River Forest Township Board met November 21.
River Forest Township Board met Nov. 21.
Here is the minutes provided by the Board:
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Supervisor
Carla Sloan, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present: Supervisor Carla Sloan, Trustees Karen Taubman and Holly Economos. Not present: Trustees Mark Kelty and Helene Connolly
Also present: Clerk Abby Schmelling, MH/GA Administrator Avis Rudner, Senior Outreach Coordinator Cathaleen Roach, Assessor Pamela Kende, RFCCA Administrator Dick Chappell, and Mary O’Brien.
Approval of minutes of the October 17, 2017 was tabled to the December 5 meeting, because a quorum from the October meeting was not present.
Public Participation -- Past River Forest Township Trustee Mary O’Brien attended the meeting and greeted the Board.
Assessor Pamela Kende
The Assessor commented on the following items: Permits were sent to Cook County; there were multiple questions regarding new sale prices vs. additions to homes and the impact these have on their assessment and tax bills; Certificates of Error were processed for senior and homeowner exemptions; Board of Review decisions were sent to homeowners; questions were answered regarding what the reductions mean. Pam attended the Cook County Township Assessor Association meeting. Pam added that the senior freeze limit has been raised to $65,000. Other discussion followed.
Mental Health Committee (MHC)/General Assistance (GA) Avis Rudner
● Funding applications have been distributed to funded agencies with a return date of December 15, 2017. They will be distributed at either the January or February Mental Health Committee meeting. Recommendations to River Forest Township trustees will be completed by March 3, 2018.
● River Forest Township Holiday Food Gift Basket Program has distributed food gift cards this week. Holiday presents will be delivered on December 9.
● There is one GA client.
● Trustee liaison to the Mental Health Committee, Holly Economos, gave her report. The MHC discussed the issue of depression among seniors, including expanded senior transportation hours (since trans availability can relate to seniors' ability to thrive in the community). Carla noted that under the new senior trans system, which is now independent of PACE, hours have been extended during the week and routes have been expanded to include Gottlieb, Loyola and other places slightly outside of Oak Park and River Forest. Evening and weekend hours are not yet available.
● Avis added that the MHC expressed interest in a joint meeting between Oak Park and River Forest Townships ’volunteer Mental Health, Youth and Senior committees, to discuss topics which overlap the three areas.
● Carla commented that the Community Mental Health Needs Assessment addresses senior transportation as well as mental health issues for target populations such as seniors.
● Carla added that Sibshops continue with two left in December. Twenty kids signed up in total with 12-16 at any given workshop. Feedback continues to be positive; Carla shared an email from a Sibshop parent. Dates will be set for the winter/spring session and outreach will be done.
● The two LOSS groups (support groups for those losing a loved one to suicide) have started up, one for adults and one for teens. Groups meet at RF Township. The teen group had its third meeting, with kids in attendance from Oak Park, Highland Park and Orland Park. The adults group met for the second time. The program fills a void by offering groups in this location.
● Carla attended the Suicide Task Force meeting. The group is seriously looking at a Text a Tip program for both communities, where students could text for help for themselves, peers or family members.
Youth Services Committee (YSC) Carla Sloan
● The Positive Youth Development group has developed a set of print media targeted to parents, aimed at reducing parent permissiveness and empowering parents to say no to alcohol accessibility in their homes for underage children.
● Carla talked about the successful program held by IMPACT, "Sex, Drugs & Snapchat", held November 8 at the high school. Over 200 parents and students packed the staff cafeteria. Attendees also participated in facilitator-led breakout groups.
● Carla will be meeting with board members from IMPACT next week to determine if and how the Township will still be funding IMPACT projects now that IMPACT no longer has a Director. The Township’s funding related to director’s projects is on hold pending the outcome of these discussions.
● The Youth Services Committee meets December 6. Trustee Karen Taubman will be the board’s new liaison.
● The Youth Intervention Program has been working with middle school-aged girl scouts in River Forest to implement Cargo Circles. Carla shared positive feedback from the troop leader.
Senior Outreach Coordinator Cathaleen Roach
● The Coffee Monday on November 6 event went well. District #90 representative Carol Sweck discussed the One District, One Book Initiative selection, Mindset. Community-wide discussion events will be set up in January and February 2018. Coffee Monday then discussed senior transportation options, featuring a speaker from the RTA and Charles Barnes from Township Senior Services. Both speakers were enthusiastically received.
