CSC Minutes October 11, 2004
City Council Chamber
Monday, October 11, 2004
CALL TO ORDER:
Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Commissioner Dalton led the flag salute.
Kathleen Baier-Dalton, Virginia Han, George Miller, Sharon Quirk, Craig Russell, Nancy Spencer, Neil Swanson
Staff Present: Ron Molendyk, Community Services Director; Community Services Managers Joe Felz, Grace Carroll-Miranda, Alice Loya, and Judy Peterson; Stacy Michalak, Community Center Supervisor; Sylvia Choe, Assistant to the City Manager
ACTION ITEMS (Items 1 and 2)
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE AUGUST 9, 2004 REGULAR MEETING
Commissioner Swanson MOVED to APPROVE the minutes of the August 9, 2004 regular meeting as written, and Commissioner Spencer SECONDED the MOTION.
Per Chair Miller, the Minutes stand APPROVED AS WRITTEN.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 13, 2004 REGULAR MEETING
Commissioner Dalton MOVED to APPROVE the Minutes of the September 13, 2004 regular meeting as written with one correction: Commissioner Daltons first name is Kathleen, not Kathryn. Commissioner Han SECONDED the MOTION.
Per Chair Miller, the minutes stand APPROVED AS CORRECTED.
INFORMATION ITEMS (Item 3 - 10)
INTRODUCTION OF COMMUNITY SERVICES DIRECTOR, RON MOLENDYK
Director Ron Molendyk reviewed his assignment and goals as Community Services Director which were outlined in a memo provided to commissioners. He noted that the goals came out of discussions with the commissioners and City Manager. He listed the major items he and the Department would concentrate on for the next several months as: 1.) Improved customer relations and communications with stakeholders and field/facility user groups. 2.) The budget including a review of existing and future delivery services and facilities within current budget parameters and constraints. The Department would then make a recommendation on how best to utilize the resources it presently has. Also under review will be existing fee programs and recovery costs, and public/private partnerships with several entities including the municipal golf course, the Tennis Center, the F.A.S.T. aquatics contract, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, St. Jude Medical Center, Summit House and Amerige Heights Community Center. 3.) Capital projects including projects funded by Propositions 12 and 40, Lions Field, Sports Complex, Bastanchury Park, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and a regional dog park.
Director Molendyk asked for approval to involve the same commissioners in the Lions Field improvements who were involved with the Bastanchury Park Field Use Subcommittee. The commissioners, Commissioners Dalton, Russell and Swanson, said they were willing to do so.
Director Molendyk reported on a very positive meeting regarding the Sports Complex last Thursday, October 7th which included Commissioners Dalton, Russell and Swanson and user groups. He noted that staff is trying to juggle the schedule to reduce the down time on field use due to delays at Bastanchury Park. He also said the Department is taking a second look at the budget to see if the City is able to come up with the funding to make the improvements to accommodate the Sports Complex and girls softball.
Director Molendyk noted that it was clear when driving by Bastanchury Park, that the fields would not be ready by Spring 2005, a fact which has been shared with the youth organizations. Instead, the Department and Sun Cal are estimating the completion date to be September 2005 with cooperation from the Development Department.
Another capital project mentioned by Director Molendyk was the improvements to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center whose representatives, he noted, would be making a presentation later at the Commission meeting. He also told the Commissioners about a meeting he and Randy McDaniel would be attending at County Supervisor Campbells office regarding a proposal to develop a dog park in a County regional park.
UPDATE ON THE COMMISSION/COMMITTEE SELECTION PROCESS
Sylvia Choe, Assistant to the City Manager, provided a Power Point presentation regarding the Commission/Committee Direct Appointment process which she had made at the September 21st Council meeting. She noted that the Council at that time approved two ordinances, one which established the new Commission/Committee Applicant Review Board, and the other which modified the City ordinance relating to Commission/Committee Appointments.
Ms. Choe outlined the process and the timeline whereby appointments would be made, stating that all applications would be forwarded from the City Clerks Office to the Applicant Review Board, noting that the only qualification for eligibility was Fullerton residency. She said all applications would be read and all qualified applicants would be interviewed, then ranked, based on the interview.
