View Agenda for this meeting

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2005 – 7:30 PM


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

ROLL CALL: Commissioner Bamzai (Present), Burke (Present), Enright (Present) Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present), Staudt (Present), Wagner, (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Present).

Commissioner Enright welcomed Commissioners Bamzai and Wagner to the Commission.


Moved by Wingfield, seconded by Schwarlose to approve the agenda as written.



Commission Committee Report:

A. Resource Development Committee – Commissioner Staudt

1. Commissioner Staudt deferred the Foundation report to Commissioner Staab.

2. Commissioner Staab stated that the Naming Rights Agreement was signed by Mayor Csordas on Monday night. We have a meeting on October 18th, to develop committees around the naming rights. We will divide up into two areas, marketing and sales. We will be able to go out and get our information to the community. Commissioner Staudt will be working with us on a quality marketing piece to solicit funds in those areas. Also, we will be allocating funds from the golf outing. We have an enthusiastic group that are eager to get started.

Commissioner Staudt stated that we received a $2,500 donation from the Novi 50’s Festival and would like to thank them very much. Also received a grant from the Gannett Foundation which is $1,250 which will be allocated to the Scholarship Program, it was written for that specific purpose.

Commissioner Enright asked if we had a time frame set up for the marketing of the Naming Rights? Would it be spring, or fall?

Commissioner Staab stated it would be soon. We would like to see something happening by year-end.

Commissioner Staudt stated that basically we were waiting for the Naming Rights contract to be signed.

Commissioner Staab thanked Director Auler for his help in getting the agreement finalized. He also wants to thank Commissioner Staudt, also Vice Chairman of the Foundation for his help with the negotiations.

Commissioner Wingfield commented on the success in asking for donations when the Jaguar Soccer registration occurred and asked if something comparable was planned for the Novi Youth Baseball?

Commissioner Staudt stated that one of the committees that we are going to put together will be an inter-organizational committee. So we will be able to work with many groups.

Commissioner Enright asked if Commissioner Staab could take some time to explain the Foundation to the new Commissioners.

Commissioner Staab explained the Foundation is a 501 ( c ) 3

Corporation, which is a way of setting up an organization to allow people, organizations or companies to contribute. They get a significant tax break by doing that. Our Foundation was set up to support Parks, Recreation and Forestry only. This is the first foundation set up within the City confines and we became legal last year. Our first kick-off was in March of this year. At our golf outing/fundraiser August 4th, we raised approximately $20,000. This was chaired by Commissioner Burke, who did an excellent job.

We got excellent support from all facets of the City and we had approximately 142 golfers at the Links. We also negotiated an arrangement with the City of Novi that we are going to be the chief fund raising manager of the naming rights. Different things throughout the City will have the availability of having different names put them. i.e. Tom Holzer baseball field or Allied Printing soccer field and they would pay a fee for that for a year or two years.

B. Park Development Committee – Commissioner Wingfield

As my final meeting as Chairman of this Committee, I have two things to report on. The Lakeshore Park shelter roof has been awarded, and they will start at the end of this month and should be completed in a few days. Secondly, the irrigation at the Community Sports Park has been awarded. It should start October 14th on four fields and that will mean that all eight fields will have irrigation on them, as well as all the soccer fields. That should complete that task.


A. Park and Forestry Operations – Jack Lewis, Deputy Director

Deputy Director Lewis stated that the contractor for the street tree replacement so far has planted 170 trees; they started about three weeks ago. The trees were planted in Yorkshire, Simmons Orchard, Dunbarton Pines, Cedar Springs and Roma Ridge. The did not do any planting this week, they are still waiting for more trees to come in. I spoke with the contractor yesterday and they plan on having all the trees in by the end of the week. Next week they are planning on having two crews out and planting about 80 – 100 trees a day. They are still confident that they will get all the trees in on schedule this fall.

Commisser Staab asked Director Lewis to list the subdivisions again.

Director Lewis stated that Yorkshire, Simmons Orchard, Dunbarton Pines, Cedar Springs and Roma Ridge were the subdivisions.