● Fall Celebrating Seniors All Year Long (CSAYL) programs continued in November in partnership with the River Forest Library, including programs on Chicago in the 20's and pre-Civil War quilts. December programming includes talks on holiday gadget gifts and Christmas at Marshall Field's.
● Carla attended Saturday October 28’s Brain Health Initiative kickoff talk by the Alzheimer's Association, Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body: Tips from Latest. Eleven people came and the talk was very informative.
● Steve Smith from Oak Park Township Senior Services hosted a second brain health talk at the River Forest Community Center on Friday, November 17 on the latest Alzheimer’s research.
● On November 18, Cathaleen and Pam Mahn attended a very well received event produced by Arbor West Neighbors and Judy Smith. Over 100 attendees gathered for an informative discussion on future housing options and ideas for seniors and retirees.
● Bridge Club has doubled in frequency, now meeting at the River Forest Community Center weekly on Thursdays, and in size, averaging eight to twelve participants.
● The Movement and Memory for Joyful Aging class, targeted at seniors, will be publicized in the RFCC Winter and Spring Booklet. This is a partnership between RFCC and RF Township. Provided the class gets a six person minimum for registration, there will be two sessions beginning in February 2018.
● We are still looking for seniors interested in beginning an improv class taught by Chris Hauri.
● We continue with our publicity and outreach efforts for ongoing senior programs including SHIP, Senior Health Insurance Program Advising for Open Enrollment; Disability and Aging Resource counsellors available at River Forest Medical Center monthly; Connect With Tech, free tech assistance at the River Forest Library; and Safe Disposal of Medication efforts.
Supervisor’s Comments Carla Sloan..
● Carla talked about the revamping of the bridge club, open to all but attended mostly by seniors. Coffee, tea, materials and space are provided by the Township and RFCC in Room 206. Discussion followed.
● There is demand for mahjong among seniors. Carla is looking for an instructor to teach a group.
● The River Forest bracelet program is being rolled out by the RF Police Department, to help first responders better assist residents, particularly those with dementia, disabilities and mental health issues. Carla talked about the details of this newly launched program.
● The Senior Services Committee met on October 18. Celebrating Seniors Week will be April 26 to May 3, 2018. Trustee Helene Connolly will be the new trustee liaison to the Senior Committee. Judy Smith, who had been spearheading the Senior Committee projects, has taken a full time job with a senior agency in Chicago. She will give a final update at the December meeting and there will be a search for her replacement.
● Trustee Holly Economos brought up the possibility of a pickleball program for seniors through the Township. Discussion followed. Carla will reviews costs and feasibility and will look at partners such as the RFCC, RF Park District or private organizations.
● Carla attended the TOI (Townships of Illinois) Conference. The new TOI legislative consultant, Taylor Anderson, provided a legislative update and highlighted the large turnover in the Illinois legislature.
● Carla attended a fundraiser for Senator Don Harmon.
● Carla attended the Food Pantry and Sarah’s Inn fundraising events, as well as the Thrive "friendsraiser".
● Carla presented the Community Health Needs Assessment at the Developmental Disabilites Consortium and at the Communityworks guidance team meeting of the Community Foundation.
● Carla attended the Women in Leadership Conference at Riveredge Hospital.
Approval of Bills
● Trustee Economos made a motion to approve bills as of November 30, 2017 totalling $61,502.87. It was seconded by Trustee Taubman. Roll was called. Ayes: Supervisor Sloan, Trustees Taubman and Economos. Nays: None. The motion passed unanimously.
● Trustee Economos made a motion to approve General Assistance bills as of November 30, 2017 in the amount of $360.96. It was seconded by Trustee Taubman. Roll was called. Ayes: Supervisor Sloan, Trustees Taubman and Economos. Nays: None. The motion passed unanimously.
● Carla reviewed the proposed 2017 levy which will be voted on at the December 5 meeting. The proposed levy calls for an overall 2.1% increase, equal to CPI. This includes an $18,906 increase for the Town Fund and a $6,568 decrease in the General Assistance Fund.
New Business Carla Sloan
● There is a new General Assistance manual. Trustee Economos made a motion to adopt the new manual, seconded by Trustee Taubman. The motion passed unanimously.