City Council would be provided the ranked list of applicants which the Council would interview publicly, either at a regular meeting or a special public meeting. Council members would select by direct appointment; commissions with more than five members would have at-large members elected by a majority vote of the Council. Ms. Choe said an appointee could be removed by his or her council member or required by a 4/5ths vote. She described the drawing of lots to determine which individual existing committee member would report to which specific council member. She said the drawing would be held in November, based on seniority, and then alphabetically, if seniority is the same for two committee members, and noted that the appointments would be concurrent with the council members term. There will be at-large lots as needed in the drawing, also. At-large members would serve out their terms, and then be appointed by the Council, also. Terms limits will be two full consecutive four-year terms. The lot drawings will occur after November 4th.
Ms. Choe described a five-member Applicant Review Board of Fullerton residents with council members reviewing candidates. The only requirement for Review Board members is Fullerton residency. Board members will also be interviewed and appointed by the Council with their terms also running concurrently with council members and a maximum of two full consecutive four-year terms. She noted that vacancies for the board positions are currently being advertised and applications will be due in a few weeks. In January 2005, the new Council will interview and appoint members to the Applicant Review Board.
Sylvia Choe then entertained questions. Commissioner Spencer asked if the only duty of the Review Board was to review applicants for commissions, and Ms. Choe answered yes, also confirming that board members would only be called when there were vacancies.
Commissioner Swanson noted that there are three commissioners whose terms will expire this year in December, and asked if they would they have to go through the application process again in December. Ms. Choe said no, answered that the commission members participation would end at the same time their assigned council members term ends, or at the pleasure of the council member. She also confirmed that current commission members would have to be assigned to council members or be selected as at-large in November.
When Commissioner Russell asked whether, in the lot draw, if the City Council member doesnt like his choice, the commissioners could be removed, Ms. Choe affirmed this. He asked if a four-fifths vote would be needed to remove the appointee; Ms. Choe said that this only applied to other council members appointees, and that the council member could remove his own appointee at his pleasure. Commissioner Russell also asked why the procedure for existing commissioners was set up for random assignments instead of Council-selected appointees since there would be a greater chance that selected appointees and their assigned council member would get along. Ms. Choe believed that the Council wanted to make the process as random and objective as possible rather than trying to come up with criteria for matching commissioners to council members.
Commissioner Spencer asked if at-large members terms would end as planned currently, and was told yes. Chair Miller said the Council has stated that the new process would save time, but wanted to know how that was possible given that there will now be another level of interviews. Sylvia Choe said the intent was more to make a better process in terms of representation and a stronger review component rather than to save time.
Chair Miller also asked Ms. Choe to describe how a commissioner would be tied to a council member, as she had stated. He asked if that meant he would have to call the council member, or if that meant he could say whatever he wanted, or could only say what the council member wanted. Ms. Choe replied that she was merely referring to the number a commissioner would draw that coincides with the council member, and that it was not her position to say what the working relationship would be between the commissioner and his assigned council member.
Commissioner Russell confirmed the two full four-year terms, and asked if the council member keeps a commissioner for the full term, if he would need to reapply if the council member is reelected and wants to keep the commissioner, Ms. Choe said no. When asked, she said that the two full four-year terms dont start with the new process, that any previous terms served count in the new process. However, Commissioner Russell pointed out that since he will have never served a full four-year term when the selection process begins, he would still be eligible for two full four-year terms. Ms. Choe agreed, saying that, depending on which council members the commissioners positions coincide with, some commissioners will be serving more than their intended terms, and some will serve less, unless, in the latter case, the council member gets re-elected and chooses to re-appoint them.
Commissioner Quirk stated that, in fact, it was stated in the City Council meeting that the commission/committee process was too time-consuming, that staff spent too many hours with the process, and that the new procedure would reduce the time spent. She asked if staff or the public made complaints or had concerns about the process being time-consuming. Sylvia Choe said she didnt have the data or answer to that, but that to her knowledge, since she came on board a couple of months ago, she hadnt heard any complaints from staff and wasnt sure she had heard anything from the public either. She said further that she didnt know the origin of this issue, however, she said she would check with the City and get back to Commissioner Quirk as soon as possible.
