May 1 2016

New Commissioners, New Officers, New Projects: REPORT: Recreation Commission

City of Piedmont Recreation Commission Meeting,  April 20, 2016

 The City of Piedmont’s Recreation Commission meets once a month to discuss, dispute and hear from the public on anything related to recreation in the City of Piedmont. The meeting began with a ten minute Public Forum. This public forum allows anyone in the audience to bring up a subject they would like to discuss that is not on the meeting agenda. Given the audience was limited to four other Piedmont High School Civics students, a former member of the Recreation Commission and myself, no one chose to speak during the Public Forum.

 The first item on the agenda was the welcoming of the three new Recreation Commissioners: Glyn Burge, Jeff Dorman and Vincent Fisher. After the meeting, I asked Vincent Fisher why he chose to join the Commission and how long he planned to stay. He had just recently moved to Piedmont and was very active in the City Council of his previous town, so he wanted to get involved. He was appointed to a three year term as a Recreation Commissioner and is very excited for what the future held.

 The second agenda item was the vote for the new Chair and Vice Chair of the Recreation Commission, the Chair going to Betsy Andersen and the Vice Chair going to Brian Cain.

 After a few more short agenda items that seemed to be more due diligence than anything, the meeting arrived at its biggest agenda item, an update on the Hampton Park Master Plan. This update was led greatly by the Recreation Director, Sara Lillevand, with a few clarifying questions asked by members of the Commission and audience members like myself.

 The Hampton Park Plan has been a massive work in progress for about ten years and is just now beginning to come to fruition. My older brother actually attended a meeting six years ago that included discussion about the project for this same assignment. The construction is planned to begin in June of this year and be completed in a single phase. The project is hoped to be wrapped up by mid October but could continue as late as mid February. The Hampton Field Renovation is the result of a massive community push for better field space in Piedmont, and has been funded partially by donations.

 The following agenda item pertained to potential changes to the Beach Playfield usage restrictions.  Starting this summer these changes, if made, would be entirely temporary and solely for the purpose of not displacing the users of Hampton Field while it is under construction.

 Agenda item number seven brought up future changes to Piedmont’s Aquatics. No plans have been drafted as of yet, but the Recreation  Commission recognizes the Piedmont Community Pool is where they need to shift their attention next. This seems to be the start of yet another ten year process just like the Hampton Field Project.

 Although it was not seen at this meeting, there is a lot of public disagreement when plans like the Hampton Field or Piedmont Aquatics are brought up. While it is important for the public to shape their community, in my opinion it would be much better for the public to let the City Council make decisions in a timely manner. This way things would get done much quicker and lead to a better Piedmont.

by Rhys Daniel, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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