|PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
September 26, at 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Jan Melloni at 7:09 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Present were Chairperson Jan Melloni, Vice Chairperson Jeff Cowling, and Commissioners Lanny Brown and Ernie Rodrigues. Commissioner Karen Rarey was an excused absence. Others present were Craig Bronzan, Director of the Parks and Recreation; Ken DeSilva, Park Services Manager; Janet Hansen, Park Planner; and Tammy Homan, Administrative Secretary. Carrie Pankhurst (temporary Recreation Coordinator), who is replacing Tim Taylor while he is on leave at Navy Dive School was introduced by Director Bronzan.
Director Bronzan showed a video of the news report of Commissioner Rodrigues retirement from the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District. Commissioner Rodrigues had completed 35 years in working with the Livermore Park District, 24 of which he served on the Board of Directors.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None.
Item No. 1 Approve minutes of regular meeting of August 22, 2002.
Item No. 2 Approve minutes of workshop of August 22, 2002.
Item No. 3 Accept staff report/project status reports from Parks Division (K.
Item No. 4 Accept staff report from recreation Services Supervisors (S. Barry/P.Scherff/M. Kaiser)
Item No. 5 Accept project status report from Facilities Division (M. Merizon).
Item No. 6 Accept copy of Day in the Park flyer (C. Bronzan).
Commissioner Lanny Brown moved to accept the Consent Calendar, Commissioner Rodrigues seconded the motion and motion carried.
Item No. 7 Update on Youth Commission Master Plan (P. Scherff)
Ms. Scherff referred the Commissioners to their packets and the item containing the results of the recent Youth Commission Survey which took place at the Liberty High School, Edna Hill and Bristow Schools. Results of this survey were presented to the City Council on September 24th in a Power Point display and also what they expected to develop through their Master Plan. She reported the City Council accepted the survey and presentation and will be doing a workshop with the City Council and the Youth Commission on October 22nd to further an in-depth study on the survey and the Master Plan. They hope to get more feedback from the City Council and direction at this workshop. Chairperson Jan Melloni said she felt it was a very good survey, she had read it all and the comments by the students were insightful. Ms. Scherff replied that the areas with the Police Department and the youth of city will work on building a better relationship.
Item No. 8 Discussion of Creek Cleanup (K. DeSilva).
Mr. DeSilva reported they had 48 participants in the cleanup, which made it quite equal in workers, 24 at each site. He said they collected about 8 yards of debris, most of it not recyclable. Only glass bottles were recyclable. Commissioners Cowling and Melloni participated in the event. He also said the Coastal Commission did not advertise this year as they had in the past. Director Bronzan then showed the write up that was to be in the Brentwood Press the following day. The article depicted Commissioner Cowling pulling debris out of the creek, other large items pulled from the creek were shopping carts, batteries and other bad things for the creek waters, which eventually flow into the bay.
Item No. 9 Discussion of feedback from users of the Skate Park. (P. Scherff/J. Hansen)
Ms. Scherff reported on issues brought back from the workshop and recorded by Ms. Hansen. Ms. Hansen had requested Ms. Scherff to follow up and report on her findings and responses to the points brought up at the workshop. She referred them to the printed report included in their packet for this meeting. She also felt these would be good idea to go to the Youth Commission and have these issues addressed through a subcommittee. This would give those with issues on the skate park a sounding board and form of communication between skate park users and the Park and Recreation Commission. She felt they did have valid issues, among them the bulletin board which can be worked on now in all probability, some others such as the pay phone, there is one at the pool and feel that can be utilized by skaters as well as swimmers. She said one individual seems to come forward more often and voice more of his son’s issues and this is difficult to address. Lights at the current time at the Brentwood Skate Park were not intended for night skating, only for security, however could be changed to serve for night lighting. Ms. Hansen said a survey would have to be done on them prior to changing them. Ms. Scherff said she has met with the San Ramon Skate Park and said that their park is not near a lot of homes, the Brentwood Skate Park is and they have chosen a different path in staffing versus the open skating at the San Ramon facility. Commissioner Cowling also had looked at the San Ramon facility and felt the type of monitors at each facility were different, possibly slightly older and a uniform that may cause a little more respect to be shown than the monitors at the Brentwood facility. Commissioner Rodrigues said he appreciated Ms. Hansen stepping forward and discussing the issues with the people. He feels they have a great facility and he has had some less than good experiences with some of the youth at the Livermore Skate Park. He feels the Brentwood Skate Park is one of the best handled in Northern California and they should be very happy with it and users should be very respectful for having it. Director Bronzan asked the Commissioners if they wanted the subcommittee to be set up as a liaison from the Youth Commission to the Skate Park and to the Parks and Recreation Commission. The Commissioners felt it would be a good idea and Commissioner Rodrigues moved that the subcommittee be formed with the Youth Commission for hearing problems and suggesting solutions for the Skate Park. Commissioner Cowling seconded the motion and motion carried.
