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Board of Park Commissioners

The Park District of Highland Park is governed by a five-member elected Board of Park Commissioners. Members serve without compensation and are directly responsible to the electorate.   Commissioners serve staggered terms of six years with elections every two years. The Board establishes policy and strategic direction; creates ordinances that govern the District; appoints Board officers,  Executive Director, Park Board Attorney and Auditor. Each Commissioner individually acts as a liaison to the District’s internal and resident advisory committees. The  Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month and holds a workshop (meeting of the whole) on the second Tuesday of each month. Any resident of the Park District of Highland Park who meets the requirements set forth by the Lake County Board of elections is eligible to run for a seat on the Park Board.

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Barney
Barnett Ruttenberg (Term ends: 2025)
President
bruttenberg@pdhp.org
Barnett (Barney) Ruttenberg was re-elected to the Park Board of Commissioners in 2019. He serves at the Park Board president and as a member of the Finance Committee. Having earned his BA from the University of Illinois and his JD from Northwestern Law School, Barney's legal career focused on Real Estate transactions. His ability to listen to people, synthesize information, and negotiate solutions to problems serves him well in public service.

Serving on the Park Board is another in a long list of Barney's public service contributions. While actively engaged in his legal career, Barney served as a member and chairman of the Highland Park Plan Commission. He served on the Lakefront Advisory Committee, the Rosewood Beach Task Force, and on his synagogue's school board. Barney offered pro bono counsel to Openlands in the acquisition and development of the Fort Sheridan nature preserve site.

Raising two sons in Highland Park, the family enthusiastically used many of the Park District's programs, camps, and facilities. As energetic adults, he and wife Marsha are frequent users of the Recreation Center of Highland Park and Park Avenue Beach where Barney enjoys sailing and kayaking. Active in the North Shore Yacht Club, Barney served as both Commodore and Board President.

With a wealth of professional experience, his finger on the pulse of the community, and a focus on fiscal responsibility, Barney is well prepared to represent the residents of Highland Park as they look to the Park District to provide excellent programs, services, and facilities for residents of all ages.

Terry Grossberg (Term ends: 2023)
Vice President
tgrossberg@pdhp.org
Terry Grossberg is enjoying his first term on the Park Board and serves as the Park Board liaison to the Parks Foundation of Highland Park. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and went on to earn a master’s degree in Music Education. Terry has been a teacher for 34 years and currently serves as the Instrumental Music Department Chairman in Deerfield District 109.

Terry and his wife Marla moved to Highland Park in 1993. They made the move in part because of the parks and the lakefront which made Highland Park stand out above other communities. Along with his two children, Emily and Danny, they are proud to call Highland Park home.

Terry is a passionate volunteer and dedicates most his free time to a variety of causes. He is the liaison to the City's Human Relations Advisory Group (HRAG), organizer of the MLK Day of Service, a volunteer for the Moraine Township Food Pantry and the Stupey Cabin Restoration. Terry is a recipient of the City’s Character Counts Award and is the founder of HPForward – a pro-kindness initiative on the North Shore.

As the head of HPForward, Terry has helped build a community of over 1,200 – mostly Highland Park residents, which aims to volunteer more, do more random acts of kindness, and overall simply look out for each other around town. The HPForward community has done several initiatives around town, but the two of which he is proudest are “Dinners with Dignity”, in conjunction with Catholic Charities at St. James Church in Highwood and “Tree Hugs.” In the past year, Tree Hugs provided coats and other warm winter gear to over 200 residents in less fortunate neighborhoods.

Terry is an avid tennis, paddle and pickle ball player and enjoys playing golf at Sunset Valley Golf Club.

Cal
Cal Bernstein (Term ends: 2025)
cbernstein@pdhp.org
Re-Elected to the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners in April, 2019, Calvin ("Cal") Bernstein was named chairman of the Park District's Finance Committee in 2011. He co-chairs the Golf and the Baseball Advisory Committees and serves as the Park Board liaison on the Greenprint 2024 project team.

His commitment to Highland Park and its ongoing success is shown through his community involvement. Over the last 22 years, Cal has coached dozens of Park District-sponsored house and travel baseball teams. He is a former member of the City of Highland Park Zoning Board of Appeals and currently serves as a charter member of the Highland Park Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Cal Bernstein earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and holds a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law. Currently, he is a name partner in the law firm Samuels & Bernstein. Cal, his wife Julie, and his children continue to be active users of the Park District programs and facilities.

Jennifer Freeman (Term ends: 2027)
jfreeman@pdhp.org
Jennifer Freeman is serving her first term as a Park Commissioner.

