Parks & Recreation Advisory Board Minutes Meeting of September 2, 2009
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6:30 p.m. - Fern Forest Nature Center - Coconut Creek

Members Present: Members Absent: Others Present:
Howard Nelson Alanna Mersinger Bob Harbin, P & R
Terry Danger Sharon Kent Sarah Perkins, P & R
Michael Smith Marc Kiar Jim Federici, Public Works
Stephen Lawson Guy Roper Gayle Preston, P & R
Jack Mathison Sheila Rose Nikki Hochberg, P & R
Stephanie Munson Bruce Edwards Dimitri Oriol, P & R
Quentin Morgan Shelly Turetzky, P & R
Marsha Oster Levy Laura Frank, P & R
Richard Simon
Milette Thurston
Jack Talabisco

The meeting was called to order by Quentin Morgan, Chair at 6:30 p..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 June 3, 2009. Jack Mathison made the motion, which was seconded by Howard Nelson and passed unanimously.

The Board has three new members who introduced themselves; Howard Nelson, Michael Smith and Marsha Oster Levy. The existing members present also gave a short introduction for the new members benefit.

Employee of the Month for August 2009

Dimitri Oriol was congratulated as Employee of the Month for August. He was applauded for his accomplishments and work ethics and was awarded a framed certificate of appreciation.

Park Manager’s Report

Nikki Hochberg, Naturalist III at Fern Forest Nature Center, welcomed the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PAB). Ms. Hochberg provided the board members with a handout that gave an overview of improvements, renovations, and special events at Fern Forest Nature Center.

Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) Update

Bob Harbin informed the PAB staff’s main focus has continued to be the County’s budget. At this time Parks are looking at a 16% reduction or $6 million dollars, which equates to about 100 employees. There was a budget workshop on September 1 and two public hearings are scheduled for this month.

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. The Vista View Park project is a 60 acre expansion of the park and staff is tentatively planning an October/November opening. Building permits for the Carpenter House have been obtained and the City of Hollywood has placed the site on a potential list of historic sites. DB2 consists of four different parks scheduled for renovation work; staff has negotiated the agreement with the contractor at Quiet Waters and this now needs to go to the Board; the Deerfield Island project will make improvements to the boardwalk. DB3 in Tradewinds North consists of utility work and upgrading the roadway system. Stephen Lawson asked about the status of Everglades Holiday Park (EHP). Answer - EHP project is about a year out and will be done through a phased process. Parks staff is scheduled to meet with Ron Bergeron, newly appointed Commissioner to the Florida Fish and Game Commission, in order to discuss a transition plan for Parks to take over the operation of the facility. Stephanie Munson asked how extensive the camp grounds were going to be. Answer - The camping will be replaced with other amenities per the master plan presented to the PAB at an earlier date.

Old Business

Mr. Harbin provided an update regarding the dragon boat club, Blazing Paddles, container at West Lake Park. The club asked for a delegation before the Board August 25, 2009. Blazing Paddles had three speakers and after the Board heard from them, went into recess and the item was not discussed any further. Jack Mathison had a discussion with the club and may be able to work out an alternative location.

New Business

Shelly Turetzky presented the results of the PAB’s performance measures of their strategic plan. Ms. Turetzky explained that most Objectives and Goals were met.

Bob Harbin, Sharon Kent, Shelly Turetzky and Jack Mathison met as a committee to discuss goals for the coming year. A draft proposal for performance measures was provided to the members. Howard Nelson asked if companies seeking wetland mitigation projects may be considered a collaborative partner. Bob Harbin stated that Broward County Parks is running out of areas or opportunities for mitigation. There is a schedule of fees for permits after they are issued and these fees are put in the Natural Areas Trust Fund. Staff is in the process of a new volunteer program Volunteers in Parks (VIP) should be up and running around March 2010. Marsha Levy asked if Broward College was utilizing our volunteer program for the student’s community service hours. Marsha will provide contact information for a collaborative effort.

Terry Danger moved for the adoption of the performance measures for the next fiscal year. Jack Talabisco seconded and all were in favor.

Bob Harbin discussed the proposed fee schedule for FY2010, Parks fees represent 36% of the Division’s operating budget. The main changes to the schedule are; reduce fees at Central Broward Regional Park’ (CBRP) Main Event Field by 50% in anticipation of increased usage (more affordable) which would in turn increase revenue and eliminate CBRP’s scoreboard fee; increase the lead remediation fee from $.75 to $1 to assist in funding the cleanup and lead reclamation at Markham Park’s Target Range; provides authority of the Parks and Recreation Director to approve coupon or discounts up to 50% of their value.

Jack Talabisco moved to approve the FY10 proposed fee changes, Jack Mathison seconded and all were in favor.

Bob Harbin reviewed the new Advisory Board Ordinance.

Bob Harbin announced that he was retiring and will stay until January 2010. Community Services Department started working on a succession plan for an easier transition with the new Director. A consultant was hired and an interview panel reviewed the candidates. Quentin Morgan served on the panel.

Meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

Public Forum was opened.

James Miller member of a mountain bike club, National Mountain Bike Patroller and mountain trail volunteer, spoke to the PAB regarding what the trails at Quiet Waters Park means to him. Mr. Miller appealed the PAB to consider and forward a recommendation of other alternatives to closing Quiet Waters Park on Wednesday, in addition to Tuesday closings.

Greg Murk member of a mountain bike club also requested PAB to try and consider alternatives to closing the parks.

Public forum adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is at Long Key Nature Center, October 7, 2009 at 7:30 a.m.