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Parks & Recreation Commission Minutes

Parks & Recreation Commission Minutes

City Council Chamber
Monday, March 13, 2006
6:30 p.m.


Chair Russell called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.


Commissioner Miller led the flag salute.


Present :

Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Kathleen Dasney, Pamela Keller, George Miller, Craig Russell, Nancy Spencer, Neil Swanson

Absent :


Staff :

Ron Molendyk, Parks and Recreation Director; Parks and Recreation Managers Grace Carroll-Miranda, Alice Loya, Dannielle Mauk, and Judy Peterson; Exhibit/Museum Specialist Richard Smith; Acting Landscape Supervisor Phil Kisor


Mike Downing, 221 Altura Drive - Spoke on behalf of the three Little League's of Fullerton, and District 56, requesting use of the Sports Complex in late June for three weeks daily for the District 56 All-Star Tournaments including Sundays, from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. and the utilization of the lights and an intercom system only to announce batters and scores. He also requested that Sunday use be allowed, and said two of the three fields at the Sports Complex are used for baseball exclusively, and that those fields are not used eight months out of the year.

Bob Mellano, 3701 Tunales Drive - Said he is on the board of Golden Hill Little League, and echoed the request for usage of the Sports Complex for the Little League Championship as well as Sunday usage.

Steve Byrens, 1204 Riverside Drive - Agreed with the sentiments of the prior speakers, saying the Sports Complex is the pride of North Orange County, and that maximum usage of the facility can only benefit the community.

CONSENT ITEMS (Items 1 - 2)

Vice Chair Dalton MADE A MOTION and Commissioner Keller SECONDED THE MOTION to approve the Consent Calendar items with the corrections noted below.

AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Keller, Miller, Russell, Spencer, Swanson
NOES: None

The MOTION PASSED unanimously.


The spelling of the names of Captain Spalding and Ginger Britt were corrected on the Minutes of the February 13, 2006 Regular Commission Meeting.


The Landscape Division Monthly Report for February 2006 was received and filed.



Director Molendyk introduced Cynthia Schafer, M.S.H.S., Health Educator and Program Supervisor, Herm Perlmutter, CHES, of the Orange County Health Care Agency Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP). Ms. Schafer provided an informational presentation on tobacco use and laws at public playgrounds and parks, and the health, environmental and fiscal costs of tobacco use, with Mr. Perlmutter assisting.

It was clarified that there is a State tot lot law AB188 that makes it illegal to smoke within 25 feet of a playground and provides for a $250 fine. However, any other laws would have to be legislated by cities or the County.

The commissioners and TUPP representatives also discussed measures taken by other cities, what objections residents might have to smoke-free parks, and national, State and County percentages of smokers (23%, under 15%, 13 - under 15% respectively).

Director Molendyk said if the item were brought back to Commission, they could look at signage to enforce the current state law which would also help educate smokers to keep the parks clean. He also suggested phasing in increasing degrees of tobacco policies.

Vice-Chair Dalton asked if the Commission could study this as a parks issue but also make a recommendation to Council to study this on a broader level for other City events and venues. Director Molendyk said they would bring the item back and thanked the TUPP representatives for their presentation.


Director Molendyk introduced Golfers Paradise owner John Mok, reminding commissioners that Golfers Paradise came to a previous Commission meeting to provide information on its plans. He said they were presenting the conceptual plans tonight to request the Commission's approval to allow them to move forward and develop working drawings and a budget, and to take these to the appropriate City departments.

Mr. Mok said business hadn't been good since he took over, so he realized that a new business plan had to be developed. He introduced newly-promoted staff, Head Golf Pro Jeff Toms, who provided a history of the 12-year old golf facility and improvements, saying he appreciated Mr. Mok's commitment to golf and his desire to improve the facility.

Mr. Toms said they are trying to make improvements because while golf is still popular, they have a great location, and it is well-known in community, they need to increase stalls to reduce waiting during busy times, need to increase use in down time and build a café or restaurant to allow for longer programs.

Jack Wolf, 105 Elsa Drive, - Neighbor of Golfers Paradise, said it had been good neighbor, however, the recently upgraded lights were a problem, and that trees and a light guard were an easy solution. Other than that, he thought the plans were nice.

Mr. Mok said he's looked at the lights, and that when he took over, many lights were out which he replaced. He said would make adjustments to bring the lights downward.

Commissioner Dasney MADE A MOTION to recommend approval of the conceptual plans for improvement of Golfers Paradise to Council. Commissioner Spencer SECONDED THE MOTION.

AYES: Dalton, Dasney, Keller, Miller, Russell, Spencer, Swanson
NOES: None

The MOTION PASSED unanimously.


