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RNA Virtual Board Meeting September 2021


Ravinia Neighbors Association Virtual Board Meeting 

Thursday, September 9 - 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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Meeting Minutes Archives

P.O. Box 1123 Highland P..

July 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123

Highland Park, IL



Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

VIRTUAL MEETING - Dial-in Number: (267) 930-4000 Participant Access: 429-481-402

Minutes – Thursday, July 9, 2020 

I.                   Call to Order 7:03pm.


Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President; Brett Tolpin, Vice President; Mike Babian, Treasurer; Doug Purington, Membership, PR; Beth Grey, Secretary

Members at Large Attendees

Ed Kugler, Jeff Levin (until 8pm), Shruthi Potocek, Katie Alland

Absent Board Members

Jeff Stern, Paul Silverman


Virginia Gordon


Approval of June Minutes: Motion to approve June minutes by Doug, Katie seconded, unanimous approval of minutes.

II.                President’s Report (Mike Stroz).

Mike welcomed new board members, thanked Justin Kee who is stepping down, and urged everyone to read the RNA by-laws.


III.              Residents Time: Address Items Not on Agenda:

Discussion of new outdoor eating area on Roger Williams continued later in meeting.


IV.              New Governing Board • Results of Member Voting (Jeff L.).

·         52 responses to internet voting for board were received, with 52 yes votes and 1 no vote (Jeff explained why that no vote was not really a no vote). RNA has approximately 200 official members, so this is a 25% response rate which is by far the best response rate that RNA has received.

·         Backup Support for Officers (Mike S.): Mike clarified that board members who agree to be backups do not have to fill in if someone can’t make it to a meeting. If board member were unable to continue to fulfill his or her duties, the backup would fill in until a replacement board member could be found. An email will be sent out to see who might want to be a backup.


V.                Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian).

Checking Balance $7495.21 (includes the $4000 donation which we will need to discuss how to use). $4000 will continue to be reported out separately from what was raised from memberships and ads.

CD Balance $5526.29

PayPal Transfer $225.78

Total Balance $13,247.28 

Mike B. still has the following deposit from Doug that needs to be made: $860! 

Payments issued over $50: 

$60 – To the City of HP for Farmers Market Permit

VI.              Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (DougPurington).


·         Doug will upload minutes onto website with supporting documentation, e.g. poll results, letters in support of Green Bay Trail. Doug will figure out which supporting docsuments should be uploaded.

·         Update on Use of Mailchimp for Ravinia District Marketing and Members Renewal Campaign.

a.       Mailchimp works great and is so much more professional in appearance

b.      Monthly cost staying at under $15, even with our many emails

c.       Contacts not opting out!

d.      Recognized the 20th anniversary of Tanya at Ravinia Barber Shop on June 14th

e.       Posted re: Live Music Schedule for the Al Fresco Dining Area aka the Piazza

f.        Many of these emails are also posted on our Facebook page for extra coverage

Renewal Campaign

g.      First emails went out May 8th

h.      Second emails went out June 1st

i.        Additional personal emails and other pleadings went out in June

j.        Several renewals for those who never renewed in 2019

k.      Renewals went from 45% to 73%

                                                              i.      43 members still not renewed

                                                            ii.      More promised and still to come

l.        Monies received = $1,030

                                                              i.      Includes 1 ad for 1 time = $85

                                                            ii.      Last minute ad for 3 times = $170

Will be paid for next month’s monies

·         Update on Summer 2020 Newsletter put together by Kim, not more than $600 and no postage and no labels so a lot cheaper than last time. Virtual copy will be sent to Mail Chimp group-360-400 members. One article about Susan Benjamin’s book about properties.

a.       Done except for redo of 1 ad

b.      12 articles submitted by 9 persons including 4 by Jeff Stern

c.       10 ads totaling 5.75 pages

d.      Size is 28 pages

e.       Will only print 100 copies

                                                                                                  i.      50 to Ed Kugler

                                                                                                ii.      Copies to all content writers

                                                                                              iii.      10 copies @ train station

f.        Will provide on website via Facebook and via email


VII.           Previous Action Items:


 • E-Mail Voting Process (see Proposed Internet Voting Protocol document) (All). Mike S. suggested the Proposed Internet Voting Protocol document should be a codicil to the By-laws. Doug sent the document out to all of Board Members. Doug will send it again because it may not have gone to new board members. Mike S. is not calling for a vote tonight but just wants a discussion. There was also discussion regarding timeliness questions for internet votes. Comments may be sent to Mike S. We’ll vote on the proposal at the next meeting.


VIII.        New Business.


• Green Bay Trail Lighting: Board’s virtual vote to send letter to City of HP in Support of City’s Grant Application for Lighting. Update (Mike S).

Mike S. contacted Melissa Rosen at the City of HP. He received no response so he contacted Carolyn Hirsch, Drew, and the City Engineer, Ramish, and all of them said that they learned of a possible grant for lighting and they quickly filed an application for solar lighting or other sustainable power-- low level lighting to be installed on the Green Bay Trail between the Ravinia Festival and Roger Williams. They have no idea whether the City will receive the grant.


• RNA Farmers Market T Shirt Vote and Update on the Purchase of the T Shirts (Paul & Mike B).


Ed put in the t-shirt order on Friday, Mike B. received the bill, Ed paid for them, Ed will pass out the shirts to those who want them on the board. We discussed the various options as to what to do with the extra shirts. No vote on this is needed. It’s up to Ed.


Ed mentioned an idea for natural food wholesalers who wish to give away their products at the entrance to the Farmers Market. They propose to donate a pallet of food, e.g., individually sealed protein bars, and receive a thank you donation letter from the RNA. Ed will ask for a certificate of insurance from manufacturers, naming RNA and additionally insuring RNA and board of directors and he will inquire about quality control. No decision needed to be made at this meeting so we decided to table the request and give it some more thought.


If RNA wants to renew the permit for next year’s market, it should be put on the next meeting’s agenda.


There was discussion of asking the PDHP if a Ravinia Farmers Market banner can be placed in Jens Jensen Park. Ed made a motion that PDHP be asked to allow a Ravinia Farmers Market banner to be placed in Jens Jensen Park at some location of their choice until the market is closed on Oct. 28. 2020. Ed will submit a copy of the letter and banner to the board, and if approved, we will probably include the RNA logo on it and cover the cost. Doug seconded it. The vote in favor was unanimous (although Jeff L. was absent at that point in the meeting. Ed will draft a letter on his company letterhead, to Dan at PDHP requesting placement of a Farmers Market banner in Jens Jensen Park, with a copy of the present banner to be included with the letter. The letter should say that at a recent RNA board meeting we discussed the need for such a banner.



IX.             Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members


·         Future of Roger Williams Al Fresco Dining or “piazza” (All). We discussed a move afoot by local merchants to make the Roger Williams piazza permanent as it’s configured now or slightly different, e.g., down to the sushi shop, perhaps year-round, possibly with fire pits and curling in winter. At least one business contacted the City of HP about making the piazza permanent. Mike S. thinks this is something the RNA Board should consider and should poll the membership. Mike S., Brett, and Doug will reach out to merchants, Al Klairmont, and the City for more information and to get a sense about whether this is being given serious consideration. If it is, we should ask RNA members whether they like this idea, want it to be seasonal, year-round, and/or permanent. We will table this for now.


·         Vacancies. Mike B. mentioned a vacancy 477 and 479 Roger Williams. Sunshine Arts and Crafts has closed. They were there a little over 12 years. There is one large space - 3800 sq. feet - that can be divided into 2 spaces. Mike asked if we could try to put the word out. Mike said the number to call him or his grandfather with inquiries is 847-432-5570. Doug says there are now a total of 10 vacancies. The City has a data base for vacancies in each HP business district. Carolyn Hirsch is in charge of that. The owners of Sunshine Arts and Crafts took the opportunity with the covid slowdown to retire.

X.                Adjournment (approx. 9:00pm) (Next Board Meeting August 6, 2020).

P.O. Box 1123 Highland ..

June 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123

Highland Park, IL



Minutes – Thursday June 4, 2020 

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting   

Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. - VIRTUAL MEETING – Dial-in Number: (267) 930-4000

Participant Access: 429-481-402

I.   Call to Order 7:02pm.

Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President; Brett Tolpin, Vice President; Mike Babian, Treasurer; Doug Purington, Membership, PR; Beth Grey, Secretary

Members at Large Attendees

Ed Kugler, Jeff Levin, Jeff Stern, Paul Silverman

Absent Board Members

Justin Kee


Shruthi Potocek, Katie Alland, Ali Freundlich

II.  President’s Report (Mike Stroz). Mike is pleased we have a full slate of board members and special thanks to Justin Kee who is stepping off the board. Paul S. moved to accept May minutes, seconded by Ed K. All in favor so motion carried unanimously.

III.  Residents Time: Address Items Not on Agenda. Paul and Elliot will be meeting with Dan Voss of the PDHP to do a walk-through of Jens Jensen park, when they’ll discuss plantings and other issues.

IV. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian). Checking $7181.94, CD $ 5,525.89; Pay Pal $361.41; total $13,069.24. Only one payment over $50: 5/8 $331.20 - Survey Monkey - remainder of annual fee paid. Deposited $4000 donation check which is included in checking account.

V. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington). Thank you, Doug, for providing notes prior to meeting, which are included here with some additions.

  • 14 COVID-19 Emails went out to merchants
    • Also posted on our Facebook page each time
    • Not calling for vote but discuss whether appropriate to continue w/email campaign for local merchants until July.
    • 4/600 who received emails don’t want emails.
    • Everyone who commented on the emails was in favor of continuing at least through Phase 3, June/July.
    • Mailchimp Use
      • Mailchimp works great and is so much more professional in appearance
      • Used to advertise the Outdoor Picnic Grove on Roger Williams
        • Also posted on Facebook
          • Boosted for five days ($50)
            • Reached 7,209+ people
  • Used to recognize Dana Reed Designs’ 1st year anniversary
  • Will be recognizing the 20th anniversary of Tanya at Ravinia Barber Shop on June 14th
  • Renewal Campaign
    • First emails went out May 8th
    • Second emails went out June 1st
    • Monies received = $1,235
      • Includes 3 ads for 3 times each = $430 (19 renewals)
      • No one has taken us up on hardship membership
      • Update on June/July Newsletter (largest and best ever put out)
        • Twelve articles submitted by nine persons
          • Four by Jeff Stern
          • Newest: Ilyse at Whipple Relations, press release, outdoor dining photo
  • Nine ads totaling 5.25 pages
  • Will submit all to Kim Stroz shortly
  • Size will be 20 or 24 pages
  • Will only print 100 copies
  • Will provide on website, via Facebook and via email
  • Additional comments: Make extra copies of newsletter available at famers markets. $1500 to $2000 for 500 copies. Doug printing 100 copies, Ed can have 50. Too expensive to print more. There are people at the market who live outside of Ravinia who might not join. Display one newsletter with a membership application alongside the newsletter. If someone takes an application, they can then get a newsletter. Doug will print a stack of membership applications. There are a few newsletters left at the kiosk at Ravinia station. Jeff L. suggested printing the first couple of pages of the newsletter in a copier. Katie suggested that the application be updated and include a link to the newsletter at the top. We should give paper copies of the newsletter to people who are the subject of the articles.
  • Update on the Proposed Slate of Candidates for the 2020 – 2021 Governing Board. Get correct names and spelling to Doug and Beth before sending out to members

Proposed Office & Board for the RNA 2020 to 2021

Office                                                                     Agreed to stand           Proposed continuity

  • for the office of:                                                                                  backup position:
  • President                                                         Mike Stroz
  • Vice President                                                 Brett Tolpin
  • Treasurer                                                         Mike Babian               Jeff Levin
  • Secretary                                                         Beth Grey                    TBD 1
  • Director Communication and Membership    Doug Purington          TBD 2
  • At Large Board Member 1                             Ed Kugler                   
  • At Large Board Member 2                             Jeff Levin                   
  • At Large Board Member 3                             Paul Silverman           
  • At Large Board Member 4                             Jeff Stern
  • At Large Board Member 5                             Shruthi Potocek                                             
  • At Large Board Member 6                             Katie Alland              

  • There were no nominations for any positions from the Membership after they were polled by Doug in May.
  • Justin Kee is leaving the Board with our thanks for his past service.
  • Statements from two prospective Board Members supporting their nominations:

Shruthi Potocek is a relatively new member but is already interacting with the Board. Here is her statement supporting her nomination:

I believe I would be a good addition to the RNA board because ever since my family (spouse and twins) moved to the area in
mid-2017, we have found a true passion in living in Ravinia.  I have a genuine interest in networking and building communities that ultimately provide a safe and healthy environment for Ravinia families.  I believe I can bring some fresh ideas and perspective to an outstanding existing board!

Best regards,


Katie Alland is a returning Board member. Here is her statement supporting her nomination:

As a proud member of the Ravinia community, I would be honored to come back and serve as a Board Member at Large for the RNA.  I was previously on the board as the Secretary (2018-2019), and while my love for typing still exists, two babies at home and a full time job mean that I would not be able to dedicate the appropriate amount of time to a position like that at this time.  Building up and supporting our community members and local business is still of utmost importance to me, however, and therefore I would love to serve at large.  Thanks for your consideration and looking forward to when we can all see each other in person again!  ~Katie Alland

  • Brett moved to recommend the slate and Doug seconded the motion. Mike, Doug, Mike, Beth, Ed, Jeff L, Paul, Jeff S, Brett: 9 yays unanimous
    • Mike S. is staying on as President. He will be in Palm Springs less often because of Covid-19 so he can do a second year. Brett is not yet retired so he has less time to assume that position. Mike’s done a lot of heavy lifting and has brought on new members.
      • Copy of the slate sent to the current board.
        • No members commented via email
  • Emails re slate will be sent to members to cast their votes
  • Agreed upon candidates will take office July 1st

VI. Previous Action Items.

• E-Mail Voting Process. Mike S. will work on this for next meeting, to handle pressing matters between meetings, including approval of minutes.

• Status of succession/continuity plans: We’ll discuss at the next meeting which members at large will be backups for Doug and Beth. Backups would not have to replace a board member who would no longer be able to serve. They would just be asked to serve until a replacement would be found. Jeff L. and Mike B. discussed details about what Jeff would need to do as a Treasurer backup. They will meet again when the audit is conducted, Mike will show Jeff the books with passwords and documentation, and Jeff will be involved in the audit. Ed suggested a possible video of board members explaining the operation side of their positions.

• Status of Survey Monkey. We are now paying $331.20/year which is considerably less than $99/month. We can use Survey Monkey instead of Mail Chimp to vote on the board slate. Action item: Jeff L is the only one who knows how to set up Survey Monkey for the Board vote so Jeff L will work with Doug. Vote goes out by 6/15/20 so they have 2 weeks to get the vote back before July 1st.

VII. New Business.

• Report on first Farmers Market of 2020 (Ed Kugler). City came, every merchant thought it was a good first day, volunteers were welcoming everyone. There were 200-300 people during the first hours. Dogs were there but the city wants to stick with the no dog policy. This is the only event in HP. Failed to call Virginia Gordon to come out, but it would be nice to have someone there for five hours. Everyone goes through the same entrance. Maybe invest in T-Shirts for volunteers. Keyth is the other sponsor so their logo would go on the t-shirt in addition to RNA’s logo. Channel 5 covered the market. Past market website not available to Ed so Facebook probably not available. Brett deals with trademarks and domain names so he’ll take a look at the old Ravinia Farmers Market website owned by the former market owner and see if he can get the website from the old owner. Carolyn Hersch with the City was responsible for purchasing two banners. Ed was interviewed by the Tribune, there was an article in the Barrington and Lake Zurich papers, and an article on Ed was included in the Highland Park weekend magazine, Ed will send Doug a photo of the current market. Ed will create a t-shirt proposal and send it to us. We will consider whether to purchase 48 t-shirts. 24 t-shirts are under $300. Ed has a new local vendor.

• Discussion of what should be done with the Laura/Russ Brown Charitable Fund $4000 gift to the RNA. Ideas included saving the money, providing scholarships, and mounting projects and events. Discussion to be continued at the next meeting.

VIII. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members.

  • Doug spoke w/Al Klairmont who said they’ll be ready for residents by Dec. 20th which is on target.
  • The dry cleaners blocked off the sidewalk on Roger Williams. The building is for sale.  eff S noticed the loose bricks and called the city to see if the building was inspected in the last six years. The city said they’d come the next day but by the time the inspector arrived, bricks had fallen out. Jeff S. wrote about it in the newsletter.

IX. Next Board Meeting: July 9, 2020. 8:17pm meeting adjourned.

Ravinia Neighbors Association Boar..

May 2020 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

Thursday, May 7, 7:00 p.m.  -  VIRTUAL MEETING – Minutes

  1. Call to Order 7:03. Last month’s minutes approved. Attendance:

Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President

Brett Tolpin, VP

Mike Babian, Treasurer

Doug Purington, PR, Membership

Beth Grey, Recording Secretary

Board Members at Large Attendees

Ed Kugler

Jeff Levin

Paul Silverman

Absent Board Member

Justin Kee

Jeff Stern


Guest Attendees

Virginia Gordon

Shruthi Potocek

  1. President’s Report (Mike Stroz).

No president’s report. RNA Supports Ravinia District Merchants During Covid-19 project: Thank you to Jeff Levin for getting merchants on board and the survey completed, and Mike B. and others for recruiting merchants

  1. Residents’ Time.

No input.

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian).


Checking Balance $3493.25

CD Balance $5525.21

Total Balance $9,018.46


Mike has $50 from a membership which Doug dropped that needs to be deposited.   

Payments issued over $50: $99 Survey Monkey last payment debited on 4/27/20 and no other payments issued over $50.

  1. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington).
    1. All 2020 paper newsletters are suspended until further notice.

A motion was made and duly seconded to cease publication of printed newsletters for the duration of the COVID 19 pandemic, except for a small number to be used as handouts and as promotions. The vote was 8-0 in favor.

No new members or renewals due to Covid-19.

  1. Move to a virtual newsletter on the website & Facebook.


Annual $3400 savings if go to virtual newsletter. Cost would offset by ads: $1000 - $2000. Printing - $100-200 in postage; total per newsletter approximately $1450 for print + postage.

$179/year for professional emails

Kim is in Palm Springs and can probably assemble virtual newsletter if RNA provides content.

Articles (emailed list from Doug):

  • Opening of BWB.Rocks
  • Yana Khernburg’s New Shop (Jeff Stern)
  • Update from Al Klairmont on Ravinia Crossing Redevelopment (Mike Babian)
  • Opening of the 2020 season for Ravinia Farmers Market (Ed Kugler)
  • Historical article on how Ravinia has handled crises in the past (Elliott Miller)
  • Rosewood Beach update (Paul Silverman)
  • Ravinia Barber Shop: Tanya (Jeff Levin)
  • Benches for Ravinia Train Station (Jeff Stern)
  • Local houses of significant architectural renown: (Susan Benjamin)
  • Situation at former Ravinia Cleaners site: (Jeff Stern)

Virginia Gordon offered to do an article on how to reduce stress

5 paid ads: Baker Boys, Pieros, Jeff Cohen Photography, Field Violin, Ravinia Plumbing. No objection if can’t run an ad even if paid. Ed will do ad for organic food club and Farmers Market

  1. Previous Action Items:
  2. E-Mail Voting Process: Pressing Matters Between Meetings, including approval of Minutes (Mike Stroz): This issue was tabled.
  3. Ravinia Farmers Market Relationship with the RNA (Ed Kugler).

Ed created detailed safety guidelines after looking at other community approaches to farmers’ markets. He submitted the plan to the city, Ghida went to bat with the park district to allow market on their grounds, reversing an earlier decision. Park district grounds has many advantages over Ravinia Festival grounds. Virginia Gordon will volunteer to cover the RNA stand.

  1. Update on publicity of local merchants’ specials via email. Viaggio, Chris Walker, Abigails ads; negligible non-subscribers; also posted on Facebook; should poll merchants to see if had upsurge or think beneficial; sent 390 emails, only received 70 back. Businesses which advertised are grateful, heard back from two merchants, one is a member. We should ask merchants to do new ads, e.g., Pieros, Ukeleles.        
  2. Status of succession/continuity plans. Justin still needs to be in touch with Doug. Mike B. has not yet reached out to Jeff Levin. Doug is updating others so they can get into accounts.
  3. Change Survey Monkey and Mailchimp accounts. Jeff L. and Mike B. are working to revise our Survey Monkey account. Survey Monkey is currently charging a credit card $99/month but we should be able to save approximately $800 with another account. Beth volunteered to call Survey Monkey and attempt to get a prorated refund. A motion was made and duly seconded to subscribe to MailChimp at the best value rate at Doug's discretion either monthly or yearly in order to communicate with the membership. The vote was 7 (in favor)-0 (again)-1(abstention).

  1. New Business:

General discussion of the RNA mission for 2020, assuming significant curtailment of social activities for the remainder of the year. Voted to offer membership a 6 month grace period for payment of dues.

  1. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members
  2. Elections coming up in June/July: Think about who will run for the board, Mike S. not inclined to run for President, wants to continue on the board.
  3. Covid-19 cancellations: No Food Truck Thursdays, no 4th of July parade, no Ravinia Festival.  
    1. Adjournment 8:55. Next Board Meeting: June 4, 2020

P.O. Box 1123 Highland P..

April 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123

Highland Park, IL



Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – April 2, 2020 – VIRTUAL MEETING

I. The meeting was called to Order at 7:03pm.

Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President

Brett Tolpin, VP

Mike Babian, Treasurer

Beth Grey, Recording Secretary

Board Members at Large Attendees

Justin Kee

Ed Kugler

Jeff Levin

Paul Silverman

Jeff Stern

Absent Board Members

Doug Purington, PR, Membership

Guest Attendees

Shruthi Potocek

Ann Christoff

II. President’s Report (Mike Stroz).

No report from Mike who was absent at the last meeting.

III. Residents Time: Address Items Not on Agenda.

No comments.

IV. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian). 

Checking Balance $3611.75; CD Balance $5524.50; Total Balance $9,136.25 

Payments issued over $50: $99 Survey Monkey; $118 USPS PO Box Annual Auto Renew

Doug has keys to PO Box

V. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington)

a. Spring 2020 Newsletter suspended until further notice.

Doug was absent, not a lot of ads because most companies are closed due to the lockdown. Possible new communication platforms suggested such as Nation Builder and Constant Contact, with discussions about the need to ramp up content and usability and avoid passwords and keys, and concerns about costs and learning curves. Also discussed possible new survey platforms and costs. Mike suggested we table the discussion.

b. Ravinia Business District.

Mike asked Brett about Ravinia Brewing Company developments. RBC is extending into the Chinese restaurant’s old space to increase take out and kitchen capacity. Paul says slated to go live in June/July. Brewery was renting kitchen space in Northbrook but wanted to integrate space into HP business. Chinese restaurant left around January and renovations already started on that space. Yanna, one of the barbers, is relocating, splitting with Tanya who had invited Yanna into the business and has renewed her lease. There is another barber opening near Central uptown. Let’s hope these businesses can survive.

VI. Previous Action Items.

a. E-Mail voting process for pressing matters between meetings, including approval of minutes (Mike Stroz).

Mike promises will have email voting next time.

Paul moved to accept minutes from prior meeting, Ed seconded, unanimous vote to accept minutes.

b. Status of Survey Monkey.

Action item: Justin, Brett and/or Mike will contact Doug to suspend Survey Monkey because it is silly to be paying the monthly fee. Need to determine if need a letter by May 1st. Mike can send an email suspending (not terminating) month to month payments for Survey Monkey (until figure out what to do going forward). Payments are on an RNA credit or debit card.

c. RNA Involvement with the Clavey Road Construction Project? (Mike Stroz).

Mike wants to go on record that he hopes that the RNA will get involved with the Clavey Road Construction Project. He has a personal reason because he lives closest to Clavey but all of us use it. And remember that RNA has members who live west of Green Bay Road who do not support what is proposed. RNA should at least hear their side.

d. Ravinia Farmers Market Relationship with the RNA (Ed Kugler).

Ed thinks there will still be a farmers market two months from now and perhaps people would have preorder capability with curbside pickup. There is 10 foot space between vendors anyway. Ed is still soliciting vendors, still has online capability. Hasn’t submitted application with $200 fee for permit-expense for RNA-with $2 million liability insurance required, has permission to use RNA logo, with RNA booth each week. When RNA does business with the city, RNA doesn’t pay a fee so fee waived for 4th of July parade. An email should go out to Jennifer Dodson on the fee waiver.

Action Item: Brett will send email to Jennifer Dodson asking for fee waiver for RNA with Farmers Market.

Brett made a motion for the RNA to pay $200 if fee not waived by city, Paul seconded, unanimous vote in favor. If cannot get waiver, ask if they can give us last year’s price.

VII. New Business.

a. Virtual meetings. Ed’s motion: that due to the government shutdown, conference calls should constitute official meetings and that any actions taken by Board should be valid. Jeff Levin seconded. We don’t need to amend by-laws because the government is requiring us to avoid in-person meetings. There was a unanimous vote in favor, measure passed.

b. Proposal to publicize local food merchants’ specials via email. Received email from Ravinia Brewery asking if we might do something to help promote merchants who are still operating. Mike would not send out unedited emails. Ann Christoff lives on Roger Williams, attended January meeting about beer fest, thinks there is no difference between emails about merchants and spam, gave her email to RNA with the understanding she wouldn’t receive unwanted commercial emails. Mike says she can opt out and not receive RNA emails. Ann says there are long-time members who are not happy with RNA’s pro-business turn. She says RNA needs to address concerns of residents and not just businesses. Justin asked if we should survey members’ feelings about commercial focus, Ravinia events such as walking tours, architecture tours. Ann says there has to be conflict of interest from board members who represent Ravinia businesses. Justin says membership want to hear more about businesses and the health of business has been part of RNA’s mission for some time. Brett says it is a core mission of the RNA to protect and promote Roger Williams business corridor. This is our moment—we’re fighting virus and businesses are on life support. Businesses in the district were already hurting before this—a lot of vacancies, problems retaining quality businesses, especially in food and beverage realm. If businesses need our help, especially commercial members, we should be here to help. Shruthi said we can use a listserv to opt in. Justin thinks we should survey members to gage interest. Survey must be done quickly, task force formed with Ann, Shruthi, Justin, and Jeff, with survey to be completed quickly, circulated to board by Justin and Jeff Levin no later than Monday, with board responses no later than Wednesday, and then Friday virtual meeting. Ask 10-15 questions, complete in 5-10 minutes.

Action items: Mike will get Justin membership list and Survey Monkey credentials.

Motion to have meeting Friday April 10, 2020, noon, to discuss results of survey and action plan. Same call in number. Unanimous vote in favor.

Action item: Mike send out notice about next Fri meeting.

VIII. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members

  1. Garage Sale. Good chance garage sale may not occur.

Action item: Mike reach out to Shruthi to change date of garage sale.

  1. 4th of July parade: probably not happening.

Action item: Ed will email Jennifer to get 4th of July permit just in case.

  1. Discussion of succession/continuity plans. • What happens if an officer is unable to continue, especially the Treasurer and the Publicity/Membership Director?

Mike says board members at large should consider being backup to board members who have specific jobs, e.g., for Treasurer, Jeff Levin would be good because he has a background in finance; Justin backup to communications; secretary, treasurer backup volunteers can talk with Mike privately.

Action item: Jeff Levin is comfortable being backup Treasurer. Call or email Mike. Brett and Mike need to have a conversation with Doug making sure he’s in the loop on all of this, and someone else on board needs passwords and key.

IX. Adjournment 8:59pm (Next Board Meeting: May 7, 2020, 7:00pm, Virtual Meeting).

P.O. Box 1123 Highland P..

March 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123

Highland Park, IL



Meeting Notes – Thursday March 5, 2020 

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

Governing Board Attendees

Brett Tolpin, VP

Mike Babian, Treasurer

Doug Purington, Membership, PR

Beth Grey, Recording Secretary 

Board Members at Large Attendees

Jeff Levin

Ed Kugler

Paul Silverman

Jeff Stern 

Absent Board Members

Mike Stroz, President

Justin Kee, at large


Guest Attendees

Gerry Field

Virginia Gordon

Ben Johnston

Peggy Laemle

Elliot Miller

Phil Pace

Shruthi Potocek

Brian Romes, Executive Director, PDHP

Jeff Smith, Director of Planning and Projects, PDHP

Kendra Tuazon


  1. The meeting, held at Aloha City Ukes, 453 Roger Williams Avenue, Highland Park, IL, was called to order on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 6:12pm.
  2. President’s Report.

President Mike Stroz was absent. VP Brett Tolpin had nothing to report.

  1. Residents Time.

Update on Community Garage Sale (Shruthi Potocek):

Garage sale is scheduled for last Saturday and Sunday in May from 9am to 3pm. The police agreed to the date. Kendra Tuazon and her husband received materials from Francesca who was the last community garage sale organizer. Kens quoted $250 for printing, Kinkos and another printer were over $150. Need to put up signs to direct traffic, include information in various publications and local newspapers, local businesses can put fliers in windows, Facebook announcements also included. Total cost should be around $300. There was a discussion about whether donations, e.g., $5.00, should be requested from sellers (this was not done at last community garage sale). It was suggested that RNA contribute $150, and obtain the rest from participants or RNA can offer to match donations up to $300. Shruthi should forward a map of the garage sale boundaries (Ed Kuglar was mentioned with regard to maps), get in newsletter end of April, deadline is March 20th, could shift by a few days.

It was proposed and agreed that RNA would match participant contributions of $5 up to $300 so $150 is RNA’s cap.

Shruthi should send a draft of the flyer to Doug Purington and Doug will circulate to the Board. If no one objects, it’s approved. It was agreed that the draft may include RNA’s logo as “sponsoring” (not supporting) the garage sale.

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian).

Checking Balance $3766.32

CD Balance $5523.84

Paypal $81.93 balance transferred today

Total Balance $9,372.09 

Payments issued over $50:

$99 Survey Monkey

$200 Kimberly Stroz

Usually, our total balance stays around $10k, sometimes more, but if we don’t get renewals we can go below $10k, so we need renewals and more members.

  1. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington)

  1. Membership: Kendra Tuazon is a new member. With new members in March and April and more in May, June, and July, our account should go well above $10k. There is no substantial change in the membership statistics from 2016-19: 126 people did not renew in one of those years, last year 41, this year 44, and 4 years ago only 18. We need hooks.

  1. Publicity: Kim Stroz is returning to do the newsletter. Doug Purington (update since meeting: suspending newsletter due to Covid-19), possible articles, ads: Jeff Stern re train station; mention of community garage sale; Fields renewed ad for next 3 newsletters; Peggy may write another article about the farmers market but does not have time right now; Ed offered to write article about March 9th city council meeting regarding the proposed new farmers market schedule; there may be a possible article on Rosewood Beach with various viewpoints and mention of Park Ave. boating issue; an article on the Klairmont development with a list of business tenants and other updates on what’s going on with it.

  1. Previous Action Items.

  1. E-Mail Voting Process: We will not be using email voting process for matters between meetings.

  1. Metra Station Update from Jeff Stern: Keith O’Herrin, City Forester, is making improvements such as new benches and re-doing landscaping around station. The city has approved $10k for 2 replicas of the benches in the Hubbard Woods station, but the work will not happen overnight. The new benches will include brass feet but there will not be any middle armrests because they are damage prone. A woman at Metra looked into transferring benches from another station but never got very far on that project.

  1. New Business.

  1. RNA involvement in Clavey Road Construction Project.

We are tabeling discussion of the Clavey Road construction to the next meeting.

  1. Farmers market (Ed Kugler): Ed would like to have the RNA sponsor the farmers market and he needs to fill out the city’s form with RNA’s information and signature. RNA’s sponsoring would enable Ed to post signage about the farmers market in certain places. The city is okay with RNA as a sponsor only, with Ed’s business handling the management element and providing insurance. They are looking to name the RNA, City of Highland Park, and the Park District of Highland Park in the insurance. The park district will not be listed in the permit but needs to be included in the insurance if the farmers market has to use park district land because the city streets are filled up. For the 5 full days of the market, first Wednesday of each month in June, July, August, September, and October, through Oct. 7th (if no Covid-19 restrictions, of course) vendors will be parking all day, 5am to 9pm. If the city approves this schedule, Ed will solicit vendors. Ed figured he would need the next two months to solicit sellers. Ed spoke to Jennifer Dodson with the city, regarding the hold harmless agreement for the RNA with Ed’s organization.

Carolyn Hirsch from the city is printing 2 signs for the farmers market. Additional expenses this year will include porta potties, although maybe the farmers market can use existing porta potties that are set up for the Thursday food truck/music program. RNA will have a stand at the market for 19 weeks. Last year RNA hung up banner and the booth was backside to Ed’s tent. This location on a weekly basis is in line with RNA’s mission statement. RNA’s vote on the booth location last year would cover this year’s booth location.

Brett Tolpin made a motion to sponsor the farmers market subject to verification of insurance, RNA being held harmless by the City of Highland Park, and the RNA being listed as an additional insured. The motion was seconded by Jeff Levin and the RNA agreed to sponsoring the farmers market subject to the above specifications.

  1. Park District presentation.

The following are notes from a presentation by Brian Romes, Executive Director, PDHP and Jeff Smith, Director of Planning and Projects:


Brian said that things are going well considering the condition of Lake Michigan with record high water levels and record storms. There is a lot of damage along the lake abutting North Shore communities. Jeff is leading a number of projects to protect Rosewood structures, shoreline, and bluff with resources for mitigation with grant funding. Jeff is working with coastal engineers on the projects.

Jeff said that last fall PDHP brought in sand for the swimming and interpretive coves. The real challenge is lake levels. We’ve had higher water levels coming closer to land, and intense and more frequent storms. Jeff showed us a graph starting from 2008. The water level rose about 3ft total, with last spring and summer up 1.5 ft. They’re dealing with the interpretive center building wall next to the parking lot, and brought in larger grain sand in both coves in mid-October. Then came the Halloween and January storms. The new sand held up nicely.

PDHP is working with the SmithGroup coastal engineers. Longer term fixes they are looking at include additional revetments to protect the interpretive and swimming coves. The last cove is the recreation cove. The volleyball nets were removed and now there is just the water with no beach. Along the parking lot by the interpretive center, a sheat pile wall may be added along with stone revetments to fortify the center and swimming cove structures, perhaps to be installed as early as the fall. The third cove with the playground shade structure has one footing exposed. One option would be to bring in more material to keep the playground open and protect the boardwalk or alternatively, the playground could be closed off and/or removed.

Cost estimates are not yet available. Bringing in sand was $250k which included a little work on the break water. The coastal engineers believe sand could be escaping through stones, so they did a little extra work. Sand leaving naturally is part of a cycle, but escaping through stone too close to the staircase, boardwalk, and bluffs is a problem. [I’m not sure this last sentence is correct]. Additional sand would come to just under $400k.

In the swimming cove, the plan is to protect buildings in case the lake goes up a foot, but no additional material will be needed, except for sand for the recreation cove. The original sand was nice, fine sand but coastal engineers said that waves easily remove fine stand. Heavier sand is more stable and much more will stay put.

Army Corps of Engineers studies over the past 100 years indicate that the 3 coves that were designed for erosion were not designed for the most extreme scenerios. They don’t know what will happen in the future. If at some point there are lower lake levels, it would be a challenge if the revetments were much taller. SmithGroup is also retained by the City of Chicago and Wilmette.

Army Corp predicts a lake rise through the summer. They only go 6 months out. Typical pattern is only 2 years peak and then the lake goes down but these are not typical times.

Regarding usage, Brian says Rosewood is one of the most heavily used and desired in the interest/use survey. Residents move to Highland Park for the lake so preservation is important. PDHP estimates 30k visits. Sunrise to sunset there are people walking and swimming. Jeff says the decision from the PDHP board for interpretive and swimming coves is to focus on the back of the beach permanent revetments so they won’t have to be redone. PDHP is now getting the construction documents, and later they will decide if they will move to construction.

Stones will be placed at the level of the boardwalk and sand will be place over the stones so they will not be noticeable. Not trying to fight mother nature.

The middle cove should be open for the summer. There will be an additional expense to move the shade structure over playground and then put a fence around the playground.

30k visitors includes summer camp, walking, and rentals of the interpretative center. To get visitor numbers they use computer tracking of cell phones.

The interpretive center generates net revenue but with the cost of life guards there is no net revenue.

PDHP and engineers were not comfortable doing anything out into the lake, but they did want to protect the investment in the beach structures, including the lifeguard stand and interpretive center.

Adding sand to the 3rd cove is under consideration, mostly because it is a well-used area, though no decision yet.  The construction documents show the bluff is in great condition and they are not concerned with the bluff eroding, but will have to take out a portion of the playground which is a loss of recreation.

SmithGroup shared graphs showing 20-year cycles of water level ups and downs. The question is whether the recent levels were catastrophic and way off the charts. Is there nothing to indicate whether the new levels are permanent? No one knows. Coastal engineers believe levels will go down as part of the natural cycle, but different opinions about global warming exist. If that were truly the problem, none of the solutions would address catastrophic scenarios.

Was there a maintenance budget? For the first 5 years, yes, but it was never used. $50K per year was never needed, this year did not budget for these problems, they budget a year in advance so sand was part of the emergency budget, but now we are in the budget for 20-21 so they have the funds.

A really wet spring would be bad but we’ve had a dry winter which may be helpful. Applied for grants through FEMA, IEMA (Illinois), but while our issues seem big, the City of Chicago has much bigger problems and they’ll probably get a lot of funding. Actively talking to state and local legislators.

PDHP budgets funding, they revise 5 and 1 year plans every year, and if funding is not used, the money can be allocated to a different project or use. However, this is not use it or lose it. There are unanticipated needs such as with Moraine beach, capital funds are not restricted to the beach, and funds can be used for all projects.

Brian says we are fortunate the PDHP Board is very aware of the value of lake fronts, Rosewood is a top priority of board, they’ve spent a lot of time having coastal engineers explain the situation, and they’ve done their own research.

How can RNA help? Come to PDHP board meetings. The best ones are PDHP Board workshops which have a portion of the meetings for public comment. Feedback helps the board make decisions and they value input. Schedules are on the PDHP website. (Prior to Covid-19 changes) the next board meeting was scheduled for the following Tuesday at 6pm with the SmithGroup representative there, at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Rd., HP.

Is there competition from other North Shore communities? Lake Forest is lucky with its location but Evanston lost the dog beach. SmithGroup is involved there. In Wilmette, parts of the beach were stripped back to the bluff.

Barge replacement for motor boats on Park Avenue beach: Is PDHP Board willing to fund any of the $1 million required to replace the barge at the Park Avenue beach? Brian says FEMA funds generally are for emergencies, so the barge is not eligible. The past 5 years have been tricky, starting when the city issued a security alert and then PDHP or the city wanted to close Park Ave. beach. To keep it open, the task force needed to reroute cars and boats, but that was not easy with the traffic flow which created some unknowns, and there was also the question of the long-term viability of the boating site.

Then engineers were brought in when the barge collapsed. SmithGroup gave a variety options ranging from $900k to $2 million. The PDHP Boad considered the options but sat on the problem for a while, and then the Rosewood problems happened and the barge fell off the radar. The barge was taken off the capital plan. Then the Park Ave. working group met three to four times, reengaged, and came up with 2 concepts.

Now with lake levels and erosion of the site and sustainability issues, they’ve narrowed to 2 options that would involve removing and replacing the barge. The issue is funding for this. At the finance committee meeting with the board, there was discussion of funding models. In other situations, the park district and users share costs. Facilities usually lose money. Those who benefit from the facility pay user fees. Those who simply look at the nice views don’t need the barge and should not have to pay. Everything in the park district is fee-funded except for natural areas and parks. For instance, there are fees for Centennial Ice Arena, Deer Creek Raquet Club, and the Rosewood Beach interpretive center. The agreement for the interpretive center is that part will be open for shade and safety but otherwise there are fees. Next Park Ave. Working Group meeting is scheduled for 3/17 to discuss funding model and then they will send a recommendation to the PDHP board for a vote.

Additional comments re Jens Jensen Park: Elliot Miller raised concerns about Jens Jensen Park maintenance, with increased activities and inappropriate plantings. Andy Cross, Senior Planner, City of Highland Park, sent a report. The park is a landmark with historic preservation needs. Elliot is concerned that changes are not being reviewed for historic preservation concerns, and no one knows who planted certain shrubs, etc.

IIIV. Motion to adjourn at 7:44pm. (All RNA meetings have been suspended until further notice, due to Covid-19 restrictions.)

P.O. Box 1123 Highland ..

February 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123 Highland Park, IL 60035-1123


Meeting Notes – Thursday February 6, 2020

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 7:00 p.m. - Jeff Cohen Photography, 485 Roger Williams Avenue

Governing Board Attendees Brett Tolpin, VP

Doug Purington, Membership, PR Beth Grey, Recording Secretary

Board Members at Large Attendees Jeff Levin

Justin Kee Jeff Stern

Absent Board Members Mike Stroz, President Mike Babian, Treasurer Ed Kugler at large

Paul Silverman at large

Guest Attendees Gidon Berman Tamar Berman Arthur Feldman

Alexandra (Ali) Freundlich Scott Freundlich

Ben Johnston Elliot Miller Ryan Moran Shruthi Potocek

I.  The meeting, held at Jeff Cohen Photography, was called to order at approximately 7:10pm.

President Mike Stroz was absent. VP Brett Tolpin ran the meeting.

II.  Residents’ Time.

RNA welcomed new faces at the meeting, including Gidon and Tamar Berman, owners of Ravinia Tutors, and Shruthi Potocek, who is organizing a summer Ravinia neighborhood garage sale.

Shruthi explained that when she first moved here, there was a community-wide Ravinia garage sale, so she and her friends want to resurrect and spearhead the project. Using technology, they are researching which days would be best for the sale, based on weather and other factors. PR possibly will include newspaper ads and going door to door handing out flyers. Participants will need to obtain permits which are available online. The garage sale should be added to future RNA meeting agendas. Ideas regarding ways in which RNA can support these efforts, cost estimates, and PR and fundraising ideas for RNA should be emailed to Doug Purington.

III.  Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington).

  1. New members.

RNA has two new members including recording secretary, and one renewal, so $150 is going to the Treasurer.

  1. Newsletter.

Kim Stroz is inclined to continue as editor of the 2020 RNA newsletter which will include three issues per year in April, July, and October. The tentative deadline which can be flexible is March 15th for ads and articles. We need to think about content. Issues are sixteen pages in length with five to six ads. Anyone can write an article regarding, e.g., the garage sale, tutoring company.

IV.  Ravinia district.

  1. Hunan Pearl, now ten vacancies.

Hunan Pearl restaurant closed for reasons unknown. It has been located on the south side of Roger Williams for many years, and reportedly will be repurposed by the Ravinia Brewery Co. for carry-out business. There are now ten vacancies in the Ravinia Business District.

  1. Klairmont project.

The new retail/residential Klairmont development on the corner of Roger Williams and Burton is going up quickly despite bad weather. Hoping to be habitable by November 2020, with 5700 sq ft of retail space.

  1. Street lights, streetscape.

Street lights from the City will help make the area more viable and attractive. In 2005 Mayor Belsky’s TIF was used for financing bike racks, benches, and pennants supplied by the City (not on every post but spaced out so not overdone). The hope is that additional streetscape improvement will attract more entrepreneurs. Jeff Stern thinks the lighting is a bit much, a bit close together. New residents Scott and Ali Freundlich said it was dark when they moved in, and they like it brighter. RNA has a say regarding how TIF funds are used because there is no Ravinia chamber of commerce and the RNA is the closest thing to a chamber. RNA’s role here was years in the making. RNA was formed in late 1998, when the main issue was the

new Walgreens. Members lobbied for more prairie style architecture. Doug Purington and Jeff Stern were involved at that time.