Commissioner Staab stated that he saw cards saying that they were going to receive some trees in their subdivision, would that mean this fall?

Director Lewis replied that they probably would be out next week.

B. Recreation Services – Randy Auler, Director

Director Auler stated that the International Festival went well with 17 countries represented and approximately 1500 – 2000 people attended the event. We were very pleased with the turn out. We had a wrap-up meeting this evening and reviewed what enhancements we can make to the event for the future. We would like to hold that event in October, next year. The Committee discussed having it as an outdoor festival. They seem to like that concept with having an alternate game plan in the event of inclement weather. They also like the October time frame.

The second item that we will promote in the next few weeks is a new program that we are calling "Out of the Basement" series. It is an opportunity for middle school and high school bands to participate in what will be Friday evening concerts. We have three or four Friday evening concerts scheduled at the Civic Center. We will have two bands in an evening. It will culminate in a year-end activity that we hope will be outdoors, kind of a "Wood-Stock" theme. All of the bands will play that day in a period of 3 – 4 hours to attract the middle and high school students, primarily the high school students is the target market. We’ll start getting the information out. I’ve had two phone calls today from bands and will be actively soliciting more bands. We hope to make this is our pilot project with three or four concerts and then the "Wood-Stock" type event. If everything goes well, we would like to expand it into a year-round event during the school year. This is another opportunity for youth within the community to come out in an environment that has supervision but not overly supervised. A fun type of activity – unstructured event. I have some experience in previous communities and look forward to doing that here.

The last item is the opportunity for high school students to participate in a high school sports program that is geared towards kids that are not playing varsity ball. There are a lot of kids that want to get together and play volleyball or lacrosse and we want to begin promoting that in the coming weeks.

Commissioner Enright asked the student reps if the high school has a battle of bands type event.

Commissioner Bamzai replied that they have a talent show once a year and at their recognition assemblies (3 per year) the bands do play. Also there are other concert type events once a month, and one big event where bands from Northville and Novi meet up at Ford Field in Northville and play there.

Commissioner Wagner stated that they also meet at Village Oaks clubhouse, the garage type bands are real popular. He thought it was a good idea.

Commissioner Enright asked if Commissioners Bamzai and Wagner would get word out on this event, they replied yes, and thought it would go well with the people.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if the high school program will be structured or will it be a drop-in/pick-up ball.

Director Auler replied that it would most likely be an intra-mural program.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if they would have officials?

Director Auler replied yes, they would have officials. The students would not be able to be playing on a school team in that sport, it will be for students that just want to get together and have fun.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if the school athletic director is in support of this.

Director Auler replied yes.

Commissioner Bamzai asked what sports would be offered.

Director Auler replied that basketball, volleyball and in the spring, and softball would be offered.

Commissioner Bamzai stated that she thought soccer should be offered since the high school soccer team is difficult to make.

Director Auler commented that he would look into that.

Commissioner Wagner stated that he is a referee and thinks that soccer would be a good idea.

Commissioner Enright stated that there is no freshman soccer team at Novi high school for girls or boys, only junior varsity and varsity, so there are a lot of soccer players out there.

Commissioner Bamzai commented that boys baseball should be offered.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked if there would be a fee to participate in the band contest, and if there was admission for students coming to watch? Also, the capacity and location?

Director Auler stated that there will be a minor admission fee to the event but there will be no fee for the band. Also, we will be looking for parent volunteers to help supervise. The stage will be utilized in the Civic Center and the whole multi-purpose room. In previous experience, we held an event after the home football game, wheeled the stage out on the field and had the student bands out there to kick-off the football season. Then in May before school let out, we had another event with about 15 – 20 bands to wrap up the year.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked if there will be a nominal fee for the sports.

Director Auler replied that there will be a fee required to participate to cover equipment, officials for the program to break even.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked if basically we just need to cover the cost?

Director Auler stated we are not looking to make a profit; we just want to cover our costs and keep the fee at a minimum. The goal is to get the youth involved.

