View Agenda for this meeting

PARKS, RECREATION AND FORESTRY COMMISSION
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2007 Ė 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS

 

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

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

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Director Auler added the item of a Resolution Authorizing Application for Cellular Tower Approval on City owned property and preparation of option to lease.

Director Auler stated that the Commission will not take any action on this tonight because it is just for the Commissions information. This addition will be on the City Council agenda for Monday, June 18th.

It was moved by Commissioner Schwarzlose, seconded by Commissioner Zycynski to approve the agenda.

Voice Vote Unanimous

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Approval of April 12, 2007, meeting minutes.

Moved by Commissioner Zyczynski, seconded by Commissioner Staab.

Voice Vote Unanimous

DIRECTORíS REPORT:

Director Auler stated that the "Start Smart" program, which was through the National Alliance for Youth Sports, focuses on exposing children ages 3 to 5 to a variety of physical activities. From that they learn socialization skills and improve their motor skills. This program was well received and has been endorsed by the Governorís Counsel on Physical Fitness in terms of getting children involved in a healthy, active lifestyle which is a component in one of our mission statements. This program was spearheaded by Wendy DuVall and Susan Cusick who did a tremendous job. We are looking to expand the program and add more in the area of pre-school sports.

The Memorial Day Parade was one of our largest. It was also one of our largest in terms of veteran recruitment and recognition. There were from 75 to 100 veterans representing almost every conflict the country has been in. Mallery Wethers, our recreation intern, Tracie Ringle and Derek Smith did an outstanding job in pulling everything together. We added activities to the ceremony that included a short theatrical skit. He would also like to commend Debbie Lannen and her staff for bringing that to the event.

On River Day there were 75 to 100 volunteers who participated in a variety of beautification projects and cleaned the river bank out at Rotary Park. This was spearheaded by Steve Printz and Wendy DuVall who did an excellent job. Our park operations staff was also involved.

The Novi Theatres is now selling season tickets enabling people to reserve certain seats for the entire theatre season.

We partnered with the Novi Jaguars in hosting the Jaguar Soccer Tournament on Motherís Day weekend. There were over 600 teams participating this year. Community Sports Park served as the hub for the event. The fields held up well and the tournament was very successful. It brought a lot of people in to the community who stayed overnight so the hotel rooms in Novi were booked. This had a significant economic impact for the hotel and restaurant businesses.

Camp Lakeshore is now a licensed day camp. One of the new guidelines that came out of the State of Michigan legislature this year is that all Park and Recreation day camps, YMCA day camps, etc. would have to become licensed day camps and meet certain criteria. Derek Smith has been responsible for that happening. We are ahead of many other communities and already have our license in hand. This speaks to the quality of our program in terms of our staff training and putting things together out at the site.

Last week the Beautification Commission in partnership with our department won an award for the work that was done on the rain garden. We installed a rain garden with the Beautification Commission out at Toll Gate Farms, the Michigan State University extension office. The award was the "Keep Michigan Beautiful" Award. This should soon be posted in the atrium. There will be information for the Commission at the next meeting.

A. Recognition of Commissioner Wagner

Director Auler stated that he asked Commissioner Scott Wagner to attend this evening because he is technically off the Commission. Scott was one of the first two student Commissioners to serve on this Commission and has done a tremendous job over the two year period he has served. Scott advocated for youth and teen programming and had the unique ability to come forward and be an active member of this Commission by seeing the big picture and by asking good and tough questions. Certainly, City Council will recognize him as well. Scott is off to college at the University of Michigan and is wished well in all of his endeavors.

B. Introduction of Superintendent of Recreation

Director Auler introduced Nancy Cowan, the new Superintendent of Recreation. Director Auler stated that she has been here for two full weeks and has already made an impact in what she brings to the organization. Her previous experience includes working at the City of East Grand Rapids, West Bloomfield and most recently with Southeastern Livingston County Recreation Authority. She has been honored by the State Association with the Michigan State Park and Recreation Association Young Professional Award a couple of years ago. She is well known and well thought of throughout the state. She will make a tremendous difference as we get in to the recreation operation now, and in the future and as we get ready for the strategic plan.

