There were 34 members in attendance.  This week’s guests included two visiting Rotarians: Robert Steinberg from the Palatine club and Basil Lewis from the Humberside, UK Club in northern England.  Basil and President Bob Baker exchanged club flags.  Jake Ieuter brought colleague Amy Giovannetti as his guest
President Baker announced that our November 6th meeting would be held at the Takiff Center in Glencoe due to the Modernism and Antique Show at the Community House. 
Patti Van Cleave announced that we have received $6000 toward Operation Warm.  $20 will buy a needy child a new warm coat for the winter.  Patti encouraged the members to contribute as well as seek contributions from friends and co-workers.  She also mentions that there will be a meeting of our Rotary Foundation Board on October 16th immediately following our regular lunch meeting.  She also asked for help in composing the Foundations year-end appeal letter.  Robert Mardirossian, Mike Malloy and Wes Baumann volunteered to assist.
Liz Taylor announced that on October 15th there would be a ‘celebrity bartending’ event at Little Ricky’s.  Liz will be the mixologist; all of the tips will go to Operation Warm.
This week we celebrated the birthdays of Brooke Peppey and John Stone and the 2nd Rotary anniversary of Joe Nash.
Robert Mardirossian contributed a Happy Buck because he learned about the history of the Green Bay Trail marker trees in the exchange of flags.
The day’s program was a presentation by Northfield Manager Stacy Sigman and Village President Fred Gougler.  They spoke of Northfield’s vision for the development of the downtown commercial area as well as providing an update on the Willow Road project.  We learned that Northfield has only a single commercial vacancy, which is by far the best occupancy rate on the North Shore.  They mentioned that there was a plan for the redevelopment downtown center completed in 2008 that has formed the starting point for most discussions.  Hundreds of residents and business owners contributed to the final document.  The goal is to have all new business be a complement to the existing businesses.  They have a storm water study that projects the needs for the next 20 – 25 years.  A traffic study is also part of the development plan.
While communities can be planned they also experience change.  Northfield’s vision is constantly changing as the needs and desires of residents, businesses and commuters all have an impact.  Each project that comes before the village fathers is looked at independently to see how it might fit in their community.  Money is always a factor that must be accounted for and each project must contribute to the changing vision.  Home Rule has given the town greater flexibility in achieving its goals.  As an example BP was going to close its station on Willow Road and leave the property as it was, but the village was able to force them to clean up the site.  Now a Dunkin Donuts is the anchor for a small commercial development on the site.  Stacy asked for the support of the current business as they are struggling due to the impact the reconstruction of Willow Road that has been going on for the past two years.
The lack of decent diagrams and maps showing exactly were all the utilities were placed 75 years ago has slowed down some of the work on the Willow Road project.  The Village is hoping that all the major roadwork is completed by the end of the calendar year.  IDOT has revised the work schedule to a 10-hour day and a 6-day workweek.  The hope is to have all major roadwork completed by the end of 2014.  Next spring the project will be finished with landscaping the medians (most of Willow will be separated by medians), new bike paths, new decorative lighting and new traffic signals.  The speed limit will be changes to a constant 35 MPH.  The goal is that people driving along Willow will know that they are entering a unique place and that the downtown will be more visible.
At the end of the meeting John Stone drew the winning ace of hearts from the relatively full deck in our “End Polio” raffle. Perhaps we will find out next week what John plans to do with his winnings.