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New Hartford Recreation Committee
Special Meeting Minutes
March 11, 2013
Town Hall, Senior Center
Call to Order: 7:01 pm
Members Present: John Maschi, Dan Eddy, Maureen Morris, Paul Korzynski, Don Govotski
Members Absent: Ed Smith, Sally O’Neill
Others Present: Dennis Minor, Maria Moore
Approval of Minutes: Last page was found to be missing from the February 6, 2013 meeting, and therefore will have to wait until next month to be approved.
Opportunity for Public to Speak: Maria Moore came to follow up on the Park Rules and Regulations she has been addressing the last two months. First she advised the Rec Comm that there are 3 different versions. The first being dated 4/2, which is the version given to the Town Attorney, a second one dated 4/16 that is on file with Donna LaPlante and yet a third version on the Town website. She advised the Rec Comm that the Town Attorney has given his legal opinion that the rules are not enforceable without an ordinance. Dennis will go back and look at the minutes from April of last year to see which one is the correct and finalized version.
Recreation Director’s Report: (attached) Financial report is on schedule and should finish up okay for June 30th. Dan Eddy asked if there had been any official response from the Selectman’s office regarding absorption of the seasonal help that they had committed to. Dennis said that in an email he was told they should just take it from another line item. Dan said that is a 25% overage, in the amount of $2,082.50. John said he and Dennis would look into it as it really shouldn’t be Rec Comm.
Program account currently has about 15K. Still owe the general fund about 7K leaving them with about 7K to start off the camp season which usually starts with zero.
Correspondence: (attached) Letter from a woman who operates a field hockey clinic in a neighboring town has suggested that the Rec Dept form a team for grade schoolers to participate in a league during the summer months. John said the way it has worked in the past is someone from town approaches the Rec Comm to ask to form a program. Unless someone comes forward to organize a youth league, the Rec Comm/Dept doesn’t normally act on it.
We also received a letter from Scott Cunningham, our Beach Front Director for the last 6 years letting us know that he is moving on, and will not be joining us this summer.
Spring/Summer Brochure should be hitting people’s mailboxes on Friday.
Camp Analysis was put together as Dan Jerram asked if we can make more cuts to counselors. Dennis has cut all the fat and it is bare bones. Dennis stated that while the State feels that a 1 to 10 ratio is acceptable, he feels that we have a much lower ratio. We have about a 1 to 6 ratio approximately. John stated that there are a few reasons why we have more counselors than is being asked for by the Selectman’s office. We employee a lot of the teenagers in town, and we feel it is our responsibility to help out as much as we can. We have a terrific camp in town that supplies the parents and the kids with a great program throughout the summer months, which is now 9 weeks of camp. Secondly, it’s a safety issue. We have a lot of acreage, and especially in this day and age and should err on the side of caution. Dan Eddy made a motion, seconded by Maureen that the Rec Comm requests that the Rec Director maintain the current staffing ratios that we have had for the past 3 to 5 years with respect to our summer camps. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Rec Department is holding a Special Event and is having a Golf Tournament. We need help with raffle prizes and tee sponsors. Looking to get 25 foursomes and in doing so, should make around 4K.
Park Rules and Regulations: We need to go back to our minutes from last April to double check which version was the finalized submitted version. Dan Jerram sent an email to Town Attorney Chip Roraback’s office asking them to settle the discussion as to whether or not the rules and regulations made by the Rec Comm were enforceable and the bottom line was that they are not. A new ordinance is necessary and needs to be prepared and go to a town meeting. Atty’s point was that we do not have the power to enforce the rules. He did not address the ordinance that was passed in 1967. Paul Korzynski asked for clarification as to whether we need an ordinance just for these rules, or an ordinance to give us the authority to make rules. John felt that it was for the authority to enforce these specific rules.
Discussion on rule #17 was discussed and Dan Eddy made a motion, seconded by Maureen to change the verbiage from “unregistered vehicles” to “all vehicles” and change the last word “prohibited “ to “allowed only in designated areas.” Also that rule #18 remove the last word “Director” and only read “can be given by the Rec Commission.” These changes will be made when all the research into which set was filed with Donna LaPlante. All in favor. Motion passed. The Rec Comm will ask the Selectman’s Office to proceed with necessary steps to enact enforcement of rules and regulations.
Capital Budget Discussion: Dan Jerram asked that we prioritize our Capital Budget list (attached) that we submitted last week. After much discussion Dan Eddy made a motion, seconded by Maureen to be prioritized as follows:
1st- Fields at 10K
2nd- Callahan Park at 15K
3rd- Develop Trails at 5K
4th-Brodie House not to exceed 25K
For a total of 55K
All in favor. Motion passed.
Recreation Budget & Recreation Directors Position: The approved budget for 2012-2013 was $92,170.00. This year’s budget is at $93,138.00 which is about a 2 ¼ % increase, basically the same as last year for all intents and purposes. Dan Eddy told the Commission about the BOS meeting where, in going over line items, Selectman Alesia Kennerson said that a review of the Rec Directors position being a full time position should occur. According to his recollection of the meeting, Selectwoman Kennerson stated that it was her opinion that the Rec Director was overpaid, earning a full-time salary for part-time work. She said that his job is, in actuality, a 3 month job and that it does not merit a full time salary like everyone else in the town who works all year long. Following her comments, a discussion ensued between the Selectman about the Rec Director position which Dan Eddy responded to their comments. Dan stated that if such an action were undertaken to reduce the salary and hours of the Director than a presentation to the BOF should be allowed to show the work involved in executing the duties of the position. John Maschi said that he sent an email to Dan Jerram on March 7th regarding Dennis’ position, restating a known fact that it takes months of work to organize the Department’s numerous activities and programs, that the Department is highly regarded by other towns that produce less results with a bigger budget, and that reducing the position is a great step backwards. Dan Jerram’s email response to John was that he didn’t think the staff position would occur this year. He stated concern is that the income developed outside of the summer may not warrant a full time position. John Maschi’s response was a reiteration that the varied programs are created over a period of time with the consideration of many people.
Don made a motion, seconded by Maureen to adjourn at 8:33pm
Substitute Recording Secretary
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