City of Ashland
PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION
July 22, 2013
Present: Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Seffinger, Shaw; City Council Liaison Voisin; Director Robertson; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent: Commissioner Lewis
CALL TO ORDER
Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Study Session – June 17, 2013
Landt said that in the commission discussion about using wood versus steel for a proposed Japanese Garden gateway in Lithia Park, he would have used the word “would” rather than “might” when speaking about additional maintenance requirements for a wooden gateway (versus steel).
Approval of the minutes was postponed until the August 26 regular meeting to allow staff to check on wording used.
Regular Meeting – June 24, 2013
MOTION Landt moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO THE AGENDA
MOTION Landt moved to add “Parks Director Salary Review” under “New Business.” Gardiner seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes
GOLF COURSE PRESENTATION
Robertson said the Parks Department assumed responsibility of Oak Knoll Golf Course in the mid-1990s, including the management of existing maintenance staff. Clubhouse operations continued under contract until 2008 when Tom Cronin was hired as Clubhouse Manager after a lengthy search. An avid golfer, Cronin brought wisdom and small business management expertise to the position.
Robertson welcomed Cronin and invited him to speak to the commission.
Cronin showed slides of the Oak Knoll Golf Course and the clubhouse, including historic photos. He said the golf course had played a large role in the community for more than 80 years and he hoped to see it continue for another 80 years. He talked about recent improvement projects including reconstructed greens, upgraded drainage, replaced sand bunkers, and rebuilt tee boxes and said the golfers appreciated the upgrades. Other slides showed the clubhouse rooms and an historic pool table donated by a citizen. Cronin said the clubhouse was becoming a community center and used for hosted rehearsal dinners, weddings, corporate events and reunions. The golf course was also used for a cross-country event every September. Cronin showed a slide of the northwest corner of the parking lot and said it had been considered as a possible neighborhood park site with a playground. He said golf course staff provided a quality product at a great price.
Robertson said that while the commission had previously considered constructing a walking trail around the course, the project had not moved forward; however, community members walked that route every day. He reported on additional scheduled projects. Cronin said golf courses industry-wide were dropping in revenues and volume but the Oak Knoll facility was holding its own.
The commission thanked Cronin for his presentation. Cronin invited everyone to come out and play golf at Oak Knoll.
PARKS DIRECTOR’S SALARY REVIEW
MOTION Landt moved to approve a salary adjustment to $9,347.73 per month for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Director, retroactive to July 1, 2013. Gardiner seconded the motion.
Discussion Among Commissioners
Commissioners acknowledged a recent survey of parks director salaries in Oregon conducted by the City of Ashland Personnel Department. The proposed salary adjustment would be at the mid-range for parks directors working for similarly sized departments in Oregon. The adjustment would also bring the parks director in line with other City of Ashland department heads. Given the number of Ashland Parks Department staff and the budgetary responsibilities required, the commission agreed the proposed salary adjustment was appropriate.
Vote: All yes
SUBCOMMITTEE and STAFF REPORTS
Update on Signs and Plaques in Parks
Dickens said the Signs and Plaques Subcommittee, consisting of Landt and Lewis, would meet soon. Staff had been working on photographing and cataloguing existing benches and picnic tables in Lithia Park along with any memorial plaques in rocks or other structures. The commission’s policy on signs, plaques and memorials, developed in 2004 and revised in 2008, was due for a review and possible upgrades. Staff received ongoing requests for memorial benches and picnic tables and stayed within guidelines established by the commission, including a six-word limit per plaque. Staff offered donors the opportunity to donate items from the commission’s “needs list” such as frost-free fountains. Staff had worked on improving uniformity with donated items, including plaques, and only replaced existing benches and tables in need of refurbishment. In terms of costs for donations, benches and picnic tables were reported to cost $300 for in-house items or $1,200 for metal-framed benches purchased through a vendor, with plaques, installation and maintenance included in the price of all items.
Commissioners offered several suggested revisions to the current policy. Dickens asked the commission to think about long-term maintenance of donated items. Robertson said the subcommittee could discuss all associated topics in greater detail at their upcoming meeting.
Update on Parks Projects
Dickens provided updates on current park projects:
Enders Shelter rehabilitation in Lithia Park: for this 100-year landmark project, geotech work completed and footings dug out; 120 days until project completion.
Atkinson Bridge upgrades in Lithia Park: working on finding a match for finish coating; bridge open to foot traffic; 120 days until project completion.
Hunter Park maintenance shed repairs: recent re-siding and repainting of shed structure.
Trails and forestry work: projects ongoing.
Skate Park water fountain: fountain purchased; installation scheduled for end of July / early August.
ITEMS FROM COMMISSIONERS
Shaw reported on his participation in the Big Al’s tennis tournament the previous weekend and said he met people who had visited Ashland for 35 years. The tennis courts were said to attract repeat visitors, similar to the golf course, with many of the visitors expressing appreciation for Parks’ efforts to keep the courts in great shape.
Landt suggested forming a subcommittee to explore and discuss ongoing opportunities for open space property acquisitions. He suggested including this item on the August 19 study session agenda.
UPCOMING MEETING DATES & PROPOSED AGENDA ITEMS
Study session set for August 19 at 7:00 p.m., Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer Street. Agenda items:
Japanese Garden Discussion
Butler-Perozzi Fountain Restoration
Open Space Subcommittee Discussion
Regular meeting set for August 26 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street.
By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.
Ashland Parks and Recreation