Minutes – Board of Trustee by tyndale


									                      Minutes – Shields Township Board of Trustees


Lake County,              )   SS.

Town of Shields           )

               THE TOWN BOARD OF SHIELDS TOWNSHIP met at the Shields Township Office for
its regular monthly meeting on October 16, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

           PRESENT: Charles Fitzgerald                                                      Supervisor
                    David Barkhausen                                                        Town Clerk
                    Yvonne Senter-Evans                                                     Town Trustee
                    Peter Sexton                                                            Town Trustee
                    Mona Strenger                                                           Town Trustee
                    Ben Wagner                                                              Town Trustee

Highway Commissioner Bill Goodman was also present.

1.     Meeting Called to Order

Supervisor Fitzgerald called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

Supervisor Fitzgerald opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

3.     Payment of Bills

Town Fund Bills: A motion by Trustee Sexton, seconded by Trustee Strenger, to approve the payment of
Town Fund expenses in the amount of $186,001.19 passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Road & Bridge Bills: A motion by Trustee Senter-Evans, seconded by Trustee Wagner, to approve the
payment of Road Fund expenses in the amount of $78,174.14 passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.

General Assistance Bills: A motion by Trustee Strenger, seconded by Trustee Sexton, to approve the
payment of General Assistance expenses in the amount of $3,277.39 passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.

4.     Consideration of Minutes from the Previous Town Board Meetings

A motion by Trustee Sexton, seconded by Trustee Strenger, to approve the minutes of the regular monthly
meeting of the Shields Town Board held on September 18, 2008 was approved unanimously on a voice

5.     Public Comments - None

6.     Old Business - None

7.     Highway Commissioner’s Report

Highway Commissioner Bill Goodman mentioned the completion of the Phase II road work on Bayshore
Drive and Forest View Drive. Because of the pulverizing and resurfacing in one area of Forest View, the
grade is a bit high and needs to be corrected, and it should be rectified by the contractor shortly, he said.
In addition, an outside contractor has been working on the removal of some large, dead trees and branches
on public rights of way that Road District equipment is unable to handle.

Commissioner Goodman added that he is preparing for the winter with a new load of salt acquired
through Lake County. Supervisor Fitzgerald asked about its cost, which was a subject of discussion at
last month’s meeting. Commissioner Goodman said it was about $140 per ton, as compared to just $41
per ton last year. Supervisor Fitzgerald asked, as he did last month, about the possibility of using
substitute materials, such as coal cinders or sand. Commissioner Goodman said they had used a sand/salt
mix when the Road District ran short of salt during last year’s hard winter but that even that alternative is
expensive and not nearly as effective as salt.

Trustee Sexton asked about the bushes and branches interfering with visibility at the intersection of Muir
Avenue and Waukegan Road. Commissioner Goodman said that would be a responsibility of the Illinois
Department of Transportation and that he would call them.
8.     Update of the 2008 Township Road Maintenance Program – Phase II

This item was covered by Commissioner Goodman in his report above.

9.     Supervisor’s Report - None

10.    Trustees’ Report - None

11.    Presentation by Marge Burda, Director of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center

Supervisor Fitzgerald introduced Marge Burda, the Director of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Senior Center.
Ms. Burda reported on what has been accomplished since 1993 with the Senior Center transportation
program that began with three days per week of service and has since been extended to five. The program
now provides about 6,000 rides per year and charges $3 per ride. In addition to the car that has been
funded by Shields Township, the program now includes a mini-bus funded by a grant from the Waud
Foundation which accommodates a wheel chair as well as subsidized taxi service. Anyone over 65 or
younger persons with a disability are served. Most users are single women on fixed incomes. The
program not only addresses such practical needs as providing transportation to doctors but also helps to
combat isolation and the ill health and depression that can result from immobility among the elderly. An
approximate budget of $45,000 pays such expenses as modest salaries for drivers, fuel costs, and
subsidies for taxi service. User fees cover 25 percent of the cost. Trustee Wagner said he drove for the
program for 5 years.

