Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

City of Ashland
December 17, 2014

Present:  Commissioners Gardiner, Landt, Lewis, Seffinger, Shaw; Director Black; Superintendents Dials and Dickens
Absent:   City Council Liaison – Mayor John Stromberg

Seffinger called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street

Study Session – November 17, 2014
MOTION Shaw moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewis seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes [Gardiner and Landt abstained]

Regular Meeting – November 24, 2014
MOTION Lewis moved to approve the minutes as presented. Shaw seconded the motion.
The vote was: All yes  [Seffinger and Landt abstained]

Tom Dobry, 1725 Bristol Street, thanked the commission for the opportunity to participate in the meeting. He said the pool community, a vocal minority, needed a competitive swimming pool in southern Oregon.

Kyilyn Boehm, 2785 Diane Street, a senior at Ashland High School and captain of their water polo and swim teams, asked for a competitive swimming pool for current and future athletes. The SOU pool, which served as her second home, was closing. Her involvement in swim activities made her into a stronger and better person.

Marc Heller, 1800 Peachey Road, member of the Rogue Valley Masters swim club for 35 years, said Ashland was an aging community. A new regional pool would give the commission an opportunity to support an activity and facility used by people of all ages, helping them remain active and vital throughout their lives.

Todd Lantry, 11158 Corp Ranch Road, president of Rogue Valley Masters and head coach of the AHS swim team, said swimming was a lifelong sport for all ages. The AHS swim team had doubled in size over the previous year. Swim groups would be challenged next year by the closing of the SOU pool and they were looking for a deep water competitive pool to hold six hosted swim meets per year. He urged the Parks Commission to work with expediency toward a solution and suggested partnering with the YMCA to work out land use issues. The masters group had 40 members of differing ages but could easily grow in size. He thanked the commission for the opportunity to speak on behalf of his organization.

Peter Croyle, 225 Sunnyview Drive, representing the Southern Oregon Aquatics Association, said the organization included water polo players traveling from Sacramento to Portland for matches and tournaments. Only two Oregon pools currently met their needs, located in Tualatin and Corvallis. State swim and water polo matches would bring people to the southern Oregon region and provide a great recreational facility, especially for children. He said it was important for swimmers to have places to swim.

Erik Oline, 853 Blackberry Lane, an AHS sophomore representing the water polo team, said AHS water polo won recent state championships. The success of the team would not continue without a pool for practices and meets. He asked the commission to help find a solution for the benefit of existing and future athletes.

Kristina Lefever, 2359 Blue Sky, representing Pollinator Project of the Rogue Valley, thanked the commission for supporting their mission to support pollinators by working toward a Bee City USA designation for the City of Ashland. She asked about the implementation timeline for that status and what the designation would entail.

The item entitled “2014 Accomplishments Report” was removed from the agenda to allow more time for staff to refine the report and bring it back to the commission in January 2015.

Finance Director Lee Tuneberg presented the Comprehensive Unit Financial Report (CUFR) for the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission as part of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the City of Ashland, fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. State law required submission of a financial and accounting audit each year, prepared by a municipally authorized auditor and within six months following the end of the fiscal year. Tuneberg said the commission won its 24th consecutive award for excellence in financial reporting with that submission. Commission audits were presented annually to the City’s Audit Commission, with the Audit Commission reporting to the City Council and Parks Commission.

Tuneberg pointed out important sections of the 87-page CUFR, including page 19, the Independent Auditor’s Report or “opinion letter.” The letter indicated that the auditors’ opinion was favorable. Other points of interest included:
  • Page 21 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis: Comparisons and changes over fiscal years
    • Minor change requested by Landt: third bullet from the top, change “of $1,255,189 from the prior fiscal year” to “from $1,255,189 over the prior fiscal year.”
  • Page 27 – Operating Grants and Contributions
    • Grants and contributions received; reports on full or partial program recoveries
  • Page 35 – Notes to Basic Financial Statements
  • Page 49 – Supplementary Information
    • Different format over prior year: two middle columns reflect biennial budget information.
  • Page 85 – 2014 Auditors’ Comments and Disclosures – required by Oregon State regulations
    • Auditors reported no areas of concern
Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt requested the removal of page 87, normally filled with the auditor’s report, because it had no content other than a header and a Parks logo. Tuneberg said he would ask the auditors for their rationale in including this page. Landt said there was a factual error on page 11 (introductory section), first paragraph, in which the Commission was said to have added “approximately 400 acres of park and open space land to the City’s inventory over the past ten years.” He said the number of years was 24, not ten. Black said he would review the letter and correct any errors. Landt asked why the letter about the commission was addressed to the commission. Tuneberg said the letter was written by Parks management staff to its elected board; it was educational for the board and outside persons to read material contained within the introductory section; any errors would be corrected. He asked the commission to not stray too far from what was written in the CUFR. Landt said it wasn’t straying, it was making the document consistent with the facts. If the commission chose to accept the document, Black said he would correct any factual errors and Tuneberg would review page 11 and fix any discrepancies.

MOTION: Shaw moved to accept the CUFR as outlined, with the corrections identified and outlined by Commissioners and corrected by directors Black and Tuneberg. Gardiner seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Black said the proposed 2015 meeting calendar included a suggestion to move both meetings in May and November up by one week to accommodate holidays, with a regular meeting in December as well as a goal setting or strategic planning meeting earlier in the month.

