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Parks & Recreation
Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting Minutes
April 3, 2012
PRESENT: Azer, Diedrick, Doneen, Etten, Ristow, Simbeck and Wall
ABSENT: Boehm, D. Holt, M. Holt contacted staff with excused absence
1. INTRODUCTIONS/ROLL CALL/PUBLIC COMMENT
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – MARCH 6, 2012 MEETING
Minutes of the March 6, 2012 meeting were approved unanimously. Chair Etten thanked former Commissioner Gale Pederson for her work.
3. Introduction and Oath of Office for New CommissionER
Nolan Wall took the Oath of Office from Commission Chair Etten. After the swearing in ceremony, Wall and other Commissioners shared a brief background of themselves.
4. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TASK FORCE REPORT
Etten introduced the topic and explained that Commissioner Simbeck and Doneen serve on the Human Rights Commission Community Engagement Task Force.
Doneen updated the Commission on their current work indicating that the task force is charged with developing recommendations for civic engagement. Overall the city does a good job in this area and the task force is searching for room for improvement. They are discussing areas such as neighborhood notifications, neighborhood identity development and enhanced internet activities. A draft recommendation has been discussed with the City Manager and City Planning Staff with a preliminary report expected to be provided to the City Council soon. For various reasons, the task force is a bit behind the early 2012 deadline.
5. PARK & RECREATION RENEWAL PROGRAM DISCUSSION
Chair Etten introduced the topic. No new information is available on the litigation status. The City is waiting for the decision of the appellate court. Etten commented on the good weather this spring that would be ideal in accomplishing many of the renewal projects but emphasized to the commission and to the community that work cannot begin until the litigation is cleared up.
Staff communicated to the Commission that most of the preparation work that can be done has been done without incurring substantial costs.
Staff and the City Attorney have been working through the Arizona State Agreement on the Best Value Procurement but the contracts have not yet been executed. Timing of execution is very important due to the need of having ASU on board for the duration of the four year program. Concerns were expressed about missing the reasonable construction season for projects.
Leveraging resources to compliment the Park and Recreation Renewal Program has been successful so far including partnerships with FORParks, FORHANC, Roseville Rotary and the award of a natural resource grant for tree planting.
A meeting with FORParks and FORHANC was held to discuss the Nature Center improvements and explain the status of the renewal program. It is still the hope of the groups that 2012 is the year to begin the projects.
Staff reminded the Commission and the Community that, in anticipation of the Renewal Program, the Park Improvement Program (PIP) had been substantially reduced in 2012 not allowing for a typical PIP project year.
Doneen mentioned his desire to tap into the huge volunteer resource. Specifically, in the time of waiting for a court decision, are there possible projects that can be done to maintain the community enthusiasm. Doneen volunteered to frame possibilities that could limit staff resources and costs, provide training and be done safely. For example, with buckthorn eradication being of extreme interest to the community, could there be a smaller project area that could be done to keep people engaged while waiting for a decision. Commissioner Doneen will draft a proposal for staff and commission review.
Ristow commented on the reduction of staff and resources to the parks and recreation system making it more difficult to accomplish natural resources tasks like buckthorn removal. It is not only the removal of buckthorn, but substantial resources are needed for disposal.
Staff reminded the Commission that the full time park supervisor position that handled these efforts in the past was eliminated from the department’s budget leaving a substantial void. The Renewal Program was intended to help in this area.
Wall summarized some of the key items outlined by the Commission and staff that should be addressed including awareness, safety, proper training, proper supervision and disposal.
6. DIRECTORS REPORT
o Chair Etten commented on the importance of the goals reflecting parks and recreation as an integral part of the community.
o Azer commented on her observation of the important role of the parks in the community and how they are intermingled in many sections of the work plan. Much work has been done by the Commission to get people involved.
o Doneen encouraged the city to identify the specific need for the shoreland and erosion control ordinance item and contact the area hydrologist to work on it rather than wait for the DNR. The DNR is not anticipating doing anything at this point.
o Doneen commented on the overall interweaving of parks and recreation in many of the items, whether they are called out specifically or not. He assumed parks and recreation staff would be involved and that the budget would follow the direction.
o Ristow commented on the importance of and the high use of our parks and the need to keep them vibrant as gas prices are increasing and people staying home more.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Lonnie Brokke, Director