Commissioner Staudt commented that softball season just ended and he thought that Brian did a great job, the tournaments were well received and the concessions were well done. He asked if the concessions are making any money?

Director Auler stated that the concessions need to be a for profit revenue generator. We did generate additional revenue; not an extreme amount, not 30%, which is where concessions need to be, but we did generate additional revenue.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that they had a meeting in February with about 25 managers and discussed some issues and came back with having good quality supervision there. I feel that most of that was corrected with Brian down there and it was a much better season than in the past, also Derek did a good job too.

C. Administration – Randy Auler – Director

1. Class Registration Software Program Update

City Council will receive in their packets the Commission’s recommendation regarding the registration software program and it will be on the October 24, 2005, agenda.

I also wanted to give you the cost of hosting the website in house, the cost would be $46,450.

Commissioner Enright asked if this was additional money?

Director Auler replied yes, that the cost was an additional $46,450. So, the Commission made a recommendation to Council to pursue the upgrade of the software system with the $35,000 also to provide the cost for the other and if Council were to make that money available or pursue that, the Commission would support that.

Commissioner Staudt asked if it was an additional $46,000?

Director Auler replied yes.

Commissioner Staudt stated that he would like to see the numbers and he did not agree with that at all, that’s unreasonable but that it was OK.

Director Auler stated that for the benefit of the students and residents at home that our current software registration program is from 1992, it is 13 years old. Technology has changed rapidly and we are very limited in our ability to expand service. Some of the areas that we are not able to do right now is to provide internet registration. The only way to register now is to fax it in or come in to the counter between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. When we get this new program up to speed, which looks like January or February, you will be able to register from home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, it will provide the ability to review our facilities that are available for rental such as shelter reservations, ball field reservations, Civic Center meeting rooms, etc. from home and eventually a year from now we will be able to bring that on the internet. The last component is sports league scheduling. I mentioned that we have 1800 youth in our soccer program, about that in our basketball program, 1000 participants in the adult softball program. Currently, we do all that scheduling by hand, pencil and paper, both for games and practice time. That is not the most efficient use of staff time and doesn’t provide the most effective service to the citizens, so this will automate this process and eventually we will bring that on-line as well. The program we are recommending is state of the art, software program that is available.

Director Auler stated that Linda Wickert has retired from her position within the department. Sheri Sansom is the Cultural Arts Coordinator and will be coordinating theater, dance and music and will be expanding the programs to broaden our base of support and generate interest within the community.

Commissioner Enright asked for comments.

Commissioner Staudt asked if standings will be available on the new on-line system and will they be maintained.

Director Auler replied yes, it will be set up so that the sports supervisor will not have to come into the office and will be able to update everything from home.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked what the timeline is for bringing in the program and also the building reservations part. How will that affect the position of the person hired for building reservations? How will that position change?

Director Auler replied that for our facility reservations at the Civic Center we utilize a part-time seasonal person that not only does that function but helps with room set-ups, cleanup etc. Eventually once this system gets automated we will still need someone to oversee that but again that is a part-time seasonal position. It will automate the process for the customer when they come in, right now it is a two-step process and it will streamline that and create efficiency. It will certainly free up some staff time in terms of part-time seasonal hours that may not be needed. In terms of timing, we have an internal team of staff from the Information Technology department and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry department and the Finance department that will become involved. One of the things that we are going to do is integrate this with the City’s financial system, right now we do a lot of double entry to get our information into the system and would like to eliminate that. If City Council approves this on October 24, 2005, we will proceed with the acquisition of the software and have the installation set-up and training occurring November, December and January and be able to utilize the program in January for individuals that will walk up to the counter and register. We look to go on-line with the registration in terms of internet registration in February/March. It will be a phased process because some of the programs such as the day camp, we use a lottery system and then there is a drawing. We will have to work through how we will phase the lottery system out and how that will work with the internet registration. Do we put it all on the internet, some of the programs? The facility reservations will be on the internet next September/October. We generally start our internal facility reservations for the following year in October, opening them up for the community in November. Shelter reservations will follow-up in January of the next year. We are working on a lot of policy and procedure issues, either revising or adding process and policy.