Trustee Senter-Evans mentioned her disappointment in the News-Sun newspaper’s editorial urging a NO
vote on the advisory referendum question on the November ballot relating to the use of township property
tax dollars for grants to private charities. She said that she did not understand the motivation behind the
referendum campaign. She said that townships should partner with various social service agencies in the
manner that Shields Township is helping with the transportation program just discussed.

12.    Discussion and Motion to Approve a $30,000 Appropriation to the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff
       Senior Foundation for the Senior Transportation Program

Supervisor Fitzgerald pointed out that there is a line item in the budget to support the Senior Center
transportation program. Marge Burda mentioned that about half of the $591,000 budget comes from user
fees. A motion by Trustee Strenger to approve a $30,000 appropriation for this purpose, seconded by
Trustee Wagner, passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.

13.    Presentation by Jan Leahy, Director of the Career Resource Center

Supervisor Fitzgerald introduced Jan Leahy, the Director of the Lake Forest-based Career Resource
Center (CRC). She was joined by Nancy Hensel, a board member of the Center. Ms. Hensel mentioned a
20-year association with the CRC, beginning with help from the Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest. She
expressed her appreciation of the support from Shields Township in helping meet the CRC’s approximate
$200,000 budget. She mentioned that the case load is up about 50 percent in these difficult economic

Jan Leahy mentioned the addition of some new classes such as a job search roundtable, power point
presentations, and brown bag networking. She underscored the frequent need in the current climate for
individuals to make dramatic changes in their careers. She said the CRC has upgraded its computer lab
with common software on all commuters. Ms. Leahy passed out a survey documenting the help given to
clients in gaining their jobs and also in performing them competently once newly re-employed.

Ms. Leahy noted that the CRC now receives support from the Townships of Moraine, West Deerfield and
Libertyville as well as Shields.

Supervisor Fitzgerald took issue with the supporters of the advisory referendum on the November ballot
that raises the question about the Township’s grants to private charitable agencies. He said it was
disturbing to see this kind of movement in light of the support that the Township has given to a variety of

14.    Discussion of the Procedures for the 2008 Social Service Agency Funding Requests

Supervisor Fitzgerald said that the Board has been given the names of the agencies that are requesting
grants from Shields Township in this fiscal year. He said there are now 15 such agencies, including
several new ones and those that have been supported in prior years. Trustee Wagner asked how the Board
knows what the organizations do, especially if they are new to the list of grant applicants. Supervisor
Fitzgerald said that the next step would be to send questionnaires to the organizations with 2-3 weeks
given to respond. Trustee Strenger suggested the use of the same form as in past years. There was a
discussion of whether the organizations should be asked to appear and, if so, whether those who had
received support in the past and who had reported to the Board should be included in this requirement.
Trustee Wagner said he would like to vote on each agency individually instead of as a group. Supervisor
Fitzgerald said questionnaires would be mailed shortly and that November 10th would be the deadline for
responding. He said that the Board could decide how to proceed at the November meeting, including
determining which agencies would be asked to appear, but that no specific decisions about individual
grants would be made next month. Trustees Senter-Evans and Strenger said that all agencies should be
asked to appear. Supervisor Fitzgerald asked if the request from one agency that was received a day after
the deadline on October 2nd should be considered. Trustees Sexton and Wagner said they thought this
organization should not be eligible, and Supervisor Fitzgerald said he would so notify them.

15.    Discussion of the 2009-20013 Salary Review for Shields Township Elected Officials

Supervisor Fitzgerald said that townships around Illinois are considering salary levels for elected officials
now because, under Illinois law, they must be set at least 180 days before the next term of office begins.
Because that date is May 18, 2009, that salary decisions need to be made by November 19th. He said that
Township Attorney Richard Cowen is researching the possible impact on salaries if no action is taken and
whether they would be reduced to zero. He said that Brian Smith, the Executive Director of the
Township Officials of Illinois, believes that the lack of action by the Board before the 180-day deadline
would result in no salaries for officials.