Jen began her journey of local voluntarism shortly after settling in Highland Park in 2010. She has held leadership positions on community boards and committees such as the Parks Foundation of Highland Park, Highland Park Historical Society, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), NSSD 112 Caucus and NSSD112 Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team. As a board member for the Parks Foundation of Highland Park she worked closely with the Park District administration to help raise awareness and funding for the SMILE Grant-in-Aid program for those in our community who are financially unable to participate in Park District programming.

Jen is a former practicing litigator and currently holds a senior business development role for a Chicago tech company. Prior to this, she leveraged her litigation and legislative/regulatory expertise into a fifteen-year tenure in legal tech consulting for two large advisory firms.

Jen appreciates the effort and planning it takes to balance a budget and achieve balance as a working mom. With three elementary-aged kids, her personal experience with Park District facilities and programs inspired her to participate in the success and innovation of both going forward. She champions intergovernmental cooperation and has considerable knowledge of and familiarity with other local governing entities and organizations. Jen brings her dedication to Highland Park, knowledge of and love for the Park District, and prior local board experience to the Park Board.
Brian
Brian Kaplan (Term ends: 2027)
bkaplan@pdhp.org
Brian Kaplan's passion for the Park District of Highland Park was born from his own experience forming, coaching and managing a local youth travel baseball team for six years.

Elected to the Park District Board of Commissioners in April 2011, he currently co-chairs the Athletics, Hidden Creek AquaPark, Recreation Center of Highland Park, Senior Program, Sunset Valley Golf Course, Sustainability, and Youth Program Advisory Committees. He also serves as the Park Board liaison to the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA).

A member of the law firm of Dickler Kahn Slowikowski & Zavell, Brian has over 28 years of litigation experience representing parties in civil litigation matters, including personal injury claims, contract matters, product liability claims, medical malpractice claims, third party and employers' liability claims, and arson claims. In addition, for the past 14 years he has handled workers' compensation claims on behalf of employers.

Brian's legal work is concentrated in all phases of trial work. He has successfully defended employers in numerous arbitration hearings and oral arguments before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, as well as several Circuit Court and Appellate Court appeals.

A Highland Park resident since 1969, Brian remains dedicated to the ongoing improvement of the community. He has two children with his wife Julie, who are all frequent users of the Park District of Highland Park programs and facilities.

Regularly scheduled meetings of the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month and a workshop (meeting of the whole) on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted by (*) because of holidays.

All Meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. The Governor has issued a disaster declaration related to public health concerns because of COVID-19, and all or part of the jurisdiction the Park District of Highland Park is covered by the disaster area.  The President of the Board of Park Commissioners has determined that in-person meetings conducted under this Act is not practical or prudent because of said disaster.  Likewise, in compliance with the capacity limitations caused by the disaster, public attendance at the meeting is not feasible.  Therefore, the Board of Park Commissioners have made alternative arrangements in the manner described below to allow any interested member of the public access to contemporaneously hear all discussion, testimony, and roll call votes.

When the disaster declaration is lifted meetings will be held at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 unless otherwise indicated. Meeting dates are subject to change by action of the Board of Commissioners. Special or Emergency Meetings may be scheduled in addition to Regular Meetings. Notice of these meetings will be posted on this website, in the lobby of West Ridge Center, and sent to local news media. If you are interested in meeting agendas and minutes that are not archived on the website please call: 847.831.3810.

2021 Upcoming Meetings

THURSDAY, JUNE 24                           Facility Committee Meeting

THURSDAY, JULY 8                              Lakefront Committee Meeting

TUESDAY, JULY 13                               Facility Committee Meeting

TUESDAY, JULY 13                                Workshop Meeting

THURSDAY, JULY 15                            Policy Committee Meeting

TUESDAY, JULY 20                               Finance Committee Meeting

TUESDAY, JULY 27                                Regular Meeting

TUESDAY, AUGUST 10                          Workshop Meeting

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24                          Regular Meeting

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14                   Workshop Meeting

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28                   Regular Meeting

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12                         Workshop Meeting

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26                        Regular Meeting

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9                      Workshop Meeting

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16                    Regular Meeting

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7                       Workshop Meeting

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16                 Regular Meeting

 


The Park District provides a live stream of public meetings. The next public meeting is the Facility Committee Meeting on Thursday, June 24 at 4:00 p.m.

 

For public comment, members of the public can attend the virtual meeting so they may have the opportunity to speak during the public comment period.

 

If you wish to speak during the virtual meeting, please register below through the June 24 Facility Committee Meeting registration link. Registrants will receive an email with meeting access information from it@pdhp.org.

