View Agenda for this meeting


The meeting was called to order at 7:35 PM with Commissioner Staab presiding.

ROLL CALL: Blair (Present), Dooley (Present), Iszler (Absent), Jewell (Absent), Policicchio (Present), Staab (Present), Wingfield (Absent), Kerbrat (Absent).


Commissioner Dooley asked that item 8 A be moved down to 8 C.

It was moved by Commissioner Blair and seconded by Commissioner Policicchio to approve the agenda as amended.

Voice Vote Unanimous



It was moved by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by Commissioner Blair to approve the August 13, 2009 minutes as written.

Voice Vote Unanimous


A. Walkable Novi – Commissioners Iszler & Policicchio

Commissioner Policicchio stated the meeting was just before this meeting and they discussed the draft of the proposed pathways and sidewalks. Very objective criteria are given to each potential segment to be completed. Numbers are assigned an order of importance. That draft will be further revised and voted on October 8th. It will serve as the framework for planning. There was mention of inviting Parks and Recreation to tell of any sidewalks that need to be looked at in terms of accessing the parks.

B. Novi Park Foundation – Commissioners Dooley & Staab

Commissioner Dooley stated there was a meeting last Tuesday. The Novi Parks Foundation Gala is going to take place on Saturday, November 14th at the Hotel Barronette. The theme is "Captains night on a Cruise Ship." Tickets will soon be available and raffle tickets are currently available. On the 19th of September at ITC Community Sports Park there is picture day and the Foundation will be out cooking hot dogs.

Commissioner Staab stated that the Novi Parks Foundation will have a booth at Fall for Novi on September 26th.

Commissioner Dooley stated that in the "Engage" magazine, on page 74, is a section on the Novi Parks Foundation.


A. Recreation Division – Superintendent of Recreation Nancy Cowan

Superintendent Cowan stated that September is a busy month for the Parks and Recreation department. The new Engage is out.

The Fuerst Park Grand Opening occurred on Friday, August 21st. The movie that was to play that night, "Kung Fu Panda" was rained out and has been rescheduled for Friday, September 25th at Fuerst Park. On September 23rd and 30th there will be music performed by High School students at Furest Park.

Opening Day of soccer and flag football is this coming Saturday. Our numbers have held in soccer and increased some in flag football.

Outdoor Week is new for us and is a national initiative in which we chose to participate. We are one of the few in the State to be doing this. We have a Family Campout at Lakeshore Park to kick off this week.

We will have our third annual Fire Up Fest on the evening of September 18th from 9:30 to 11:45p.m. It takes place on one of the softball fields at Ella Mae Power Park.

Fall for Novi Family Fun Day which includes the International Festival will be Saturday, September 26th from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

B. Administration Division – Randy Auler

Director Auler stated that we received notification in yesterday’s mail that our five-year Community Recreation Plan has been approved by the Department of Natural Resources. We are now eligible for State and Federal Grant funds through 2013. He thanked the Commission for the effort of the Committee and for helping carry that process forward. He recognized Nancy Cowan for her time and effort. We will now consider what types of projects we want to submit for the next grant deadline which is April 1st. Those grants can be for acquisition or development for capital improvement projects.

Since the adoption of the last plan we completed all of the strategic items which were identified in that plan. That plan yielded over two million grant dollars for the City of Novi and our department.

Commissioner Blair asked about the grant dollar figure.

Director Auler stated that we received many grants. Two of the large grants were land acquisition grants. They are 80/20 which means that we put up 20 percent of the match. Our match was done by in-kind and donated dollars. $53,000 was put up in City money toward one of the projects but it translated in to over a million dollars in grant dollars. The Kresge Foundation made a grant to our department last year and again this year. We received Target Corp money as well as a tree inventory and planting grants.


A. Discussion and approval of remainder of 2009 and 2010 Park, Recreation & Cultural Services meeting start times.

Director Auler stated that in 2004 that City Council changed their meeting time from 7:30p.m. to 7:00p.m. At that time, most of the City Commissions and bodies which met in the evening also changed their meeting times to 7:00p.m.

The Park Commission elected to continue our meetings at 7:30p.m. At a recent City Council meeting the Council was considering the calendar for next year and it was brought up that the Parks Commission was the only evening body that meets at 7:30p.m. They would like the Park Commission to consider moving the meeting time to 7:00p.m. so that there is consistency with all of the evening City meetings for the citizens to attend or view. Director Auler opened the floor to questions.

Commissioner Policicchio moved that the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Commission meetings begin at 7:00p.m. starting with the October, 2009 meeting. It was seconded by Commissioner Blair.

Commissioner Staab stated that he personally still has the same challenges he had in 2004 but he understands the desire for consistency with time.

Voice Vote Unanimous

B. Review and discussion of park maintenance standards

Director Auler stated that in the late 1980’s NRPA came out with park maintenance standards for the purpose of providing an objective measure for departments in terms of quality of the parks, consistency across the country and ways to measure that progress objectively in terms of resource allocation, budget allocation and time it takes to perform various tasks. These were a guideline for local governments to develop their own park maintenance standards. In 2003 our department adopted park maintenance standards and revised them in 2004. The standards developed in 2004 are more of a narrative nature and not as objective to measure.