Discussion Among Commissioners
Landt said there was logic to the changes with the exception of November. There was no compelling reason to move both meetings up in November. Due to current noticing practices, he felt meetings should remain within the normal timeframe of third and fourth Mondays of the month. He agreed with the December meeting dates as proposed by staff. Shaw and Gardiner agreed with Landt’s suggestion; Gardiner stated he wanted to minimize meeting date changes throughout the year. Landt suggested looking into moving both the study session and regular meetings to the second and third Mondays of the year; Shaw concurred.

MOTION: Shaw moved to adopt the proposed 2015 meeting schedule as presented by the Parks Director, with staff bringing the schedule back for further discussion in January and possibly moving meetings to the second and third Mondays of the month.

The motion died for lack of a second.

MOTION: Landt moved to approve the 2015 meeting calendar with dates amended for November: November 16 and 23 meetings rather than November 9 and 16 as suggested by staff. Landt further moved to direct staff to look into changing Parks Commission meetings to the second and third Mondays in the near future.

The motion died for lack of a second.

Black said Parks Commission meetings were set for the third and fourth Mondays in part because of the Council meeting schedule. He said Council would probably urge the Commission not to change their meeting schedule. Lewis said he agreed with the first part of Landt’s motion.

MOTION: Lewis moved to approve the 2015 calendar with meeting dates amended for November: November 16 and 23 rather than November 9 and 16 as proposed by staff. Landt seconded the motion.

The vote was: All yes

Dials said fee recommendations would be reviewed in detail at the January 26 regular meeting. The discussion would include any fee adjustments or increases as proposed by staff. For item 1 in the staff memo, “Analyze the golf course budget and clarify the CIP funds,” Dials said, upon closer review, that the line items revealed mostly day-to-day operations of the golf course budget for such things as folding chairs, equipment maintenance and others. Increased water usage and irrigation maintenance [possibly related to the greens project] amounted to approximately $25,000.

Dials said the January 26 regular meeting discussion would also include field user charges. A field users’ meeting would be scheduled before the January 26 meeting. Staff was in the process of notifying field users about proposed changes, including a per-season charge for each field-using league. Dials asked for any questions or feedback from the commission.

Discussion Among Commissioners
After looking over the cost recovery matrix, Landt noted that a few programs achieved their cost recovery goals but most did not meet intended goals. He asked how Parks could reach higher recovery rates. Dials stated that for the Senior Center and Nature Center (especially school groups), staff would look into writing grants to recover costs at a higher rate. Lewis asked how to increase facility rental rates to a higher level. Shaw asked if the recovery targets should be lowered so they were easier to achieve. Black said the facility rental goal was a lofty one and would be more expensive for facility renters. He said goal recovery rates of 25% (Senior Center) and 30% (Nature Center) were adequate for those divisions. For the golf course, Gardiner asked staff to project likely expenses and revenues.

Strategic Planning for FY 15-17
Seffinger said the Commission initiated its strategic planning process for the FY 15-17 biennial budget period on December 15. Black said the “dot” voting system used by the Commission worked well; however, his instructions were not clear. He asked them to vote again in the next two weeks and outline their goal priorities for the FY 15-17 biennium. Landt asked for “parking lot” items to be placed in a category entitled “long-term goals.”

Mayor’s Letter on City / Parks MOU
Black reported that Mayor Stromberg agreed to the Commission’s proposed change to the letter summarizing the approved City / Parks MOU. The Mayor planned to revise the letter and send it back to the Commission.

Golf Course Subcommittee Meeting Report
Lewis provided a summary report of the Golf Course Subcommittee meeting held on December 4 and attended by Lewis, Gardiner, Black, Dickens, Clubhouse Manager Cronin, Golf Superintendent Harvey and Dyssegard. Discussion items included completing the decomposed granite cart path to allow for all-season cart use; installing a children’s playground in the corner of the parking lot to create a neighborhood park, in alignment with the City’s Open Space Plan; expanding and renovating the golf clubhouse, including removing the large pool table for better use of the space; improving signage at the entrance and other areas; repairing and improving walkways around the clubhouse; installing a foot golf course; and designating the course as dog friendly or not.

Shaw said he recently visited the golf course and felt it was a valuable community asset.

Japanese Garden Gateway
Gardiner asked Dickens about the status of the Japanese Garden gateway. Dickens said the wood was curing and he would check on its progress and look into the engineering for the footings. Black suggested obtaining the drawings from the wood curing facilitator and adding the item to an upcoming agenda.

Commissioners thanked Seffinger for her work on the Parks Commission over the past four years and her service as chair the past two years. Black said staff would purchase a Nature Center brick for Seffinger to thank her for four years of service on behalf of the Commission. Seffinger said she had great respect for each Parks Commission member and she recognized the hard work and dedication they provided. Their efforts made the parks system what it was; an amazing system. She acknowledged Director Robertson’s work over past years and the current work of Director Black. She thanked other staff for their efforts – Dickens, Dials and Dyssegard – and said it had been a wonderful experience working for the benefit of the Parks Commission and parks system.

  • Study session set for January 12 (later changed to January 13) at 7:00 p.m., The Grove, 1195 E. Main Street. Topics:
    • Cost Recovery Discussion
    • Dogs at Golf Course Discussion
    • Preparation for Joint Council / Commission Meeting
  • Regular meeting set for Monday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m., Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street. Topics:
    • 2015 Election of Officers
    • 2014 Accomplishments Report
    • Discussion and Action on Potential Fee Adjustments for Parks and Recreation Programs and Services
    • 2015 Subcommittee Assignments
ADJOURNMENT– By consensus, with no further business, Seffinger adjourned the meeting at 8:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Dyssegard, Executive Assistant
Ashland Parks and Recreation

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