 

Anyone wishing to speak during the public comment period of the virtual meeting will need to use the “Raise Hand” function in Zoom to indicate that they would like to speak. During public comment the Board President or Board Secretary will call on registrants who have activated the “Raise Hand” feature in alphabetical order.

 


Pursuant to Policy # 2.06.14, of the Park District Policy Manual, The Board has adopted and approved the following rules for public comment.

 

  • Each person (or representative) is limited to speak one time only, unless the Board President or presiding officer determines that allowing a speaker to address the Board more than once will contribute new information germane to an issue on the agenda for that meeting.

  • All comments from the public will be limited to three (3) minutes per person. The President or presiding officer reserves the right to suspend or limit the length of time Public Comment may occur without prior notice.

  • No debate or cross examination of speakers is permitted. Comments should be directed to the Park Board of Commissioners only.

  • All comments must be civil in nature. Any person who engages in threatening, slanderous or disorderly behavior when addressing the Board may result in loss of speaking privilege and possible removal from the meeting.

 


2021 Board Meetings, Agendas, & Minutes

DATEAGENDAREGISTERVIDEOMINUTES
Thursday, June 24 Facility Committee Meeting June 24, 2021 Facility Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideo
Tuesday, June 22 Regular Board MeetingJune 22, 2021 Regular Board Meeting PacketRegisterVideo
Wednesday, June 16 Parks and Nature Area CommitteeJune 16, 2021 Parks and Natural Areas Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideo
Canceled - Tuesday, June 15 Parks and Nature Area CommitteeCANCELED - June 15, 2021 Parks and Natural Areas Committee Meeting AgendaVideo
Monday, June 14 Finance Committee Meeting June 14, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideo
Tuesday, June 8 Workshop Meeting June 8, 2021 Workshop Meeting PacketRegisterVideo
Canceled - Tuesday, June 8 Policy Committee Meeting CANCELED - June 8, 2021 Policy Committee Meeting Agenda
Thursday, June 3 Lakefront Committee Meeting June 3, 2021 Lakefront Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideo
Friday, May 28 Special Meeting AGENDA - May 28, 2021 Special Meeting
Tuesday, May 25 Regular Board MeetingMay 25, 2021 Regular Board Meeting PacketRegisterVideo
Thursday, May 20 Finance Committee Meeting May 20, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideoMay 20, 2021 MInutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 11 Workshop MeetingMay 11, 2021 Workshop Meeting packetRegisterVideo
Tuesday, May 11 Annual Board MeetingMay 11 2021 Annual Meeting AgendaRegisterVideo
Canceled - Thursday, May 6 Finance Committee Meeting CANCELED - May 6, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, April 27 Regular Board MeetingApril 27, 2021 Regular Board Meeting PacketRegisterVideoApril 27, 2021 Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, April 22 Finance Committee Meeting April 22, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideoApril 22, 2021 Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 13 Workshop MeetingApril 13, 2021 Workshop Meeting PacketRegisterVideoApril 13, 2021 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Thursday, April 8 Finance Committee Meeting April 8 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideoApril 8, 2021 MInutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Canceled - Tuesday, April 6 Special Meeting CANCELED - April 6, 2021 Special Meeting
Tuesday, March 30 Regular Board MeetingMarch 30, 2021 Regular Board Meeting PacketRegisterVideoMarch 30, 2021 Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 17 Finance Committee Meeting March 17, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideoMarch 17, 2021 MInutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, March 9 Workshop MeetingMarch 9, 2021 Workshop meeting PacketRegisterVideoMarch 9, 2021 MInutes of the Workshop Meeting
Thursday, March 4 Finance Committee Meeting March 4 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaRegisterVideoMarch 4, 2021 Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 23 Regular Board MeetingFebruary 23, 2021 Regular Board Meeting PacketRegisterVideoFebruary 23, 2021 Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, February 18 Finance Committee Meeting February 18, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting Agenda



VideoFebruary 18, 2021 MInutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 9 Workshop MeetingFebruary 9, 2021 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoFebruary 9, 2021 Minutes of the Workshop Meeting
Thursday, February 4, Finance Committee Meeting February 4, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoFebruary 4, 2021 Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Canceled - Tuesday, January 26 Regular Board MeetingCANCELED - January 26, 2021 Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, January 21 Finance Committee Meeting January 21, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoJanuary 21, 2021 Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting
Canceled - Thursday, January 14 Finance Committee MeetingCANCELED - January 14, 2021 Finance Committee Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, January 12 Workshop MeetingJanuary 12, 2021 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoJanuary 12, 2021 Miuntes of the Workshop Meeting

 

 


