PPD Chief of Police Todd Gavin introduced three of the six civilian security officers employed by the PPD. They were officers Parker, Reed and Starks. (Officers Scott, Johnson and Banks were on duty.) These officers are not badged officers who have undergone law enforcement training like the regular police officers employed by the PPD. They have no arrest powers but are considered influencers and observers who can diffuse difficult situations and can call for police backup if necessary. Most of them are employed by Peoria Public Schools as security officers so they are familiar with many of the young people who frequent park facilities. Gavin extolled their virtues and credited them with many positive results. All of the PPD officers will be deployed during the annual fireworks festivities at Glen Oak Park on July 3.
Rebecca Shulman, director of the Peoria Playhouse, has resigned and will be leaving June 30. Interviews are being conducted to fill that position.
Staff reports were given by the executive director, the superintendent of planning design and construction and the chief of police. Committee reports, new business items and consent items were all approved.
All trustees were present in person or via Facebook. The meeting was called to order at 6:05 and adjourned at 7:00.
Scott Loftus, Superintendent of Recreational Services, presented information on the Summer Fun Park Pass which allows unlimited access to students (from June 1 to August 31) to PPD activities. These passes have been mailed out to all students within PPD boundaries in the city of Peoria. The passes allow two parents to accompany their child.
Kevin Davis, Recreation Services Manager, discussed the PPD scholarship program that allows families that qualify financially to participate in camps, RiverPlex memberships, the Peoria Zoo, etc. for a small fee, not to exceed $5 per person. Scholarships are full or partial, based on financial need. Applications can be picked up at Bonnie Noble Center, RiverPlex, or Proctor Center. From May 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022, slightly more than 300 families qualified for the scholarships.
President Johnson recognized four fallen PPD police officers who have died in the line of duty. Chief of PPD police, Todd Green, introduced four of his full time and part time officers. They were thanked for their service.
James Stuttle was presented with a certificate of appreciation for his years of service 2013-2022 as he retires from the Recreation Advisory Committee. He worked closely with Springdale Cemetery, specifically in regards to the intergovernmental agreement.
All trustees were present in person or on Facebook. The meeting was called to order at 6:05 and adjourned at 8:05.
Presentation of the Landen Memorial Volunteer Service Award was made to John Martin in recognition of his volunteer service since 1997 in the joint association of the PPD and the Peoria Irish Fest/ Erin Feis.
Presentation of the Rhodell E. Owens Distinguished Group Community Service Award was made to Kappa Alpha Psi.
Information Security Supervisor, Willie Howe, reported that over $10,000 was saved with revamping of the golf telephone system.
Chief of Park District police, Todd Green, commented on the job posting for one full time officer to bring up to to four, the number of officers needed.
During public comments, a member of the Center Bluff Coalition discussed the need for a shelter at Columbia Park. Staff will be following through with that request.
The last Springdale Cemetary Management Authority meeting minutes were included in the meeting packet and will be routinely included from now on.
Trustee Bright was absent. The meeting convened at 6:00 and adjourned at 7:05.
Superintendent of Human Resources, Shaleese Pie, reported on the ongoing process to fill 230 full-time, part-time and seasonal positions. Staff have attended a good number of high schools and career fairs to recruit with more opportunities for recruitment in the future. PPD is using its website and various media sources, including Facebook, to promote its values and priorities. On the PPD website there is a listing of all job openings on an interactive interface with benefits and information on the hiring process.
In other business, a question from Trustee Petty concerning selecting the bidder on several commodity purchases, using the diversity policy in place, lead to a discussion about the applicability on the provisions of the policy in this instance. It was decided that the DEI (Diversity Equality Inclusion) ad hoc committee would take up the clarification of this policy as it pertains to future bidding for both services and commodities.
Trustee Bertschy was absent. All other trustees were present in person or via Facebook. The meeting was called to order at 6:10 and adjourned at 7:30.
The trustees of the PPD board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the 2022 Springdale Cemetery Intergovernmental Agreement between the PPD, the City of Peoria, and the County of Peoria. Under the agreement the city will subdivide and sell the area of the savanna at Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum to the PPD for $1.00. This area will be put into permanent environmental stewardship at the Park District’s cost. The agreement is for ten years with the option to extend an additional ten years. The Peoria City Council approved the agreement prior to the PPD board meeting and the Peoria County Board will vote on it March 10, 2022.
In other business Jacob Kuban reported on the process the PPD has gone through to receive Level 1 accreditation from the Morton Arboretum’s Arbnet for the Donovan Park Arboretum. Signage is being developed to identify 25 tree species in high traffic areas of the park. A tree planting will be held Friday, April 29 in conjunction with Earth Day. All trustees were present in person/via Zoom. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 and adjourned at 6:45.
