View Agenda for this meeting

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2009 – 7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM with Commissioner Dooley presiding.

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


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

Voice Vote Unanimous 



It was moved by Commissioner Policicchio and seconded by Commissioner Staab to approve the 2009 minutes as written with the correction of Commissioner Blair as the second on the approval of the October 9, 2009 minutes.

Voice Vote Unanimous


A  Walkable Novi – Commissioners Iszler & Policicchio

Commissioner Iszler stated the pathway and sidewalk prioritization analysis and process was finalized and approved by the Walkable Committee and is also now available on the City website.

Commissioner Policicchio stated Director Auler visited the meeting and gave some input on Parks and Recreation positions on items. There was a lively discussion on Grant applications and the need for a Master Plan to buttress anything ultimately applied for.

B. Novi Park Foundation – Commissioners Dooley & Staab

Commissioner Staab stated this Saturday night, November 14th, at the Hotel Baronette on Novi Road will be the third annual Novi Parks Foundation Gala. Tickets can still be purchased by calling the Parks office.

Coming up on December 4th will be the drawing for the third annual raffle for the lease of an Escape. Tickets can be purchased from any Foundation member.

Commissioner Dooley stated he wanted to thank all of the Commissioners who have sent an RSVP for the Gala. Tickets can be purchased on Pay Pal, at the Novi Parks office or at the door.

Commissioner Staab stated he wanted to acknowledge that one of the Parks Foundation members, Justin Fischer, was recently elected to the Novi City Council. He wanted to thank him for the way he has handled the finances, the good books he has kept, and the policies and protocols he has established over the past few years.


A. Administration Division – Randy Auler, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

Director Auler stated that at the last City Council meeting a Student Commissioner was appointed to this Commission so we will be making contact with him and doing an orientation. The student is Jay Raina. He will hopefully be in attendance at our December meeting.

At the December Commission meeting we will be bringing the Strategic Plan forward for the Commission’s discussion. We will also be discussing Capital Improvement projects we want to potentially include as part of the budget process. Director Auler asked the Commissioners to think about any items they might like to discuss and to e-mail them to him so he can include them in the packet for the December meeting. Capital improvement items are those that are $25,000 or greater and have an asset life of longer than five years.

He should also have a final draft of the Park Maintenance standards for the Commission’s approval. He is working with Steve Printz on finalizing those.

As an update, we have contracted with a company to help deter the geese in a humane way at Fuerst Park. To date, that has been successful. We are still working on a few punch item issues and design issues. This includes the crushed granite pathway erosion. We are working with our Recreation Staff, the Library Staff and High School in developing a full plan of activities and events for Furest Park for the spring and summer.

Commissioner Jewell asked how the geese problem and erosion problem at Furest Park have affected the budget.

Director Auler stated we have made it clear to the contractor, manufacturer and the architect we are not going to spend any more on resolving the crushed granite pathway issue. The contractor has insurance and other ways to fund that and we will hold fast in our position.

Director Auler also stated we had some wet weather this fall that has affected the quality of the turf at ITC Community Sports Park. We rearranged our schedules at the end to get all of the soccer season in and even relocated to other sites within the park system. We received positive customer feedback on this. Because the weather had detrimental affect on the turf we also lost a significant lacrosse tournament which will go to another community. We could not allow them to play on the fields because we need to get them ready to be able to use in the spring. We need to look at, with DPS and user groups, further limiting time on turf. We also have some damage on baseball fields 1, 2 and 5 in particular due to the flag football program being held in the outfields.

B. Recreation Division – Nancy Cowan, Superintendent of Recreation

Superintendent Cowan stated October was a busy month. The Storybook Stroll and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" production were held. We closed out the Adult Softball, soccer and flag football seasons. DPS worked really hard to help us get some fields up for the last week of games to fulfill the commitment to our user groups and participants in our leagues.

In the upcoming month we have our first ever Murder Mystery Dinner Theater which will be held at Andiamo’s on November 20th and 21st. There are three shows and the Saturday show at 6:00 p.m. is already sold out. The Friday evening show at 7:00 p.m. only has a few left. The Saturday show at 9:00 p.m. still has tickets. We are excited about the response this show is getting. It is being performed by our talented actors in the Novi area doing some improvisation which is different for them. The show was written and is being directed by our part time employee, Nancy Hayden, who is a Second City alumna and has been with Second City for a very long time. She has been fantastic for the actors to work with and learn from. We already have a second show planned for April which is going to be a jewel theme. She encouraged the Commissioners to see the show. The tickets are $35.00 each with a fantastic meal from Andiamo’s. The partnership with Andiamo’s is one we hope to continue.

