Recreation Commission – May 27, 2015

7:00 p.m. – Fountain Park

Attendees:  Arroood (briefly via conference), Jewell, Johnson, Murray (advisory), Troup

The agenda was presented.  There being no objections by the attendees, the chair added Jane’s business and Milford’s business.

  • Discussion, creation, and potential implementation of by-laws
    • One of Council’s concerns regarding the CRC has been that CRC activity was presented by one person, which was perceived as no necessarily being the wish of at least a majority of the body.  The membership agreed that the chairman spoke to Council on behalf of the group as a matter of “chain of command”.
    • A way to allay Council’s concern would be the creation of by-laws which outline how the group conducts business, how membership is to be viewed and how the group presents to the council.  The group agreed that such a set of rules would be beneficial.  Milford suggested a provision regarding attendance.  This was well received by the group.  Jane mentioned that we may not be able to call them bylaws.  There may be some legal definitions of what constitution bylaws versus mere rules or guidelines though the spirit of the effort is the key.  Brandt decided that he would submit his draft to the group for approval.  If approved, the document can be sent to Mayor, Council, and Town Manager to receive its proper heading.
  • Old Business
    • Skateboard Ordinance
      • The group decided to go forward with a recommendation to amend the Town’s ordinance essentially banning the use of skateboards, scooters, and roller skates in Town.  This effort was initially brought forward by Tim O’Brien who felt the ordinance paints with a broad brush, and perhaps more importantly, puts children in a position to decide what laws to follow based upon whether they feel a law is a “dumb law”.  Brandt suggested the effort might be event more effective as a civics project.
    • Bocce
      • Bill Arrowood previously filed a report on the financial condition of the bocce league.  The plan has been for net proceeds to be used for the installation of formal courts.  With four season in the books, it is time to address this issue with Council.
      • Brandt noted from Council minutes that M/C refer to the league as staring out as a CRC project and is now self-sustaining.  He would like clarification from M/C on that viewpoint, as the group still considers the league part of its jurisdiction.
    • Movie Night
      • Bill Arrowood previously submitted a list of movies for the summer schedule.  All told, licenses would urn over 20% of the CRC allocation.  This was before the hiring of labor to set up and break down the equipment.  The group agreed that it would be ideal to find a way to reduce the amount of the budget burden.  Milford suggested having one or two showings at GAR since equipment is already present, though it appears that savings would be offset by a rental fee.  Jane also mentioned that the spirit of the program was to visibly father folks outdoors.  GAR may be a good bad weather fallback option.
      • Sponsorships (e.g. karate dojo’s performed demonstrations prior to karate Kid showing) might be a way to offset license fees.  Selling packaged concessions may be another.
  • New Business
    • Synergy
      • Brandt noted that the budget allocation for this year would essentially be the prior year’s actual expense as opposed to the prior year’s allocation (referred to as baseline budgeting).  How can we fulfill our mission “doing more with less”?  The suggestion was using the public gathering places and institutions to assist in our business.
      • One way to bring people into recreational programs, through not necessarily run by the CRC, would be to collect used equipment at the Farmer’s market.  This inventory could be loaned to some need-based children (or adults) who see equipment costs as a barrier to entry.  The market allows permits for NPOs.  A down the road option may be to coordinate discount coupons for donors.
      • Milford suggested that the CRC be used to coordinate attendance at Washington College athletic events, Division III athletics are free.  In addition, it would get some kids interested in the college, and in turn, would be an opportunity for outreach from WC. Brandt noted that the basketball team did a workshop and locker room tour for the KCMS basketball team.  Something similar might be available to the general public with planning and coordination.
  • State of Town Parks
    • This discussion was scaled back, as some it was sprinkled into other areas of the agenda.  The group was reminded that the scope of the group’s duties was to drive programming in Town and advise on other matters.  That said, the group agreed there may be ways to have a positive impact on facilities without getting directly involved in the capital aspects of the parks (e.g. games/chess tables).
    • The group passed a resolution that any business it discusses regarding the proposed park at the junction of MD20 and MD514 should be done under the heading of “Gateway Park”.
  • Summer Programming
    • Milford was interested in a basketball program for school aged children.  This was well received.  Brandt noted that it is late May, and it may be too late to fully formalize the idea; however, facilitating a drop-in program is certainly worthwhile.  Milford inquired about the availability of the schools.  Jane noted that ere janitorial costs, and volunteers would be needed to man the locations.  Nivek noted possible resistance from KCPS on the grounds that CRC does not carry insurance.  Brandt state that with the group’s blessing, Milford should contact Ed Silver at KCPS to determine what the possibility are.  He will also need to approval any fliers sent home to publicize.  If too costly, or simply not possible, the Town’s half-courts could be used as a fall back provision.  Nivek noted that Gatorade or other freebies might maximize participation.  He also stated woe would want to have a cancellation policy for code-red heat days.
  • Nivek’s Business
    • Nivek wanted to put Washington Park Day on our radar (September).  This is a block party.  There was some discussion about the prior effort to rehab this space.  This type of event could be used to relaunch a discussion of a scaled back version of the prior plan.  Brandt noted that block parties were part of the prior budget, but getting neighborhood reps to take the lead on planning them never occurred.  Nonetheless, it would seem the group should od something here.
  • Bill’s Business:
    • Bill’s submissions were included in the earlier agenda items
  • Jane’s Business
    • Jane would like to see a playground, ideally strategically placed playgrounds around town.  She concede that we cannot force anyone’s hand, but we should continue to advocate.  Brandt noted that launching successful programs and building some relationships as noted will help improve our chances with Council in the future.
  • Milford’s Business
    • Milford wants a rue baseball field in Chestertown.  Brandt stated he does not disagree, but it is similar to Jane’s topic.  We can advise and advocate; however, we cannot formally act on behalf of Chestertown on anything that would be deemed a capital project.
  • Closing Remarks
    • Clarification on the new scope of CRC’s duties was requested.  Milford asked about the next meeting and making it mandatory.  Given the need to launch summer programming soon, we should stay in touch over the next two weeks regarding progress and reconvene June 10.  Motion to adjourn was passed.
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