Rec Bannere

Park and Recreation Commission


(meeting taped)

Regular meeting: Monday, March 10, 2003 in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

By roll call, members present: John Walsh, Al Felice, Edward Handi, Karen Izzo, David Mikos, Matt Cripps and Robert Bell.

Parks and Recreation Director Dennis O’Connell was present. Athletic Director Kenneth Marcucio was absent.

additions or deletions to the agenda:

Without objection, the agenda was accepted.

approval of minutes:

A motion was made by Karen Izzo and second by David Mikos. Move to accept the minutes of the meeting on January 13, 2003. Motion carried unanimously.

The February meeting was cancelled due to poor weather and a lack of quorum.

Public portion:

No one was present and the public portion was closed.


Mr. O'Connell is working in collaboration with Yale University on the Children’s Trust Fund Child Center Coaching project. This is a national program providing instruction to both players and coaches. Forty players and ten coaches would attend the program held at the Yale Bowl on June 28th. Players will receive instructional training while the coaches will be attending daylong seminars. There is a $2,500 grant associated with this project. A portion of the funds would go towards the program with the remaining going to the City’s recreational programs. The program covers all sports and discusses the relationship between child abuse and sports.

A motion was made by Robert Bell and second by Matt Cripps. Move to authorize the Recreation Director to work with the Programs committee to apply for the National Recreational and Park Association Children’s Trust Fund Child Center Coaching project funding. Motion carried unanimously.


Cultural Commission request to use Ryan Field Complex for Derby Days: Mr. O'Connell is working with the Cultural Commission on this request. He intends to meet with representatives from the amusement company to ascertain the space requirements needed. Mr. O'Connell noted that with the winter being harsh, early spring maintenance and use of the fields are being delayed. This may cause the spring programs to run later into the season and he will be looking at how this request could impact the programs. His desire is to locate the rides on the track and have the activity away from the baseball field at the complex. Set up and take down of the rides would utilize the space for approximately a week.

Members were favorable to working with the Cultural Commission. They will await the results of the discussions with the vendor. It was expressed that the sprinkler system be reviewed with the vendor to insure that the system is not effected. Also, it must be expressed to the vendor that any damage to the facility will be the vendor’s responsibility to repair.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by David Mikos. Move to go on record as supporting the use of the Ryan Field Complex for Derby Days subject to favorable discussions with the vendor. Motion carried unanimously.


Parks & Recreation Director’s Report: Mr. O'Connell stated that Little League registered more than 200 participants. There will be 4 major league teams, 6 minor league teams and T-ball. They are looking for more field time. T-ball will be utilizing the picnic grove and the girl’s softball field. The High School Varsity and JV softball fields will be using the softball field but it is available for T-ball on Monday nights.

Chairman Walsh suggested that a meeting be scheduled with the Board of Education to discuss the field situation. Many programs are running on very limited space and he suggested that the Board of Education needs to be involved in the long-term planning. Mr. Felice suggested that the Facilities Committee should meet first to explore future planning. It was felt that the master plan should be revisited.

Girl’s softball registration is continuing. The program will be joining the Valley Little League girl’s softball circuit and will be included in the boy’s Little League charter.

Members discussed the number of participants in each of the sports. It was suggested that a central database may be helpful in tallying these numbers. These figures could help to assess the community youth involvement in comparison to school enrollment. The Programs Committee will explore this suggestion. It was thought that possibly this database could also be used to oversee a background check program, if instituted. The Committee will explore this coordinated purpose and discuss staffing needs to accomplish this duty.

In reviewing next year’s budget proposal, Mr. O'Connell suggested combining the Youth basketball programs into one line item rather than separating the Biddy and the Girls. He also noted that he is considering having the Summer program exclusively at Bradley School with transportation from the west side. He will be contacting Valley Transit to see if they could provide transportation. With the proposed combining of the two locations of the program, possibly a counselor position could be eliminated to offset the additional transportation costs. The Summer program is a six-week program run weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Members agreed that this alternative should be explored and possibly tested this summer. At the end of the season, the results could be reviewed and the program may need to be reevaluated.

Mr. O'Connell stated that AAU Basketball teams and a Men’s Team are renting gymnasium space that will add to the revenue.

Athletic Director’s Report: Mr. Marcucio was not present.

Committee Reports:

Finance Committee – As the 2003-2004 fiscal budget request is due by the end of March; the Committee was reformed with Matt Cripps, Robert Bell and Dennis O'Connell as members. The Committee will work on the budget proposal.

Programs Committee – Ms. Izzo received communication from the Little League advising that the sex offender’s list will be going back on line for public review. The National Little League has required background checks and review of this list is sufficient at no cost to the program. The Committee will continue to discuss background checks for the coaches. The estimated cost for the background check is $8.00 per coach and the feeling is that a policy should be developed to provide that this cost would be paid by the City. It was also felt that the information should be centralized. The database is a way of coordinating this information. The Committee is also looking at a uniform coaching application. Little League, Soccer and Pop Warner have applications from their national affiliations. There will be further discussions on these matters.

At the Programs Committee meeting, a question was raised whether the Commission prohibits fundraising by the programs. It was stated that the Parks & Recreation Commission does not set the fees nor does it prohibit fundraising. The Commission developed standards for the program directors to follow. The individual program directors were charged with developing and implementing by-laws and providing financial reports for fiscal accountability.

The Committee is working on another baseball bus trip. A golf tournament is also being considered. A dance is being planned. It was questioned how any profits would be handled. There is no separate account for fundraising. If the funds are placed in the revenue line item in the budget, those funds go back to the City. This will need to be addressed.

The next Programs Committee meeting is scheduled for April 2nd at 7:30 p.m. at the Derby Veteran's Community Center.

Facilities Committee –The Witek Park plan is continuing before the regulatory agencies. Derby Inland Wetlands Agency held a meeting on March 5th and an on-site tour of the parcel on March 9th. The next meeting is March 12th.

Mr. Felice is working with the Neighborhood Committee and the City Engineer to explore the funding and design for the bathrooms at Bradley and the storage facility at Ryan. He has been approaching Board of Apportionment and Taxation members to consider the funding.

As Mr. O'Connell noted earlier, this has been a harsh winter. Mr. Felice felt that no one should be allowed on the fields until they have been inspected. There is a problem in that the Board of Education use does not require permission from the recreation director. Unauthorized use by residents has always been an issue.

Mr. Felice suggested that the timer at Bradley School for the lights should be repaired. This cost should be added to the budget proposal.

A motion was made by Edward Handi and second by Karen Izzo. Move to adjourn this meeting at 8:43 p.m. Motion carried unanimously.

The next Parks & Recreation Commission meeting will be Monday, April 14, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall. If the Aldermanic Chambers are unavailable then the Veteran’s room will be requested.

Respectfully prepared,

Karen Kemmesies, secretary

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