C. Introduction of Recreation Intern

Director Auler introduced Mallery Wethers, the recreation intern. Mallery is a student at Central Michigan University. She is from Bear Lake. She is doing a 30 week internship. She has been here for about 8 weeks and will be with us through the end of December.

Mallery Wethers stated that she will be helping to develop teen recreation. She will work with Scott and a group of ten students. Four of these students serve on the Youth Council. They have already met once, two weeks ago, and will meet again this next week to brainstorm ideas and see what everyone would like to do. Hopefully, in the fall there will be a big kick off event and get things started.

She will also be working on getting entries for the Electric Light Parade during Ringing in the Holidays. In the past there have been about 30 entrants. Her goal is to recruit 70 for the parade.

Mallery is also looking in to new recreation areas, whether it is adult recreation, getting in to the adaptive market or the outdoor market.

She will also be working on a few other events.

Director Auler asked if there were any questions.

Commissioner Wingfield asked what kind of financial gains we realized from the Jaguar Tournament.

Director Auler replied that this year we had a flat fee that covered our labor cost and field repair associated with the tournament. We also ran the concession operation. The concession operation was a new component that we took over this year. Since that went well we have some things that we want to improve upon. We still have to work on our equitable and effective financial partnerships. This is economic benefit to the community, the Soccer Association, and to the City of Novi in terms of reinvestment into soccer facilities and/or programs. We anticipate that the Jaguar Board and its membership will also support a contribution to the Park Foundation again as they have in the previous two years.

Commissioner Wingfield then asked how Camp Lakeshore registration is compared to past years.

Tracie Ringle replied that it started out slow but it is increasing. The Novi News did a story on Camp Lakeshore today which should assist in additional registration. There are still openings in all of the weekís sessions but they are decreasing as the days go by.

Commissioner Wingfield asked Superintendent Cowan if she was also a Chippewa.

Superintendent Cowan replied that she is not. Her undergraduate degree is from Michigan State University and her graduate degree is from the University of Michigan.

Commissioner Staab asked what kind of shape the soccer fields are in after the soccer tournament.

Director Auler stated that we have been managing the fields a little differently this year. There are no practices out at Community Sports Park and that has been a tremendous help. There was no rain during the Jaguar tournament so that was a major help.

Commissioner Dooley stated that the fields took a lot of punishment this year but the nice thing is that it was only on game days. He feels that is one of the best decisions that have been made.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked where the soccer teams go to practice.

Commissioner Dooley replied that some of the soccer fields at the schools were used and Parks and Recreation were responsible for mowing those. Wildlife Woods Park was used extensively and the elementary schools off of Taft were used. The fields were mowed when they needed to be. His team practiced on Thursdays and every time he asked for the field to be mowed the Parks Department did a fabulous job.

All the fields were in very good shape for practices as well as games.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked, over all, how the department is feeling about the availability of soccer fields or do we have an ongoing need for more fields.

Director Auler replied that we do have an ongoing need for more fields. As identified in the Community Recreation Plan, we are 80 to 100 acres deficient in terms of active recreation space. Right now with baseball, softball, t-ball and coach pitch there are not enough fields. The quality of the fields is suffering. In the fall we have soccer, lacrosse and football and everyone wants to use the same space so the fields suffer from that.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that she sees that field space is part of the plan for 2007 to 2012 but wanted to get a sense of it.

Commissioner Wingfield asked where the Novi Bobcats were assigned field space. Last year they were at Wildlife Woods Park and then were moved from there because of soccer.

Director Auler stated that the Novi Bobcats have requested space but they have not been assigned space because the cost has to be negotiated. One of the City Council goals, and one of our goals, is effective equitable partnerships. Football has a tremendous impact on turf wear at three or four hours a night, four nights a week. The fees last year and the previous years have not come anywhere near the cost associated with that. We have tentatively scheduled a meeting for the end of this month to begin those discussions. We will begin with Novi Youth Baseball which currently does not have a president for their association which is a major concern. Through this winter, spring, and summer there was no communication from that organization to our department which gives him concerns about their direction and operations. Last week we received schedule changes on every field for every day from Novi Youth Baseball. That kind of thing is frustrating to the operation staff and we do not have the manpower to do this. We are already subsidizing that program in terms of cost. The entitlement mindset has to change. Like the school system, you pay your way to play.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that having been involved with Novi Youth Baseball the last three years, he thinks that Director Auler is right. Not having a president, many of the people on the board who are attempting to run the league are Heat Travel Baseball oriented, so he agrees there was a communication problem.

