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Parks & Recreation Advisory Board Minutes Meeting of November 4, 2009
Broward County > Parks > Get Involved > Parks & Recreation Advisory Board Minutes Meeting of November 4, 2009

7:30 a.m. - Anne Kolb Nature Center - Hollywood

Members Present: Members Absent: Others Present:
Sharon Kent Stephanie Munson Bob Harbin, P&R
Marc Kiar Richard Simon Mike Harlan, P&R
Howard Nelson Michael Smith Jim Federici, Public Works
Terry Danger Dan West, P&R
Stephen Lawson Cherise Williams, P&R
Marsha Oster Levy Sarah Perkins, P&R
Quentin Morgan Jim Davis, P&R
Guy Roper Laura Frank, P&R
Sheila Rose Linda Beard, P&R
Jack Mathison
Jack Talabisco
Bruce Edwards
Milette Thurston

The meeting was called to order by Quentin Morgan, Chair at 7:35 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 October 7, 2009. Howard Nelson made the motion, which was seconded by Stephen Lawson and passed unanimously.

Employee of the Month for November 2009

Linda Beard was congratulated as Employee of the Month (EOM) for October. She was applauded for her accomplishments and work ethics and was awarded a framed certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Park Manager’s Report

Jim Davis, Parks Manager IV at West Lake Park/Anne Kolb Nature Center, welcomed the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PAB). Mr. Davis provided the board members with a fact sheet and gave an overview of the history, improvements, renovations, and special events at West Lake Park/Anne Kolb Nature Center. Sheila Rose asked what the community reaction has been to park closures on Wednesday. Mr. Davis stated that they have not received many phone calls; however, completed surveys have reflected discontent with the issue.

Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) Update

Quentin Morgan introduced Dan West, as incoming Director of the Parks and Recreation

Division. Bob Harbin added that there was a national search and over 180 applicants. Mr. West started on November 2, which allows for a two month transition period until the retirement of Mr. Harbin. Mr. West addressed the PAB and gave a brief bio of himself.

Bob Harbin discussed the Reduction In Force of Parks and noted that only two staff members do not have placement at this time. There are two RLIs to privatize Aquatics and the Equestrian facilities at Tradewinds. Staff is doing an interim report to the Commissioners before a final decision is made. The report will provide a alternative scenarios such as further reducing staff and/or the number of horses to see if that would make a difference and allow the County to continue to run these operations. Sheila Rose advised that the City of Coconut Creek Commission is in the process of issuing a resolution of opposition as a result of a group of residents that are opposed to the privatization. Mr. Harbin informed the PAB that the equestrian operation generates revenue of approximately 30% of its expenses. Vista View Park expansion opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, November 13 and all PAB members are welcome to attend. The Holiday Fantasy of Lights opens just before Thanksgiving and the Toys for Tots Run is coming up December 6. The negotiations with the Family Aquatics Center at Tradewinds have been ongoing for about 10 months and staff has reached an impasse. The contract was brought back to the Selection Committee, on which three Commissioners are sitting on. This project may be revisited several years from now, but at this time it has been terminated.

Bond Construction Update

Jim Federici provided the PAB with a projects status report handout which is a summary of the bond projects being worked on. Mr. Federici provided aerials of Vista View Park and progress photos of the prototype projects. The remaining projects are moving along in various stages of completion.

Old Business

Quentin Morgan acknowledged Sheila Rose and Stephen Lawson for providing Employee of the Month gift certificates. Mr. Edwards recommended that each PAB contribute a certain amount per year and have staff inquire as to what that person may be interested in rather than just a random gift certificate to a restaurant. Additionally, Mr. Edwards suggested that the PAB give money to staff in order to purchase the gift cards. Patrice Eichen stated that may conflict with Broward County’s policy on gifts and it would be easier to handle if the certificates come from the PAB to the employee. The PAB asked that staff remind them in January or February to ask for more contributions.

New Business

Sharon Kent provided two different samples of surveys for the PAB members to review and glean questions from and adapt for the Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program. The PAB is being asked to revise the VIP survey. Sheila Rose said that the City of Coconut Creek has gone to the online concept of surveying customers. She will look into the software and bring information back to the PAB. Laura Frank suggested the possibility of including a survey on the RecTrac program and customers may complete it at the time they are doing their registration.

Mayor Ritter requested Howard Nelson to put the issue of dog pools at Markham Park on the PAB agenda. Cherise Williams is the Parks and Recreation Animal Care Specialist and she explained to the PAB how staff came to the decision to remove dog pools from the dog park. Last year, Ms. Williams’s office received several complaints from regular dog park patrons that their dogs had contracted Giardia. It was the opinion of their independent veterinarians that the dogs contracted the disease from the dog pools at the dog park. The Broward County Health Division and Animal Care’s State Veterinarian was contacted for further advice and direction and it was their consensus that staff remove the dog pools. It was also the opinion of the County veterinarian, Dr. Timothy Johnson, and that there was an even more serious disease, Leptospirosis. It was never the intent of the Park to provide a water park for the dogs. There are plenty of water spigots and hoses to provide drinking water and allow the dogs to be cooled off. Mr. Nelson stated that he believes staff has done their work and asked to get a copy of the Commissioner’s Request response that was sent to the constituent. Mr. Nelson will provide an update to Mayor Ritter.

Next PAB Chair - the PAB can either form a committee to nominate the next Chair or do so at this time. Sharon Kent nominated Jack Mathison to be the next Chair, Quentin Morgan seconded and all were in favor. Sheila Rose nominated Jack Talabisco to be the Vice Chair, Howard Nelson seconded and all were in favor.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 a.m.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is at Central Broward Regional Park, December 2, 2009 at 7:30 a.m.