Agendas and Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting Minutes

Minutes
Monday, October 26, 2009

City of Ashland

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

 

October 26, 2009

ATTENDANCE

Present:    Commissioners Eggers, Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; City Council Liaison Silbiger; Director Robertson; Superintendent Gies

Absent:     Superintendent Dials

CALL TO ORDER         

Gardiner called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Study Session – September 14, 2009

MOTION Rosenthal moved to approve the minutes as written. Noraas seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

Regular Meeting – September 28, 2009

MOTION Noraas moved to approve the minutes as written. Lewis seconded the motion.

The vote was: 5 yes – 0 no

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Open Forum

Risa Buck, Oak Street, asked for one/five/ten-year plans for the pool and short/long-term goals. She said pool programs and schedules had to meet the needs of community members. She expressed a desire to work with Parks to provide the best possible community pool.

Julie Stuelpnagel, 915 Oak Street, a twelve-year Daniel Meyer Pool user, said pool service to the community had deteriorated over the past four to five years. She said staff told her in the summer that the main purpose for the pool was to provide swim lesson opportunities. She said there was an oversupply of lessons in the summer months and she heard parents complain about the cost of the lessons. She said the overemphasis on swim lessons limited opportunities for other community pool users.

Gary Streit, 309 Scenic Drive, an Ashland resident since 1965 and a long-time swimmer at the pool, said he normally enjoyed lap swimming and socializing with fellow swimmers but summer 2009 was different, as joy was lacking from the experience. He said the time allotted for lap swimming at the noon hour was inadequate. He asked the commission to restore joy at the pool.

Dan Gray, 659 Clay Street, a long-time Ashland resident and pool user, said the pool was constructed with community funds and intended for use by community members, with the Parks Department serving as pool manager / operator. He said the past five years saw a decrease in programming, partially due to a shortage of lifeguards. He said the pool historically opened on Memorial Day and closed on Labor Day but that practice ended some years ago. He said lifeguards in the community were willing to work.

Lynn Sacks, 237 Meadow Drive, a lap swimmer and school teacher, said Parks historically opened the pool earlier in the season, allowing school groups to use the facility for end-of-school-year outings. She said a change occurred in 2005, when the pool was resurfaced, and the earlier opening was never reestablished. She expressed hope for the pool’s conversion into a year-round, covered facility for community members.

Robertson reported on a previous meeting with Dan Gray in which he learned that lap swimmers felt staff lost contact with community swimmers’ needs. He suggested hosting a series of focus groups with pool user groups to review the issue in detail. He said staff would schedule the meetings for January 2010, at the start of the budget season, with commissioners and school district representatives invited to participate.

ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

REQUEST FROM PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSOIN TO PLACE MEMORIAL SCULPTURE IN JAPANESE-STYLE GARDEN IN LITHIA PARK

Robertson said former city councilor Alice Hardesty requested the placement of a memorial sculpture in the Japanese-style garden in Lithia Park in honor of her husband, former councilor Jack Hardesty. He said the sculpture currently was located in the Arnie Kriegel Memorial Sculpture Garden along the Calle Guanajuato Stairway but would be available for relocation in approximately eighteen months. Public Arts Commission chair Dana Bussell spoke of her commission’s policy on public art placements and requested approval for the sculpture’s relocation to the Japanese-style garden in Lithia Park.

After considerable discussion, the request was tabled pending Parks Commissioners’ attendance at the November 20 Public Arts Commission meeting. Commissioners expressed a desire to conduct a dialogue with the other commission regarding public art in parks and any potential overlap within their policies.

NEW BUSINESS

UPPER CLAY STREET PROPERTY DISCUSSION

Robertson said the commission discussed both the upper and lower Clay Street properties at their October 19 study session. He said the lower Clay Street property was set aside pending acquisition. He said the commission discussed elements for possible inclusion in the upper Clay Street property located off Chitwood Street and behind the Ashlander Apartments. He said the commission did not decide whether to move forward with a master plan but did formulate a possible list of amenities to include within the park site in preparation for the master planning process. He said the list included open lawn, playground area, ADA-accessible parking spaces, walkways, drinking fountains, community garden plots, benches, and trash receptacles. He said the commission discussed working with neighbors to control access to the creek and restricting vehicle access through the park.

Craig Gorson, 1000 Clay Street, a neighbor of the property, spoke of its history and requested an easement across the land, allowing him to subdivide his property and add homes to his lot. He said he’d hoped to buy the property and give the park to the commission but the transaction occurred behind closed doors and he was not included in the process. He asked the commission to involve neighbors in the park planning process and not to restrict any park amenities or elements before receiving public input.

MOTION Eggers moved to authorize staff to publicly state that the commission chose—for likely inclusion within the upper Clay Street park property—open lawn, playground area, ADA-accessible parking spaces, walkways, drinking fountains, community garden plots, benches, and trash receptacles, with controlled access to the creek and restricted vehicle access through the park.

5 yes – 0 no

SUB-COMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS

Lewis provided the commission with an update on the work of the Croman Advisory Subcommittee.

Noraas provided the commission with an update on the work of the Forest Lands Commission.

Gardiner appointed Eggers and Noraas to serve on the newly formed Pesticides Subcommittee.

ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS

Eggers requested an update on the status of water quality testing conducted by the Public Works Department over the summer months.

UPCOMING MEETING DATES and PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS

  • Study session set for November 16 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Topics to include:
    • Financial and business plan
    • Community communication
  • Regular meeting set for November 23 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.

ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Gardiner adjourned the meeting at 8:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation Department

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