Director Bronzan said then he would have Ms. Scherff take this back to the Youth Commission and he would also like to take her report to the Commission back to the City Council as an informational report to them. Commissioner Rodrigues proposed that one of the Commissioners serve as a liaison to the Youth Commission subcommittee. This would be an opportunity to show the youth at the skate park that they do care and are listening to their concerns. Commissioner Cowling volunteered for this position. Commissioner Brown moved that Commissioner Cowling be appointed to the position of liaison to the Youth Commission subcommittee on the skate park. Commissioner Rodrigues seconded the motion and motion carried.
Item No. 10 Report on Summer Nights Under the Stars concert series (P. Scherff).
Ms. Scherff referred the Commissioners to the written report in their packets and was happy to report that in this the third season of the concerts, the concerts made a profit. A lot of support was given this year from the housing developers, six donations of $5,000, and one at $2,000 which greatly assisted the ability to make a profit. Response in the form of attendance was also excellent this year. She is recommending to not have the June concert and try for a September concert instead next year. She also reported on the Wednesday night concerts that were funded by redevelopment funds and that turnout there was also fantastic. She said she hopes to continue the concerts in the same fashion next year.
Item No. 11 Discussion of Miwok Park dedication (K. DeSilva).
Mr. DeSilva said the question has come up, since they have had dedications for the other developer parks, whether there should be one for Miwok Park. The general consensus was not to ask the developer Morrison to participate since they have not been cooperative in this venture. He has contacted a neighbor who is a member of the Brentwood Area Neighborhood Committee (BANC). They have expressed interest in having such a dedication. Question now is time to organize the event, date etc. Neighbors would be willing to help distribute flyers, but other question would be funding for the event. Discussion of type of entertainment, food and who would pay for whatever is involved by Mr. DeSilva and the Commissioners and other staff. Commissioners felt something should be done, consider a jump house and other entertainment. Director Bronzan suggested that if they want the grand opening with a ribbon cutting, some dignitaries, and some food that they should go ahead and plan it on a slightly more modified basis. Chairperson Melloni suggested asking the Neighborhood Committee to ask for some donations for the grand opening. Ms. Hansen suggested that if they decide they will have a grand opening and go back to the various developers involved in this park tell them there will be a ceremony an ask if they would like to donate something to the event. Director Bronzan felt this should be done in fairness to all the parks and that they set a primary and secondary date and then staff could start calling people and see what they can come up with for the grand opening. They could at least have a ribbon cutting ceremony and probably a jump house, face painting and some other things for children and possibly some food. After some discussion the dates of October 26 and 2nd of November for the grand opening were chosen, with October 26 as the primary or best date. Staff will do some calling and report back at the next Commission meeting in October.
Item No. 12 Verbal report from Sunset Sports Complex Subcommittee (L. Brown/J. Melloni).
Commissioner Brown reported on the latest rendering he has seen of the park, which had more detail. He reported construction documents are due January, February at the latest and goes out to bid in March. Construction starts in April/May of 2003. By 2004 the soccer fields will be open and 2005 baseball and also an equestrian staging area. He also reported on Sand Creek fields on 11 acres owned by the City and the need for money to get grass planted and identify the area. These could be developed by others who would be willing to plant grass or donate time, etc. to utilizing the area until funding is available. It could be then used as a practice area. There is also a possibility of some grant writing funds available for soccer fields.
Item No. 13 Discussion of next steps in play environment design (J. Hansen).