Commissioner Quirk said that, looking at the new process, it seemed completely cumbersomevery complicated and would require additional staff time. She noted that, in looking at the difficulty council members already have in interfacing with current committee and commission members, e.g., the Commission has only seen one council member at any of the commission meetings, she didnt see how council members would have the time to meet with probably 50 appointees, and that it seemed to be a huge amount of hours that theyre proposing to be interfacing with their appointees. Sylvia Choe said she would be happy to get the answers for her.
Commissioner Han said she had some of her questions answered through the other commissioners queries, but also asked if, before lots are drawn, the commissioners have the choice not to draw lots and remain at-large. Or, she asked, what happens if the commissioner and council member dont get along? Commissioner Han said she felt as though she were back at the elementary school level. She asked if the Council had thought about this. She acknowledged that both council members and commissioners are trying to work for the benefit of the City, but working on an individual basis may not be easy. Ms. Choe said she didnt know that anyone could force her to draw lots, but also didnt know what the process would be if she didnt draw a lot; however, Ms. Choe said she would get back to her with the answer. Commissioner Swanson asked if the commissioners draw the lots themselves, and was told yes. He then suggested that if Commissioner Han decided not to draw a lot, the others might draw the at-large lots and she would be stuck with whoever is left.
Commissioner Swanson said the process seemed designed to weed out people council members dont want, and also seemed counter productive; however, he was trying to understand the process, which appeared cumbersome. He also said the previous process was, in fact, also a review committee process; they had to meet with two council members and the Chair of the Commission and go through a review process although not a public hearing. He also assured Sylvia Choe that the Commission did not mean to put her on the spot, but was just trying to make sense of this. He also asked what the replacement process is if a commissioner is removed. Ms. Choe said if the commissioner removed is at-large, the Council would vote; if the commissioner was an appointee, the assigned council member would choose from the available applicants.
Commissioner Spencer asked if every candidate would be interviewed in the public hearing. Sylvia Choe said yes, if all the candidates were qualified as Fullerton residents, and that the Council would make a selection from that list of candidates.
Commissioner Russell asked why all council members are interviewing when only two council members might have direct appointments. He said he couldnt imagine that council members wouldnt know in advance who they want to appoint, and that only during the public hearing, would a council member realize who he wanted to appoint. Sylvia responded that the process still gives council members an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates.
Commissioner Miller said he counted approximately 100 people in the various commissions and committees, and asked if the Council were really going to interview 100 people. He said if there are five people applying for each position, there would be 500 people to interview. He questioned how this would save time, and asked who would run the city, and if the Council was elected to interview people.
Commissioner Swanson asked what the ranking does and if the council members would have to pick the commission members by ranking. Sylvia Choe said no, but that the Review Board would provide a recommendation by ranking applicants as to who is best qualified; however, the council members can choose as they please. She answered that the candidates do not know how they have been ranked.
Commissioner Dalton said she thought there would be some elimination of the least qualified applicants, but if, in fact, there is no filter, no elimination of candidates, she asked why applications arent just provided to council members to choose rather than going through an advisory committee that has no power. She characterized the process as bizarre and just adding another layer which really doesnt have a function. She asked Sylvia Choe if her understanding of how the process works is incorrect, and Ms. Choe said she was correct.
Commissioner Dalton also said her reading of the July 20th meeting minutes, page 18 and the top of page 19, was that a four-fifths vote by Council was required of all appointments, not just at-large appointments. She said she was at all of the Council meetings and understood that to be the case, and that Don Bankhead added this proviso to the motion to eliminate revolving door appointments and removals. Commissioner Russell concurred with Commissioner Daltons understanding of the four-fifths vote, saying that if all appointments are ratified by the Council, then a four-fifths vote to remove would be consistent. He said that one council member should not be able to remove a committee member who has been ratified by all the council members. Commissioner Dalton asked Sylvia Choe to research this and get back to them; Ms. Choe said she would. Commissioner Dalton said that if the answer about the four-fifths vote was not the same as the Commissioners understanding, then this issue would have to be acted on by the Council because she believed that the public had the same understanding as the Commissioners. When asked by Commission Dalton, Ms. Choe agreed that, if the schedule works out, City Clerk will conduct the commission/committee lottery at the November Commission meeting, after the elections, and that, thus, the commissioners should know where they stand for a period of time.
