Monday, February 20, 2012

Announcements from February's Meeting and Looking Ahead

Advisory Council meetings are always a great source for news and events going on around the neighborhood. Here are some of the announcements made at our last meeting:

  • The Park District is currently accepting applications for all of its seasonal worker positions. Many of the positions are great opportunities for young people to find a summer job and learn some career skills. Follow this link to search the job openings and apply. Anyone who's interested should get their applications in right away, because many of the postings will be closing soon (some as soon as Tuesday, the 21st).
  • On Saturday, February 25th, Friends of the Park is holding the 2012 Park Advocacy Conference at the South Shore Cultural Center. The event is organized for Park Advisory Council members and it offers speakers and discussions on issues such as fundraising, programming and best practices. Registration is free here. Members of the HPAC will be in attendance.
  • The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy is holding recruiting and informational events for high school sophomores during the months of February and March. There are a number of dates coming up all over the city so follow the link to find out the details.
  • The Park District is holding an adult 3 on 3 basketball tournament (18 and older) at Smith Park on Saturday, April 7th. Registration will be held on March 17th and March 24th from 12-4 pm at Smith Park, 2526 W. Grand (312-742-7534).
  • Every month The Wellness Center at Humboldt Park hosts "Bring the Family to the Table," which offers a free healthy meal, cooking demonstrations and games. The next event will be on Thursday, March 15th from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Some advance notice for next month's meeting...
  • Bonnie Tawse from the Trust for Public Land will be giving a short presentation on the Bloomingdale Trail, which is a project to convert the elevated Bloomingdale Rail line into a linear park that would run from Ashland on the east end to Ridgeway on the west.
  • There will be a vote on two amendments to the AC by-laws regarding voting eligibility and defining Advisory Council member categories. Drafts of these amendments will be posted closer to the time of the next meeting.
...and if you haven't already, join us on facebook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Meeting on Thursday the 16th

The Advisory Council will hold its February meeting tomorrow, Thursday the 16th, at 6:30 pm in the Humboldt Park fieldhouse. We plan to discuss a proposed amendment to our by-laws regarding who is eligible to vote in our Executive Board elections.

Also...if you come early at 5:30 pm, there will be a free family dinner of healthy foods in the fieldhouse as part of Humboldt Park's "Bring The Family to The Table" program.

Below is the draft agenda for tomorrow's meeting and the minutes from January's meeting:

Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC)
Meeting of February 16, 2012 - 6:30 p.m.

I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Approval of Minutes

III. Reports
a)         Park Supervisor
b)        President
c)          Vice President
d)        Treasurer
e)         Secretary

IV. New Business
a)         Introduction and discussion of proposed amendment to by-laws regarding voting eligibility
b)        Introduction and discussion of proposed amendment to by-laws regarding Advisory Council member deifinitions

V. Old Business

VI. Announcements

VII. Adjourn

The next HPAC meeting will  be held on Thursday, March 15th, 2012


Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC)

Minutes for Meeting of January 19, 2012

Location: Humboldt Park Field House

President Ruth Pena, Treasurer Maggie Martinez, Sergeant at Arms Glenn Brettner, Secretary Brian Hacker, Park Supervisor Cynthia Rosario, Nancy Diaz, Freddy Molina, Amy Vega, David Diaz, Richard Karwowski, Mikey Sanchez, Ramona Gordils, Carmen Diaz

Meeting called to order at 6:49 p.m by President Ruth Pena; attendees introduced themselves.

Minutes from November’s meeting were read and approved with changes. Motion made by President Ruth Pena and seconded by Treasurer Maggie Martinez.