V.  Previous Action Items.

  1. Report on benches for the Ravinia Train Station (Jeff Stern).

The existing benches don’t belong in the historic Ravinia station which dates from 1889. It is the oldest in the system. The Glencoe station has the appropriate type of benches -- wooden with wooden legs that will not scratch the floor. Jeff Stern has been in touch with a female Metra staff member who handles historic buildings and the Metra architect project manager is also involved. The staff member is checking into the need for comfortable, new eight-foot benches with armrests in the middle to avoid attracting vagrants. We have agreed to provide up to $500 from the TIF or RNA which could possibly provide a certain amount of the funding.

  1. Fire station (Jeff Stern).

The Ravinia fire station is now 90 years old and is the next major City project. Redesign at the current location would add more space between engines which are now much larger, and more space for training. Will provide update on timeline, etc.

  1. Ravinia Brewing Co. (Brett Tolpin).

Owner Brian Taylor was planning to locate new Witty’s Refresher restaurant opposite Walgreens. Taylor decided to build elsewhere after the tussle with Ravinia Festival. Brett Tolpin is the attorney for the company.

VI.  New Business.

  1. RNA Involvement with the Clavey Road Construction Project

The Clavey intersection on 41 was the most dangerous intersection in the country. Once a year, explosions could be heard from major truck accidents. In the 1980s the City got funding for an overpass and reconfiguration, eliminating the stoplight on the highway. Doug Purington said that the RNA may consider the Clavey Road petition after we see what’s involved. The Clavey Road area is not totally out of RNA purview. Anyone who is interested can email Doug Purington or the RNA about the petition and Project.

  1. Lakefront high water issues, using boat area.

Ben Johnston talked with the Rosewood Beach engineer after a presentation at a Park District meeting two to three weeks ago. The Park District reloaded Rosewood Beach with $315,000 of sand because the beachfront eroded under buildings and other structures which are located too close to the water.

There was a two-month emergency shut down of the beach in October. After the City brought in more sand, a giant storm washed away the sand and it looked like the sand was gone. The engineer and Park District don’t know where water levels are going. There are short- and long-term trends, and the presentation showed that the erosion is not unprecedented—it happens every 15-20 years. Because the weather’s been warmer this winter, protective ice dams have not formed.

The Park District didn’t plan for such erosion, and now the Park District will have to allocate additional funding to ameliorate the problem. Appropriation and political issues also impact the Highland Park boat ramps, with a renovated beach barge costing millions of dollars. Now boaters will have to find outside funding because Rosewood, with a lot more users than other projects, will take priority. The funding problems are very disappointing for large boat owners.

Options for Rosewood include (1) doing nothing; (2) extending break walls at $6 per linear foot, because big gaps exist so there is nothing to break or reduce the force of waves; and (3) adding barriers underwater at the bay openings and/or at the back of the beach, which would remove some of the force of the waves, but would not save the sand. Rosewood includes three bays, an interpretive center, showers, a

volleyball net, and play structures. The southern bay never received sand so the erosion goes under the boardwalk and the volleyball net is now underwater. Sand by the play structure is completely eroded with exposed cement and there’s now a fence around the slide. Swimming may not be possible. No decisions were made at the meeting.

VII.  Other business.

Anyone who wants to be a board member at large, please let us know. Jeff Cohen, thank you for hosting the meeting.

VIII. Motion to adjourn at 8:00pm. Next Board Meeting: March 5, 2020. Location to be determined.

Nice job on the Minutes.

Jeff Stern

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

November 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association

Thursday, November 7, 2019           Home of Ed Kugler, 1104 Ridge

Present were Doug Purington, presiding in place of Mike Stroz; Mike Babian, Ed Kugler and Jeff Stern. Also in attendance was guest Ben Johnson

The meeting was called to order by Doug Purington at 7:07 p.m.

Providing the President’s Report, Purington said Drew Awsumb, from the City, had intended to provide an update on the street lighting project in the Business District, but had taken ill. Purington talked about the progress that had been made, and said the project was expected to be completed in December.

Purington discussed articles planned for the next newsletter and said there was sufficient copy and ads for a 16-page edition. A November 15 deadline was set for ads that needed to be re-submitted due to cancellation of the previous edition.

Mike Babian was to provide a cover story on groundbreaking for the Klairmont project on Roger Williams, which Purington, Jeff Levin and Jeff Stern had attended, and where Stern had taken pictures. Awsumb was expected to provide material for an article on the street lighting project.

Purington said Mike Stroz’ daughter Kimberly had agreed to be temporary editor of the newsletter. She would work from her home in Santa Monica, CA, and would have wide discretion on format and other aspects of the process subject to final approval by Purington. She was to receive $150 to $200 for her efforts in putting out each edition.

In his Treasurer’s Report, Babian said there was $5,479.10 in the checking account, $5,501.60 in a CD, and $33.68 from PayPal for a total of $11,014.38. Purington said he had collected an additional $240 for six new memberships and three renewals. Babian said an annual insurance charge of $475 could be expected soon from State Farm.   

In his Membership Report, Purington said RNA had about 600 members and included some 200 households. He had 333 e-mail addresses for communicating with members.

Noting that the new Hub and Spoke Provisions in the former Shelton’s had changed operating hours, Purington said they now plan to stay open throughout the day & offer brunch on Sundays and would be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Those present said they had a favorable impression of the food and service there.

Regarding a recent survey for the Farmers’ Market, Ed Kugler reported 117 responses, representing about one third of those contacted. He sees a need for an evening market, which would seem to fit well with Food Truck Thursdays because the early hours of the current Wednesday market (7a.m. to 1p.m.) were not attracting that many customers. The most popular items selling there were fruit, cheese, bread, produce and flowers.

In the future, Kugler would like to bring vendors in on a part-time basis so changes in the offerings would encourage customers to return more often. He is also considering having caterers produce meals from what the vendors are selling and ending the market season in the first week of October rather than the last week.  

Purington stressed the need for a protocol on how best to communicate about important issues RNA might want to bring up between meetings. He also brought up the need to find someone to serve as Recording Secretary, since the position was currently being filled on a temporary basis.

In his report on the Ravinia Station, Jeff Stern said he received a call from a source at Metra that they were trying to find benches that would fit in with the historic design of the station while providing the comfort expected by passengers awaiting trains. He also  heard from the City Forester, who said there would be funding in next year’s budget to provide new landscaping around the station, which hadn’t been upgraded in 30 years.

Purington said he learned that the new fire station proposed for Ravinia would be built on the same site as the current one but would be larger and front closer to Burton Avenue. Final design would be completed next year, with construction in 2022.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed at 7:32 p.m.

Meeting Notes – Tuesday, Sep..

September 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

  • Governing Board Attendees
    • Brett Tolpin – presiding
    • Mike Babian
    • Katie Alland
    • Board Members at Large
      • Justin Kee
      • Ed Kugler
      • Jeff Stern
      • Jeff Levin
      • Paul Silverman (on the phone)
      • Absent
        • Mike Stroz
        • Doug Purington
        • Guest Attendees
          • Arthur Feldman
          • Nancy Funk
          • Elliott Miller
          • Peggy Laemle
          • Jeff Cohen
  1. 7:04pm – Call to Order
  2. Brett Tolpin – President’s Report
  3. Resident’s Time
    1. Jens Jensen issues

                                                              i.      Elliott reports that someone has planted dogwood shrubs which are now overgrown and obscuring the memorial and pond.  They are inappropriate because they will continue to grow up to 10’ high, 10’ wide unless trimmed, which Jensen did not want in his original vision.  Elliott has a report that details all of this to the city.

                                                             ii.      Also, the issue of the pond, which looks completely stagnant and putrid.

                                                           iii.      Letter to the city: Paul still waiting on edits from RNA, he is resending ASAP for any last commentary.

                                                           iv.      As a next step, Paul will approach the HP Park District for a walk through and solutions.

                                                             v.      Also issue of Ravinia Train Station floor getting scraped up from music equipment.  Carolyn Hirsch is aware of the issue.

  1. Parking issue – Jeff Levin’s neighbors getting tickets for parking opposite a driveway.  Looking for clarification on whether this is a city ordinance.
  2. Fire Station Expansion – Firemen report needing more space, potential for building in Brown Park across the street from current station.  RNA will keep an eye on this issue.
  3. Ravinia Brewing – Hearing next Tuesday at 7:30pm, City Hall
  4. Landlord (Beale Property) of apartments above Joy Cleaners is not renewing leases; planning on remodeling, concept unknown
  5. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking Balance $6,049.41

                                                             ii.      CD Balance $5,484.57

                                                           iii.      Transfer from PayPal (as of today): $67.37

                                                           iv.      Total Balance $11,601.35

                                                             v.      Payments issued over $0

  1. Report from the City (Drew Awsumb via email)
    1. Street Lights:

                                                              i.      Construction project webpage is still the best source of information. And the project is on schedule:

                                                             ii.      Conduit installation is 90% complete; starting Monday, 9/16, contractor will begin hydro-excavation (precise holes, little mess); starting Wednesday, 9/18 light pole bases will begin to be installed

                                                           iii.      Any questions, contact the Resident Engineer, Ted Ward, at 847-722-4043 or

  1. Al Klairmont project:

                                                              i.      Demolition started Monday, 9/9

  1. Previous Action Items
    1. Status of Survey Monkey – Need a larger conversation around which platform to use going forward
    2. Status of New Park Benches for Train Station – No update
    3. Email Voting Process – Need to establish process on the following:

                                                              i.      Guardrails around what is urgent enough to vote on between meetings vs. waiting

                                                             ii.      If we are aligned to 24-hour response rates once a motion is set forth

                                                           iii.      Follow-up from July meeting: Mike S. will document how we call for an internet vote

                                                           iv.      Issue will be discussed at next meeting when all Board Members present (Nov.)

  1. Food Truck Thursday raffle – Mike B. and Ed will draw the name tomorrow, 9/11 at the Farmer’s Market, and contact the person to ask them to come to Food Truck Thursday for a photo and to claim their prize.  Noah will announce the winner on Thursday.
  2. Bumpy rail crossing at Roger Williams – Jeff L. heard back from Carolyn who said: Union Pacific said the Roger Williams crossing is not scheduled for a rehabilitation, but they will take a look to inspect for potholes or loose crossing pads and repair as needed.
  3. New Business
    1. Replacement for Recording Secretary – Everyone will think about replacement ideas
    2. November Newsletter

                                                              i.      Previous content topics…

  1. Katie Alland interviewing Derek Smith of Hub & Spoke – DONE
  2. Jeff Stern interviewing Arthur Feldman – DONE
  3. Jeanne to include small box of all new businesses that have opened (Ukulele shop, Dana Reed designs, Hub & Spoke, Alchemy and Cloth, etc.)
  4. Update on Al Klairmont project – MIKE B. VOLUNTEERED TO WRITE UP
  5. Elliott Miller series on Jens Jensen Park – JEANNE TO GET ARTICLE FROM ELLIOTT
  6. Photo of winner of Cubs tickets
  7. 8:19pm – Adjournment
    1. Next Meeting: THURSDAY, October 3rd, 2019 7pm, @ Jeff Cohen Photography

Meeting Notes – Tuesd..

July 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

  • Governing Board Attendees
    • Mike Stroz – presiding
    • Doug Purington
    • Mike Babian
    • Katie Alland
    • Board Members at Large
      • Ed Kugler
      • Jeff Stern
      • Jeff Levin
      • Paul Silverman
      • Absent
        • Justin Kee
        • Brett Tolpin
        • Guest Attendees
          • Neil Fortunato;
          • Noah Plotkin;
          • Hal & Julie Malen;
  1. 7:17pm – Call to Order
  2. Mike Stroz – President’s Report
    1. Ask to please be prepared to follow up on things that you commit to in previous meetings
    2. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
      1. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking Balance $4,925.15

                                                             ii.      CD Balance $5,465.58

                                                           iii.      Transfer from PayPal (as of today): $231.23

                                                           iv.      Total Balance $10,621.96

                                                             v.      Payments issued over $50

  1. $115.31 direct debit from Deluxe Business Systems –Highland Park Bank and Trust deposit slips 4 pack and a new check endorsement stamp
  2. Doug Purington – Publicity/Membership Report
    1. $860 given to Michael from new members (3), renewals (22)

                                                              i.      Good response via PayPal

                                                             ii.      77% renewal rate, which is up from May (51%)

                                                           iii.      48 members still need to be renewed

  1. Klairmont Project

                                                              i.      Last piece of the puzzle recently solved so good to go

                                                             ii.      Ground breaking should be this month

  1. Hub and Spoke

                                                              i.      Scheduled to open in early September, potential soft open in July or August

  1. Summer Newsletter

                                                              i.      Jeanne Vella has agreed to do the Summer Newsletter for a $150 stipend

                                                             ii.      Content due ASAP for estimated early August publication date

                                                           iii.      Current content topics…

  1. Katie Alland interviewing Derek Smith of Hub & Spoke (will be cover story)
  2. Jeff Stern interviewing Arthur Feldman
  3. Noah to provide upcoming Food Truck band schedule
  4. Jeanne please include small box of all new businesses that have opened (Ukulele shop, Dana Reed designs, Hub & Spoke, Alchemy and Cloth, etc.)
  5. Paul and Doug connecting with Elliott Miller
  6. Current condition of Jens Jensen Park
    1. MOTION (Jeff Stern), SECONDED (Ed Kugler), PASSED to finalize the letter and send to the Park District.  Add in a request to clean up and restore the fountain to working condition.
    2. Status on research into Ravinia Train Station benches
      1. No substantial update from the city; suggestion for 6-foot bench but cannot have metal legs
      2. Also, a mention (from Hal Malen) that the exterior benches are in bad shape
      3. Jeff S. continuing to work on this issue; Ed Kugler reaching out to carpenter friend
      4. Internet Voting
        1. Lively discussion regarding how we currently participate and vote on group issues
        2. Some believe 24 hours is not enough time to reply
        3. Mike S. will document how we call for an internet vote for discussion at last meeting
        4. Ravinia Brewing Company Noise Issues
          1. Meeting set for July 16th at 5pm at City Hall between neighbors, city and brew pub; Malens will report back to RNA after the meeting
          2. Suggestion to add decibel range to city code
          3. Noah – who books the bands for Ravinia Brew Pub – will also investigate decibel levels
          4. Food Truck Thursdays
            1. Ed Kugler will ask his brother if he is willing to donate 4 Sox or Cubs tickets to raffle away
            2. Benches/Receptacles – keep on the radar
              1. No plan current plan until TIF runs out in 2027
              2. Should we spearhead a fundraising effort (or public-private partnership) to help fund?
              3. Mike will bring 60% plan and invite Drew Awsumb to September meeting
              4. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents
                1. Adjusted Summer Board Meetings to: July 9th ü and September 10th
                2. MOTION, SECONDED, PASSED that August meeting will be cancelled
                3. Katie Alland having a baby late October/early November.  Last meeting will be October before stepping down.  Board to source a replacement.
                4. Bumpy rail crossing at Roger Williams – Jeff Levin will write a letter to Metra/Union Pacific
                5. 9:01pm – Adjournment
                  1. Next Meeting: TUESDAY, September 10th, 2019 7pm, @ TBD location

Meeting Notes – ..

June 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – Thursday, June 6th, 2019

  • Governing Board Attendees
    • Justin Kee – presiding
    • Mike Stroz
    • Doug Purington
    • Katie Alland
    • Mike Babian
    • Board Members at Large
      • Ed Kugler
      • Jean Meier
      • Brett Tolpin
      • Absent – all excused
        • Jeff Stern
        • Dan Baigelman
        • Guest Attendees
          • Amy Lohmolder;
          • Marietta Stevens;
          • Andy Amend;
          • Paul Silverman;
          • Al Klairmont;
          • Dana Reed;
          • Neil Fortunato;
          • Jeff Levin;
  1. 7:14pm – Call to Order
  2. Mike Stroz – President’s Report
    1. HP Community Walk happening Saturday, June 8th – post on Facebook?  Doug to decide.
    2. Ravinia Brew Pub – At this point, agree to let the HP police enforce noise complaints.
    3. Ravinia Farmers Market Survey Monkey

                                                              i.      Mike B. to update credit card information

                                                             ii.      Desire to poll Ravinia residents this summer on any pressing matters like infrastructure?  Yes.  Justin to draft survey.

  1. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking Balance $4,102.75

                                                             ii.      CD Balance $5,454.99

                                                           iii.      Transfer from PayPal (as of today): $524.36

                                                           iv.      Total Balance $10,082.10

                                                             v.      Payments issued over $0

  1. Doug Purington – Publicity/Membership Report
    1. $1,015 given to Michael from new members (2), renewals (31) and Paypal

                                                              i.      66% renewal rate, which is up from last month (51%)

                                                             ii.      69 members still need to be renewed

  1. Summer Newsletter

                                                              i.      Content due by June 30th for estimated July/August publication date

                                                             ii.      Doug has contacted all previous advertisers about updated creative

                                                           iii.      Amy has opted out of doing the newsletter going forward.  Doug suggested Jeanne Vella, a former RNA newsletter editor, might be interested.  Doug offered to contact.  Doug and Justin to draft an ad to recruit someone to create it 3x/year, including an offered stipend (TBD but approx. $150).  Should also post on Next Door.  Dana and Marietta will also help to get the word out.

  1. Governing Board Elections

                                                              i.      Open spots (3): Vice President and two board members at large

                                                             ii.      Neil: Interested in figuring out how to incentivize vacancies on Roger Williams

                                                           iii.      Jeff: Interested from the point of view of a resident

                                                           iv.      Paul: Has recently been on the board of the Park District Foundation.  Interested in open space in the community, and the fact that spaces are not as well maintained as they could be.  Also likes to be engaged in the community.  Would like to start to raise endowments for current structures.

                                                             v.      VP will now be Brett Tolpin

                                                           vi.      MOTION (Doug), SECONDED (Mike) to vote Jeff and Paul into board members at large

  1. Ravinia Business District

                                                              i.      Suggestion from Al to get the city (mayor, public works, etc.) on board to do a walk-through downtown Ravinia and make a list of things that need attention

  1. Ed Kugler – Food Truck Thursdays/Wednesday Farmers Market/4th of July Parade
    1. Mike filled out Food Truck Thursday application and will submit, waiting on insurance.       Katie will craft sign-up sheet for Food Truck Thursday shifts.  Prize TBD.  Everyone should help to collect items or small gift certificates from local businesses (Ed, Mike B., Dana, etc.). 
    2. Mike to talk to Dan about location of literature stand for Wednesday AM Farmer’s Market
    3. RNA will participate in 4th of July parade.  Mike to write 60 word copy for announcement.  Doug might drive, Mike S. is back up, Ed to hand out treats along the route.  Mike B. can provide insurance certificate if needed.  Mike S. looking into business registration form.
    4. Amy – Current condition of Jens Jensen Park
      1. Concerned about condition of the park, in addition to influx of people and porta potties.  Paul will work with Amy to draft concerns to the Park District on how to improve.
      2. Status on research into Ravinia Train Station benches
        1. Doug will forward update from Jeff
        2. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents
          1. Adjusted Summer Board Meetings to: July 9th and August 6th and September 10th
          2. Mike B. will double check with Jeff Cohen on next meeting(s)
          3. Curt’s Café opening on 2nd Ave. this summer with fundraiser 7/11 at 6pm at HP Arts Ctr.
          4. 9:08pm – Adjournment
            1. Next Meeting: July 9th, 2019 7pm, @ Jeff Cohen Photography, 485 Roger Williams Ave


Attendance M..

May 2019 RNA Board Meeting


Meeting Notes – Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

  • Governing Board Attendees
    • Justin Kee – presiding
    • Doug Purington
    • Katie Alland
    • Board Members at Large
      • Dan Baigelman
      • Ed Kugler
      • Jeff Stern
      • Absent – all excused
        • Mike Stroz
        • Mike Babian
        • Brett Tolpin
        • Jean Meier
        • Guest Attendees
          • Jeff Levin;
          • Kirk Samson;
  1. 7:05pm – Call to Order
  2. Justin Kee – President’s Report
    1. Motion (Justin) to have vote for elections on May 30th, 2019; seconded (Doug); PASSED
    2. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
      1. Starting in June Jeff Cohen said we could meet at his location going forward. Will have to inform him of the dates we plan to meet.  We may want to consider/discuss purchasing some extra folding chairs and folding tables to keep at Jeff’s office.
      2. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking Balance $5,312.73

                                                             ii.      CD Balance $5,444.33

                                                           iii.      Transfer from PayPal: $361.42

                                                           iv.      Total Balance $11,118.48

                                                             v.      Payments issued over $50

  1. Doug Purington – Reimburse for postage Spring Newsletter $260.00
  2. Kens Quick Print – For Spring 2019 Newsletter $1,326.90
  3. Doug Purington – Publicity/Membership Report
    1. Email went out to remind people to renew memberships, and to previous members to ask to join back in
    2. 7 PayPal renewals already, accounting for $305
    3. Al Klairmont development is a GO; goal still to be done by April 2020
    4. Spring Newsletter has been mailed as of April 30th!  200 sent out/distributed
    5. Hub & Spoke Provisions to open first week in August
    6. Ukulele (Aloha City Ukes) store has also opened
    7. Update from Drew Awsumb: City Council Agenda is Monday, May 13th with street light project on the agenda.  The group would like clarification on when and how the lights will be turned on and off (i.e. set times, dusk/dawn initiated…)
    8. Space across from Walgreens: too early to tell what the plans are
    9. Ed Kugler – Ravinia Farmers Market
      1. No longer pursuing a Thursday evening farmers market in 2019
      2. Survey will go out via Survey Monkey to understand interest and support for 2020
      3. Suggestion from Dan Baigelman to cluster all questions re: Thursday night market together at the end, after we ask about the current market
      4. Status: July 4th Parade Application
        1. Justin confirming with Mike S. that July 4th application has been submitted
        2. Question: Repeat Neighborhood Garage Sale…?
          1. Doug will reply and ask if Kelly Francesca (or Sue) is willing to lead this year or next year
          2. Discussion on RNA Support for New Train Station Benches
            1. Motion (Doug) to have Jeff continue to pursue options for wooden benches; seconded (Justin); PASSED
            2. Once a bench is procured, RNA may donate the dollars to purchase a bench with a plaque
            3. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents
              1. Doug Purington will be out of town May 12th – 28th, but will be checking email
              2. As a reminder, we adjusted July and August Board Meetings to: July 11th and August 8th
              3. 7:51pm – Adjournment
                1. Next Board Meeting: June 6th, 2019 @ TBD location


Meeting Notes – Thursd..

April 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – Thursday, April 4th042019

  2. Attendance
    1. Governing Board Attendees

                                                              i.      Mike Stroz - presiding

                                                             ii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iii.      Michael Babian

                                                           iv.      Katie Alland

  1. Board Members at Large

                                                              i.      Dan Baigelman (will no longer be a board member as of next month)

                                                             ii.      Ed Kugler

                                                           iii.      Jeff Stern

                                                           iv.      Brett Tolpin

  1. Absent – all excused

                                                              i.      Justin Kee (may also step down as of elections next month)

                                                             ii.      Jean Meier

  1. Guest Attendees

                                                              i.      Michael Lubelfeld, mlubelfeld@nssd112.ord

                                                             ii.      Drew Awsumb,

                                                           iii.      Peggy Laemle;

                                                           iv.      Derek Smith,

                                                             v.      Betsy Cerf,

                                                           vi.      Eric Bradach,

                                                         vii.      Lisa Tempkin

  1. 7:04pm – Call to Order
  2. Guest Speaker: Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent – School District update
    1. Good background on 9 or 8-school model.  Overall working on stabilizing the environment.
    2. Green Bay could potentially be closed – sold for a few million – while keeping the preschool open, which would move to Red Oak
    3. Ravinia has best scores academically in the district, Braeside is #2
    4. Lincoln School update: could open again as a school, does not think it will be private homes.  Will not dispose of it at this time because it is not a priority at this time.
    5. Kennedy Park update: Considering leasing West Ridge park, board will vote on this during upcoming board meeting on April 16th.  If it passes, will void Kennedy Park opportunity.
  3. Guest Speaker: Drew Awsumb – City of HP update
    1. Bid came back as expect from tiered/alternate approach
    2. Believe we have a project that will hold based on budget available
    3. Contract Awarded to: Lions Penner; 90-day project
    4. Trying to determine kick off date based on Ravinia festival schedule; est. May
    5. Will not be able to do halo lights ($34k), alley lights ($136k) or streetlights on west side of tracks ($300k) as part of current contract.  TIF could fund separately at a future date.
    6. Aiming to take contract to council in May
    7. Follow up for Drew: When is the next City Council meeting?
  4. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking Balance $4,724.79

                                                             ii.      CD Balance $5,433.30

                                                           iii.      Total Balance $10,158.09

                                                           iv.      Payments issued over $50:

  1. Dan Baigelman – Reimburse for meeting expenses $72.56
  2. USPS PO Box – Annual PO BOX automatic renewal $106
  3. Publicity/Membership Report
    1. $750 to Michael B. for 4 ads, 4 renewals and 2 new associate members, including new ukulele store.  Doug continuing to touch base with new and old merchants.
    2. Renewal email going out on May 1st
    3. Al Klairmont development will be done by April 2020
    4. Still trying to get information on what’s happening at space across from Walgreens
    5. Spring Newsletter is in its final stages.  20 pages total, 15 ads covering approx. 8 pages.  Will be distributed by the end of April
  4. Update on Frank Lloyd Wright Bike Ride (Lisa Temkin)
    1. On hold based on a number of factors (logistics, insurance, etc.)
  5. VOTE on opportunity for Thursday Night Ravinia Farmers Market (Ed Kugler)
    1. Motion (Brett), Second (Katie): For RNA to fill out an application to support a Thursday night evening market on Ravinia School property, at the same time as Food Truck Thursdays.  Taste Marketing will host the event and provide all needed insurance.
    2. The ayes have it – PASSED
  6. Update on Hub & Spoke (Derek Smith)
    1. All day food and drink café.  Mornings (craft coffee), afternoon/evening (tapas, wine and champagne) plus on-site coffee roastery.
    2. Construction will start next week (w/o 4/8) with estimated opening end of July
  7. VOTE on adjusting July and August Board Meetings: July 11th and August 8th
    1. Motion (Katie), Second (Mike B.): To move Jul meeting to the 11th and Aug meeting to the 8th
    2. The ayes have it – PASSED
  8. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents
    1. New Board elections happening approximately May/June 2019.  Speak with Doug if you’d like to resign or run for a different position.  Otherwise we will assume that if you will be keeping your current position.  Justin Kee expressed to Brett Tolpin a desire to step down as chair but remain on the Board.  Michael Stroz expressed a desire to become Chair for the next term
    2. Are we planning a ravine clean up this year?  Michael B. will reach out to Ghida to see what other clean ups are going on, and if we can join forces to help.
    3. Can someone attend the TIF meeting on Thursday morning, 7am on June 20th?
    4. By next week, Mike S. will have the application for the 4th of July parade in.
    5. Steve said it was OK to meet at Design Quartet in May but will need to meet somewhere else afterwards.  Possible locations include Cohen office or Baker Boys.
    6. Next meeting agenda: Brett will talk about trademarks
    7. Ed will take over the moving storage ‘black box” with RNA articles
  9. 9:00pm – Adjournment (Next Board Meeting: May 2nd, 2019)

Meeting Notes – Thursday, Ma..

March 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Meeting Notes – Thursday, March 7th, 2019

  1. Attendance
    1. Governing Board Attendees

                                                              i.      Mike Stroz - presiding

                                                             ii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iii.      Michael Babian

  1. Board Members at Large + Additional Attendees

                                                              i.      Dan Baigelman

                                                             ii.      Brett Tolpin

  1. Absent

                                                              i.      Justin Kee (w excuse)

                                                             ii.      Jean Meier (w excuse)

                                                           iii.      Katie Alland (w excuse)

                                                           iv.      Jeff Stern

                                                             v.      Ed Kugler (w excuse)

  1. Guest Attendees

                                                              i.      Matt Horne;

                                                             ii.      Kitty Horne;

                                                           iii.      Jeff Levin;

                                                           iv.      Kirk Samson;

                                                             v.      Peggy Laemle;

                                                           vi.      Lisa Temkin

  1. 7:10pm – Call to Order (NO QUORUM)
  2. Report from City HP Representative in lieu of President’s Report (Drew Awsumb, in absentia)
    1. 11 vacancies in RNA Business District
    2. Ginny Glasner – Chamber CEO

                                                              i.      Any ideas the chamber wants to promote

                                                             ii.      When they do the benches, store owners put something out

                                                           iii.      Kurt – The ART Center provides benches – contest

                                                           iv.      Dan Baigelman – bench

1.  Status of the bid process for the purchase and installation of the street lights.

The bid opening was coincidentally this morning. The City received two bids, from Lyons Pinner Electric and Utility Dynamics Corporation. The lowest bidder was $1.5m for the base bid, and an approximate $600,000 additional for all alternatives. As we’ve tried to communicate during the engineering work since last autumn, with the trend in infrastructure and construction work pricing in the last 18+ months, we’ve seen prices increase. That said, they are in-range sufficient enough to determine next steps and identify how to still complete this project. We need to update some budget calculations for FY19, including forecasted revenue. And we will want to discuss the approach with the RNA for your input and consideration. I will follow up on this item and hope to have more to share, but again, we just opened the bids this morning and I’m out sick.

 2.  Will there be any funds left over for the acquisition of benches and waste receptacles?

In 2019 and 2020, no it doesn’t appear so, based on these bids and initial reaction. Within the life of the TIF district, yes, of course. It could even still be within the next 2-3-4 years, depending on decision-making and approach. Again, these are decisions about trade-offs we want to continue to include the RNA and public input into those choices.

 3.  With the advent of spring and a new agreement with Ravinia Festival, what will the City and the Police be doing to alleviate congestion and illegal parking in the Ravinia area during heavy draw concerts, please note the specific areas of concern: Very good detail here. I informed the city manager’s office and the Chief of Police. This is being reviewed and I will have a formal response. Unfortunately, I do not have that available yet.

  • the parking lot on St John's across from First Circle Architects. There is a posted sign saying No Ravinia Parking but there is no uniform officer stopping illegal Ravinia Festival parking, nor no enforcement. 
  • the parking lot on Dean Ave. There is a posted sign but there is no uniform officer stopping illegal Ravinia Festival parking, nor no enforcement.
  • the parking lot on the east side of the Ravinia Train Station. Cars enter from the south side illegally. Please note that except for an officer on the west side of the Ravinia Train Station, there does not seem to be any assistance or enforcement and Ravinia Festival employees deployed to the area have been instructed not to direct traffic since the City Police force has claimed rightly that this is their responsibility but have provide no staffing.

4.  Status of Al Klairmont building permits and when will demolition commence? And who is the final arbiter of the construction of the covered bike structure that his development company will be providing funds for in exchange for the granted zoning variances? 

The project is waiting to close on the property sale of the parking lot. That was delayed unfortunately by the federal government shutdown because although we had HUD’s approval in Washington, D.C., we needed them to execute some paperwork. Since that’s been in process in February, locally we are working on finalizing all documentation recorded with Lake County. Everything has approvals, but it’s this finalization of all documentation and records. We anticipate this will be completed by spring.

 Mr. Klairmont applied for building permits in 2018 and went through review, revisions, and approvals. The project and permits are approved. He can start demolition at any time but has indicated to the City he prefers to wait until everything is finalized and he can start construction too. We anticipate both demolition and construction to commence this spring.

We have started discussions regarding the covered bike rack structure. Simply, the City (Public Works) will approve both the structure itself and its location, although we are in discussions with both Union Pacific and Metra because it may be near the station but on their right-of-way property. Understanding their approval will help select the final location. Community Development is advising on the covered structure, so it meets the streetscape program and is high-quality. I can share information when we have more details to share.

 Here are the relevant provisions from the Development Agreement:


5.  We are apparently losing two design businesses to the neighborhood this month/quarter. Frankly there are more empty storefronts that there are occupied ones. What is the City staff doing to "market the area" to merchants, what can the RNA do to assist?

The City maintains a list of available properties on its website and staff provides site selection assistance.  If the available space in Ravinia meets the criteria of a business looking for space we provide the description of the space, why it would be a good location, and a referral to the broker or property owner. Those services are operated and managed in the city manager’s office, and they coordinate frequently with Community Development.

Many property owners do not actively market their properties, or have no intention of leasing or selling them at this time. Unfortunately, this approach by private actors limits the City’s ability to influence investment and redevelopment. The RNA often asks about the cleaner’s property, which has had significant interest, but the property owner does not respond to the City.

Vacancy in these types of districts is also seen in Winnetka, downtown Northbrook, and Highwood. One of Community Development’s official Major Projects for 2019 is additional subarea planning for the Ravinia District, beyond the streetscape, and we anticipate commencing this work in either Q2 or late summer in Q3. This would be a good topic for a follow-up in-person meeting.

As to what the RNA can do to help, supporting local businesses and promoting the stores, shops, services, and restaurants that are in the District today definitely helps. Shop local and other neighborhood programs help. Beyond that, your continued input and contributions to planning in the District is a big help – again, we have a Council approved Major Project to continue looking at the district and what would attract investment, in addition to the streetscape and lights, including addressing parking, zoning, and other amenities.

6.  What if any plans are in the works to use the installation of the street lights to use Jen's Jensen park later, i.e. extending the Food Truck event times, or other events that could go later due to lighting.

Although the intent was to install the street lights in the spring, due to event planning and budgeting simultaneously, the food truck event had to plan to operate in case the lights were not available this summer. i.e. budgeting for generators, etc. But yes, with the lights, the food trucks could potentially go later into the evening. The City and SSA will consider extending the hours for 2020.

The event season dates are not being extended because 112 school is in session and they need the parking and traffic flow on Dean for school events.  Also, extending the dates would increase costs for music and staffing.

7.  What plans are in the works for marketing the Food Truck Thursdays and the Farmer's Market this year?

The City has already started marketing the Food Trucks along with Bensidoun. The City promotes the Farmers’ Market on Facebook and in the Highlander. We also include it, as appropriate, in print and other online media.

8.  Is there any movement on providing minimal lightening for safety on the Greenbay trail between the Ravinia Train Station and the Ravinia Festival? How can the RNA assist?

City staff is in ongoing, active discussions with Ravinia Festival Park regarding this work. There has definitely been some progress. In 2019 Public Works will contract for preliminary engineering design and generate a project cost estimate.  Once this work is completed, the City and Ravinia staff will further explore the feasibility of the project, including funding. The RNA and the neighborhood’s interest and support for this project seems beneficial in its recent movement, and continued support is a positive thing. Right now, there’s nothing formally needed, but if the RNA still supports the project, I can share that with the City and the Festival leadership.

  1. Michael B. – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Activity

                                                              i.      Checking balance: $4,470.29

                                                             ii.      CD balance: $5,423.28

                                                           iii.      Total balance: $9,893.57

                                                           iv.      Payments over $50 issued: none

  1. Publicity/Membership Report
    1. Spring Newsletter: Content due March 15th with ads due March 22nd
    2. PO Box due
    3. New ad campaigns
    4. Brian Taylor RBC owner: what’s in mind for the area opposite Walgreen’s parking lot?
    5. Newsletter

                                                              i.      Streetscape

                                                             ii.      TREK Bike giveaway

                                                           iii.      Food Truck Thursdays – Doug

                                                           iv.      Historic Ravinia – Lisa

                                                             v.      Alchemy and Cloth opening – Doug

                                                           vi.      Hub & Spoke – Katie

                                                         vii.      Farmer’s Market – Peggy Laemle

                                                       viii.      Fully Circle/Dan B. Bio – Dan B.

                                                           ix.      Doug will be working on ad sales

  1. Approval for social media publicity for Jeff Cohen Photography and Other Businesses
    1. Consensus is to do this – follow with a VOTE via email
    2. Request that board members should be responding and making efforts to reply to board member emails to acknowledge receipt.
  2. Discussion of Ed Kugler’s Proposal for Thursday Evening Farmer’s Market
    1. Request a VOTE for Ed’s Thursday Evening Market
    2. RNA sponsor fills out, Taste Marketing provides insurance.  Have discussed this before.  Hang-up was liability.  If we were a non-profit, we would manage.  Payments flowing to us.  Too imbedded with a business, but the numbers are so low.  Brett, Mike S. and Dan are for it.  School Board with RNA.  Mike B. is for it as long as Taste Marketing is running.  Doug is in favor but suggests free ads.  Does Ed clear up?
    3. Ed to produce a copy of insurance
  3. Historic Ravinia 2019 Plans (Lisa Temkin)
    1. June 2nd, Wright Ride

                                                              i.      3 homes in HP, 7 homes in Glencoe

                                                             ii.      Docent: Patrick Schwartz

                                                           iii.      Need a low-investment event.  Meet at RBC @ 11AM Sunday.  Patrick will talk for 30 minutes with map of route. 

                                                           iv.      Lisa will send Doug information to blast to Facebook

                                                             v.      Ask: $500 contribution for RNA brochure, poster.  Our logo on all new material.  Brochure: We will take none of the excess.

                                                           vi.      Mike S., Mike B., Doug and Dan in favor.  Brett in favor but starting on Roger William and ending at RBC.

                                                         vii.      Mike S. to create internet VOTE

  1. Ravinia Candidate Night Update
    1. Will be discussing more to determine if we will proceed hosting the event this year
    2. Poll candidates, if interest
    3. Mike S. looking for volunteers to help plan March 21st or March 28th
  2. RNA Participation in 4th of July Parade: Yea or Nay? – Doug
    1. RNA discussed plans to participate this year to celebrate 150th anniversary of HP
  3. New Meeting Venue Urgent Need: Discussion & Plan of Action
    1. Discussion on new meeting venue since we will not be able to meet at Full Circle starting in April.  Discussed meeting in various locations in Ravinia and will be providing new location before next meeting.
  4. Vote on adjusting July and August Board Meetings: July 11th and August 8th
    1. Need a VOTE?
  5. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents
    1. Carolyn Hersch should be able to advise on vacancy owners
    2. Brett – How many businesses work out of a house?  Jenny G. knows about home businesses
    3. Jeff – Ice cream place would be great
  6. Items from Previous Meetings
    1. Any questions following Katie’s edits to Ed’s Farmer’s Market survey?
  7. 8:45pm – Adjournment (Next Board Meeting: April 4th, 2019)

Ravinia Neighbors Association &nda..

February 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association – Meeting Notes

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

  1. Attendance
    1. Governing Board Attendees

                                                              i.      Mike Stroz - presiding

                                                             ii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iii.      Michael Babian

                                                           iv.      Jeff Stern

                                                             v.      Katie Alland

  1. Board Members at Large + Additional Attendees

                                                              i.      Dan Baigelman

                                                             ii.      Ed Kugler

                                                           iii.      Amy Lohmolder

                                                           iv.      Jeff Levin

                                                             v.      Lisa Sullivan

                                                           vi.      Mary Seyfarth

                                                         vii.      Peggy Laemle

  1. Absent Board Members – all absent were excused

                                                              i.      Brett Tolpin

                                                             ii.      Justin Kee

                                                           iii.      Jean Meier

  1. 7:06pm – Quorum.  Call to Order
  2. Mike S. (VP) – President’s Report
    1. Lots of positive interest in new members and attendees for RNA
    2. Drew Awsumb will attend next month’s meeting. Request to submit topics and questions to discuss with Drew please, including Al Klairmont updates.
  3. Michael – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Audit completed on February 5th, everything in good order
    2. Activity

                                                              i.      $4,476.61 checking

                                                             ii.      $5,412.29 CD

                                                           iii.      $33.68 from Paypal to checking

                                                           iv.      Total of $9,922.58 in checking

  1. Timely Notification to Membership of Community Alerts
    1. Business Support: Discussion and agreement around supporting Ravinia businesses who are having events that support a charity or event, as long as it feels balanced between the businesses (Doug will help monitor).  Social media (Facebook) is also an easy, nimble way to share this information.  RNA members may also get special spotlights as appropriate.
    2. Crime/Public Safety Announcements: Sharing news like this is not aligned with our mission.  Going forward when things like this are brought up, the board will vote on it as necessary.

  1. Doug (& Amy) – Publicity/Membership Update
    1. Spring Newsletter (Amy)

                                                              i.      Deadline for ads and content is March 15th, with a goal to publish mid-April

                                                             ii.      Group brainstorm on items for Spring Newsletter

  1. Idea for a Ravinia poem(s) to contribute to Highland Park Sesquicentennial
  2. Mike will provide…
    1. Update on street lighting bids
    2. Update on the Kennedy School issue
    3. TREK feature
    4. Ed will provide Farmer’s Market announcement
    5. Peggy Lemly will provide write up on Michigan farms visited this summer
    6. Amy to investigate what was happening in 1869, as well as a write up on nature walk and/or native plants based on May T. Watts’ book.  Jeff Levin suggestion: could any of these native plants live in planters within the town?
    7. Ideas from Michael B. to profile the gentleman who created Ravinia Strings
    8. Other things to include: Mention of Food Truck Thursdays starting back up, plus profiles on Hub and Spoke and Alchemy and Cloth.
    9. Membership (Doug)

                                                              i.      Hub and Spoke Provisions opening Summer 2019

                                                             ii.      New members: Derek and Tiffany Smith

                                                           iii.      Baker Boys has a new owner Alexandra Sasha Zoric, with Jordan retiring, and George now head baker

                                                           iv.      Doug met Laura Slavin of Viaggio and had a very nice dinner.  Laura plans to join RNA and is considering an ad.

                                                             v.      Previous Intermezzo spot will likely be an expansion of Jewel Nail Spa.

                                                           vi.      Ravinia Brewing Company staying in current spot, with corner storefront facing Walgreen’s TBD.

                                                        vii.      Request remains for content for the front page of the website.  Suggestion for lighting project.  Doug calling Drew for photo and article options.

  1. Ed – Discussion on Ravinia Farmer’s Market
    1. Ed making edits to Farmer’s Market survey – group will review at April meeting, with the goal to send out the survey by mid-April
  2. Other Business/Additional Topics
    1. Lisa: Curious about all the vacancies in the area, after looking into bringing her practice to the area.  Concerns about the upcoming tax increase for local businesses.  RNA Board provided clarity on tax structure and lighting project.
    2. Peggy: Would like the Green Bay Road bus route reinstated.  She is gathering signatures and members are welcome to sign.
    3. Mike Lubelfeld, Superintendent of School Board 112 – Mike S. will invite Mike L. to speak at April’s RNA meeting and will pull together list of questions/topics to cover.
    4. Kennedy Park Update: Now looking at alternate site, by Park District Ridge Center.  Another meeting is happening tonight, 2/7 to discuss with the city.
    5. Mike S. will look into reducing the fee for possible Civic Election Candidates Night
    6. RNA Board has now joined Next Door
    7. Request from Ed for a single-sided RNA handout to help for business recruiting.  Potential to hand it out to local shops, Farmer’s Market, Food Truck Thursdays, and give a deal of $50 for the year = free ad.
    8. Paul Rubenstein’s passing – Was involved with East on Central publication and a founding member of RNA.  Obituary was in the Chicago Sun Times today, 2/7.
  3. Items from Previous Meetings
    1. Dan: Historic Ravinia event in May.  Frank Lloyd Wright bike tour; 12 houses in Highland Park, 8 in Glencoe.  Potential monetary contribution by the RNA.  Promote as a Facebook event.
    2. Meeting Place – Full Circle Architects will be moving in end of March but potential to move space into Design Quartet
  4. 8:47pm – Adjournment – Next Board Meeting: Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Ravinia Neighbors Association &nda..

