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PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Wingfield presiding.
ROLL CALL: Dooley (Present), Goyal (Present), Policicchio (Absent), Radcliffe (Present), Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Absent), Wagner (Present), Wingfield (Present), Zyczynski (Absent).
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
It was moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose, seconded by Commissioner Radcliffe to approve the agenda.
Voice Vote Unanimous
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of January 11, 2007, meeting minutes.
Moved by Commissioner Dooley, seconded by Commissioner Schwarzlose.
Voice Vote Unanimous
A. Strategic Planning – Commissioner Schwarzlose reported that the Strategic Planning Committee did not meet but everyone should have a copy of the final Strategic Plan and it has been submitted for a final review and approval. The Strategic Planning Committee is sending forth a recommendation for approval to the City Council of this plan.
B. Park Foundation – Commissioner Dooley stated that TelCom Credit Union has come forth as a Naming Rights donor. It was approved at Monday’s City Council meeting. Commissioner Dooley wanted to recognize Cindy Tschirhart and Tyler Ross from TelCom, who were instrumental in this donation. The sign will go up sometime this spring. Commissioner Dooley reminded everyone about the golf outing that is coming up in August. He also stated that the Parks Foundation Planning Committee presented a very concise plan regarding Naming Rights to City Council a few weeks ago. He noted that the Parks Foundation had a very nice endorsement from the newspaper and are crafting a question and answer segment for businesses. The Foundation will again send out brochures and hopefully additional businesses will come forward. We hope that our goal will be reached by the end of 2007.
Commissioner Wingfield asked what is the date of the golf outing?
Commissioner Dooley replied the date is Thursday, August 2, 2007.
Commissioner Wingfield asked what are the funds that are available? Is it still $54,000?
Commissioner Dooley replied that it is a very healthy amount and increasing due to naming rights and additional naming rights that are forthcoming.
C. Partnerships – Commission Dooley reported that the Committee does have meetings lined up and will report any updates at the next meeting.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if we had identified the list of potential partnerships?
Director Auler replied that we are trying to meet with our current customers and talk to them about what the partnership opportunities are and how those will tie in with City Council goals. One of the City Council goals was to establish financial partnerships. We have been meeting with many of them on an on-going basis and now it is a matter of bringing the Committee into that fold and continuing discussions.
Director Auler had nothing further to report.
Commissioner Wingfield asked if we have had a lot of issues with the schools this year with cancellations?
Director Auler replied that school use is first, Parks and Recreation is next but if the schools, or another group needs the facility, then we get bumped. It is just another case for securing partnerships for additional gym space.
Commissioner Wingfield stated that volleyball was a very successful program and expanded every year and we started an end-of-the-year tournament. This year we were not able to have it due to lack of space. Also, practice times for basketball, usually we have 2 – 4 practices before our first game and this year we practiced once.
Director Auler stated that we have again lost gym space this Friday night. Some of the teams have not practiced at all.
Commissioner Wingfield asked how the on-line registration was going? Are we getting the percentages we’d like to see?
Director Auler replied that it was going well and we think it will continue to increase. We have varied between 44% and 63% on-line. The convenience fee is a flat $3.00. Many people are still getting used to using the system. Daddy Daughter tickets for example, a lot of people are still coming in to buy them instead of purchasing them on-line. For a lot of other programs, they are registering on-line. It has helped at the front counter; we have not had a line since soccer registration began.
Commissioner Wingfield stated regarding the City survey, what significant results should we recognize from that survey that relates to Parks and Recreation?
Director Auler stated that the results were included in a previous packet and will re-send those results again. Only 41% of residents have participated in a program in the last twelve months. It shows a need to re-align our organization and look at providing services that the community wishes to have. 70% visited a park in the last twelve months. That is in the normal rating. Customer service from a City perspective, rated very high, 89 – 90% of citizens that come into contact with City personnel have received high marks in terms of customer satisfaction and service. Overall in benchmarking with other communities we were in the middle, the average level. We certainly want to work at improving that level. From my own experience, 41% participation rate is very low, 69% use of a park is about average. Usually that is 75% - 80%. Awareness of services is usually 80% - 90%; we were in the 60% range. We certainly have areas to improve upon. We are looking at how we might do that and those items are identified in the Strategic Plan.
MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION/DISCUSSION:
A. Approval of Department Strategic Plan 2007 – 2010.
Director Auler stated that we originally submitted the Strategic Plan in December and followed up with sending that information to City Council for consideration of approval. We will take the Plan to City Council sometime in March and ask for Council approval of the plan. Internally, we have already begun to implement many components of the Plan and are identifying those into our performance agreements as well.
Commissioner Dooley asked if we would be available to sit in on any discussions with City Council? Will they take various Commissions and individualize them, or are they going to take the entire budget for all commissions and talk about them?
Director Auler replied that in regards to the budget process, the next step is the Capital Improvement Plan, which this body has provided a recommendation on, has been submitted to the Finance Department. It will be forwarded to the Capital Improvement Committee, which consists of two City Council members and two Planning Commission members. That Committee will review and meet and provide a recommendation. That meeting date has not been set yet, once it is set, I can e-mail the date to the Commission and certainly welcomed to attend that evening. We’re there as an audience member, if called upon, we can ask questions. Concurrent to that is the Planning Commission review of Capital Improvement recommendations and that information has been forwarded on as well. Once that process is completed, the City Manager presents the budget to City Council, usually the first week of April. Following that, there are budget session dates, Council recently set those dates, at that time, Council discusses the various items within the budget. It is really up to City Council as to how they approach it. I will get the dates sent out to you.
Commissioner Dooley asked if due to some of the circumstances that we encountered last fall, namely conditions of the respective fields, will they prioritize and perhaps escalate this sooner for some of those improvements that may or may not be in need?
Director Auler replied that the City Council has the Commission’s prioritization, the City Manager’s, the City Administration’s prioritization of projects and funding, they will have the Capital Improvement Committee’s prioritization and the Planning Commission’s prioritization, then make their decisions regarding the budget package.
Commissioner Radcliffe asked Director Auler if there were any changes in the Strategic Plan since the plan was presented in December.
Director Auler replied that there were some typing errors corrected and the new organization structure has been added.
APPROVAL OF DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC PLAN 2007 – 2010:
Moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose, seconded by Commissioner Radcliffe to approve the Strategic Plan with a positive recommendation to City Council.
Voice Vote Unanimous
Commissioner Goyal – none
Commissioner Wagner – none
Commissioner Radcliffe - none
Commissioner Dooley - Stated that he could not emphasize enough the endorsement the local newspaper gave about the fine work that the Parks Foundation is doing with respect to Naming Rights. They have said that this is a solid business decision, for those business owners that are listening, take advantage of something good and worthwhile and you truly will be giving something back to the community.
Commissioner Schwarzlose – Now that we have come up with a good Strategic Plan, we are getting very positive results in the press with regards to the Naming Rights, it falls back to us as Commission members to be champions of this program and champions of these efforts and City Council and everyone involved in the Parks and Rec Department. If anyone has questions about this you can contact any one of us or the department. We have done some great things in the past and it will only get better.
Commissioner Wingfield – Regarding the budget, we have a passion for two things, #1 being the Phase II of Power Park, #2 being the upgrading of the soccer fields. I have been passive over the years about attending any budget sessions with City Council, but I think both issues are fairly important. In this process, is there any time designated for Parks & Rec? I think there will be questions asked, I think we should try and answer these questions and help out. We will do our best.
Additionally, the April 12th meeting is during spring break, should we take a count at the March meeting and see who is going to be out of town?
Director Auler stated that we will send out an e-mail to see who will be in town and if we will have enough for a quorum.
The meeting was adjourned by Chairperson Wingfield at 7:55 PM.
_____________________________________ Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Chairperson
Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Vice Chairperson