Commissioner Enright asked how many programs rely on the lottery system because of the large numbers?

Director Auler replied that day camp, basketball and volleyball for youth use the lottery system.

Commissioner Wingfield asked how many kids are on the wait list for basketball? Are we going to accommodate these kids? What is the situation?

Director Auler replied that we were able to accommodate everyone last year and will make every effort to accommodate everyone this year if there is a waiting list. We have had some preliminary discussions with Catholic Central and the school district as well in terms of opening more facilities. But I will get back with you on the number on the waiting list.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that it seems like for 3rd grade boys basketball there are 100 kids that would be 10 teams and works out perfect. I’ve had 6 or 7 parents come to me and say that my son is on the waiting list, so I am curious.

Director Auler stated that the middle school team has not been selected yet. Generally people will sign up and then if they make the middle school team they drop which will free up space, it’s a juggling act on Wendy’s part to get everyone on it.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that these were 3rd graders.

Director Auler stated that it affects middle school because if 30 kids drop out of the program that is 30 more spots for practice time that we have that could be 3rd graders, 2nd graders, 5th graders. We go through the same thing with soccer, basketball and volleyball.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that we went to a split season to accommodate all the kids and we just hate to see an 8 or 9 year old not having the opportunity to play a sport.

Commissioner Staudt asked if we are considering setting up kiosks, or a PC set up in the lobby.

Director Auler replied that we would have a PC that will be set up at the registration counter that will be available for that opportunity.

Commissioner Staudt asked if we increase the number dramatically of transactions that are done on-line, we are going to incur an increasing amount of credit card discount fees. It could be thousands of dollars. Are we considering raising our fees to accommodate that? If the on-line processing goes up to 90%, like I think it might, that could cost us a lot of money.

Director Auler stated that there is going to be convenience fee for utilizing the internet. Most private and public sectors charge a fee. We haven’t established what that fee will be.

Commissioner Staudt stated that hopefully it will be enough to cover any additional fees for credit cards. As Commissioner Staab stated if your talking $100,000, 2% of that is $2,000 and that is a significant amount of money.


A. Approval of September 8, 2005 regular meeting minutes.

Commissioner Enright stated that there was a correction to the minutes; they read that Commissioner Burke was absent and he was present at the meeting.

A motion was made to approve the amended September 8, 2005 regular meeting minutes by Commissioner Schwarzlose and seconded by Commissioner Staudt.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

B. Annual election of officers

1. Chairperson

A motion was made to re-elect Commissioner Enright by Commissioner Burke and seconded by Commissioner Staudt.

Commissioner Enright regretfully declined.

Commissioner Burke then made a motion to elect Commissioner Staudt as Chairperson, and seconded by

Commissioner Zyczynski.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

Commissioner Staudt then asked when the November meeting would be and asked if he would be still be eligible to participate if he was elected to City Council.

Commissioner Staab stated that he thought so until the person was sworn in.

Commissioner Staudt moved to nominate Commissioner Wingfield as Vice Chairperson and it was seconded by Commissioner Staab.

Voice Vote Carried Unanimously

C. Annual organization of committees

Commissioner Enright stated that we have two committees, a Resource Development committee and our Park Development committee. Do we need to maintain these committees; do we need to add another committee? She opened the floor for discussion.

Commissioner Enright commented that the Park Development committee was useful when we had a major project going on, at the moment we do not have any major projects going on and this is a committee we could perhaps put together if such a project came up. Commissioner Enright thought Jack and Randy cover most of the information.

Commissioner Staudt stated that we were going to institute a committee where we looked at the available land and designated some long-term opportunities and started that planning process. We are looking at developing the next round of potential parks, not that we have any money, but at worst, identified. So we don’t get into the situation where we have a Meadowbrook sitting there where possibly you could buy at a lower cost. The Park Foundation would like some direction on potential properties that are available around town. The "pie-in-the-sky", things that someone else owns should a development occur, maybe they give us 20 acres and we turn it into a soccer field. Maybe the park development committee takes the role of building the database and map of potential locations for future parks. It would be extremely valuable for the Foundation, and potentially for City Council down the road if opportunities presented themselves. I think Park Development is still a very relevant committee and would be useful to see what we have available.