Commissioner Russell asked, when the lots are drawn, whether they will be drawn with the current Council members in mind or the new Council as the new Council will not be installed until December. Ms. Choe said she wasnt sure, legally, when the Council changes take place, and that she would have to check with the City Clerk and provide information for all the commissions as to the process, whether its the old or new council, timelines, and the numbering system. Commissioner Han asked when they would know about the process, and Ms. Choe said the City Clerks office should inform them by November.
Commissioner Dalton asked, theoretically, if the drawing of lots doesnt happen in November (due to the election and since council members will not yet have been sworn in), and if it also doesnt happen in December, if it is then assumed that the commission positions expiring in December wont expire, or if fresh applicants would be used. Sylvia Choe said she believed that as the current ordinance is written, current commissioners will serve until a replacement is brought on board, and will continue until after the process was complete.
Commissioner Swanson asked about the makeup of the Applicant Review Committee. Sylvia Choe said it would be five members, Fullerton residents, no council members, but selected by direct appointment. When asked, she answered that she did not believe a commissioner could also be on the Review Board.
Commissioner Russell said what is unique about the Community Services Commission is that, after the election and the new commission/committee process, its possible that there would be one less commission member (Commissioner Quirk). He asked how that would affect the drawing of lots. Sylvia Choe said that in the event Commissioner Quirk is no longer on the Commission, her position would be the remaining, default lot after all other commissioners have drawn their lots.
The commissioners and Director Molendyk thanked Sylvia for her presentation.
UPDATE ON THE MUCKENTHALER CULTURAL CENTER FOUNDATION DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL
Chair Miller reminded the commissioners that the update the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Foundations (MCCF) development proposal was an information only item. Director Molendyk informed the Commission that the City Manager has indicated that the Commission would take the lead in making a recommendation regarding the MCCF proposal to the City Council.
Community Services Manager Joe Felz provided an overview of the proposal presented to City Council. He acknowledged that the Commission has not been involved in decisions regarding the Muckenthaler for about nine years. However, the MCCF went to City Council last February with a one-page development proposal for a new building that Manager Felz described as relatively consistent with the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Master Plan. Council then directed the Community Services Department to get community input first and foremost. He noted that a September 14th meeting for nearby neighbors has already been completed, with a larger community meeting planned for November 17th. Manager Felz said that because the MCCF has not fleshed out their proposal completely, City staff may not have all the answers to Commissioner questions, and that further meetings may be held, if needed.
Manager Felz then introduced Duane Greenleaf, a consultant with Colettes Catering, who would be making the presentation. Colettes Catering is the MCCFs business partner in the proposed project. He also introduced Pat House, Executive Director of the MCCF, and Jane Parker, MCCF Board Chair. Manager Felz told the Commission that the MCCF has a January 1, 2005 deadline for its proposal, that the Commission meeting tonight would be the first stop in a long public process, and that Director Molendyk and staff wanted the Commission to be informed well before a public hearing.
Consultant Duane Greenleaf thanked the Commission for inviting him and MCCF representatives. He said the overall goal of the development proposal was to increase events to produce more revenue for the Foundation. Due to a commissioner question, Mr. Greenleaf clarified his position, stating that he does not have a technical affiliation with the MCCF, but is with Colettes Catering.
Mr. Greenleaf then started a power point presentation, noting that the proposal is a revision of the 1984 Master Plan, and is actually a reduction of the Master Plan. He said the plan is to build a new separate gallery and multi-use facility, the location of which was shown in a flyer mailed to local residents. He noted that the building will be funded solely through private funds, with the MCCF compensated directly through a percentage of gross sales of events by Colettes Catering. Additionally, the MCCF would continue receiving site rental fees at the property.
Benefits listed for the Muckenthaler included a new gallery space for exhibits and fundraising events, little or no opportunity costs or financial risk to the MCCF, marketing supported by Colettes Catering, eventual independence from City grants, improved financial security for the MCCF, eliminating noise to surrounding neighbors, an elegant building that would accent the current site and improve property values for the neighborhood, better property coverage and accountability with increased staffing and collaboration between the Center and Colettes staff. Mr. Greenleaf also noted successful public/private partnerships such as Bowers Gallery, the Fullerton Airport hangars and the Summit House. As background information, he said that Colettes has been in business for 12 years in Fullerton, that Colette Coffman grew up in Fullerton, and that her business has a positive reputation in the community and was voted one of the best caterers in Orange County.