  • ·       President Ruth Pena said that she heard a rumor that the Park District may be making changes to their leadership and asked Park Supervisor Jesus Perez if this was true. Jesus responded that he had not heard anything about it.
  • ·       Sergeant at Arms Glenn Brettner said that he noticed a banner hanging on a fence on Park District property outside the stables building advertising an event that is not related to the park and asked if this is allowed. Jesus Perez responded that the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance hangs the banners at that location and the issue should be taken up with them. Amy Vega commented that the question of what banners can be hung on park property is unclear. Ruth Pena said that the banner was for an event that was held at the fieldhouse. Glenn Brettner responded that if anyone is allowed to hang banners it could lead to unwanted advertising, such as for products.
  • ·       Regarding the issue of the December Chicago Cyclocross Cup bike race held in the park, Jesus Perez said that he does not want to see it come back next year because of the damage done to the ground. Amy Vega asked if they were charged a fine for repairs, Jesus responded that he knows a permit was issued for a race but he does not know about a fine. Amy Vega responded that her organization was charged a $7000 fine because of a semi truck that drove on the grass during the Puerto Rican Parade celebration. Jesus commented that the race organizers must put up a waiver of liability and an insurance bond to obtain a permit. Ruth Pena suggested submitting a letter to the Park District from the Advisory Council and Jesus Perez responded that he would find the proper contact to send a letter to.

  • Treasurer Maggie Martinez submitted a report of deposits and expenses for the concession stand from the Parkways Foundation. There is a total balance of $13,500 approximately. Glenn Brettner noticed a mistake on the report showing the concession stand insurance as a deposit of $1064.30 instead of an expense. Maggie commented that she will have a full report of the entire balance next month.
  • Amy Vega asked if we have a copy of the Advisory Council’s fiscal sponsor agreement with the Parkways Foundation and that it might be possible for the Advisory Council to do its own banking and still maintain Parkways Foundation as its fiscal sponsor. Glenn Brettner asked if it would be worth it to approach an accountant on this issue and Maggie Martinez recommended inviting a member of the Parkways Foundation to come to a meeting in the future and said that she will call them to invite someone. Freddy Molina said that the Advisory Council should work with the United Leagues of Humboldt Park to possibly open an account through their organization because they are a registered non-profit.
  • Maggie Martinez announced that the Earth Day clean-up in the park is Saturday, April 21 and the Block Club Federation is looking for volunteers and sponsors.
  • Maggie Martinez asked Jesus Perez if he expected a restaurant to take over the space at the boathouse. He responded that applications have been submitted but no decisions have been made yet.

  • Secretary Brian Hacker submitted a draft of a logo for the Advisory Council and requested feedback from members. Glenn Brettner asked how the logo would look in black and white and a copy of the color version was made in black and white to see the result. There was also discussion of designing a banner for the Advisory Council to hang outside the fieldhouse. Brian Hacker asked about the typical format of banners and Amy Vega responded that they are often three by five.
  • Brian Hacker mentioned that he posted a video of sledders in Humboldt Park taken by the Chicago Tribune on the Advisory Council’s Facebook page. Amy Vega brought up the possibility of opening the concession stand at Little Cubs Field during times when there are a large number of sledders.

  • Brian Hacker announced the Advisory Council members who were eligible to vote according to the attendance requirements established by the by-laws. The list of members who were eligible is Glenn Brettner, Nancy Diaz, Brian Hacker, Maggie Martinez, Ruth Pena, and Lucy Roman. Mikey Sanchez and Freddy Molina objected to this announcement and claimed they had each attended enough meetings to vote in the elections. Brian Hacker stated that the eligibility was determined by reviewing the attendance sheets from the previous 12 months and that they were both one meeting short of being eligible to vote. There was discussion as to whether members of the Advisory Council should be able to send representatives in their places if they are not able to make it. Freddy Molina said that there are times when he is not available to come to meetings and that he should be able to send a representative. Glenn Brettner responded that because the Advisory Council is a citizen board made up of individuals that each individual must attend the minimum required number of meetings to vote or run. Amy Vega said that this is not the way most Boards are run, because they typically allow organizations to send representatives to voice their opinions and vote, and that the Advisory Council Board members do not know what it means to be on a board.
  • After comments were finished, Executive Board elections were held for the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Sergeant at Arms. The results are as follows.
      In the election for President, Ruth Pena was nominated by Glenn Brettner and seconded by Maggie Martinez. She was elected with a total of four votes.
      In the election for Vice President, Glenn Brettner was nominated by Nancy Diaz and seconded by Ruth Pena. He was elected with a total of four votes.
      In the election for Treasurer, Maggie Martinez was nominated by Glenn Brettner and seconded by Brian Hacker. She was elected with a total of four votes.
      In the election for Secretary, Brian Hacker was nominated by Ruth Pena and seconded by Maggie Martinez. He was elected with a total of four votes.
      In the election for Sergeant at Arms, Nancy Diaz was nominated by Glenn Brettner and seconded by Brian Hacker. She was elected with a total of four votes.
  • After elections were held, there was discussion of the voting requirements and how they could be improved. It was agreed by all members that in the case of a cancelled meeting, an attendance sheet should be provided for anyone who attends to sign in. Those who sign the attendance sheet will then be counted as present for the meeting, regardless of whether or not it was cancelled. Maggie Martinez asked if Advisory Council members are required to re-apply for membership every year. Cynthia Rosario responded that this is not necessary. David Diaz recommended that a member should be able to be represented by another person as long as they are a member. Nancy Diaz recommended that members should be required to attend half of the total number of meetings (10) in order to be able to vote. Jesus Perez agreed with this. Glenn Brettner commented that four years ago, a large number of people would only attend the meeting when the Executive Board elections were held and not come again for the rest of the year. This is why they raised the number of meetings required to vote in the Executive Board elections to six.