MATTERS FOR COMMISSION ACTION/DISCUSSION:

A.  Review of Commission and staff priorities for 2007/2008 fiscal year as identified in the Strategic Plan 2007-2010 and City Council Goals

Director Auler stated that the Commission spent a good part of last year developing the Strategic Plan. As a recap, that is a three year action plan focused on critical needs. We identified nine strategic priorities and also nine performance measures, one for each of those priorities. That plan was adopted by the Park Commission and was also adopted by the City Council. It is that plan that the staff is utilizing to prepare our performance agreements for this coming year and focus on accomplishing key strategies and priorities. He provided staff performance agreements in the packets, which has not been done in the past. Please note that the format is strategic priority, key objectives to be achieved, key outcomes to accomplish and how we would measure those specifically. We will report back on these quarterly. We have developed a balanced score card. That balanced score card is a way to quantifiably measure our progress and results toward that strategic plan. That plan is driving our work over the next three years. When we get to the end of that three year period our park system, recreation program, forestry operation and cultural arts are all vastly improved in terms of service for the community.

Money magazine comes out every year with the best places to live in the country. When you review that for 2006, every one of those places in the top ten all boast exceptional park and recreation systems. That is a very important thing for the community and the Commission to understand. These systems contribute to the economic development of the community in terms of recruitment of new business and high tech business, in terms of retaining businesses that are there, in terms of environmental protection and in terms of quality of life. Families want to live in a place where they can prosper and their children can prosper and they can enjoy the fruits of their work. That is what we are trying to accomplish here.

Our vision is what we use every day internally within our organization. It is what we should use in our Commission Meetings as well. It tells us what we are trying to do and where we want to be. Simply stated, we want to be the nationís model of excellence in Parks and Recreation services. We want to win the MRPA Gold Medal Award. In order to do that, many things need to be done. There are quality standards that need to be implemented for maintenance operations, programs, customer service, the quality of our parks and the planning for our park system. The way you know that you have accomplished that vision is when you win that award. Director Auler stated that he has worked in communities that have won the award. The park system is the fabric of that community.

Our mission is, "Enriching Lives and Building Community." We service everyone in the community from pre-school to Seniors and enrich their lives. Even though you donít participate in a program or visit a park you benefit from having a quality park system and from economic development from having a quality park system. Studies show that one of the top three reasons a company relocates its corporate headquarters to a community is their park and recreation system.

We had nine priorities identified in the strategic plan. The first is to strengthen our fiscal position which we have been doing over the last several years. With the recent budget that was adopted by City Council, excluding the Senior portion, recreation is only $80,000 deficit. Four or five years ago it was a lot higher. Implementing activity based costing, developing and cultivating partnerships, developing and cultivating sponsorships is all beginning to come together. What that means for us is that frees up money that can be reinvested in the park system through capital improvements. Over the past few years we have had the support of the Park Commission and City Council and have received significant capital improvements. Another fiscal strategy is cost containment or deciding how we can do things smarter and reduce our cost and still enhance our service.

Caring for our parks and facilities was the second priority. This is maintenance and reinvestment in our system. If you go to any of our parks they are different than they were two years ago. Our team has take ownership of each of those parks and amenities and the facilities within them. The quality of the maintenance operation is improved. We have two individuals who take care of 25,000 plus street trees. It wasnít long ago that we were trying to decide how to deal with the emerald ash borer problem. We have three individuals who take care of 907 acres of park land. Examples of reinvestment are the Power Park softball complex, Community Sports Park field number two and field number five and irrigation and Lakeshore Park enhancements.

Planning for our parks and facilities is the third priority. There are many items that Director Auler will recommend to the Commission that will be undertaken in terms of planning. It is time to begin the planning process for the next five-year Community Recreation Plan. Our current plan expires in 2008. That process should take approximately a year. We want a lot of community involvement. It is important to have that plan on file with the State, adopted by City Council and adopted by the State of Michigan. That plan enables us to be eligible for Federal and State Grant dollars which can be reinvested in our park system. That plan includes a six year capital improvement plan.

