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Parks and Recreation Commission Minutes

CITY OF FULLERTON

PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

MEETING MINUTES

City Council Chamber

Monday, May 8, 2006

6:30 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER


Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.


FLAG SALUTE


Commissioner Dalton led the flag salute.


ROLL CALL


Present: Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Kathleen Dasney, Craig Russell, Nancy Spencer, Neil Swanson

Absent: George Miller


Staff: Ron Molendyk, Parks and Recreation Director; Parks and Recreation Managers Dave Alkema, Grace Carroll-Lowe, Alice Loya, and Judy Peterson; Senior and Family Services Manager Eloisa Espinoza; Landscape Superintendent Dennis Quinlivan


PUBLIC COMMENTS


Pam Keller
– Spoke about her appointment to the Parks and Recreation Commission by Mayor Leland Wilson, and said that because she was running for City Council, she was removed by Mayor Wilson. She expressed her appreciation of the commissioners, said she is Executive Director of Fullerton Collaborative, and that she would be working with the community on the Richman Park lighting issue. She thanked Chair Russell and Commissioner Dalton for speaking at the Council meeting regarding the commissioner process and against her removal.


Chair Russell invited the commissioners to speak on this topic if they so wished.

Commissioner Dasney referred to Fullerton Municipal Code (Chapter 2.13.050) which states “members of the commission will continue in office until their successors are appointed.” She said it might not apply in Pam Keller’s case, but she had the question.

Commissioner Dasney then spoke on Pam Keller’s removal, saying that the removal was done “arbitrarily,” with no dereliction of duty on her part. She also spoke of Pam Keller’s involvement with citizens and many Parks and Recreation events, and that she and her unique perspective as a young mother and past Parks and Recreation staff would be sorely missed.


Commissioner Spencer said she would miss Pam Keller’s careful analysis of all the issues brought before the commission, and would also miss her and her unique perspective.

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Chair Russell said he spoke at City Council on Pam Keller’s behalf, saying that although they didn’t always see eye to eye, he would miss her, too. He said what he spoke about at Council was that he believed this action was an abuse of the system, and that the new system doesn’t work. No one thought running for City Council would mean removal from the Commission, especially as Pam Keller was a valuable member of the Commission and the perfect Commissioner because of her and her children’s involvement in Department programs. He suggested that perhaps something could be done to prevent a removal like this in the future.

Commissioner Swanson said he was shocked at Pam Keller’s removal, and would miss Pam Keller’s enthusiasm, “outright honesty,” perspective, knowledge and passion, and that the Commission would miss her.


CONSENT ITEMS (Items 1 and 2)


Chair Russell asked about the brevity of the minutes, and Director Molendyk and Manager Loya replied that they decided to simplify the minutes to save staff time and to follow the format of the Council meetings per the Municipal Code with an action and vote recorded. Chair Russell said that Commission might be different because it is supposed to report to Council, and that the minutes could be used to provide a description of how a decision was made, especially when there were dissenting votes. Manager Loya pointed out that the Commissioners, per the code, may also make a request that particular comments be recorded in the minutes.

She also noted that it is the decisions of the whole body of the Commission or Council that matter, rather than an individual commissioner’s or council member’s opinion. Chair Russell confirmed with her that if the commissioners wanted to ensure that a statement is recorded, they would make the request as they are speaking.


Commissioner Dasney also spoke in support of the longer minutes, saying that the November 2005 minutes were very helpful in understanding the issues with the Hillcrest backstop, prior to her being a commissioner. Manager Loya said the Department would keep the minutes format as currently is, but the commissioners could make a request to have statements included in the minutes.


Director Molendyk agreed with Commissioner Dasney that sometimes longer minutes are useful, however, with longer meetings, it takes more staff time to complete the minutes, and that some people don’t want to read extensive minutes. However, he said that the staff could evaluate the change, particularly when there are important items. He asked if the Commission wanted to have a discussion tonight on the meeting minutes format or if it could be brought back at another meeting. Chair Russell agreed to do so at a later time.


Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION to approve the two consent items, Commissioner Spencer SECONDED THE MOTION.

Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer, Swanson


NOES: None


ABSENT: Miller


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.


