gave the web address and contact information of the agency.

Trustee Gamson explained procedures for this year's Grant Advisory Committee and the desire for the agencies to make sure they ask for the dollars needed–funds that are crucial to sustaining their programming.

Action Items
Tax Levy Discussion – Supervisor Barnes reviewed the discussion from last month and her recommendation to be more conservative than levying to the maximum. Proposed tax levy request is $1,389.964, which represents a 1.48% increase over prior year extension (versus the maximum request increase of 5% allowed by law). This amount will cover all of our programs, putting a little extra money into the cemeteries and covering our budget. She also believes that if there is a crisis or need for additional resources, the Township has the luxury of Reserves to use. Board consensus is to go forward with Supervisor Barnes' recommendation.

Assessor's Report
November 21 is the deadline to submit appeals on property taxes.

Supervisor's Report
Volunteers are needed for the Holiday Gift Drive in order to provide gifts for the number of students we have gathered information on. Further information is available on the Township website. Also, there is an IMRF audit taking place next week; we have had this before and "passed with flying colors."

The Township has hired a landscape consultant.

Latino Advisory Committee
The November 7 meeting included discussion on tax return issues and financial literacy. Question arose as to whether they can use the Township Offices for the tax return guidance, and Supervisor Barnes responded in the affirmative. Trustee Douglas has coordinated with Jordan Friedman of Family Network regarding financial literacy, and he believes that the program Family Network provides is excellent and does everything that was discussed by Latino Advisory Committee and more; Family Network extended an invite to anyone from the Latino community that may be interested. The next series begins in January.

Pantry Plants Garden Project
Harvest is completed and no further report.

Changes have been made to the application process, which will require electronic submission.

Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee (LCCTSC)
New by-laws have been adopted and a new Board has been elected; Trustee Gamson is one of the newly elected Board. Funding has been received for the next several years to help people get from wherever they are to fixed routes for work and shopping. A PACE bus was removed from Highland Park due to underutilization to serve another part of the County.

Human Relations Commission of Highland Park
No report

Community Family Center
No report

December 16 and 17 will be the dates of the Holiday Drive.

Unfinished Business

New Business

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Schechter, the meeting be adjourned at 9:06 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk


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