January 2019 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association – Meeting Notes

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

  1. Attendance
    1. Board Member Attendees

                                                              i.      Mike Stroz - presiding

                                                             ii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iii.      Michael Babian

                                                           iv.      Ed Kugler

                                                             v.      Brett Tolpin

                                                           vi.      Dan Baigelman

                                                         vii.      Katie Alland

                                                       viii.      Jeff Levin

                                                           ix.      Phil Pace

  1. Absent Board Members – all absent were excused

                                                              i.      Justin Kee

                                                             ii.      Jeff Stern

                                                           iii.      Jean Meier

  1. 7:06pm – Quorum.  Call to Order.
  2. Mike S. – President’s Report
    1. Recapping 2018

                                                              i.      Ravinia Farmers Market synergy

                                                             ii.      Brewery position and resolution

                                                           iii.      Neighborhood garage sale inaugural year

                                                           iv.      However, membership has plateaued.  Gaining new members but not retaining old members. 

  1. Michael – Treasurer’s Report
    1. Activity

                                                              i.      $4,269.87 checking

                                                             ii.      $5,401.20 CD

                                                           iii.      $86.49 from Paypal to checking

                                                           iv.      Total of $9,757.56 in checking

  1. One payment issued for over $50 to Dan, reimbursing $130.25 for meeting supply receipts in Jun, Jul, Dec.
  2. Request from Brett: YoY comparison.  Michael will work on this.
  3. Doug – Publicity/Membership Update
    1. Membership

                                                              i.      One new member

                                                             ii.      Ravinia Brewing paid for 3 ads, monies given to Michael

                                                           iii.      Current members: 602 (legitimate paid members, 194)

                                                           iv.      Households: 385; Emails: 333

                                                             v.      Highland Park streets represented: 82

  1. Request for content for the front page of the website.  Suggestion for lighting project.  Doug calling Drew for photo and article options.
  2. Status of Al Klairmont’s Development – Has just about every approval from the city of Highland Park.  Likely to break ground in the spring.
  3. Status of Ravinia Brewing Company – Zuzu’s is now the permanent location for RBC.  Business is doing well, strong Facebook marketing, will have a fermenter onsite for brewing and a patio open in the spring.
  4. Status of Walgreens Ravinia – Property owners RS National Net Lease Group has the building up for sale for $5.2M, however Walgreens can stay in the building for at least 3 more years.
  5. Will have 9 vacancies along Roger Williams after the massage place opens
  6. Ed – Discussion on Ravinia Farmer’s Market
    1. Potential to continue Wednesday morning market, but also add a Thursday evening farmer’s market near Brown Park to coincide with Food Truck Thursdays.
    2. Survey –

                                                              i.      Motion to decide if the survey should be sent out to members via Survey Monkey.  Concerns:

  1. Is this considered supporting a business?  Most folks say no, more of a community support.
  2. Since Survey Monkey is used to ask about controversial issues, do we risk stepping out of character to ask folks about this?

                                                             ii.      Motion PASSED

                                                           iii.      Katie will email Ed with additional suggestions for the survey

                                                           iv.      Timeframe for sending out the survey is March/April

  1. Mike S. – Possible Civic Election Candidates Night Event at Ravinia School
    1. $500 fee plus cleaning fee.  Too high.  Mike to report back at February meeting.
    2. Kennedy Park issue

                                                              i.      Mike passed out schematics; 11,000 square feet (see page 3)

                                                             ii.      Modular could be up for as long as 25 years

                                                           iii.      Goal to be up and running by June 30th

                                                           iv.      RNA shared HP neighbors letter expressing negative feelings about park plans and got blowback on Facebook for “taking a stand.”  Mike wrote a letter to clarify that RNA had not yet taken a stance on the issue.

                                                             v.      Also issues over how it was handled quickly and quietly

                                                           vi.      Mike reported back from January 8th meeting

  1. Roughly 250 people in attendance
  2. 2/3 against

                                                         vii.      Mike will follow up with Zack to invite him to our February RNA meeting

  1. Other Business/Additional Topics
    1. Clavey Reconstruction – Delayed from Spring 2019 until the Spring of 2020
    2. TREK Bike Photo: Mike S. sending to Amy for incorporation into spring 2019 newsletter.
    3. Discussion early in the meeting around recruiting more members.  Should we open the opportunity for folks who are no longer in the area, but still have a connection and vested interest in the community?

                                                              i.      Doug has traditionally stuffed mailboxes in the area, reached out to new families in the area.

                                                             ii.      Highland Park Landmark has recent sales to pull from and send materials to

                                                           iii.      Need to brainstorm additional ways to recruit.

                                                           iv.      Request from Ed for a single-sided RNA handout to help for recruiting.  Potential to hand it out to local shops, Farmer’s Market, Food Truck Thursdays, etc.

  1. Items from Previous Meetings
    1. Brett: Ice skating rink as a winter event.  Hot chocolate + fire.  School District or Park District. 
    2. Dan: Historic Ravinia event in May.  Frank Lloyd Wright bike tour; 12 houses in Highland Park, 8 in Glencoe.  Potential monetary contribution by the RNA.  Promote as a Facebook event.
    3. Meeting Place – Full Circle Architects will be moving in end of March

                                                              i.      Michael to reach out to Design Quartet about starting to meet there beginning April 2019

  1. 9:02pm – Adjournment – Next Board Meeting: Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Ravinia Neighbors Association &nda..

December 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association – Meeting Notes

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Please note our next meeting will be held on the SECOND Thursday of January: 1/10/2019

  1. Attendance
    1. Board Member Attendees

                                                              i.      Mike Stroz - presiding

                                                             ii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iii.      Michael Babian

                                                           iv.      Jeff Stern

                                                             v.      Brett Tolpin

                                                           vi.      Dan Baigelman

  1. Absent Board Members

                                                              i.      Justin Kee with excuse

                                                             ii.      Jean Meier with excuse

                                                           iii.      Katie A. – excuse due to work meeting

  1. Neighbor attendees Mary Seyfarth & Drew Awsumb (from City)
  2. 7:03pm – Quorum.  Call to Order.
  3. Drew to report in lieu of President’s Report
    1. Streetlight project

                                                              i.      Update on street lights given to City Council, but not out to bid.  City Council does not need to vote to release the bid to the public but must vote to approve a contract selecting the winning bid. City Council has provided their direction and support on this project through multiple milestone reports since March of last year.

                                                             ii.      Timeline:

  1. Late December: Public Works to read bid package
  2. Jan/Feb: Bid back
  3. February: Contract to City Hall
  4. Feb/March: Material delivered
  5. Mar/April: construction

                                                           iii.      Page 1: $1.2M is what the expected bid will come in at and therefore the total budget should be about that number but the TIFF fund has in excess of $1.4M.

                                                           iv.      Holders for banners are included in the streetlights and can optionally be easily adjusted and removed.

                                                             v.      Page 2: If bids come in at or below the budgeted amount then all of page 2 will be done too.  Fixtures in the alleys option is first priority on page 2. Doing all options on  Page 2 could be about $200k for all three addons.

  1. Priorities from our Board:
    1. Opt. 1: Pedestrian fixtures, Schreder Stylage
    2. Opt. 2: Alley fixtures
    3. Opt. 3: “Seasonal” gateway fixtures
    4. Not all may be done
    5. Fixtures on Jens Jensen St. Johns Avenue sidewalk is preferred but not absolutely necessary
    6. Better to have sidewalks and lights there but lights are more important even if there is no sidewalk.

                                                           vi.      Page 3 & 4: No real discussion by the Board to what was presented by Drew

                                                         vii.      Page 5: Tree removal.  Only 10 conflicts with lights and construction.  For 2019 lose 10 but all streetscape plan when completed will add dozen.  Forestry group (public works) has approved the 10 coming down.

Ravinia Business District Lighting Installation Tree Removal


TREE # (in doc)
































































  1. Other Items
    1. Al Klairmont’s project for the White Hen site - demolition could begin early spring.  City Council action required.  There is a Benefit for the public good due for variances already granted. That benefit is currently a covered bike rack area structure.  INPUT FROM RNA REQUESTED if THIS SI NO LONGER A DESIRED PROJECT.
    2. Cleaner – No news
    3. Fire Station – Same footprint or in Brown Park.  Not decided but prioritized toward the top.
  2. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian)
    1. Report will be emailed
    2. Still investigating CD renewal and rate.  From November’s meeting:

                                                              i.      3.10% available at State Farm (60-month term)

                                                             ii.      Mike B. investigating additional rates

  1. Need commitment of two other Board Members to complete audit ASAP, by early February.
  2. Publicity/Membership Report/Ravinia Business Update (Doug Purington)
    1. $170 income for membership

                                                              i.      2 new members

                                                             ii.      2 renewals

  1. Storefronts update

                                                              i.      10 vacancies in business district

                                                             ii.      Intermezzo closed, new massage group

                                                           iii.      Ravinia Brewery doing well.  Have good food, Sunday Brunch.  Unsure what will be happening with other site and Witty’s Refresher (?)

  1. Discussion of Business recruitment by Justin and Mike (President and VP)

                                                              i.      Question posed: What’s the benefit to a business to support RNA?

  1. Doug: Support to the business on Facebook but not a lot
  2. Brett: Want to join to create a good business environment and generate more customer traffic, but also have to join protection.  Need support of the association to promote business interest against bureaucracy.

                                                             ii.      Possible methodology to create a campaign:

  1. Create a flyer to enlist new business
  2. Map with businesses
  3. RNA Brochure, mentioning businesses
  4. $50/year with one free ad
  5. Sign for doors/windows of businesses
  6. Historic
  7. Open House invited to meet the Board
  8. “Come and See Us”
  9. Ripple events four years ago
  10. Once lights are in what are we going to do?

                                                              i.      Task force (run by Mike) to think about what we can do once the lights are in.  Calling into Carolyn Hirsch is the first step

  1. Discussion on Ravinia Farmers Market - Ed
    1. 100 people for dinner at Blue Grass in October.  Excitement for the community. Good event plus creates buzz in the neighborhood.  Chef John made dinners out of seasonal vegetables.
    2. New concept: Go to other nearby neighborhood farmers markets and ask them to participate.
    3. How did this season’s farmers market go as compared to previous?  Vendors have seen new people and a constant flow.
    4. Ed survey about the market: Do you come?  What changes would you like to see?  Provide suggestions to Ed who will come up with 5 questions. 
    5. Is there a risk of ruining the impact of polling by surveying members over non-important matters like the Farmer’s Market?  Opinion that if you focus on one thing then you dilute the impact.  Need to draw a line somewhere.
    6. Strong discussion between the Board about survey for the benefit of our business vs. just on matters of importance.  Go beyond the membership to a more general publication.  Run article and ask the question but how do they respond?
    7. CONSIDER FOR NEXT MEETING.  Ed will come up with suggested questions and include questions around what the community would like to see once the lights are up.
  2. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns
    1. Brett: Ice skating rink as a winter event.  Hot chocolate + fire.  School District or Park District.  TABLE FOR JANUARY.
    2. Mike: Connected with TREK and the winner Bobbie.  Both on board and excited.  There will be a picture taken for the next newsletter.  TREK also excited about the additional ad.
    3. Dan: Historic Ravinia event in May.  Frank Lloyd Wright bike tour; 12 houses in Highland Park, 8 in Glencoe.  Potential monetary contribution by the RNA.  Promote as a Facebook event.
    4. Jeff: Closing Edgewood for a year.  How will it affect demographics? But already a done deed
    5. Meeting Place – Full Circle Architects will be moving in end of March

                                                              i.      Michael to reach out to Design Quartet about starting to meet there beginning April 2019

  1. 8:55pm – Adjournment – Next Board Meeting: January 10th, 2019

Ravinia Neighbors Association &nda..

November 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association – Meeting Notes

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

  1. Call to Order
    1. Attendees

                                                              i.      Justin Kee

                                                             ii.      Mike Stroz

                                                           iii.      Doug Purington

                                                           iv.      Michael Babian

                                                             v.      Jeff Stern

                                                           vi.      Brett Tolpin

                                                         vii.      Katie Alland

  1. Absent

                                                              i.      Dan Baigelman

                                                             ii.      Francesca

                                                           iii.      Jean Meier

                                                           iv.      Ed Kugler

  1. President’s Report (Justin Kee)
    1. Justin’s availability in 2019; Mike will take over as President when Justin cannot attend
    2. Agreed to: Jean’s 6 month leave of absence

                                                              i.      Remains a Board Member at Large

                                                             ii.      Doug to send email to communicate

  1. Agreed to Francesca’s resignation
  2. Motion by Doug, Seconded by Justin

                                                              i.      PASSED: Katie Alland brought on as recording secretary

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian)
    1. Transactions

                                                              i.      Checking $5,592.24

                                                             ii.      CD $5,380.11

                                                           iii.      Transferred $173.88 into checking

                                                           iv.      Balance: $11,146.23

  1. No other payments issued over $50
  2. Asking for volunteers for audit of transactions

                                                              i.      Mike B. following up via email to confirm date; goal to complete by 12/31/18

  1. Current CD with Highland Park Bank and Trust not earning the best interest

                                                              i.      3.10% available at State Farm (60-month term)

                                                             ii.      Mike B. investigating additional rates

  1. Publicity/Membership Report/Ravinia Business Update (Doug Purington)
    1. No income this month
    2. Following up with renewals
    3. Website updated with Ravinia Brewing Co. photo and information including Yelp
    4. Working with Amy to finalize newsletter; hoping to deploy by mid-November
    5. Update from Rob Sabo on the TIF project
    6. Redoing Intermezzo space to be full-service massage
  2. Discussion on Ravinia Festival Development Agreement (Brett Tolpin)
    1. Brett penned letter to City Council to endorse 5% tax on ticket sales, in alignment with other cities
    2. Caveat that West Parcel (Meadow) must remain and be restored as a green space
    3. Agreement that RNA will remain out of the issue in an official capacity for now
  3. Update on Fall 2018 Newsletter (Amy Lohmolder)
    1. Doug addressed above (IV, d.)
  4. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns
    1. TREK

                                                              i.      Bicycle give-away name selected: Bobby Collins on Lakeside Place

                                                             ii.      Two half-page ads (spring/summer) in RNA newsletter will thank Trek

                                                           iii.      Mike notifying Bobby and Trek

                                                           iv.      Goal for photo of Bobby at TREK to go in newsletter and on Facebook page

  1. Street Lights – Goal to complete by May of 2019

                                                              i.      Reviewed pedestrian, industrial and seasonal winning concepts

  1. All lights on Burton will be eliminated while lights around Firehouse and Brown Park will stay
  2. Lights approx. 50 ft. apart
  3. Park District also agreed to put lights around Jens Jensen
  4. No lights by train station
  5. Gateway signs will be lit
  6. Lights will be on automatic dimmers and dimmed after certain hour
  7. Ability to monitor energy output per post

                                                             ii.      Total cost $1.3MM

  1. $1.5MM currently in the bank
  2. Recommendation to buy and do all lights now

                                                           iii.      Benches – None currently included in $1.3MM

  1. Cost approx. $4k per bench
  2. Will wait and see how much money will be left after lights

                                                           iv.      Trees will come down, but some will ultimately be replaced

  1. Residential concerns from Curt re: Ravinia Brew Pub

                                                              i.      Mike helped to facilitate conversation between key players

                                                             ii.      Mike to follow up with Curt to explain that RNA appreciates him bringing the issues to our attention, but unfortunately does not have the authority to act any further on these issues.  Going forward, Curt should take up his issues directly with Chris or the city.

  1. Meeting Place – Full Circle Architects will be moving in end of March

                                                              i.      Michael to reach out to Design Quartet about starting to meet there beginning April 2019

  1. Upcoming Events

                                                              i.      Farmers Market Harvest Dinner on November 5th, 4-9pm at Bluegrass

  1. Adjournment – Next Board Meeting: December 6th, 2018

7:00 p.m.@ Full Circle Architects ..

August 2018 RNA Board Meeting

7:00 p.m.@ Full Circle Architects


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 2, 2018

 I.                         Call to Order

 II.                        President’s Report (Justin Kee)

III.                     Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian)

IV.                      Publicity/Membership Report/Ravinia Business District Update (Doug Purington)

V.                        Schedule for Fall 2018 Newsletter (Amy Lohmolder & Jean Meier)|

a.        Content/Ads due by August 31st

b.        Newsletter for distribution in October 2018

VI.                     Update on RNA Sponsored Community Garage Sale (Jean Meier & Francesca Kelly)

VII.                   Update on plans for 2018 Governing Board Elections (Doug Purington)

   VIII.             Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents

Adjournment (Next Board Meeting: September 6, 2018)



PLEASE NOTE: All are welcome to attend! RNA meetings offer a great forum for Members and residents to raise new concerns and address ongoing issues. That said, please be mindful of time when adding your thoughts. RNA meetings try to address many items important to us all.

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

July 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association

Minutes of Board Meeting held July 12, 2018

Those present at the meeting, held at Full Circle Architects, were Doug Purington, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Jean Meier, Jeff Stern, Brett Tolpin and Ed Kugler. Absent were Mike Stroz, Amy Lohmolder, Michael Babian and Larry Dunlap. A quorum was present. Three community members were in attendance: Peg Laemle, Betsy Cerf and Francesca Kelly.

  1. In Secretary Larry Dunlap’s absence, Jean Meier took the minutes.
  2. President’s Report. Justin informed the Board that he will resume his presidential duties in August, those duties having been fulfilled by Mike Stroz, Vice President, for the months of June and July, due to Justin’s summer commitments.
  3. Doug Purington gave the Membership Report. There was some discussion of whether it is better to send out news to only those members current in their dues. Doug urged the Board to turn in names of potential candidates for Board membership by the end of July, so that they can be voted on in August. Francesca Kelly’s name was offered as a potential candidate by several Board members. Francesca said she would like to think about it more.
  4. Newsletter Report: The Board congratulated Jean Meier and Amy Lohmolder for their work on the Summer 2018 Newsletter, which was sent out earlier in the week. Jean thanked those contributors of content to the newsletter. Doug Purington proposed the next newsletter be issued in early October, with a tentative deadline of 8/31/2018 for the submission of ads.
  5. Fourth of July Parade Report: Doug Purington drove a van in the parade that had the RNA banner on one side and the Farmers’ Market banner on the other side. The Board appreciates his service and the efforts by Ed Kugler to make sure that RNA had a presence in the parade.
  6. Community Yard Sale Report: Francesca Kelly reported that the efforts to publicize the upcoming July 14-15 Community Yard Sale included the following:

6.1.       Several hundred flyers distributed to individual households, mostly by Francesca, but with additional help from Jean Meier and Andrea Knosek.

6.2.       A large laminated poster which appeared at the Farmers Market on Wednesdays and the Food Truck Thursday events on Thursday nights. Michael Babian displayed it in the storefront window of his insurance agency on the remaining days.  

6.3.       Doug assisted with publicity on the RNA website and the RNA facebook page.

6.4.       Andrea and Francesca posted the sale info on NextDoor HP and also added the information to several garage and estate sale email lists.

As a result, over 100 people have expressed interest and 20 people so far have agreed to participate. RNA stickers will be given to participants who are RNA members and they will be urged to include it on their signage. Expenses for these efforts total $245. She will provide receipts to the RNA treasurer, Michael Babian, as the Board voted last meeting to donate $100 to the cause. The large sign cost $95 and the printing of the fliers, plus other incidental expenses, added up to that total. Francesca will give a final report on the sale at the August Board meeting.

  1. Food Truck Thursday:  The Board discussed the difficulty of staffing the RNA tent at each of these events. Doug Purington has staffed it most frequently, many others have conflicting events or cannot stay the entire evening. Dan and Justin suggested making a Google calendar with which members can sign up to staff certain days and hours, rather than relying on emails going back and forth. Dan and Justin volunteered to create such a calendar. Another FTT issue is the fact that we need a place to store our tent and black equipment box and other items necessary for the FTT nights. Ed Kugler has often assisted with carting the items around, but we need a more convenient storage place. Brett offered to talk to Ravinia Brewing Company’s Kris Walker to see if he can provide storage space.
  2. Tent issue: There was some discussion on whether we need to buy a new tent, as discussed in earlier meetings, or just borrow Ed’s and put our banner on it. No resolution was reached.
  3. Meeting place issue:  Dan Baigelman announced that his office will not be available for RNA meetings after April 2019, as he will be moving his office to Chicago in May 2019.
  4. New Business

10.1.      Dan suggested that we hold a family event that would include CPR training, as a service   to the community. Several ideas were mentioned, such as talking to the HP Fire Department or HP Hospital. Jeff Stern said he would check with the Fire Chief.

10.2.      Carolyn Cerf and Michael Babian are involved in a project with the Art Center of Highland Park to put up a mural in the Ravinia area. The Art Center Executive Director, James Lynch, will make a presentation to us at our August meeting.

  1. Adjournment at 8:11 PM.

RNA Meeting 6/14/18 ..

June 2018 RNA Board Meeting

RNA Meeting 6/14/18

8 Board Members: Mike, Ed, Dan, Doug, Brett, Larry, Jean, Amy

4 Guests

City/Rob Zabo Report:

Clairmont Project- Former 7/11 Site

Final stages with HUD sale of parking lot spaces prior to zoning and construction documents. Target is end of June, then go to Zoning approval.

Al will be adding Public Benefit as Bike Rack.


It is official that they will locate at the former “ZuZu’s” temporarily until build out of permanent space. Lease agreement being worked out.

Pace Bus

Lake Cook to St. John/Green Bay Rd. route to be discontinued. Difficulties as to replacement transportation for handicapped and employees in area. Pace is separate entity from City of HP. Options: Morraine Township assistance, taxi service discount.

Shelton Location/Roger Williams

Chiropractic office application denied.


ADA approved. Mike requests letter from Zabo/historical bricks.

Firehouse Redevelopment

City property, with decision to be made regarding inclusion of the two private houses to the West. City planning for 2020-2022 states Firehouse as a priority item.

HP Business Development Office

Ravinia “Vogue  Cleaners” seeking new Realtor to list property.

Treasurer’s Report/Doug

Publicity/Membership/Streetscape Project

Ravinia Brewing and Ravinia Festival have reached an agreement.

T. Chung and Lydia Hankins speak pro Ravinia Brewing.

Streetlights installation Fall 2018

Mike Stroz makes motion to write letter  to City in favor of temporary lighting. Doug seconds.

6 Yes

1 No/Amy

1 Abstain/Brett


Ed attempting to find additional Guest Chefs for Farmer’s Market.

Occupancy of Market close to full with 2-3 spaces remaining.

RNA Sponsored Yard Sale

Discussion regarding legalities, official RNA sticker, shared advertising, building upon this year for larger effort next year.

Use of RNA sponsorship requires Board endorsement: Motioned, seconded, unanimous vote for.

RNA Tent

New Tent vs. Old Tent discussion

Dan and Ed will coordinate Tent/signage/tablecloth/etc and report back to Board.

Parade 4th of July

Discussion of wordage for intro/20th year of RNA. Attendees Doug, Ed, perhaps Brett.

Bike Promo

Sponsorship by “Trek”: motioned, seconded, unanimous vote for.

2018 Board Elections

Discussion as to finding possible new Board members using Facebook and Email accounts. Motion made, seconded, and unanimous approval to seek new Board members, must apply by July 31 and publicized by newsletter/electronic media.

Lawrence Dunlap

Recording Secretary

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

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.

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

April 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association

Minutes of Board Meeting held April 12, 2018

  1. The meeting, held at Full Circle Architects, was called to order at 7:00 PM. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Amy Lohmolder, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Jean Meier, Brett Tolpin and Ed Kugler. Jeff Stern had previously advised the board he could not attend and was absent.  A quorum was present. Eight community members were in attendance. Stan Miller, Peggy Miller, Larry Dunlap, Earl Slavin, Peggy Laemle Laura Saret, Kris Walker and Phylis Bagan.
  2. President’s Report by Justin Kee:

2.1.    Justin reported on the Ravinia Festival and Ravinia Brewing trademark dispute

2.1.1.He has spoken to at least 150 people and almost all are a negative on the RFA stance

2.1.2.City not getting this done and frankly sowing disinformation, re the misleading news article. Doug points out he had this corrected, but Justin feels the damage was already done.

2.1.3.He urges members to lobby City official to get things moving and he wants board members to spread the word to other citizens to contact City Hall and Council.

4.b. RFA vs RBC – Can we exert any more meaningful pressure?

4.b.1. In light of the President Report, the discussion is moved forward. Doug states that he has sent a personal letter with the premise of if the City is not involved, the Business District will fail to develop. RBC and RFA is a business dispute but City needs to be involved for the good of all.

4.b.2. Kris Walker reports that RFA & RBC has not come to an agreement and is far from a resolution. Doug asks what’s the risk? Kris replies that there is too much of a risk to open without an agreement. Brett further states that RFA can make things very expensive to RBC. It’s hard to build a business when you are fighting a bully and its likely that several different lawsuits will entail.

4.b.3. Amy asks who owns Green Bay Trail in front of the Festival, the answer from Larry Dunlap is that the RFA has a nonexclusive usage.

4.b.4. Brett states that the RNA has been awesome. RBC owners very appreciative. Got everyone involved very quickly and 23000 Facebook views is really something. But RFA and RBC had a conference that did not result in any meaningful movement. There will be no resolution in the near term.

4.b.3. So what more can be done? Peggy Miller suggests that we should have a silent protest in front of the shuttered RBC building during the Arbor Day event since City officials will be in attendance. Mike S agrees that it could be effective but that a group of local residents should organize it and then the RNA could publicize it. Jean suggests a march but concerns over permits and the fact that they would not be authorized quickly stop this idea. A group of three agree to work on it independently (Peggy, Mike S and Doug) and report back to Kris.

  1.  Treasurer’s Report by Michael Babian:

3.1.    RNA Treasurers Report 4/12/18

3.1.1.Checking Balance $4661.59

3.1.2.CD Balance $5318.66

3.1.3.Transferred from PayPal today $130.18

3.1.4.Total balance as of today $10,110.43

3.2.    Below are the items issued over $50 which were already approved by the board and or president.

3.2.1.$187.00 - Reimburse Doug 3 X $50 Facebook boost and $37 survey monkey fee.

3.2.2.$96.00 - Annual Post Office PO Box renewal.

3.2.3.$980.00 - Newsletter cost to Kens Quick Print

3.2.4.$309.76 – Reimburse Doug postage cost for mailing newsletters

3.2.5.$334.67 – Reimburse Carolyn Cerf for final billing and closing constant contact account

  1. Publicity/Business/Membership Report by Doug Purington:

4.1.    Publicity:

4.1.1.Clean the Ravine              Scheduled April 14 10-12:30, April 15 rain Date              Note this was cancelled due to inclement weather on that weekend. We are attempting to reschedule with the City’s help.              Website – need to renew for another two years.                    Nation Builder may not be able to be used due to cost increases.                    Constant Contact finally cancelled.                    Now using Survey Monkey which Doug subscribed to is being used but we may need to renew. $37/mth for upto 1000 contacts.

4.2.    Membership:

4.2.1.Four new members and one membership renewal, plus a $50 donation from Ed Kugler.

4.2.2. There are 599 members (not all current).

4.2.3.This includes City officials and get email blast

4.2.4. May 1 will start renewal campaign.

4.3.    Businesses

4.3.1. 481 Roger Williams – Chiropractor is proposed but the plan and design commission was sending to City Council.

4.3.2.Al Klairmont’s project also in Planning and Review, expect Permits soon.

  1. Newsletter – Thanks to Justin, for Spring Newsletter but not possible to do it in Summer.

5.1.     In anticipation of new newsletter editor Doug spoke with Jeanne on being editor for a fee of $25/page or about $400 per edition.

5.2.     However, Jean and Amy will be the joint editor for the Summer edition

5.3.    How do we get content?

5.3.1.High School students? No – Mike S has already had conversations with HP HS principal and she found no interest.

5.3.2.Doug states that Nick Pulia is willing to submit articles from Ravinia Festival. Sense of the Board is that it does not have a problem with that as long as RNA has editorial control.

5.3.3.Attendee, Larry Dunlap volunteers his articles which has historical content.

5.3.4.May 31 is deadline for content.

5.3.5.Doug asks for a volunteer for Arbor Day coverage. Brett agrees to take a picture or two and write three paragraphs for the newsletter.

  1. Update on Marketing Endeavors (Logo) – Dan Baigleman

6.1.    Logo. In the last meeting the Board instructed Dan to tweak Logo 2. Since then some objections have cropped. A discussion on the proposed new logo.

6.1.1. Amy objects to the new logo. She has problems with the stylized divide of a ravine. She feels it represents a divide neighborhood.

6.1.2.She is also uncomfortable with no trees, the fonts, the stylized train. She states, It’s corporate looking.

6.1.3.Mike B points out that neither of our existing logos features trees and that the new logo does have stylized trains.

6.1.4.Dan states that the old logos just don’t translate well and the new proposed logo does, both in print and electronically.

6.1.5.Amy and Jean feel we are moving too fast, but Mike S asks are we? The old logo has been in use for a long time and now with a new tent and Shopping Bags, we need a refresh.

6.1.6. Justin suggest that its time to decide, if the new logo is not well liked, we can move to another one in two to five years. He also thanks Dan for his efforts.

6.1.7.Justin moves that we adopt Dan’s proposed logo, Option 2, Mike S seconds.

6.1.8.Vote: Yes – Mike S, Mike B, Brett, Doug, Dan, Justin. No – Amy and Jean.

6.1.9. Motion to create and use a new Logo is approved.

  1. Update on Ravinia Farmer’s Market Projects– Ed Kugler

7.1.    Tents

7.1.1.Ed has sourced tents with 4 imprints. The heavier ones are $800 to $1000 for a 10 year warranty tent.

7.1.2.Mike S objects to the cost and will by May 1 have quotes on a tent with a logo printed on it or attached to it.

7.2.    Bags

7.2.1.Trying to decide on smaller or larger

7.2.2.Leadtime is 8 to 12 weeks. Quick Leadtime of 2 weeks is more expensive for the same quantity of bags.

7.2.3.Still trying to decide if the bags are one color or full color. RNA logo is one color.

7.3.    Ed will try and involve local Ravinia merchants into the Farmer Market.

7.4.    Ed will give Doug a complete list of the Farmers’ Market vendors

7.5.    Arbor Day Event – Sense of the Board that we should participate.

7.5.1. Volunteers – Jean will open and get the tent and box from Dan, Doug 10-12 with Nike B closing at 1:00.

  1. Other Business

8.1.     New Secretary nomination

8.1.1.We are lacking a recording secretary. Resident Larry Dunlap volunteers to take on that role.

8.1.2.Jean make motion to have Larry Dunlop on the Board as Recording Secretary. Justin seconds. Unanimous vote in favor. Motion to accept Larry Dunlop on the Board is approved.

8.1.3.Doug requests that Larry provide a photo for the website.

8.2.    Peggy Laemle, resident wants local merchants to incent local residents attending the Food Truck Thursdays to bike to the events. The RNA can promote but further discussions and ideas are needed.

  1. Adjournment at 9:05.

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

March 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association

Minutes of Board Meeting held March 1, 2018


1.       The meeting, held at Full Circle Architects, was called to order at 7:05 PM. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Brett Tolpin and Ed Kugler. Mike Babian, Jean Meier and Jeff Stern were absent.  A quorum was present. Two community members were in attendance.

2.       President’s Report/ Newsletter Update by Justin Kee:

2.1.    Justin in May to August will be teaching in Chicago.

2.2.    Mike Stroz will preside and if he is absent (as may happen in July) then he will appoint someone from the Board to preside over the meeting.

3.       Treasurer’s report by Michael Babian:

3.1.    Account Balances:

3.1.1.  Checking - $6,648.02

3.1.2. CD - $5,311.89

3.1.3. PayPal – 0

3.1.4. Total Balance $11,959.91

4.       Publicity/Membership Report by Doug Purington:

4.1.    Publicity:

Doug always welcomes items to post on Facebook and will post them promptly. On the Website we need more input from the Board on a weekly basis or more frequently. Amy suggests taking photos and putting them up.

4.2.    Membership:

4.2.1. Two memberships renewal.

4.3.    Business Update on Ravinia Brewery and Wittys by Brett Toplin

4.3.1. The building permit was issued on Monday and RBC was going to begin build out of the brew pub and restaurant.  Unfortunately, they received some news that made the project uncertain.  The build out is on hold until a significant issue is resolved.

4.3.2. Ravinia Festival has sent a document to Ravinia Brewing 2 weeks ago that the name RAVINIA is exclusively owned by Ravinia Festival and they attempted to extract significant royalties, control and ownership for their use of RAVINIA BREWING.

4.3.3. This is despite the fact that the USPTO is registering the trademark and has not cited Ravinia Festivals trademark, that they don’t make beer and that there is no reasonable basis for stopping a Roger Williams brewery and brew pub from using RAVINIA in the name of the mark.

4.3.4. The unprecedented overreach of Ravinia Festival to appropriate all things Ravinia for themselves is having a chilling effect on the owners wanting to proceed with building out the restaurant. 

4.3.5. Moreover, we evidence the long history of businesses from Ravinia Hardware to Ravinia BBQ and Grill and existing Ravinia Coffeehouse.  Although we requested a response the day before RBC was to break ground, they have not yet responded. 

4.3.6. The RBC leadership is concerned about being unfairly bullied by one of the largest and most well-funded business in Highland Park and the potential for an allegation of trademark infringement after they invest more time and money into the beer brand.

4.3.7. RFA has no good basis to claim RAVINIA BREWING is their own or would cause their patrons to be confused.  However, RFA is flush with money and has taken an aggressive stance with respect to property of late – both real and intellectual, as well as other facets of their operations that is causing RBC to hesitate with respect to investing in the Ravinia neighborhood absent this issue being resolved.

4.3.8. RBC received its permit to restart construction on Feb 26 but has currently put the Ravinia Brewpub project on hold as it evaluates potential strategies or resolutions to the current trademark standoff.  If a satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved, RBC is considering not opening in Ravinia.  They are exploring other options.

4.3.9. This is a serious setback for RBC and they are requesting that the RNA stand with and support them in any way they can  -  particularly since there are significant wide-reaching adverse impacts to Roger Williams and other Ravinia businesses and its economic development if RFA is allowed to bully startup businesses, shake them down while onlookers tolerate it. 

4.3.10.    The Ravinia neighborhood desperately needs investment and revitalization.  There are thousands of examples of Brewpubs across the country positively transforming their local neighborhoods.  RBC believes the Ravinia Business District is ripe for a renaissance catalyzed by a brewpub that serves as a local gathering place.

4.3.11.    The RFA is a great organization with respect to supporting the arts and as an entertainment venue.   They should not shake down or suppress local business but rather support them and encourage investment in its home district.  Their business conduct of extracting pay and owning their brand is way out of line and hindering all of our interests of seeing a vibrant Ravinia Business District

4.3.12.    Brett asks that RNA Board take a stand with RBC. He states it’s important to note that RFA asked for licensing fees, not a cease and desist.

4.3.13.    Amy points out that Ravinia the town came first.

4.3.14.    Doug ask what can we do?

4.3.15.    Proposed RNA Motion as follows:           Stands in support and solidarity of Ravinia Brewing Company’s (RBC) use of RAVINIA as part of its compound trademark RAVINIA BREWING;           Supports the free and clear ownership and use of RAVINIA as a trademark, service mark or business name by any business or entity so long as there is a connection to, affiliation with or physical presence in the Ravinia Business District or area;           Is against any assertion or action that the word RAVINIA is a monopoly and exclusive to the RFA or any one entity;           There is no likelihood of confusion in the neighborhood or by customers between Ravinia Festival Association and their trademarks and RAVINIA BREWING or other Ravinia based businesses utilizing the word RAVINIA without the term FESTIVAL;           Discourages and disapproves any future overreach by RFA to suppress business growth in the community by asserting a monopoly for RAVINIA against local businesses;           Nothing herein shall limit RFA from claiming exclusive rights to their historic compound trademark RAVINIA FESTIVAL, subject to fair use.           The RNA will poll its members to see if they agree and report the outcome of the poll.

4.3.16.    Motion made by Justin who also since the individual board members of the RNA believes that RFA has overstepped its limited trademark authority and its actions are detrimental to the Ravinia business district, therefore we support the Ravinia Brewing Company use of the name Ravinia and will poll our membership to determine where they stand and report the results.

4.3.17.    Amy seconds and discussions ensue, primarily about how to do the polling since the individual Board members have already expressed their dissatisfaction with the RFA overreach. It is decided that Justin will write up a fair and comprehensive series of questions and pass on to the Board for their review before it is sent out. The deadline to get the survey out will be Monday

4.3.18.    Motion passes 5-0-2 with Brett and Mike S abstaining

4.4.    Other Business Update by Doug

4.4.1. Madame Zuzu’s: Closing in favor of a larger space in HP. Madame Zuzu’s is expanding. They are looking for a larger venue in Highland Park and are currently considering a few great locations, including one in the Ravinia District. The City is working with the property owner to find a use that compliments the other businesses in the area and as well as compatible with the long term goals for the district as a small-scale dining and entertainment destination.

4.4.2. Al Klairmont Project: The approval of HUD and the lender is holding everything up. The city has reviewed the permit plans and given pages of comments, which have been addressed by the developer. He has quotes for demolition, but will NOT start until our purchase is approved. From the City: Mr. Klairmont is putting together his applications for the City’s land use commissions. A public notice will go out once we have all the applications and required documentation. 

4.4.3. Former Ravinia Vogue Cleaners location: no further word

4.4.4. Viaggio’s coming to former Merlo’s location: Viaggio’s expects to open late April.

4.4.5. Former Shelton’s location: Recently a wine bar and small plate restaurant reported that they were going to submit an offer for purchase. A restaurant is a permitted use. A number of full-service restaurants considered this space but their business model would have required them to utilize the 2nd floor for restaurant space which was not feasible. Another offer was submitted by a chiropractor, which the property owner, Mr. Martin, accepted, pending City approvals. A chiropractic office on the ground floor in the B2RW zoning district is not a permitted use but rather a conditional use. The principal land use is a chiropractic office on the ground floor. They will also provide retail products for sale (water, water bottles, topical analgesics, cervical pillows, and exercise bands), and workshops on the side. On March 20th, the Plan and Design Commission will hold a public hearing pertaining to the conditional use at which time they will hear testimony from the chiropractor and members of the public. If approved, the chiropractor would open his office in April. We have spent a significant amount of time and effort to revitalize this district, as has the RNA. The goal of the SSA and the TIF is to revitalize the district and cultivate a small-scale dining and entertainment cluster, along with some convenience retail, and services. There are significant number of services business in the district, many of which are grandfathered in until such time that they close. A chiropractic office is contrary to the goal of the SSA and the direction of the Market study consultants.              On Shelton’s the RNA Board believes that its important that businesses open in the district and is therefore ok with a chiropractor opening in what was targeted to be a food serving establishment.

4.4.6. Mike S makes a motion. The RNA Board supports that a chiropractor be permitted to open in the space previously occupied by Shelton and we should report our acceptance to Carolyn Hirsch at City of Highland Par.

4.4.7. Justin seconds, there is no discussion. The motion passes 7 to 0.

5.       Newsletter Update

5.1.    We still have 1 2/3 pages of blank space. Justin suggests that we should now lead with an article about the RBC and the state of businesses in the district.

5.2.    Next issue will be Spring/Summer to be distributed in June with articles due on May 15. Then a Fall issue.

5.3.    We should be soliciting articles from High School and College students and the Board has previously approved reimbursement for successful submissions.

6.       Marketing Efforts

6.1.    Previously authorized $500 as a contribution towards Farmers’ Market reusable bags if it has our logo on it.

6.2.    But the logo is dated and does not translate well to graphics. Dan presents 3 samples and it is the sense of the Board that we all liked the green one and a final update will be sent to the Board for its approval.

6.3.    Sense of the Board that the new logo is on the tent, bags and next newsletter.

7.       How to support Ed and the Ravinia Farmer’s Market

7.1.    Supply pdf ad at no charge.

7.2.    Contribution to the reusable shopping bag.

7.3.    Article in the spring/summer newsletter. Maybe two stories, Mike B story about Ed and Ed’s article about the 40th Market anniversary.

7.4.    Publicity on our facebook page

7.5.    A full-page ad in our newsletter.

7.6.    Halloween Festival – Ed is considering this. He will discuss the the PDHP to use Brown Park.

8.       Other Business

8.1.    How do we drive more attendance from our members?

8.2.    Arbor Day Event – The City is in the process of planning an Arbor Day event on Saturday, April 28th.  Ripple will be reaching out to the RNA shortly to invite them to have a table on site during the event.

8.3.    Sense of the Board that we should participate

9.       Adjournment at 9:00.

Ravinia Neighbors Association ..

February 2018 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association

Minutes of Board Meeting held February 1, 2018


1.       The meeting, held at Full Circle Architects, was called to order at 7:08 PM. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Amy Lohmolder, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Jean Meier and Jeff Stern. Brett Tolpin and Ed Kugler had previously advised the board they could not attend and were absent.  A quorum was present. Three community members were in attendance. Also in attendance was Drew Awsumb, Highland Park Deputy Community Development Director.

2.       President’s Report/ Newsletter Update by Justin Kee and Mike Stroz:

2.1.    Justin reported that his President’s piece for the Winter newsletter will get to Doug by Sunday.

2.2.    He stated that Amy and Mike will also be submitting articles for the Winter newsletter

2.3.    Mike urged more Board members to volunteer to write newsletter articles. Suggestions from Board and community members included:

2.3.1.  Asking local students to write Ravinia-related articles

2.3.2.  Asking for articles from the high school students on HP Boards and Commissions (UPDATE: Jeff Stern spoke with Jennifer Dotson, who could not provide the students’ names due to security concerns, but can communicate our requests to them, if desired.)


2.3.4.  Re-visiting Jeff Cohen’s offer to write an article about his photography career (UPDATE: Jeff wrote back that he willing to do so, but is not ready to do so at this time.)

3.       Treasurer’s report by Michael Babian:

3.1.    Account Balances:

3.1.1.   Checking account $6,546.97

3.1.2.   CD $5,305.19

3.1.3.   Paypal $101.05

3.1.4.   Total $11,953.21

3.2.    Treasury Audit:                                                                                                                                            Justin, Amy, Jean and Michael will conduct the required annual treasury audit on February 5th.    

4.       Publicity/Membership Report by Doug Purington:

4.1.    Publicity:

Doug always welcomes items to post on Facebook and will post them promptly.

4.2.    Membership:

4.2.1.  One membership renewal. This is always slow season for membership.

4.2.2.  Justin and Doug will meet soon to establish a protocol for using the Nation Builder program. The board agreed we need to contact former Board President Carolyn Cerf to assure RNA has completely terminated its subscription to the Contact program. Michael Babian stated RNA has not paid for it recently, and he will contact Carolyn. Mike Stroz urged that she receive a written inquiry via a certified letter and be asked to respond within 30 to 60 days.

5.       City of Highland Park Update by Drew Awsumb:

5.1.    Ravinia Fire Station: A new station is a high priority capital improvement in the 5-year plan and will be financed primarily by municipal taxes. This project will not include the razing of two private homes immediately west of the station. It will either be built on the current footprint or include the use of land in Brown Park, requiring Park District approval. The City will schedule more public outreach sessions for community input. Construction will likely begin in 2021.

5.2.    Clavey Repaving Project: Originally a 2017 project, no work has yet been done, not predicted to start in 2019 and will be a 2-4 year project. It is financed completely by federal funds.