Trustee Sexton suggested that a separate meeting be scheduled to discuss the salary question at greater
length but said he would be out of town from November 7th to 17th.

Assessor Yakes passed out a salary survey for the elected assessors in 5 neighboring townships, showing
the salaries to be effective over the next 4 years. She noted the salary disparities between the lower level
in Shields and the neighboring townships, with a variance of as much as 40 percent, and the fact that the
assessor positions are part-time in two of those other townships. She said that she was not asking for an
increase in the assessor’s base salary but only a cost of living adjustment of 3 percent annually. Assessor
Yakes also passed a sample job description used in a jurisdiction in Michigan where assessors are hired
rather than elected which sets forth very detailed qualifications and the need for considerable experience
in the tax assessment field. She pointed out that Shields Township has an equalized assessed valuation of
over $2 billion, which gives it one of the 7 largest tax bases in Lake County. She discussed the complexity
of the position and the particular challenges of dealing with changing property values in these turbulent
economic times. For example, she noted that there are 400 Board of Review hearings at the County level
this year, which is up 30 over last year.

Trustee Senter-Evans asked about the staff time. Assessor Yakes said they work about 31 hours per week
- 7.hours on 4 days plus 3.5 hours on the 5th day. She said there are three staff members who work these
hours and another employee working on a more part-time basis.

Trustee Yakes asked that the materials she passed out relating to the job description and comparative
assessor salaries be entered into the official record of the meeting.

After further discussion, there was an agreement to hold a special meeting on the question of elected
officials’ salaries in one week, on Thursday, October 23rd at 6:30 p.m..

16.    Non-Agenda Items & Visitors

Martin Rivera of Forest View in the Arden Shore South subdivision said he had sent an e-mail about the
repairs on Forest View. He also said that had received the letter about an advisory referendum about
creating a Special Service Area for township road maintenance. He mentioned that property owners in his
area are taxed for the sanitary district even though they do not use the service. Highway Commissioner
Goodman said that his support for the idea of a Special Service Area is based on the fact that the Road
District does not have enough money to do its job and to do it well. He pointed out that the amount of
work that was performed this year was only accomplished with substantial financial help from the
General Town Fund. He said that kind of support would not be sustainable on an ongoing basis.
Commissioner Goodman noted that the referendum is just raising the question of whether a Special
Service Area is a feasible way of addressing the difficult financial situation of the Road District.

Supervisor Fitzgerald mentioned the absence of current statutory authority for a township special service
area for road maintenance purposes.

Nicki Snoblin of the Knollwood neighborhood said she thought the Special Service Area referendum
question is essentially a political issue. She expressed the view that the proposition is flawed because of
the absence of an adequate tax base in the unincorporated area to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Dan Rogers of the Knollwood neighborhood noted that half of the Road District tax imposed throughout
the Township goes back to the municipalities in which it is raised. On a separate subject, he asked why a
Lake County deputy sheriff attends Township meetings on a regular basis and why the Township incurs
that cost. Trustee Wagner said that no trustee was consulted as to whether a deputy sheriff would be paid
to attend a meeting. Supervisor Fitzgerald noted the heated discussion and public comments that had
taken place at a past meeting which, he said, had nearly resulted in a physical altercation and which
prompted him to arrange for the presence of a deputy sheriff at subsequent meetings.
Trustee Wagner said that he was not in favor of the Special Service Area referendum question and that he
thinks road maintenance by townships is their key traditional function that needs to be supported.

17.    Executive Session - None

18.    Adjournment

A motion to adjourn by Trustee Senter-Evans, seconded by Trustee Strenger, was approved on a voice
vote at 8:23 p.m..

                                  David N. Barkhausen, Town Clerk

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