Recently the park maintenance operation transferred into the Department of Public Services. One of the things we have been looking at is how we can provide an objective measure of standards. Included in the packet is a document that identifies the standards for all of the parks, the facilities in the parks and the athletic fields. It is in draft form. One of the main components of this document is that there are now photographs of what is acceptable and meets the standard and what is not acceptable. We a looking for a document or tool which provides us a way to the end result of quality within our park system.

In the future, our next steps are to continue to revise these. We will also work on design and construction standards so when we are building in our parks we will have the same set of standards for all of them. This evening he would like the Commission’s comments or to assign it to a Committee. He would suggest and encourage the Commission to be the evaluators.

Commissioner Staab stated that he thinks it is an excellent benchmarking tool and he looks forward to be active in the evaluation.

Commissioner Dooley asked Director Auler what he would like from the Parks and Recreation Commission and the timeframe.

Director Auler stated that the next step is to continue revising the standards by identifying the parks and placing them in to degrees of resource allocation depending on the level of service. The parks need to be categorized and the standards reviewed and revised. This would be brought back to the Commission for consideration, approval and adoption. At that point he would like the Commission to help to do audits of the parks, actually going out to the parks and grading them.

Commissioner Dooley stated that there are four Commissioners present this evening and asked if this should be tabled until October when there may be a full Commission.

Director Auler stated that he would not ask the Commission to act until the standards are in a final format. He anticipates having that ready for the next meeting.

Commissioner Blair asked what type of review process should be done as a Commission.

Director Auler asked if the Commission is interested in being the body, initially, doing the park audits and bringing back the information. The department, as operations people, can take the audit and determine what needs to be done.

Commissioner Policicchio asked about the Commission’s roll and responsibility.

Director Auler stated that the quality responsibility is with the staff. The Commission would be serving as an extra set of eyes that isn’t at the site on a daily basis for feedback.

Commissioner Staab asked how we presently evaluate and audit our parks.

Director Auler stated that right now it is internal and some external. We use the narrative standards we currently have in place and have work maintenance plans for almost all of our parks by month. We will finalize those for the rest of the parks for which we do not have plans in place. We also utilize customer feed back.

Commissioner Dooley stated that it is important for the Commission to be involved in this in some manner. Being an extra set of eyes will be a very workable plan for the Commission.

C. Annual Election of Commission Chairperson and Vice Chairperson

Commissioner Staab nominated Paul Policicchio for Vice Chairperson for the 2009-2010 Commission. It was seconded by Commissioner Blair.

Commissioner Dooley stated that he would like to step down as the Vice Chairperson.

Commissioner Blair made a motion that the nominations for Vice Chairperson close.

Voice Vote Unanimous

Commissioner Policicchio was elected as Vice Chairperson

Commissioner Staab nominated Commissioner Dooley as Chairperson for the 2009-2010 Commission. It was seconded by Commissioner Blair.

Commissioner Blair made a motion that the nominations for Chair person close.

Voice Vote Unanimous

Commissioner Dooley was elected as Chairperson.

Director Auler stated that the Senior Show kicked off today.

Superintendent Cowan stated that we will have over 1200 people from all over the metro area and state come to see the Senior Show in the next two weeks. The first show was today and was a great success. There are six shows in all. It is a show by seniors for seniors. City Councilperson Crawford is the emcee.

Director Auler stated that our Senior Services Division had an opportunity to participate in a pilot project in terms of a survey for our community addressing older adult needs. We were one of four or five cities across the country that participated and partnered with the National Research Center to have that survey done. The results of that survey process, the results, were featured in the National Parks and Recreation magazine this past month. Novi was the featured community and our Senior Services Division was featured within that article. That has resulted in other communities across the country contacting us for additional information. The things that we do pay dividends and benefits for our citizens as well as our community image which helps with the quality of life, economic development and other factors. Thanks to Rachel Zagaroli and her leadership along with Dr. Tom Miller from the National Research Center in making that project come to fruition.

Commissioner Dooley asked if that is something that or maybe the Novi News to pick up on.

Director Auler stated that he believes that it went up on the City website today with a link to the article. He also believes that the Community Relations Department distributed that information to the media. It is also on our State Association website.



Commissioner Staab congratulated the Department and Rachel Zagaroli on being recognized. He encouraged the citizens to become involved in the many activities available this month. The Novi Choralaires, who partner with the department, will have auditions starting at 7:45, Tuesday night at Novi Middle School. For more information you can call 248-348-2919.

Commissioner Policicchio stated that he has some out of town guest and they have had remarks about how nice the park was and how good it is to see communities still progressing. You should not underestimate the sense of community pride our programs bring. He doesn’t’ think that the community realized the contributions that are made by commissioners and staff that go beyond in terms of involvement and raising funds.

Commissioner Blair encouraged the public to give the Commission feedback. He supports recycling and the green initiative by the Parks Department.

Commissioner Dooley stated that there is an opportunity for seniors to get flu shots on October 15th at the Novi Civic Center between 8:00a.m and 1:00p.m.


The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Dooley at 8:29 PM.





Jay Dooley, Chairperson



Paul Policicchio, Vice Chairperson