5.3.    Ravinia Vogue Cleaners: It remains vacant, but the owners are current in their taxes and continue to comply with code requirements. The building is not listed for sale. When inquiries regarding the property are made to the City, they are forwarded to the owners, but the owners are unresponsive. Drew is unaware of ongoing environmental remediation issues, but the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) would monitor any such matters.

5.4.    Klairmont Development: All parking space issues have been resolved and there are no changes in the plans for the mixed-use development which the City approved in 2014. Al Klairmont applied for building permits in December 2017 and predicts that construction will begin in Spring 2018, subject to weather and timing of building permit approvals by the City.

5.5.    Merlo’s Restaurant: Merlo’s Restaurant closed precipitously at the end of January. The closure was not due to lack of customers.  After 6 years the owner, John Merlo, is moving on and another Italian restaurant has begun the paperwork with the City to take over the space.

5.6.    Witty’s Refresher Restaurant and Ravinia Brewery: Permits are still current on both buildings (north and south side of Roger Williams). There have been several revisions in the design plans since construction began, but work continues.

5.7.    Shelton’s Restaurant: Exterior Improvements and window replacement are complete. The City advised the owner as to necessary interior improvements to comply with accessibility and other code requirements. The upstairs will remain an apartment and is occupied. The owner is entertaining various options to develop the property for sale or rental.

5.8.    Ravinia Streetscape: Public outreach and comment sessions will soon be announced, to be held in March 2018. This Ravinia Business District project is funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds. The City hired the Ratio Design firm. Emphasis is placed on strategic and attractive lighting for various community activities. The designs will be done to a 60% standard, so if future TIF funds become available, additional features can be added seamlessly. Some Board members expressed concerns that more lighting is needed on the parkway surrounding Jens Jensen park, while some concern was also expressed regarding the impact of lighting to the historic park. Streetscape will not include any lighting on the trail from the Ravinia Train Station southward to Ravinia Festival, as it is outside the Business District perimeter. Nor has Ravinia Festival initiated efforts to install such lighting.

5.9.    Drew praised the thoughtfulness of RNA member Betsy Cerf’s letter. He stated that the City realizes it must address the needs of HP’s aging population but must also attract younger residents. It also tries to balance the needs of employees, tourists and commuters.


6.       Discussion of RNA working with the Ravinia Farmer’s Market

6.1.    After the January 2018 meeting, the Board obtained a legal opinion that the sponsorship of the Ravinia Farmers Market in the City permit application might threaten RNA’s 501(c)(3) status and the Board advised Ed Kugler that we would be willing to assist in other ways, instead. Suggestions include:

6.1.1.  Publicity on our facebook page

6.1.2.  A biographic article in our newsletter on Ed Kugler (already in the works) and another newsletter story on the 40th anniversary of the Farmers Market in Ravinia

6.1.3.  A full-page ad in our newsletter.

6.1.4.  As done in past summers, having our RNA tent at the Farmers Market. The Board discussed staffing difficulties and the possibility of purchasing a newer tent that is easier to set up.  Doug and Dan will look into tent options.

6.1.5. Purchase and distribution of environmentally friendly cloth bags with promotional logos of both the RNA and the Farmers Market.  Michael Babian will research bag options.

6.2.    Mike Stroz, Michael Babian and Doug Purington volunteered to contact Ed Kugler to discuss the above suggestions and to urge him to stay on our Board.


7.       Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Members and/or Residents

7.1.    A resident noted that the newspaper vending machines at the Ravinia Train Station are mostly empty and are becoming rusty and unsightly. Jeff Stern responded that he has informed the City of this concern. The City has not yet taken action, but Jeff thinks it may do so in the Spring.

8.       Adjournment at 9:08 PM.


1. Notes from RNA board meet..

January 2018 RNA Board Meeting

1.       Notes from RNA board meeting on January 11, 2018 at Full Circle Architects: was called to order at 7:01. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Amy Lohmolder, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, and Jean Meier. Board members absent: Brett Tolpin, Jeff Stern.  A quorum was present.

2.       President Report:

2.1.    Justin has taken over the newsletter on a temporary basis. He is urgently looking for content.

2.2.    Ed Kugler will write up something for the newsletter on the 40th anniversary of the Ravinia Farmer’s Market.

3.       Treasurer’s report by Mike Babian:

3.1.    Account Balances:

3.1.1. Checking account $6746

3.1.2. CD $5298

3.1.3. Total $12,045

3.2.    Hippy Christmas Party Expenses

3.2.1. $389 expenses for the party

3.2.2. We had 25 to 30 people attended, so turnout was anemic, ideas as to why?

3.3.    Treasury Audit

3.3.1. Annual event, slightly behind schedule.

3.3.2. Will occur with Jean, Amy and Justin at Jean’s house in the next month.

4.       Publicity/Membership/Business District Update from Doug:

4.1.    Membership

4.1.1.  One new member. Two renewals.

4.1.2.  Brought in $75 in membership

4.2.    Newsletter and Publicity

4.2.1.  No update on newsletter.

4.2.2. Facebook              With the City personnel due to visit and report back on issues concerning the Ravinia area, we will do a Facebook boost to ask our followers if anything is of concern to them, so that we can ask Drew. Some ideas of issues are in Section 10.

4.3.    Business update:

4.3.1. No update.

5.       Winter Newsletter Update – reported on in President’s report (Section 2)

6.       What’s going on in District 112: one member’s prospective, Alex Brunk (this was discussed earlier in the meeting as a courtesy to our guest but is placed here for continuity with the agenda)

6.1.    District 112 faces population issues, funding issues, facilities issues so a consolidation is inevitable. Recently there were 4400 students in the district, this year it’s about 3800.

6.2.    Board has decided to close Lincoln and Elm Place at the end of this school year.

6.3.    Green Bay will eventually close.

6.4.    Ravinia will stay open for now and is probably safe for the foreseeable future.

6.5.    In the past several years, dual language was expanding to about ¼ of students. But now will be contracting and this will require less facilities and personnel.

6.6.    Oak Terrace and Red Oak will be magnet schools with dual language.

6.7.    Reduction in force probable. No need to carry a larger payroll.

6.8.    The district has hired a superintendent from Deerfield. However, Michael Lublefeld moved though the HP ranks. He has a five-year contract.

6.9.    Not enough attention paid to quality of education with past administrations. This needs to change going forward.

6.10.Boundary changes are being finessed. Disagreement among Board as to whether it should be done globally or just for the schools that are closing? For now, the School Board has decided to just alter the boundaries of those schools that are closing with a liberal granting of parents requests to put their children into a different school other than the one where they reside.

6.11.Next up, the selection of a new architectural firm.

6.12.There may be a new referendum but not imminent.

6.13.Max levy was imposed because the School Board needs to keep options open. Alex abstained because he thought there should have been more discussions.

6.14.SALT tax deduction might be a factor going forward. However, the District has a healthy reserve and the District has no outstanding bonds, and is prevented from doing so.

6.15.Full day kindergarten is $2500. Following Deerfield’s example of how to implement. Hope is that eventually this will move to free.  

7.       Discussion of RNA working with the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. Ed Kugler

7.1.    Ravinia Farmer’s Market needs to be sponsored by a nonprofit organization in order to get maximum support from City and RBDA. They won’t give the same support to a for profit organization. The City does not want to support two Farmer’s Markets but if both were run by nonprofits perhaps we could get some City support, especially in the way of banners, signs and printed material.

7.2.    Ed cannot attend the Feb meeting.

7.3.    Mike S will meet with Ghida Neukirch, to discuss how the RNA and the City can promote the Ravinia Farmers’ Market (RFM) once a vote authorizing the RNA to become the applicant occurs.

7.4.    Jean provided a written motion to authorize the RNA to become the applicant and to empower Ed’s organization to run the market.

7.4.1. Jean Meier made a motion to:              Authorize the RNA offers to meet with an attorney and appropriate City of Highland Park officials to explore sponsorship of the Ravinia Farmers Market in 2018 in the following manner:              1. RNA will be named as the not-for-profit organization on any applications required for the City of Highland Park to grant permits that will permit the Ravinia Farmers Market to take place from June 6 to October 31, 2018.              2. RNA will assist with publicity for the Ravinia Farmers Market by advertising it in our newsletter, including it on our website and by other means, if requested by Ed Kugler. However, any additional expenditure of funds for publicity must be considered by the RNA board and adopted by a vote of the board.              2. RNA will entrust Ed Kugler’s company to manage the Ravinia Farmers Market. Ed Kugler will make every effort to assure that all vendors at the Ravinia Farmers Market comply with any and all conditions set forth by the City. In addition, Ed Kugler and his company will guarantee that all vendors have obtained, prior to the opening of the 2018 Ravinia Farmers Market, liability insurance in an amount he sees fit to cover any unforeseen damage to persons or property that might be harmed as a result of their attendance at or involvement with the Ravinia Farmers Market. Ed Kugler will provide proof of said insurance to RNA prior to the opening of the 2018 Ravinia Farmers Market.              3. Adoption of this motion by the RNA does not create any employer/employee relationship between RNA and Ed Kugler, as manager of the 2018 Ravinia Farmers Market.              4. Adoption of this motion by the RNA does not create any  supervisory responsibility on the part of the RNA toward Ed Kugler and his company or toward any vendors or other parties involved with the Ravinia Farmers Market. 

7.4.2. Motion was seconded by Mike Babian, and unanimously passed.

7.5.    Ed Kugler was asked to join the RNA Board.

7.5.1. Mike S made motion to have Ed join the Board, Doug seconded. Unanimously passed.

7.6.    Other actions:

7.6.1. Ed will get the official application to Justin, Mike S and Mike B.

7.6.2. Mike B and Justin will contact the attorney.

7.6.3. Ed to get bio and photo to Doug for website.

7.7.    UPDATE              Mike B followed up with the attorney who gave a pro bono opinion that the RNA making application to the City for the Farmer’s Market would jeopardize our nonprofit status. Individuals on the Board objected to this change in position and asked the attorney for an engagement letter to thoroughly research this issue. Attorney replied that the fee to do research and produce an opinion would cost between $2500 and $3500.              The sense of Board based on this info is not to pursue an arrangement to apply for the Farmer’s Market application with the City. And that the RNA would support Ed as a sponsor but recognizing that his initial reason for approaching us, i.e. to gain more prominent marketing exposure via the City will probably be stymied.              Ed was informed of these results by Mike S and he will continue the status quo, i.e. he will make application to the City with his own company and he will not be moving forward as a Board member.

8.       Nation Builder

8.1.    Justin and Mike S have used in the past successfully.

8.2.    Doug has concerns: With 16 years of experience he perceives that this tool is more for an organization with more volunteers. It’s an advanced tool with transition concerns. Justin disagrees, while there is a learning curve, many can be involved, we can use with Facebook and we can target selected constituencies. We can also automate membership renewals to take away menial work from Membership and can eventually allow memberships and renewal throughout the year, as opposed to now which is renewals only at midyear (note: Justin agrees not to do this immediately but to test the other functionality of the tool first).

8.3.    RNA spends about $700/year now for basic functionality; Nation Builder will give us more functionality for about $400/year.

8.4.    The Board will need to establish a protocol for using the tool and for posting and responding. We should cease the use and payment of Constant Contact also.

8.5.     Mike S makes a motion to test Nation Builder by migrating the current tools to Nation Builder by March 31, 2018. Mike B seconds, vote is unanimous in favor.

9.       Board Meeting Minutes

9.1.    Too much time is elapsing between Board Meetings and the creation and approval of minutes.

9.2.    Need for a Secretary urgent but no one wants to do.

9.3.    New format of notes better than before.

9.4.    Mike S and Jean to temporarily share secretary duties.

9.5.    Target getting minutes to Board within one week of meeting and then approval of minutes within another week.

10.   Other Business

10.1.Potential Drew Awsumb discussion points requests:

10.1.1.    Al Clairmont development status

10.1.2.    Closed Dry Cleaners status

10.1.3.    Ravinia Firehouse status

10.1.4.    Ravinia Streetscape Lighting Project status

10.1.5.    Clavey Road repaving status

10.1.6.    We, the residents, the citizens who live there 24/7, do not want two homes torn down for the expansion of the ravinia fire station and to be replaced by an expanded parking lot when the current parking lot is barely half filled. Julie and Hal Malen, 674  Pleasant Avenue

10.1.7.    I certainly hope they continue to keep Ravinia School open, and that the city accepts new stores and restaurants within our vacant locations.  It really seems like it takes way too long - even years - to reconstruct or reopen a building on Roger Williams. Lianne Plath

11.   Adjournment at 8:55 PM.

1. Notes from RNA board meet..

December 2017 RNA Board Meeting

1.       Notes from RNA board meeting December 7 , 2017, called to order at 7:03. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Brett Tolpin , Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern. Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, and Jean Meir. A quorum was present.

2.       President Report:

2.1.    Justin is taking over the newsletter on a temporary basis. He is looking for content so Board members need to think about submitting articles for next newsletter.

2.2.    With schools closing their will be new boundaries, perhaps Lisa Hirsh could write something, Mike Stroz will approach, note: I was unsuccessful.

2.3.    Perhaps an article about the recent crime at the nail salon, and what to do if a situation like that arises.

3.       Treasurer’s report by Mike Babian:

3.1.    Account Balances:

3.1.1. Checking account $6386

3.1.2. CD $5298

3.1.3. Paypal $19 transferred into $19

3.1.4. Total $11,703

4.       Publicity/Membership/Business District Update from Doug:

4.1.    Membership

4.1.1.  One new member. Five renewals.

4.1.2.  Brought in $770 in ads and membership

4.2.    Newsletter

4.2.1.  Content is adequate. Three articles. Ed to write in Spring on the Farmer’s Market 40th Year.

4.2.2.  Ads – signed up 5 new ads for winter newsletter. Ravinia Brewery not participating as of now.

4.3.    Business update:

4.3.1. Whittey & Ravinia Brewing now plan on opening in early March.

4.3.2. Former cleaner, no new info. No one knows if taxes are being paid.              Remediation of cleaners: Is it complete? Doug to follow up.

4.3.3. Shelton’s, demo done but no action on any construction or sale.

4.3.4. Al Clairmont project at the old White Hen, contract to purchase parking is resolved so project should be moving forward.

4.4.    Mike S points out that the City personnel are no longer attending the RNA meeting.

4.4.1. A discussion occurs as to whether they should be re-invited, how often they should attend. A motion is made, seconded, a vote is started and then aborted. Justin directs Brett to liason with Rob. There will be four meetings starting in February. They will report first so their time in the meeting will be limited. We will determine and issues we wish discussed, two weeks before the meeting occurs.

4.4.2. Note: this has been done by Brett and Rob or a City personnel has agreed to attend in February.

5.       Holiday Party

5.1.    60’s Costumes requested

5.2.    Mike B requests volunteers to help set up.

5.3.    Mike B and Doug will get free food and beer with the remaining decorations and beverages to be bought.

5.4.    Justin gives Mike B carte blanc to organize and publicize the party.

5.5.    Jean make motion to spend up to $300 to fund the part. Amy seconds and the vote is unanimous to authorize the funding.

5.6.    The RNA thanks Jeff Cohen to host the party and pictures with Santa on the following Saturday.

6.       Discussion of RNA working with the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. Ed Kugler

6.1.    Ravinia Farmer’s Market needs to be sponsored by a non profit organization in order to get maximum support from City and RBDA. They won’t give the same support to a for profit organization. The City does not want to support two Farmer’s Markets but if both were run by nonprofits perhaps we could get some City support, especially in the way of banners, signs and printed material.

6.2.    Ed cannot attend Jan or Feb meeting.

6.3.    Jean will provide a written motion to authorize the RNA to become the sponsor and to empower Ed’s organization to run the market.

6.3.1. Her motion will roughly follow this proposal: RNA becomes the official sponsor of the Ravinia Farmer’s Market.              RNA fills out the paperwork and the name on the City Permit would be RNA.              RNA will authorize Ed Kugler to run the operation.  Ed would join the RNA Board.              Vendors would register to the RNA with Ed facilitating. Each vendor would give RNA the money and insurance info.              RNA would pay Ed and Ed’s company would be the operating partner. Currently the farmers and vendors pay approximately $195 for the season, in the past it was about $110. This amount is contemplated in the future or perhaps just a bit more.              Ed would like the RNA and other sponsors to create a cloth bag as a goodwill give away. This should be investigated.              It is proposed that the RNA attempt a trial of one year of being the non profit sponsor of the Ravinia Farmers’ Market.

6.4.    Ed will call the City as to a timeline for signage, Mike S will liaison with the City.

6.5.    Justin and Mike B will contact the attorney to ensure the arrangement with Ed is proper.

6.5.1. A vote on this is expected at the Dec 7th Meeting

7.       Other Business

7.1.    Brett brings up the procedural questions of:

7.1.1. When do we vote?

7.1.2. When do we poll?

7.1.3. When do we just have a discussion?

7.1.4. Brett, Justin and Mike will meet as a subcommittee and report back.

7.2.    Dan reports back on impromptu discussions with Ravinia Festival Marketing group.

7.2.1. They are in favor of more synergy and are in favor of lightening the Green Bay Trail.

7.3.    Jeff Stern asks if we want to get involved with the Lincoln School future.

8.       Adjournment at 8:37 PM.

1. Notes from RNA board meet..

November 2017 RNA Board Meeting

1.       Notes from RNA board meeting November 2, 2017, called to order at 7:03. Board members present: Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Brett Tolpin , Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern. Board members absent: Carolyn Cerf (without notice) and Dan Baigelman Justin Kee, (both with notice). A quorum was present. The RNA thanks Design Quartet for hosting our November meeting

2.       President Report: (given by Mike Stroz with Justin absent)

2.1.    Justin is taking over the newsletter on a temporary basis. He is looking for content so Board members need to think about submitting articles for next newsletter.

2.2.    With schools closing their will be new boundaries, perhaps Lisa Hirsh could write something, Mike Stroz will approach, note: I was unsuccessful.

2.3.    Perhaps an article about the recent crime at the nail salon, and what to do if a situation like that arises.

3.       Treasurer’s report by Mike Babian:

3.1.    Reporting on over $50.00 expenditures:

3.1.1. Check to Doug Purington for $192 for recent Facebook boosts.

3.2.    Account Balances:

3.2.1. Checking account $6621

3.2.2. CD $5288

3.2.3. Total $11,909

4.       Publicity/Membership/Business District Update from Doug:

4.1.    Membership

4.1.1. Membership unchanged. About 50 who have not renewed.

4.2.    Newsletter

4.2.1. Content need urgently.

4.2.2. Ads – have started soliciting ads for winter newsletter. Nine are leftover with 6 new ads. 6.25 pages of ads so cost of newsletter is covered.

4.3.    Business update:

4.4.    Whittey & Ravinia Brewing now plan on opening in early March.              A bit of redesigning going on as a wall dividing Whittey’s and The Brewing operation was not load bearing and has been removed and they will now share a kitchen.              Commission voted 6-0 to approve changes except for two wall sized murals facing Walgreens that still need to be voted on.              Projected opening date for both operations is March 1, 2018

4.5.    Mike S asks if there was a presence at the recent Historical Ravinia event at Braeside. There was no table, so no new members, hopefully this will be rectified for future events.

5.       Vote for Board Member at Large Replacement

5.1.    Replacement for Carolyn Cerf as she has missed 5 meeting without notice and has been unresponsive to repeated email.

5.2.    In her place the Board has recruited and she has agreed to serve, Jean Meier who has played a role in supporting the RNA in the past.

5.3.    Doug makes a motion to remove Carolyn, Brett seconds, vote is 6 to 0.

5.4.    Mike Babian makes a motion to add Jean to the RNA Board member at large, Doug seconds, vote is 6 to 0.

5.5.    We welcome Jean and express our thanks to Carolyn for her past contributions.

6.       Presentation by group working with Curt’s (cultivating unique restaurant training) Café

6.1.    Helps youth in crisis. Planning on opening a café in downtown Highland Park next year.

6.2.    Volunteers working to make this a reality would like RNA’s support.

6.3.    Would like RNA contribution as $250,000 needs to be raised (much has already been  but more importantly they want RNA us to communicate to our members educate and advocate the benefits of Curt’s Café.

6.4.    Doug suggests that we might want to use RNA Facebook to promote.

6.5.    Discussion ensues that perhaps we might want to have an article written or a free ad.

6.6.    Doug make a motion to support Curt’s Café in an informative but non-monetary method. However, motion is not seconded and no vote occurs.

6.7.    Consensus is we want to be supportive but are concerned if something negative happens.  A poll is suggested but since Curt’s Café is not within our geographical area this may not make sense.

6.8.    Justin to contact Andy about content for a newsletter article. Andy Amend and/or Rich Amend

7.       Discussion: Holiday Night Out Event – December 14

7.1.    The Board at the instigation of Mike B would like to have an event in December for the entire RNA membership.

7.2.    Jeff Cohen has said is space is available, Thursday, Dec 14 6:00 to 9:00. Theme is Hippy Holiday, a 60’s Holiday Party.

7.3.    A separate Children Photography session will be held on Saturday morning, Dec 16 at Jeff Cohen with Santa.

7.4.    There will be Drawings and Prizes (Gift Certificates & Baskets). Mike B to coordinate.

7.5.    Expected attendance 50 to 75

7.6.    There will be Beer and Wine and Food. As much as possible donated by the merchants. RNA contribution, if needed.

7.7.    Tables could be made available by Design Quartet.

7.8.    Contest for best Costume?

7.9.    Amy and Mike B to come up with signs and tag lines.

8.       Discussion of RNA working with the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. Ed Kugler

8.1.    Ravinia Farmer’s Market needs to be sponsored by a non profit organization in order to get maximum support from City and RBDA. They won’t give the same support to a for profit organization. The City does not want to support two Farmer’s Markets but if both were run by nonprofits perhaps we could get some City support, especially in the way of banners, signs and printed material.

8.2.    Mike B, Contacted lawyer, no issue with us as the entity “apply to run the Farmer’s Market’ , even with our 503c status. Attorney will attend next meeting.

8.3.    Application needs be submitted in January.

8.4.    Proposal: RNA becomes the official sponsor of the Ravinia Farmer’s Market.

8.4.1. RNA fills out the paperwork and the name on the City Permit would be RNA.

8.4.2. RNA can hire Ed Kugler to run the operation.  Ed would join the RNA Board.

8.4.3. Vendors would register to the RNA with Ed facilitating. Each vendor would give RNA the money and insurance info.

8.4.4. RNA would pay Ed and Ed’s company would be the operating partner. Currently the farmers and vendors pay approximately $195 for the season, in the past it was about $110. This amount is contemplated in the future or perhaps just a bit more.

8.4.5. Ed would like the RNA and other sponsors to create a cloth bag as a goodwill give away. This should be investigated.

8.4.6. It is proposed that the RNA attempt a trial of one year of being the non profit sponsor of the Ravinia Farmers’ Market.

8.4.7. A vote on this is expected at the Dec 7th Meeting

9.       Transition to Nation Builder – This issue was tabled until December meeting

10.   Historic Ravinia Update – This issue was tabled until December meeting.

11.   Other Business

11.1.Jeff Stern has copies of minutes from previois years and would like the RNA to file them somewhere.

12.   Adjournment at 8:48 PM.

1. Notes from RNA board meet..

October 2017 RNA Board Meeting

1.       Notes from RNA board meeting October 5, 2017, called to order at 7:03. Board members present: Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Doug Purington, Michael Babian, Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern. Board members absent: Carolyn Cerf (without notice) and Brett Tolpin (with notice). A quorum was present.

2.       President Report:

2.1.    Justin is taking over the newsletter on a temporary basis. The Board members need to think about submitting articles for next newsletter.

2.2.    He has met with Jeannie to start the transition.

2.3.    One idea is to have a a redo of a previous article from a past newsletter. Or perhaps something could come from the library archives? Elliott Miller might have ideas from the archives.

2.4.    Justin will send us a Nations Builders demo link.  We could save money over our current expenses for Constant Contact, web hosting, etc and simplify membership management by use of Nation’s Builder.

2.5.    Mike S suggested that Justin write a letter to Ravinia Festival thanking them for their contribution which was 4 tickets to Smokey Robinson and a picnic basket. This contribution helped us get approximately two dozen new and renewing Members. Alison Goldsmith won the raffle prize.

3.       Treasurer’s report:

3.1.    Reporting on over $50.00 expenditures:

3.1.1. Check to Historical Ravinia - $1000

3.1.2. Check to State Farm Insurance - $475 for liability insurance

3.2.     Account Balances:

3.2.1. Checking account $6532

3.2.2. CD $5283

3.2.3. PayPal balance $67

3.2.4. Total $11,882

3.3.    Carolyn Cerf is still owed reimbursement for expenditures are approximate $800 for about two years of Constant Contact billing that were put on her credit card.  However our credit card is now on file with Constant Contact so this hidden expense has been ended. Doug has password for Constant Contact, and of course if we move to Nation’s Builder we will save money.

4.       Publicity/Membership/Business District Update from Doug:

4.1.    Membership

4.1.1. Membership unchanged.

4.1.2. Dan and Rhoda Pierce renewed.

4.1.3. 51 households did not renew. Why are they not renewing, perhaps we should contact and ask? In 2016, 27 households did not renew.

4.2.    When Doug request any items for the next month agenda, please respond, even if you have nothing.

4.3.    Newsletter ads – start work on ads for winter newsletter. Nine are definite. Deadline of October 31 for ads and content. Target newsletter for around Thanksgiving.

4.4.    Coffee Shop has changed ownership. Now Hansa Coffee, bought Ravinia Station from Jonathan.

4.5.    We will use Facebook to support Ravinia Business District.

4.6.    Update on Plan and Design Commission: Whittey & Ravinia Brewing.              A bit of redesigning going on as a wall dividing Whittey’s and The Brewing operation was not load bearing and has been removed and they will now share a kitchen.              Commission voted 6-0 to approve changes except for two wall sized murals facing Walgreens that still need to be voted on.              Projected opening date for both operations is March 1, 2018

4.7.    Mike S asks if there was a presence at the recent Historical Ravinia event at Braeside. There was no table, so no new members, hopefully this will be rectified for future events.

5.       Discussion of RNA working with the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. Ed Kugler

5.1.    There have been 21 weeks of the Farmer’s Market, and attendance and participation have improved each week.

5.2.    Ravinia Farmer’s Market needs to be sponsored by a non profit organization in order to get maximum support from City and RBDA. They won’t give the same support to a for profit organization. The City does not want to support two Farmer’s Markets but if both were run by nonprofits perhaps we could get some City support, especially in the way of banners, signs and printed material.

5.3.    Proposal: RNA becomes the official sponsor of the Ravinia Farmer’s Market.

5.3.1. RNA fills out the paperwork and the name on the City Permit would be RNA.

5.3.2. RNA can hire Ed Kugler to run the operation.  Ed would join the RNA Board.

5.3.3. Vendors would register to the RNA with Ed facilitating. Each vendor would give RNA the money and insurance info.

5.3.4. RNA would pay Ed and Ed’s company would be the operating partner. Currently the farmers and vendors pay approximately $195 for the season, in the past it was about $110. This amount is contemplated in the future or perhaps just a bit more.

5.3.5. Ed states that we could add another five booths before we run out of Dean Street, but we could rent the Park from the Park District for $70 if necessary.

5.3.6. Ed wants to involve local merchants, perhaps having two additional tents, one for a guest merchant tent (rotates between local merchants, perhaps on a weekly basis) and a second tent as a welcome tent which will  have info on the RNA and we can staff if desired.  

5.3.7. S Ed would like the RNA and other sponsors to create a cloth bag as a goodwill give away. This should be investigated.

5.3.8. Other action items:              Will this affect our 503c status?              Does the RNA have the proper insurance?              Can we get City support if we hire Taste Marketing (Ed’s company) to do everything?              Timeframe?                     Application due in March but much too late.                     November or December to start soliciting                     January or February to lock vendors in.              Action Items:                     Legal Review – Mike Babian with Cathern Vandberg                     Insurance Review – Mike Babian                     RBDA & City Outreach - Mike Stroz              Amy ask if this is covered in the RNA Mission statement. It is ber a reading from Doug. A straw vote is taken showing overwhelming Board Approval (noe vote is not binding).              It is proposed that the RNA attempt a trial of one year of being the non profit sponsor of the Ravinia Farmers’ Market.

6.       Filling Open Board Positions

6.1.    We are short a Secretary and at least one at large Board Member.

6.2.    Additionally one Board member has been absent for four months without providing any explanation of their absence

6.3.    Board Members are expected to attend monthly meetings and contribute their individual resources to help the RNA.

6.4.    Members of the Board have reached out to the individual Board Member with no response.

6.5.    While this issue will be tabled for now, it will be discussed in our next meeting.

6.6.    Various RNA members are discussed as potential Board Members.

6.7.    Justin, Jeff Mike B and Mike S will approach various members to see if there is interest in their serving on the Board.

7.       Historical Ravinia Update

7.1.    September was Braeside.

7.2.    Went well but sparslely attended.

7.3.    Next event October 22 1:00 to 4:00

7.4.    Doug will work at promoting via Facebook presence including boosting with 3 different buys.

7.5.    Mike S suggest the use of Constant Contact to remind those that are not on Facebook.

8.       Holiday Neighbors Night Out

8.1.    The Board at the instigation of Mike B would like to have an event in December for the entire RNA membership.

8.2.    Mike B will check with Jeff Cohn to see if his space could be made available.

8.3.    Perhaps we could do something to commerate  Hugh Hefner. There is a connection between Jeff and Hugh.

8.4.    Proposed date is December 14 from 6:00 to 9:00. Mike B to coordinate.

8.5.    Children’s hour from 6:00 to 7:00. Will Santa be there? Mike S to work on.

8.6.    Have Food donate by merchants and some beverages (child and adult). RNA contribution.

9.       Other Business

9.1.    Amy discusses Ravinia School Alumni Remembrance event – low key.

9.2.    Library  150 year anniversary. RNA should have a presence in the booklet. Amy will liaison with Committee to get a RNA presence in the 150 anniversary celebration.

10.   Adjournment at 9:05 PM.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2017 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mike Stroz called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

Attending: Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Dan Baigelman, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Brett Tolpin and Elliott Miller

RNA Board Meeting Notes Aug 3, 2017 prepared by Mike Stroz

1. Call to order: Attending: Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Dan Baigelman, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Brett Tolpin and Elliott Miller. We did have a quorum, so votes were cast.

2. President’s Report: a. Jeanne, thanks for your efforts on newsletter. b. We will start looking for a new editor but for the fall/winter addition, Justin will take the lead.

3. Minutes from July 13th meeting were approved by the Board.

4. Justin proposed Brett Tolpin to join the RNA Board:

a. Mike S motioned to add Brett as a Board Member, Jeff seconds.
b. Brett adds opening remarks that He is not only concerned about Ravinia Festival but is involved in all issues in Ravinia area. Wants to preserve the past and going forward polling is ok when done in a timely and efficient method, that’s sometimes tough to do as the window to get a pool done and reported to Governmental organization is sometimes short. Discussion of Brett’s qualifications by others follows.
c. Vote 5 to 0 on having Brett Tolpin join RNA Board d. Action: Brett to provide photo to Doug for the website

5. Update on Membership renewals and campaign for new members:

a. First email renewal reminder sent 5/1. Second email sent 5/30. Letters were sent to those members (19) without emails. Third reminder sent on 7/15.
b. Renewals since 5/4 is now 54. New members since 5/1 is now 37.
c. Total # of RNA households = 229 (on 6/1); 192 (on 8/3)

6. Discussion on recruitment action for two additional Board Meetings and a Newsletter Editor:

a. Action: Newsletter rough draft is in Board’s hands for review
b. Action: Justin to reach out to transition with Jeanne over newsletter. Justin will serve as Newsletter Editor until winter.
c. Amy expresses concerns that adding more board seats was a mistake. Core nucleus of volunteers is the same and the tasks facing us volunteers are very overwhelming.
d. Mike S states that the board has a responsibility to do what they can but not feel guilty for what they can’t do.
e. Discussion about whether the RNA lack of a volunteer pool is due to our over expanding our geographical boundaries or that we have left our social roots to take on a more activist agenda. No conclusions arrived at. 

7. Discussion on possible migration to Nation Builder for RNA social media:

a. Justin wants to bring that tool to RNA.
b. We should save money as right now we are spending $45/mth on constant contact, $20/mth on website and Nation Builder should be in the vicinity of $55/mth.
c. Three reasons to do so; i. Host website and integrate to social media ii. Good tool for membership communications including tying into Polls which is automated. It’s easy to put out a message to members iii. Management of membership is simplified. No more spreadsheets. All Board members can see membership rolls
d. Action: Justin will send a preview link to all Board members, for us to review.
e. Justin would like the RNA to migrate to this tool by the end of the year but other Board members want to look at the product first.
f. Amy and Doug are concerned about data privacy policy. Justin believes we can set up a coherent policy.

8. Update on Historic Ravinia 2017:

a. Third year of a series. i. 1st year was history of Ravinia ii. 2nd year was MCM tour iii. 3rd year revolves around both Braeside and Ravinia schools 1. Sept 24 at Braeside 2. Oct 22 at Ravinia iv. Both principals are on-board v. No City Involvement vi. Two Trolleys to go on tours vii. Historic Ravinia is asking RNA for a $500 donation 1. Doug makes motion and Amy seconds 2. After discussion, motion was tabled awaiting more info.
b. Goal is to bring in tourists.

9. Discussion on polling options:

a. Potential Development of Ravinia Festival as proposed by the City Planning Commission, should RNA re-poll members before City Council meeting to vote on this expansion? i. Mike S and Brett are in favor since Planning Commission has changed the way that the West Lot could be expanded in the future. However other Board members do not feel that the change is material enough to necessitate a re-polling. ii. No votes were taken on polling options but a vigorous debate ensued. Some comments: 1. Polls can be manipulated and force a yes or no. 2. If the RNA doesn’t poll and report to governmental entities, then what are we there for? 3. We have seen blow-back on polls from members and non-members 4. Pools can have informational links. 5. I have heard many positive comments now that we have been polling. 6. It’s how I pitch the benefits of the RNA. 7. Polling can be Proactive- neighbors bring something to the Board’s attention or Reactive – city or governmental organizations do something that accents the members of the RNA. Either way we can inform and increase communications to and from the members. 8. There is no need to demand a response to a poll, monthly or even less frequently.9. Not everything needs to be polled. Start earlier but timeliness is critical, especially if a governmental agency has an agenda.10. We do not need to jump everything but if we do we need to be informative in our polls, i.e. provide links to educate members.

10. Report on Status of Summer Newsletter and plans for Fall Newsletter a. Board needs to proof, and then get to printer. b. Justin will organize

11. Other Business:

a. Treasures report given by Mike S since Mike B was absent i. $7567 in Checking ii. $5274 in a CD iii. $12841 Total
b. Motion was made by Justin that any expenditures that exceed $50 payable to an individual or entity be reported by the Treasurer’s in their monthly report, Amy seconded. Motion passed with a vote of 6 to 0.
c. Preserve Ravinia material at Library Archives i. Per comments from Elliott Miller, concerned about Library Expansion and the amount of space that the historical society has been allocated. Not enough space and that space is not climate controlled. ii. However RNA cannot take a position because feedback is required with 24 hours. However we do have an interest on the preservation of the Ravinia Archives. iii. Action: Elliott Miller takes on and reports to Doug
d. Proposed Sidewalk at Sheridan near Rosewood i. Mike S reported on what has transpired after communications with the City Manager and the City’s initiative to build sidewalks for public safety. He does not think that we will dissuade the City from this plan but Jeff wants to take it up. ii. Action Mike S to send Jeff the City documents and Jeff will take forward
e. Discussion about how to proceed on lighting Green Bay Trail between Ravinia Festival and Ravinia Train Station, Dan is still pursuing.

12. Adjournment occurred after 9:30 PM.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

July 2017 RNA Board Workshop


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Workshop
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mike Stroz called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

Present were Justin Kee, Mike Stroz, Dan Baigelman, Doug Purington, with Brett Tolpin as a guest

Since there was not a quorum, no votes were cast.

Justin proposed Brett Tolpin to join the RNA Board. Action: A vote will need to be taken by the Board, at the next meeting.

Discussed needing two additional Board Members, one who should be the Recording Secretary. Additionally Jeanne wants to resign as newsletter editor so we need to recruit someone for that role too. a. Action: Need to reach out to general membership, via an email blast and put blurb in newsletter too.

Polls: a. Board reaffirmed the philosophy of involving membership by doing polling. Suggestions to make it more effective (votes are need on all): i. Put links into the polls so as to educate membership before they vote. But not too many links. Or else may turn off or defer a member from taking the poll. ii. Do a poll at least six times a year. The more we do and involve the general membership, the more our response rate will go up as participating becomes a habit. iii. General poll topics and questions can be proposed by any member but rewriting of questions to keep them fair and balanced is at the discretion of the Board and all polls need approval by a majority of the Board. iv. However informational emails can be prepared and sent out by the President, VP or Communication Director without Board approval/ v. To reaffirm transparency, Board authorizes the release of metrics on each and all polls. All polls will be sent to all members and the Board will report of the answers in % (for example, %Yes, %No, % Undecided). We will also give out a response %. Raw numbers will not be given out, nor will comments.

New Business a. Propose sidewalk near Rosewood Beach i. There is a new City proposal to put a sidewalk east of Sheridan and north of Rosewood Beach. ii. Doug will send John Ropiequet’s letter to the Board and Mike S will speak with Ghida Neukirch. Letter is appended to this report. b. Unified platform to run membership i. Justin proposes moving the RNA to Nation Builder to more effectively and economically communicate and manage membership. ii. Right now RNA is using Constant Contact @ $45/mth, Survey Monkey @ $20/mth and website @ $20/mth. iii. Justin will prepare a justification and a plan to migrate to the new platform present at the next meeting. c. More recruitment necessary i. The efforts at the Wednesday Farmers’ Market and Food Truck Thursday’s have resulted in at least 24 new or renewed members to date. ii. But more members are needed, suggestions: 1. Need to more broadly define our geographical area, ie Braeside, Lincoln, Ravinia, and old Kennedy school areas. 2. May want to try a post card mailer 3. If we go to Nation Builder, this could give us a method to send email blast to those people in the selected areas. 4. Recruit parents via the Buzz Book. d. Historical Ravinia i. Will be at Ravinia and Braeside this fall 1. One in September & one in October 2. Lisa and Dan to provide info. at the next Board Meeting. e. Need new tent and graphics i. Both are well worn and do not show well ii. Dan to investigate costs f. Discussion about how to proceed on the Ravinia Festival Expansion i. Mike S reported on the Planning Board approval report. ii. Brett discussed how the lack of an impervious surface ratio could result in the West Lot being “improved” with little or no City Council involvement. iii. Mike S reported that Joel Fontana from the City staff will specifically discuss why this is not the case in a written statement to City Council. iv. We need to prepare a new poll for membership once this info is made public in late July or early August. v. Mike S reported and we discussed Ravinia Festival’s contribution to the RBDA TIF $10,000 for the public good. g. Discussion about how to proceed on lighting Green Bay Trail between Ravinia Festival and Ravinia Train Station. i. Dan and Mike will talk to Nick Pullia of Ravinia Festival about the potential improvements and Dan will present some conceptual ideas. ii. It was decided without a vote, to not ask RFA to put the $10,000 into this activity because on time constraints and because we should not link the two proposals. Please note, this initiative has no funding unless the RFA pays for it.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 P.M.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2017 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Justin Kee called the meeting to order at 7:05: P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In attendance, besides Kee, were Mike Babian, Dan Baigelman, Carolyn Cerf, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Mike Stroz and Jeanne Vella. Also present were Drew Awsumb, the City’s Deputy Director of Community Development, and Ed Kugler, the new manager of the Ravinia Farmers Market, and guests John and Lena Kezdy.

In his President’s Report, Justin Kee proposed that recently resigned RNA Board officers Lisa Temkin, Davis Schneiderman, Laura Saret and Carla Arnell should be recognized for their service, which was agreed to by voice vote.

Asked to provide an update on the City’s plans for new street lighting in the Ravinia Business District, Drew Awsumb said the current schedule called for securing bids for the work in February or early March, with construction expected to begin in April or May of 2018. The new lighting would be mostly on Roger Williams Avenue, and would be provided under a separate RFP from what would be used to cover related TIF projects, such as benches and additional parking. Baigelman stressed the need for benches early on. Awsumb said that could be done, and that the streetscape project was scheduled for completion in 2025.

Responding to the suggested need for lighting along the Green Bay Trail between the Ravinia Metra station and Ravinia Park, Awsumb said the TIF funds could only be spent in the Business District itself. He also encouraged residents and RNA to become involved in the steering committee that will be part of the planning process for the streetscape. Carolyn Cerf noted that a bike kiosk was to have been a priority in the Business District but had yet to be implemented.

Cerf called attention to the ravine cleanup that was held in connection with Earth Day, April 22, introducing high school student Lena Kezdy for special recognition and presenting her with RNA’s first “Earth Day Champion” award for her efforts in helping protect the environment and organize participants for the day’s events.

Regarding the Farmers Market, Ed Kugler, the new manager, said he had been involved with the first market 39 years ago, and that he aimed to open new doors to the community, such as bringing in kids from school science classes to teach them about growing things. He anticipated having 30 to 40 booth places available at the market, which would be held every Wednesday through October 25. He said RNA was welcome to have a booth there, and that he would be happy to help promote anything that was going on in the district.

Regarding lighting along the Green Bay Trail, it was revealed that the idea had been advocated by Kris Walker of Witty’s and Ravinia Brewery, and that Ravinia Festival’s Nick Pullia was in favor of the proposal, as were Council members Dan Kaufman and Kim Stone. Mike Babian suggested asking RNA members for their opinions on the plan, and believed that walking along the trail after dark without lights could be hazardous and dangerous. Kee and Baigelman offered to provide the wording for putting the question to members. The lighting issue was to be brought up at a mid-July Council meeting, and the plan being considered was to involve downward-facing solar lighting. Babian thought Ravinia Festival should finance the project since it would particularly benefit Festival patrons.

The revised Minutes from the May 4 meeting were approved, and a discussion was then held regarding three open RNA Board positions that needed to be filled; specifically those of two Board Members at Large and Recording Secretary

Stroz thought discussion at the last meeting showed the need for updating the by-laws. Babian recommended asking Catherine Vandenberg, who started a legal aid clinic in Highland Park, to review the by-laws over a period of time and make suggestions on changes that could be considered at future meetings.

Stroz also asked the Board to consider exploring the need for a cloud repository for documents, data and members’ participation. Regarding the Food Truck program around Jens Jensen Park on Thursdays through September 14, Stroz said he would do his best to participate on behalf of RNA, and would try to secure a credit card reader by next Thursday to use in signing up new members

Jeanne Vella said new articles were needed for the summer Newsletter. Purington said an 11th ad had already been purchased, meaning that five to six pages of a 12-page edition would likely be filled by ads. Amy Lohmolder, while not at the meeting, intended to write about the recollections of six to eight area residents regarding their experiences at Ravinia School in the 1940s. Jeff Stern said he would look into plans to build additional road access to Edgewood School to accommodate possible increases in enrollment and car traffic.

Babian said he would look into donations to Historic Ravinia as an arm of RNA. Kee said he would check on the legal status of the connection between the two. Cerf said she needed $100 to submit an application for RNA participation in the July 4 Parade, and would try to find a classic car for RNA to use.

