Posted by John Thomas
The meeting in the Winnetka Community House was opened at 12:05 by acting chair, Bob Baker.  The pledge of allegiance was led by Eric Birkenstein and followed by “Thought for the Day” from Joe Fell.  Lunch was served at 12:15 and the meeting started about 12:40. 28 of our 51 members were in attendance plus three guests. Marybeth Stein was with us who is Congresswoman Beth Schakowsky’s office local liaison. Also a guest was Dr. Alan Goldberg, the Supervisor of New Trier Township and our speaker. Lastly, the third guest was Gerry Keenan who is applying for membership.
Mr . Baker then conducted the initiation of our new member, Rick Boerjesson. He was welcomed with almost raucous applause and cheers!
Joe Nash is staging another “guest bartender” night at Little Ricky’s on March 8 to benefit Kids Against Hunger and raffle items are needed. However, he added that a popular local band will do two sets that will immeasurably enliven the evening.
Heidi Sibert reminded us that the Kids Against Hunger food packing free-for-all takes place soon and we still need volunteers.
Our caterer, Donna, noted she will be gone for three weeks but in her absence, the food service will continue unabated.
DIG & GRIN: Patti Van Cleave spun an engaging shaggy dog story with an O. Henry ending that got solid applause!
SPEAKER: Bob Baker introduced Dr. Alan Goldberg, the New Trier Township Supervisor and colleague of Rotarian John Thomas -- who is a Trustee of the Township. Goldberg began by noting that there is no relationship between the Township and the High School. They both have a similar, but not identical, footprint. The cost of the Township operation is less than 1/10 of 1% of our tax bill!
Goldberg explained the Township exists to serve residents in many unique ways and is the only local government body that supports pro-bono agencies. It runs a large and active Food Pantry for many residents who need that assistance. Other not well known aids are assistance in U.S, passport applications and, more importantly, aid to taxpayers in developing and filing appeals to their Cook County real estate assessments.

Separately, the Township manages the “Angel Fund”. This fund is separate from tax supported efforts and comes from voluntary cash donations. It is used as emergency relief for a few families who need help but don’t qualify for the other pro-bono efforts.
Lastly, the Township has a full-time LCSW on staff who helps individuals and families apply for aid and monitors many of those. That person has been very engaged in helping residents find assistance during the current opioid crisis.
There then ensued a lively Q&A with Goldberg fielding a wide variety of questions about Township services and operations. After Alan Goldberg drew the lottery ticket  and recited the winning number, the meeting closed at 1:27 after a recitative of the 4-way Rotary pledge.