Director Molendyk added that the Muckenthaler Master Plan was included in the commissioners packets. He said that any commissioners who want to visit the site, the Department would be happy to make arrangements. Commissioner Swanson asked about noise elimination, and Manager Felz answered that there are a lot of outdoor events in tents; thus, the proposed structure would be enclosed, thereby, reducing noise. Commissioner Spencer asked if the proposal would create more events and activity, how noise would be eliminated, and that there would be more cars and parking issues.
Manager Felz said that he could probably answer the question by providing an overview of the recent Muckenthaler community meeting. He noted that the plan was generally well-received by the neighbors, especially as the plan is smaller than the Master Plan. There were also good comments regarding Colettes because of its good business practices and the exclusive agreement with the Foundation.
Manager Felz said concerns included whether the proposal was consistent with the Master Plan in that the new plan brings in a private business on public property, which is a significant deviation from the Master Plan. He said it needed to be made clear that the Muckenthaler Center would be the home base for Colettes Catering which could provide services to other cities and locations. Director Molendyk noted that the Foundation is trying to expand the facility and reduce dependency on the City. He said that one of the tasks that Community Services staff has is to try to provide quality services to the community through a public/private partnership where feasible. He said it is still a proposal at this time, and that the Department could address some of the questions better as they go through the hearing.
Chair Miller asked about Colettes Caterings use of the Muckenthaler property, and Manager Felz clarified that Colettes would be paying for the proposed facility, and that the MCCF will also receive a percentage of revenue from Colettes events whether they are off- or on-site. Chair Miller also asked how it would compete with private businesses. Manager Felz said the issue may come up as more businesses become more aware of the proposal, but that it appears that Colettes is already providing services in the community, so it shouldnt be that much different.
Commissioner Spencer asked if lunches would be served or if Colettes would only serve at events. Muckenthaler Executive Director Pat House answered that lunches are served, but not through a regular restaurant; however, she said they would like once-a-week lunches that are open to the public or groups.
Commissioner Quirk noted that private-public ventures are becoming more the norm; however, she asked if the MCCF could then provide more services to the community or reduce funding from the City. Director House said they could offer more if their finances were more secure, and that they could double the educational programs with more space because the mansion is too small for important exhibits. She said a traditional gallery would be very helpful. Commissioner Quirk agreed the exhibits are nice; but asked if Colettes would be providing any community services, for example, cooking classes. Director House said they are currently working with Richman school to provide more opportunities for the children, and she agreed that getting Colettes involved would add an important component with many cross-over opportunities between the museum and Colettes. She noted that Colettes is extremely generous with donated food for the museums childrens activities, and that Colettes is one of the MCCFs best relationships.
Commissioner Han asked if there are fees to go to the museum, and Director House said adults are $5, seniors are $3, and children and school tours are free. Commissioner Han asked if the fee would increase with the new development, and was told that an extra fee might be charged for a special exhibit in the new facility, but that there shouldnt be a fee increase for the existing museum.
Commissioner Dalton asked about the square footage of gallery versus the kitchen. Director House said 4,700 ft. would be gallery space, and the rest would be the kitchen. She said the Center would also want to use the area where a garage currently is, to build the kitchen and store vans out of sight of neighbors.
Commissioner Spencer asked about financing, who would own what and what would happen if Colettes moved or went out of business. Director House said they are working out a business plan and exit strategy that would be fair to both parties; however, the building is on City property and would eventually revert to the City. Commissioner Spencer asked about maintenance costs for the proposed project which Director House said would be both Colettes and the Muckenthalers responsibility.
She answered questions about the MCCF budget, saying it is about $450,000 with about $150,000 from the City. Director Molendyk reminded the commissioners that staff is introducing the concept tonight, and that a complete staff report would be needed to answer some of the questions that the commissioners have raised. He said further that they are trying to come up with a program initiated by the MCCF that would be a win-win for the Muckenthaler, the City and the neighborhood. He said they hope to have a completed staff report by the next meeting, a construction program and an operational budget.
