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Parks Advisory Board Minutes

June 2, 2010



Meeting of June 2, 2010

7:30 A.M. — Anne Kolb Nature Center – Hollywood




Patrick Brochu

Terry Danger

Stephen Lawson

Sharon Kent

Bruce Edwards

Marsha Oster-Levy

Howard Nelson

Milette Thurston

Dan West, Parks & Rec.

Gayle Preston, Parks & Rec.

Sarah Perkins, Parks & Rec.

Bobby Miller, Parks & Rec.

Marc Kiar

Lou Metz, Parks & Rec.

Quentin Morgan

Jack Mathison

Stephanie Munson

Guy Roper

Sheila Rose

Jack Talabisco

Laura Frank, Parks & Rec.

Leon Younger, Pros Consulting

Pamela Adams, Pros Consulting

The meeting was called to order by Jack Mathison, Chair at 7:30 a.m., after which all present recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of Minutes

Mr. Mathison asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of May 5, 2010. Sharon Kent made the motion, which was seconded by Jack Talabisco and passed unanimously.

Bobby Miller was congratulated as Employee of the Month (EOM) for June. He was applauded for his accomplishments and work ethics. Mr. Miller was awarded a framed certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Park Manager’s Report

Joanne Howes, Parks Naturalist II, welcomed the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PAB). Ms. Howes provided the board members with information, improvements and accomplishments of the park and nature center. At Hollywood North Beach, the Carpenter House is coming along nicely, Anne Kolb Nature Center will begin the Sea Turtles and their Babies program in mid July in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University, West Lake Park South is undergoing a mitigation program.

Parks and Recreation Division (Parks) Update

Dan West advised that he will be meeting with the County Administrator to go over the budget proposal. She may have additional questions on how we are going to meeting the budget reductions requested. Mr. West said he would save further comment on that for Leon Younger of Pros Consulting to go over.

Bond Construction Update

The update was waived at this meeting in order to give Pros Consulting the floor for their presentation.

Old Business

Secret Shopper forms are due. Please get your forms in if you have not already done so. Jack Mathison advised that the PAB is low on gift certificates for the Employee of the Month program. Several members have offered to donate and will get them to Parks Admin office. Laura Frank advised that Bruce Edwards had contacted her and he has a couple cards from PAB member donations. He advised that he would be resigning; however he would mail the cards to Laura. Mr. Mathison reminded the PAB that there are no meetings scheduled for July and August. Ms. Frank brought up the PAB needs to review their strategic performance goals for 2011 and may want to form a committee again. Sharon Kent, Jack Mathison, Sheila Rose and Pat Brochu will be on the committee. They should meet prior to the next PAB meeting in September. Sheila Rose asked to bring up the PAB meeting days (Wednesdays), it is offensive that park employees must open the park just for PAB meetings. Terry Danger concurred, the PAB should set an example and they are operating in a manner in which the public cannot. Dan West advised that they wait until the budget is finalized and revisit if it is still an issue.

New Business

Dan West introduced the guest speaker, Leon Younger with Pros Consulting (Pros) and Pamela Adams. Their efficiency study should be completed on time and will be used as part of the budget process. Mr. Younger gave the PAB a presentation of their scope of work, their preliminary findings and expects to have a draft report available sometime next week.

Questions and answers from the PAB:
Quentin Morgan: When will the reports be out? A. The target is for the first of July and a draft will be available by June 15. That way the County Administrator can make a decision as to whether Pros will make a presentation to the County Commission.
Jack Talabisco: What is this board’s role and input on this? A. Pros asks that you take into account the recommendations and then determine what role the PAB can take to move some of the recommendations along. For example, some of the policy issues that need to be addressed really should come from this board and be brought forward to the County Commissioners. Some of the operating issues are Dan’s responsibility, so we need to separate these issues out. What is Dan’s responsibility, what’s your responsibility, what do you want to take to the Commissioners. One major element would be for the Parks to keep their own money. This alone would assist tremendously to move towards a sustainable system. Secondly, get the parks open seven days per week. There is so little savings associated that Parks is missing many opportunities to generate revenue.
Terry Danger: Plus, there is major damage done by closing institutions. When you are not there and people don’t remember you. A. Between the PAB and Dan, you pick which battles you want to go into and which issues you want to support and advocate. Then encourage the Commissioners to consider them. Typically advisory boards are advocates. They listen and provide advice for the staff and then advocate for elements that might make the system better.

Dan West: Leon mentioned two important things, revenue and getting the parks reopened. Regarding the operational efficiencies, we will continue to update the PAB and let you know where we are at. It is the administrative functions that we need your help with. Unless there is support from various sources, there is no way it will change. They won’t just give Parks the revenue because they have other uses for it. It is hard to have entrepreneurial spirit and inject that in staff if they don’t get to keep a little bit of the revenue they created and are able to put that back into the facilities. It is a simple self contractor perspective. That will be the big challenge.

Quentin Morgan: Did you interview anyone from the PAB? A. Pros did not, but if any of the PAB would like to stay after this meeting or have a phone interview we would appreciate further input.
Sheila Rose: The timing of this report is critical and I think it is critical that the County Commissioners see this overview so that don’t’ miss the substance of what they are making decisions on. It would be a disservice if all this information was analyzed and it wasn’t presented to the Commissioners because they could be missing points that they need to hear. Hearing the benchmarking data firsthand will help them with those decisions. This board ought to weigh in that this should be brought to the County Commission as part of the budget process.
Quentin Morgan: Did the County Administrator say the Commissioners may or may not see this overview? A . Pros was told they want to see what is in the report first and decide whether to present it to the Commission. They want to make sure it is congruent enough for the Commission to understand it simply and quickly.
Jack Talabisco: The problem is this board can make a recommendation for the Commission to see this but it may or may not happen. I think as individuals, we need to contact the Commissioners that appointed us and make recommendations based on talking points provided from staff.
Guy Roper: Politicians do not vote on things that will take money out of their budget. Maybe we need to bring outside resources in to convince the County to listen.
Jack Talabisco: There are a number of things in here that could save and generate money.
Jack Mathison: There are also a number of things that do not cost a penny. Dan and Leon should provide the PAB with the most succinct points that need to get across. I suggest that staff give those four or five points to the PAB and we could then recommend and convey these issues to the Commissioners.
Sheila Rose: We need to support the County Administrator and keep this in a positive approach.
Patrick Brochu: You mentioned marketing and untapped potential – we need to utilize that and get information out about the parks. When I first down here, we were continuously looking for things to do and it was difficult to find what we were looking for. There is a great deal of untapped marketing.
Terry Danger: I want the Commissioners to see the items we discussed. My fear is that the County Administrator might not put this out to the Commissioners. I have several meetings scheduled with my Commissioner and will do my part.
Stephanie Munson: This will get to them in one form or another. A. Yes. We will present this to the County Administrator and she in turn will take it to the Commissioners. We have time to get this to them.
Jack Talabisco: My concern is that if they just get the document, they will just skim through it. If staff gets us the points, we can do our part to support it.
Jack Mathison: Do you need anything from us at this point? A. If you want to provide your comments to Leon, please let us know.
Stephanie Munson: Will we get a copy of the report? A. Yes, in written and pdf form. A draft report will be available on June 15.
Guy Roper: PAB should make a motion to show solidarity of the issue.
Sheila Rose: Motion to strongly encourage the Board of County Commissioners to fully consider the data and analysis presented in this report. Jack Talabisco seconded. All were in favor.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45 a.m.
Next Meeting

The next meeting is at Brian Piccolo Park, September 1, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.

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