Purington said he would provide a Treasurer’s Report at the next meeting. In a Membership Report he submitted in writing, he said seven new members had signed up since May 4, there had been 11 renewals, and that current RNA household memberships numbered 229.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2017 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lisa Temkin called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In Attendance: Lisa Temkin, Dan Baigelman, Carla Arnell, Justin Kee, Mike Babian, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Amy Lohmolder, Drew Awsumb (city of HP), Jeanne Vella, Jean Meier, Mike Stroz, Elliott Miller, Erica Weeder, Lena Kezdy, Dick Weeder, Peggy Laemle, Julie Malen, Hal Malen

Status of cell tower and building(s) at Ravinia Festival Site was given by Drew Awsumb (Some information was shared by Rob Sabo, who can also be emailed with questions). The cell tower at the festival grounds has been approved by city council. It was stated that this may improve service for some nearby residents (Delta, Carol, Iris, and Lambert Tree). The building west of track, for tower (telecommunication building), has not yet been approved. There is another building that will be built on east side of train tracks, a symphony education center. Dan attended a meeting to see plans for this building and did not see anything objectionable about it. Lisa asked Drew to keep us apprised of status and when various committees would review building(s).

Witty's Refresher is moving forward in the Ravinia business district as reported by Drew. The brewery that was originally planned by the same owner for the site owned across the street (south side of street ) will now be to the left of the Witty's building (former Ravinia BBQ). The two, somewhat separate entities will share a kitchen, which will offer efficiency. Witty's will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The brewery will serve lunch and dinner. The owners are looking at the possibility of a boutique hotel to see if that makes any sense for the space across the street (south, kitty-corner from Walgreen's).

The TIF and funds for lighting in the Ravinia Business District was reported on by Drew who stated that the city was ready to move forward on aspects of the streetscape which tie in with public works projects. There is roughly $1,000,000 in the fund to date. (They are expecting 3 million over 23 year life). RFPs will be sent out. This lighting will take the form of regular street lights, not lighting on buildings as previously considered. Lighting work is budgeted for 2018 construction. We discussed how it is desirable that poles match and blend with existing surrounds and character of Ravinia and allow for the hanging of banners. Drew said that the city was also looking at metered outlets on the poles which will be beneficial as power sources for festivals and such. Justin questioned painting of poles. IDOT will paint to standard on Green Bay and any upgrade will be city (TIF) responsibility. City meetings with further developments will be open to the public.

The bicycle pump amenity, once considered by the city was brought up by Jeff who stated that since the bicycle path upgrade (bypass of parking lot) has been achieved, and some bicycle stores that once offered pumps are no longer in business, it makes even greater sense now to provide a tire pump for those biking in and through Ravinia.

The lighted benches, designed by Dan of Full Circle Architects, were inquired of by Mike S. These are still being considered as unlighted benches. Dan explained that outlets on buildings might be prove spotty and thus lighting uneven. The addition of light poles as reported by Drew renders lighting element less crucial. Dan is happy to give the design to the city, if they want. This is something that the SSA (business owners) would pick up, and not the TIF fund. Drew stated that benches are generally considered an important element in a streetscape.

Food trucks will be the new event this summer as reported by Drew and Mike. The trucks will operated on Thursdays, June 1- September 14, 4:30 to dusk. There will probably be approximately 15 trucks on Dean (between St. John's and Roger Williams), the same area as the farmer's market w/similar set up as Harvest and Harmony event. All businesses in Ravinia have been invited to participate. Three weeks are offered free of charge to the businesses. Nonprofits, like RNA, can participate free of charge every week. There will be music near the corner of St. Johns and Roger Williams. The event falls on four RNA meeting dates. It is possible that RNA would take a couple of (workshop?) meetings out to the park and participate? Amy expressed some concern regarding competition to local businesses and hope that offerings be selected to fill gaps in what is currently being sold in Ravinia’s business district. Mike stated local businesses will be given first preferences. Doug offered that other suburbs (like Wheaton) which had hired Bensidoun (worldwide events and management company running this event) had been happy with their version of this event. Lisa and Mike B. wondered if they might stay open later than dusk. Mike S. did not think the plan was well conceived citing traffic concerns and competition with Ravinia Festival. Amy asked if biking could be promoted and extra bike racks added. A look at the Ravinia Festival website assuaged concerns as no big concerts will be held on the Thursday evenings in question. A guest offered that it should be SSA that comments on any issue regarding competition to businesses. Mike S. would like to make sure that Bensidoun hauls away the trash. Dan expressed interest in his company participating in the event. The food trucks were generally deemed to be a good development and RNA will likely participate in some manner.

Newsletter update was given by Jeanne who stated that the immense service recognized by others (16 pages for the latest issue) is a joy for her. The larger edition was also made possible by Doug’s success in soliciting $810 worth of advertisements, some of which are new accounts and will run multiple ads. Because the latest edition was so thick, Jeanne and Doug opted to not fold. The idea of future, thicker editions being delivered by local school children was discussed. The next submission deadline for the summer edition is June 15th.

The Ravinia Farmer’s Market status was reported on by Mike B. who stated that Lydia and her son Edward expressed a desire to step down from running the market. Ed Kugler, who has roots in this field and in Highland Park, has come forward to run the market this season. (Same time and place.)

“Clean the Ravine”, Earth Day event in Ravinia, was presented by Lena Kezdy, a resident of Ravinia and Senior at HPHS. The event will take place Saturday 4/22 from 10 to noon. The rain date is to be Sunday 4/23. It is hoped that turn-out will allow for five Ravines to be improved by the removal of trash. Sponsors are needed by neighbors adjacent to Ravine so that larger items can be hauled away during the city pick up that will follow on the heels of the ravine clean up. Posters were given to those who could display and Doug offered to post on RNA website as well.

The Treasurer’s Report was given by Mike Babian. Account balances are as follows: $ 7, 458.80 - Checking $ 5, 257.81 - CD $ 518.88 - PayPal __________________ $ 13,235.49 TOTAL

Historic Ravinia plans for 2017 were presented by Lisa and Dan. Historic tourism is sought. September 24 event featuring slideshow presentation by Chris Enck of the Van Bergen house which was moved to site in Evanston will be a taste of the larger event to be held on October 22nd. Trolleys are popular and will be increased this year. The event will be more family oriented in’17, with a tour of Ravinia School (Ravinia Village House) and kids’ activity stations. Stations may teach on Jens Jensen, Ravinia Music Park and mid- century modern, for which material is readily available. Amy is to look for the telephone number for the gentleman who attended school in early 1940’s along with the many friends he brought to the centennial celebration of the Ravinia Village House.

The Ravinia Fire Station Expansion was discussed. The expansion, as proposed, affects a number of Ravinia residents, at least one of whom does not wish to sell their property as requested by the city. Some residents are concerned by the additional parking lot that will go up by their property. The large scale of the building was cited as possibly out of scale with other Ravinia business district elements. It is generally accepted that a larger facility is needed and accommodations for newer and larger equipment. It is not clear that the proposed addition of a third bay is necessary. The city is presenting that a meeting room is being added public use in Ravinia. It should be made clear that this was never requested by the RNA. We should be wary of expanding parking too greatly as this will not be as necessary in the future and compromises other more important features and needs of Ravinia. Attendance is encouraged for city meeting to be held at the Central Avenue firehouse facility on April 20th, 6:00 pm.

New Metra Train Station benches are in the works as reported by Jeff. Metra is looking into benches to replace the poorly sized and styled benches currently in the station. Jeff recommended that RNA make a financial contribution. It was generally agreed that RNA would do this, with the amount to be considered in light of other details. More details are needed so RNA can discuss an appropriate amount. Jeff Stern will get info to board when he has something to share.

“Committees within the Board of RNA” was an idea presented by Lisa (previously discussed with Laura). It was generally agreed that the preservation of institutional knowledge is desirable for RNA. Doug expressed a need to access the postal box for which we have limited keys. Mike and Doug have worked out a system to date for collection of mail and money. Lisa and Laura would also like access. Review of operations to be revisited. Respectfully Submitted, Amy Lohmolder, Secretary

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 P.M.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2017 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Laura Saret called the meeting to order at 7:10 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In attendance, besides Saret, were Carla Arnell, Mike Babian, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Jean Meier, Elliott Miller, Doug Purington, Davis Schneiderman, Jeff Stern, Lisa Temkin and Jeanne Vella. Also present were Highland Park Assistant City Manager Rob Sabo and guests Paul Cox, Larry Dunlap, Adele and Edward Kaufman, Mike Stroz and Gayle Taxy.

Asked to speak first. Rob Sabo said the city last June approved the Ravinia Festival’s plan to install nine DAS communications antennae to improve cell phone service during concerts, that the work was expected to be completed before the 2017 season began, and that all the antennae would be installed on the rooftops of Festival buildings. Schneiderman asked that any communications between RNA and area residents on this and other issues should be shared with the entire Board.

Sabo said Ravinia SSA and TIF property owners are scheduled to meet in mid-February to discuss self-imposed fees that would be needed to finance a plan to install lights on commercial buildings and put benches in front of businesses along Roger Williams Avenue. An agreement was needed by April for the city’s approval. Purington suggested business owners should be asked to attend meetings if the property owners can’t, and Sabo agreed. Saret asked if the Thursday night city-sponsored events might be held instead on afternoons to attract more people, and Sabo said he would look into it.

Sabo said that as of December 31, 2016, the SSA had a balance of $64,353, and that $90,000 would be added for 2017, providing a total of $154,353. Regarding the proposed TIF work, he said efforts were still being made to coordinate the above and below- ground work, but that nothing was scheduled to begin yet.

Concerned about how TIF funds are being spent in light of the controversial Ravinia Streetscape project, Purington was assured by Sabo that public input is invited before any city improvements are undertaken. Sabo added that the city always has to go through a competitive bidding process and require vendors who pay minimum wage. Purington committed to updating information about the TIF on the RNA website, which he said was out of date. Regarding plans for a new Ravinia fire station, Sabo said the city was working on a feasibility study, and that results of public meetings will be posted on its website.

Dan Baigelman said proposed lighting and bench improvements for businesses along Roger Williams Avenue would be presented at a Ravinia business owners meeting on February 13. Considering the installation of lights on the top of buildings to be useless, he said his firm has developed a bench that could go under store fronts, with lighting beneath plugged into outlets provided by building owners giving the appearance of a stone slab floating on two lanterns. The idea was to provide better lighting and a place for business patrons to linger after dark. Correcting Minutes from the last meeting, Baigelman said Carolyn Hersch, the City’s Manager of Business Development, indicated that approval of the plan was needed only from the RBD rather than from the City Council.

Purington had nothing new to report on RNA membership, saying the annual drive for new members and renewals would begin in May, and that he would try to keep the website up to date.

Regarding the Business District, Purington said Al Klairmont had told him he hoped an appraisal of the property for his proposed development on the 7-11 site would be authorized soon, allowing him to include the parking lot for his project. Purington said he expected ground to be broken in the next few weeks for the Witty’s Refresher restaurant at the Ravinia Barbecue site, and that the Paw Parlor had gotten good publicity for its new place at Piero’s former location. He said a new front is planned for Shelton’s, but no one knows what will go there.

Laura Saret said she and Jeff Stern attended the City Council meeting where the proposed new Ravinia fire station was discussed, and also the first of several monthly public meetings Chief Dan Pease plans to hold on that subject at the Central Avenue fire station. Saret said a good case was made as to why a new station was needed; that only inches separate the engine and ambulance parked side-by-side in the existing 1929 structure, and current training and exercise space is inadequate. Pease said other possible sites were not as strategically located. Saret said the biggest downside to the plan was the possible demolition of two homes on Pleasant north of Highland to replace and expand on current parking south of the alley behind businesses on Roger Williams. At least a year of planning still lay ahead, and the project wasn’t expected to start before 2022

Expressing interest in School District 112 developments, Adele and Edward Kaufman were told changes were on hold for a year owing to the defeated referendum and the resignations of the Board President, District Superintendent and two principals. For now Ravinia School will remain open. Saret said people should educate themselves on candidates for school board and other positions.

Temkin said RNA will sponsor a candidates’ forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2 in Ravinia School’s multi-purpose room, which is in the new section close to Roger Williams Avenue. Candidates for City Council and board positions with the Park District and School Districts 112 and 113 are expected to participate. The candidates were to have two minutes to present their positions. Temkin said she and Carla Arnell came up with five questions for candidates to answer, and the League of Women Voters planned a similar event on March 19.

Edward and Adele Kaufman expressed concern about the plan to build a ring road to ease traffic congestion and provide faster access to Edgewood School for emergency vehicles that was proposed when the district’s reconfiguration plan called for several hundred more students to be attending the school. Although the referendum was defeated, they wondered if the city still planned to build the road. Davis Schneiderman said the road plan was rushed through City Council at the time, and that RNA would look into it but had not yet taken a position on it.

Baigelman spoke about the third annual Historic Ravinia event that was being planned for Saturday, October 7 to promote historic tourism in Ravinia. He expected a second trolley would be needed to accommodate the popular event, which this year would focus on the Braeside and Ravinia Schools, and raise awareness of the rich architectural history of the area

Arriving late, Treasurer Mike Babian asked if he was required to attend all meetings since he belongs to another organization that often meets at the same time. He said he could easily put figures on RNA finances together ahead of time, which someone else could present. When board members concurred, he then gave his report, which indicated RNA had $5,252.82 in a CD, and $7,853.12 in its checking account for a total of $13,105.94.

Larry Dunlap complained that RNA had failed to support him and 109 other neighbors with homes near the Ravinia Festival’s west parking lot in their opposition to the Festival’s plan in 2015 to build a 1,500-square-foot structure there to house a DAS system which would be needed only 15 days a year. Temkin and Purington assured Dunlap that with new leadership since 2015, RNA would work with him and his neighbors to address any new concerns they might have, and would welcome their becoming members once again.

Jeanne Vella set a deadline of March 15 for submitting new newsletter articles.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:59 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

January 2017 RNA Board Workshop


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Workshop
January 5, 2017

Lisa Temkin called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In Attendance were Lisa Temkin, Laura Saret, Dan Baigelman, Justin Kee, Doug Purington, Jeanne Vella, Jeff Stern, Davis Schneiderman, Carla Arnell, Amy Lohmolder, Betsey Cerf, Mary Seyfarth, Mike Stroz, Erica Weeder.

Minutes from the December 2016 meeting (corrected, final draft version) were approved.  

Treasurer’s Report:  was emailed in. Mike reports CD balance as $5,250.50. The Checking Account balance is $7,892.12 for a total balance of $13,142.62.

Mike inquired about getting a debit/credit card hooked up to our checking account. It would have the RNA name on it and Mike’s name below and take 2 weeks to obtain. The card would be used for the Constant Contact and website monthly payments. Mike indicated that that the card should only be used for co-president approved purchases with his oversight (not handed out for use) and that checks and bill pay would still be utilized for reimbursement purposes.

Motion:  Amy moved that Mike be authorized to obtain the debit/credit card to be used as proposed above. Laura seconded. Motion passed.

Membership and Website is being maintained by Doug. Nothing to report.

Dates for RNA meetings in 2017 should be confirmed and posted on website per Lisa. All agreed. Meeting dates for year will be  2/2,  3/2,  4/6,  5/4,  6/1,  7/6,  8/3,  9/7,  10/5, 11/2,  12/7.

Election Event was discussed. Amy suggested that RNA lead movement to get money out of Highland Park politics. Although many were in sympathy with the concept, Lisa raised the idea that there is already so much to focus upon in considering issues and candidates. It is hard to achieve (or enforce), particularly as the election season is already underway. Individual candidates can pledge a reduction in money spent, if they determine to do so on their own.  

March 2nd (next workshop meeting) was determined to be the best date for the event. In order to accommodate all races on a single evening, Doug suggested asking candidates to submit  answers to our questions which would be proposed in advance. We would then distribute written Q&A’s to attendees at the event.

Dan felt Ravinia school to be the best venue (general agreement). Lisa will look into availability with the school district. Mike Stroz will check into Ravinia Festival venues as possible backup. General consensus was that we could pay the $200 or so that  District 112 would charge.

Anticipating that there will be greatest interest in school elections, we will put these candidates in first half of program (starting at 7:00) break in the middle for meet and greet session, at which point attendees can get clarifications on candidate positions and come and go according to their schedule. (Attendees can come to either session, or both.) We will resume second half with city council and park district board candidates. The presentations in each half will consist of candidate introductions and brief “elevator speeches” as that is all for which time will allow.

Candidate position statements can also be posted on the website. All board members are encouraged to submit questions to Lisa. Lisa will send invites and questions out to candidates.

Doug will publicize.

Ravinia Business District Update:  The new owner of Shelton’s has apparently not decided on ultimate use of the space and may even rent it out.  

Dan presented his design for Ravinia business district benches with lighting incorporated  into decorative grill supports at  either end of benches. The benches would serve two functions: providing seating areas along the business district corridors and lighting along sidewalks in the business district. The metal patina may be reconsidered. Lighting levels (reflectors?) will be studied for not-too-hot wash of light. Dan reported that power for lighting could be supplied by simple exterior outlet at each business location (placement of bench). Lights could run on timer.

Motion: Doug moved that RNA endorse this design to be presented by Dan to the RBD-SA. Davis seconded. Motion passed.

Goals & Ideas for 2017:   + Updating Constant Contact (Doug)

                                           + Finding ways to facilitate payment for Facebook ads (PayPal or The Square)

                                           + Articulating guidelines for board terms and defining mechanism for removal ( i.e.: poor attendance)

                                          +  Preparation for city representatives at regular meetings (every other month) giving 2 week notice to membership and questions in advance to city
                                              representatives so that they are prepared and able to complete  report in approx.20 minutes. 

                                          + Clean up for Earth Day at each ravine bridge (Erica Weeder) to be held on Sunday April 23rd 

The May 5th Workshop was designated for further development.

Newsletter:  Jeannie reports no deadline for articles as yet but the goal is to mail out the spring issue in early April.  Jeannie will publicize Earth Day ravine clean up.  Other possible articles: H.P. election coverage, update Klairmont building, interview with Landmark Illinois regarding re-use of the school buildings to close in District 112. (Due to the resignation of Superintendent Bregy and vote of the board, specific closures are, as of now, undetermined.) Lisa related that St. Louis schools reused their abandoned school structures as affordable housing for teachers, and the article might include this case study. The openings of Witty’s and Ravinia Brewery are other possible articles.

Doug feels that some website content needs to be created specifically for the website rather than just reprinting newsletter material there. We might look for neighborhood groups to solicit for this material. Possible groups include: PTO and Ravinia school children (their events), boy scouts, HP Go Green group, which meets at Madame Zuzu’s. Others?  We might consider “network” approach to news (Face book) and spending money on advertisement.

Chairs for (occasionally larger) RNA meetings: Amy will email possibilities she found to board members for discussion at next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

December 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, December 2, 2016

Called to Order: 7:10 pm

In Attendance:

Lisa Temkin, Dan Baigelman, Laura Saret, Justin Kee, Michael Babian, Jeff Stern, Doug Purington, Amy Lohmolder, Drew Awsumb (Urban Community Development, City of H.P.), Rob Sabo (Asst. City Mgr., City of H.P.) Nancy Funk, Mike Stroz, Mary Seyfarth, Ed Kaufman, Carolyn Cerf.

Update from City of HP on Ravinia Business District : Per Rob, on 11/28 the city council approved Ravinia’s Special Service Area (SSA) renewal for an additional 3 years. There are thirty- one property owners, including city.  Two are subtracted (non-profit).  Fourteen of twenty-nine owners objected but more than 50% must object as well as electors residing in SSA district. A 12/2 morning meeting led by Katie Wiswald and Carolyn Hersch at city hall. Approximately 7 business owners attended.  Mike (Palminteri State Farm) stated that they would now be given greater input regarding how money might be spent. We were reminded that the TIF is different than the SSA. The SSA tax payers decided not to continue with the fall Harvest and Harmony event as it was not seen as benefiting those taxed for the SSA. The less expensive Artisan Market is seen as more beneficial and will continue in some form, probably weekly. Ripple Public Relations will be consulted to see if they are willing to continue in adjusted manner. Mike had cost effective advertising ideas, such as the type of pop up web banners his company employs to reach larger numbers of people economically. Additionally, RNA and local volunteers have in the past economically carried duties related to neighborhood events and can likely do so again.

Length of events was discussed.  It was brought up that RNA had been left off the Ravinia event listings, when even the Volunteer Pool of Highland Park was included. R. Sabo assured that city wanted RNA involved.

Street lighting was discussed. Although regular lights (on poles) are financially out of reach at present, strings of lights are an alternative possibility. Lights would be strung as to outline (just tops?) of buildings, giving little ambient light, but adding a festive feel to the business district.  

Owners would like to see another (anchoring) business drawn to area. Laura stressed that eatery and specialty food is desirable and that city might help with this. Drew Awsumb noted that A. Klairmont seems to be thinking in this vein for his new (pending) development.

Lisa suggested that an alternate meeting time of the SSA might draw greater participation. Food might be another draw.

Check city of HP website for school meeting listings:

Regarding TIF, Drew Awsumb discussed infrastructure plan currently in the works. There will be two areas emphasized in the 2017 draft which is to be widely circulated:  

Part 1 determines all of the work (in HP) to be done over the life of the Ravinia TIF which might affect the TIF so that it is well planned and implemented. It is most cost effective to have a master plan. The “Strand Study” by Strand Associates will involve mostly work that people don’t tend to see: underground pipes, storm water improvements and such. This work needs to be planned along with other more visible works.

Part 2 in 2017, the “Hitchcock Plan” is a conceptual plan. In 2017 there will be a process of prioritizing based on budget for Ravinia streetscape. The city will hire a firm to do plans to help with bidding.

Mike expressed concerns for many consultant expenditures. Question from Mary provoked discussion regarding why the city hires so many consultants to accomplish work. Amy brought up new streets signs again and an opinion that hiring outside, edgy marketing firm had resulted in “edgy” look that cost too much and did not fit Ravinia’s historical character. Drew addressed issue of mismatched signage stating that old signs would be taken down.

It was acknowledged that some RNA members did attend early conceptual Hitchcock presentation in which people could comment. Doug related that something was lost in translation. Material selection, size, scope (number of signs) and other details had significant impact on what we ultimately got. Rob stated Eric Olsen would have greater ability to comment on that process.

Rob Sabo addressed issue of “60% design docs” that needed to be produced to bid work explaining that the city did not have people who could do this work and so it would be hired out. Mary noted that there are many architects and artists in Ravinia. Amy suggested that RNA might be more proactive in amplifying the city’s Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to such groups not as familiar with RFP process.  

Vacancies on Ravinia Business District Alliance (RBDA) left by Eve Tarm and Marsha (Calm Massage) were noted as vacancies that RNA would like to see filled. Rob Sabo said that these selections could be submitted by the RNA.

Rob (or Drew?) stated he/they are more than willing to deep dive and go through Hitchcock bidding material with us. He said the city will not be spending more money for conceptual work. They will pick priorities and get bidding done. The city will welcome public comment. They know that lighting and parking are priorities.       

Amy asked if this is the time to question the type of parking that is planned for Ravinia and the concern that parking lots are often unsightly. Will we forfeit space that we later find could have been used for (example) the Barcelona styled outdoor eating area (shared by all restaurants, etc.) that Laura suggested? Lisa noted that appropriate parking is needed particularly if new business is to come in. Drew thinks we get “efficient” parking. One new trend is shared parking. There will be an analysis of parking. Doug offered that better lighting might be what would help those eating out in Ravinia feel more comfortable with parking a little further out.

Mike brought up issue of realistic time frames and costs in planning. (1.1 million is now in hand.) Drew agreed, stating that 60% design plan will become part of a forecasting tool that will help determine what is possible within certain time frames and with TIF money collected. They will begin to get specific and “forecast out the TIF”. A type of menu will be developed after which we might determine that more money is to be raised, via private fundraiser or the city’s CIP fund, etc. 

Drew said that going forward with two big projects -- hiring firm to do 60% plan, and all important pieces will be transparent and they will be getting input from the public. They will probably have more to report in January.    

Minutes of Last Meeting.  Approved, pending notes submitted by Rob to Lisa.

Treasurer’s Report by Mike:  We have zero in PayPal account. We have $7,892.12 in the checking account, $5,248.35 in the CD account and a total of $13,140.47.  Mike is looking for higher yielding CD.

Membership Report by Doug:  $137.50 was collected representing four new memberships and two renewals. Doug stated this is traditionally a slow period.

Website: Doug had put food pantry drive on the front page and updated with new photos. He is paying 19.50 per month for web hosting (Adobe Business Catalyst) which some felt expensive. Carolyn interjected that this selection allowed for email and that going to cheaper service could change our layout and how our site works.

Lisa suggested and others concurred that getting an RNA credit card would be good and allow Doug to pay website without having to get reimbursements.

City Council Candidates - Both Laura and Davis will be running for the 2 year position resulting from departure of Paul Frank to his new position. Lisa brought up possibility of RNA hosting an open house, inviting all candidates, so that residents could come and meet and speak with those running for office. There was agreement that this was a good idea.

NSSD112 Update   Justin reported that city had put out a list of city planning requirements it would need to complete to accommodate 112’s plan (BDR3). This upset 112 board and representatives. One resident has initiated a lawsuit because she has a special needs child who she believes would not be able to safely evacuate in emergencies at Edgewood School. This is because the new set up Edgewood would have significantly more students, negatively effecting egress. As it is now only at 40% capacity, the lack of ADA updates is not insurmountable but would become so under new plan. The pending lawsuit is likely to stall 112 from moving ahead as quickly as they’d like.

Carolyn brought up concern that RNA should not be too quick to team up with other school related groups in the expedient delivery of school and RNA membership flyers by people affiliated with both groups. Although some felt these groups share school concerns and that RNA has been mandated by a majority of our membership to support Ravinia School, it was agreed that keeping good boundaries is good practice.

Lisa related that 112 Superintendent Bregy had phoned her. Despite apparent lack of interest by 112 Board President, Michael Cohn, Bregy seemed to be soliciting additional information or assistance on how Landmark Illinois might help the district in properly addressing vacated buildings.

Further discussion of Business District: Doug solicited a response from Al Klairmont as to what needed to happen to allow his proposed new building to move forward. The list is as follows: 1) Have a HUD certified Appraiser approved by the City of HP and then hired. 2) Submit the appraisal 3.) Have the Ravinia Housing commission agree to the sale, which he believes they will once they get the approval from their lender and HUD 4) submit his plans for building permit review 5) Have our blueprints approved by the City of HP. Klairmont wrote that he had started work on all that was under his control and that the wild card was the approval of the sale of the land by the Ravinia Housing Commission. (Thank you for your support and interest.)

We viewed architectural renderings of the remodeled Ravinia BBQ for the new Witty’s Refresh which is to open by summer of 2017, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The owners are also contemplating signage (at outdoor seating area?) promoting Ravinia Park history.

The new owners of Shelton's are taking out old equipment (etc?) and believe they do not need a permit for what they are doing. They have yet to share plans with the city (or any known other).

Next RNA event:  Mike strongly felt we needed to jump back into doing some event(s). Although Jean Meier was unable to make the meeting, she was excited about “Farch” event (February/ March doldrums breaker) and so we will wait for this. The group also felt that simple Neighbors Night Outs in which RNA promote get-togethers at local businesses should be another future endeavor. Mike will contact Jean regarding Farch event.

Citizen input is a tradition for which we agreed RNA should stand. Records show there has always been struggle when citizens inserted input and it is normal for those governing to want to do so expediently. Yet the determination of early Ravinia groups to have input as well as some of their own agency is the reason we have so much that is good in Ravinia. We will work to keep our input respectful and productive.   

New Representatives for RBDA was discussed. City probably has one spot for local business person and one for RNA representative. Dan and Mike are obvious choices. Lisa will contact Drew/ Eric Olsen.

Motion to Adjourn: by Mike. Laura seconded. Passed (9:17)

Respectfully Submitted, Amy Lohmolder, Sec'y.  

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

November 2016 RNA Board Workshop


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Workshop Meeting
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lisa Temkin called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In Attendance: Lisa Temkin, Laura Saret, Dan Baigelman, Jeff Stern, Doug Purington, Carla Arnell, Justin Kee, Davis Schneiderman, Amy Lohmolder, Carolyn Hersch (City of HP), Rob Sabo (City of HP), Jean Meier, Lisa Hersch, Phylis Bagan, Steve Hersch, Mike Stroz.


Our agenda was altered to take advantage of the attendance of two city representatives and the resulting opportunity to ask questions and convey neighbors’ concerns.

Carolyn Hersch introduced the topic of Ravinia’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which will be in effect until it expires in 2028. This fund is designated for infrastructure improvements in Ravinia’s central, business area. Infrastructure work could include: lighting, signage, crosswalks, and such. Even benches are a possibility. In response to Lisa’ s question of when better lighting might be implemented, Carolyn related that lighting is very expensive, probably not feasible with current funds. Current funds are in the neighborhood of approx. one million dollars. Doug brought up the very costly signs recently installed, questioning whether expenditure of money was being judiciously managed. Carolyn Hersch stated that the new signs were not typical signage but rather built to last. Amy brought up older parking lot signage that is still in good shape, but of an entirely different style than the new signs. Hersch stated that she would need to look at this in the light of day in order to better consider. She is also going to contact Eric Olsen at the city to provide paperwork documenting public involvement in signage planning as well as bidding information.

Laura asked about benches and whether a contest involving artists might be something the city would entertain. Carolyn Hersch stated that this might not be the best approach for ensuring long term quality and maintenance but that in selecting more mass produced approach, they could look at providing “artsy” aesthetic in keeping with Ravinia culture, even perhaps implementing some differentiating details from one bench to another. Hersch stated that if continuation of the SSA (Special Services Area) passes, the benches might be obtained with SSA funding. .

Caroline Hersch related deadline for objections to SSA (Special Service Assessment), which is Monday Nov. 7th. Fifty-one percent of property owners and registered voters (per Illinois statute) would need to object to eliminate.  

Carolyn Hersch related that the city’s public works department was currently involved with engineers and Com Ed. to study what might be done in Ravinia. In order to not too adversely impact business activity (digging up roads etc), phasing the implementation of various elements is seen at the way to go. Parking will be a priority. More spots will be added to the train station parking near bike path, and along Dean/ Judson. Lighting might be most easily accomplished with battery packs on signage. Doug inquired as to how Ravinia residents might have a say in lighting design. Hersch indicating that the RBA (Ravinia Business Alliance) would be the most likely body to consult on this piece.

Current state of the TIF is on the city website. The city’s site is undergoing change; Rob Sabo will send a link to RNA reps. so that interested parties know how to access this information.

Laura inquired of pending Klairmont project. It was confirmed that HUD is holding up parking that Klairmont deems necessary to make project workable.

Carolyn Hersch explained that the building of the dry cleaners which closed upon the owner’s death a couple of years ago has passed EPA guidelines such that it could be made into any number of businesses or residential developments. Perhaps there would be further remediation to assure no chemicals remain. But the family does not want to sell the building at this point. Some speculated on possible probate.

Carolyn Hersch related that the Mayor of HP held discussions with School District 112 officials recently to try to discern where 112 is headed and what impact 112 decisions will have on the city. Representatives from Fire and Police Departments, Public Works and City Mgr. attended that meeting. Nothing substantive emerged. Illinois municipal code allows separate operation of school and city. Rob Sabo stated that city must first have school plan to know how city is to be impacted.  

RNA members and guests put forth reality of business districts being impacted in Ravinia (and in the downtown around Elm Place) were schools to close. The lack of revenue and threat to business districts is seen as a city concern. Carolyn Hersch agreed that city would not want business adversely impacted or for school building to sit abandoned, but the school is 112’s property. Residents suggested that traffic patterns and congestion would impact roads and require tax money to address. Would street remediation be required? New taxes? Rob Sabo indicated capital is fluid fund and city has capacity to act quickly with street work. Residents felt the city might more strongly put forth its concerns and the ripple effects school changes will have for city and tax payers. Emergence of these new facts related to fall out for the city would allow board members to save face as they reconsider a bigger picture. A slowing of the process would also allow April’s newly elected board members to consider public sentiment. Carolyn Hersch and Rob Sabo stated that they are not making these decisions but will relate concerns to others who are. 

Given all the complications with how schools impact us, Schneiderman expressed wish that public would be kept apprised of any city meetings related to school closings. Is there a city liaison to school? The sense is yes but that they are not engaged in the process. Carolyn Hersch and Rob Sabo will look into this as well as the posting of meetings on city website.

Cell phone service concerns were brought up. Verizon has particularly bad reception in some areas of Ravinia (north end by Laura). Rob Sabo will look into this

Doug gave membership report. We have two new members. It’s the “quiet season” but he will continue to encourage renewals. Regarding RNA newsletter, Doug reported that Jeannie and he had just mailed these out. Cost: $864. Of this $750 was covered by the ads Doug sold, for a net cost of $164.

(No Treasurer’s Report)

HP resident Lisa Hersch shared her work on a “Save Elm Place” Facebook page designed to bring parents together on school closure issue. Most of the parents are from Elm Place, but some have joined from Ravinia. She now has 350 people following. Elm Place parents are making the most noise, which may account for the 112 board back tracking a bit on Elm Place. Forty new Ravinia members added since Saturday, but Ravinia is relatively quiet.

Doug is adding school board meeting notices to his RNA email blasts.

Davis Schneiderman presented “big news”:  A new tool has been developed by two people on the 2.0 task force group. It is a calculator where any resident can look at financial picture as any combination of schools are closed or left opened. Tool seems to confirm that keeping all schools open is hard. But it also shows that many BDR assumptions were not correct.

There will be an open house to be held next Thursday 11/10 to demonstrate the tool. More information can also be found at

Carla expressed two points:  BDR 3 was not an education plan; it was a cost saving plan. She added that short term deficit spending might not pose a problem.

RNA should continue to keep updating members. The Ravinia PTO is not acting to oppose school closing.

     Neighbors discussed ways to get critical mass and keep people involved.(groups of friends on Facebook to attend meetings, C.A.R.E. flyers, etc.)

Next Meeting is to be Thursday Dec. 1st. at 7:00 at Full Circle Architects. 

Motion was made by Amy to adjourn. Justin seconded. Motion carried (approx. 9:05)


Respectfully submitted

Amy Lohmolder, Secy.       


The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 P.M.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

October 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Workshop Meeting
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lisa Temkin & Laura Saret called the meeting to order at 7:08 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In Attendance:

Lisa Temkin, Laura Saret, Dan Baigelman, Jeff Stern, Doug Purington, Jeanne Vella, Carolyn Cerf, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Carla Arnell.

We opened with introductions, particularly to acquaint group with new member, Carla, invited by Lisa and Laura in hopes she might help with RNA.  Carla spoke of her professional experience, involvement in volunteer and governance efforts and belief in small community and service to community.

Recent Harvest & Harmony event and RNA participation was discussed. Twenty-one (21) new members were added and 7 renewals. A drawing was held from those who entered (members incl. those who just joined/renewed). Tom Brooks won the Lego “Dubai” building. Bev Zadikoff won the Lego Eiffel Tower.  Lisa will contact them.

Lisa and Laura met with Ilyse (Ripple PR), Ghida (city manager of HP) and business owners Joe Palminteri and Chris Walker about two weeks ago. Spending of TIF and SSA (Special Service Area) monies was discussed along with general desire that RNA’s community input be heard. RNA member and business owner, Joe Palminteri spoke to concerns that money was going towards (Ripple) festivals that did not ultimately benefit Ravinia businesses. Better street lighting has been desired for the entire time he has had his business in Ravinia, over 30 years, yet the special assessment on his property is not providing this either. The new signs are seen as a bad investment by Amy who feels we should inquire regarding the fact that they are significantly overpriced.($280,000 for 16 signs, 9 of which are simple street signs. Signs do not match or even compliment current parking signage.) Lisa fears that bringing this up will not result in positive action or outcome. Dan suggested that involving property and/or business owners might help give weight to the discussions with the city. It was noted that safety issues tend to be better received. Lisa will contact Al Klairmont and Joe Palminteri in hopes of building synergy and getting a discussion going that will be heard. We hope to get more response to concerns and a “can do” attitude when presenting concerns and ideas. We also hope that city will seek to engage more business owners in economic development efforts  as RNA does not consider the present average of six business owners at economic development meetings to be a great turnout. We will invite council people Dan Kaufman and Kim Stone to business district discussion. The vulnerability of Ravinia School in relation to the business district is another point to discuss. In fact, the party working to open the micro-brewery in the coming year has stated he will not open if Ravinia School is closed.

Ravinia School and NSSD112 process was discussed. Turnover of board is thought to be likely at April elections, but not in time to keep current board from slowing progress of 2.0 configuration team and cementing closings prior to elections. Davis’ emailed his report:

 *The BOE has signaled that they are unlikely to consider any ballot referendum for April 2017. They have told 2.0 to slow down.

*BDR3 is happening unless the change their collective mind.

*Therefor, Ravinia will close at the end of this academic year.

*New Boundaries have been released, and various parts of town have issues.

*The Financial analysis done by 2.0's finance committee with the 112 CFOs suggests that BDR3 can be postponed or less building can be closed.

*Many feel that 2.0 needs space to accomplish its work.

*Community members with concerns need to speak out on the issue if they want to be heard. No one should think 2.0 can "save the day".

A meeting of the school board on Saturday will have a time for public comment.

Carolyn announced city’s 10/26 business summit taking place at Rec.Center for those who are able to attend during the day.

A treasury report email from Mike was read. $358.37 from PayPal will be put into checking. Current checking account balance is $6,832.04. The CD balance is $5,245.53. New total of all money is $12,435.94.

This coming weekend’s “Historic Ravinia” event was discussed. Dan said we need to clarify if Mike’s totals include approximately $500 in sponsorship money obtained for the event. There will be an auction of a playhouse and two dog houses  that is hoped to bring in more funds to seed next years (possible/ probable) event. Opening bid for items is to be $100 with bids accepted at $25.  Davis has been retained for trolley docent again along with Jason from city. Dan expressed need for more help. Jean Meier committed and posters were distributed for all to help put up/ promote. 

Doug gave membership report. He keeps list of 532 historical member households. Currently we have 210 household and an 80% increase in email contacts to 314. Doug will be turning over $1500 from the 21 new members and 7 renewals since last meeting. He sold 4 ads for newsletter ($570) and received a donation ($250) which is not included in Mikes totals.

Doug is working to keep website fresh.

Doug reported on business district happenings. Shelton’s has sold but so far nothing is known about the new owner and what they will be doing with the space. Paw Parlour will be the new occupant of the old Piero’s space. They will open in November of 2016 and offer dog grooming as well as retail items for dogs. 

Doug and Jeannie are working on fall newsletter with deadline pushed back a few days so as to incorporate report of Historic Ravinia.  Laura suggested a piece about how many generations Ravinia residents have lived here. A short blurb could question readers regarding what type of events members want. More content is needed and helpful as Jeannie tries to layout. What does not fit this time can get used later.

Thanksgiving event was enjoyable for those who went last year, but will not occur this year due to low attendance. Jean suggested that the something be scheduled for late winter when people have more time and doldrums have set in.

RNA Meeting needs include more chairs. Amy will look into specification of library’s stacking chairs that don’t take up much space and can be rolled on stacking platform. More than one (or two) people should have access to important account information. Carolyn will create secure list of accounts, login and passwords. Snacks can be dropped off at Dan’s office so that he is not supplying all snacks.

Motion was made by Laura to extend RNA board seat to Carla Arnell. Doug seconded. Motion carried.  

Motion was made by Laura to adjourn. Doug seconded. Motion carried (approx. 9:00)

Respectfully submitted, Amy Lohmolder, Secy.      


M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Interim-President Lisa Temkin called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m. in the Full Circle Architect’s office at 737 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance, besides Temkin, were Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Laura Saret, Jeff Stern and Jeanne Vella. Also present were Phyllis Bagan, Elliott Miller and Gail Taxy.

Lisa Temkin opened the meeting with a discussion about the need to fill open positions for President and Secretary on the RNA Board. Doug Purington said the goal should be to have more people involved in the RNA in order to have a wider pool of people to consider for RNA offices. Dan Baigelman would also like to give up his position as Vice President. Temkin herself prefers not to be an organizer of events, saying she has a number of other commitments, including membership on the Historic Preservation Commission until the end of the year.

It was noted that before Carolyn Cerf resigned as President, she indicated she would still be willing to help organize events for the RNA. Amy Lohmolder said there have been too many activities, and the same core group has been left with the burden of carrying them out. She recommended following Eve Tarm’s example by proposing Neighbors’ Night Out events that don’t require a lot of planning but produce the desired effect of bringing people together while drawing attention to local businesses and having fun doing it. Purington suggested that RNA have fewer events a year and do all we can to make them successful.

Baigelman proposed putting an item in the next newsletter asking RNA members to become more active and consider joining the Board. Purington recommended putting together information about the responsibilities of each Board position, and noted that the Fall Newsletter was scheduled to be published in October. Gail Taxy observed that a group she belonged to found it useful to get people’s attention by asking them what they felt they were good at doing. That was found to be a more successful approach, rather than simply calling for volunteers. Lohmolder suggested setting up groups with a common interest, and Purington said that when RNA was founded, it had committees to deal with specific issues.

Jean Meier said school issues appeared to be the overwhelming cause right now, and that those who can should attend as many meetings involving the schools as possible and tell us what they learned so we can be better informed in case we want to take a stand on behalf of our members. She said the League of Women Voters always had observers at meetings of general interest who come back and report their findings to the group’s board. Temkin noted that RNA had people involved with District 112 reconfiguration issues at our last meeting, and that there was usually a place on the agenda for a community report.

In the absence of Michael Babian there was no Treasurer’s Report. However, Purington said he had had already turned over to Babian somewhat over $2,000 for membership renewals, that he expected to turn in another $400 soon, and that there was now between $11,000 and $12,000 in RNA accounts.

Baigelman said that the Second Annual Historic Ravinia event was scheduled for Sunday, October 9, and that a full-page ad could be seen in the Summer 2016 My Ravinia Newsletter spelling out the features of the free event, which focuses on Mid-20th Century Modern Design. He said a trolley provided by the Historic Preservation Commission would take participants to some of the area’s finest architectural sites, with docents offering anecdotes and historical information. Among other parts of the program will be a talk at Ravinia School about Chicago’s architectural gems by a writer for Crain’s Chicago, and a display of playhouses and dog houses that were winners of a ‘Design Challenge.’

Baigelman said there would be some costs involving the creation of banners and buttons for the event, the printing of brochures and the use of Ravinia School. Purington made a motion for RNA to provide $500 for the event, to be paid directly to vendors, which was approved by members in attendance.

In his Membership Report, Purington said renewals had reached 82 percent this year, compared to 54 percent a year ago, and that RNA now had 176 members. He said he sent out some 300 emails so far, and that he wasn’t hesitant about approaching city officials to renew when he came across those who hadn’t.

In his Business District Report, Purington said he was making a greater effort to update the website with more pictures and other information about businesses, and repeated previous reports about the start of Al Klairmont’s apartment project on Roger Williams Avenue being delayed over parking issues. He said a Gastro Pub on Roger Williams across from Walgreen’s was now expected to open next spring, as was the restaurant that once housed the Ravinia BBQ. Purington also noted the closing of the So Chic Boutique and the absence of progress at the long-closed Vogue Cleaners owing to remediation issues. Also, while the price for the former Shelton’s had been reduced to $400,000, it still wasn’t selling.

Temkin wondered whether this year’s Thursday Artisan’s Market was bringing more business to Ravinia. Baigelman said its purpose reportedly was to have something earlier in the day for children to enjoy, with music later for adults. While the event has apparently brought traffic to Baker Boys, he said the aim is to sell a product, and that many merchants can’t be out there from 3 until 8 p.m. It was felt that the city’s Business Development Manager should work more closely with the community to promote businesses, and should be invited to an RNA meeting to hear suggestions on how to become more pro-active.

