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CSC Minutes April 8, 2002

Regular Meeting
City Council Chamber
6:30 p.m.

Public comment will be allowed on items on this agenda at the time each item is considered.

Persons addressing the Commission shall be limited to 5 minutes unless an extension of time is granted by the Chairman, subject to approval of the Commission. When any group of persons wishes to address the Commission, it shall be proper for the Chairman to request that a spokesman be chosen to represent the group.

Public comments will also be allowed on items NOT on the agenda, but within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission, prior to approval of the minutes, and will be limited to thirty minutes and not to exceed five minutes per person. No one will be heard twice. Any public comments not received at the beginning of the session may be heard at the end of the session. NO action may be taken on off-agenda items, except as provided by law.

CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Dalton called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.
FLAG SALUTE:
The flag salute was led by Commissioner Spencer.
ROLL CALL:

Present: Miller, Spencer, Hewett, Swanson, Dalton, Russell*
Absent: Han

*Commissioner Russell stated he had to leave at 7:45 p.m.

STAFF PRESENT:

Susan Hunt, Director
Judith Peterson, Manager
Pat Trotter, Manager
John Clements, Center Administrator
Eloisa Espinosa, Center Administrator
Rosemary Castro, Comm. Svcs. Coordinator
Eddie Burciaga, Comm. Svcs. Coordinator

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Virginia Neal of 625 West Gage Avenue, Fullerton, spoke about the location of the handicapped steps at the Independence Park pool, and requested a change in location.

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Approval of the Minutes of the March 11, 2002 Regular Meeting:

    Commissioner Spencer MOTIONED to approve the Minutes, as written. Commissioner Russell SECONDED the Motion

    The Minutes were approved, with the following vote:

    AYES: Miller, Swanson, Spencer, Dalton, Hewett, Russell
    NOES: None

  2. Proposed Swim Fees for Summer 2002

    Manager Peterson introduced this agenda item, handed out copies of the Aquatics Budget overview, and gave a presentation on the reasons for the proposed increases of the swim lesson and Swim Team fees, and the decrease in single-entry recreation/lap swim entrance fees for adults and seniors.

    The purpose of the agenda letter was to obtain Community Services Commission recommendation to the City Council to raise the 2002 summer swim lesson fees to $45 for regular lessons and $82 for semi-private lessons and Swim Team; and reduce general admission entry fees for adults and seniors to $2.

    Normally, fee increases would be part of the annual Community Services Fee Resolution that comes before the Commission in May. However, those fees do not go into effect until July 1, and our summer aquatics program starts June 17. If approved, the fees will be consistent throughout the summer. We are recommending the following changes:

    1. Increase the swim lesson fee from $44 to $45 per participant per class for regular lessons (average of 6 students per class);
    2. Increase the semi-private lessons (maximum of 3 students per class) and the Independence Park Swim Team fee from $80 to $82 per participant per class; and
    3. Reduce both the adult and senior general admission fees from $2.75 and $2.25 respectively to $2.00.

    The goal of our swim lesson program is to offer a quality aquatics program for the community in order to promote water safety skills geared mainly towards children. In a ten-week, five-session period, over 2,000 students, ranging from infants to adults, participate in lessons. Each session is two weeks long, five days per week for 30 minutes per day. Semi-private lessons are for those seeking more individualized instruction, with the class size at a maximum of three participants. The Independence Park Swim Team, which has about 50 participants in the summer, is for those swimmers who are interested in swimming competitively, but are not ready to join a private swim team.

    Staff is constantly reviewing the operations of the pool in order to better serve the needs of the participants and continue to improve the quality of the programs we offer. Several changes have been implemented over the past two summers which have resulted in more efficient scheduling of programs. Because of this, we have received positive feedback from the swim participants' parents.

    We are proposing to increase swim lesson fees to offset the increased costs in providing lessons. The City uses Red Cross guidelines on instruction methods. Red Cross instructors are required to have several certifications. In order to attract and maintain quality instructors with the required certifications, it is necessary to keep wages as competitive as possible. The increase in lesson fees, combined with the changes in scheduling that were implemented last year, will allow us to increase the hourly rate of our instructors and remain competitive.

    We require all persons coming into the pool area during recreation swim to pay admission in order to eliminate the difficulty in separating paid swimmers from spectators. In addition, we are responsible for the safety of every individual in the pool area. Since we want to encourage adults to stay and watch their children, and since there are less discipline problems if an adult accompanies the younger children, we anticipate that reducing the admission cost will make it more attractive for them to stay.

