THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2003 – 7:30PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Paul presiding.

ROLL CALL: Commissioner Enright (Present), Kerbrat (Present),

Kopeika (Present), Paul (Present), Place (Present)

Staab (Present), Staudt (Present)

ALSO PRESENT: Jack Lewis, Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and


COMMITTEE REPORTS: Chairperson Paul asked that the Development Committee schedule a date for a meeting. This committee is comprised of Commissioners Place, Kerbrat, Staab, and Staudt. Chairperson Paul wanted to clarify that the present committee would represent a quorum and meetings would have to be televised. He asked that someone step down and Commissioner Place said that she would become an alternate to the committee. It was decided that the committee email each other to decide on a meeting date.

Chairperson Paul suggested that the Long Range Planning Committee and the Park Development Committee combine and hold their meeting during the regular Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission meeting. Commissioner Staab said that he does not agree, due to the amount of time the long-range plan is taking to finalize. He feels that it will require separate meetings to finalize. It was agreed that the meeting would take place March 5, 2003. There was no objection to holding the Park Development Committee meeting during the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission meeting.



1. Director – Randy Auler was ill and did not attend the meeting; Jack Lewis presented his report. He stated that the Capitol Improvement Budget was included in the packets, ranking projects in order of priority. The big item of the Operating Budget was the recommendation of a Forestry Technician for the maintenance department.

Mr. Lewis explained that the Department is evaluating the changes made to the youth sports placement process. The new policy has received both positive and negative feedback from the public.

Several members of the staff made presentations at the recent MRPA conference, including Randy Auler, Jack Lewis, Steve Printz, and Matt Wiktorowski.

Commissioner Staab asked what was involved with the changes in the Commission Organizational Rules and Order of Business, mentioned in Mr. Auler’s report included in the packet. Mr. Lewis said he wasn’t sure what was meant by that. Commissioner Staab would like this to be clarified by the next meeting.

2. Deputy Director – Mr. Lewis stated that the he has spent much of his time this month on the budget and the brochure. Everyone should have the brochure, they were mailed out this week. Maintenance personnel have spent much of their time this month snow plowing.

Commissioner Staudt asked if a presentation would be made next month regarding concession contract bids. Mr. Lewis said that Derek Smith would present that information in March. Commissioner Staab asked why the changes were necessary. Mr. Lewis replied that inventory control and staffing adds additional work for the staff at a very busy time of the year. He added that many cities are going that way. Commissioner Paul asked that provisions be made for tournament staffing.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Mr. Bob Saxton, an Environmental Science teacher from Novi High School, and several students attended the meeting. He has started an outdoor recreation club at the school and would like to gather information on getting involved with the Commission. Commissioner Staudt asked for some specifics on the club. Mr. Saxton said he has worked with Dave Maurice, GIS Director for the City of Novi, mapping trails and recreation systems. He said he’d like to help with public relations, park cleanups, Earth and Arbor Day activities. Mr. Lewis said that he and Mr. Auler would like to meet with Mr. Saxton and discuss the function of the Commission and some opportunities for his club.


1. Approval of January 16, 2003 regular meeting minutes: The January meeting minutes were approved as submitted, with the following corrections:

  • Commissioner Staudt wanted to clarify the membership of the Resource Development Committee.
  • Commissioner Enright wanted the third to the last page corrected; it referred to her as Commissioner Eldridge.
  • Commissioner Kopieka wanted to verify that he’s on the right committee. In the meeting minutes, the committee has been called the Strategic Planning Committee but it has been referred to as the Long Range Planning Committee at the meeting. Chairperson Paul assured him they were the same committee and it should be referred to as the Strategic Planning Committee in the future.

2. Consideration to recommend to the Novi City Council, the acceptance of 16 acres of land for park purposes: Mr. Lewis stated that in the packets the Commission received recommendations from Randy Auler and Assistant City Manager, Clay Pearson. The City feels it would be a good piece to acquire due to the close proximity to Lakeshore Park. Mr. Lewis assured the Commisssion that the environmental tests have been done. Commissioner Paul asked about access and Mr. Lewis replied that the residents access the land through the treatment plant. Commissioner Paul asked if the land connects to Lakeshore Park. Commissioner Kerbrath asked to clarify the history of the property, as she recalled looking at that parcel in the past for future park development and there was a problem with City Council.

A motion was made to table the recommendation until the March meeting, at which time Mr. Auler should make a presentation to address these concerns.

