Broward County > Parks > Get Involved > Parks Advisory Board Minutes Meeting of April 2, 2008

7:30 a.m. -- Brian Piccolo Park -- Cooper City

Members Present: Members Absent: Others Present:
Sharon Kent Gretchen Menk Tindle Bob Harbin, Parks & Rec.
Alanna Mersinger Sheila Rose Jaime Plana, Parks & Rec.
Quentin Morgan, Chair Stephen Oyer-Owens Chester Pruitt, Parks & Rec.
Guy Roper Ray Lopez, Parks & Rec.
Jack Talabisco Laura Frank, Parks & Rec.
Terry Danger Melanie Mercado, Parks & Rec.
Marc Kiar
Ed Portner
Bill Spute
Milette Thurston
Stephen Lawson

The meeting was called to order by Quentin Morgan at 7:34 a.m., after which all present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Morgan asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of March 5, 2008. Alanna Mersinger made the motion, which was seconded by Ed Portner and passed unanimously.

Employee of the Month for March and April 2008

Ray Lopez accepted the March Employee of the Month award for Margie Grimes on her behalf. Don Puglisi was congratulated as Employee of the Month for April. Both employees were applauded for their accomplishments and work ethics and were awarded framed certificates of appreciation and gift certificates for area restaurants.

Park Manager’s Report

Ray Lopez, Southwest District Superintendent, welcomed the Board and gave them an update on Brian Piccolo Park. The 12 tennis courts at Brian Piccolo were just renovated. Brand new concessions have been brought up to date for baseball and Little League. There are also softball complexes. The park also offers six men’s softball fields, two baseball fields for Little League baseball, two sets of soccer and football fields, the Velodrome and the skate park. Brian Piccolo also has a nice cricket complex as well.

Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) Update

Mr. Harbin advised that April kicks off our Budget Results Teams. The first meeting will be next Wednesday. There will be four meetings during that period. As was mentioned at the last board meeting, the assignment was to go through a 5, 10 or 40% reduction. We will not know the actual reduction number until the Property Appraiser does their forecasting in July. A couple of weeks ago the Long Key Natural Area had its grand opening with close to 250 people in attendance.

There is another large construction project coming that there will be of a short list of the vendors. There are eight construction companies that have submitted proposals on the Miramar Pinelands site. Staff is still getting ready to bring a conclusion to the board, on the Everglades Holiday Park master plan. A selection committee will be set up shortly. Mr. Harbin wanted to mention there are three components to the overall master plan of this park and the way it is being used right now. The first component is the glades-men, hunters, fisherman, airboat riders, etc. The second component is camping. The third component is to put in an exhibit area / museum, something that resembles Florida back in the 1800’s. Ronnie Bergeron has offered to put up one million dollars to get it started and to have it operated by a non-profit organization. Parks has come to the conclusion that the property is not large enough to handle all of these components. Camping will be removed. Markham Park has 82 camping sites and is 8 miles away from Everglades Holiday Park should someone want to camp. The site needs to be cleaned up and brought up to park standards. There have been a number of meetings with the Florida Fish and Game Commission. Mr. Bergeron was recently appointed to the Florida Fish and Game Commission.

Mr. Harbin advised the board that we are getting low on the Employee of the Month gift certificates. There is only one left.

Stephen Lawson questioned the money generated at Everglades Holiday Park. Mr. Harbin explained that Broward County obtained the park back in the early 1960’s and shortly after that the County leased it to the Florida Fish and Game Commission. They had a concessionaire that actually operates the park presently. Mr. Bridges is the manager. Terry Danger asked if Mr. Bergeron is trying to do a historical site. Mr. Harbin advised yes as well as an exhibit so that patrons can understand the Everglades. Guy Roper stated that the biggest problem out there will be parking. Sharon Kent asked how much money is allocated towards the restoration of the site. Jaime Plana and Mr. Harbin advised that there is no money allocated for the site. Bill Spute offered his assistance to provide input on Seminoles. Jaime advised that there will be a bridge added to the site. Mr. Harbin will get a master plan to the Board possibly at the next meeting.

Mr. Morgan had questions regarding a couple of articles he had read. One was regarding the lack of construction now that construction costs are more competitive. Mr. Plana explained that two bids have come down 25% less now due to less construction going on. Terry Danger asked about material costs. Mr. Plana advised that is still rising. Mr. Morgan’s second question was what is going on with Coconut Island. Mr. Harbin advised that the Marine Advisory Committee Chair met with the City of Fort Lauderdale and gave a presentation; there were no decisions made. There will be additional meetings.

Bond Construction Update

Jaime Plana the Carpenter House was taken to the City of Hollywood met with the Mayor and Commissioner Gunzburger. They are submitting plans for a permit.

Old Business

Charter Review Resolution Information and Letter of Support from Board

Mr. Morgan stated that at the last meeting it was discussed preparing a letter in support of the Charter Review recommendations. Mr. Morgan signed off on the letter. Mr. Harbin reminded the Board that the Charter Review Commission will be recommending to the Broward County Board of County Commissioners that they put restrictions on parks before the voters in November. That any park in the County park Broward County system has to be used for park and recreation purposes in perpetuity. The land use cannot be changed unless it goes before the voters and receives a 60% approval rate to change it. Sharon Kent suggested advertising this when it does come on the ballot.

New Business

Board’s performance measures developed to determine its own effectiveness in achieving its stated goals. A copy of the 2008 Broward County Sunset Review form was distributed to all present board members. Mr. Harbin explained every 4 years the County reviews all of the advisory boards in Broward County with the Sunset Review form. Mr. Harbin suggested to Quentin Morgan that a sub-committee should be created to review this information. We need to have some performance measures. This should fit into the overall County Commission goals. Sharon Kent volunteered to be the chair for the sub-committee. Guy Roper and Bill Spute volunteered to work on the sub-committee as well. Mr. Harbin suggested having a sub-committee meeting in our office to review the information along with the assistance of Shelly Turetzky. Terry Danger advised that where he works every year they do a goal of organization of the city and is fairly similar to this. He will send Mr. Harbin a copy should he find it. Bill Spute volunteered to be on the committee. Ed Portner questioned the 20 year vision statement. Right now with Broward being almost built out entirely, what kind of statement can we make 20 years down the road, when he believes the county will be overflowing with personnel and no land? Mr. Harbin explained that the handout states Cultural Amenities and Recreation: Something for Everyone; Cultural amenities and recreational services are accessible throughout the County from sawgrass to sea grass with emphasis on the rich cultural diversity of the community. Those are the actual Commission goals and we will set the measures to fall in line with that. Bill Spute asked if each advisory board is being asked to do this. Mr. Harbin advised yes. Jack Talabisco advised that he was recently appointed to the Land Preservation Board.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on May 7, 2008 at Central Broward Regional Park.

Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:19 a.m.