Ms. Hansen reported that they have tried some different things, such as looking at some new inventive play equipment over the past six or eight months, and have attempted a couple of play equipment tours which did not work out completely. Then tried the workshop at Creek Side Park last month, where they did not get much information on play environment, other than all parks should have swings and as many as possible. Now she wants to discuss other options with the Commission or if this is something that is just lacking interest and should just be dealt with at staff level. She did put forward a couple of other ideas and Tammy Homan just passed around to the Commissioners an article that was in the newspaper that discussed play environments and the kids “top ten” in the East Bay Area”. One option would be to visit those specific playgrounds to gather information. Chairperson Melloni said she would still like to see one or two members of the Arts Commission to sit in on this process. Ms. Hansen said this would involve some planning then to get them on the tour and get the interaction there or other option would be presentations by the various equipment representatives, and that would be to bring them all to one meeting or a couple to a couple of different Parks and Recreation meetings. The drawback there being you don’t get the hands on ideas of using the equipment. Also, Ms. Homan handed out an invitation Ms. Hansen had received from Ross Recreation with the listing of the vendors to the ASLA meeting and expo that is in San Jose October 20 and 21. There will be various other play equipment representatives there at that time. This would be another opportunity to visit the equipment and get some ideas. Otherwise, the matter can be just left to the Commissioners assigned to the parks and their own creative talents to review the play apparatus and the play environments on the individual projects. Commissioner Cowling suggested that a staff member go to a sampling of the parks at various times throughout the day and interviews parents with a clipboard and asks questions as what they would like to see in the park, what they like and don’t like and show some brochures of items vendors have given to Ms. Hansen and do a random survey throughout the parks. This could be done a various times throughout the day, with babysitters as well as parents. Director Bronzan suggested Carrie Pankhurst do this survey, also Commissioner Cowling suggested students from Liberty High School that needed to complete their community service hours. Chairperson Melloni thought that ultimately they should consider a subcommittee of some sort for this project. Commissioner Brown volunteered to go and Ms. Hansen can get free passes to the exhibit for those who wish to go. Chairman Melloni and Cowling also said they could go and Commissioner Rodrigues will be there as a National representative to the conference. Ms. Hansen tentatively said she could also go, Director Bronzan said they could then take the van and it will be a field trip for the Commission since they have a quorum. There was a strong feeling to get information from other parks and equipment out of the Brentwood area. It was then suggested by Ms. Hansen that if Ms. Pankhurst does the survey locally, and the Commission looks at equipment in San Jose and also stop at two or three other parks on the way to or from San Jose, they would gather much more information. Commission and staff could also survey people at the various parks when they are visiting outside of Brentwood. Commissioner Rodrigues asked some questions about how the parks are being planned and Director Bronzan explained the park planning process with the developers. He suggested that there be a web site promoted in the next Activities Guide for a method of surveying the local population on the issue. This could be in conjunction with data from people in the parks and whatever the Commission discovers in their trip and what is gleaned from the web site. Discussion of “jug filler” sandbox and other types of child attractive features. Director Bronzan suggested that they try whatever they think is attractive and would make the park exciting for the children. He also said that Brentwood’s plan with the developers is to have the parks in place as soon as possible so that the first people moving into a new development will have the same opportunities to utilize the parks as the last people moving in.
Final plan will be to attend the ASLA exhibits, survey the local parks by Ms. Pankhurst and try to get on web site also. Director Bronzan will get survey done as soon as possible so that Ms. Pankhurst can get out into parks prior to winter weather. Same survey will be used when visiting other parks out of the city. Mr. DeSilva and Ms. Hansen will work on survey next week.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None
Ms. Hansen said she has many photos from other projects and she will furnish those for help in the play equipment. She also said she has been recruiting for a Park Planning Technician and she will be interviewing the rest of the week. This will be a new position for the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department. This will be an assistant to Ms. Hansen and responsibilities will include logging in plans for landscape as well as plans from Planning Department and Engineering Department. They will track plan reviews and work with Ken DeSilva and Ken Byrd on setting up preconstruction meetings and various other duties. They will be interviewing nine candidates for the position. Ms. Hansen also reported on pending grants and reported that they have verbally heard that one of the grants applied for on habitat restoration; their application is the number two application and they will be awarded $400,000. She explained these are Prop. 12 funds for riparian projects where the three creeks come together. They are also on track for another grant of $750,000 that they have applied for, no final decision at this time, but looks good. Another grant for Brentwood widening road project had received a grant to install larger trees since all sycamores and large trees will have to be removed for this widening project. The grant was applied for about one year ago and has been awarded the amount of $250,000. They will be planting 36” boxed oak trees.
Mr. DeSilva then reported if a developer completes some work on a project there will be three new parks going to City Council on the 8th of October for acceptance, this will then be three new parks to maintain.
Commissioner Cowling asked about the claim regarding the roll out benches for the new gymnasium. Direction Bronzan has received what he believes will be the last rendition and the City Attorney and Roger Wilson have emailed him that their hope is to have the issue resolved and the gym will be opened by the end of November. Some further discussion of uses of the new gymnasium.
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:
Status on survey of parks
Update on play equipment
ADJOURNMENT: Chairperson Melloni adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.
Betty Jo Whincup