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Welcome to J.P.A.C. Newsletter online, November 2010

Published by Jackson Park Advisory Council, a recognized advisory body to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Illinois

Editor Gary Ossewaarde. Hosted by hydepark.org, website of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (owner) by OnShore Communications.

Jackson Park Advisory Council minutes of the October 13, 2010 meeting


The meeting was held on a special day due to Columbus Day and officer availability. The meeting was convened by Secretary Gary Ossewaarde with assistance of Dwight Powell, the other officer present. There were 19 attendees and a quorum of those qualified to vote under attendance provisions of the present bylaws. The meeting agreed to suspend previous-attendance requirement due to the special circumstances of the meeting. It was explained that two officers, Vice President Fran Vandervoort and President Ross Petersen had recently resigned. Fran had formerly submitted her resignation, accepted at the September meeting. Although Ross had not submitted a letter, he left a clear message and also gave his resignation and the reasons therefore clearly in the media, with no word to the contrary. The exemplary work of both, especially of Ross was described. Members suggested a formal resignation be asked but is not required and determined that the offices are vacant and that according to bylaws they should proceed to fill the positions.

Following introductions of attendees (from all the neighborhoods surrounding the park), the September minutes by Gary Ossewaarde were approved as presented and summarized.

The financial report was presented by Treasurer Dwight Powell. As of September 30, balance was $3,206.67. Powell was asked to review major expenses to date. These included last fall $2,400 to Care of Trees for removals in Wooded Island, a spring lecture by mycologist Greg Mueller (cost a few hundred) and various for Park Kids activities. $1,000 had been budgeted for Park Kids scholarships. Operational costs were recited and noted as unsustainable without help of Museum of Science and Industry and others pro bono. Need to start the 2011 dues/fundraising was stressed.

Eric Hammond, Jackson Park fieldhouse recreation leader, gave the park and program report in the absence of Supervisor William Tillis. The Junior Bears are in the playoffs. Upon suggestion that help would be nice for the Halloween party for 50-60 kids, Louise McCurry moved with second that $200 be appropriated. Unanimously approved.

Moved, seconded, approved to proceed to nominations. Officers and other experienced members reviewed the responsibilities of park councils and recent JPAC accomplishments, such as the Frederick Douglass monument project. This was followed by distribution of PAC membership applications and sign up sheets for four identified committees: Membership, Natural Areas/Upkeep, Program, and Security. Nominees for office (alphabetic):

President: Louise McCurry, Dwight Powell
Vice President: Judith Hill, Toshia Booker-Blakeley
Secretary: Gary Ossewaarde
Treasurer: Dwight Powell.
Offices will be filled from top office down. Additional nominations will be open from the floor. Bios can be distributed.

Ossewaarde distributed the latest annotated draft of revised bylaws, by committee of Fran Vandervoort and Gary Ossewaarde with assistance of experienced attorney Roger Huff, consulting Chicago Park District Guidelines. Some areas for further visitation were identified with expectation that language will be brought to the next meeting.

Natural areas and plans were discussed. Some of the concerns and critiques by Ross Petersen were set forth and two members of the volunteer workday team discussed them. Jerome Scott, CPD Park Forester explained the natural areas protocol and the template that was developed with much community and expert consultation and distinguished between removals and plantings. He said the PD is serious about implementing plans—properly--and needs volunteers and a site steward to work and oversee. He explained how one qualifies and becomes a site steward and urged people to apply (two persons or more sharing the post is acceptable.) There is a new Natural Areas Coordinator, to whom one applies. Scott said the dune project by the 63rd pavilion is going very well.

Members described inconveniences and impracticalities for park users from the paid parking and opined that the lakefront should be a free-use resource.
Concerns were expressed that recent changes in police deployment would lead to return of bad conditions the police had begun seriously addressing.

Rosalind Moore of the 5th Ward Office offered to facilitate a small meeting with the police and others with responsibility for public safety. Rosalind also said that the Alderman relies on JPAC to support a strong park, evaluate proposals, and serve as early warning.

The meeting was adjourned to November 8.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Ossewaarde, Secretary