Providing outstanding recreation programs and events is the fourth priority. Forty one percent of the people in Novi have participated in a program in the last twelve months. Gold Medal communities have participation in the high eighty and low ninety percent. What are we going to do to position our organization on the program side? How can we develop a better partnership with Community Education who runs many recreation activities? How can we share resources? Nancy Cowan, our Superintendent of Recreation, has vast and excellent experience in recreation services. She will lead our team toward the eighty percentile over the next couple of years.

Superintendent Cowan stated that as we look toward the future we know one of our main goals is to provide programming opportunities to people of all ages, abilities and cultures. Some of the ways we will be doing that is to focus on training our volunteers, looking at national and state standards, being innovative and creative in our programming process and increase offerings. Our main goal is to be able to provide opportunities for everyone and enhance the quality of life in the City of Novi.

Being a leader in the environment area is our fifth priority.

Tracie Ringle stated that it makes perfect sense that, in the environmental area, we are the department that people should look to. Some of the things we have going for us now are the Beautification Commission and the rain garden at Tollgate and over 4,000 trees have been planted in the City of Novi. Trees help the city become esthetically pleasing, provide habitat for wildlife and assist with conserving energy. We are going to do a revamp of the Recreation Guide which will feature tips for residents to have a more environmentally conscious approach to day to day living. We are going to look at producing the Recreation Guide in a more environmentally friendly way, possibly by using Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. Here in this building we have installed sensored lighting in some of our restrooms and in our storage areas.

Connecting with the Community is our sixth priority.

Tracie Ringle stated that we are going to expand on using the Class software system. It has some options that we arenít using at this time with ways to promote activities and survey current users on the activities in which they are participating. We hope that rather than using a paper evaluation that sending them through the survey monkey program would give us more results in that area. Communication focus groups will help listen to what the community members have to say. We would like to hold one of these every quarter and do them with different segments of the market. The first one of these would be the teen group that Mallery and Scott have been involved with.

A Comprehensive Marketing Plan is our seventh priority.

Tracie Ringle then stated that we do not have a comprehensive marketing plan and we need one that will meet the accreditation standards to lead us on our way to being a Gold Medal department. We will be using the new branding information that is coming out of the Community Relations department and working with them to make sure that we have a cohesive approach throughout the city, as well as using input from the community and doing an internal staff audit of all the ways that we are connecting with the community now that maybe we arenít looking closely at. Website technology today has innovative ways of capturing attention for some of our programs. We could do this by adding more video clips, doing virtual tours of our facilities here and at our park shelters and providing those for corporate recreation use and community member use. One of the things she wants to do is work with the Michigan Mountain Bike Association and have them capture one of the thrill rides from a head camera down one of our trail systems.

Upgrading technology is the eighth priority.

Director Auler stated that one of the things we have done is made laptop computers available to some of the field staff. When Matt Wiktorowski and Steve Printz are out in the community identifying a particular issue they are able to enter that in to the system and capture that information right away. We have also gone to online registration. In the future we are looking at how we can go toward a maintenance management system where all of the field staff have PDAs where they can capture information that is tied in to the computer system right away. This is a way to lower our cost and improve our operations out in the field in terms of playground, shelter and ball field inspections as well as work orders and work requests. We implemented a tree management plan last year through a software program. Steve Printz is able to pull up the location of a tree as well at the type, size, health and plan for that tree. We also plan to upgrade our computers in the office. We currently have one computer at the front counter that we donít use for registration because the customer would be there for a very long time.

Developing our team is the ninth priority.

Director Auler stated that if the Commission got a chance to read Jim Collinís book Good to Great. Developing our team is a system very similar to that. When you evaluate the research that has been done on the Gold Medal department and you compare it to the Good to Great work they are almost comparable. Our team performance agreements have been done in a team way. They are no longer tied specifically to individual performance. They are tied to a team performance. The team does not think in terms of "my job" but in terms of responsibilities to help each other and serving the community.

Director Auler stated that one of the things that come out of our stewardship roles is that we create cultural unity. Our community is very diverse and we help bring people together and help them understand each others backgrounds and traditions. We have done this through the International Festival, Kokeshi Doll Exhibit and we have a participating cricket team. Our department brings this together. We have a tremendous impact on the community.