    These changes have saved the City about $10,000, and we are anticipating an additional $2,500 in revenues. There will also be another $6,000 in savings by eliminating weekend evening recreational swimming. Right now, the average number of swimmers daily is 200-250 on weekend days. Between 5 and 7 p.m. on weekend evenings, there are only 30-40 swimmers, which does not make it cost-effective to keep the pool open.

    Commissioners' Questions and Comments and Staff Responses:

    Commissioners asked questions and staff responded as follows: Commissioners asked questions about the number of lifeguards on staff during the summer, their pay, and training requirements. Staff reported that there are 40 to 50 instructors and lifeguards, and that the new starting hourly rate will move to $8 per hour, which is an increase of $0.50 per hour over last summer. Because of Red Cross requirements, instructors are required to have already passed their Red Cross Lifeguard Training Program (LGT), which is approximately 40 hours of instruction with frequent testing. The instructors are required to pay for the class, which costs approximately $150.

    Commissioners also asked questions as to what other cities in the area charge for recreation swim, and which evening hours would still be available for recreation swim time. Staff reported that Anaheim charges $2, and Brea charges $0.75, and that the pool will be open Monday through Friday evenings for two hours, but will close at 5 p.m. on weekends. There was some caution expressed about lowering the adult recreation swim fees, but most of the Commission was in support of the reduction. There were questions about revenue generated and total expenses to operate the pool. Revenue from lessons, rentals and recreation/lap swim comes to a total of $160,000. The total operating budget of the pool is $450,000, which includes over $200,000 in maintenance and utilities costs. There were also questions on what is considered to be the age of an 'adult' for recreation swim entry fee, which is 18 and over. Staff reported that since the number of adults that swim on a single-entry admission is a small percentage of the daily total, it would not have a significant impact on revenue; however, staff anticipates that it will actually increase the number of adults who pay to enter the pool, so the net difference will be a slight increase.

    Commissioner Russell MOTIONED to approve the swim fee changes. Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the Motion.


    AYES: Miller, Spencer, Hewett, Swanson, Dalton, Russell
    NOES: None

    The Motion passed unanimously; however, Commissioner Miller wanted to be on record as opposing the lowering of any fee.

  3. Proposed Cancellation of the August 2002 Commission Meeting for Vacation

    After the Commissioners discussed taking the month of August off for vacation if there was no pressing Commission business, Commissioner Russell made a MOTION to approve the vacation.

    Commissioner Miller SECONDED the Motion.

    AYES: Miller, Spencer, Hewett, Swanson, Dalton, Russell NOES: None

    The MOTION passed unanimously.

  4. INFORMATION ITEMS:

  5. Skate Park Update

    Manager Peterson made a presentation to the Commission to update them regarding the problems with the skaters at Independence Park. The skate park, which is located at Independence Park, has become a very well-used facility with an average daily attendance of about 200 skaters. Along with its success in attendance, there have also been some problems such as the lack of use of the required safety equipment particularly by the older skaters (16 and over), graffiti, and vandalism. At the last Commission meeting, Commissioners expressed their concerns as to whether there had been improvements at the skate park.

    Community Services staff has been working toward reducing the problems at the skate park. There have been regularly scheduled meetings between Police, Maintenance Services, and Community Services for the past year to discuss and resolve skate park issues. In the late summer of 2001, Police officers began issuing citations focusing on the older skaters not wearing safety equipment. Several other changes have been implemented, including:

    1. A gate was installed at the east entrance to the parking lot. The lot is locked at dusk when the park closes, which has eliminated vehicular access to the lot immediately adjacent to the skate park;
    2. The security lights in the parking lot section next to the skate park have been turned off; and
    3. Police officers now assist Community Services staff in clearing the skaters and locking the gate at closing time.

    When the officers began issuing citations, they would approach the skate park from the east side. Since the Police cars were visible from the skate park, the skaters would stop skating before the Police officers could write citations. The officers now also approach on foot from the less visible west side of the park so they can identify more skaters who are not wearing gear. The total number of citations issued in 2001 was 156. In January and February of 2002 (March data is not available yet,) there were 46 issued.

    Both Landscape and Building Maintenance Divisions keep records of the number of service calls to specific locations for vandalism issues or graffiti. In the past three months, they have only received two service requests for graffiti removal. Supervisors from both divisions, as well as the lead Maintenance personnel, do inspections on a weekly basis. Maintenance has noticed a decrease in vandalism and graffiti, particularly in the last three months.