1. MINUTES OF THE APRIL 10, 2006 REGULAR MEETING

Recommendation to approve the Minutes of the April 10, 2006 regular meeting.


2. LANDSCAPE DIVISION MONTHLY REPORT FOR APRIL 2006

Staff recommendation to receive and file the Landscape Division April 2006 Monthly Report.


REGULAR BUSINESS (Items 3 - 9)

3. GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY AT THE FULLERTON SPORTS COMPLEX


Director Molendyk provided background on the Good Neighbor Policy at the Sports Complex, saying staff has been working with the neighbors who wanted one day a week without sports activities at the Complex. However, there was more demand for field use including requests for Sunday use, so two commissioners, staff and field users had met to try to accommodate both needs.


He introduced Manager Miranda who said staff is requesting an amended Good Neighbor Policy to accommodate increased needs. She provided a history of the Sports Complex and the Good Neighbor Policy, describing the meetings with field users, neighbors, Commissioners and staff.


She described the proposed changes to the Good Neighbor Policy which included a paragraph acknowledging the intent to have City-sponsored events at the Complex that benefit all residents, that groups of 25 or more would need permits, and two significant changes: 1.) Sunday play would only be allowed from noon to 6:00 p.m., and 2.) Elimination of the total ban on play-by-play or at-bat public announcements by giving the Director discretionary authority. Director Molendyk clarified that neighborhood representatives seemed to accept the use of the PA system for certain circumstances, and that the field users said they only wanted at-bat announcements during special tournaments which would occur only for a week at the end of the season. Thus, he suggested that the policy could be amended to only say “no play-by-play announcing.”


Commissioner Swanson explained that the Good Neighbor Policy was developed and derived from a previous policy because of contention about the PA system, and noted that “play-by-play” at special events needed to be defined. He also clarified that it would be two weeks, not one week where tournaments would be held, and suggested that the PA system speakers be carefully directed to minimize any potential disturbances to the neighbors.


Commissioner Spencer said this review was brought about due to the addition of travel ball, and asked how many days travel ball would be playing. Manager Miranda said travel ball would like to play beyond the regular season, but there were representatives here who could better answer the question. Commissioner Spencer asked if travel ball is only talking about Sunday use, and Manager Miranda said Sunday was the only time left. Commissioner Swanson asked about which fields travel ball would be playing at, and Manager Miranda said it would be moved from Field #4 to Field #1.


PUBLIC COMMENT


The following speakers spoke about the need for more field time and were in support of Sunday play and the PA system at the Sports Complex:

Mike Downing

Bob Mellano

Jim Golden

Scott McAulay

Curt Blodgett

Mark Rodrick

Barry Atnip

Jerry Young

Tony Pirano

Murph Pierce

Ruben Castillo


The following speakers expressed concern about noise at the Sports Complex and spoke against the proposed revisions to the Good Neighbor Policy and PA system use at the Sports Complex:


Beverly Widner

Chris Banning

Jim Kenney

Wayne Carvalho

Sonia Carvalho


The commissioners asked questions of the speakers, staff and field users, and accepted a petition signed by neighbors of the Sports Complex. Resident Sonia Carvalho pointed out that the funding for the Sports Complex came from park impact fees, and said that there was no environmental review conducted as required prior to amending the development agreement for the building of the Sports Complex.


Commissioners Dalton and Dasney asked what perceived changes to the policy the speakers were objecting to. As it was not clear what the objections were, Director Molendyk clarified that staff had met with the baseball league representatives due to an upcoming tournament, and noted that there were really only two issues: The homeowners were asking that Sunday play hours be changed from the current 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. to the proposed 12 noon until 6:00 p.m.; and Little League wanted use of the PA system for at-bat announcements only at special events.


Commissioner Spencer asked how much more field time would be needed for travel ball play, and was told that a request had not been submitted so that the actual number of hours needed was not yet known. Commissioner Spencer noted that there was concern about travel ball using Fullerton fields because so many of the players are not from Fullerton. Manager Miranda confirmed for Commissioner Dalton that the commissioners would be voting on making the Sunday play from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. a formal policy rather than the unwritten policy of no Sunday play other than for makeup games.