We engage youth in healthy, active programs. The two things that are most prominent in the news today are being environmentally friendly and childhood obesity. Obesity is the number one issue facing youth today. We are the ones that get them involved. This is important not only from a physical health standpoint but also from a socialization standpoint.

We create a sense of community through events. We bring people together through Ringing in the Holidays, the Memorial Day Parade, the Halloween event, the pumpkin launch and other events.

We are stewards of the environment. We do this through forestry, River Day activities, the Beautification Commission and the rain garden. There are many ways to focus on enhancing the environment and we have a long way to go with other activities we would like to do.

We offer new activities for health and fitness growth. We started a series this year called Fit for Novi. It is seven different types of events. There is a triathlon, a sprint and a mountain bike race. We just had the Flirt with Dirt race out at Lakeshore Park. There is an opportunity to get competitive athletes, non-competitive athletes and families together to participate in something that is fun, healthy and active. That series will feature large races on September 8th and 9th and a Fit Festival made possible with a partnership with the Greater Novi Chamber of Commerce. We hope to have three to four thousand runners to participate over the course of that weekend.

We build self esteem. An example of this is through youth sports and the feeling of achievement a child feels. Or if a child perhaps does not do well in sports but is able to participate in the performing arts program. These things build self esteem and that is when you know you are achieving your mission.

These are the things that we do on a daily basis. These are the things that the community, City Council and anyone we can share it with need to hear constantly because that is what is going to help get the strategic plan done.

We provide essential services for seniors. We run 90,000 service visits a year through our senior program.

We are beginning plans now for how we are going to serve the "Boomerí" population. We were one of four communities selected from the National Citizens Survey Committee out of Boulder, Colorado, to conduct a survey of "Boomers" and seniors in our community. We will use the information from this survey to help in the development of the strategic plan.

In 2009 the Commission or staff should be able to describe our organization as a highly performing team that is innovative, sets the trend and that we are the best in Michigan. We will know that because our customer satisfaction rating for programs and services is going to be in the ninety percentile. We are there right now and will stay there and get higher. We will increase quality satisfaction rating for recreation facilities to ninety percent. We will be able to talk about the increase in the variety and range of our programs and increased participation as well as increased park visitation. We are recognized at a regional, state and national level through accreditation and awards. There are thirty-nine departments in the country currently accredited. Accreditation is a series of 175 quality standards. It is a very intense process to go through. It is an important process because you are measuring yourself against quality standards in the profession that are going to drive your daily operations, planning, marketing, etc. It lets you know you are doing the right things the right way.

The things the Commission can do to help is to advocate fiercely and share our story wherever you can. You can assist in developing an updated community recreation plan. We need to acquire land for active use which could be through purchase or through partnership agreement. We need to develop a comprehensive capital improvement plan. We need to facilitate effective partnerships.

Tonightís meeting ends the fiscal year for the Commission. The new fiscal year starts in July.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated that she feels that the approach of the team in terms of not having jobs but having responsibilities is very empowering.

Commissioner Staab recommended that everyone read Jim Collinís book.

He stated that he felt that this was an excellent presentation. He feels that getting the information out should be especially done in public forums. He was thinking that information should be presented during the dinner of the Novi Parks Foundation golf outing.

Commissioner Schwarzlose stated the presentation gave excellent information to end the year but also to prepare for the strategic plan. He stated that he sees the Commissionersí primary job as being champions of the department.

Commissioner Dooley agreed with the other Commissioners. He then asked what the Commissioners can do to better serve the department as far as getting involved in the community outreach programs.

Tracie Ringle replied that one way is speaking to people at the Parks Foundation golf outing because the information coming from a Commissioner would be much more powerful than coming from a staff member. She also suggested the Speaker Bureau. Taking part in the communications focus groups would be another good approach.

Director Auler stated that Tracie mentioned the Speakers Bureau and now that we have Nancy here it will give him more time to be available to go out in to the community and speak to focus groups such as Homeowners Associations, Rotary Club, Lyons Club and others. If the Commission does this it has a much more powerful effect. Speaking as a Director it could be viewed as self serving but as a Commissioner it is not. Our thought is to streamline this presentation and Commissioners could go and speak to a group and the department could provide you with a disk or a hand out. We are looking at putting together a packet of benefits research that has been done that helps support these types of items. We are going to do a better job of getting you the tools you need to advocate for the department.

