PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
August 24, 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 and Commissioners Lanny Brown and Tom Jones. Commissioner Sandra Myers was on vacation and excused. Commissioner Melloni arrived at 7:06 p.m. Staff members present were Tammy Homan, Administrative Supervisor; Poldina Scherff, Recreation Manager; Ken DeSilva, Landscape/Facilities Manager; Craig Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation; Felix Errico, Park Planner; and Ken Byrd, Senior Construction Inspector.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes in the agenda
CITIZENS COMMENTS: No citizen comments.
8. DISCUSSION ITEM Risk Management in parks and playgrounds. (Charles Boettger and Rick Buys of Municipal Pooling Authority)
Rick Buys was the first speaker and he gave an overview of Risk Management and what they do and background of the organization. He then discussed various park issues and would follow up with the legal issues. He explained Risk Management as the organization that identifies the risks and develops and implements measures to control those risks, and finance the costs to go along with that for local governments. He discussed other issues that come into consideration in dealing with local governments. Mr. Buys explained how costs are assessed in accordance with the kinds of losses incurred, as to severity and numbers of these losses. He then cited certain types of cases that they have dealt with in other municipal communities. He described the methods of avoidance of incurring these heavy losses or exposures. However, he said that it was far better to implement measures in planning the parks to reduce and manage the exposures, such as the types of ground cover on playgrounds to reduce injury if a fall occurs. He also explained risk transfer as the method the city employs to hire other entities to do the types of projects that they are not prepared to accomplish. Mr. Buys explained the financing and background of the Risk Management organization. It is basically a self-insurance pool from all of the cities in Contra Costa County with the exception of Richmond.
Charles Boettger explained what his duties are for Risk Management. He is called upon by someone like Mr. DeSilva to come to the city and inspect projects that he may have some concern about safety. He discussed the numbers and types of playground injuries and how many are the really serious types, and that most of the serious ones are a result of falls. He also discussed national organizations that were formed to inspect playgrounds for safety. He discussed information on these organizations that were included in the Commissioners’ packets in the form of a handbook. Standards for new playground equipment and safety programs were also discussed. Safety audits are also required and Brentwood does participate in regular audits. He discussed critical heights, depths of ground cover, entanglements and protrusions and other issues that can be encountered in building and using playground equipment.
Mr. Boettger discussed mixed use of facilities, in which a facility may be used for more than one activity, such as baseball and soccer at the same time. Safety rules need to be exhibited and times of exclusion posted. These need to be updated on a regular basis.
Mr. Buys then discussed immunities that could be applied in certain types of incidents. Through the Power Point presentation he also displayed the Standards Dangerous Conditions of Public Property. These codes need to be dealt with and adhered to when building the playgrounds. This information was also included in the handbook.
Commissioner Jones asked about the trends in these types of cases. Mr. Buys stressed again the importance of being diligent in keeping good documentation and records showing they are working in good faith, it will give them a lot more credibility if a case should be brought to court. He said the staff is doing a good job and are diligent in keeping good records. He said there has not been a single claim in the state on skateboard parks. Chairperson Rodrigues said he thought the handbook a great help and thanked them for it and suggested that Commissioners go through it carefully. Mr. DeSilva said that not only is Mr. Boettger a certified Playground Instructor, Ken Byrd, Senior Construction Inspector is also. He is hoping to get other staff members certified as well. He also said they have regular inspections as well as an annual full inspection of every detail in the parks. Documentation is ongoing on all of these activities. Commissioner Brown suggested that all of this information in the handbook should be included in the Commissioners Handbook.
9. DISCUSSION ITEM East Bay Regional Parks District presentation on the “10 Steps to Building Customer Loyalty”. (Rosemary Cameron, EBRPD)
Step 1: Identify what you want to influence. She suggested ways to do this was to implement graffiti and litter abatement and promote volunteerism.
Step 2: Credibility of officials, officials have to do and say what they do and be responsible. They must be accountable and trustworthy, how limited resources will be spent. How this information is communicated to the constituents.
Ms. Cameron expanded on each of these issues throughout her presentation. She concluded that one word encompasses what she is presenting as so important and that word is COMMUNICATE.
10. DISCUSSION ITEM Consideration of developing a practice area for in-line skaters. (F. Errico)
Mr. Errico said they still do not have the exact dimensions from Ms. Austin to work with or any further communication from her since her presentation. Mr. Errico also said the activity would really require a very fine single slab finish of concrete. Ms. Scherff and some of the Commissioners commented on the issue. Commissioner Brown wondered if such a facility were built, what other uses could it accommodate. After further discussion, Commissioner Brown said he will get more information and bring it back to a future meeting. Mr. Errico can provide costs once he has dimensions and materials required. Chairperson Rodrigues then requested Commissioner Brown to bring his information on the surfacing or “black ice” after he has attended the conference back to a future meeting.
11. ACTION ITEM Consideration of rescheduling Park and Recreation Commission retreat that was tentatively set for September 23, 2006. (P. Scherff)
1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of June 27, 2006.
12. ACTION ITEM Approve Dedication/Memorial Program. (K. DeSilva)
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None
Ms. Scherff reported that she is currently working on the concession stand that they are hoping to have constructed in the near future adjacent to the Aquatic Complex. The new Activities Guide will be coming out with registration for Brentwood residents beginning September 15, 2006. This guide will cover the fall and winter programs and classes.
She invited all to come to the “Doggie Dip Day”, which is a brand new program created by staff and to be held September 23. Cost is $12 per dog and doggie treats will be provided and photos taken at the Aquatic Center. Doggie Dip day begins at 10 a.m. and there will be five different sessions, the last one starts at 2:30 p.m. Pets will have to be neutered or spayed, current on vaccinations, and must be licensed and doggie friendly to other dogs.
Another program that will be held at the Aquatic Complex will be a pumpkin float. There will be pumpkins in the competition pool and children can go into the pool and grab a pumpkin, take it out and carve it and do other arts and crafts.
Mr. Errico, Park Planner said that he is getting a lot of interested representatives manufacturers of play equipment wanting to come and talk to him and Mr. DeSilva regarding new products on line, in design and coming up in the fall. They hope to have some new features that might be appropriate for the parks. Commissioner Brown suggested having some of the manufacturers come to a meeting, possibly have refreshments served, and have each manufacturer have a limited amount of time to show and describe their products. It could be at a regular meeting and start at 6:00 p.m. and have the face to face meeting prior to the regular meeting. Mr. Errico has stressed to the manufacturers that they do need to have products featuring better shade for the play equipment. Mr. DeSilva suggested having just a couple of manufacturers picked by himself and Mr. Errico, and just make it an agenda item at the regular meeting. They could notice all of the known manufacturers in the area. Each could have a specific time, such as 15 minutes at that time. Commissioner Melloni suggested that it be held as a workshop and have the refreshments. Commissioner Brown wants to be able to listen to limited demonstrations and be able to ask questions and compare the equipment. Mr. Errico asked if it would be beneficial to actually see the structures and the Commissioners said yes, it would. After further discussion Mr. DeSilva said they have money in the budget to replace the playground structure at McClarren Park and Curtis Park that might be a project for them to plan a design after receiving the footprint from Mr. DeSilva. They would tell them the amount of money available for the project and see what they can offer. The Commissioners all felt this a good idea. Ms. Scherff offered ideas of special equipment for older citizens to be considered as well in these parks rather than just all for children. Mr. Errico said it may take two meetings to get full benefit of offerings for both parks.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Betty Jo Whincup
of Brentwood Park and Recreation Commission
35 Oak Street
Brentwood, CA 94513