Director Molendyk pointed out that if travel ball used the Complex for regular Sunday play, there would be difficulty in scheduling the
make-up games that are currently scheduled on Sundays. Manager Miranda agreed, saying all the fields are virtually filled to capacity.


It was confirmed for Chair Russell that tonight was the first time the Commission would ever be voting on any Good Neighbor Policy, and that the original Good Neighbor Policy was set up with East Fullerton Little League at Chapman Park and was utilized for the Sports Complex when it opened up. Chair Russell further confirmed that the youth leagues didn’t want to play on Sundays, and Manager Miranda said the leagues also try to end play at 9:00 p.m. during the weekdays. She said there is an informal policy that
youth sports would have priority over travel ball, but she also noted that travel ball pays for play whereas youth leagues don’t.


Manager Miranda confirmed that other cities use PA systems in tournaments for at-bat announcements. Chair Russell suggested that when talking about the PA system, it would mean announcing for at-bat, not play-by-play, and Manager Miranda said the policy could be amended to mean only that. Chair Russell said he was surprised that both sides didn’t like the amended policy: The neighbors didn’t like the amended policy because of the PA system and Sunday play, while the leagues didn’t like it because of the limitation on the Sunday games. Manager Miranda said she extracted the amendments from the field use committee meeting.

Commissioner Swanson said there was a compromise for 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. play on Sundays instead of 12:00 to 3:00 play in order to allow for two games. He said the compromise was not viewed as a “take-away” from the leagues as the leagues didn’t play at the Sports Complex on Sundays regularly anyway.


Commissioner Dasney said she would agree with Commissioner Swanson’s assessment of the meeting. She added that travel ball is limited to fewer than 25 people, mostly Fullerton residents which meant that travel ball could, if it wanted to, play on any field as if it were a pick-up game. Thus, she felt both sides benefited from a reserved time for which the City would get paid.

Director Molendyk said that Little League is requesting the use of the PA system for a tournament and for at-bat only, although a PA system has never been used. He added that the homeowners would prefer no changes but that this was a compromise. Resident Beverly Widener demonstrated a portable PA system that is used, saying, “It gets quite loud.”


Commissioner Dasney asked about the lights turning off incorrectly, but said that was a separate issue from the Good Neighbor Policy although Commission will be following up on that, too; Manager Miranda agreed. Commissioner Swanson also noted the waste of taxpayer money due to unnecessary lighting.


There was a discussion on the impact and timing of the Commission’s vote, and that the recommendation would go to Council for final approval although the policy could be reviewed from time to time. When Chair Russell asked about continuing the matter, Director Molendyk said Little League was hoping to have a policy allowing use of the PA system prior to the tournament in June; otherwise Little League couldn’t use a PA system. Chair Russell also commented that for those speakers who had said they wished this item didn’t have to come to Commission, that it did have to.


Commissioner Dalton MADE A MOTION to adopt the proposed Good Neighbor Policy as written with one change to Paragraph 9 regarding the use of the public address system in which the line, “In no instance will play-by-play or at-bat type announcing be allowed” was deleted. She suggested only deleting the words “at-bat announcing” so that the phrase would read “in no instance will play by play announcing be allowed”, which would allow for at-bat announcements only at special events. Commissioner Swanson SECONDED THE MOTION. Chair Russell told the audience that the Commission would be voting on a policy which would allow for Sunday play from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. only, and would allow for PA use only for at-bat announcing for special occasions and with the permission of the Parks and Recreation Director.


Commissioners Dalton and Dasney acknowledged both sides’ concerns, expressing support for youth and the need for more park space and funding, and asking for the community’s support.


Commissioner Spencer was concerned about the increased use by travel ball because many players come from other areas, not Fullerton, adding that she was still not clear on the matter because Commission doesn’t have travel ball’s schedule. She said she also understood the need for the neighbors to have one day of peace.


Chair Russell said he would vote for the motion so Little League would have a PA system for its tournament. He also said the leagues have gone out of their way to avoid Sunday play, so the leagues shouldn’t feel they are being limited because of the Sunday 12:00 – 6:00 play. He said he even enjoys hearing the PA because he knows families are enjoying baseball.


Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Swanson

NOES: Spencer

ABSENT: Miller

The MOTION PASSED with a 4 – 1 vote.

4. CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS BUDGET / REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY PROJECTS


Director Molendyk introduced the item, noting that the presentation would be in two sections: General Fund Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and Redevelopment Agency Projects. Manager Dave Alkema said the two-year City budget covering 2005 – 2006 and 2006 - 2007 includes Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), and that the projects were being presented for Commission’s approval to City Council. He provided a Power Point presentation while commissioners referred to the agenda packet materials with the revised budget information. Manager Alkema noted that there was an increase of $4,472,500 to the 2006-07 Adopted Budget of $900,000 for a total of $5,372,500. He outlined and answered commissioner questions on the following projects: Lions Field, Athletic Field Lighting at Richman, Commonwealth and Ladera Vista schools, Tri-City Park Lake Renovation Master Plan, and the Rolling Hills Park Parking Lot, Fern Drive Playground, Independence Park Master Plan, Amerige Park Master Plan and Hillcrest Park Master Plan. It was noted that Lions Field was the top priority and made up the majority of the funding at $3,400,000.

Regarding the Rolling Hills Park parking lot, staff explained to Chair Russell that the proposed lot was proposed by the Engineering Department, was needed for safety reasons, and that the neighborhood would be involved in community meetings for input prior to any work being done.


It was also confirmed that the funding for the park master plans is only for the development or revision of master plans, not for the actual construction, and that only the funds necessary would be spent on the plans. Because some of the existing master plans are dated, Manager Alkema explained that it was necessary to re-look at and revise those plans. Director Molendyk also pointed out that the Department would be emphasizing maintenance as an important part of the proposed projects in order to protect the City’s investments.


Commissioner Dalton said she supports lighting, but asked if there were any long-term agreements with the school districts to ensure the City can use the lights for a reasonable length of time. Manager Alkema responded that that would be a caveat prior to any ground being broken, and that there would also need to be public workshops. Director Molendyk reminded the Commission that these projects were “not done deals,” and Manager Alkema said that while some community opposition was anticipated, the school superintendent seemed very positive about it.


Director Molendyk explained that the projects just reviewed were coming out of the City budget, with funds collected from the park dwelling fees charged to developers and existing Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funding; thus, the funding was limited. He said the other source of funding is $77 million in RDA bonds which are sold to improve blighted areas. He said the total requests from all departments came in at $222 million, but the proposed projects have been narrowed down to a total of $77 million.


Proposed Parks and Recreation RDA projects and funding were outlined including Independence Park renovations, Hillcrest Park construction, Lions Field, and Amerige Park. Director Molendyk said that the cost for both pool and park renovations at Independence Park would be $8 million, not the $3.75 million listed; thus, if Commission wanted a full renovation per the request of FAST, the community and the Parks Manager, it should recommend an additional $4 million to cover park renovations.


Director Molendyk also pointed out the $650,000 request for Richman Park lighting on the RDA list, saying Council just asked that there be a written agreement between the school district and the City prior to moving forward. When asked, he said the timeline for completion on the lighting project was 18 – 24 months, due in part to the need for State of California approvals.


Chair Russell asked if this was a wish list that everyone had for $77 million and Director Molendyk said monies could be moved around and was subject to Council’s priorities. Everyone was encouraged to approach the Council to support Parks and Recreation Department projects. Chair Russell said that he would like detailed input tonight from anyone interested in particular amenities at Independence Park. He then requested that the secretary record all the comments that are made on this issue.

Chair Russell then opened the meeting for public comments, asking that the secretary record all that was said.


The following speakers were in favor of the Independence Park improvements:


Coach Kevin Perry of FAST
– Also thanked the Parks and Recreation staff for their work on tonight’s presentation, and agreed with the vision of Independence Park being better utilized through better park design, and many programs for all sectors of the community, not just for competitive swimming.

Lynn Rogers, FAST parent – Also asked for gym improvements and more activities at Independence Park, suggesting that income generated could be returned to the City through the pool and park.

Chip Lance, FAST Coach – Also supported programs for seniors and the community.

