Thirty-four members attended the May 22 meeting.   We had one guest, Nancy Marcus a representative of the League of Women Voters in Winnetka.

Two new members were inducted into our club, Greg Skirving and Mike Malloy.  Their sponsors were David Birkenstein and Luvie Owens, respectively.
There was a final reminder that there will be a Fireside Chat on May 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Nielsen Tennis Center.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about the functioning of the Club and its various charitable projects.  Mark your calendar.
Our club will be hosting the third joint meeting of the Rotary year with the two Wilmette Rotary Clubs on June 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the Winnetka Community House.  We will not have a noon meeting on the 19th.  The guest speaker for the evening will be Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart.  We hope to have an excellent turnout of our own members.
The following week, June 26, we will once again not have a noon luncheon meeting, but will meet that evening for our Installation Dinner.  It will be an opportunity to thank Eric Birkenstein for his past year’s leadership and induct Bob Baker as our new president.  It will be Bob’s second time around as president.
Three member were given special pins for bringing new members into our club – David Birkenstein, Peter Skalski and John Thomas.
Fred Schwimmerer was presented with his 2nd Paul Harris Fellowship pin.  Congratulations Fred and thanks for the support of The Rotary International.
This week David Birkenstein was given his “Moment to Shine.”  He is a semi-retired accountant who also handles trusts and the like for some of his long-time clients.  He spoke about his love and pride in his family.  David remarried after his first wife died at 61; and he claims to have been married to the two finest women on the North Shore.  He learned to cook after his first wife passed away and has expanded his culinary skills way beyond scrambled eggs and coffee.  He has previously served on the Winnetka Community House Board and the United Way Board.  David loves to discuss history, politics and religion.  One of David’s proudest accomplishments is the fact that he has played Santa Claus for the past 40 years at a variety of community functions.
Next week come prepared to work as the program involves to packing of 180 sack lunches for a program known as Just Harvest, which has taken on the task of feeding the hungry.  Member Barb Tubekis will be directing our ‘community service’ project.
The speaker for the meeting was Priscilla Mims, a Director of the League of Women Voters of Cook County.  Priscilla spent most of her time explaining the different divisions of county government.  For example, 1/3 of the county budget is dedicated to the Health and Hospital System, which maintains two county hospitals and numerous clinics.  Another major component of the county budget is devoted to Public Safety, which includes the Sheriff’s office and his deputies, the state attorney of the county and the county judicial system.  A significant amount of revenue for the judicial comes from the fees that are assessed for filing cases.  Health care and public safety account for over 2/3 of the county budget.  The county government also includes everyone’s favorite the county assessor’s office, which sets the value of both public and private property for purposes of taxation.  The county has a budget of over $3 billion and the source of revenue from taxes equals only 24%.  Much of the revenue comes from assessed fees and home rule taxes on products like alcohol and cigarettes.
Priscilla pointed out that the Cook County Forest Preserve District is a separate entity with separate taxing powers, but the same board of commissioners serves the County and the Forest Preserve District.  In addition to managing the Forest Preserves they also own the land of the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe and Brookfield Zoo.