PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
July 20, 2006
City Council Chambers
734 Third Street
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Rodrigues called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Present were Chairperson Ernie Rodrigues, Vice Chair Sandra Myers, and Commissioners Tom Jones and Lanny Brown. Commissioner Jan Melloni was absent and excused.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: All stood for the pledge to the flag.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
5. DISCUSSION ITEM Brentwood Police Department representatives have been invited to attend to discuss issues related to policing City parks and facilities. (K. DeSilva)
Commissioner Jones then asked if the Police Department was okay with the designs of the new parks, and Lt. King said that he has worked with staff and the planning department for the City and is very pleased with the cooperative efforts with everyone involved. He commented on the use of cameras in the parks and other technology to secure the parks as well. Question was asked about alcohol use at Sunset Park by Commissioner Brown. Lt. King said they were getting some reports, however the problem is that they are usually getting the reports after the fact, so then it is not possible to take action against anyone. He said they need to have someone willing to place someone under citizen’s arrest or the officers need to actually see the act themselves. He asked if there are Park and Recreation Department supervisors on hand at the time of these incidents, they need to call the department and give them time to work together on the problems. Mr. DeSilva said that additional signs have been put up saying that no alcohol is allowed in the park.
Commissioner Myers said one of the reasons this item was brought up was because she had received quite a number of complaints regarding suspected drug use at two parks, in particular Garin Park and Creekside Park. She said when police are called the response time was so slow that by the time the officers arrived the kids are gone. She said these reports had come to her through the Moms Club and others in the neighborhood and the incidents were taking place in the daylight. She wondered if officers do make periodic rounds to check for this type of problem in the parks. Lt. King said they do go by all of the parks, but do focus on calls for service rather than scheduled rounds. He explained that they do take those calls seriously, but often response time is based on what else is going on in the city at the time. He also discussed the system of calling the department and that if a cell phone is used to call 911, it is then routed through a much more complicated and lengthy process through the CHP. Commissioner Myers then asked what number should be called with a cell phone and Lt. King said it would be 778-2441 and this goes through the Antioch dispatch center. He said normal response time is 10-12 minutes. Commissioner Myers asked how many officers are on patrol at a given time. Lt. King said it would be between 4 and 6 depending on the day of the week and the time of day. Mr. DeSilva said that the 778-2441 number is on all of the signs at the parks for emergency along with the Park and Recreation number for problems at the park.
Chairperson Rodrigues discussed Veterans Park where there had been a couple of incidents at the Veterans element, but that now as he observed these problems seem to have been minimized. Discussion of how many of the parks have cameras and Lt. King said that this does seem to be a positive deterrent to vandals. Chairperson Rodrigues complimented Ms. Scherff and Lt. King on the way the parks were being watched and the security systems in place. Commissioner Jones commented on the situation that had arisen at City Park and the steps that were taken by the Police Department and staff to curtail the activity. Lt. King said that the Police Department will hold to a level of non-tolerance of bad behavior and will work together with all departments to control situations as they arise. Commissioner Jones then commented on the King Park (dog park), regarding aggressive animals. He addressed this question to both Lt. King and Mr. DeSilva. Mr. DeSilva said that a meeting had been held that morning and they are working on some ordinance changes for the department and one of those was dog park rules. Suggestions from Lt. King as to what should be put on the new signage and this will be put up for approval before placing the signs. Lt. King said that the Police Department contracts with County Animal Control for enforcement of animal violations, licensing and containment is all through them as well as removal of deceased animals. The Police Department relies on the County Animal Control when these issues, such as the aggressive animals arise and they follow the county ordinances for these types of situations. He said he feels the City should start working on a municipal code that would address the ability to deal with situations more aggressively should the need arise. Lt. King was thanked for his response to the Commission and was complimented on the job he is doing in the city by Chairperson Rodrigues. Lt. King said he appreciated the opportunity to work with the Commission and pledged to continue to work with his officers for the good of the community.
7. ACTION ITEM Select a date for a Park & Recreation Commission retreat. (C. Bronzan)
Ms. Scherff said that she needed to remind the Commissioners to follow the Brown Act when it comes to Citizens Comments portion of their meetings. When citizens come to the podium with issues, if it is an agendized item they can be asked to step aside and it can be addressed at the time the item is discussed. If it is an item that is not agendized, then comments can be made, but the Commissioners should refrain from discussing the comments. They can direct the questions to staff for response at a later time. Questions cannot be asked at that time by the Commissioners, their role is to just listen attentively. Staff can be asked to research the issue and bring it back at a later time. Commissioner Brown felt strongly that the Commissioners should be able to ask questions of the citizens at the time they are raised by the citizen. Ms. Scherff said staff should be referred to the citizen for further comment and possible action. Mr. DeSilva and Ms. Scherff explained the law and the reasoning behind it. Ms. Homan will see that each Commissioner receives a copy of the Brown Act. It was suggested that this be included in the retreat. Commissioner Jones suggested possible changes to the notation in the agenda under Citizens Comments, something to the effect that citizens should not expect answers at the meeting.
Mr. DeSilva said that they have been talking to Shea Homes regarding the Vineyards project and he will try to have their presentation and the three parks they are planning at this development, and hopes to have them presented at a meeting soon. There have not had any other new projects to be brought before the Commission at this point. He said the Marsh Creek Cleanup event will be September 16, 2006. There will be weekly meetings at the Brentwood Education & Technology Center with Friends of Marsh Creek that will be assisting in the event. They are also looking for advertising, sponsors, etc. He asked if the Commissioners knew of anyone who would like to help on this project he would be the contact person, and he will be giving input at each meeting from now until the event.
He also said that staff did meet earlier that day regarding existing park ordinances and reviewed them. They are updating those utilizing input from the Commissioners, citizens and staff. This should be brought back to the Commissioners after review by the legal department and then go forward to City Council.
He also said that next month Municipal Pooling Authority, the City’s risk management agency, will be present to discuss some of the new designs that have encountered some problems in some of the new parks. Any Commissioners assigned to those parks will be invited to meet and go to the parks to review corrective recommendations and review the concerns.
Mr. DeSilva then discussed the fungus problems at Sunset Park Athletic Complex, soccer fields A, B and C. He explained in detail how the problem was discovered, efforts to amend the soil and the consultant hired and he is hoping to have all fields in good order before long. On the July 5th a fungus was discovered and this very severe fungus has now spread and is extremely difficult to control. Therefore, those three fields are not in condition to be used at this time. They have met with the soccer teams and soccer field C will be opened up, however others will not be suitable for use. Ms. Scherff has met with the schools and will have areas for the soccer to meet in other locations. He discussed the situation on the other two soccer fields and the costs and recommendations to repair these fields. This problem and the solutions were discussed in detail with the Commissioners. Mr. DeSilva is gathering costs and will keep the Commissioners informed as he proceeds on this issue. Commissioners asked questions about how the soccer teams would be accommodated and were satisfied with how the situation has been handled.
Commissioner Myers reminded the Commissioners and staff that she would be gone from August 18 to September 18.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:34 p.m. by Chairperson Rodrigues
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513