Commissioner Russell asked if the issue would be coming back as an information or action item, and Manager Felz said it would be an action item at a public hearing. Because its a complex project, Manager Felz said Planning Commission and Design Review would be involved, and Engineering and Planning may have to involve the federal government. Commissioner Russell asked if there would be parameters to what is discussed at the Commission meeting, and Manager Felz answered that they would try to focus on issues pertaining to Commission rather than, for example, parking, traffic or code restrictions. Director Molendyk said that the Department would try to make as complete a package to the Commission, and that a workshop could be arranged between MCCF board and commissioners, if needed. Director Molendyk thanked the MCCF representatives for their presentation.
UPDATE ON AQUATICS PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENT WITH F.A.S.T. (FULLERTON AQUATIC SPORTS TEAM)
Director Molendyk noted the new agreement between the City and the Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team (F.A.S.T.) board to manage the programming at the Janet Evans Swim Complex, which was completed and approved at a recent Council meeting. He said that F.A.S.T. Coach, Kevin Perry, has been working with City staff, and also acknowledged and praised the efforts and assistance of Community Services Manager Judy Peterson and Community Center Supervisor Stacy Michalak during the transition period. Director Molendyk referred to the agreement included in the agenda packet, noting that staff had submitted an agreement which was then modified to get approval. He said there are still gray areas to work out but that the parties are all entering into the new partnership on a positive note to keep the pool open and better serve the community.
Director Molendyk then invited Coach Perry to address the Commission, and also handed out to the commissioners new F.A.S.T. flyers designed to market the Swim Complex to the community. He said that F.A.S.T. has agreed that the City will approve any materials before they are sent out to the community. Coach Perry made a presentation, noting many hours of preparation in the last three months and acknowledging the support of City staff from various departments. Coach Perry said their goal was to keep the pool open year round, to keep providing outstanding services previously provided by Community Services and to expand those services, and to eventually lessen financial costs to City. He said he hopes to break even in five or six years, and maybe even get ahead. He then opened the item up for questions.
Commissioner Swanson said they spent an inordinate amount of time a few meetings ago discussing budget expenditures and cuts, with F.A.S.T. and pool closure being the primary topic. He asked if this was no longer an issue or problem, and was told that this was true. He also asked about the facility improvements discussed at that meeting; Director Molendyk said the City would be upgrading the filtration system in January, with locker room improvements slated for November. However, he said the City would still act as landlord, upgrading and maintaining the facility and water quality while FAST would take over the programming to keep the pool open more hours. He said the staff report to Council estimated staff savings to the City at $238,000.
Commissioner Spencer asked if the F.A.S.T. agreement wasnt similar to that of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Director Molendyk and Community Services staff agreed; however, Director Molendyk said that the F.A.S.T. agreement will have more expenses for the City although F.A.S.T. is expected to obtain sponsorships and support from the business community to provide more of its funding. He noted that with the reduction in revenue, the challenge for Community Services staff is to make more projects self-sustainable which would result in a better future for all.
Commissioner Spencer asked about keeping pool open during renovation of the locker room. Coach Perry answered that the project will be put off until next November so F.A.S.T. can get established, and that they would have temporary showers and portable bathrooms during construction.
Chair Miller asked about the progress Janet Evans is making in helping with securing funding. Coach Perry said they are going to start this process but that the news reports of success were premature. Commissioner Quirk said that, as an advocate for the public, she wanted to know if F.A.S.T. would be able to provide a summer program for the neighborhood, particularly low-income families, especially given that the Community Services Department had a great program. Coach Perry agreed that community programs would be important, acknowledged the current Secret Pals program which provides lessons for needy children, and said he wants to provide something similar. Since she also works nearby the Swim Complex, Commissioner Quirk said she would be glad to meet with him to discuss the needs in the area.
Director Molendyk also assured the Commission that the City has been frank with Coach Perry and that they will be closely monitoring the contract and the intent of the agreement, and that he would provide a report in six months. Coach Perry was thanked for his presentation.
Commissioner Russell stated he has read the agreement, and likes it and the partnership. However, he said that he had concerns about the process. He said he asked for an update regarding F.A.S.T. and the pool, at both the August and September Commission meetings, but nothing was provided. After the September meeting, a memo was sent out September 20, which was after the Council decision. He wanted to state for the record that the Commission was shut out of the process, wondered if it was the Department or the Council who was responsible, but believed it was probably the Council.
Commissioner Quirk asked where the funding came from to support F.A.S.T, and was told it came from the City Managers budget.
