April 2005 Meeting Minutes

Horner Park Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes

Jerry Giese, as president, called the meeting to order at 7:35pm. Jerry Giese also acted as secretary for this meeting.

Previous Minutes: Larry Brown distributed march minutes. The minutes were also distributed by e-mail last week. The March minutes were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report: Elaine Taylor delivered the Treasuruer’s report. The fund balances follow:

Savings Acct.: $ 4,161.97
Checking Acct: 6,048.68
Total $10,210.65

Later in the meeting John O’Connell moved to transfer $1,000 from the Concert Fund to the Gardening fund. Jerry Giese seconded the motion that then passed unanimously.

Council Business: Welcome to two visitors – Melinda Brisben and Sandy Brisben. We also welcomed back Woody Haynes from business travels across the Midwest.

Elections: Our officer’s elections regularly scheduled for the October 2004 meeting were deferred for 6 months in order to fill a complete slate of candidates. That completed slate was presented to the Council for a vote of acceptance. The slate of candidates was:

  • President: Larry Brown
  • Vice President: John Lyman
  • Treasurer: Elaine Taylor
  • Co-secretary: John O’Connell
  • Co-secretary: Jerry Giese

Alan Mueller moved to accept the slate. Suzie Novak seconded that motion. The council unanimously approved the slate of officers.

Jerry Giese turned the meeting over to Larry Brown.

The council unanimously agreed to switch the meeting date to the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. So, May’s meeting will be Monday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. The change of date is considered temporary until we can verify compliance with our by-laws.

Larry Brown will try to deliver copies of the by-laws at the May meeting.

Announcements: The human and the doggie Easter Egg hunts were both successful. Attendance increased measurably for the doggie event. The Gymnastics Show featured all of the programs and boasted an attendance of more than 200.

Terry Sweeney announced portions of the summer programming. The Chicago Park District (CPD) Craftmobile will be making regular stops at both Manor park and Jacob Park again this summer. The Craftmobile will begin on Moday, June 27th. It will visit manor in the morning beginning at 10:00 a.m for two hours. It will stop at Jacob Park from 1:00 p.m. for two hours.

Movies will be shown on three Friday nights in july. The exact dates are not yet set but the titles are Sharktales, Shrek 2, and SpongeBob Squarepants Movie. Complete details will be available for the May meeting.

Friends of the Park will be helping with earth Day on April 23rd. There will be teams at Horner and Manor Parks. Volunteers from several organizations will be helping at Horner while the effort at Manor will be more local in flavor with RMIA’s help.

Friends of the River will have a team of volunteers at Horner Park for River Rescue Day on May 14th.

Performance Committee: John O’Connell reported on the progress of this year’s fundraising. Fundraising and designing the program are at a quicker pace this year with the first concert scheduled for June 12th. The schedule is nearly final and a copy may be included with the distribution of the minutes.

John O’Connell then introduced Don Johnson of the GroundUp Theater group. Don’s troupe wants to perform Shakespeare in the parks during the summer. This year’s production is a 70-minute abridged version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The troupe provides all the sound and lighting for the show. The Council agreed to schedule two performances of A Midsummer’s Night Dream for Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Manor Park. The group will reprise their performance at noon as part of Manor Bash in August.

Garden Committee: Suzie Novak delivered her report on the progress of the clean up in the parks and the progress of the spring growth. She also reported that she has been added to the CPD payroll again this summer. We tabled discussion of a pay raise to take that business off-line for an Officer’s meeting.

Park Briefs:

Horner Park: Ted Kohlmann has resigned his position at Horner Park. Presently, his time slots are being filled by substitutes from adjacent parks. Terry hopes to have the approvals from CPD to fill the vacancy. The bus bench with advertising continues on the sidewalk along Irving Park Road. Terry Sweeney identified a foundation residing in our neighborhood that co-ordinates student volunteers for projects. We hope to leverage our proximity and the foundation’s purpose to benefit Horner Park and our programs.

Baseball Fields at Horner: John Lyman reported on his efforts in outreach to the several users of the fields at Horner Park. He and Terry have found that outreach is sometimes difficult as the various users of the fields are typically focused on internal affairs. John reported some early success with the Little Leagues in their effort to renovate the restrooms. John talked of involving the volunteer work of several trades unions to mitigate the potential costs of the project. He and terry are formulating a letter to be distributed to all users of the fields to help build a constituency for improvements.

Ravenswood Manor Park: One of the overhead lights needs repair. There was discussion of adding a “snake” fence to protect the wildlife garden in the park. We agreed that a fence in the style commonly used by Pete Loeki would be appropriate but its height should be on or about 18 inches.

Buffalo Park: The planting are looking good. We are waiting for Mike Emerson to complete the details, including pricing for the proposed council ring.

Jacob Park: Dale Grandys expects another children’s concert for Jacob Park but no details are available. deserves a special thank you for her efforts in promoting the event with special fliers distributed in the neighborhood. The CPD Craftmobile is scheduled to visit Jacob Park again this summer building on last year’s success.

We also welcomed are visitors who came with specific concerns about Jacob park. Melinda Brisben delivered a report with several components to the council. These components were her oral report of current conditions; photographs taken by her and Terry Sweeney; and an assessment of the safety of the park by Dr. Sheahan. John O’Connell was familiar with both the assessment and Dr, Sheahan’s work through his work at Friends of the Park. The photos revealed damage to equipment and the need for repairs. The assessment described the age and need for material refurbishing of the equipment and facilities.

The council agreed with her conclusions and offered our resources to assist in the efforts to improve Jacob Park. We also offered some of our perspectives to help frame the project. We described the CPD system and the time required to effect change and improvements. We also told her that developing a constituency for the park and fundraising were two keys to the eventual success for plans. We pointed to the several projects HPAC had successfully completed as a source of optimism despite the time and hard work that were needed. We invited Melinda and Sandy Brisben to return as regular members so we could continue the process.

Sunken Garden Park: Work has been done in he plantings. Jerry will try to co-ordinate the Ravenswood Gardens contact with Dale Grandys for help, if possible, with spring plantings. The Ravenswood Garden Homeowners will be hosting a neighborhood party in and around Sunken Gardens on Saturday June 25th.

Website: The council authorized or more aptly encouraged an ad hoc committee of John Lyman, Woody Haynes and Michael Holm to begin the process of establishing a HPAC website. We are at the beginning of the process and rely upon this committee to give us guidance as to our next steps or decisions.

Adjournment: Larry Brown thanked all the people who attended and participated in the meeting. The meeting was then adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Jerry Giese

Roster of those in Attendance: Larry Brown, President; John Lyman, Vice President; Elaine Taylor, Treasurer; Jerry Giese, Co-secretary; John O’Connell, Co-secretary; Suzie Novak; Alan Mueller; Woody Haynes; Melinda Brisben; Sandy Brisben; Jake Peterson; Mike Holm; Don Johnson, GroundUp Theater; Terry Sweeney, Horner Park

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