    Even though there have been some problems, it is important to keep in mind that the main reason City Council approved the construction of the skate park was to keep the skaters from skating in the downtown and other unsafe areas in the City.with the Police Department on these issues. We will also continue to meet regularly with Police and Maintenance Services.

    The security lights adjacent to the skate park previously allowed skaters to continue skating after hours, so they have been turned off. The Police Department is meeting with Community Services staff at dusk to help clear skaters out of the park.

    In the past three months, we have called in only two service requests for graffiti remacknowledged that Lt. Klein from P.D., and Supervisor Stock from Building Maintenance were in attendance to answer any questions. There have not been any complaints lately from the local businesses about skaters since the skate park was opened. There are improvements, but it is a slow process. P.D. and Community Services are meeting regularly to problem solve.

    Commissioners' Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: what is a definition of vandalism, and who makes the service calls for graffiti; has graffiti been done all over the skate park, or just on the signs; are we going to paint the perimeter of the park; the number of bike riders is worse than before; the older teenagers still monopolize the park; there should be a deadline as to when these problems will be improved; it was noted that, in passing by the park, there were 37 kids skating, and not one of them had helmets or other safety equipment on; what happens if a citation is issued; what does P.D. look for in vandalism; the cases of vandalism are not being reported; this may be normal wear and tear on the park; some cities have two skate parks: one for small kids and one for older kids; the City needs to stay aggressive with citations and security measures; if having the skate park is keeping kids off the streets, then it is good, however, they are not following the rules and regulations; the hiring of part-time staff should be considered; another observation was made that seven bikes were seen at the skate park, as well as some roller bladers; an inquiry was made as to what the skaters can be cited for; what is the fine for bicycling in the skate park; the staffing of the park is the issue - the problems will not go away completely without staffing it; the cost of hiring more staff should be investigated; has Council revisited this issue - they were informed of the difficulties, and no changes were made; come back to us with a proposal of possible further steps; are we perhaps more concerned than we should be, since you are reporting to us that it is okay and that it is getting better; is Council's reluctance to make changes because they have received no reports; i.e., they must not be getting any negative feedback; and, perhaps we are focusing on the wrong issues - i.e., maybe there are problems at the skate park, but the fact that it is keeping kids off the streets and reducing public and private damage is a more positive thing to focus on.

    Supervisor Stock talked about how they clean the graffiti from the signs. They can not use sand blasting, so they use chemicals; however, it does not always come off. Painting the fence at the park would be a very high-cost item. In order for the signs to stay sticker-free, signs could be replaced each day - the staff would just have to do it on a daily basis.

    Lt. Klein noted that not one report for vandalism has been made to him since January. There were 11 citations issued in March for no equipment violations. It must be monitored in order for the rules to be enforced. Most of the skaters are adults from out of the area. Skaters can be cited for loitering, trash, graffiti, and equipment violations, which are punishable with community service or fines. Because of its location, there is very little reporting of incidents.

  6. Human Services Division Presentation

    Manager Trotter gave an overview of the Human Services Division, which is responsible for developing and administering programs and services that help meet the basic human needs of individuals or families. Manager Trotter then introduced her staff: John Clements and Eloisa Espinoza, Center Administrators of the Fullerton and Maple Senior Multi-Service Centers; and Rosemary Castro and Eddie Burciaga, Community Services Coordinators at the Valencia and Garnet Community Centers. Each staff person gave highlights of programs and activities that occur in their Centers.

    Commissioner Russell left at 7:45 p.m.

  7. Landscape Division

    Supervisor Stock was on hand to answer any questions.

    Commissioners Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: what gallon sizes are being planted in the City now?

  8. Building and Facilities Division Monthly Maintenance Report

    Supervisor Stock was available to either answer questions or take questions back to Superintendent Otley.

    Commissioners Questions and Comments:

    Commissioners asked questions and commented as follows: regarding the new stainless steel fixtures that have been approved for the bathrooms at two parks, have the contracts gone out to bid?

  9. Report on City Council Agenda Items

    There was no discussion regarding City Council agenda items.

  10. Commissioner Comments

    There were no comments from the Commissioners.

    Director Hunt reminded everyone at the Community Services Commission meeting about the Nixon Library Tour on May 4, 2002 at 10 a.m., and that she needed a count of who was attending. She also mentioned that the Robert E. Ward Nature Preserve dedication was on the same day at 4 p.m.

    Commissioner Hewett MOTIONED to adjourn the meeting.

  11. Commissioner Miller SECONDED the Motion.
  12. AYES: Miller, Spencer, Hewett, Swanson, Dalton
    NOES: None

    The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

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