Commissioner Radcliffe stated that she thinks it is an exciting time with the development of the team that is being put together, seeing the roll out of the strategic plan and the beginning of the new fiscal year. She hopes that the people watching and listening get a sense of the passion and energy that is in the room because it is very sincere.

Commissioner Policicchio stated that he thinks the genius of the plan is that it is comprehensive and it doesnít leave anyone out so everyone becomes a stakes holder. It all gears toward distinguishing Novi above and beyond other communities by trying to focus on it in a "quality of life" that you can have here that you might not get somewhere else. This has a lot of economic ramifications. The challenge is to communicate to the public what is being done. He stated that he feels the one obstacle to any of this is financing. He would suggest considering ways to access any available funds. It has been his experience when there are contributions involved that there are people willing to give but someone has to ask them directly. You have to find a mechanism for asking.

Director Auler replied that is part of the strategic plan realignment. We have formed a team, including him, Tracie and Susan Cusick. Their focus is resource development. They are putting together a strategy to bring in park partners. Many things Commissioner Policicchio mentioned are in their plan and they will also be coordinating that with the Park Foundation and their efforts through the naming rights program. This will make it a coordinated effort and able to cover the whole community.

Commissioner Wingfield asked if in this process the Director sits down with each team member every quarter and review how they have met their goal.

Director Auler confirmed that he does. One of the things that is being done through the team performance agreements is that everyone has to prepare a 90 day plan. They state what will be done in the next 90 days to meet the team performance measures. This is part of the whole team development concept. One of the things he is doing is working with Tia Gronlund-Fox, our Human Resources Director, and creating what he calls "Novi University" within our department. This will help team members learn how to do a resource development plan, or how to solicit a particular type of sponsorship and what kind of benefits we can offer, how to develop a program and what the program standards would be and other things like these. This is what we will be focusing on for the next twelve months.

Commissioner Wingfield asked at if the 41% involvement is repeat participation.

Director Auler replied that the 41% came from when the City did the random sample survey through the National Citizenís Survey Corporation.

There were a series of questions on the survey related to Parks and Recreation services, Police, Fire, roads, etc. Through that process, which had a plus or minus error of four, they were able to ascertain that 41% of the citizens have participated in a program in the past twelve months. They ascertained that 70% of the citizens had visited a park in the past twelve months. The 70% is a good number. The Gold Medal departments are at about 80%. Our program numbers are low partially because we donít run a lot of recreation programs. We have performing arts, sports, events and seniors. Many recreation programs are being run by Community Education. This is something that we need to look at. Some of the voids are adaptive recreation, outdoor recreation and teens.

Commissioner Wingfield stated that he believes our partnerships are critical. He stated that the committees addressing this were formed about a year ago. These partnerships need to be stronger and not just financially. For example, when a Novi Youth Baseball team goes out to play a game and the field looks good and is all lined, everyone thinks Parks and Recreation. But when it looks bad and is not ready they think Parks and Recreation, too. There are issues with Novi Youth Baseball that do need to be addressed.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked that once the presentation is refined will City Council see it because she thinks it is a very powerful presentation.

Director Auler stated that he thinks the way for that to happen is to have a work session with City Council. It is hard to do a presentation at City Council meetings because there is so much business that has to be done.

Commissioner Staab stated that since we will be electing some new City Council members this year in November it should be a high priority for us to have a work session with them. We should be proud of some of the partnerships we have accomplished this year and that they were not easy. We need a goal of how many we want to accomplish next year and if it is for sports or arts or something else. We have a partnership with Novi News so that is another communications mode and a perfect vehicle for our message. Also Novi.org is a link.

Commissioner Dooley stated that the Novi New is not City Council. He would challenge us to get in front of City Council in a live session because he thinks that more people watch the City Council meetings. A lot of active citizens watch the City Council meetings on Monday nights.

Commissioner Zyczynski asked if we know what percentage of the households in Novi receives the Novi News. She stated that a lot of information comes out in the Novi News. She is asking because in some communities the percentage is low for taking the Gannett newspaper. We rely heavily on it and she feels that we may be missing a lot of people.