The theatre production "Annie, Jr." opens December 11th and she encourages everyone to get their tickets. There are six shows and over 400 tickets have already been sold.

Senior "Turkey Day" is coming up next week to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. This event is always one that is sold out.

Ringing in the Holidays is Friday, December 4th. The Electric Light Parade starts at 6:00 p.m. We need more floats for the parade so if you know of a group in the area who is interested it is a great way to participate. The Opening Ceremony is planned for 6:45. We hope to do this inside this year to bolster the audience and participation. We also have many performers that night from youth dancers to choirs. Santa will be there as usual with pictures for community members. The whole event is free. We have a Craft Show area that is new this year. There will be over thirteen different vendors. The Brownies will have their Bake Sale. We also have two rooms as a kid’s area which will be used for games and activities. This will all be indoors so that it is warmer.

In the packet there is a list of partners as requested by Commissioner Staab. This will enable you to thank them when you are out in the community. Every day this list grows. Just recently we formed a partnership with Home Depot and Novi Meadows School. Our staff came up with a creative idea about snow creatures. Home Depot has donated lumber and some time to help us cut out some large three to five foot snowmen which we will deliver to Novi Meadows. The Principal there has committed over twenty classes to decorate the snowmen which will be displayed on Main Street during "Ringing in the Holidays". We will then bring them to the Civic Center to display them through January either in the outdoor or indoor areas so that kids can come and visit their art. Home Depot is also thinking of building a float to enter in the parade.

She thanked Director Auler and the City Administration for the opportunity to attend the NRPA (National Recreation and Parks Association) four day conference last month. We are already implementing new ideas and things which she learned there and has brought back and shared.

Commissioner Staab stated he wished to thank Superintendent Cowan for the listing of partnerships and applauds her for taking time out of her schedule to attend the NRPA conference.


Commissioner Dooley stated he had a chance to go to the ITC Community Sports Park fields this week. He saw that the 11 v 11 fields are in great shape as they have been for a number of years. He noticed some of the 6 v 6 and 8 v 8 fields are damaged and he realizes that is from the weather. He wondered if this is something that can be discussed during the winter leading up to the spring when youth soccer and youth baseball are on the fields again. We need to reevaluate the usage of these fields during the week for practices. We should perhaps use those fields for games only.

Commissioner Blair asked if we are still using Novi School System fields for Parks and Recreation practices.

It was confirmed that is true.



Student Commissioner Kerbrat stated she agrees with the soccer field comments because when she was younger they always practiced at the Middle School because there are enough fields in front and behind it. Maybe those should be used for practice during the week and ITC only for games on the weekend.

Commissioner Jewell had no comments.

Commissioner Iszler had no comments.

Commissioner Policicchio asked if it would be possible to get a very brief report on what the trend is with Parks and Recreations around the country in terms of going to artificial turf on their fields. It is going to be a never ending problem in Michigan. He would like to know what the costs of that might be. He knows more High Schools are going to artificial turf. He would be interested in information on it including cost and lifespan.

Commissioner Blair stated he is also interested in the fields and the discussion over the winter and hopefully address the issue because it is a concern for many of the parents and players.

Commissioner Wingfield stated there are 65 to 70 partners listed and he asked why Novi Youth Baseball was not listed with 650 to 700 participants. He asked if it was a different category than Jaguars.

Superintendent Cowan stated the reason the Jaguars are listed is because we use their coaches to train our coaches. As a user group, we have not gotten to that with Novi Youth Baseball League yet. That is something which has been talked about for spring with t-ball clinic and those types of things.

Commissioner Staab stated he would like to thank both Director Auler and Commissioner Dooley for stepping up and chairing the upcoming Gala event. He stated that on December 4th and 6th the Choralaires will be in concert. He also encourages everyone to purchase raffle tickets.

Commissioner Dooley stated he would like to acknowledge Milan Obrenovich who is the Principal of the Novi Middle School. He is the fifth annual recipient of the "Hugh and Kathy Crawford Award". He was instrumental in starting the Parks Department in the late 1960’s.


It was moved to adjourn the Commission meeting by Commissioner Dooley and seconded by Commissioner Blair.

Voice Vote Unanimous

The meeting was adjourned by Commissioner Dooley at 7:35 PM.

DATE APPROVED: December 10, 2009.


Jay Dooley, Chairperson


Paul Policicchio, Vice Chairperson