In regard to the spending of TIF funds on upgrades to the Business District, Purington talked about the new street and district signage, but wondered about the street lighting and other improvements that had been promise. Lohmolder surveyed the cost of the signs that was revealed at the Annual Joint Review Board Meeting, which Baigelman attended on June 23, and determined that the $280,250 total would have broken down to about $17,500 for each of the 16 signs she counted, of which nine were simple street signs.

Purington said more oversight was needed in the design and approval process. Baigelman suggested that community development efforts were not achieving what was intended, and that the city has chosen to do events that attract other merchants instead of helping those that are here in Ravinia. Temkin said she would email a Council Member she knew to get more information about the new Ravinia signs and the process that was followed to obtain them.

Jeanne Vella reported that the next Newsletter would be out shortly. Purington drew attention to the lead article on the new Ravinia Festival Fountain and the favorable comments it had received. He said the number of copies had been reduced to 205 for mailing and another 95 for distribution in the station kiosk and at other locations, and that more could be printed if needed. He noted that there had been over $600 in ad sales for the new edition, which had 12 pages in color.

Regarding issues with mobile phone usage in the area, Laura Saret was concerned about calls being dropped by Verizon customers during Ravinia Festival events. Temkin said Verizon had wanted to put up another antenna atop the Murray Theater. Purington said there already were nine other antennae around the park, and no apparent problem with AT&T or other services. Baigelman said he had just been at the opening of a new building on the Festival campus, which is to serve as a small theater or museum with displays relating to the history of the Festival. It is located next to the restaurant.

Under Other Business, Stern said he was still trying to get a piano removed from the train station. It has been there for several months, but can’t be played because it has 16 keys that don’t work. He also is looking for three 6-foot-long historic-looking benches that can replace the two unwieldy ones that are there now. Temkin suggested looking for the benches at either of two antique shops she was familiar with that are located around Dempster and Dodge in Evanston.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:53 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, June 2, 2016

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. in the Full Circle Architect’s office at 737 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Laura Saret, Davis Schneiderman, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were Julie Campbell, Michael Plasz and Mary Seyfarth.

In her President’s Report Carolyn Cerf called attention to RNA’s Ravinia Night Out event being planned for Friday, June 17 at Ravinia Park. She urged everyone to participate and said that while the Festival wouldn’t offer any discounts to our group, the Bodeans Concert that night cost only $22 per person and RNA was assured a place for participants along the main sculpture path.

Tickets will have to be purchased in advance and will be held at the “Will Call” window at the Main Gate. Cerf asked for volunteers to direct RNA members to the assembly area from the Main Gate and the Opus Lot, and that donations of food would be welcomed. Michael Plasz offered to be one of the volunteers.

Cerf then announced that she was submitting her resignation as President, effective technically at the end of tonight’s meeting. She attributed her decision mainly to new demands on her time in her professional life, and also to her feeling that she had done basically what she set out to accomplish when she accepted the position three years ago.

In her letter of resignation Cerf mentioned “building our institutions to be stronger, gaining 501c3 status, increasing our public profile, strengthening the business district,” etc. among goals she had set out to achieve. She also felt RNA had acquired “new tools to communicate better with members, such as Constant Contact, Survey Monkey, Eventbrite, etc. Davis Schneiderman was the first of several to commend Cerf for her service. He also asked about terms and procedures for running for RNA offices, and suggested that an interim President be named.

Cerf said she would make a list of the duties of the President, which would then be available to anyone considering a run for that position. Doug Purington said that in the interim he would take care of all emails to RNA. It was decided to send out an email to all members asking for prospective candidates to make their availability known, and for an election to be held in the next month. Cerf said she would continue to work on the June 17 event until it is held.

Julie Campbell was introduced as one of six Ravinia area people named to the District 112 School Board reconfiguration committee created as a result of the failed referendum. A lawyer who has taught medical ethics law, as well as a trained negotiator, she has children at Ravinia School, looks forward to finding new solutions to the school closing issue, and expects to take part in workshop meetings on that issue June 21-22. She feels the Budget Deficit Reduction 3 Plan should be scrapped rather than just reworked to gain support. She plans to gather data from parents, teachers, etc. in a community survey to find out what really concerns the community regarding reconfiguration.

A lengthy discussion followed regarding the District 112 reconfiguration issue. Among the topics covered were: The most common finding from the failed referendum that a vast majority objected to the single-campus proposal for all middle schoolers, and the inadequate plans for mitigating the traffic congestion that was likely to result. Reasons people who have grown up here come back to Highland Park to live and raise families of their own. The appeal of living close enough for children to walk to school. The impact Ravinia School has on the Ravinia Business District because of the foot and car traffic it generates by being so close by. Jerry Field has already indicated he would have to close his violin shop if the school shuts down. How Board actions are influenced by the premise that buildings represent only 10 percent of the cost of operating a school district, so that reducing the number of buildings can provide justification for cutting staff and lowering costs overall. The issue of setting new boundaries for student enrollment at schools remaining in the district when others may be closed. The preference among architects to build new structures rather than renovate existing ones, suggesting that taxpayer money can easily be wasted. Why it can be less expensive to own property that no longer has buildings on it. The relatively unknown fact that four current District11irct 112 school buildings are on the state’s list of endangered structures.

In the absence of the Treasurer, there was no Treasurer’s report.

Regarding Membership, Purington reported that there had been 18 renewals so far, bringing in $600, and that he was continuing to send out notices to those whose renewals had not yet been received.

Reporting on the Newsletter, Purington said nine of 11 ads published in the current edition were being resubmitted, but that there was a need for new content. He said the deadline for sending new articles to Jeanne Vello was July 2. In response to complaints from some writers, he said he edits all copy for grammatical errors, but does not alter the content.

Due to concerns that stories in the previous edition had been altered without the knowledge of writers, he promised that all future edited copy would be sent back to the writers for their approval before publication.

After questions were raised by guest Michael Plasz about the status of a number of commercial buildings and proposed new construction in the business district, Purington repeated information he had previously provided about the redevelopment of the former 7-11 site, the new restaurant proposed for the former Ravinia Barbecue, the new Micro-Brewery, the long-vacant Vogue Cleaners and the adjacent Sushi Restaurant on Roger Williams.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 7, 2016

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:09 P.M. at Full Circle Architects

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Laura Saret, Jeff Stern, Lisa Temkin and Jeanne Vella. Also present were guests Phyllis Bagan, Carolyn Brusslan, Winifred Courtland, Jessica Hoyt, Lisa Keller, Melissa Rosenblum, Marnie Sperling, Gayle Taxi, Erica Weeder and several others who came to express their thoughts, mainly on the failed District 112 referendum.

In her President’s Report Carolyn Cerf said she had been approached by Amy Amdur of Amdur Productions to ask if we were interested in becoming involved with the Green Ribbon charity event that could provide participants with a percentage of receipts from an upcoming artwork sale.

Cerf said the city would soon be notifying Ravinia area residents about plans to build a sidewalk along the east side of Sheridan Road between Roger Williams Avenue and the roadway entrance to Rosewood Beach to improve pedestrian access to the beach. Jeff Stern said a gently declining pathway to the beach already existed from the Rosewood Park parking lot, making such a project redundant. It would also require removing many trees along Sheridan. Lisa Temkin said there would be public meetings before anything was approved.

Cerf said RNA was planning a “Ravinia Neighbors Night Out” event on June 17 involving a Bodeans concert at the Ravinia Festival. With some anticipated cost breaks, she was hoping to keep admissions as low as $22 per person.

Regarding earlier proposals to establish interest groups as a way of bringing area residents closer together socially, Laura Saret said RNA would send out a survey soon to find out what kind of groups people might be interested in joining. The plan was to start with one or two groups and expand from there.

Amy Lohmolder brought up the role of the Women’s Club in the development of Ravinia and its school, adding that she planned to talk about the club and other women’s issues at a History Symposium at the Lake County Museum on May 14.

In his Treasurer’s Report Michael Babian said RNA had $5,760 in its regular account and $5,237 in a CD, for a total of $10,997.

In the Newsletter report, Cerf said she, Jeanne Vella and Doug Purington had collected enough for ads to cover the costs of the upcoming edition, which they will print in color cut costs. Postage is expected to amount to $173.

Regarding Ravinia School and the rejection of the District 112 referendum on March 15, Cerf said no decision was made on a position RNA should take on the issue at a recent special meeting, which she felt required more community input. She thought one-on-one meetings with individual school board members might be constructive, and that RNA wanted to stress the importance of parents and the PTO in determining where to go from here. She said the community once had a strong relationship with Ravinia School and had actually helped raise the money to build it a century ago. She said RNA should help build bridges between the community, the school, parents and the PTO.

Lohmolder spoke of the earlier close relationship and said she had reached out to the new principal, noting that the original Village House was actually inside the school. She said local artists once exhibited their work at the school, which had been the center of the community. She believes the District 112 Board knows little about the history of this relationship, and that one of our tactics should be to continue having events in the school to demonstrate the importance of its connection to the community. RNA helped restore theatrical lighting recently in the gym, which she said was designed by local architect John Van Bergen.

Asked about the status of schools after the referendum’s defeat, Cerf said Ravinia, Lincoln, Green Bay and Elm Place schools are still slated for closure next year. She wants to keep RNA’s mission separate from that issue. At the recent District 112 meeting she attended, the board said the next step would be the creation of a citizens’ advisory group to come up with new proposals.

Lisa Temkin said anyone concerned about school issues should contact board members individually because the format at public meetings doesn’t allow for questions to be answered there or by email. Of immediate concern are certain fire safety features that will require $1.6 million to fix in schools that need them.

A lengthy discussion by up to two dozen guests and others followed on the most effective way to get the school board to listen to issues regarding Ravinia School. Cerf said one potentially effective way might be to get like-minded people to run for positions on the school board and improve the candidate selection process. She said RNA relies on volunteers to make things happen, that all schools are important, and that we should reach out to other communities to achieve what we are looking for since we can’t decide things unilaterally.

When a guest asked if there was historical value to Ravinia School, Temkin said the school board never mentions it and doesn’t have a plan for any of the buildings they propose to close, but added that they can’t just tear them down.

Guest Phyllis Bagan said she wants to host a meeting on April 14 at her home at 852 Judson to discuss ways to change the school district’s reconfiguration plans. She said such action was needed before the next board election in May of 2017.

Lydia Davis brought up issues involving the Ravinia Farmer’s Market. She said a public relations firm hired by the city wants to “jazz up” the market by changing it to Thursday nights, and bring in musicians to attract and entertain shoppers. She said the Wednesday market has been a 30-year tradition in Ravinia, and that vendors would pull out of the market rather than accept such a change. Cerf said documentation was needed to verify the city’s plans before RNA could act.

Dan Baigelman announced plans for a Historic Ravinia event on October 9 that would call upon participants to provide play houses, doll houses, or the like for judges to rate so they could be sold at a silent auction. Rules for the competition were being written and are to be made public by May 1. There is to be a tour of mid-20th Century Ravinia homes and speakers on subjects relating to the homes. A $25 entry fee was proposed, and donations from different companies and the Historic Preservation Commission were anticipated. RNA could provide funding for banners, while the city may cover the expense of a trolley to link the homes.

Owing to the late hour, the Membership/Publicity/Website Report was deferred until the next meeting. Cerf moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:27 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2016 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, February 4, 2016

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. in the Full Circle Architect’s office at 737 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Laura Saret, Davis Schneiderman, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were representatives of groups for and against School District 112’s reconfiguration plan and in favor of maintaining boater access to Park Avenue Beach, and about 35 area residents interested in those issues.

In her President’s Report, Carolyn Cerf talked about wanting to plan events that would bring Ravinia residents together before the end of winter, but said she would email members for their ideas in order to move ahead with the agenda so guests could be given the opportunity to express their views on the school issue.

In the absence of Treasurer Mike Babian, Cerf gave the Treasurer’s Report, stating that there was $5,234.78 in the RNA’s CD and $4,432.38 in the checking account for a total of $9,667.16. Doug Purington said another $125 had been received from membership renewals. Cerf added that RNA was still working on gaining 501 3c status from the IRS as a tax-exempt organization.

In his Business District Report, Dan Baigelman said members of the RBD were taking part in a Highland Park High School charity drive this evening, and were planning another event to promote the district in May. Another Harvest and Harmony event was being planned for September involving music and booths for food, area businesses, etc. in Jensen Park and/or at the Farmers Market site.

Purington said plans were still under way for a micro-brewery on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant by late summer or early fall, and that the same people had purchased the former Ravinia Barbecue property on the southeast corner with the intention of opening another restaurant.

Cerf said she had spoken with Park District President Scott Meyers regarding his publicly stated wish to rename Jens Jensen Park, owing to his perception that Jensen was a racist. She said that while RNA hadn’t taken an official position, our board was unanimously opposed to the idea. She believes the only way to influence the Park District on this issue is to write Park Board members.

Cerf introduced Michael Strosz, who identified himself as one of a group of about 50 who had organized to preserve access for boaters to Park Avenue Beach in response to the city’s plan to close it, ostensibly to safeguard the water treatment plant there that was recently upgraded. As a member of a task force established to look into the issue, he was told that security matters could not be discussed, only ways to adhere to the city’s plan to close access from Park Avenue. Strosz said the group checked on the practices of seven North Shore suburbs with similar facilities and found that none had limited access for boaters due to security concerns. He also said statistics showed that before work began on upgrading the water plant (2011-12), there had been 1,000 annual boat launches from Park Avenue, and that around 300 cars had driven through the beach area on a typical summer Sunday.

The city rejected the task force’s recommendation to retain Park Avenue access and said it should work with the Park District to find another way to reach the beach. The PD determined that two-way traffic on the previously used one-way exit leading to Egandale Road would not be adequate for cars with boat trailers, and that boats could therefore no longer be accommodated at the beach.

Paul Nellis, another member of the boat group, said over 1,000 citizens had signed on-line petitions calling for retaining Park Avenue access and for the boat launch to remain open. He pointed out that the lake helps draw home buyers to HP, and said more boats actually improve security. He said the city had never conducted a proper risk management study to support its concerns, and that no past mayor had ever expressed interest in closing the beach for that reason.

Nellis planned to be one of three to present boaters’ positions at a City Council meeting on Monday, February 8. Cerf said all those concerned should email their positions to the Park District’s Lil Bolek at

In his Membership/Publicity/Website report, Purington said he would begin his annual membership drive in about three months, and that he was still working with Karlson Rapp on updating the RNA website to make it more timely.

Having been asked to recommend organizing groups to encourage community identity. Laura Saret suggested establishing a book club, a men’s breakfast club, a knitting club, a bird club or a history club. A dog walkers club was another possibility. Others with ideas should contact Saret at

Cerf announced that RNA had brought together both sides of the District 112 Referendum issue for presentations aimed at clarifying the positions they held and at hearing what audience members felt with a view toward deciding whether RNA should take a public stand on the matter. Cerf then established time guidelines for speakers and for audience members to offer their opinions.

The position of the “Moving District 112 Forward” group favoring the $198 million District 112 referendum on March 15 was presented by Bennett Lasko, citing details spelled out at meetings sponsored by the district throughout the city. He grew up and later made his home in Ravinia, and raised his three children there.

The position of the “Citizens Against the 112 Referendum” (CARE) group was presented by Loren Schechter, who said many members of the group are educators and consider the district’s plan financially irresponsible. He also said the district failed to research and offer any really serious alternatives to its plan.

Adam Natenshon said he attended a number of meetings where the district presented its plan, and was inclined to support it at first, but found that there was no open microphone at any of the meetings where a person could get up and ask questions. Jeff Stern noted that at the Ravinia School meeting he attended, Amy Lohmolder was vehemently attacked by a member of the district’s “sales” team for simply asking for details about a certain aspect of their plan.

After the speakers ended their presentations, almost every one of the 35 or more guests in attendance chose to give their opinions about the District 112 plan. With hardly a single exception, they expressed their opposition, usually after citing a particular aspect of the plan that made them the most apprehensive.

It was the consensus of the Board that another meeting was needed soon to determine whether and in what manner RNA should take a stand on the issue.

With the approval of all other Board members in attendance, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:03 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

December 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. at Full Circle Architects

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Laura Saret, Jeff Stern, and Lisa Temkin. Also present were Newsletter Editor Jeanne Vella and neighborhood residents Peg Laemle, Adam Natenshon and Loren Schechter.

In her President’s Report, Carolyn Cerf talked about the potluck/Thanksgiving season event RNA sponsored at Ravinia School on Thursday, November 19. While turnout was limited, Amy Lohmolder said it was a relatively simple event to put together. Cerf suggested RNA should consider another such low-maintenance event in the future, and push for a better turnout by making a greater promotional effort.

Cerf brought up the Justice Project, and suggested that the RNA consider picking some aspect of it to work on as a group project to improve the community. In the absence of Treasurer Mike Babian, Cerf reported that there had been no progress thus far on RNA’s efforts to achieve 501C3 status, but that she expected a letter soon from IRS telling us we have become a tax-deductible organization. She said RNA’s bank balance was $5,232.66, while the checking account had $4,640.60. Doug Purington said another $530.00 would be added soon. Cerf said the annual audit, which she conducted October 19 with Babian, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier and Lisa Temkin, had found nothing out of order.

Regarding the Newsletter, Cerf said it was the first one printed in color and had enough articles, ads, a crossword puzzle and other items to fill 12 pages. The cost of $772, including postage, was kept in line with previous editions by cutting production from 350 to 400 down to 270 copies, which were mainly for mailing. Purington said he was able to print extra copies at home, which could be used for additional distribution. Those in attendance expressed mixed opinions on the value of color, and Purington said he would send an email asking all members for comments on that feature and other aspects of the newsletter. Cerf asked for ideas on content for the next edition. Readers were also to be asked for input.

In his Business District Report, Dan Baigelman said the district was already planning another Harvest and Harmony event for September, 2016, but little else. He said he planned to host an event to discuss other ideas. He said the SSA tends to jump on board of events RNA plans, and that they rarely meet. He suggested quarterly events because they would be easier to promote than the monthly ones that were attempted this year, which required too much effort to do effectively. He said whatever ideas are chosen will have a philanthropic bent.

Purington said he is regularly in touch with Ravinia businesses, which have all received the new RNA sticker for their windows. New RNA members include Just Wellness, at 467 Roger Williams, replacing Calm Message, and Jewel Nail Spa, at 727 St. Johns, where the One-Hour Cleaner was formerly located. He said Walgreens has restored its RNA membership, and that next year will see a micro-brewery serving food across from Walgreen’s on Roger Williams. The same owner has bought the former Ravinia Grill east of Walgreen’s. Vogue Cleaner has remained closed owing to the death of the owner and other issues. In his Membership report, Purington said there were two new members and three renewals, and that he is still working with Karlsson Rapp regarding the website, and that he has been able to post new material on it by himself.

Regarding developments in School District 112, Amy Lohmolder felt the Board was talking down to area residents, and that she was criticized at a community meeting at Ravinia School earlier in the day for suggesting that they were using marketing tools to push their proposals. Others expressed their own criticism of the process, which included the likelihood that the plan, as currently presented, would saddle the community with debt for years to come. Members from CARE and the League of Women Voters met with District Board Members, who seemed to be resistant to community feedback. Critics claimed that the District’s CFO is an officer of the same company that is expected to issue bonds for the project.

Adam Natenshon, who has attended District 112 meetings, said the plan is all spin, financially unsound, and would result in 95 percent of children in the district being bused to school. Cerf asked if members felt RNA should take a public position on the proposals. Lohmolder said that since the proposals clash with city planning by increasing the need for more student busing and fewer schools they could walk to, that perhaps City Council members should be made aware of the discrepancy. Natenshon said people are thirsting for facts, and that the hypothetical $4 million in savings District 112 claims their plan would achieve would be more than offset by the resulting $12 million in debt service.

After further discussion, Cerf suggested developing a strategy to oppose the plan. Reiterating RNA’s mission to provide information to the community about issues affecting membership and property values, and whether people will want to move in or out as a result, it was decided to invite people who have the facts to a meeting that would include RNA members and a reporter to cover what is said. It was noted that two former mayors had publicly criticized the district’s plans, and that there needs to be a meeting that school board members could not control. Cerf moved to hold a workshop after December 15 to review facts that are brought to us. Her motion was approved by voice vote.

Natenshon brought up the Fire Department’s plans to replace the Ravinia Fire Station and what might happen to the current structure if that went through. He said efforts should be made to preserve it, perhaps converting it for commercial use. Cerf and Stern, aware that funds were not yet available for a replacement, said a site in the park across Burton from the existing structure is under consideration. Lisa Temkin said the City wasn’t likely to approve preserving the old station. Cerf said we should monitor the situation and check with the HPFD in a few months.

Regarding Park District President Scott Meyers’ proposal to change the name of Jens Jensen Park owing to views the world-famous landscape architect supposedly held that Meyers considered racially insensitive, Cerf said she would contacted Meyers to suggest he drop his plan. She said Meyers doesn’t take into consideration Jensen’s life’s work or the era in which he lived, and that there is virtually no support from anyone else for his proposal, such as the prominent Jewish families who commissioned Jensen to landscape their properties.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed at 9:15 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

October 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, October 1, 2015

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:07 p.m. in the offices of Full Circle Architects at 737 St. Johns Avenue.  In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, host Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington Davis Schneiderman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Lisa Temkin and guests Justin Kee and Jeanne Vella.

In her President’s Report Carolyn Cerf called for establishment of a procedure for interviewing candidates for board membership at a special meeting to be held  Monday, October 19.  The two available positions are for RNA’s liaison to the Business District Advisory Board and for Board Member at Large.

Also discussed  was a possible Thanksgiving Season party on Thursday, November 19 at the Ravinia School.  Storytelling with the historical theme “Light the Fire” was among the features proposed for the event.  Amy Lohmolder said she would ask about the fee that might be charged by the school.  Cerf said RNA needed a logo to more clearly identify its position in the community, and that Elaine O’Mara might be helpful in that effort.

In his Treasury Report, Mike Babian said there was $5,232.20 in the RNA’s CD and $5,298.71 in the checking account.  Doug Purington announced that  another $495 had recently been received from various sources, which will be added to the amounts mentioned.  

 Cerf brought up revisions of the RNA By-laws which everyone had been asked to comment on.  She made reference to changes suggested by Kathryn VanderBerk, which appeared in blue on copies we had been given, and to her own changes, which were in red. Dan Baigelman moved to approve the changes, seconded by Purington and approved by voice vote by all those in attendance.

 Lisa Temkin suggested extending until the end of the month the annual audit required of the RNA’s financial records.  Davis Schneiderman seconded her motion, which was approved by voice vote.  Babian, Temkin, Jean Meier and Amy Lohmolder agreed to meet on October 15 for that purpose.

 In the Newsletter Report, newly appointed editor Jeanne Vella said copy sent in  thus far for the fall edition was enough to fill four half pages, and that she was aiming for another eight half pages, the rest being slated for ads which she is still waiting for.  She extended by a week the originally planned deadline of October 13. Lohmolder said she would provide an article on the Harvest & Harmony Fest scheduled for October 2 and 3, and Babian offered to do an update on continuing work at Rosewood Beach.  Publication was tentatively set for November.

 In his Business District Report, Baigelman brought up the Historic Ravinia event scheduled for Sunday, October 18, which will include an hour-long presentation on the history of the festival, starting at 11 a.m. in the Martin Theater, followed by a trolley tour of historic sites in the area and a talk about Ravinia by Lohmolder in the Resource Center.  Regarding the proposed apartment building development at 515 Roger Williams that was announced a year ago, Baigelman said he had talked to developer Al Klairmont about the project and was told it was being delayed by parking issues and the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s involvement over affordable housing considerations.                                  

 Also regarding the Business District, Purington said another cleaning shop was planning to open next to Intermezzo on St. Johns, and another nail parlor was aiming for space on Roger Williams.  He said the owner of the Vogue Cleaners at 565 Roger Williams had died, and that an attempt to upgrade the property by his successor had been interrupted owing to environmental remediation issues.  Also under way are plans for a micro-brewery and food store across from Walgreen’s.  

 In a School District 112 update, Davis Schneiderman said he attended a five-hour board meeting on September 15 where board members tried to justify their proposal for a single middle school campus on existing school property along Ridge Road.  Only one board member opposed the plan, which Schneiderman said a public relations firm was being paid $12,000 a month to promote.  He said the plan is inconsistent with what the city has set out to do to strengthen community awareness and that Ravinia School may not survive if it is approved. 

 Lohmolder said RNA should point out the inconsistencies with city policy contained in the school district’s plans.  She recommended emphasizing the sustainability ideals of Jens Jensen and the city’s vision for family-oriented, walkable neighborhoods.  Purington said it was important to make sure neighbors are aware of the issues so they could raise their own concerns and ask questions at public meetings.

 In his Membership/Publicity/Website Report Purington said 200 households had renewed, representing more than 300 individuals, and that 43 had not renewed.  He anticipated taking in just under $5,000 from members in 2015. Regarding the website, he said some cosmetic changes were being made and that content and management of the website were being improved.

Eve Tarm expressed her thanks for the gift she received for her years of service with the RNA .

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:16 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. at Full Circle Architects

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, host Dan Baigelman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were guests Andy Amend, Mary Seyfarth, Kathryn VandenBerk, Erica Weeder and Landmark reporter Todd Marver.

In her President’s Report, Carolyn Cerf said Eve Tarm has resigned from the RNA Board and Dan Baigelman has taken her place. She also suggested ways to honor Tarm and Ray DeLong for their service to RNA.

Cerf then opened for discussion an issue brought to RNA’s attention by a resident on Pleasant Avenue regarding loud music being played outside the Ravinia Coffee Station on St. Johns starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Mike Babian said he had already talked to the Coffee Station proprietors about it, that they had been told of the complaint by the city, and that they agreed to stop using amplification equipment. It was felt RNA had served as a conduit for the community without taking sides, and that the issue seems to have been resolved.

Cerf announced that the city was planning a Ravinia Fall Festival for October 2-4 to promote the business district. Events will center around Jens Jensen Park with music and live bands, vendors and restaurants participating. Ilyse Strongin-Bombicino, Founder/Partner, Ripple Public Relations, has been given authority to organize the event by the city but is asking RNA to provide six volunteers to help out while still requiring us to pay for any tent we might put up. It was felt RNA had worked hard to advance plans she has presented as her own.

Babian spoke about the resignation of Ray DeLong from the Board and as editor of the newsletter. Another meeting was proposed to discuss the search for a new editor.

In his Membership Report, Purington said 80 percent of households had renewed and that 49 still had not, while he expected a few more to trickle in. He also noted that RNA was still carrying 80 households which didn’t renew in 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014. If households that had not yet renewed were included, he said membership would stand at 500, with households at 317. Purington said the 2015 campaign for membership took in $2,840, but that this was less than what had been targeted. He said RNA is not getting the number of new members we would like to see, and that we need to find different ways to approach people. Cerf attributed lagging membership results to the absence of a block bash or other event that might have sparked greater interest among area residents. Regarding the website, Purington said his goal was to take control of content management and leave other aspects of it to Karlson Rapp. Cerf noted that most people react to our organization in ways other than through the website.

Tax attorney Kathryn VandenBerk was introduced as someone who could guide us through the process of acquiring 501c3 status as a non-profit organization, which would enable RNA to solicit and collect funds more easily by giving donors the opportunity to get a tax deduction for their contributions. She discussed the 6 to 8-week process, which included pulling together paper work involving our incorporation, for which we would be charged about $1,000. Babian said he had wanted to do this for quite some time, but did not have the legal expertise.

Cerf called for a vote to approve the expenditure of up to $2,500 to cover the $1,000 fee for VandenBerk’s work, plus an estimated $450 for the IRS and another $550 for the Illinois Attorney General’s office to complete the process. Her motion was approved by voice vote.

Andy Amend suggested that RNA should support community activists who want to create a more open community in Highland Park by making it more welcoming. Amy Lohmolder said it would not be wise for RNA to become more political, which is where she perceived such support might lead.

Regarding the business district Dan Baigelman said the most recent Third Thursday event was a rainout, but that he expected August 20 to work out better. He anticipated having a meeting soon to determine if Ravinia businesses could do something more effective to attract more interest from area residents. He said holding a special event every month required a lot of effort, that six weeks are needed to advertise adequately, and that a quarterly event made more sense.

Regarding the Ravinia Fall Festival, Baigelman said it would be centered in the Martin Theater to highlight the history of Ravinia and the park. Temkin, who sits on the Historic Preservation Commission, said there was a $5,000 budget for the event, which will include a trolley to transport participants between Jens Jensen Park, Ravinia Park, the former Rosenwald estate, Jensen’s studio and other sites, and that the Jensen movie will also be shown. Temkin said Nick Pullia, of the Ravinia Festival, is pitching the program, which will need sponsors, and that the city won’t pay for any kind of promotional material.

Erica Weeder talked about area dog owners who wanted to walk their dogs at Rosewood Beach, but couldn’t because of a Park District ruling. They seek support from the community to walk their dogs at least along the boardwalk after the swimming season ends. It was decided RNA should not get involved.

Responding to a question from Todd Marver, Cerf said Ravinia School is still included in both models for the reorganization of District 112 schools. Citing no further business to conduct, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:23 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
June 4, 2015

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:05 at Full Circle Architects

Board Members present: Amy Lohmolder, Ray DeLong, Michael Babian, and Dan Baigelman. Also present: Former Board Member Jean Meier and Ravinia Resident and HP Historical Society Board Member Elliot Miller

President’s Report Ms. Cerf gave a report of the ‘soft’ grand opening of Rosewood Beach, which she said was impressive and sure to be frequented by many Highland Park residents. City Councilwoman Michelle Holleman had extended an invitation to Cerf to attend the opening for officials and others who were involved in the process of renovating/redesigning the beach since 2010. Attendance by a RNA representative represents a growing goodwill between parties on either side of the issue and an effort to rebuild relationships between those who were in favor of the improvements and those who tried to amend the proposal and may have opposed parts of the Park District’s plan. Cerf also solicited event ideas for the summer, with the caveat that the Ravinia District/Ripple Public Relations is being relied upon to organize events in the business district from a business promotion perspective. So her view was that RNA events should be more fellowship/community oriented. Conversation ensued regarding the recently published spring/summer newsletter, because Ms. Lohmolder asked if Mr. De Long had received her articles sent prior to the deadline. De Long replied that the omission had been due to space limitations. Cerf stated that she thought we would have extended the length by some pages if there was more content to print, and that she too had submitted a Ravinia Festival cookbook recipe and a full story on the oldest/newest businesses, which were not published. Elliot Miller added that he too had submitted an article that did not appear in the newsletter, which was a second installment of his history of Ravinia School. Conversation about the newsletter was then postponed until later on the agenda.

Treasurer’s Report Mr. Babian reported that efforts to gain tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization were moving, but moving slowly due to the need to find an attorney who can help us complete the necessary paperwork and documentation. Babian informed the Board that the RNA’s checking account has $7.271.78 and our CD has $5,231.10, totaling $12,503.10. Of that, new monies accounted for $1,070, largely from Doug Purington’s membership campaigns. The matter of how to distribute the new RNA window decals was discussed. It was generally agreed we should give them to all the member businesses as soon as possible. Ms. Lohmolder suggested that for residential members, we should give them to members in good standing at events, or perhaps sell them for a few bucks under the logic that people will use them if they’ve paid a little something for them.

Schools Sub-Committee Report Mr. Schneiderman updated the group on the current options put forth by NSSD 112, none of which include closing either Ravinia or Braeside schools. The news was met with general relief and approval, but it was noted that the current proposals may potentially change between now and their final iterations. It was also noted that a Centennial park area resident named Adam Kornblatt has proposed a third option to raise property taxes in order to rehab and keep open all the existing buildings in the district. Ms. Lohmolder provided an insight that while the cities are moving toward increased residential density and walkability, the schools appear to be moving toward consolidation and student transport. She noted that the two local governmental bodies seem to be headed in two different directions and should consider getting on the same page regarding their long-term visions and future planning efforts. Mr. Babian and Ms. Lohmolder asked who might serve as an advocate for the neighborhood schools argument should the issue of closing schools come up again in Ravinia. The group thought that whoever it is, tone is important, and that the RNA has a responsibility to provoke thought and make the effort to show up when possible at key meetings. It was expressed that the RNA is generally pleased that the current proposals do not include the closure of Ravinia or Braeside schools, not because this is good for Ravinia alone, but rather because it is good for the whole community to have neighborhood schools.

Business District Update Mr. Baigelman reported that Ripple Public Relations, the firm hired by the City of Highland Park to promote the Ravinia District using SSA funding, would likely be supporting the Third Thursdays events through the end of the year, but that it would be important to keep track of spending by the businesses involved in the project and make note of what works, so that they can ask for funding next year. Currently, the project is paid for and promoted primarily by the businesses that organize the events, including Full Circle Architects and Design Quartet @ Ravinia. Ms. Lohmolder, who also works at the library, reported that the HP Public Library is very excited about things in Ravinia and is participating not only in the Third Thursdays, but also in the Farmers Market. Mr. Baigelman gave a brief history of the TIF (tax increment financing) district in Ravinia and the SSA (special service area) funding also established for Ravinia. Included in that history was an overview of the 2010 market study and playbook, which recommended millions of dollars in streetscape improvements. However, the TIF balance is lower than projected and the city reports that sewer mains and other infrastructure maintenance will have to precede any permanent streetscape improvements. For now, the city has said that Phase 1 of streetscape improvements that are not impacted by underground capital projects – including direction and pylon signs as well as some pavement beautification - should begin implementation this fall. Mr. Baigelman gave a report for himself and the absent Lisa Temkin about the planned Historic Ravinia tour and car show scheduled for October. The City has informed them that SSA funds will not be used to support the project because a part of the event that takes place in Ravinia Festival and residential streets falls outside of the SSA area map. Organizers approached the Historical Society to see if they were interested in working with them on the Historic Ravinia project, but the Historical Society was not interested in supporting the project. The event organizers are therefore seeking assistance from other groups including the RNA. Ms. Lohmolder made a motion to provide up to $500 to sponsor the event with recognition of the RNA on the event trolley, signage and/or possibly pamphlets or other printed materials. The motion was approved unanimously. Ms. Cerf suggested that perhaps local real estate agents would be interested in sponsoring the event as well.

Newsletter Editor’s Update A discussion ensued about the recently adopted newsletter content review process approved at the interim meeting on April 29th. The interim meeting was held by a quorum of the Board to discuss the resignation and replacement of former Board Member Eve Tarm and to discuss issues some members had with the recently published spring/summer newsletter. A review process was agreed upon and that requires the newsletter editor, when he has produced a draft that he considers final, to submit it to the scrutiny of a sub-committee of three (3) Board Members in order to review it in order to prevent proofreading mistakes, missing advertisements, content and photos that may have been submitted but not included, and other areas of concern. Mr. De Long was unhappy that the Board had adopted a review process for the newsletter. He was of the opinion that there was no need for the newsletter to be reviewed by others before publication. Despite objection from some Board Members, Mr. De Long expressed his desire to resign from his role as Newsletter Editor and departed the meeting.

Mr. Baigelman made a motion to adjourn. All were in favor. The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:05pm.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 2, 2015

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:01 p.m. in the Full Circle Architect's office at 737 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, Ray DeLong, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were host Dan Baigelman and neighborhood resident Josh Nanus.

In her President's Report, Carolyn Cerf commented that Lisa Temkin and Amy Lohmolder had expressed concern over the high number of emails sent among Board members between meetings, and suggested it was up to each individual to decide whether to "Reply All" to emails sent to the group. For votes taken via email, however, "Reply All" would still be needed.

Cerf asked for approval to order decals for display in windows of homes and/or businesses signifying membership in RNA and urging viewers to join. She said the estimated $358.60 cost of the decals would be about the same as that of postage associated with mailings for a Block Bash or similar special event. Copies of the decal design were distributed, and, with Doug Purington seconding her motion, the purchase was approved. After further discussion, it was decided that the static-cling-style decals would be offered to RNA members who requested them after being advised of their availability in email messages sent by Purington during his campaign for membership renewals.

For what she considered an appropriate demonstration of RNA's commitment to the city's historic preservation efforts, Cerf recommended the donation of $150 for an inscribed brick to be installed on the walkway to the Stupey Cabin to help fund the Historical Society's restoration of the community's oldest structure. Her move to pay for an RNA-inscribed brick, seconded by Lisa Temkin, was approved.

Cerf then discussed the annual election for board officers, and handed out an instruction sheet outlining dates and procedures to be followed in the process. She said Purington will begin conducting the elections process later this month.

In his Membership/Publicity/Website Report, Purington said $781 had been received for five new ads in the upcoming Newsletter, and that seven other ads were also scheduled to be included. He said there had been no change in membership since the February meeting, when $4,483 had been taken in. He also spoke about his intention to update the slide show on the RNA Website.

Regarding the RNA Newsletter, Ray DeLong said the Spring Edition would be ready for the printer in a few days. After some discussion it was decided that 500 copies would be needed for mailings and for distribution at various events and at the Metra Station kiosk. DeLong called for help in updating the mailing process, and Josh Nanus offered to put the mailing list on an Excel spread sheet. When the issue of color was discussed, it was determined the cost would be a third to a half greater than traditional printing, and approval was given to proceed as usual.

In his Treasurer's Report Mike Babian said RNA had $5,231.09 in its CD and $6,573.79 in its checking account. Babian also said he was working on obtaining 501 c3 status for RNA, and that he had already secured from the state RNA's recertification as a non-profit organization.

In the absence of Amy Lohmolder, Lisa Temkin reported on issues regarding District 112's plans to consolidate elementary schools. Temkin said the Historic Preservation Commission, of which she is a member, was prepared to provide the School Board with data regarding the historical significance of schools the district was considering closing, but that it was unlikely to be asked until after new members are brought on to the board following the April 7 municipal elections. She said all grade schools in the district were in areas zoned for school or residential use. She also said the district hadn't yet appraised any of the schools to determine their value.

Cerf said that while she would not want RNA associated with more extreme groups that have been criticizing the District's proposals, she was considering writing a letter to the 112 Board outlining RNA's concerns about how closing Ravinia School might affect the community and its appeal to prospective home-buying families. It was determined that RNA needed to get more input from its members before making a decision on how to address the issue.

In the absence of Eve Tarm, Dan Baigelman presented a Business District Report. He said April 16 would be the first of 8 to 10 Thursdays on which several businesses had agreed to stay open from 5 until 8 p.m. to attract more attention from area residents. He also suggested that Ilyse Bombicino, who was supposed to be working with Carolyn Hersch to help the Ravinia Business District Alliance promote the district, had not been actively engaged in that effort.

Baigelman said he had met with the Historical Society to plan an historical event, which might include a house walk through Ravinia, a tour of the Ravinia Festival grounds and possibly an antique auto show similar to what the Society had presented. He said that RNA should consider sponsoring the auto show portion of the event. Temkin said a Model A Club in Northbrook might participate for free. She also estimated it would cost between $650 and $800 for a trolley-style bus to drop off and pick up visitors at locations that might be included within the Ravinia area from 1 to 4 p.m. on a weekend afternoon, and that she was willing to look for sponsors.

After some further discussion about the event, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2015 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday February 5, 2015

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:10 p.m. in the Full Circle Architect's office at 737 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, and Eve Tarm. Guests included Christine and son Nate Kelley, David Greenberg and host Dan Baigelman.

Cerf made a motion, seconded by Purington and approved by voice vote, to spend $15 a month to maintain a Constant Contact account at the Highland Park Bank.

In his Treasurer's Report, Babian said RNA has $5,230.90 in a CD and $6,688.82 in checking, and had received $124.73 in Paypal accounts for a total of $12,044.45.

Babian said RNA needs an attorney who specializes in helping non-profits qualify for 501 C3 status, since we are not yet recognized as such by the state. Cerf said a committee was needed to research the documentation that would be required, and that having tax-deductible status would help us raise a lot more money than we do now. Babian offered to serve on the committee.

Guest Christine Kelley said she and her husband had lived in Highland Park since 1991. She noted signage at Shelton's indicating it was for sale, and thought about making it into a breakfast place. She realized it would have to be gutted since nothing was up to code. Tarm suggested getting in touch with Carolyn Hersch, the city's Director of Economic Development, and offered to help in any way she could.

Purington said surveys have indicated a breakfast and lunch place was a high priority in the community. Babian offered advice on how to proceed, and said this would be a great time to come in, especially with the Klairmont property now being planned.

Cerf called for continuing to discuss business opportunities in the area. Baigelman said he had just met with a PR person who was helping with marketing the district, and that April 16 was to be the first of many Thursdays on which events would be held to draw people to businesses in the area. He also said he and another person aimed to create an historic tourism event, such as a tour of the Ravinia Festival grounds or a house walk, which might become an annual event on a Sunday in October, and were trying to get the Festival's approval. Cerf noted a precedent in the Ravinia Village House and Jens Jensen film events RNA has sponsored. She said the first weekend in October has already been scheduled for introducing the new Ravinia Streetscape to the community. Baigelman said Carolyn Hersch told him TIF money was not coming in as quickly as had been expected, and that he was working with other businesses to proceed without depending on that source to finance promotional activities.

The vacant ground floor of the building on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant was expected to be occupied soon by a micro-brewery, and a florist shop was scheduled to move in nearby from its previous location in downtown Highland Park.

The possibility of advertising on buses used to transport people to the Ravinia Festival was brought up, with the hope that it could be done for a discounted rate. It was pointed out that any such discount would have to apply to all Ravinia businesses.

The issue of gateway signage on Sheridan Road was mentioned in connection with the Streetscape. Purington said the first signage would be put up on Green Bay Road and Roger Williams, rather than on Sheridan Road. Tarm noted that there had been a big turnover of personnel in city departments relating to business development, and Cerf worried about the loss of momentum in getting things done.

Regarding the postponed School District 112 Referendum, which included closing Ravinia School, among others, Lohmolder said it seemed to have more to do with the properties than with the way it would affect the children and neighborhoods involved. Cerf said that at a January meeting on that issue, those who spoke against the consolidation plan were more vocal in winning others over than those in favor, who didn't seem to have many answers to the questions that were asked.

Baigelman said it was his impression that most people bought homes in the Ravinia area so their children could walk to school. His point was supported by someone who said that if keeping Ravinia School open was just a case of funding to maintain the aging structure, he thought plenty of people in the area could provide the needed funds, but was told that wouldn't fly with the Board because of equality issues.

Tarm said demography was a big part of the issue, while David Greenberg said it is also influenced by architects who like to build campuses rather than repurpose existing buildings. He said a west side campus for all middle schoolers wouldn't work because of having to cross Route 41, and that planners didn't consult the community. Cerf said RNA should consider preparing a list of questions from our membership about the issue that haven't been answered yet, and to submit the list to the District for a response.

In his Membership Report, Purington said 36 new members had joined since January 13, and that he had turned over $845 to Treasurer Babian from new members and renewals, but mainly from proceeds (about $700) from the party at Shelton's. He said he will now manage the website while Karlson Rapp will continue the technical part.

Regarding the Newsletter, Ray DeLong asked if an ad person had been found yet. Purington said he was working on it, and that he and Cerf will sell ads for the next issue, predicting that he will sell so many the Newsletter could have 12 pages. He said he had not yet caught up with Jeffrey James, the proprietor of a new shop on Roger Williams. DeLong set the deadline for articles for the next issue for sometime early in March.

