Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Monday, August 23, 2004

City of Ashland

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES 

ATTENDANCE

Present: Commissioners Amarotico, Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, and Rosenthal; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies

Absent: None

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regular Meeting – July 26, 2004 Under New Business item "Baseball Lights at North Mountain Park," Vice Chair Eggers questioned whether the Parks Commission established a policy in 2001 regarding lighting the North Mountain Park fields [as opposed to setting a goal]. Staff agreed to investigate and respond at the next regular meeting. Under the same item, Vice Chair Eggers clarified that she asked about the number of baseball players in Ashland, not the number of groups. Under New Business item "Request to Modify Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan," Vice Chair Eggers asked that the sentence regarding Systems Development Charges [being used as a funding mechanism for the purchase of parks, trails, and open space properties] be clarified to read, "that SDCs could constitute a small part of a plan to provide funds to acquire the properties listed on the current short-term Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan."

MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as amended, with the one remaining question [regarding the lighting policy or goal relative to the N. Mtn. Park fields] to be reviewed and answered at the September 27 regular meeting. Vice Chair Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum - None

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA - None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

LAND DONATION

Superintendent Gies spoke of the land donation off Granite Street, reminding the commission that the matter was discussed in the summer of 2003. He referenced the packet memo on the topic, specifically noting the two remaining conditions for the commission’s review and approval, which indicate that: "1) If the City of Ashland decides to not use this land as open space parkland, it will be donated to the Nature Conservancy; and 2) The walkway from the private drive up to the parcel will be named after the children [who are both deceased], and some form of recognition for their children will be erected by the walkway." He informed the commission that the donation was listed as "Parcel 2" on the enclosed map and it was equivalent to approximately five acres of land.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners discussed minor details about the two conditions and agreed that the naming of the pathway would fall within the policy guidelines established by the commission regarding placements of signs, memorials, and plaques.

MOTION Commissioner Lewis moved to gratefully accept the land donation and to honor the two new conditions. Commissioner Amarotico seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

SIGNS, PLAQUES, AND MEMORIALS POLICY

Director Robertson spoke of the recent changes to the policy document, which were made by Vice Chair Eggers, and indicated that the updated document was enclosed in the commissioners’ packets. He asked for their review and approval of the revised policy.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked clarifying questions and made final decisions about various points within the policy document. Commissioner Rosenthal thanked Vice Chair Eggers for her efforts.

MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to approve the Parks Commission policy for signs, plaques, and memorials, including the recent revisions. Vice Chair Eggers seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

NEW BUSINESS

REQUEST FROM ASHLAND POP WARNER FOOTBALL

Director Robertson reported that the commission received a request from Ashland Pop Warner Football for scholarship funds for low-income families and that Pop Warner specifically questioned whether the scholarships could be drawn from Youth Activities Levy [YAL] funds. He introduced Mr. Greg White, President of the Ashland Pop Warner Football League.

Public Comment

Greg White, 945 N. Mountain Street, asked for scholarship money for the league, which is comprised of 7- to 12-year-olds in the community. He reported that he receives requests for scholarships each year and tries not to turn any child away based on financial hardship. For scholarship families, he asks parents to pay a small portion of the fees and the league pays the remainder. He stated that Pop Warner received a grant from the NFL and a donation from the Kiwanis Club, but the donations did not cover total scholarship costs. The league uses volunteer coaches, team moms, and crew members, so costs are kept as low as possible. Equipment costs do tend to remain relatively high, and can run as much as $200 per child, as the equipment is new and of high quality. He indicated that YAL funds were once given to the league and questioned why the money is no longer available for local teams.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked about the cost of participation in the league and were informed that Mighty Mites [younger players] are charged $75 and the older groups [Junior Pee Wee and Pee Wee players] are charged $95 [with the additional $20 used for hiring and paying extra game officials]. The Pop Warner league pays for and owns all equipment associated with the games, so players are not required to buy gear or uniforms. 55 children are enrolled in the league’s teams this year, and the league has 12 cheerleaders [who don’t pay to participate]. In response to the question about YAL funds, staff informed Mr. White that YAL money was provided [in past years] to help some programs and groups gain a foothold within the community but it was not intended to be used to subsidize their continuing operations.

