A stricter interpretation of state liquor laws by excise police has prompted
the Porter Park Board to adopt a new liquor policy for renters of its
facilities including the Hawthorne Park community center and shelters.
Vote on the alcohol policy was 4-0. It is effective immediately and
persons/groups with existing contracts for upcoming rentals will be
notified, said park director Brian Bugajski.
The Park Department now will solicit requests for proposals from caterers
with a three-way liquor license and from approved liquor vendors from which
renters may choose; member Ross LeBleu clarified renters still may opt to
secure a one-day state liquor permit through a licensed server if they so
Park Board member Jeff Bailey said state excise rules have backed the board
into a corner. “We don’t want to restrict rentals. We’re kind of between a
rock and a hard place.”
Board president Rondi Wightman said she hopes to keep as many eligible
caterers/servers on the new preferred list as possible to give renters more
Bugajski said the Park Board’s newly hired attorney Ken Elwood agreed the
department’s previous policy was not compliant with excise laws. The board
met with him earlier this month in closed executive session to discuss a
In a related matter, the Park Board adopted by ordinance new rental rates
for park facilities that include special rates for multiple standing rentals
and non-profit groups. The board retained its option to waive rental fees if
Members unanimously approved a Hawthorne rental at reduced cost for Susan
Calvert of Westchester Intermediate School Fifth Grade. Up to 300 students
could participate in the June 4 outdoor lunch; community center use is
Also adopted Tuesday was a revised agreement with the Porter Redevelopment
Commission for maintenance of town hike/bike trails to include snow removal.
Raffin resignation told
Member Patty Raffin, who’s served more than eight years on the board,
resigned effective immediately Tuesday under closing comments. After the
meeting she said leaving now gives the Town Council one month to find a
Raffin said she was honored to have the opportunity to serve on the board
and gave her decision serious consideration, however, her other
responsibilities and increased commitments outweighed staying. Her current
term expires Dec. 31, 2013.
She also said she’s confident that with the Park Department’s new
restructuring of staff and Bugajski’s hiring, “They’re in good shape.”
Raffin plans to continue her involvement with the Bud’s Buddies friends of
the park group.
Raffin has been an especially active member; she was thanked for her Park
Board service and involvement.
Full summer schedule
Outlined were a variety of summer programs and events for the public at
Things kick off Monday with a 1 p.m. Memorial Day program at Hawthorne. The
ceremony will include dedication of the James Butz Parkway, a one-lane,
tree-lined closed portion of Rankin Street south of the baseball diamond.
Eventual parkway upgrades are planned.
Amanda Glasser is the new summer park director. She asked for donations of
paper towel and toilet paper tubes, as well as newspaper and popsicle
sticks. Applications still are being accepted for two arts & crafts
The Park Program for ages 5 to 10 runs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 12
p.m. from June 10 through June 28 with a one-week break, then resuming July
8 through July 26. Bugajski announced Nicholas Sufana returns as a season
worker, and the director thanked Bob Kremke for his volunteer efforts and
Lakeshore Drifters for their annual plantings.
Raffin said the Sounds of Summer concert series at Hawthorne’s east shelter
begins June 12 with additional performances July 10, Aug. 14 and possibly
July 31. Food vendors and ballroom-dancing exhibitions are included. Robert
Vodnoy is musical director of the series. The June 12 concert is sponsored
by Westchester Public Library.
June 14 at 5:30 p.m. Porter town departments will host a youth Summer Safety
Fest featuring an anti-bullying presentation “Be the Exception” by PATH
(Positive Approach to Teen Health).
Wightman also said plans are on track for the July 4 Family 4th Fest.
Commented Bugajski, “You name it, we’ve got it.”