Bill Jewell, FAST Coach – Was glad to see partnerships and swim programs, but wanted to see Independence Park better utilized.

Laurie Ruhnke – Also said Independence Park wasn’t used enough, partly because the skate boarders were “scary”, not enough recreational equipment, and not enough restrooms.

The following speakers were in favor of the proposed lights at Richman Park:

Aurelio Ramirez, student – Also said the lights would make it possible for youth to have something positive to do at night, and help reduce youth delinquency.

Mario Villamil, Valencia Task Force President and soccer coach - Also said the lights allow kids to play at night and keep out of trouble.

Pam Keller, Executive Director of Fullerton Collaborative – Liaises with the Valencia Task Force, and said lights would benefit others outside of the Richman area when they come to the park.

The following speakers were in favor of Lions Field renovations:

Ruben Castillo, First Vice President of Fullerton Hills Softball – Asked that Lions Field be kept on the priority list, and that there was room for additional fields.

James Wright, President of Pop Warner Football – Said that besides new lighting, the field needed new restrooms in a safer location. Was told this was in the proposed budget.

The following speakers were in favor of Senior Center improvements:

Dick Waltz, Senior Club President – Asked for more money for expansion, saying that there isn’t enough space, and not to forget the seniors in the budget. It was noted that the shuffle board courts were taken out at the request of the seniors.

Lynn Abouchar, Senior Club member – Asked that the seniors be included in the planning by the Parks and Recreation Department.

The following speaker was in favor of restrooms at Rolling Hills Park, especially as the tot lot at the Sports Complex was frequently closed:

Sonja Carvalho – Said because the tot lot at the Fullerton Sports Complex is closed, the Rolling Hills tot lot is used more; however, a better restroom than the current port-a-potty is needed for children. She acknowledged that Council doesn’t want to pay $500,000 or $600,000 for a restroom, and suggested trying a less-expensive but nice portable restroom that some of the other cities are experimenting with. She added that the Commission should get involved early with the proposed Coyote Hills development so that the developers aren’t dictating that type of recreational facilities that will be built.

When asked by Chair Russell if she was happy that the tot lot at the Sports Complex was closed, Ms. Carvalho, said “no,” and Chair Russell asked that that response be recorded in the minutes. She added that, for the record, she would like to debate the City Attorney on the liability related to the Sports Complex. Chair Russell and Commissioner Swanson requested that that statement be placed in the minutes, also.

Chair Russell said he wanted to emphasize Lions Field, saying that it was at the top of the list and could not be dropped this time. He said everyone must fight to get the improvements done, that it is a prime park which people drive by all the time. He said this was not a done deal, and that everyone should “fight at the City Council to keep these projects the way they are.”

Chair Russell then said his number two project was the lighting of the fields, and that there was no more space with which to expand, so the only way to get more hours at the park was with lights. He said one can lessen overuse at smaller parks by getting lights at bigger parks. He reiterated the need to keep fighting to keep the momentum going to get lights at the fields.

Commissioner Spencer said they were always told the Hillcrest fountain was too expensive to repair, and Director Molendyk said it was in the budget, should be do-able, and depended on the priorities. He added that revisiting the plans would ensure community input, and reassure Maintenance that the parks are not only developed, but could be properly maintained. Chair Russell asked if priorities could be changed, and Director Molendyk said yes.

It was clarified for Commissioner Dasney that while there was some work being done at the sites for Items 6, 7 and 8 (Independence, Amerige and Hillcrest parks), they were not the same as the actual projects listed in the CIP.


Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION to approve Attachment A as presented, i.e., Park Dwelling Fees for Projects 1 – 8, and the MOTION WAS SECONDED by Commissioner Dasney.


As there was no further discussion, Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer, Swanson

NOES: None

ABSENT: Miller


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.


The commissioners and staff discussed the Parks and Recreation RDA funds in Attachment B. It was noted that the funding would not cover the entire Independence Park planned renovation nor the entire Senior Center renovations due to quickly rising construction costs, and that it was better to complete a project at once rather than in phases because of those rising costs.