Director Robertson proposed the possibility of having the Ashland Parks and Recreation Department train and certify coaches in the local sports community. Certification of coaches could reduce or eliminate potential liability issues [in the event of an accident]. Once coaches were trained and certified, they could coach multiple sports in the community. He indicated that coach training could be linked to modest scholarship funding and that the collaboration could benefit both parties and be absorbed by the department.

When asked by Commissioner Lewis about whether there was a slight increase in YAL funds [for recreation activities in the community] in the past year, Director Robertson reported that there was a slight increase, and that more than 90% of the money was directed to the Ashland School District, while the remaining funds, equaling approximately $120K, were used to offset the costs associated with recreation programs offered through Ashland Parks and Recreation.

Commissioner Rosenthal expressed his desire to assist the Pop Warner Football League with a contribution toward scholarships. Vice Chair Eggers asked staff to research how the commission traditionally assisted groups in funding community recreation programs. Director Robertson responded that he knew of just one program that was minimally funded [other than regular Parks Department programs].

Commissioner Rosenthal proposed that the Parks Department donate a small amount of money toward scholarships for the Pop Warner Football League and, in return, receive advertising for Parks and Recreation programs [over the public address system at the high school] during half-times at their six home games. Vice Chair Eggers urged the commission to discuss the matter at a later date during a study session.

MOTION Commissioner Rosenthal moved to authorize $150 toward advertising for Ashland Parks and Recreation activities [over the public address system at the Ashland High School] during Pop Warner Football League home games during their 2004 season, and for the money to be earmarked for scholarships. Commissioner Lewis seconded the motion.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Vice Chair Eggers urged the commission to postpone the decision until further research could be conducted and a study session held.

The vote was: Commissioners Rosenthal, Gardiner, Lewis – yes; Commissioner Amarotico, Eggers – no

THE GROVE COMMUNICATION

Director Robertson referenced the packet memo relating to the letter from Mayor DeBoer, in which the mayor asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to begin operating The Grove as outlined in the two-phase plan developed by the council’s Ad Hoc committee. Director Robertson asked the commission for their review of the matter, and specifically to consider the draft response prepared by staff.

Discussion Among Commissioners

The Commission reviewed the draft response to the mayor’s letter, which was handed to commissioners prior to the meeting. Since they did not have time to review it before the meeting, staff assured them that the memo accurately reflected the discussions that occurred at the August 16 study session. Commissioner Rosenthal requested that the word "operate" [The Grove] be changed to "manage" [The Grove]. The group discussed that the teen board would be comprised of teen representatives as well as other members in the community. Vice Chair Eggers suggested conducting a joint study session with the Parks Commission and the City Council to discuss the matter at greater length. The commission authorized staff to prepare a final draft of the letter, including the changes discussed, and to forward it to the mayor.

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Trail Master Plan Committee Report

Director Robertson reported on the August 19 regular meeting of the Trail Master Plan Committee and indicated that the main focus of the meeting included preparation for the September 13 public meeting of the proposed Wright’s Creek Trail corridor. He informed the commission that the meeting was to be held at a private residence located at 500 Strawberry Lane at 6:30 PM. He further stated that committee members toured the proposed trail corridor with staff after the meeting. When asked, Director Robertson said that, in terms of publicity for the meeting, staff planned to run a display ad in the Ashland Daily Tidings, post a reminder in the "Community Notes" section of the newspaper, and mail a notice to all property owners whose properties border the trail area.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

    • Vice Chair Eggers asked for the implementation of fire hazard reduction measures at the newly donated Parks property located off Granite Street.
    • Chair Gardiner reported receiving a request from Gene Burnett, an Ashland resident, asking for the installation of an exercise station [for pull-ups and stretching] in Lithia Park. Staff agreed to look into the possibility of installing such a station.

UPCOMING MEETING DATE(S) and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

    • Study session set for September 8, 2004, at 7:00 PM, Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Discussion to include water quality improvement in Lithia Park ponds [Leslie Gore presentation] followed by an executive session to discuss land acquisitions.
    • Trail Master Plan Committee meeting set for September 13, 2004, at 6:30 PM, 500 Strawberry Lane. Topic to be the Wright’s Creek Trail corridor.
    • Trail Master Plan Committee regular meeting set for September 14, 2004, at 9:00 AM, Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Discussion to be the September 13 public meeting.
    • Regular meeting set for September 27, 2004, at 7:00 PM, Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Chair Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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