View Agenda for this meeting

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2006 – 7:30 PM


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

ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Goyal (Absent), Policicchio (Present), Radcliffe (Present), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Present), Wagner (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Present).


It was moved by Commissioner Dooley , seconded by Commissioner Zyczynski to approve the agenda.

Voice Vote Unanimous


PRESENTATIONS: Strategic Planning/Visioning for youth sports division – Wendy Duvall, Youth Sports Coordinator

Ms. Duvall informed the Commission that the Department has been awarded a grant from National Alliance for Youth Sports. A new staff member, Susan Cusick, has joined the Department to develop a preschool program to be held at the Civic Center. She has some great marketing ideas and has researched the other programs within the City of Novi to assure that this program would not be duplicating any services. The program will target working parents and will be offered two weeknight evenings and possibly Saturday mornings. Each class will be one hour long, in six week sessions, with no more than 20 children per class, beginning in late January or early February. She will also be researching other grants for the Department.

Ms. Duvall commented that she felt that the Flag Football Program was a great success for a new program. She noted that the kids were "running back and forth, cheering, and having a ball – they just loved it". She said she was impressed with the level of play in the first and second grade and interviewed the parents who told her that they appreciated that the sport was added. She commented that it was a great stepping stone for the tackle program and anticipates a large increase in the numbers for next year.

Ms. Duvall announced a Girl’s Fast Pitch Softball Clinic on May 19th at the Novi Civic Center and that team registration will begin in January for High School Basketball. She is researching after school activities for teens and working with the Senior Director on research to develop sports opportunities for senior and baby boomer teams.

Ms. Duvall said that as part of her strategic plan she is working on a customer survey to define the needs of the community. She wants to determine what they "expect, want, and what do they value the most and then we’ll develop a vision of how we can meet the needs of the community".

Commissioner Wagner confirmed with Ms. Duvall that the high school participants must register as teams and that the basketball league would be playing 3 on 3.

Ms. Duvall replied that we will do whatever the interest is.

Commissioner Wagner asked if she was going to put a survey out regarding that, as he felt most people wanted a 5 on 5 format. He also asked her to elaborate on what other after school activities she was researching.

She replied that she is working on a survey for 7th - 9th graders, students that are too young to drive or work and that are not usually involved in organized activities. She said that the Department is not sure of what the kids want and is hoping the survey results will define the need.

Commissioner Zyczynski commented that she thinks it’s great that research is being done on sports for baby boomers.

Commissioner Staab added that he was glad to see that the Flag Football Program was successful and that it would be a good feeder for the Novi Bobcats.

Commissioner Wingfield clarified that the flag football only goes up to the fourth grade.

Ms. Duvall replied that we offered fifth and sixth grade but approximately only ten kids signed up, not enough for a league.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if the numbers have been good for the spring Lacrosse League.

Ms. Duvall replied that we had one team in the fifth and sixth grade.

Commissioner Wingfield asked how the Volleyball and Basketball Program numbers were.

Ms. Duvall replied that one more team was added in boys grade 1-3 and girls grade 1 is up a couple of teams. She added that the Volleyball Program numbers are about the same, but fifth grade is down and fourth grade is up.


A. Park Foundation – Commissioner Staab

Commissioner Staab reported that Tuesday, November 14th is the annual meeting at the Senate Restaurants. Presently the Foundation has "around $55,000 in our coffers and $10,000 -$12,000 unrestricted. It’s nice to see in Jack’s report that we have sixteen participants in the scholarship fund. That has been a lynchpin of our Foundation from day one and we want to do more". He announced that the Foundation would hold an election at the meeting; naming David Staudt as chair, Linda Blair the vice chair, Kathy Cosentino the secretary/treasurer, and Jay Dooley the naming rights chair. Commissioner Staab noted that the naming rights campaign kicked off October 1st. The Foundation sent information kits out to 60 -70 people and reported that they have received no strikes but there is a lot of activity.

B. Greenway/ Pathway – Commissioner Zyczynski

Commissioner Zyczynski reported that the committee will give a presentation at the following Monday’s City Council meeting, a copy of which was included in this month’s commission packet.

C. Strategic Planning – Commissioner Schwarzlose

Commissioner Schwarzlose reported that the committee had no formal report to present, a timeline is included in the Director’s Report, and noted that they are still on schedule for delivery of the plan during the budget process.

D. Partnerships – Commissioner Dooley

Commissioner Dooley reported that he had no news to report, but hoped that he would at the next meeting.

Commissioner Wingfield noted that steps have already been taken to identify partnerships within the Department. He said he wanted to further identify the role the committee should take. He asked Director Auler did if the role of the committee was to identify and meet with the groups.

Director Auler replied that he recommended having the committee because there really are no partnerships in place. Some of the groups that have been identified are more of a customer relationship. He noted that a good partnership model is the Michigan Mountain Bike Association. He added that in order to move the organization forward and improve service to the community, we need to have more win-win relationships that are financially equitable, which look for ways to improve service. He said the "Commission’s role is from a commission - citizen perspective as a way to help facilitate that with our discussions with whatever type of partnerships that we’re seeking to improve service with within the community. It’s really to help to seek to understand what opportunities there are and how we can make those opportunities win – win to deliver a better product for the community".

Commissioner Wingfield asked if he saw this committee meeting with the Jaguars and the Bobcats, to meet and discuss any issues and make things work better with everybody.