2020 Board Meetings, Agendas, & Minutes

DATEAGENDAVIDEOMINUTES
Thursday, December 17 Finance Committee December 17, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - December 17, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, December 15, Regular Board Meeting December 15, 2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoDecember 15, 2020 Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 8, Workshop Meeting December 8, 2020 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoDecember 8, 2020 Minutes Of the Workshop Meeting
Thursday, December 3 Finance Committee MeetingDecember 3, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - December 3, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, November 24 Finance Committee MeetingNovember 24, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - November 24, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Thursday, November 19, 2020 Cont'd Regular Board Meeting November 17, 2020 Regular Board Meeting - to be continuedVideoNovember 19, 2020 Minutes of Continuation of the November 17 Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 17 Regular Board Meeting November 17, 2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoNovember 17, 2020 Minutes of the Board Meeting
Tuesday, November 10 Workshop Meeting November 10, 2020 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoNovember 10, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Thursday, November 5 Finance Committee MeetingNovember 5, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - November 5, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 27 Regular Board Meeting October 27, 2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoOctober 27, 2020 Minutes of the Regular Board Meetting
Thursday, October 22 Finance Committee MeetingOctober 22, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - October 22, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, October 13 Workshop Meeting October 13, 2020 Workshop Meeting AgendaVideoOctober 13, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Thursday, October 8 Finance Committee MeetingOctober 8, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - October 8, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, September 22 Regular Board Meeting 9-22-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoSeptember 22, 2020 Minutes of the Regular Board Meetting
Thursday, September 17 Finance Committee Meeting September 17, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - September 17 2020 Finance Committee Meeting br
Thursday, September 10 Finance Committee Meeting September 10, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - September 10 2020 Finance Committee Meeting- br
Canceled - Tuesday, September 8 Workshop Meeting CANCELED - September 8, 2020 Workshop Meeting
Tuesday, August 25 Regular Board Meeting 8-25-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoAugust 25, 2020 Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting
Thursday, August 20 Finance Committee MeetingAugust 20, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - August 20, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, August 11 Workshop Meeting 8-11-2020 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoAugust 11, 2020 Minutes of the Workshop Meeting
Thursday, August 6 Finance Committee Meeting August 6 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaVideoMINUTES - August 6, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 5, Special Meeting AGENDA -August 5, 2020 Special Meeting
Tuesday, July 28 Regular Board Meeting7-28-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoJuly 28, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Wednesday, July 15 Finance Committee Meeting July 15, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - July 15, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 14 Workshop Meeting7-14-2020 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoJuly 14, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Thursday, July 2 Finance Committee Meeting July 2, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - July 2, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, June 23 Regular Board Meeting 6-23-20 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoJune 23, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Canceled Friday, June 19 Finance Committee Meeting CANCELED - June 19, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, June 9 Workshop Meeting 6-09-20 Workshop PacketVideoJune 9, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Thursday, June 4 Finance Committee Meeting June 4 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - June 4 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Thursday, May 28 Finance Committee Meeting May 28, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - May 28 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 26 Regular Board Meeting5-26-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoMay 26, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, May 26 Annual Meeting Annual Meeting Agenda 05-26-20 (final)VideoMay 26, 2020 Minutes of Annual Meeting
Tuesday, May 12 Workshop Meeting5-12-20 Workshop Meeting PacketVideoMay 12, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Tuesday, April 28 Regular Board Meeting 4-28-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoApril 28, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 14 Workshop Meeting April 14, 2020 Workshop Workshop Meeting packetVideoApril 14, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Tuesday, March 31 Regular Board Meeting 3-31-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoMarch 31, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 10 Workshop Meeting03-10-2020 Workshop Meeting PacketMarch 10, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Tuesday, March 3 Finance Committee MeetingMarch 3, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - March 3, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 25 Regular Board Meeting2--25-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoFebruary 25, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, February 11 Workshop Meeting02-11-2020 Workshop Meeting PacketFebruary 11, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting
Tuesday, February 4 Finance Committee Meeting2-04-2020 Finance Committee Meeting AgendaMINUTES - Feb 4, 2020 Finance Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 28 Special Meeting01-28-2020 Special Meeting PacketJanuary 28, 2020 Minutes of Special Meeting
Tuesday, January 28 Regular Board Meeting01-28-2020 Regular Board Meeting PacketVideoJanuary 28, 2020 Minutes of Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, January 14 Special Meeting1-14-2020 Special Meeting PacketJanuary 14, 2020 Minutes of Special Meeting
Tuesday, January 14 Workshop Meeting1-14-2020 Workshop Meeting PacketJanuary 14, 2020 Minutes of Workshop Meeting

Click Here for Archived Board Meeting Information