Commissioner Swanson suggested that the Richman Park lighting be moved under the Parks and Recreation category which had a total amount of approximately $16 million; Director Molendyk agreed, and said that could be done. He told the commissioners that Councilman Dick Jones had stated at the budget meeting that the lighting project could not go further until there was a written agreement with the school district.


Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION that the Richman Park lighting funding request be moved to the Parks and Recreation Projects, along with Independence Park, Hillcrest Park, Lions Field and Amerige Park improvements. There was discussion on moving funding into different categories or priorities, and possible restricted funds. After further discussion, the MOTION WAS CANCELLED.


There was Commission consensus that Lions Field was the number one priority. Director Molendyk then suggested that the Commission earmark the $900,000 for park improvements, $2.5 million for Hillcrest Park, and he would try to justify the $4.2 for Lions Field with the RDA, making Lions Field the number one priority. The commissioners agreed to leave all the Parks and Recreation projects on the RDA list, to make Lions Field the number one priority, and that the Commission was requesting additional allocations for the projects from the Council, allowing Director Molendyk to negotiate the details, depending on the actual allocations. Director Molendyk suggested Commission allow him to negotiate with the City Manager and Finance Manager on the specifics of the funding, and assured the commissioners that the funds would not be spent inappropriately.


Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION to approve Attachment B (RDA Bond Funded Projects and Funding Allocations), with the recommendation to include Richman Park Lighting under the Parks and Recreation category and that Director Molendyk negotiate the funding. Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION.


Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer, Swanson

NOES: None

ABSENT: Miller


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.

5. PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE 2006-2007 ADOPTED BUDGET FOR THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT


Administrative Manager Alice Loya spoke on the 2006-2007 Adopted Budget for the Parks and Recreation Department, noting that since it was the second year of the City’s two-year budget, it was only a revision. She said the Department would not be receiving any more general funds, so the revisions were made by moving money from the Parks and Recreation fund balances or from grants and revenues.


Manager Loya said that revisions to the Parks and Recreation fund were needed because the City Council approved salary increases, cell tower revenues needed to be moved from the park dwelling fund to the operating budget for after school programming and the Gilbert Park area, a Parks and Recreation fund balance was used to keep the Tool Bank open on the weekends, and the excursions were eliminated. Manager Loya pointed out that the excursions program was not making money, and that the Senior Center already offered excursions and more of them; thus, the Department wasn’t losing out, it was just not competing with the Senior Center. Manager Loya added that the Department reorganized and saved some money there, too.


Commissioner Dasney said she assumed the excursions were not making money due to increasing gas costs and dropping participation, and Manager Loya agreed. Commissioner Dasney asked if any input was received from excursion participants, said she thought there was an interest in the excursions and wasn’t sure Senior Club could absorb the extra participants, and asked how it could fund it if Parks and Recreation couldn’t. Manager Loya said the Senior Club uses volunteers whereas City staffing, insurance and Workers Comp costs keeps increasing, and said some of the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements they learned about would have made the excursions even more expensive. Director Molendyk pointed out that about a year ago, they were instructed to generate more revenue and recover the City’s and the Department’s costs and overhead. However, he said this issue could be revisited and could be subsidized again as happened to the afterschool and summer programs. Manager Loya added that whenever there is a decision to subsidize one program over another, it means the funding would have to be taken from something else to pay for the newly subsidized program.


Manager Loya went over the Grant Administration Fund revisions to programs including the Older Americans Act, Orange County Transit District for senior transportation, Fullerton School District for after school programs, and Housing and Urban Development funding through Cal State Fullerton for the Valencia Center.


Commissioner Swanson MADE A MOTION TO approve revisions to the Parks and Recreation Department 2006-2007 budget, Commissioner Dalton SECONDED THE MOTION.

Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer, Swanson

NOES: None

ABSENT: Miller


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.


6.
2006-07 PROPOSED POLICY STATEMENT AND FEE SCHEDULE


Manager Loya described the park dwelling fee, noting that this was required from developers when building units, and was in addition to park space that large developments were required to build. She said there would only be $600,000 in the park dwelling fund at the end of this year, and next year’s fund is expected to have only a little over $1 million. Manager Loya said open space was decreasing as was the funding, so there was a need to increase fees. Thus, she had a survey done of several cities which revealed that Fullerton’s park dwelling fee was too low. She provided two options: Option #1 would spread increases over 2 years at $7,680 in 2006-07 and $8,680 in 2007-08; Option #2 would provide an increase to $8,680 in 2006-07. Manager Loya said she liked Option #2 better.