Director Auler replied that "initially it starts that way, but we need to end with a document that says what each party’s role is going to be, what they bring to the table, what the shared vision is, the desired outcomes, and what everybody’s bringing to the table to make that happen".

Commissioner Staab asked if the Choralaires should be included in that list, noting that the group is a "hybrid".

Director Auler replied that there are many partnership opportunities.

Commissioner Staab replied that there are many "different hybrids, not necessarily sports; it is many different entities. Even though an entity might be under the city’s umbrella right now, it’s still a partnership type relationship that you’re trying to establish".


A. Administration - Director Auler

Director Auler reported that a component of the Strategic Plan is to have each division within the Department do their own business plan for their area.

Director Auler commended Wendy Duvall for receiving the NAYS grant, awarded because no scores are kept in our youth sports programs.

Director Auler reported that we are currently in the appraisal process for the 2005 Michigan Trust Fund Grant. Time-wise, we are on track and expect the appraisals back by the first week of December.

Commissioner Dooley asked what communities have received the NAYS grant.

Ms. Duvall replied that the awards went to five communities. The obligation is that the Department must present the program at least twice. Director Auler added that the grant is not renewable, the first cycle and the equipment are covered by the grant. The program must become self funding after the first cycle.

Commissioner Schwarzlose asked about the changing policies regarding Michigan summer camps mentioned in Derek Smith’s monthly report.

Director Auler replied that the State of Michigan is looking into changes in camp certification, as a result of the recent gubernatorial race. He commented that he is not sure how the state will mandate this. For our camps, it may mean hiring more staff and more paperwork. A meeting is scheduled on November 16th to try to work through the issues and as a result he hopes they would revisit those issues. Director Auler added that more information would be available at the December meeting.

B. Park and Forestry Operations – Director Auler

Soccer field conditions and improvement plan Director Auler reported that there is a lot of construction going on with all of the capital improvements. Field #5 at Community Sports Park is being renovated with the infield materials and is being completely regraded. At Power Park the irrigation system is in, the well is going in, and the fence bids should be approved at the next City Council meeting. He also reported that seed will be planted on the soccer fields and the Department is purchasing field blankets to cover the seed at approximately $10,000- $15,000. He added that we will probably go to no practices at CSP, beginning in the spring. Commissioner Wingfield asked what size fence is being installed at Power Park.

Director Auler pointed out that ultimately City Council approves the bid and that two different proposals are being submitted. The Department is recommending a height of twelve feet, black vinyl, and sixteen foot backstops so that we can host tournaments.

Commissioner Wingfield clarified that "budget wise the numbers are coming in lower than projected".

Director Auler replied that "we are on budget for all of our things".

Commissioner Wingfield asked exactly what is being done at Community Sports Park Field #5 for $45,000.

Director Auler replied that "they’re tearing all the white chalker dust out, regrading, laser shooting it, and drainage setting it up the right way, installing infield surfacing material like on field #2, and infield grass".

C. Recreation Services-Wendy Duvall –Youth Sports Coordinator

1. Kokeshi Doll Exhibit

Ms. Duvall reported that the exhibit is phenomenal. Tracie Ringle coordinated a reception that approximately 300 people attended. Three restaurants participated and there were displays of costumes, crafts for the children, window boxes that held an origami exhibit, and an address by Mayor Landry.

2. Ringing in the Holidays

Ms. Duvall reported that the event will be held Thursday, November 30th from 6-9 PM at Market and Main Street, with the electric light parade beginning at 7PM.


Approval of October 12, 2006, meeting minutes.

Moved by Commissioner Zyczynski and seconded by Commissioner Dooley.

Voice Vote Unanimous

Commissioner Comments:

Commissioner Schwarzlose – asked if any of the new commissioners would be interested in filling any of the open committee positions. Director Auler advised the new members that presently there are opportunities in the Strategic Planning Committee and the Partnership Committee. Commissioner Radcliffe volunteered for the Strategic Planning Committee and Commissioner Policicchio volunteered for the Partnership Committee.

Commissioner Schwarzlose welcomed the new commission members and thanked Ms. Duvall for her presentation and for everything she does for the Department. He also commented that he feels it’s a huge honor to be the only city in Michigan to host the Kokeshi Doll Exhibit and reminded everyone to attend the Ringing in the Holidays event on November 30th .

Commissioner Dooley – commented that he spoke at length with Director Auler and Ms. Duvall. He hopes that the soccer parents listening understand that what happened this October was a total anomaly. He asked that people have patience with the conditions of the fields and challenges businesses and citizens to work with the Department to make the fields as good as any in the surrounding communities.

Commissioner Zyczynski – commented that she attended the Kokeshi Doll Exhibit reception and it was a very enjoyable evening. She also announced that the senior center will be starting to offer yoga classes in January.

Commissioner Radcliffe – said that she looks forward to working with everyone.

Commissioner Policicchio – had no comment for his first meeting, but said he looks forward to contributing to the community.

Commissioner Staab – welcomed the new members, thanked the staff for their presentations, and congratulated Commissioner Wagner on the success of the high school cross country track team.

Commissioner Wagner – commented that he is glad to see the added preschool programs and the strength of the youth sports programs.

Commissioner Wingfield – welcomed the new commissioners. He requested a meeting with the Partnership Committee before the next commission meeting, commenting that it is a very necessary committee and a lot of good things can come out of the committee.


The meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Winfield at 8:14 PM.


_____________________________________ Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Chairperson



Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Vice Chairperson