Moraine Township

Moraine Township Board of Trustees
Thursday, October 27, 2011 7:30 PM
Moraine Township Office

October 27, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 7:32 PM, and upon roll call the following members were present: Supervisor Mari Barnes; Trustees Dwayne Douglas, Bryna Gamson, and Jackie Schechter. Trustee Margoth Moreno was absent. Also Present: Clerk Ellen Gussin, Assessor Patty Powers, Grizell Toledo, Paula Peddle, Alan Spector, Jan Leahy, and Fred Seff.

Approval of Minutes
The Regular Meeting Minutes of October 13, 2011 stand approved as written and distributed.

Approval of Bills
No bills this meeting; will be available at next meeting on November 17.

Public Comment

Agency Presentation
Career Resource Center, Jan Leahy, Executive Director and Fred Seff, President
President Seff thanked Moraine Township for its continuing support. Unemployment in our area is about 9%. Mr. Seff read an excerpt from a letter CRC received from Client Tom in which he expressed his gratitude to CRC for the networking skills he acquired from their excellent counseling which led to his securing an executive position that had never been posted. Ms. Leahy explained how proud CRC is of its successes. A recent client survey, which had a 21% return found 76% of respondents working. The average out-of-work time period is 13.8 months. Candidates who did not receive outplacement services at their former companies seemed to experience a shorter time out of work. Ratings of CRC services were very positive. Clients value personal attention above all other services and experience a sense of camaraderie and belonging, which helps to keep them motivated to seek employment.

Glenkirk, Alan Spector, Former Executive Director
Mr. Spector commented on the variety of services that the Township funds and his appreciation for local government and the impact they make on social service agencies. Moraine Township grant is used for the Moraine Community Living Facility for developmentally disabled clients, allowing semi-independent living and working in the community at places such as area grocery stores. After passing out last year's Annual Report, Mr. Spector reviewed the scope of Glenkirk's services and commented that increased quality of living has resulted in longer lifespans. Consolidation with similar organizations has created partnerships that have improved efficiency through the sharing of technology, fundraising skills, and community communications. Glenkirk serves a total of 1200 individuals, about half of whom have no family for additional support. An Activity Fund has been established as an endowment fund to cover unusual requests for assistance, including burials. Volunteers are utilized wherever possible and clients, in turn, do volunteering as well, including visits to nursing homes, helping with Meals on Wheels, and Respite programs. Glenkirk took the Opportunity Inc. program in-house, and it has gone from employing 9 to 50, now adding 20 more for its high-level security document shredding.

Action Items
Supervisor Barnes reported on an IMRF resolution requiring endorsement of one of three individuals running for the IMRF Board. Evelyn Gleason is the selected candidate.

Assessor's Report
The books have been closed and the Assessments have been published. The Office is really busy but happy to report on the positive responses received from the public, stating how appreciative they are of the Assessor's Office friendliness and willingness to help. Hearings will begin in November and probably go through February. Supervisor Barnes asked if there is an average reduction amount, and Assessor Powers said there really is not an average as every case is different. The Office has written almost 400 requests for reduction already this year. There is a county factor applied after each township submits their numbers. Citizens do not have to accept the valuation, particularly if they know the value has gone down since a fairly recent purchase. Assessor Powers explained how residents can go to the website and seek comparables by market value as well as features (e.g., square footage, number of bedrooms, fireplace, etc.) The website is

Supervisor's Report
Next month we will be approving the tax levy. A report received from the State shows our reserves to be pretty much in the middle of the recommended range. Last year, although we did not levy the maximum, we got slightly more than we asked for. Trustee Schechter suggested consideration of earmarking increased funds for grants, and the Trustees then discussed establishing an emergency fund for special circumstances like the State not paying promised revenues in a timely fashion.

The Holiday Gift Drive is underway. A press release will invite sponsors. The Township Office will be the distribution center.

Moraine Township will be recognized by Family Service for its special funding to the Nuestro Center.

Supervisor Barnes explained that the Board needs to decide on funding for Mooney Cemetery, and she is suggesting $10,000 for landscaping which would include design and plantings. The topography map received from the County is inadequate for landscaping purposes. The cost of a topography report is $900. Township could entertain a multi-year plan. In the past the levy for maintenance of the two cemeteries has been $25,000.

Latino Advisory Committee
Next meeting is November 7. BENNU is a fairly new legal services organization that Grizell Toledo told the Board about. Also, it has been suggested that the new Nuestro Center location might be a better site for Committee meetings. Trustee Douglas is going to pursue.

Pantry Plants Garden Project
Letter received from Friends For Health thanking the Township for its support of the healthy eating program of the North Shore Health Center and its use of the garden plot this past summer.

Supervisor Barnes reported that there are ten agencies that have not made appointments to appear before the Board, as is required. The Township Office will call to remind those that have not appeared.

Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee (LCCTSC)
Meetings have continued and by-laws and new leadership are being worked on.

Human Relations Commission of Highland Park
Nothing new to report.

Community Family Center
CFC was the recipient of Downtown Highland Park's Halloween event and over $700 was raised.

Unfinished Business

New Business

With no further business to conduct, Trustee Gamson moved, seconded by Trustee Douglas, the meeting be adjourned at 8:41 PM. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen S. Gussin, Moraine Township Clerk


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