Commissioner Dalton asked if there was a maximum increase in the park dwelling fee or if they could charge as much as the market would bear. Manager Loya answered that the latter was correct, and that it was challenged once, but the City won, so the City could raise the fee to whatever it wished. Commissioner Dalton asked if there was any reason not to increase the fee even more than suggested since there is a slow-growth initiative and the fees were “pathetically low” when they were last increased four or five years ago. She asked if they could increase the fee more, pointing to Orange’s fee of $9,466. Manager Loya said she was just being conservative and the commissioners could make a higher recommendation which would go to Council. She said the developers do complain when the fees are raised, so she tells them to turn in their permits by the August 18th deadline. She acknowledged that the City had a lot of problems with the Building Industry Association when the City tried to raise its fees by $2,000 five years ago, but the City was able to prevail.


Commissioner Spencer recommended going with something similar to the City of Orange’s rate of $9,466 because Orange was comparable to Fullerton and was used for other surveys as well.


Manager Loya referred to the proposed Policy Statement and Fee Schedule, saying that there were minimal changes including the alcohol policy which would make a differentiation between the indoor and outdoor alcohol deposit due to higher liability with outdoor use, a staffing fee increase of one dollar, and changes in some pricing at the Senior Center and Hillcrest Park based on recommendations from a consultant.


Manager Loya requested Commission approval of the budget revisions and fee revisions of the proposed 2006-2007 Policy Statement and Fee Schedule, and also asked the commissioners to choose Option 1 or 2 on the Park Dwelling Fees unless the Commission elected to have a third option.


Commissioner Swanson suggested an Option 3 of charging $9,000 for the Park Dwelling Fee, given the lack of space in the City and what comparable cities are charging. Commissioner Dasney suggested $9,500 because it was closest to Orange’s fee as suggested by Commissioner Spencer. Commissioner Swanson responded that he “felt really good” about Commissioner Dasney’s suggestion of $9,500.


Commissioner Dalton MADE A MOTION to make a one-time 2006-2007 Park Dwelling Fee increase to $9,500 and Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION.


Chair Russell called for the vote.


AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Russell, Spencer, Swanson

NOES: None

ABSENT: Miller


The MOTION PASSED unanimously.

7. DIRECTOR’S UPDATE


Director Molendyk spoke about the successful Fender Gallery Opening on April 22, complimenting Manager Dannielle Mauk and her staff for their work, and acknowledging the commissioners who attended.


He noted the Night in Fullerton held on April 28th, saying it was a nice event but that attendance is down, and that perhaps it should be revisited by the Commission and Council to create new energy to make it more successful. However, he said, Faces of Fullerton on April 29th went very well and was well-attended.


He acknowledged Manager Miranda and her staff for the nice Department brochure that just went out. Chair Russell opined that the new brochure “was Fullerton”, was their best cover, and would be the new standard.

8. REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS


The meeting agenda noted that the Fullerton Golf Course rate changes were approved by Council.

9. COMMISSIONER COMMENTS

Commissioner Dasney thanked staff for the workshops, saying that it made tonight’s work easier. She said she felt the same way about the brochure as Chair Russell, and said she already asked her questions on excursions.


Commissioner Swanson said his only comment was related to the most recent Commission workshop, which was the disrepair of the parks. He asked that the park repairs be prioritized with the Commission and that those responsible should report to the Commission on a monthly basis. He also thanked the staff for “spearheading” the park review.


Chair Russell said it was a long meeting tonight but that there was a nice cross section of the community.


Commissioner Spencer asked why there isn’t a good cross section at the Council budget meeting, and Director Molendyk said groups could attend the Council meeting and support the Department’s projects.


Commissioner Spencer MADE A MOTION to adjourn and Commissioner Dasney SECONDED THE MOTION. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


________________________________

Ron Molendyk, Secretary

RM:pf

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