  • ·       Nancy Diaz asked if the repairs to the fieldhouse roof that were discussed at previous meetings had been completed and how would it be possible to verify this. Cynthia Rosario responded that patches were made to the roof, but the warranty is expired.
  • ·       Nancy Diaz said that in a recent meeting the United Leagues of Humboldt Park had with Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly, he told her that funds have been allocated to the Park District for seasonal field maintenance workers to maintain the baseball diamonds. Nancy Diaz said that they diamonds are still not maintained and does not believe that these workers were not actually hired. Jesus Perez responded that these positions were cut from the budget. Ruth Pena said that the seasonal workers are assigned where they are needed and work on Little Cubs Field. Nancy Diaz said that the ULHP has had to look into hiring private maintenance workers to drag the fields. David Diaz added that the fields are not maintained and there is not evidence that Park District workers are taking care of them. Ruth Pena recommended that the Advisory Council invite the Park District’s Operations Manager to the next meeting.
  • ·       In response to these concerns, Cynthia Rosario said that ballfield laborers were taken out of budgets for most parks and that Mike Kelly was likely mistaken about the budget. The employees he referred to are assistants to the overall city maintenance staff. Humboldt Park has its own devoted maintenance worker and it is lucky to have this. Cynthia continued, two years ago the baseball diamonds were dragged every day but they are now done every other day due to budget cuts and acknowledged that this takes a toll on the leagues that pay to play in the park. Landscape Maintenance is the department to talk to about issues related issues if the ULHP wishes to contact them. Cynthia added that park staff has a calendar of priority for maintenance based on scheduling, but the other responsibilities in the park such as grass cutting and maintenance of other fields draw from the time they have to maintain the baseball diamonds.
  • ·       In response to questions asked regarding Humboldt Park’s budget versus the revenue it generates, Cynthia Rosario responded that the park’s revenue does not match its expenses and that only one park in the city makes an amount of revenue that is equal to its expenses.
  • ·       On the subject of the privatization of Little Cubs Field, Cynthia Rosario said that she and Jesus Perez are both opposed to it, but if Mike Kelly wants to do it, he is going to do it.
  • ·       Nancy Diaz said that Mike Kelly told the ULHP that all of the lights in the park that were damaged by the hail storm in the summer of 2011 were replaced but she did not see signs of this. Cynthia Rosario responded that he was probably referring to the globes on the lamp posts.
  • ·       Cynthia Rosario said that additional lighting for baseball fields is being planned and that the Park District is currently talking to electricians about the installation. Jesus Perez added that new dugouts were installed on diamonds one, two and three.
  • ·       Maggie Martinez said that the Advisory Council should approach Mike Kelly about the privatization of Little Cubs Field. She said that she does not want to see a private company take the profits and raise the prices of concessions.

President Ruth Pena made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m. This was seconded by Secretary Brian Hacker.