Director Auler stated that he did not recall the percentage but Tracie Ringle will have information on a multi-tiered approach to how we will get our message out. Another means is a show on SWOCC. So with SWOCC, the internet, novi.org, the Novi News we have a multi-pronged approach on what is going to be our strategy. We will also share with the Commission how they can participate in the process.

 

B. Resolution Authorizing Application for Cellular Tower Approval on City owned property and preparation of option to lease.

Director Auler stated that this Monday at the City Council meeting on June 18th, the City Council is going to consider a resolution to enable City staff and the City attorneys to work with a cellular tower company to prepare an option to lease property in Lakeshore Park. It is not approving anything it is just authorizing discussions to prepare a lease arrangement. It is not approving the planning process, the ordinance, the zoning or anything like that. The cellular tower company will still have to go through that entire process. He wanted to share that tonight prior to the City Council meeting so that the Commission is aware of it. The cellular tower company is proposing to construct a tower at Lakeshore Park and a map is included in the packet. It is on top of the hill near the rear portion of the drive. This is also where we had planned to construct a shelter for this year and that funding is available as well. If this passes they will have to go through the planning process, the public hearing, the zoning ordinances, etc. Ultimately it comes back to City Council to make a decision to approve or not approve. If it is approved it will bring additional funding into the City in exchange for leasing that space. This is outlined in the resolution before you. The resolution is what City Council will consider at their Monday, June 18th meeting. This is for your information only.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None

COMMISSIONER COMMENTS:

Commissioner Radcliffe wished Scott Wagner well on his future endeavors at college. She has been impressed with the participation he has given at the meetings and how active he has been. She welcomed Nancy Cowan and Mallery Wethers to the team. She stated it has been a pleasure to serve with everyone and she hopes to see them next month.

Commissioner Dooley stated that he would like to recognize Theresa McClure who is very involved in soccer. Her level of communication to all to the coaches in this city really needs to be recognized. There has never been an issue because the level of communication is fabulous. The feedback that comes in has to be very positive. She has done a wonderful job for the spring soccer season.

Commissioner Schwarzlose stated that he thanks the new staff and is looking forward to working with them. Since there was no meeting in May he wanted to mention two events that didnít get mentioned and were very successful. The theatre production Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had an outstanding run. Arbor Day event on the 28th, which was out at Community Sports Park, was well attended with some Commissioners attending as well and trees large and small going up. He commended Director Auler and his staff on putting together the events.

Commissioner Goyal stated she thinks it is great how new activities and approaches are being used to help improve our community.

Commissioner Zyczynski stated she attended the Arbor Day event for the first time and she was very impressed by how well it was organized and the number of people participating. She also attended a Novi Choralaireís concert and it was a very enjoyable and relaxing evening. She thanked Scott Wagner for being a wonderful, active participant in the group and stated he will be missed. She also welcomed the new staff members.

Commissioner Staab stated that August 2nd is the golf outing for the Novi Parks Foundation. It is being held at the Links of Novi. The cost is $125.00 for a single golfer and $500.00 for a foursome. It is the Novi Parks Foundation and Tom Holzer Ford outing. We have a corporate sponsor with ITC. We have a panoramic coming out in the Novi News for three weeks in July. We expect each Commissioner to have at least one or two foursomes. The Novi Parks Foundation has $55,000 of funds. $10,000 of this is unrestricted. There are some big Novi Parks Foundation events coming up in November which Commissioner Dooley will talk about at a later date. He wished Scott Wagner much success and thanked him for all of his insights. He also attended the Choralaireís concert which was well attended and a pleasurable evening.

Commissioner Wingfield thanked Scott Wagner for his input in striving to reach the High School students. He then welcomed the new staff members and stated that he was looking forward to working with them. He wished good luck to the fellow Commissioners who would be interviewing with City Council on Monday night. He stated that the Power Park improvements are being overwhelmingly well received. The lights that are coming and changes to the concession stand are much overdue and are being very well received. There is an August meeting even though it was not listed in the future meetings. He then asked what age qualifies as a senior for Parks and Recreation.

Director Auler stated that he would have to ask Rachel Zagaroli what that age is.

ADJOURNMENT:

The motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Staab and seconded by Commissioner Zyczinski at 9:10 PM.

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Signed, Harold L. Wingfield, Chairperson

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Signed, Reagan Schwarzlose, Vice Chairperson