Cultural and Events Manager Dannielle Mauk invited Chair Russell and the commissioners to attend the opening night of the "Rhinestones and Twangin' Tones" exhibit on March 17th, noting the personal VIP letter sent to them. She introduced Curator Richard Smith who provided a Power Point presentation on the exhibit, noting the guest curator for the exhibit, Jim Washburn, a writer for the Register and L.A. Times. He said the main benefactor Mac Yasuda, whose collection of suits and guitars is worth $6 million, is the "Buck Owens of Japan," and was a friend to many great country stars. Each suit, made by Nudie Cohen, would cost at least $7,000 - $10,000 to reproduce, and the suits are valued from $10,000 to $75,000.

Manager Mauk and Director Molendyk acknowledged the staff's hard work. He also noted the April 22 Fender exhibit which he said should put Fullerton on the map with "bigger letters."


Director Molendyk thanked the Commission for attending the dedication, and said he received good publicity on the lake and activities, and received more favorable comments than for any other event. He said he will come forward with recommendations on operations and lake and fish management. He noted the director can set fish limits, currently at two, whereas State law is five trout during trout season. He said they will probably revise the signs, noting that Council had approved Phase Two of Laguna Lake which includes some educational signage.

Regarding youth leagues, Director Molendyk reminded the commissioners that an Appeals Committee had been set up to resolve any problems between the youth leagues. He said the Committee would be meeting soon and asked Manager Miranda to speak on the topic. She said there had been a conflict on field use between Pony League and Golden Hill that wasn't resolved from the January 25th Sports Field Users Meeting.

Manager Miranda said a plaque to credit Jack Franklyn's donation of kitchen equipment to the Bastanchury Park concession stand has been made, and a dedication ceremony will take place in the next week or two.

Director Molendyk noted that the Fullerton Market returns on April 6th.

He also asked that commissioners put Monday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Museum on their calendars for the first Commission workshop on fees, leases, concessions, and senior services.

The second Commission workshop is Monday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m. regarding RDA projects, maintenance, athletic lighting at Richman, Commonwealth, Ladera Vista and Lions fields, short- and long-term financing for capital projects, general fund dollars, special financing needed and the master plan for Independence Park and the pool.

Commissioner Spencer introduced Acting Landscape Supervisor Phil Kisor who came in Dennis Quinlivan's place, and who was "instrumental" in organizing the Arbor Day on March 11th.


The Report on City Council Agenda Items, which Director Molendyk also verbally briefed the commissioners on, was received and filed. He added that staff has met with the St. Jude representatives on the medical clinic, and learned that St. Jude is just waiting for the grading permit, the building is already built, and just the moving and site preparation are necessary.


Commissioner Keller congratulated staff on the Laguna Lake dedication and acknowledged the staff's hard work; Commissioner Spencer agreed it was "beautiful." Commissioner Keller said Arbor Day was "lots of fun", and was very impressive with big trees. She added that the idea of a trail extension was a good one.

Chair Russell said Laguna Lake was the nicest dedication ceremony he'd been to, had a good time, and that it was a wonderful day. Commissioner Spencer said she got to ride in the boat and said "thank you." Commissioner Swanson said he also wanted to commend staff, and that he'd never seen such big fish. Commissioner Spencer said she drove by this afternoon and "there were a lot of people out there fishin' - a lot of little kids and adults." Commissioner Swanson asked if that's the kind of crowd they get every weekend; Director Molendyk said "yes", and they have to plan to ensure there are sufficient fish, noting the need to supplement Fish and Game, and stock other fish than trout after April. Commissioner Spencer asked what kind of fish would be stocked, and Director Molendyk said bass, catfish and other "fun fish that most people would enjoy."

Commissioner Dasney agreed with the other commissioners regarding Laguna Lake and Arbor Day. Referring to the Mountain View gate issue, she said she noticed there was a chain across Emery Park with only reflectors, so when they discuss this issue, this could be considered. She also asked about the Sports Complex memo regarding the tot lot sign, and closure, and if the 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. restriction is only during baseball season or year round. Director Molendyk said the signage was intended for baseball season only, noting that Maintenance didn't want to get involved in opening and closing the fencing at the tot lot, nor did they want to open or close snack bars because of a history of staff being accused when items were missing.

Director Molendyk referred to Commissioner Miller's e-mail, saying that the current fence is temporary; and if the system works, the City could put in a more decorative fence. He also mentioned a letter from a resident who asked if baseball field shouldn't have restrictions instead. Commissioner Dasney suggested a cover and fencing for the tot lot, and Director Molendyk said that had been considered in the past, but besides not wanting to cage children, it would cost about $180,000. He added that they've sent a letter via the City Attorney's office to the design firm, and that the signage is a compromise between safety and parents being able to use the tot lot.

Chair Russell said some commissioners still aren't happy with the playground solution, and asked what kinds of steps the Commission could take to resolve this issue, especially with an All-Star Tournament coming up where families are accustomed to using the play areas near the ball fields. He suggested that the other commissioners might want him to meet with Director Molendyk and that they probably weren't comfortable with the current solution either. The other commissioners agreed with him so he and Director Molendyk agreed to meet.

Commissioner Dasney MADE A MOTION to adjourn. Commissioner Keller SECONDED THE MOTION. The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ron Molendyk, Secretary