(Kerbrat, Enright; C-Un)


  • Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission Strategic Action Plan input: Commissioner Paul stated that he emailed everyone to think about areas that should be focused on in the Strategic Action Plan. From that input, he would like to make a presentation to staff to add to the citizen input they’ve already received. A discussion ensued on the following subjects :
  • Commissioner Staudt feels time is critical to start looking for funding for park acquisition. He also feels we need to "expand and improve our environmental education".
  • Commissioner Enright feels we need to look at "what we currently have and bring all our parks and recreation up to par, to where they should be first before we start reaching out to other areas".
  • Commissioner Staab said that firstly he would like to have the plan done. He feels that it is "unacceptable to wait until July or August for a plan that was pretty well done 6 months ago". He is willing to meet weekly to get it done and feels that the input from the citizens that was collected last spring, is getting stale. It has made us miss the time frame to be eligible for grant money and he feels an "organization without a plan is like a boat without a rudder". We need to get Community Sports Park up to the "jewel" we call it.
  • Commissioner Place echoed everything the other commissioners said. We need to get the parks we presently have "to the level we see in surrounding communities and then get into land acquisition and look for alternative funding".
  • Commissioner Kopeika agreed that "a lot of the things we said we would do by now have not been done, we need to get the planning groups active and actually making plans". He would like unlimited enrollment for every activity.
  • Commissioner Kerbrat said she volunteered for the Commission to improve the quality of life for her child. She feels we "lack a lot in activities for younger children and we need to have a stronger partnership with Novi School District. We overlap on a variety of activities, including summer programs. Instead of maybe having one activity offered in multiple locations, we have multiple activities offered the same week".
  • Commissioner Paul noted that the discussion included a lot of collab-oration and common ground. He would like to establish a "best in class Parks and Recreation Department and give people a reason to live here". Setting up foundations finances improvements without "taxing the taxpayer".
  • Commissioner Staab added that we must continue to finance and maintain the quality of Meadowbrook Commons, one of our finest additions to the community. It has enhanced the Meadowbrook Glens area and a couple of commissioners have benefited from that.

2. Novi Community School District and Parks, Recreation and Forestry partnership: Commissioner Paul advised that the meeting with Dr. Lippe and Bob Stieh had to be delayed. The meeting is intended to bring the partnership with Novi Community School District up to the next level and create a collaboration. One of the goals is to have someone from the school district get involved with the Commission and perhaps the reverse.

INFORMATION ITEMS: Novi Youth Baseball is hosting a luncheon at the Novi Civic Center, March 25th at 12:15 PM, for a donation of $13.00. Terry Croad will present the vision for Community Sports Park


Commissioner Staudt would like staff to consider not starting programs the week of spring break, he feels it is a hardship.

Commissioner Enright asked if there is a partnership agreement with the Novi Jaguars. Mr. Lewis stated that partnership agreements with all groups under the umbrella of Novi Parks, Recreation and Forestry are being formulated and will be presented to the Commission next month.

Commissioner Staab announced on Friday, February 14th (Valentine’s Day) the Choralaires will have "Chocolate and Song" starting at 7:00 pm at Meadowbrook Commons for $8.00.

Commissioner Place asked Mr. Lewis about the Ice Arena sand floor improvements. She asked why cement floors weren’t looked into. Mr. Lewis said that he recalls that the price difference was approximately $100,000.00 at the time the arena was built, as opposed to an economical one time fix. Commissioner Place also asked if there was a way to keep track of items that need to be brought forward to future meetings. She would be willing to devise an informal tracking form. Commissioner Kerbrath asked if she meant a pending item list, that was eliminated because it was never used. Commissioner Place said she was thinking of a quick "punch list".

Commissioner Kopeika asked about development of land south of the high school. Some Dunbarton Pines residents approached him and he didn’t have any updates for them. This subject went to City Council a few months ago with a presentation from Novi Schools, with several Dunbarton residents in attendance and was approved by Council. Mr. Lewis added that the Dunbarton Pines Homeowners Association was notified and several Dunbarton Pines residents stopped by the office and viewed the plans.

Commissioner Kerbrath congratulated everyone on the new brochure, she thought it looked "fabulous". She thanked Derek Smith for his hard work on Camp Lakeshore. She told Tracie Ringle that the scouts backed out of the Daddy Daughter Dance because of the timing. Tracie advised that the dance will not coincide with winter break next year.

Commissioner Staudt asked that the Department formulate an email policy now that we are asking participants to include their email addresses with their registrations. We need a written policy for disclosing email addresses.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:49 PM.