Back to Recreation Commission Meeting Minutes
May 3, 2011 Meeting Minutes Draft 6-12-2011
Call to Order: by Budd Thorne(Acting Chair) at 6:35 p.m.
Present: Budd Thorne, Paul Paget, Bob Keyes, Tom Belyea
Frank Jones attended at 6:55 p.m.due to a previous family medical commitment.
Minutes Accepted: for 4-7-11 meeting. Motion by: Budd Thorne 2nd by: Paul Paget
Passed: 3-0-1 Bob Keyes abstained. He was not on the Board at the April meeting.
Open Forum: Aberdeen Road resident Kevin McNally proposed to plant four Maple trees on town property at Haley Field, adjacent to properties he owns at 14 and 18 Aberdeen Road. The trees would act as a buffer for public safety: to prevent cars driving and parking next to his property, which also serves as a youth "back entrance" cut thru to Haley Field. Mr.McNally would: 1)pay for planting, and 2)spring and fall cleanups. Commissioner Budd Thorne added that traffic signs, such as "5 m.p.h.", "slow down", and "speed bump", etc., would be explored for this area. Commissioner Bob Keyes added that approval by Building Department was necessary.
Prior to voting, chairmanship was transferred from Bud Thorne to Frank Jones. A full Board was present. Motion by: Paul Paget to accept this proposal with the above conditions 2nd by: Tom Belyea Passed: Unanimous.
Motion to Suspend the Rules: to elect new officers. Motion by: Frank Jones 2nd by: Tom Belyea Passed: Unanimous.
New Slate - The following proposed slate of officers was presented by Frank Jones: Chair: Frank Jones, Motion by Budd Thorne 2nd by Bob Keyes; Co-Chair: Paul Paget, Motion by Budd Thorne, 2nd by Bob Keyes; Secretary: Tom Belyea, Motion by Budd Thorne, 2nd by Paul Paget Passed:Unanimous
Batting Practice: Concern raised by Budd Thorne that baseball players using Recreation fields were hitting balls against fences at Haley, Hersey, and Carlson, which causes damage. Coaches and sports leadership will be reminded to discourage this behavior.
Moving Recreation Services: See Chairman's Report
Chairman's Report: Recap of April 14, 2011 meeting with Town Administrator, Superintendent Dorothy Galo, Town Project Engineer Roger Fernandes, and Director Thorell. Commission Chair Frank Jones also attended, but was advised he would have limited opportunity to speak at this departmental meeting. At this session, Director Thorell stated the Commission does not consider moving to Carlson Complex to be a good business decision, and reiterated Commission concerns as outlined at the April 7, 2011 Commission meeting:
1. The current location of the existing fitness center is convenient and established.
2. A move to a remote location may compromise membership and sales.
3. New fitness boom businesses(i.e.Planet Fitness) have created unsustainable price and services saturation.
4. New overhead and increased operating costs may jeopardize cost competitiveness and affordability.
5. The purpose of the move is to expand Regional Dispatch services, which would change the function of Town Hall as an intergenerational community center and the center of recreational services, which directly benefit Hingham residents.
6. All remedies to alleviate parking problems at Town Hall have not been fully explored, discussed, or considered.
7. Models for dispatch centers, Homeland Security, data storage, and information centers exist at the federal level, and are located in leased/owned commercial, research, and industrial parks.
8. Carlson Complex would be considered only as an expansion to or in addition to existing recreational services, including food concession conveniences.
Chairman Jones praised Director Thorell for his courteous and professional presentation of the Commission's concerns as "one voice" at the department meeting.
Director's Report Highlights
1. New Program Proposal – Toddler program under revision will include staff certification requirements. Program will be proposed at a future Commission meeting.
2. Skate Park Grand Opening – Successful turnout with 100+ kids, DJ, hot dogs,
t-shirts, Hingham Journal coverage, and speaking from the DPW Committee and Selectman Rabuffo. The event also highlighted the absence of a facility essential: restrooms. Director Thorell, acting on behalf of the Commission and Selectmen, will make arrangements for portopotties to be installed asap.
During the Director report presentation, resident Ray Estes requested that "Hingham Residents Only" be added to the operating rules sign. Tom Belyea responded that since the facility is self-policed(recommended by the DPW committee, not by the commission) the "residents only" rule is unenforceable.
Brief discussion held that since the facility is state of the art, and best in the area, it will draw the regional skateboard culture.
Previous Commission recommendations documented in past minutes were:
a. Secure the facility with fencing;
b. Establish user fees to pay for on duty supervision, maintenance, and repairs. Staffing may be necessary to enforce the operating rules and policing in the future.
c. To manage this facility for the Selectmen with a signed management services agreement, a document that would give the Commission the authority and discretion to properly oversee non-Recreation fields and facilities at low impact to the taxpayer.
On this subject, Chairman Jones reported that, according to Roger Fernandes, DPW Project Engineer, funds are available for concessions and restrooms at Carlson Complex. Commission determined that operation and cleaning services would be outsourced for effective cost controls.
3. CPC Proposal - $25,000 funds for Rec Barn feasability study was approved at April 25, 2011 Town meeting. Next steps: Once the study for potential usage is completed, renovation options and costs have been identified, funding sources can be sought. The commission recognizes that the high school rowers need a long term solution. As proposed and presented at CPC, Advisory Board, Selectmen, and Town meetings, the building has many potential uses, which will be fully explored before finalization of an end product.
4. The following improvements have been completed at no cost to the taxpayer:
a. New energy efficient light fixtures have been installed in the Town Hall gym at a cost of $3200 in non-taxpayer funds.
b. Carlson softball field infield mix has been replaced($2000 from Rec revenues and $4500 from GALS Softball League).
5. Road Race 2011
a. All approvals, sanctions, permits, bib numbers, medals, equipment and supplies received as needed;
b. Online registration is now open;
c. 30 Police details to be assigned.
6. Summer Camp Playground enrollment is now at 1229.
7. See Revolving Fund snapshot ending March 31, 2011.
Director Thorell left the meeting.
A brief discussion was held regarding Director salary, led by Commissioner Paul Paget. He will followup with Human Resources and the Personnel Board.
Motion to Adjourn: by Frank Jones 2nd by Paul Paget Passed:Unanimous
Meeting Adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
1. Aberdeen Rd./Haley Field Proposal by Kevin McNally
2. Director's Report
3. Revolving Fund Results ending March FY 2011
4. 2011 July 4th Road Race Sponsorship letter and Logo
5. Recreation Department Salary/Revenue Comparison Charts(two)
for 10 Benchmark Communities
All supporting documentation will be on file at Town Clerk's Office with approved minutes.