Tarm, said she considered writing about upcoming events, but couldn't take on any more assignments. Baigelman said he would do a timeline item on events planned for the business district. Lohmolder said she was interviewing Terry London regarding the film event and other issues involving the Jens Jensen project. Cerf said she would do a historic piece on the business district then and now.

Purington proposed making Dan Baigelman a board member, effective immediately, since Jean Meier indicated she could no longer serve. Babian seconded the motion, which was approved by voice vote.

There being no further business, Cerf adjourned the meeting just after 9 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

December 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:04 in the offices of Full Circle Architects at 737 St. Johns Avenue. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Mike Babian, Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were host Dan Baigelman and guests David Greenberg and Al Klairmont.

In her President's Report, Carolyn Cerf talked about the positive response to RNA's invitation to a holiday party December 11 at Shelton's at 481 Roger Williams Avenue, noting there had been 234 "likes" on Facebook. Later she said 51 people had signed up on line for the party, talked about the progress that had been made in preparing for it, and called for further donations of food and other help to make it a success.

Cerf also reported on the December 1 City Hall meeting where a plan was aired to pave the Highland Park portion of the Green Bay Trail, which proponents say would reduce maintenance costs. She said a majority of emails from area residents opposed the plan, which would be financed 70 per cent by the state and 30 per cent by the city.

Cerf said she and Doug Purington met with the publisher of what could be a new magazine focusing on activities in Ravinia and Fort Sheridan that would be aimed at 2,200 families in the Ravinia area. The idea is still in its formative stage.

Treasurer Mike Babian said RNA currently had $5,939.85 in its checking account, $5,230.61 in a CD, and $101.05 in a Paypal account. He was looking into a new CD offered by State Farm Bank that would provide 2.25% in interest compared to the miniscule amount offered by the existing CD. He also talked about the complications involved in providing RNA with 501 (C) 3 charity status.

In his Ravinia Metra Train Station report Jeff Stern said the city recently completed restoring the interior of the station with a new wood floor, replacing the old one that had buckled. The inside walls, doors and window frames were repainted, and a cracked mirror in one of the washrooms was replaced. According to the Department of Public Works, Metra is scheduled to replace the roof and paint the exterior next spring.

Regarding membership, Purington reported receiving $420, which included dues for nine new members and five renewals. Since the last meeting individual membership has risen from 460 to 470, while households increased from 284 to 292. Purington said he is working with Karlson Rapp to improve the functioning of the Website. Doug will take over management of the site to post notices of upcoming meetings and maintain the business directory while Karlson will handle technical aspects of the site.

Al Klairmont, of Imperial Realty, was asked to discuss his plans to develop the property at 515-555 Roger Williams Avenue on the site of the old 7-11 store. He talked about the need to turn the entire Ravinia Business District around to make it more vibrant, and considered his plan, now approved by the City Council and other agencies, a step in the right direction, while lamenting the lengthy and complicated process it took to get there.

Klairmont said architects Fitzgerald & Associates are expected to complete their plans for his building in January, and present them to the City Council. As currently designed, the building will have retail space at street level with from one to six shops. Above it will be three floors of rental apartments consisting of 18 two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom units. Of the 30 units, five will be what the city deems to be "affordable" housing for lower-income residents. Plans for 53 parking places include 14 under the building at street level and the rest on city property to the north. Klairmont expected ground to be broken next spring and for construction to be completed in a year.

Ray DeLong asked to revise the Minutes from the October 16 meeting, saying he expected to need fewer than the 450 copies of the Newsletter ordered for the last edition. He set the last week in March as the deadline for the next edition, and asked for more commitments for articles. He also said there was still no ad salesperson. Purington offered to assist until a salesperson could be found.

Under Other Business Purington said the Happi Sushi Restaurant at 561Roger Williams was closing temporarily due to family considerations, but that friends of the family that owns it were expected to take it over and reopen it soon.

Cerf set goals for what still needed to be done to prepare for the RNA's Holiday Night Out party at Shelton's, including further cleanup on December 9, decorating the premises December 10, and getting someone to sign in guests that night. Jean Meier and Amy Lohmolder then volunteered for that role. Cerf said Jeff Cohen would open his nearby photo studio if extra space was needed to handle any overflow of guests.

Dan Baigelman presented a list of proposals by the Ravinia Business District for events to attract attention to the district in 2015. The list included a Thursday "Ladies' Night Out," a "Design and Dine" highlighting the area's home improvement businesses, and possible historical tours relating to the Ravinia Festival and historic homes that could involve tram rides to facilitate travel between the RBD and the Festival.

There being no further business, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

October 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, October 16, 2014

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:08 p.m. in the offices of At Full Circle Architects at 737 St. Johns Avenue. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern and Lisa Temkin. Also present were State Farm representative Mike Babian and host Dan Baigelman.

After discussing corrections to the Minutes of the last meeting, Carolyn Cerf talked about the need for elections for RNA board members, as specified in the RNA by-laws. Doug Purington felt anyone wanting to run should attend meetings before considering to apply. Cerf said that as long as the by-laws were followed, anyone could run, while recognizing that to win any office a candidate would need the support of other members, which it's unlikely they would get if they weren't familiar with how we operate.

Purington said he would put into writing the qualifications for positions on the board. He said he had sent 256 emails out to past and present members inviting them to come to our meetings, but that he has yet to see even one attend. Cerf asked those present to recommend possible candidates for board membership, and that even if they did not wish to be on the board they might want to join a committee involved with their interests.

Cerf reminded everyone of the Open House for the community planned for Saturday, October 25 at Jeff Cohen's Photo Studio at 485 Roger Williams Avenue. A party scheduled for Friday, October 24 at the same location is to be by invitation only. Cerf said events of this kind are good ways to draw attention to the Ravinia Business District. While looking forward to the building of "gateway" structures planned by the city for the major roadways crossing Roger Williams Avenue, she suggested another possible way to advertise the area might be to build bus shelters on Green Bay at Roger Williams. Jeff Stern said modern shelters don't carry advertising on the side facing oncoming traffic because that is where waiting riders stand to watch their buses approach.

Cerf scheduled the next Board Meeting for Wednesday, December 3, and suggested Thursday, December 11, as the date for a Ravinia Neighbors Holiday Party. Regarding the venue for a party, it was noted that Shelton's had put up a sign that their building was for sale. Mike Babian said he was on good terms with the family and would ask their permission to hold our event there. Lisa Temkin determined that the building was designed by Robert Seyfarth, making it all the more appealing as a prospective venue. In his Treasurer's Report, Mike Babian said there was $5,577.85 in the bank account and a CD valued at $5,230.44, as of September 21, for a total of $10,808.29. He said he wanted to research interest rates in order to earn something greater than the current 0.55 percent we have been receiving.

In his Newsletter Report, Ray DeLong said the most recent newsletter had cost $707 to print, noting that it had contained 12 pages. There were 280 folded copies for mailing and 170 flat issues for handing out, for a total of 450. He expected to order the same number of copies for the next issue, which was scheduled for March or April, and said he was still looking for an advertising person to solicit ads. Purington said he would put out ad forms for merchants. Among the subjects suggested for the next newsletter were updates on the Rosewood Beach project, the Park Avenue Beach boat issue, and anything involving new developments in the Business District.

Purington said that despite the approval of all the appropriate city agencies, it was likely to take until April for all the permits needed to proceed with the Klairmont development at 515-555 Roger Williams to be issued, so demolition of existing buildings on the site should not be expected before then. He also said the Baker Boys were interested in a substantial portion of the commercial space planned for the new building, where they may put in a breakfast place as well as a bake shop.

In the absence of Eva Tarm, Purington presented a Business District Report, noting that the Jeffrey James Studio and Salon had opened at 487 Roger Williams and that Piero's was moving ahead with its new building on Roger Williams, just east of Broadview, which was expected to open before the end of the year.

Regarding membership, Purington said 1,007 individual mailings had been sent out to non-members at a cost of $705, and that $1,710 had been received as a result. Total receipts from this year's membership and renewal campaign amounted to $4,065. New memberships included 77 members representing 51 households. Another 73 households renewed.

Under Other Business, Cerf reported that a memorial ceremony is planned for Joan Miller at Don Miller's home, 281 Woodland, on Tuesday, November 25. Lisa Temkin reminded everyone of Seyfarth Month and the House Walk scheduled for Sunday, October 26 that will include seven of the four dozen homes he designed in Highland Park. She then went into some detail regarding the Seyfarth legacy in the city.

Cerf called for the meeting to be adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. at FULL CIRCLE Architects, 737 St. Johns Avenue

In Attendance: C. Cerf, R. DeLong, A. Lohmolder, E. Tarm, D. Purington, R. Wolff, Mike Babian, Davis Schneiderman (*FT), Julie________(*FT), Kris_______(*FT) , Dan Baigelman (host & owner of Full Circle Architects) (*FT = first time attendee)

Board Members Absent: Lisa Temkin, Jean Meier

(R. Delong serving as secretary for first part of meeting in J. Stern’s absence, A. Lohmolder to serve for second half.)

President’s Report – C. Cerf stated we needed to review bylaws to make sure we held elections at appropriate time.

Treasurer’s Report - See separate budget numbers presented by Aaron Wolff.

Resignation & Election of New Treasurer Formal resignation of Ronnie Wolff and presentation of plaque to acknowledge his service.

Carolyn Cerf motioned that Michael Babian be appointed new treasurer, Doug Purington seconded, and the motion was unanimously passed.

Event recap – Carolyn Cerf reported that 8/7/14 Jens Jensen film in Jens Jensen park drew 150 people/ $715 in donation that offset approx. $900+ expense as movie screens etc are not customarily donated.

Newsletter update

Status of the proposed development of 515-555 Roger Williams was discussed. Doug reported from city meeting. Individuals who attended spoke for and against the plan. The split vote of 3-3 by the Design Review is considered a negative (not passing) going to City Council. The developer, Al Klairmont, may opt to resubmit to D&R or go straight to city council.

As prompted by a question by an attending new member, the process of the RNA was reviewed as it responded to a city request to give its position on the proposed development. It was clarified that the Board had voted to support with caveats set forth in a detailed letter prepared by C. Cerf with input from board members shared via emails. The letter was explicit in presenting positions as those of individual board members and not the membership at large, as the time frame for a response fell before the next scheduled meeting. The membership was informed of the development and position submitted by the board. Members who cared to respond shared views via email and at the next scheduled meeting. One member who strongly disagreed was given an opportunity to present a dissenting view on the front page of the next issue of My Ravinia. Upcoming city meetings and opportunities for members to share their own views with the city were publicized by the RNA.,/p>

The member asking for clarification (D. Schneiderman) urged that the RNA would be consistent in the process of how members were represented in official RNA positions citing the Rosewood Beach issue where members had been heard from prior to the announcement of an official RNA position. Discussion included general agreement that city processes moved slowing enough, and needed to move slowly enough to allow our own sound processing and that the RNA could better negotiate time required to submit official positions to the city.

A. Lohmolder made a Motion: that official RNA positions on developments in Ravinia would not be given prior to discussion at a regular meeting of the membership and without prior notice to the membership that the discussion was to take place. R. Wolff seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Attendee, Julie _______ related her dissatisfaction that the building was proposed to be 4 stories high, which she feels does not fit with the smaller scale of the neighborhood.

C. Cerf read a statement prepared by J. Meier in her anticipated absence. The letter reflected Jean’s personal misgivings regarding the 515-555 development and suggested that the RNA rescind its declared position. Attending board members felt her misgivings had been put forth in the detailed letter submitted and that it was not appropriated to rescind the position given by the RNA board. It was agreed that going forward the RNA would continue to inform the membership of developments and their opportunities to express individual opinions to city bodies as the process moves forward.

Business District Liaison’s report was given by Eve Tarm. She explained that the actual gateway signage installation had been delayed until the spring of 2015, at least partly, due to city staff turnover. Considering this, Ravinia Business District Advisory Committee (RBDA) decided at its latest meeting that the first big marketing event for the general public by the Ripple marketing team hired by the city for the Ravinia SSA coincide with the launch of the new signage installation next spring to convey a strong marketing message. Disappointment was expressed by some that real action would not be seen sooner and that there also would not be a public event in the Ravinia business district this fall. Tarm further noted that the aim of the Ripple consultants marketing efforts would be to bring new business to the Ravinia business district from other parts of Highland Park and all other surrounding suburbs where awareness of its existence is very small. The goal also is to have Ripple help Ravinia business district merchants build good marketing strategies as a group and individually under the Ravinia District umbrella. Additionally, deciding upon the immediate course of action for Ripple, the RBDA considered that the 3-year SSA would yield only approx. 270,000 dollars total for all these merchant marketing efforts , so we have to carefully think through the sequence , timing and how we would get most impact. Asked if this money all goes directly to Ripple, Eve also clarified that the $90K a year put into the SSA funds each year for 3 years was not the “budget” for Ripple, but that Ripple needed to submit costs for proposed work/ actions which would then have to be approved. According to Eve, the RBDA felt that by moving the first large event in the district to spring 2015, Ripple would have enough time to prepare a well-marketed good-quality public ‘Big Launch’ event. In addition, Ripple would immediately get to work with preparing social media tools for the Ravinia District; establish close relations with merchants and work with them on helping build their marketing tools for promoting themselves and as a merchant group to enhance the whole business district; help to create further co-operation with Ravinia Festival through social media, web sites and otherwise. Ripple would also create a web site for the district.

Membership report was given by D. Purington who stated his spring membership drive had kicked off May 5th with a special mailing and concerted efforts to contact and regain past members. His spectacular results are reported as follows:

  • Individual mailings to non-members = 1,007
  • Number of streets represented = 46 in and around Ravinia
  • Cost of mailings = $705.00
  • Monies received from mailings = $1, 480.00
  • Total monies received during campaign = $3,680
  • Number of new members (households) = 44
  • Number of new members (individuals) = 70+
  • Number of renewals = 69 households
  • Number of 2014 members who haven’t renewed = 32 (Doug reports he’s still working on these)
  • Number of households still on database = 279
  • Number of individuals still on the database= 450
  • Number of email addresses (members = 228 (82%)
  • Number of email addresses (city officials) = 28
  • Total email addresses 256

Other Issues

D. Schneiderman related his experience as a residence on Broad Street where work is being done on sewers/ streets. He was concerned that city had contacted him stating that dye tests indicated that his downspouts were improperly tied to sewer. Upon hiring his own plumber on advice of neighbors, he discovered that 3 of his downspouts were perfectly good. Others were aware or suspected similar discrepancies and felt that it was advisable to be involved and questioning on these matters. C. Cerf related that the Director of Public Works, Ramesh Kanapareddy is a good person to contact with concerns as he is knowledgeable and respectful in his dealings with residents.

Meeting ended about 9:00 pm with many members staying to enjoy ice cream cake in celebration of the service given by our departing treasurer, Ronny.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
June 5, 2014

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:03 P.M. at the Design Quartet showroom at 595 Roger Williams Avenue

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:03 p.m. in the Design Quartet showroom at 595 Roger Williams. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Harold Rafson, Jeff Stern, Lisa Temkin and Aaron Wolf. Also present were associate members Michael Babian and Josh Nanus, Ravinia-based architect Dan Baigelman and Go Green Highland Park representative Andrea Amend.,/p>

Treasurer Aaron Wolf, having previously announced his intention to give up that position, said he would stay on until August and would be willing to train whoever was chosen to replace him. He said there was $4,824 in the RNA’s checking account and $5,230 in a CD for a total of $10,054 in assets. Michael Babian agreed to take on the job of Treasurer, and was given conditional approval. Amy Lohmolder presented a bill from the city for police assistance at the September 2012 Ravinia Block Bash in the amount of $345, which Wolf later paid.

In his Membership report, Doug Purington said he started a month ago to solicit potential new members and membership renewals by email and personal letters. The results to date have been 11 new members and 34 renewals, making a total of 397 members and 248 households after sending out 505 mailings. He said 26 per cent of the responses came through Paypal, and turned in a check for just under $1,500.

Responding to a question from Cerf, Purington said RNA-sponsored events don’t ordinarily generate much new membership, observing that only four renewals were received at the Ravinia Night Out May 22 at Jeff Cohen’s Photo Studio on Roger Williams, though as many as 70 people showed up for the event. Purington said he planned to send another renewal notice out in about a month.

Cerf said the city was about two months behind on retaining a PR firm to promote the Ravinia Business District, and that it won’t be until June 19 that Elyse Bombacino, the person who was hired, will be able present her plan to the City Council. She only recently began talking to businesses to get their ideas. Harold Rafson suggested that RNA point out to Bombacino that in a recent Highland Park magazine article about Ravinia seven of the advertisers were from outside the RBD, so that it would appear we get support from throughout the community.

Cerf said no major events were likely to be planned by the city for the Ravinia area this year, and that we should consider doing something on our own to raise funds and the profile of RNA. She had a number of ideas, such as sponsoring an organic workshop; organizing a “night out” at Ravinia Park; having progressive dinner/garden parties, or co-sponsoring an event with the Farmers’ Market. It was agreed that anything to do with the Market would need the approval of Lydia Davis, who has said in the past that she doesn’t like working with non-profits. Mike Babian agreed to be the liaison with Davis inasmuch as his grandfather was instrumental in bringing the Farmers’ Market to Ravinia several years ago.

In response to Cerf’s request for comments on which plan to support, the only one to be ruled out was the progressive dinner. Lisa Temkin noted that Chicago-born filmmaker Carey Lundin had just come out with a 90-minute documentary on Jens Jensen, and that RNA might try to arrange a showing for area residents, which could be done in Dan Baigelman’s offices on St. Johns Avenue. This idea appeared to have widespread approval from members in attendance.

Regarding the proposed Al Klairmont development at the former 7-11 site on Roger Williams Avenue, Purington showed new drawings that reflected changes since the first rendering. He attended a recent meeting of the Design Review Commission, where he learned of plans to provide 12 enclosed parking spaces opening onto the alley behind the building. Combined with outdoor parking already designated for residents, this would make available a total to 53 spaces. He said DRC members gave unanimous (6-0) approval to the parking plan, landscaping and lighting, but were split on the bulk size of the building (3-3).

Purington said the current plan calls for the upper three floors of the building to accommodate 24 two-bedroom and six one-bedroom rental units, of which five were to be designated affordable housing, plus 6,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, which could be divided into six or fewer shops. He said RNA sent a letter to the city in support of the plan with certain conditions, that RNA would keep tabs on how it develops, and that the Planning Commission would hold a hearing on it June 17. It was his impression that the Mayor and City Council were in favor of the project.

In the discussion that followed, Rafson said he was concerned about the bulk of the building, while others recommended adding detail to the structure and possibly providing a setback for the top floor so it would blend in better with the community. Purington said Klairmont indicated he would not move ahead with the project if he had to change the bulk of the building, while Temkin was skeptical of Klairmont’s ability to provide services in buildings he already owns. It was generally felt there was not enough information yet about the project.

Guest Andrea Amend of Go Green Highland Park works in Ravinia and said her organization was part of a consortium trying to address sustainability and environmental issues in the northern suburbs, and that they would like to work with us on recycling, the community.

In his Newsletter report, Ray DeLong said that after the April 3 meeting he contacted people who write for the newsletter, asking them to think about the proposed extra issue and provide him with topics they might write about. Since then he received one article and the promise of one other. This limited response led him to think it was unrealistic to consider producing three newsletters a year, especially in view of the difficulty of securing ads in the absence of an ad taker. He recommended expanding the next issue to 12 pages to include two or three more articles than usual, and asked everyone to suggest topics to write about.

While members reluctantly accepted DeLong’s proposal, Purington promised an article on new businesses for the next issue, which would have a deadline of August 1, with publication planned for late August or early September. It was agreed that a new ad person was needed who would be proficient with a computer and would respond in a timely way to emails from merchants. Cerf said the job would only require about eight hours of work over eight weeks. She also said she had ideas for more articles which she would send to DeLong.

Cerf said RNA would have a table at the Stupey Cabin Picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 7, where Amy Lohmolder would have information and materials needed to plant organic gardens. Other members were welcome to join her.

Under Other Business, Temkin said a demolition permit had been submitted for a home at 450 Woodland. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 3, 2014

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:15 p.m. in the home of Ken and Lisa Temkin at 660 DeTamble Avenue. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Annette Jacobson, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Lisa Temkin. Also present were Ravinia resident Josh Nanus and State Farm representative Mike Babian.

In her President’s report, Cerf said she had met with two shoreline home owners recently who were concerned about how the Rosewood Beach redevelopment project would affect their properties. Based on the report of a consultant they hired, they believed the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan would lead to erosion of their property, and were considering going to court to make sure ACE and the Park District would take care of future maintenance issues resulting from the project. While RNA has always wanted the Park District to follow through on what they promise, it was decided not to take a stand on this private issue for now.

In the absence of Aaron Wolff, Carolyn Cerf gave the Treasurer’s Report, which indicated RNA had a bank balance of $4,824 and a CD valued at $5,230, for total assets of $10,054. She also said Wolff has offered his resignation as Treasurer, and that she and Annette Jacobson would follow up with him for confirmation of this as soon as possible. Mike Babian offered to take on some Treasurer duties if Wolff should indeed step down.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said he had collected $535 for ads for the Newsletter, and another $40 for one new membership, more than offsetting the $468.50 spent for the Newsletter. He planned to begin his drive for renewals and new members the week of May 5. He said membership currently totaled 289 households, but that 89 had not yet renewed.

Cerf said a breakfast was scheduled at City Hall on Saturday, April 12, for new city residents, and that she and Eve Tarm will represent RNA at the event.

Purington said he had been working with Web master Karlson Rapp to learn more about the system so he (Doug) could do more to update the site himself.
A discussion then followed on the question of whether RNA should publish more than two Newsletters a year, while recognizing this would place a heavier burden on Ray DeLong to attract more writers and on an ad manager to solicit more ads.

Lisa Temkin and Josh Nanus suggested having more articles about Ravinia history, such as the Historical Society regularly manages to place in the Trib Local. Purington said he would write about local businesses. Temkin offered to do a piece on architect Robert Seyfarth, whose work will be celebrated this fall by the Historical Society with a house walk featuring homes he built here.

Regarding subject matter, Nanus felt Newsletter articles should be more informative and less opinionated about what was happening in the Ravinia area, which Cerf supported, pointing out that she felt it necessary to balance Annette Jacobson’s critical piece on the proposed development at 515 Roger Williams with an article indicating RNA’s general approval of it. DeLong disagreed, saying it was good to have differing opinions about things, which Purington thought was helpful in showing RNA was more open-minded than some might think.

Cerf commented that Ravinia photographer Jeff Cohen might be willing to take portraits of local people for the Newsletter. She said an ad manager was still needed to handle that aspect of Newsletter production, and that she would write a task list for anyone who accepts that position to follow. Jean Meier wanted to write about Jens Jensen’s home on Dean Avenue, which is now in foreclosure. DeLong said his immediate need was for volunteers to help send out the current Newsletter, which Jacobson, Meier, Cerf, and Mike Babian offered to do. It was decided to publish three newsletters a year, with a 12-page issue due this July.

In recognition of RNA’s interest in community issues, Cerf said Deputy City Manager Ghida Neukirch offered to sit down and discuss Al Klairmont’s proposed apartment development at 515 Roger Williams to fill us in on what it entails. Cerf also said that plans for the Ravinia Block Bash were on hold because Economic Development Assistant Carolyn Hersch indicated the City may hold a special event at about the same time to promote projects planned for the Ravinia Business District. Amy Lohmolder asked if there was to be a Neighbors’ Night Out this year, suggesting it might serve as a replacement for the Block Bash.

Eve Tarm said there was not much to report about the Business District except that the property at 615 Roger Williams, across from the Walgreen’s store, was still up for sale, and that the Ravinia Coffee Station on St. Johns Avenue was planning an official ribbon cutting with musicians to celebrate its opening, even though it has been open for several months. It was noted that the shop has a neon sign on its back wall that may be at odds with some city regulations, and that Barbara Cates was no longer the City’s liaison to the RBD Advisory Group.

Cerf said construction was expected to start this year on new signage that the City has planned for the Business District. She also said that the Park District has decided not to rebuild the stairs from Rosewood Park to the Beach because of higher than expected cost estimates. Nanus said the repaving of Broadview, near his home south of Roger Williams, was expected to be completed later this year.

There being no further business, Cerf ended the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2014 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:15 PM at 973 Burton Avenue

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Annette Jacobson, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also present were Nail Shop owner Rita Beyge; Mike Babian, from State Farm Insurance; Liz Gaonach, of @Properties, and Ravinia resident Josh Nanus. Reporter Greg Trotter covered the meeting for Trib Local.

In her President's report, Cerf said the Village House celebration at Ravinia School on the 100th anniversary of its establishment November 22 was a real success, and had attracted more than 200 guests. RNA funded the replacement of lighting in the school gym and later presented a check for $384 to School District 112, which may be used to help support Ravinia School's music program

Referring to other RNA-sponsored events last year, Cerf said the Ravinia Neighbors' Night Out was a well-attended thank-you to the community for its support, aided by donations of food and beverages from local businesses. Regarding the Rosewood Beach project, she said RNA's involvement had a beneficial influence on the final design, and that the Park District had decided to keep the beach closed while construction was under way. Provisions were being made to allow H.P. residents to use Glencoe beach during the next swim season.

Cerf said that while RNA's presence makes an impression at City Hall, city officials continue to say that any progress on streetscape work along Roger Williams Avenue must await the city's replacement of century-old water mains under the street. Due to the process involved, completion of utility improvements cannot be expected for a few more years.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the improvements are expensive and overwhelming, and will have to be broken up into stages. It's not only about finding the funds, but also about minimizing disruptions to businesses along the street. She said there is no money to do all the work at once. Cerf said the Ravinia improvements are now being viewed by the city as part of a citywide business district plan, even though Ravinia has been trying the longest to get attention. She said the best we can do initially when we interact with decision makers is to aim for things like signs highlighting the RBD that can be created and erected without waiting for other things to get started.

H.P. native Jason Brown's presence at the Sochi Olympics was commented on.

In his Treasurer's report, Ron Wolff said there was $4,824.69 in RNA's checking account, though there were some uncashed checks still outstanding, and that as of December 31, 2013 the C.D. was valued at $5,228.24, bringing RNA's net worth to $10,052.93.

Amy Lohmolder said the November 22, 2013 Village House Centennial was a more amazing event than she had anticipated, and that we can learn lessons from how people back then could accomplish what they did. She marveled at the interest 80-year-olds showed by their attendance, and suggested using Ravinia School for future events as a way of bringing the school and the community closer together. She said it would be especially useful to have a larger venue when discussing such issues as the Klairmont development of the former 7-11 property on Roger Williams, allowing more people to get involved. Cerf concurred, noting that other public meeting spaces in the area were less suitable.

Cerf suggested Saturday, September 13 as the date for the next Ravinia Block Bash, since that would not conflict with any Jewish holidays or festivities in Highwood. She asked for help and ideas on how to proceed, noting that area businesses want things to happen on both sides of the tracks. Josh Nanus said problems getting food vendors to participate in the past might be resolved by bringing in food trucks. Also, while Bruce Chudacoff has offered to provide sound and stage equipment, Cerf wants to get more people involved with such things as securing permits from the city and Park District. While some favored providing wine and beer this year, others said it would distract from the focus on families and require extra permits.

Regarding publicity and the website, Cerf said Doug Purington is willing to send out board meeting notices to the community. She made a motion that was approved by voice vote of members present to pay $12.99 to $15.99 a month to create a Constant Contact account for sending out notices. She said it looks more professional and would also allow us a link to documents on the website.

In a Business District update, Cerf said there would be a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 27 at the Design Quartet kitchen design shop at 595 Roger Williams. The Mayor and Chamber of Commerce will take part, though it was noted that a lot of businesses don't see the value of joining the Chamber since they rarely have events outside the downtown area. Cerf reported that the city would provide $90,000 for marketing the RBD in the coming year.

Cerf handed out copies of the design and floor plan of Al Klairmont's proposed development at 515 Roger Williams, which included parking around the building, but not underground. She said Klairmont is asking the city for a variance on existing parking regulations, and that the plan had space for five shops at ground level with 30 residential units above. Tarm said there should be a reasonable balance between residential and business parking. Nanus said some are never satisfied about adequate parking, and believed an increasing number of tenants want/use fewer cars and parking spaces, especially as many communities move toward pedestrian-friendly, non-vehicular transportation plans.

While Klairmont's proposal has not yet reached the Plan Commission for approval, Cerf said she stands behind her conditional support for it, saying RNA wants to be a positive voice in the community. She agreed with Wolff on the need to educate the public about it, possibly by arranging meetings at Ravinia School, noting that "RNA's credibility is grounded in members' faith in our organization." Lohmolder noted that how you market a meeting can determine how many will attend, suggesting we open any meeting up beyond regular RNA membership. Cerf then asked that those who would like to hold such a meeting be the main ones to organize it.

In proposing a letter to the editor, Annette Jacobson said the development, as planned, has no connection to the scale, shape, or design of the building across from it east of the train tracks, and has no sense of balance. She credited Don Miller and Dave Hanus with bringing about improvements in the design of the condo at 578 Roger Williams, and suggested that RNA could push for similar changes in the plans for the Klairmont project. It was suggested that architects be invited to any meetings where design issues might be brought up.

In his Newsletter report, Ray DeLong said the next issue would come out in late March at the earliest. He expected to write the lead story on the Klairmont project, and said he would leave the subjects of other articles up to the writers involved because they do a better job when making the choice themselves. It was reiterated that we still need an ad sales person.

Photos of the ongoing construction at Rosewood Beach were then passed around for all to view.

There being no further business, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

7:30 p.m. at 852 Judson. A G E N D..

December 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 852 Judson.


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. December 5th

Agenda to be posted before Meeting

NOTE: We encourage participants to keep their discourse short and to the point so our board meetings can be completed in about an hour. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for any guests who may attend.

7:30 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station..

August 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station, 700 St. Johns


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 1, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Membership Update
  3. Treasurer's Report
  4. Newsletter Update
  5. Ravinia Village House Celebration
  6. Discussion of By-laws
  7. Timely Updating of Website
  8. Business District Report
    • Hertz Parking in Walgreens lot
  9. Train Station Report
  10. Discussion of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans for Rosewood Beach
  11. Cancellation of Block Bash
  12. Other Business
  13. Adjournment
NOTE: Participants are asked to keep their discourse short and to the point so our meetings can be completed in a timely manner. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for prospective guests.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2013 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, June 6, 2013

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:40 p.m. in the Ravinia Metra station at 700 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance besides Cerf were Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, and (later) Eve Tarm. Guests in attendance were Jean Meier and Lisa Temkin.

Doug Purington provided the Membership Update, indicating he had received $1,025 from three new memberships and 27 renewals, along with a $50 one-time donation. He said the renewal rate stood at only 39 percent, representing 79 households, but that he would continue to encourage more renewals.

In the absence of Aaron Wolff, Jeff Stern gave the Treasurer's Report, indicating there was $3,853 in the RNA's checking account and $5,227 in a CD for a total of $9,080 in the treasury.

Purington said that after reviewing membership records recently, he concluded that more than $50,000 has been collected in membership fees, mostly in increments of $20 annually, in the 10 years since he joined the RNA in 2003.

A discussion then followed over where RNA has and should spend its funds, such as community projects like helping restore and maintain the train station, and in creating events such as the Bash.

Regarding the Newsletter, Ray DeLong spoke of continuing to rely on a corps of dedicated writers. Stern said he would have written about plans for a new fire station in the Ravinia area, but that the location has yet to be finalized.

In an update on the nomination of candidates for positions on the RNA Board, Cerf said Lynne Jungman was stepping down, and that Jean Meier had agreed to accept nomination for service as a member at large. Cerf said there was a need to nominate one more person for that position. Lisa Temkin said she was interested, but had other commitments that currently limited her availability, and asked about what was required in terms of time and service.

Cerf spoke of a perception that officers of RNA were chosen from among a limited group of insiders, and that the system needs to be more transparent. According to bylaws, an election would have to be held before the end of June. After much discussion, Monday, June 24 was chosen as the date for a special meeting to elect officers for the coming year. Purington said he would email notices to the entire membership on Monday, June 10, to send in nominations by Monday, June 17, for candidates who would be up for election on June 24.

With Eve Tarm not yet in attendance, the Business District Report was deferred.

Cerf then discussed the Ravinia Block Bash scheduled for Saturday, September 21. She said there had been 130 "likes" on the website regarding the event, and that she was trying to streamline the process for running it. Cerf handed out sheets outlining the event and providing information for vendors who participate. She said she had already had two meetings with area businesses, and that she was looking for more sponsors and volunteers. She also said she was told that street work on Roger Williams Avenue would be completed in time for the Bash.

Cerf said area business people were reluctant to bring their wares out into the park, but would rather take part at their locations in the business district. She is asking a fee of $50 from participating vendors, but might consider dropping it for those who were already members. Deadlines for participation are listed with the instructions.

Amy talked about holding an event on November 22 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ravinia Village House and celebrate the Women's Club of Ravinia, whose goals of promoting civic interest and pride were comparable to those of RNA. She said the Village House once stood on the site of the current Ravinia School gym, and that there would be a charge of $325 to hold the event at that location. Cerf moved to allocate up to $500 for that purpose, but that could not be voted on for approval owing to the absence of a quorum.

Eve Tarm said she still wanted to plan an event to honor Don Miller after he recovers from surgery, and suggested it might even be held in the same location as the party that was originally intended for that purpose on May 23 at the former wine shop at 595 Roger Williams Avenue.

Reporting on the condition of the Ravinia Metra station, Stern said he had met at the station June 3 with Ramesh Kanapareddy, the city's new Director of Public Works, to discuss maintenance issues involving the historic building. He pointed out the obvious need for exterior painting, including undercoating around the base of the station, deteriorating roof tiles, and the desirability of providing more suitable benches for commuters awaiting trains inside.

He said Kanapareddy agreed to include the paint job on his department's budget request for next year, along with roof work, while pointing out that he had other priorities to consider. He said RNA might want to ask its members to sponsor benches that could have plaques honoring their participation. Temkin reminded everyone that the style and color of the benches might have to be run past the Historic Preservation Commission to make sure they conform historically. Cerf suggested pursuing foundations to support these efforts.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place. M I..

April 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place.


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
April 4, 2013

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:41 p.m at 353 Flora Place

Present were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff.

With Don Miller having announced his retirement from the Presidency of the RNA (My Ravinia, Spring 2013), Vice President Eve Tarm presided over the meeting, which was called to order at 7:41 p.m.

In the absence of Doug Purington, Tarm deferred the Membership Report to the next meeting.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said there was $4,170 in the RNA's bank account, with a check for $422 for printing the Spring Newsletter still outstanding, leaving a balance of $3,748. With a CD valued at $5,225, total assets amount to $8,973.

Reporting on the recently published Spring Newsletter, Ray DeLong said there had been enough material to fill eight pages, and thanked Lynne Jungman for helping to get copies mailed out. He also said the next newsletter would be due out in six months.

Amy Lohmolder said November 22 will mark the 100th anniversary of a "village house" that was opened next to Ravinia School, suggesting that RNA might want to commemorate the occasion for the way it brought residents of the community closer together in a social setting. Carolyn Cerf said it would be great if RNA had an educational fund to stage events for this purpose. Jeff Stern reminded everyone that November 22 will be the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, so it would not be a good day to celebrate anything.

Tarm said more people were needed to keep the website updated because it gives everyone in the community an idea of what RNA does, and provides more information about issues brought up in the newsletter. She said it was also important to keep the business directory up to date. Lohmolder said the website is valuable when RNA is involved in something, and noted that while Karlson Rapp was doing a great job with it, she felt she had to help him understand the point of it, and that it was too much for her to handle alone.

In a discussion about the newly vacated president's position, Tarm said Don Miller is to be thanked for "everything," that she would like to see him take on a role as "chairman," or something similar, and that others need to step in to serve. She also praised Jungman for her contributions as a director at large. Suggestions were made about ways to honor Miller for his years of service, preferably with a social event that would bring together neighbors and prospective new members. Cerf said she would look for a venue.

Cerf also said she will need help putting together another Block Bash, and that she would call for an exploratory meeting for that purpose after the April 9 election. She was looking for four or five people to do the work and a budget to fund it, and suggested the weekend after Labor Day as a likely date for the event. She said Elise Bombacino, who has handled special events in Highwood, has indicated her willingness to help out. Tarm said it was OK to reach out to any business, not just in Ravinia, for support. She also suggested getting in touch with Carolyn Hersch and Alyssa Knobel for possible help from the city.

In her Business District Report Tarm said Merlo Restaurant was aiming to take over space in the adjacent former kitchen and bath shop at 595 Roger Williams for a party room. She also said that while the former wine shop at 597 Roger Williams is now empty, the storefront on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant may become home to a Mediterranean restaurant, and the former medical building at 615 Roger Williams is being converted into offices for GB Transportation, a trucking company with 32 employees. Regarding the Farmers Market, Tarm said Lydia Davis had stepped up again to run it.

Tarm said there was now $873,000 in the TIF fund, and that the city is exploring ways to move ahead with the Ravinia Business District streetscape plan and break it up into stages. A utility study has revealed that a water main under Roger Williams Avenue needs to be replaced, and will be done using city funds. The RBD advisory committee and city staff have recommended that the streetscape plan be implemented in short-, mid- and long-term phases since there are not enough funds to proceed all at once. The streetscape improvements are to follow the replacement of the water main for cost efficiency and to make the entire process less disruptive for the business district.

As a short-term goal to show the community that the plan is taking off, it has been suggested that a bicycle kiosk be installed at the south end of the parking lot north of Roger Williams to improve connectivity with the bike trail there. If this is approved by the City Council, the work could start this summer. The more difficult issue will be how to stage the work on the water main and streetscape, and in which part of the business district to start. Also at issue is whether construction drawings for the entire streetscape plan should be drawn first.

Tarm said the RBD advisory committee and city staff agreed at their recent meeting that it was important not to delay the issue of signage for the district. Also discussed was the need to keep up the momentum to form a special service area in the RBD to generate marketing funds for local businesses that would be used in a coherent way with the branding suggested for the streetscape.

Cerf lamented the city's choice of a sign directing drivers on Green Bay Road at Roger Williams to continue north to the central business district, rather than toward Ravinia. Tarm and Cerf agreed that new signage should not be put off until other work is completed, and that temporary signs should be put in place as soon as possible.

After suggesting that Doug Purington send out a mass email to solicit new members and candidates for new leadership at the RNA, Tarm ended the meeting at 9:36 p.m. Miller offered to hold the June 6 meeting at his home, 281 Woodland.

7:30 p.m. at 281 Woodland Road the..

October 2012 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 281 Woodland Road the home of Don Miller.


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 25, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Membership Update
  3. Newsletter Update
  4. Treasurer's Report, including annual audit
  5. Presentation by Energy Impact Illinois
  6. Business District Report
  7. Review of Ravinia Block Bash
  8. Discussion of Rosewood Beach developments, including strategy for defeating Interpretive Center at November 5 meeting of the Design Review Commission and at meetings of the Transportation Commission and City Council; also proposals for reaching out to commission members.
  9. Other Business
  10. Adjournment
NOTE: Participants are asked to keep their discourse short and to the point so our meetings can be completed in a timely manner. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for guests who may attend.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2012 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. at home of Jean Meier, 948 Judson Avenue

Present besides Miller and Meier, were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Peg Laemle, Elliott Miller and guest Katie Wiswald.

Miller introduced Katie Wiswald, the newly appointed chairman of the Highland Park Business and Economic Development Commission, also known as BEDC, who explained the commission's role as a volunteer group dedicated to gathering information from all nine of the city's business districts to make recommendations to the City Council on their behalf.

Most pertinent to the Ravinia area was the Ravinia Business District Association, which BEDC was working with together with Carolyn Hersch to decide how best to utilize the TIF money that has been accrued for the Ravinia streetscape and other upgrades for the area. The goals were to tie the east and west portions of the business district more closely together, encourage building owners to keep their properties up, and check to see if any underground infrastructure needed to be improved before a streetscape project would be undertaken. Wiswald said the TIF had accrued $819,000 as of December, 2011, and that the streetscape was estimated to cost between $2 and $5 million, but that the city's chosen developer, Strand and Hitchcock, was still gathering information on what to have in it, so no one could predict what the final cost would be until a final plan was developed.

Elliott Miller said Jens Jensen's work with the Rosenwald estate should be considered in connection with the streetscape, and should be brought to the attention of the public for its input before going for City Council approval. He also suggested boosting property taxes in the RBD as an additional funding source.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said that as of May 31, the RNA had $4,256.52 in its checking account and $5,222.63 in a CD for a total of $9,479.15.

Miller discussed the need to renew RNA's liability insurance for community events such as the Block Bash.

Amy Lohmolder announced that she and Ray DeLong had gone to a Park District meeting Monday and filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on (1) comments from the public for and against the district's plans for Rosewood Beach; (2) what solicitations the PD put out on the subject; (3) the proposed location of the Interpretive Center, and (4) how the Task Force was put together.

Don Miller said previous requests for information from the PD had been difficult to obtain because of delaying tactics, such as claims that office equipment wasn't working, and noted that what information was provided was incomplete.

Lohmolder said the footprint of the proposed Interpretive Center represented 68 percent of the square footage of all the buildings planned for Rosewood and that the IC had nothing to do with the purpose of a bathing beach. Lynne Jungman said the PD's planning appeared backwards in that the structures were to be built before the Army Corps of Engineers was to come in and rebuild the beach.

Purington observed that the PD on May 15 changed the designation of the IC from Interpretive Center to Beach House in an apparent effort to obscure its intended use, but that the grants to fund it had required calling it an IC. He said there would be a workshop meeting on the issue Thursday (June 21) at the Park District headquarters, and urged everyone to attend even though public input would not be solicited.

Lohmolder emphasized the need to keep reminding the PD of the importance of transparency and of the clear desire of area residents for improved amenities at Rosewood, such as restrooms/changing rooms, concessions and a lifeguard facility, all of which are supported by RNA. She said the P.D. still has not broken down estimated construction costs to identify how much the above-mentioned facilities will cost vs. the proposed IC. She also claimed the PD was continuing to portray the project as being paid for by grants and Park District reserve funds, rather than by a tax on area residents, which she said was essentially untrue.

Lohmolder said the PD's plans must still be approved by the Design Review Commission and the City Council so that the RNA and others would still have the opportunity to have their positions heard. Jean Meier said RNA shouldn't trade name-calling with opponents of its views, reminding everyone of the right to differ on public issues.

Discussion of the website was tabled until the next meeting.

Carolyn Cerf said the next Ravinia Block Bash was set for 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, and that she still needed help to plan and carry it out.

Jeff Stern said the Ravinia train station remained in dire need of a paint job, that the city had no funds for it in the current budget, and that the Public Works Department was discouraging volunteers from doing any work there.

Miller said letters from the city indicated an ordinance on signs prohibiting cars from stopping or standing on certain streets would be brought up soon.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2012 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. at 948 Judson Avenue.

Present, besides Miller and Meier, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Gerry Field, Paul Quillen, Debra Rade and Jon Shabica.

In his Membership Update, Doug Purington said he just gave $430 to Treasurer Aaron Wolff, which included $30 for a new three-year membership from Tony Blumberg, who also donated an additional $50, three renewals for $60 and $270 for ads. Purington noted that RNA had collected $45,000 since August, 2003, and said he would send out emails and personal letters in early May regarding 90 memberships due to expire at the end of June. Individual memberships were up 7 to 396, associate members increased by 2 to 42, while a gain of 4 raised total household memberships to 243. About 85 percent now have email addresses.

For his Treasurer's Report Aaron Wolff said there was $4,730.02 in the checking account plus $5,221.84 in a CD for a total of $9,951.86, not including the $430 he had just received from Purington.

