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May 2018 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association

Minutes of Board Meeting held May 3, 2018

  1. The meeting, held at Full Circle Architects, was called to order at 7:04 PM. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Ed Kugler, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Jean Meier and Jeff Stern. Brett Tolpin had previously advised the board he could not attend and was absent.  Also absent were Michael Babian and Larry Dunlap. A quorum was present. Two community members were in attendance.
  2. President’s Report by Justin Kee:  Justin informed the board that Mike Stroz, Vice President, will act take over the President’s role for the next two months, due to Justin’s summer commitments.
  3. Announcement regarding next meeting:  Doug announced that the next meeting will be held on June 14th, the second Thursday in the month.
  4. Amy Lohmolder read some inspirational and historic quotes that were once used to open the meetings of the Ravinia Women’s Club at the Village House, which later became Ravinia School.
  5. Treasurer’s report by Michael Babian (This item was passed at meeting but updated as of 5/4/2018):

5.1 Account Balances

        5.1.1 Checking account:  $4,871.24

        5.1.2 CD:  $5,326.59

        5.1.3 Transferred from Paypal:  $221.22

        5.1.4 Total:  $10,419.05  

  1. Membership/Publicity Report by Doug Purington:

6.1.       Membership: The new membership drive began 48 hours ago and already has resulted in several new members. 3 households did not renew in 2015 but have now done so.  

6.2.       Update on local businesses:

6.2.1.Viaggio’s Restaurant opened on May 1st with over 40 people in attendance. Doug has been in contact with the owner, who stated he may want to contribute to Food Truck Thursdays.  Doug may contribute to a later article about the new restaurant.

6.2.2. Nothing new on the Ravinia Vogue Cleaners or on Zuzu’s, both of which are vacant.

6.2.3. The Klairmont project, at last update, had its final parking and building permits, but no    construction progress seems evident.

  1. Report on Ravinia Brewery by several board members

The difficulties between the as-yet-unopened Ravinia Brewery and the Ravinia Festival appear to      be resolving. On April 24, 2018, Brett Tolpin, the attorney for Ravinia Brewery, sent an open letter to the Ravinia Community and the press stating that the Festival was no longer asking for royalties or a name change, and negotiations are in progress regarding changes in font size and assurances that the words “Ravinia Brewing” are always used together. The letter praised the “rabble-rousing Ravinians and friends” for their support.  Doug says more than 23,000 people saw the RNA website/facebook post on this matter when this controversy arose.

  1. Vice President’s Report by Mike Stroz:

8.1.    Mike reminded the board that we will again have a city representative here at our June meeting, likely Drew Awsumb, we should have questions ready. It was suggested we can again ask about the Klairmont project progress.  Mike will contact Rob at the City before the meeting date of June 14th.

8.2.    Mike stated he will attend the upcoming May 17th meeting of the TIF group, for which he is the RNA representative and urged other members to attend. On June 6th at the Highland Park Public Library from 6 to 7:30 PM, there will be a larger Public Workshop on the Ravinia Business District Streetscape Improvement Project. Again, members are strongly urged to attend. Dan Baigelman had earlier provided input regarding the lighting for the Streetscape and was generally pleased with the chosen Craftsman style chosen. In addition to the lights, designs for planters, benches, and bike racks will be reviewed and accepted eventually. Several board members recalled that during City Council meetings, Al Klairmont had promised the community a covered bike rack when he received permission for his planned development.

  1. Train Station Report by Jeff Sterns

Jeff reports that he is dissatisfied with the benches in the train station and wants to suggest new replacements, which the City might choose to install. The current benches are very old and one of them is too long for its location, as it protrudes into the West doorway. Dan mentioned that it migh be possible to refinish the benches and cut down the longer one for a better fit.

  1.  Newsletter Report by Amy Lohmolder:

Amy reported that she and Jean Meier have taken over responsibility for the newsletter. To date, they have requested and received most of the needed templates, pdf, Word and Excel files from Jeanne Vella, our former newsletter editor, and Doug. Because Jeanne used a Mac and Amy and Jean use PC’s, the transition has been difficult.  Articles suggested by those present were:  An article on the Food Truck Thursdays, with info from Ripple Public Relations; an article on the Ravinia Business District Streetscape project with info from Ration Design. The board discussed various ideas for ad and photo placement in the newsletters. The deadline to submit articles is May 31, 2018 and the newsletter will be mailed in mid-to-late June.

  1. Discussion of the new RNA tent, cloth bags, and other issues related to the Farmers Market

11.1.   Mike has already purchased a tent that is 8 feet tall, and measures 10 feet by 10 feet. It     is white and has side skirts. He is getting quotes by printers for our logo, which would be on the 1 by 10- foot valance. Ed presented cost estimates for other tent options which might be more expensive but also more durable. The Board discussed pricing for graphics.

11.2.   Ed described the cloth bags he intends to purchase.  They are of a higher quality and are dark green with white logos, including the RNA logo. He will get 100 for us to distribute and the rest will go to Farmers Market vendors.

11.3.   Further discussion on RNA participation at the Farmers Market ensued. RNA will need volunteers to sit at our booth. Mike suggested a contest to attract visitors to the booth and encourage them to join RNA. Such a contest might include a roulette wheel style game with candy or other prizes such as restaurant certificates from Ravinia area restaurants.

  1. Fourth of July Participation

Justin presented the question of whether RNA wants to participate in the Fourth of July parade. Many board members will be out of town, none are able to lead the effort. The applications are due soon. Ed offered to include us in his application. His parade entry will be a truck and several high school students handing out favors to the crowd. and Ed offered to display the RNA logo on the truck and to hand out the cloth bags which have our logo. Justin moved to join Ed’s application and Doug seconded it and the motion passed.

  1. Bike Incentive Idea by Peg Laemle, Ravinia resident and member of the Transportation Commission

Peg Laemle wants RNA to assist in encouraging people to ride their bikes to Food Truck Thursdays. She suggested that the RNA booth could offer prizes to those with bike helmets. Suggestions included water bottle holders or coupons for local merchants. RNA could perhaps also keep track of those who ride their bikes and enter them into a contest for a large prize could be awarded at the end of the summer from, such as a bicycle from Trek. Justin volunteered to contact Trek and ask if a bike could be donated.

  1. Adjournment at 9:07 PM.