Board President Robert Johnson has been elected to the State Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Park Districts for a two-year term. He and four PPD employees attended the IAPD Conference where he was recognized.
Shalesse Pie, Human Resources Director, gave a minority hiring report for last year. In 2021
A request for $5,000,000 in General Obligation Park Bonds and a lease agreement with OSF for space at the RiverPlex both passed unanimously.
A question on the new Peoria Public Schools calendar led to discussion concerning preliminary thinking about programming for breaks.
All trustees were present in person/via Zoom. The meeting was called to order at 6:45 and adjourned at 8:15.
The meeting was held both in person and through streaming ZOOM on the Peoria Park
District Facebook page. President Johnson called the meeting to order at 6:00. All
Trustees were present, either in person or on ZOOM.
Superintendent of Recreational Services, Scott Loftus, discussed the Play Books (the
guide to summer programs) and their distribution both as hard copies and online to all
the students and home schoolers in Peoria.
Superintendent of Parks, Matt Freeman, reported that all projects are running on
All agenda items were approved.
Discussion was held about the fact that an all-out effort to recruit and train lifeguards has
been unsuccessful but will continue. There is persistent dearth of lifeguard recruits
across the country so this situation is not unique to Peoria.
Adjournment at 7:17 p.m.
The meeting was held both in person and through streaming Zoom on the Peoria Park
District Facebook page. President Johnson conducted the meeting via Zoom and called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Director Rebecca Shulman from The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum spoke about
the fact that the Museum has had to deal with a 15-month closure due to COVID and
laid out a strategic plan going forward. Priority items included the following:
Trustee Jackie Petty was appointed Vice President of the Board 2022.
Director Cahill reiterated the policy of the park district agenda being posted online on
the Friday before the Wednesday meeting. This is more time than the legally required
48 hours before a scheduled meeting. There was some discussion whether or not the
notice could be expanded to 10 to 14 days because of future discussion of the possible
amphitheater construction project in Donovan Park. No action was taken.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35 with the board going into executive session.
(Peoria Park District 7-8-2020 meeting was cancelled.)
Peoria Park District (PPD) Observer Report of 7-22-2020 meeting:
The meeting was held both in person and through streaming ZOOM on the Peoria Park District Face Book Page.
Executive Director Cahill noted that July is National Parks and Recreation Month. To celebrate, PPD highlighted members of the staff on Facebook.
Trustees discussed a public hearing to be held on August 5 about the possible removal of the Christopher Columbus Statue in Laura Bradley Park. A Facebook live meeting will be held. An in-person option will be explored. The Planning Committee will discuss results on September 1 and the Trustees will receive a recommendation at its September 23 meeting.
During Other Business, Trustee Harant shared that the Peoria City/County Board of Health declared racism a public health crisis. She asked the Trustees to consider a position statement about the impact of racism. Following discussion, they decided to get additional information, including checking with other park districts’ statements. Trustee Harant also shared that a Task Force is being formed to address racism.
Farrell Davies, Observer
The meeting was held through streaming ZOOM on the Peoria Park District Face Book Page. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by President Johnson. All Trustees were present.
2019 Audit Report was presented by Katie Bermingham, CPA with CliftonLarsonAllen. The audit was clean with no findings. Trends in major areas such as tax revenue, operating expenses, and long-term debt were all good.
The Golf Ad Hoc Committee report indicated that golf is doing very well, especially the Partner to Play program that currently has sold 276 passes to date.
The Trustees discussed the short-term closure of the Franciscan Recreation Center in West Peoria. Concerns about closing this site were expressed because West Peoria does not have any other recreation center. The Trustees were assured that it could still serve as a polling place for voting and that the outdoor area is still available. Trustees voted to approve the short-term closure of the center. Voting for the motion: Trustees Harant, Ryan, Snowden, and Williams. Voting against the motion: Trustees Cassidy, Petty, and Johnson.
The Trustees voted unanimously for short-term closure of the Glen Oak Amphitheater and the establishment of an Advisory Group for Glen Oak Park Reimagination.
The Trustees discussed the short-term closure of the Aquaplex, including the public comments that focused primarily on the need for people to have access to the lap and therapy pools for health reasons. Trustees also discussed concerns about the impact on the PPD relationship with OSF if the lap and therapy pools remained open. Trustees approved the short-term closure of the Aquaplex with the exception of the therapy and lap pools. Voting for the motion: Trustees Cassidy, Harant, Johnson, Petty, Ryan, and Williams. Voting against the motion: Trustee Snowden. Notification to RiverPlex members will be sent out immediately. OSF will also be notified in order for them to inform their patients that used the Aquaplex.
Trustees unanimously approved a motion to begin the process of evaluating the removal of the Christopher Columbus Statue in Laura Bradley Park through public hearings Aug or Sept.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:08 PM. Farrell Davies, Observer
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