Commissioner Staab added that not only from land standpoint, but park development and resource development in conjunction with our Foundation because we are laboring to develop strategy for donation and funding and the more assisting we get in that arena the better off we’ll be. So I would support Commissioner Staudt’s recommendation also.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that she would support the recommendation to keep the Park Development committee to see what land might be potentially available in the future.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that both committees, the Resource Development Committee was the foundation and it has served its purpose, so I question whether that is needed again. The Parks Development committee basically was non-functional for a year. Then Marie, when you had it there was a lot of things with Community Sports Park. I agree with Commissioner Staudt.

Another idea would be to have different committees that would meet with the staff every quarter or six months. A youth sports committee, adult sports committee, senior citizens, a marketing and public relations committee. If brochures are going out three of us will meet with the people doing the brochures or information for the newspaper. Our job as the commission is the eyes and ears of the community and I think the Parks and Recreation department is doing a fantastic job. Wendy and Derek doing a great job, everything is going great, but it wouldn’t hurt if we had four or five committees. We’re not getting into trying to tell you what to do. Just to interact with those people in those areas two or three times a year for an hour. That way our ears in the community can get back to these people. If I want to be on the marketing and public relations committee, we sit down and look at the brochure before it goes out and give them some ideas. I think that in staying in touch with what is going on in the Department versus long range committees would be good. Nothing is wrong with trying to address some of the current and basic day-to-day things, not that they are bad, or wrong but I think that is part of our role as a Commissioner.

Commissioner Enright stated she didn’t want the Department to think that we are trying to micro-manage them. She thought it should be part of our partnerships, one of us attend when we meet with the Jaguars, or Novi Youth Baseball, or soccer associations. I’d like to see one of us represented in those meetings.

Commissioner Burke stated he did not agree with micro managing. To be able to have some small degree of input on some significant events, like the brochure may not be a bad thing. I don’t know how many committees you can develop to get into the different nuances without micro managing. I agree with Commissioner Wingfield that the we can pretty much dissolve the Resource Development Committee. We can rely on one of the members from the Park Foundation to give us an update. The Park Development Committee with what we talked about with the close of the Meadowbrook issue would certainly be something that we should do and target that as a priority.

Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that as far as the input with the staff, we have taken the opportunity when we have gotten feed back from citizens to meet with Randy and his staff. They have always been very open and I hesitate as well to get into the day-to-day basis. I appreciate now the fact of the staff coming in at a monthly meeting basically tell us what is going on in those individual areas. We could look at a major undertaking, we can all have input and give some direction at that point.

Commissioner Staudt stated in January of 2003, a Resource Development Committee was created. Commissioner Staab has been there from the beginning. I suggest that we do need a Park Foundation update and we do need a Naming Rights update, we need to be engaged in these things on a regular basis. I would like to see a Park Foundation liaison Committee made up of the two representatives from the Park Foundation, to keep it in front of the Commission and keeping them informed of what is going on. My recommendation would be to create a Park Foundation liaison made up of our two representatives to the Foundation and I’d like Commissioner Staab be the chair. I don’t know if we have anywhere left to go with that Committee in terms of additional opportunities for resource development. We have developed sponsorship programs that the staff is now undertaken and seem to have done a good job. We have the Foundation; we have the Naming Rights, let’s keep reporting on the Foundation in front of the Commission and keep a high level of communication. This is a real partnership between the Commission and the Foundation and I think it is really critical that we keep that flow of information coming through. We do have a responsibility to Council to make recommendations, especially budget related expenditures for the Foundation. We do not want to abdicate the role we have of making those recommendations. With the new Naming Rights policy, the money for capital improvements, that recommendation is coming from Council. Let’s make sure we have input to Council so that our voice is heard at the Foundation level. I think that a Committee with the two Foundation representatives should stay in place, moving forward, and report.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that he respects everyone’s opinion here and has no objective to micro-managing the department and doesn’t want more two-hour meetings. Randy and the staff have been very receptive to issues or programs. Also having the staff coming in a giving a report. I have no desire to be on three committees and I retract that. I think sometimes everyone here has their own special interest but I think the department is more receptive to our issues. What I suggested was just a thought and I respect your opinions and let’s go forward.