Ray DeLong provided a copy of the next edition of the My Ravinia Newsletter, which was finished and would be printed shortly. The lead article will be a piece by Annette Jacobson on the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach. There is also a biography of Elliott Miller by Jeff Stern and an article by Lynne Jungman about a Sears house on Burton that recently underwent major renovation. On the last page is an update on RNA accomplishments over the past 11 years. DeLong asked for another volunteer to help prepare the newsletters for mailing.

Miller introduced Jon Shabica, the public policy person at Shabica & Associates, a geological engineering firm based in Northfield, who talked about shoreline issues in connection with the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach. He said his firm recently finished a trout stream project with the Park District for the end of Ravine Drive, which involved working with homeowners and the U.S. Corps of Engineers in what he called the first such effort of its kind in the Great Lakes. He said that, contrary to popular belief, the lake was within two or three inches of all-time low levels, partly as a result of a heavily engineered shoreline aimed at slowing beach erosion. He said that in Highland Park the sand moves north and south in a floating environment, and that building small offshore islands, though expensive, could control it. He said the possible impact of a building along the lake, as proposed by the Park District, would depend on how it might be built.

Eve Tarm talked about meetings scheduled by the Park District for 7 p.m. May 2 at the West Ridge Center, and at 1:30 p.m. May 6 at the Heller Nature Center, where the Rosewood Beach plans would be presented for public review, which she urged everyone to attend. She said that would be the time to voice concerns over plans for the interpretive center that would take away some of the beach, as well as parking, would block views and really had nothing to do with the beach. Tarm said Don Miller's letter to the editor will help bring support for RNA's views.

Miller pointed out that Doug Purington has a huge database, which he could use to send out a press release based on Miller's letter combined with comments that have been received critical of the interpretive center. He said it needed a little editing, but should go out soon in order to meet various newspaper deadlines. Doug agreed to make the changes right away and send it to other RNA Board Members for comments before sending the release out to the media.

Debra Rade was asked to discuss her concerns about sanitary sewer lining repairs the city required 47 Ravinia homeowners to pay for in 2008, but which it later rescinded without refunding any of the payments already made. She said Nancy Rotering herself once opposed the plan before becoming mayor, and passed around an excerpt from the 2012 City Budget which appeared to indicate that sewer improvements were part of the city's 10-year master plan.

Rade said tree roots ands other things that were invading neighbors' sewers could be diminished by rodding out the sewers, rather than by the much costlier city plan to put in larger pipes. She said that while the city had stopped asking residents to fund sewer improvements while the economy was still weak, it had not completely ruled out such plans. She asked the RNA and the rest of Highland Park to be vigilant and vocal in opposing any requirement that residents pay for infrastructure improvements she thought the city should pay for itself.
Miller asked Rade to provide Doug with information he could send to members.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the tea house would open in May, along with a florist shop, leaving as the only vacancies the storefront across from Walgreens and the former nail shop at 473 Roger Williams.

Farmers Market vendor Paul Quillen said the insurance policy for the market had RNA's name on it and needed an up-to-date address, since it still showed Lydia Davis' address at 678 Judson. Purington suggested asking Joe Palminteri for his advice on whether to have separate policies for RNA and the market. Quillen said he would check with Palminteri himself and Jean Meier offered to follow up. Miller said anything done in RNA's name needed to be passed by the Board.

In his Train Station Report Jeff Stern said the city had no funding to paint the station this year, that liability issues would keep volunteers from using ladders, and that the city's lowest estimate for the work was something over $7,000.

After calling the next meeting for June 14, Miller adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2012 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m. at 597 Roger Williams Avenue

Present were The meeting was called to order at 7:31 p.m. by Don Miller at the Ravinia Wine Shop, 597 Roger Williams Avenue. Present, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Alyssa Knoble, Chairman of the Highland Park Business and Economic Development Commission; City Councilman Dan Kaufman, Rita Beygel, Lydia Davis, Gerry Field, Stan Miller, Sharon Norberg, Kathy O'Mera and Bob Richter.

In his Membership Update Doug Purington reported five new resident members and eight renewals. Regarding businesses, 11 were new or renewals, providing RNA with 80 percent membership or 36 out of 45 businesses in the district.

Miller introduced Alyssa Knoble, the new Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC) chairman, who has been working with different entities within the city to coordinate marketing and business development-related efforts in all nine of the city's business districts. She applauded Ravinia business owners and landlords for getting together as a group and thanked the city's Economic Development Assistant Carolyn Hersch for her help in that regard. Knoble said the Ravinia group had met in February and that the next meeting was set for 9 a.m. March 7 at Raquel's. A meeting of the Ravinia Business District Alliance was set for March 1 to discuss TIF money and the streetscape.

Other topics the BEDC focuses on include business approval processing, permits, small business improvement grants, etc. Knoble said a major BEDC goal was to recommend a joint marketing plan for the entire city. She noted that the Ravinia Business District TIF has a 23-year life span, that it was only in its fifth year, and that it currently has $819,000, while accruing $175,000 per year. Barbara Case was the contact person who could provide further information.

In the absence of Amy Lohmolder, a discussion of the Mission Statement Revision was postponed until the next meeting on April 19.

In his Newsletter Update, Ray DeLong said he planned to put out a list of topics that he would ask writers to choose from in preparing articles for the spring edition, which he would like to have ready to print before the end of March.

Aaron Wolff reported a total of $9,819.10 in the Treasury, which included a CD valued at $5,221.01 and $4,598.09 in a checking account. Purington then handed him $318.25 in recently received membership renewals.

In her Business Report Eve Tarm welcomed the renewed city interest in business districts, and said the streetscape was still the most important interest of Ravinia businesses and residents in trying to provide a general "Ravinia Look," including signage and landscaping. She said the Chamber of Commerce had approached her, saying they too wanted to do something in the R.B.D., perhaps in connection with the Ravinia Block Bash. Tarm said Rita Beygel had moved her nail shop to 473 Roger Williams and that Belle Fleur would expand into her former location. She said the former Ravinia medical building is on the market still in the short sale stage and hopes something worthwhile will occupy the site. The adjacent building at the corner of Pleasant has a different owner, who is trying to lease the ground floor space.

Sharon Norberg, owner of the Wine Shop, said there had been some plumbing issues at the former Post Office, which had slowed its conversion to a tea room, but that she expected continuing construction to allow it to open in April.

Purington said he was on the RNA website with Karlson Rapp in regard to the merchants' directory, noting that he would have immediate access that would enable him to make quick changes in the business district area of the website as necessary. Tarm said the website is ready to be launched, and that RNA would be going out to businesses soon to solicit their advertisements. She also said a reoccurring payment plan could be set up with Paypal at a cost of $20 a month.

Miller asked Lydia Davis to speak on a topic that had just come up involving the Ravinia Farmers Market. She said a disgruntled vendor from Morton Grove was trying to take over the market and turn it into a cooperative. He has filled an application for a permit with the city, and the issue was scheduled to come up before the City Council on February 27. Lydia and her son, Edward, felt they had done a good job over the years, and such a change, if it is approved, would alter the entire atmosphere at the market. She said the vendor was upset at being asked not to return to the market this year because he had ignored repeated requests not to park where he was blocking a private driveway.

Davis said that at least three of the other vendors indicated they would not participate if he was in charge. Cerf asked if this issue was tied into the reported effort by the city to stage the market on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays. Davis said that wasn't the case, but that none of the vendors would come if it was held on a Saturday. She thought there would be little incentive to have it then, since many nearby towns already held theirs on Saturdays. She expected other vendors to write letters to the city urging rejection of the application. Purington and others agreed to attend the Council meeting to support Davis.**

Regarding Rosewood Beach, Tarm indicated that while there had been many positive developments, the big problem was that an unnecessary interpretive center on the beach is still in the plans. She said the whole project would soon be put before public and that it would be critical for residents to voice their opinions regarding the interpretive center at these meetings. The Park District selected a task force, mainly of architects, to pick a designer for the type of functions the district wanted to see on the beach. Woodhouse, the chosen designer, has worked on beaches before and appears sensitive to the issues, which include beaches as well as buildings, and are being addressed by both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Park District. According to the proposals, guards, restrooms and concessions would be in separate small buildings. The Engineers would redesign the beach and take care of most of the landscaping. Tarm said the Army Corps project for actual improvements to the beach and the landscape has a budget of $6 million, of which the Park District would cover 35 per cent by dipping into its plentiful reserves. She said both parts of the project were expected to be completed by late 2013, assuming the building part was finished in 2012.

Elliott Miller spoke about prospects for a house tour, suggesting a virtual tour to include both existing homes and home sites once occupied by Ravinia artists.

Carolyn Cerf presented suggestions for another Ravinia Block Bash, and handed out sheets of things that needed to be done, including signing up volunteers to be team leaders, do publicity, find sponsors, plan activities, and coordinate vendors. Though the event would be held in the fall, planning had to start early. She asked members in attendance to fill out her forms and get them back to her soon.

In regard to the Ravinia train station, Jeff Stern said the city does not have any money to repaint the station exterior this year, but that a source at the Public Works Department would provide estimates on the cost of doing the job in case RNA was interested in providing funding. Cerf thought the work should be more of a community project, and Stern was asked to check with the city to find out if it could be done by volunteers while recognizing that liability was an issue. Cerf suggested a Ravinia preservation business that might offer help with the project.

Miller introduced Debra Rade, who spoke about the city's requiring 47 area residents in 2008 to pay around $250,000 of their own money for sanitary sewer improvements, and wondered whether this program had been removed yet from further consideration as part of the city's master plan for sewers. She said only one councilman agreed to meet with her on this issue, and asked for RNA's help to get the new City Council to compensate the 47 residents in some way. Miller suggested that she attend the next RNA meeting to further state her case.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m

** This issue was later taken off the City Council agenda for February 27.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

December 2011 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
December 8, 2011

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:40 pm at 353 Flora Place.

Present were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Elliott Miller, Al Richman, Eve Tarm and later, Carolyn Cerf. Absent were Publicity and Membership Director, Doug Purington, Recording Secretary, Jeff Stern and Aaron Wolff, Treasurer

Membership up date not available at this meeting. Doug will supply at later time.

Newsletter: Ray DeLong confirmed that number to be printed would be 400. Asked members to begin thinking regarding future articles. Two possible articles could be the new house recently constructed on Burton which has an interesting history and another on Elliott Miller a noted historian on Ravinia, its residents and architecture.

Treasurer's Report. Not available at this time. However, board confirmed that a donation to ALS in honor of Myna Rose had been approved in the amount of $100.00. Lynne Jungman will ask Treasurer Ron Wolff to issue.

Mission Statement Update: Postponed till next meeting.

Business District Report: Eve Tarm had good news regarding a business opening in the former post office on Roger Williams. Billy Corgan, founder of the group "Smashing Pumpkins" will renovate and open an entertainment and restaurant venue extending into the open space at the rear of the building. Bill Corgan, is a resident of Highland Park. On the down side, the space formerly occupied by "Look Alike Solutions" is now vacant.

Update on Park District and Rosewood Beach: Eve stated that last meeting for the design committee will be next Wednesday. Public meetings on the beach/building have not yet been officially scheduled. There is continued concern regarding the Park district's desire for a large structure on the beach despite many residents' wishing otherwise.
Elliott Miller spoke about Jens Jensen's concept of a council ring for use as discussion for nature and that an interpretive center could be a modest outdoor space. Other discussion was around using already available buildings for such a venue, for example the yacht club building at Park Ave. or the building at Ravine Ave. beach, or the existing Heller Center. Concern of RNA and many H.P. residents is that the Park District is unrelenting in its publicity campaign to proceed as it desires. The fight is not over and Eve will keep us updated.
Amy suggested letters to H.P. News expressing continued discontent the Park Dist. Plan.

2012 Events: Carolyn Cerf stated her willingness to oversee a Block Bash for the coming year in late summer. Believes it will be easier to organize now that the trial run was successful.
Elliott expressed interest in organizing and leading an historic tour in spring or early summer for next year as a second RNA event. He noted that the period between 1900 and 1940 was a particularly interesting time with an influx of artists of many disciplines. Elliott and Amy both spoke of the significance of the Village House built on grounds of Ravinia School.
There was enthusiastic support for both of these events.

Village Concept. Don Miller briefly explained the concept of helping older adults remaining in their homes via community and neighbor support. Don, Lynne and Eve had attended various meetings related to this idea both locally and in Evanston. As a result of this fact finding it was determined that we would not pursue, recognizing that in the Highland Park community most needs for older adults were being met.

Other business. The street scape was briefly brought up and it was reported that a newly formed organizational structure was essentially starting anew.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9pm. Next meeting will be in February of 2012.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

October 2011 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place

In attendance, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending was Lisa Temkin, who is a member of the Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said over $700 had been turned in for memberships since the August meeting. He said RNA had reinstated Paypal as an option to sending in a check. He reported one new three-year membership via Paypal and one renewal. Since the August meeting the number of individual members has gone up by 18, households by 11, and associated emails by nine, meaning that around 85 percent of households now have email addresses. He said membership was now 380 vs. 497 in January 2010, with households down from 299 to 231. While the Block Bash had brought in $900 in renewals and new memberships, he asked for help in recruiting more members.

Regarding the Newsletter, Ray DeLong said a miscalculation on his part had resulted in a higher than normal number of issues being printed. He suggested recycling extra copies, but was advised by Jeff Stern that the extras were needed at the train station to resupply the RNA literature container at the kiosk outside. Others suggested leaving copies at the Library and various local businesses.

For his Treasurer's Report, Ron Wolff said there was $9,572 in the bank, mostly in CDs. $4,352 was in the checking account, with all bills paid except for $315, which would be sent to the Police Department next week for service at the Bash.
He was expecting a check back from Signs Now for $845 due to duplicate billing.

In a debriefing report on the Ravinia Bash Carolyn Cerf said there had been a problem with the power distribution, which she had anticipated but couldn't avoid.
She said several people had asked if it would become an annual event, and Don Miller suggested it should. Amy Lohmolder advised not to commit to the same events every year. Doug Purington brought up the issue of how many events we could adequately prepare for and run effectively in a year's time.

In her report Eve Tarm said there was nothing new that she was aware of in the Business District. Purington said he had heard that a tea room was planned for the former Post Office building on Roger Williams Avenue, but Tarm said that has been known for some time. Purington said he wants the city to permit sidewalk sandwich board advertisements to help attract customers to shops. Tarm then discussed the new RNA Facebook page and its potential uses.

Regarding the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach, Tarm said three architectural firms were among the finalists chosen to design new facilities. The finalists worked off of the Park District plan to have a beach house with an interpretive/conference facility on the beach, preferably in the area allocated for this on a Park-District-provided plan. All three had recommended multiple structures instead of one large one. The winning firm was Woodhouse. The Park District staff will present this to the Board and enter into a contract with the winner. The task force will then meet with Woodhouse again to discuss possible alterations prior to bringing it to the public. The district will then have three meetings for public input before making the final decision to proceed.

Lisa Temkin, wife of former RNA Treasurer Ken Temkin, joined the meeting to discuss a possible historic tour of the Ravinia/Braeside area some time in 2012 or 2013 with support from RNA. Tarm offered to help organize such an event with Temkin. Temkin was also responding to Tarm's request for information from members of the Preservation Commission about subjects of historic interest involving Ravinia that could be used on the RNA website. Temkin referred to Julia Jonas, Jean Sogin and Elliott Miller as possible sources of information.

Tarm reported that Elliott Miller had told her he was working on a Writers and Artists of Highland Park bus tour for a Spring 2012 event for the Historical Society, and was looking for RNA help along with joint sponsorship. It was suggested that RNA should pursue this as a RNA-sponsored event for 2012, and that there should be cooperation with the Historical Society and the Library in promoting future events of interest to the community. Motions to support Elliott Miller's event and approach the other two groups to coordinate promotional efforts were proposed by Don Miller and approved by voice vote. Purington suggested that the RNA make an organizational donation of $200 to the Society to show our interest in working together. Cerf mentioned the prospect of a program on van Bergen homes in Highland Park as an example.

Don Miller brought up the subject of lateral sewers in Ravinia, and the average of $5,000 that the city had collected from each of 40 homeowners in the area for a project the city later found money to pay for from other sources. He said the homeowners are asking for their money back, but that city officials contend they cannot pay for past mistakes.

Regarding the Metra train station, Stern said the city had changed its plans about the vending machines RNA wanted to place behind screens outside the south end of the building. While the beverage machine has already been removed and will not be replaced, the snack machine is to remain in place inside the station and will continue to be used to dispense daily parking lot permits. The station exterior needs repainting, which Stern planned to discuss with Bob McCraren.

After Amy Lohmolder said she wanted to discuss proposed changes to RNA's Mission Statement at the next meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2011 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The meeting was called to order by Don Miller at 7:40 p.m. in the home of Lynne Jungman at 353 Flora Place.

In attendance, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also in attendance was Sharon Stein.

In his Membership update, Doug Purington reported that he had collected around $1,000 in membership renewals, etc. He also said there had been 29 percent non-renewals, representing 63 households, and that four members of the City Council had indicated they would join, but had not yet put in for membership. Purington said he had asked for help in phoning delinquent members, but had received no offers. He said he had no recourse but to drop those not renewing.

He expects current membership to drop from 220 to 157 households, which was the lowest in his memory. He said RNA's new year starts July 1, and that he begins sending out notices May 1, allowing ample time for renewals to be sent in. Miller showed samples of the 2,800 jumbo postcards that would be sent out soon highlighting the association and its achievements. They include application forms, and he urged those in attendance to take some to hand out.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said there was $5,214 in the RNA's CD and another $4,300 in the checking account. The $1,000 reported by Purington would be added to the checking account shortly.

Don Miller asked for a motion to approve the revised by-laws, which had been sent out via email for members to consider some time ago. The motion, made by Lynne Jungman and seconded by Doug Purington, was approved by voice vote.

Regarding RNA's city-approved plan to screen vending machines outside the Ravinia Metra station, Amy Lohmolder reported a development that eliminated any reason for the project to proceed. She said the city now planned to phase out the vending machines altogether and find a new way to dispense parking coupons, which was the main reason the machines were installed to begin with.

Carolyn Cerf gave an update on plans for the RNA-organized Ravinia Block Bash, scheduled to run from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, at the north end of Brown Park along Roger Williams between Burton and the tracks. She urged everyone to sign up for any one of a number of activities where help was needed, as identified on forms she was providing.

Lynne Jungman said she had an offer from "Omar," the Good Humor man, to sell his goods at the site, with the understanding that he will not continuously play his company's siren call tune from his truck. Cerf said she had also obtained the services of an entertainer who teaches children how to make musical instruments from recycled plastic. Cerf said she had two previously produced RNA banners redone by Signs Now for $80 to advertise the event. They will be hung from lamp poles on Roger Williams at the entrance to the parking lot at Pleasant.

Cerf also said she had arranged for merchants on Roger Williams to get permits so they could display their offerings on the sidewalks in front of their businesses. She is working on a treasure hunt and raffle, and has arranged for traffic control to be handled by volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team. She brought flyers and urged everyone to put them up at area businesses, and said she was also looking for more sponsors for the event. Jungman suggested leaving as many flyers as possible at the homes of neighbors with children.

Cerf announced that the RNA had lost its non-profit status and offered her services as a paralegal to regain it. It apparently lapsed in September, 2009.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the City Council had not yet discussed the Ravinia Business District Alliance's recommendations, now scheduled for consideration at a meeting on September 12. She said there was a new business operated by Brian Sugarman next to Piero's Pizza on Broadview that provides advice and technical support to owners of Macintosh equipment. She said that Sara McLoudrey, who presented herself to us at the June meeting, had decided not to move ahead with plans to open a dog training facility here.

Regarding the plans for Rosewood Beach, Tarm thanked everyone for their support, for circulating petitions, and for attending meetings involving that issue. She said the effort to get the Park District to change their plans is very difficult because they seem determined to build an interpretive center on the beach. She then presented a certificate of appreciation to Henry Davies, Amy Lohmolder's son and a student at Red Oak School, who secured 185 signatures on petitions calling upon the Park District to reconsider their plans for changes at the beach.

Tarm said the apparent purpose of the Task Force set up by the Park District was simply to select the designers, keeping all the same elements in the building. She said the Task Force portrayed objectors to the plan as just area neighbors, and that they needed to do what Highland Park wants, not just what they want. Tarm said that Liza McElroy, Park District Executive Director, claimed area residents indicated they wanted a building at the beach, whereas it was Tarm's impression that they had simply asked for "improvements" to be made there. She said the Task Force would meet next at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22, at the West Ridge Center, and urged anyone who was interested to attend.

After setting the next RNA meeting date for Thursday, October 20, at Lynne Jungman's home, Don Miller adjourned the meeting at 9:02 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2011 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Don Miller called to order at 7:40 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station.

Present were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Councilwoman Terri Olian.

Miller introduced Carolyn Cerf as the RNA's new Advertising Director, noting that Al Richman had asked to be relieved of that responsibility. Cerf said one of her goals would be to try to get the Ravinia Business District leadership group to move ahead on identifying and pursuing ways to improve the district.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said there had been no substantial change in memberships, and that renewal notices would go out the first week in May via email and personal notes. A jumbo card was being prepared to send to 2,600 households in Ravinia to get new members or renewals.

Ray DeLong reported that the cutoff date for advertising in the Spring Newsletter would be April 30. He expected to use articles by Amy Lohmolder and Peg Laemle, and one by Elliott Miller on the history of the area.

Eve Tarm said Karlson Rapp was working on changes to the website, which he is redesigning. Doug Purington suggested holding a separate meeting with Carlson for ideas on how to change the website. Al Richman said greater effort needs to be made to advertise the website, and suggested businesses might make coupons available on it for slow periods. Amy Lohmolder said the website should carry useful information, such as train and bus schedules and school activities, and might also be used to promote events at the Botanic Garden. Tarm noted that there has never been a website editor.

In the absence of the Treasurer, the Treasurer's Report was bypassed.

In presenting the Business District Report, Tarm talked about the work that had been done thus far to move toward implementing the Ravinia Business District Market Study by the city, which had incorporated ideas people had talked about. She noted that the Mayor had convened a leadership group which had amended the playbook included in the market study. This group of a dozen or so members had held monthly meetings for six months to determine issues that were relevant to the business community, leading to the formation of a six-member advisory committee. Over the next six months the committee came up with bylaws for a not-for-profit organization to be called the Ravinia Business District Alliance, which would lead the work of invigorating the Ravinia Business District, create a job description for a part-time executive director who would report to the Alliance, and establish a budget for using the TIF funds, all of which would be brought to the City Council for its approval.

Tarm said the advisory committee's position had been to focus the major part of Ravinia TIF funds on improving the streetscape in the Business District, and that the other main issue was revitalization. She said the committee had also felt that an executive director who could devote at least 20 hours a week was needed to do an effective job of reaching out to businesses. Once approval is given by the City Council, the next step would be to find and hire an executive director. Tarm outlined the job description for an executive director, suggested ways to advertise the position and proposed budget and implementation timelines.

Tarm said a date had not yet been set for bringing the advisory committee's draft documents before the City Council for its approval. Once that is decided, this information will be posted on the city website. Tarm promised to send out an email as soon as she can confirm the posting, and encouraged all RNA members who are able to do so to attend the Council meeting where it will be presented.

Ray DeLong said he was not sure he could continue as editor of the newsletter, and Don Miller indicated he didn't want to be President forever, saying a lot of work was needed to attract more volunteers to keep RNA an effective force.

Jeff Stern said there was nothing new to report regarding the Metra train station.

Amy Lohmolder said no new events had been planned yet, but that she would like to get the community involved in a project to build the screens that had been talked about to disguise the vending machines outside the station. Carolyn Cerf offered to help Lohmolder in her efforts. Don Miller spoke of an Art in the Park event suggested by James Paradiso.

Doug Purington said there was a need to have more focused meetings, that committees should be established to summarize developments so momentum won't be lost due to the infrequency of regular meetings, and that we should consider going back to meeting once a month. Al Richman suggested that the idea for a welcome wagon by merchants for new residents that was never acted upon should be reconsidered. Terri Olian said the RNA should focus more on staging events.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2011 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 at Ravinia Train Station.

Present were Phylis Bagman, Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Paul Frank, Lynne Jungman, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Derek Norman, Jean Meier, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Karlson Rapp, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin, Al Richman, Dave Wigodner and Ron Wolff

After introductions were made by each, Adam Natenshon invited members to visit their home’s newly installed geothermal heating system.

Don Miller presented a Plaque of Appreciation and an antique model car to Ken Temkin for his service as treasurer of the RNA.

Eve Tarm read a 3 point report from an absent James Paradiso regarding a possible summer art fair at Jens Jensen Park. Steve Meyer has been contacted, as has Carolyn Hersch, who said this would be a wait and see proposition.

Amy presented her proposal for a free and civil speech festival the third or fourth week in September to involve children and/or Ravinia residents. She read the RNA’s Mission Statement, which she felt in sync with such an event. She also mentioned the work our library’s Julia Jonas has done on early Ravinia residents who were fervent practitioners of civil discourse. After a comment period which included mentions of work of the ACLU and of an earlier RNA re-enactment of an 1897 debate on the pros and cons of Ravinia becoming a part of Highland Park, Amy agreed to meet with Lynne Jungman and Jean Meier to flesh out a concrete proposal to be presented at our April meeting for approval.

Doug Purington gave a membership update. May will be the date he sends out renewal requests. We currently have 360 members and 217 households. Ray DeLong gave a newsletter update, stating that there was a roadblock in advertising, as our volunteer, Joy Largent, quit after the fall issue and there was no new ad person. Eve suggested we combine merchant membership renewals with merchant advertising requests, as she felt that having two visits to the merchants was confusing to them. Carolyn Cerf volunteered to be the advertising person after the April 5th election.

Eve Tarm gave a business district report. We are doing better on our business strip than Elgin, which she visited Sunday and which has many more vacancies in their downtown area. We are getting a kitchen design store and a wine shop. Still vacant is the space that sold wigs; the P.O., which the landlord says the USPS still has a lease on; and Shelton’s, which the owner has yet to decide on, as it has not been so long since his mother died. Eve also gave a TIF update. Approximately $644,000 is available. She is attending a City meeting tomorrow during which the group will decide on a job description for a part time executive director to help coordinate elements of the TIF.

Regarding the architectural screening to mask the exterior machines at the train station, Dave Wigodner reported he is on hold.

Eve announced we have a new webmaster – Karlson Rapp. He has researched templates that would make the RNA website run more efficiently, be easier to maintain, and perhaps do more tasks for us, e.g. a non-paypal means of processing memberships. Dave Wigodner made a motion that Karlson would study the implementation of an organizational management provider, such as Wild Apricot, or other templates, and subsequently implement a new website design. Ron Wolf seconded. There was one abstention; the rest voted yes. The fees should be around $50/month.

Don Miller requested Jean Meier and Ron Wolff to look at our amended Bylaws before they are to be presented for a vote at the next meeting. They agreed to do this.

Two City Council candidates presented their qualifications and interest in being on the council – Carolyn Cerf and Paul Frank.

Eve announced there would be a March meeting at which the two mayoral candidates would be present, and a March 6 meeting, 9:30 A.M., at the Highland Park Country Club at which all candidates will speak.

Phylis Bagan spoke as a representative of a group that opposes the District 113 Referendum appearing on the April 5th ballot.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15.

M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

December 2010 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. in his home at 281 Woodland Road. In attendance were Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern and Eve Tarm.Also attending were Councilman Terri Olian and PATCH editor Jacob Nelson.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said the number of individual memberships was up by 7 to 358, and households were up by 4 to 215. Email addresses were up by three, maintaining at 85 percent the level of members with email addresses. He reported receiving one two-year membership renewal and the sale of a copy of the Ravinia station print for $50. Regarding the number of households in Ravinia, Purington said there were 2,600.

Ray DeLong reported that the Spring Newsletter would be out around the time of our next meeting, which is scheduled for February 16. With Al Richman stepping down as ad chairman, DeLong said Joy Largent, a friend of Carol Willis, will be taking over that responsibility.

While asking members in attendance if they favored having another Garden Walk in 2011, Miller said he had 16 potential sites lined up, of which 10 would be new and 6 would be repeats from the past year. Beach and lakefront park locations from the 2010 walk would not be included. When asked, he said 80 to 90 people attended the past year’s walk, and that he was satisfied with that number, calling it a good beginning and a draw for new members.

Al Richman said the issue should be whether the event had created such overwhelming interest as to warrant a repeat next year or not. Peg Laemle said the reaction she observed was nothing like that. Competition from a similar walk in the same time frame was seen as a reason to avoid scheduling two the same year. Also to be considered was the need for buses when houses are of any substantial distance apart. The consensus was that a different type of event would be more suitable next year.

Purington said he had discussed the condition of awnings on Roger Williams Avenue shops with Carolyn Hersh, and that some needed to be cleaned and others replaced. He considered some an eyesore. Terri Olian said TIF funds were now estimated at around $470,000, and that some of that might be considered for the awning improvements and redeveloping parts of the business district west of the Metra tracks.

Purington said that if TIF funds were used for a new streetscape west of the tracks, the business district would succeed in drawing more customers only if the businesses themselves did a better job of improving their properties. He said better lighting and banners might also help. Eve Tarm said a women’s accessories shop and a kitchen design studio had opened in the former Ravinia Plumbing space at 595 Roger Williams. She also said Walgreen’s was surveying customers to evaluate their service staff, and that the Ravinia Business District Alliance would meet in January to decide what their priorities should be and whether they should hire an executive director.

Regarding Rosewood Beach, Tarm said the Park District had sent out notices about a public meeting to clarify its plans for the beach, but had at last minute postponed the meeting over news they had received regarding some possible additional funding. While the district apparently still has the original beach building RNA objected to in its plans, they said they might obtain the funding needed to provide more of the things the community indicated it wanted on the beach. Over 130 Highland Park residents had signed the RNA electronic petition thus far, and dozens more had made strong e-mail comments against the Park District building plans for Rosewood earlier, before the Design Review Commission discussed it.

Tarm said it was important to convey that the RNA initiative was aimed at improving the beach in a sensible way, and that the poor condition of the Highland Park public beaches in general called for better maintenance and stewardship instead of building massive unnecessary permanent structures, such as was proposed for the narrow sandy beach at Rosewood. She noted that access to Central Beach from the park on top of the bluff has been indefinitely closed, the yacht club building there is not in good repair, and the beaches and coastline are badly eroded. She hoped the Park District would listen to what people are telling them loud and clear, and that they would find the RNA petition and hundreds of comments people have made regarding Rosewood Beach helpful in understanding what the people really want there.

She said the petition clearly outlined improvements that would be necessary, such as restoring the significantly eroded coastline; intensifying bluff restoration and clearing undergrowth to provide views from the bluff; removing the wide asphalt drive on the beach and restoring the ravine path; removing and deemphasizing steel structures on the beach; replacing the dilapidated pier, and other efforts that would restore the natural look and beauty of the beach. The only permanent structure needed for the beach would be for public bathrooms. If there were a need and a good vendor for concessions, this could be done on a more temporary basis later.

Councilman Olian suggested that face-to-face meetings to discuss the future of Rosewood Beach with Park District officials might be a more effective way to achieve the desired results, and was supported in her efforts by the members.

Adam Natenshon presented renderings of what he thought could be done with the stairway leading to Rosewood Beach and other possible improvements. He said the Park District may be more willing to listen to the community now that they have been made aware of the negative reaction petitioners had to their plans. He also suggested more meetings with the District.

Miller asked for volunteers to help update the RNA by-laws. Jeff Stern and Ray DeLong agreed to be on the committee.

Stern said there was little new to report about the Ravinia train station, and that it appeared funding constraints would prevent the city from making screens to disguise the vending machines and painting the station’s exterior. Olian suggested RNA do the work as a community project, which was approved by all those present. Stern said he would ask Bob McCraren of the Public Works Department for the city’s OK. Natenshon agreed to help work on the project.

Aaron Wolff said that despite increased sales in 2010, the Ravinia post office would not be reopened, and that the City Council would discuss a ban only on hand-held cell phone at its January 10 meeting.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

October 2010 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

August 2010 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

March 2010 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis at 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Dave Wigodner and Carol Willis. Willis is now a board member-at-large, replacing Nancy Rotering.

For his Membership update Doug Purington reported that nothing had changed. He commended Al Richman for securing six new ads for the newsletter, which brought in $420.

In his newsletter update, Ray DeLong said the next issue was almost ready for the printer and would have12 pages, owing to extra ads and editorial content.

Miller said Eve Tarm was unable to attend to give her Business District report, but that a Baker Boys baking outlet will occupy the former Sloppy Jo's at 733 St. Johns, and that interest had been shown in establishing either a Mexican or Greek restaurant in the former medical office space on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant. There was also speculation about a new tenant for the former Ravinia Plumbing property at 595 Roger Williams.

Miller called attention to the meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. April 6 at the Ravinia School to review the TIF-related marketing report on the Business District, and urged everyone to attend.

Reporting on efforts to save the Ravinia Post Office, Peg Laemle said it might be six months before anything is known because of the number of closures that are threatened. Citizen activity has included the collection of signatures on petitions by Braeside resident Rosie Roseman at Walgreen's and Metra train stations. An estimated 500 signatures may have been collected there and at area businesses.

Amy Lohmolder had nothing to report on environmental issues. In his train station report Jeff Stern said he had noticed paint chipping off the outside walls of the station and would check to see if there were any plans to repaint this summer.

Dave Wigodner said he was working on a map of sites on the Garden Walk planned for July 18, which could be used for the newsletter, postcards and flyers. A discussion followed on plans for the walk. Purington will supply a list of current members who will be able to participate and bring family and/or guests for free. Also discussed were the assignment and responsibilities of helpers and docents.

After setting the next meeting for June 2, the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

January 2010 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 8:10 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis, 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Amy Amdur, Michael Bloomquist, Ray DeLong, Al Klairmont, Peggy Laemle, Alisa Leander, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Marcia O'Hara, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Dave Wigodner, Carol Willis and Aaron Wolff.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said there were 3 new members and 8 renewals, with $330 collected. He noted a steady drop in membership renewals, from 92% three years ago to 85% two years ago to 71% last year. He said overall membership stood at 497, and included 299 households.

Eve Tarm said business owners should want to support RNA, that finding new members was only part of the issue, and that renewals were also important. Amy Lohmolder suggested that meetings should be more social and fun events, rather than just business meetings. Given the economic situation and the fact there was nothing really bad happening in the neighborhood to get people upset, Dave Wigodner thought it was amazing we had as many members as we do. Carol Willis suggested having a committee devoted to keeping membership up. She felt many people didn't understand why RNA exists or what it does. Doug thought it was important to keep merchants informed of what was going on. Don Miller recommended that Lohmolder, Wigodner and Willis form a committee to plan special events to help raise awareness of and membership in the RNA.

In his report on the Newsletter, Ray DeLong said he had been fine-tuning the form to be used for soliciting advertisements, and that for now half-page ads would be retained. The possible enlargement of the newsletter from 8 to 12 pages that was discussed at the last meeting would depend entirely on the amount of copy being presented. He noted that the last issue carried almost the same amount of editorial space as ads. He predicted that the spring issue would be out by the end of March. Al Richman, who arrived late for the meeting, was still in charge of selling ads, but DeLong said Al had asked for another person to assist him who could eventually take over the job. Carol Willis said she has found a volunteer, and expects to have the person on board soon.

Regarding the possible closing of the Ravinia branch of the H.P. Post Office, some members thought there was nothing that could be done about it, but Don Miller said Mayor Belsky and Congressman Kirk were working to keep it open. Miller suggested spreading awareness of the issue by having someone write an article emphasizing the importance of the Post Office to the community. In the absence of Ken Temkin, no Treasurer's Report was presented.

In her Business District Report, Eve Tarm said that despite the poor economy, there were no new vacancies in the district, but no fewer, either. She said the convenience of the Ravinia Post Office was important in attracting new business while the downtown facility was inconvenient and often crowded. She urged everyone to sign petitions being circulated to keep the Ravinia office open. Peg Laemle said the amount of business the Ravinia Post Office handles would influence any decision, and that it needed to take in a minimum of $1,200 a day.

Tarm said the market study for the TIF District has been finished and that the city was planning a meeting at the Ravinia School at 7 p.m. February 11 to discuss it. Miller said Mayor Belsky asked Tarm to represent 2,600 area residents at the event. Tarm also said a prospect had been found for the Ravinia Plumbing building at 595 Roger Williams, but that the landlord wanted to charge the same rent as in better times. She also said the auctioning of condos in the Burack-built structure on Green Bay Road showed good real estate deals can still be made.

Responding to Miller's introduction, Al Klairmont said he had been asked to serve on the committee dealing with the TIF District, but that much more money would have to be collected before anything substantial could be accomplished.

In the absence of Harold Rafson, Eve Tarm said that in regard to environmental issues, there was an initiative from the neighbors around Brown Park that there should be better screening in the parking lot west of the Ravinia Station to keep car headlights from disturbing residents on Burton Avenue. A city Public Works team was to check the situation out next week to see what was really needed.

In his train station report, Jeff Stern said he and Miller had moved the Ravinia Neighbors Newsletter holder from the west to the east side of the station kiosk, and moved it up higher to keep it from being damaged by commuters who were leaning against it while sitting along the base of the kiosk waiting for their trains.

Miller said Amy Amdur, a director of the Port Clinton Arts Festival, had offered to help plan NRA's proposed Garden Walk, which was to include eight or nine area homes. He suggested sending out a postcard with a map showing garden sites, and that the event should be free to all members, who could bring up to six guests free as an incentive to sign up. Non-members would pay $20 admission, which could be applied toward RNA membership. Miller said Debbie Blanks and Lydia Walker, who weren't at the meeting, are considering chairing the event. The walk is to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 18. Details will follow, and plans are to be finalized at the next meeting, which is set for March 24.

Miller asked for and received approval to endorse a city plan to extend parking until 10 p.m. as a benefit to Ravinia restaurants during the festival season. Purington agreed to support Aaron Wolff in trying to persuade the City Council to ban all driver use of cell phones.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

November 2009 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis at 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin and Dave Wigodner, and Carol and Paul Willis.

Don Miller commented that 330 Newsletters – the highest in his memory – had been sent out as the Fall 2009 edition.

In discussing a proposed Garden Walk for next year, Miller floated the idea of sending out a jumbo postcard in the spring to advertise the event, which would be aimed at increasing membership and raising funds. He said the format for staging a Garden Walk was relatively simple, but would require stationing a number of people to watch the houses as well as the property outside.

Miller anticipated including eight to ten gardens in the event, which would be held on a Sunday in late July or early August. He suggested printing leaflets with a map pinpointing the address of each garden rather than taking on the expense of a booklet with advertising. He recommended having participants checked in at each garden on an honor system after pre-paying for their tickets. RNA would pay for a sign to be posted at the entrance to each garden on the walk. RNA Board Members would bring and man a table and chairs at each location.

Miller proposed that homeowners who open their gardens for the walk be given automatic membership in the RNA, although he thought many were likely to be members already. He said admission should be free to current RNA members and their families. Non-members would be signed up at the door and charged $20 for admission and one-year's membership. He compared this favorably to garden walks in other communities where admission could be as high as $45.

Miller said the four gardens he was recommending for inclusion in the walk were within three blocks of each other. He would like to expand that number to eight, but noted that any garden being considered must be one that is not visible from the street. Otherwise, there would be nothing novel for visitors to see.

Dave Wigodner said that before our next meeting in January we should identify additional gardens for the walk, since it was too soon to address other issues. Jeff Stern mentioned the need to check any proposed date for the Garden Walk carefully to make sure it does not conflict with any other popular local event.

In his Newsletter update, Ray DeLong commended Al Richman for his efforts to bring in ads, noting that the latest issue had 57 inches of copy vs. 53 inches of ads. In light of this, he suggested enlarging the next edition from 8 to 12 pages. According to the printer, he said that the extra pages plus the addition of 150 more copies would add only about $150 to the $500 cost of the current issue. DeLong was very satisfied with the current layout of the ads, and recognized that anyone who might replace Richman may not have the same degree of success. He said quarter page ads seemed to be the most sought after. He noted that four writers provided all the copy that could be used in the current edition, that there had been photos with each article, but that they could not all be used. He encouraged others to write articles, but couldn't guarantee they would all get in. A discussion then followed about whether publication of the Newsletter should be limited to the website or should continue to be printed and mailed out. A decision was made to await Doug Purington's input before pursuing the matter further.

Ken Temkin presented the Treasurer's Report, saying there was $7,687.78 in the RNA account, of which $5,100 was in a CD and the balance in checking. Expenses were around $700, which included $461 to print the Newsletter, $150 for postage and $75 to put the Newsletter on the website.

Regarding the Business District, Eve Tarm said a new business was opening today at 467 Roger Williams called the Calm Massage and Therapy Center. They were excited to be in Ravinia and signed up with a $50 RNA membership. She said Abigail's Restaurant remains very busy while Trattoria is less busy, and both the Sloppy Joe's and a storefront next to the Bank of Highland Park remain vacant. Also, the former Ravinia Plumbing building has a temporary occupant.

Dave Wigodner discussed recent developments regarding the Ravinia TIF district. He said a city meeting scheduled for August had been postponed due to the Art Fair, and that in October, a draft report of a market study that had been undertaken was received. He said there would be a meeting January 13 on the subject that will offer a public forum so residents can have input in the process, and that a committee would be appointed by the mayor to handle aspects of it.

In his Train Station Report, Jeff Stern invited members to consider a new message for the smallest of the picture frames RNA purchased to decorate the station walls, suggesting something to tout RNA and its role in the community. He noted that the water fountain in the station still doesn't have enough pressure to be usable and that the screens that were intended to disguise the vending machines outside the south end of the station still haven't been built. Miller said the lights over the kiosk outside the station have never been turned on, and that he had reattached the RNA Newsletter rack in a new location on the kiosk. A discussion about signs in the windows of vacant Ravinia businesses followed. Al Richman's idea for RNA to list helpful tradesmen was left for future discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

May 2009 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. at Jens Jensen Park.

Present were Amy Lohmolder Davies, Ray DeLong, Michael Harding, Peggy Laemle, Don Miller, Doug Purington, Harold Rafson, Alvin Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin, David Wigodner and others from the general public.

Josh Bloom and Kennedy Smith of the Community Land Use and Economic (CLUE) Group outlined their plans for conducting a Market Analysis to determine the types of businesses deemed desirable for the Ravinia Business District and what area residents were looking for. Bloom said the study would include input from Ravinia Festival staff and would result in a final report in four to five months. Kennedy said their work would also determine what uses might come from the facilities that were available in the district, and that it was possible that only a few options would be viable. She pointed out that there wasn't any one thing that might revitalize the area, and that their report would suggest roles for everyone to play.

Carolyn Hersch, of Highland Park's Office of Economic Development, reviewed the City Council's 2005 approval of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to replace aging infrastructure and revitalize Ravinia. She also elaborated on the process that led to the city's Request for Proposals (RFP) in December, 2008 for a Market Analysis, which brought about the selection of the CLUE Group to do the work.

The re-election of all current RNA Board officers was proposed and approved by voice vote of all members in attendance.

Treasurer Ken Temkin said RNA had $5,998.00 in its account, and that there had been $600 in expenses since his last report, mainly for mailing and the Spring 2009 newsletter.

Regarding membership, Doug Purington said he had received $1,000 in checks during the current membership drive, and that mailings would go out soon for renewals.

In the Business District report, it was noted that Abigail's Restaurant on Roger Williams Avenue had been written up in Chicago Magazine.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

November 2008 RNA Board Meeting


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
November 19, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.