UPDATE ON TRAIL SAFETY EDUCATION
Senior Analyst Alice Loya and Landscape Superintendent Dan Sereno provided an update on trail safety education. Analyst Loya said she had received input from the Community Services, Maintenance, Police and Engineering Departments. She stated that the City staff wanted to come up with ways to address conflicts on the multi-use trail, so they met, and came up with solutions: signage to reduce bicycle speed and trail head notices which will be posted on the more popular trails. She said that staff will also seek out bicycle user groups and bike shops and provide flyers regarding trail safety.
Commissioner Russell asked about City liability if there is a collision between a horse and cyclists. Analyst Loya answered that there were few claims because people understand that there are inherent dangers in using trails. She agreed that the City minimizes risk by filling holes or other obvious dangers in the trails.
Landscape Superintendent Sereno presented slides of the City trails to show how the City is trying to make the trails safer. He noted that there is a lot of activity on the trails, even at night, and that although there are police patrols, it was difficult because there are so many trails.
Commisioner Spencer asked what trails are problematic, and Superintendent Sereno answered Kuttner Trail, Hilstcher Trail, Castlewood, and the Hermitage Reservoir, explaining that Castlewood is at the north end of Gilbert and Chantilly Lane.
Commissioner Quirk asked if Superintendent Sereno had heard of the BMX bike trails and was told, not really. She said boys have made these trails which were rather amazing. Dan Sereno said there are many off-shoot, non-sanctioned trails but that the City leaves them alone unless there are complaints or injuries.
Commissioner Russell asked if dogs need leashes on the trails and Dan Sereno said yes. Commissioner Russell said there didnt seem to be any signage and Dan Sereno agreed, and said the City would add this to the new signage. He said the signage would also allow other trail users to encourage dog owners to obey leash laws.
Commissioner Russell asked if there was a way to encourage trail use rather than the street for walkers. Dan Sereno said the City doesnt endorse trail usage and that there is actually a lot of trail use. In addition, some people may not want the uneven surface of a trail.
LANDSCAPE DIVISION MONTHLY REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2004
The Landscape Division Monthly Report for September 2004 was received and filed. Landscape Superintendent Dan Sereno welcomed Director Molendyk. Following up on a query from the previous Commission meeting, he said that he investigated the pine trees that Commissioner Spencer noted and said that the trees do not seem to be infected by the ips beetle, as he thought they might be, and that the trees were overly mature, agreeing that some were not attractive.
Commissioner Han asked about how the City addresses a bee problem. Dan Sereno said if the problem is on private property, Maintenance would direct the caller to the Yellow Pages. If its a stinging emergency, they would call the Fire Department.
Commissioner Dalton mentioned a water valve on the east edge of Byerrum Park on Raymond, just south of Chapman, that had constant water dripping. Dan Sereno said it was backflow, and irrigation staff was notified and will take care of the problem.
Commissioner Spencer asked if Laguna Lake was being dredged yet, and Dan Sereno said it is still draining, so they havent started dredging yet. He also said that most of the dirt taken out will be moved.
REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS
There were no questions or comments regarding the Council agenda items.
Commissioner Russell asked about an item in the Council briefing, asking about field use by other soccer leagues at the Complex and was told that that was an error and that there would be no other leagues than those listed. Commissioner Han welcomed Director Molendyk. Commissioner Dalton asked about F.A.S.T. programming and what Community Services staff, e.g. Stacy Michalak, are doing, and was told she is taking on other responsibilities. Commissioner Miller said he had heard that the Fullerton Market might be expanded into Plaza Park. Community Services Manager Joe Felz said they already have rides at Plaza Park and will use the 12 d.g. path and alley for produce booths. Commissioner Dalton noted that the d.g. path was originally designed for farmers booths.
Commissioner Swanson asked about the Amerige Heights Community Center, saying that he was on the Amerige Heights Committee, and asked if it had stopped meeting. He said it hasnt met in six months, and agreed with Commissioner Russell that the commissioners are involved in a project, but then it is suddenly pulled out from under them a slap in the face. He said, however, that he would like to be involved. Director Molendyk said he did receive input about this, and plans to include commissioners in Department issues, and will have an answer at the next Commission meeting. Commissioner Han said she felt the same way, that she was involved in the meetings, but then there was no follow-up.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.