Commissioner Enright summarized the comments by saying we will maintain the Park Development committee but perhaps change the focus, look at land acquisition opportunities and basically change the name of the Resource Development Committee to the Park Foundation Liaison Committee or Liaison Committee. Have Charlie chair it and report on it.

Director Auler stated that the Park Development tasks are aggressive; it will be a very active working Committee.

Commissioner Staudt asked to defer the appointment of that Chair until the next meeting due to changes that might occur.

Director Auler asked if we could add other Committees suggested by the students and place it on the next agenda.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked to clarify the scope of the Park Development Committee.

Commissioner Staudt stated he would like GIS studies, maps, etc. like a master zoning review group and it may require an inter-phase with the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Enright asked about a high school teacher with some students that were willing to do some mapping. Perhaps this is something we can look into. We can put this on our next agenda and finalize it then. She mentioned to Commissioners Wagner and Bamzai to bring any other ideas.


Director Auler stated this is the first version of the quarterly reports. It is something we started with City Council and basically gives an overview and the objectives of Council as related to Parks, Recreation and Forestry, and the goals and objectives of our Community Recreation Plan. We tried to break it down into the staff performance measures. The ice arena and Meadowbrook Commons will be added in the next report. I welcome your comments. This is a way to help keep us on track as it relates to our Community Recreation Plan and continuing the accomplishment of those objectives.

Commissioner Enright asked Director Auler to explain the "Work in Progress" and "Significant Progress".

Director Auler explained that "Work in Progress" is anything less than 90%.

Commissioner Enright asked about "Add two maintenance positions".

Director Auler explained that as it is identified in the Community Recreation Plan, but it is not a City Council goal and has not been included in the budget. So there is no progress.

Commissioner Enright asked about "Resolve drainage problem on Community Sports Park field #6". Is there a short-term fix that is plausible for that?

Director Auler stated that the maintenance staff will be looking at a "French drain" along with third base side dugout. The goal is to have that completed before the season in 2006.

Commissioner Enright asked about the goals "Build City’s own Performing Arts Building", is that a short-term goal?

Director Auler replied that it is a City Council goal. The short-term goals are 18 months or less.


Commissioner Schwarzlose wanted to recognize and thank the two members of the Foundation in the progress they made in bringing the Naming Rights Policies to closure and help develop and use those funds in our parks.

Commissioner Wingfield stated this was an excellent report and asked if every quarter we will get something like this?

Director Auler replied yes.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if the contract for the ice arena is up soon, or do we re-negotiate with them? What is the process?

Director Auler replied that he hasn’t identified that yet. The contract is up in 2006. When it was up last time, we did re-negotiate with Suburban. City Council was favorable to that process and approved. My intention is to get with Suburban and re-negotiate and bring that forward. If it were not in the best interest of the City, then we would go out to bid. We have been very pleased with the performance of the company there. It is now operating and covering its cost, service levels have improved and our program continues to increase. I have devoted the first quarter to the Naming Rights Agreement and some of the other things identified in the report.

Commissioner Staudt stated that he has spent three years on the Park Commission, Charlie and Marie have been with me during that time. If I am here at the next meeting that would be great and let’s move forward. If I’m not here, I’m going to miss you.

Commissioner Enright expressed congratulations on the Naming Rights Policy. On behalf of everyone, we wish Dave the best of luck and best wishes on your run for City Council. She also complimented Randy, on the "Out of the Basement" series, flag football, and different programs for the high school.

Commissioner Staab thanked Chairperson Enright for a very eventful year. Also thanked our two student representatives for stepping up and joining us.



The meeting was adjourned at 8:37 p.m.


Signed, Marie Enright, Chairperson


Signed, David Staudt, Vice Chairperson