May 1 2016

Recreation Commission Election, Hampton Construction Completed by October or February 2017

Chair and Vice Chair Elected, Minutes will be Timely by May, Hampton Park construction starts in June with completion by mid-October ‘16 or as late as mid-February ‘17

April 20th Piedmont Recreation Commission – 

I sat in on the City of Piedmont Recreation Commission Agenda on April 20, 2016.  The Recreation Commission is a group that meets monthly to discuss the issues pertaining to the Recreation Department of the City of Piedmont.

In this particular meeting the issues addressed were: the election of Chair and Vice Chair, the approval of Recreation Commission Minutes, the Review of Recreation Commission Duties and Powers, an update on the Hampton Park Master Plan, an update about potential temporary changes to Beach Playfield use during Hampton construction, an update to the Aquatics Master Plan, a CIP update, and a consideration of Betty C. Howard Awards.

For the election of Chair, Betsy Andersen was nominated by herself and was supported by the rest of the Commission. As for the Vice Chair, Andersen nominated Brian Cain who was unanimously supported.

For the approval of Recreation Commission Minutes, the Commission seemed to be a month late in terms of having their minutes under control, but Director Sara Lillevand assured the Commission that they would be back on track by next month.

The next order of duty was to review the Recreation Commission Duties and Powers to remind all who are present about the function and role of this commission in our city. Director Lillevand explained that some of the roles were to: consider/recommend programs and facilities for the Recreation Department, and to take care of pertinent matters along with advising the Council on recreational matters.

The update on the Hampton Park Master Plan went as follows: the construction is planned to start in June and is completed in a single phase. Many of the decisions about the rehabilitation have come from the community and general public. Some huge private donations have made the project able to be completed in a single phase. The project is targeted to be completed by mid-October ‘16, but could go as late as mid-February ‘17. At this time, A student named David Monical asked a question about the upkeep of the tennis facilities at Hampton throughout the future to which Director Lillevand responded by saying there will be stricter upkeep of the courts in the future after the project.

The update on the Beach Playfield pertains to how the playfield will be used as overflow space while Hampton is under construction. The Commission was talking about having Beach field open to scheduling on Sundays to alleviate the demand for field space during the construction period. It was at this time that Calvin Polvorosa asked a question about how the construction at Hampton might increase the use of tennis courts around the City and how that was going to be addressed, to which Director Lillevand stated that the Commission had not looked into the issue, but will explore options about that issue in the future as the project progresses.

The Aquatic Master Plan update went over the recent changes to the plans for the pool area and how that was going to go. It was at this time that a student by the name of Liam Bonacum asked what the main issues were concerning the aquatic center right now, to which Lillevand responded by stating that pool space and time were the limiting factors for the present setup.

For the CIP Update, Director Lillevand listed some of the issues that were being addressed, including: an update to coaches playfield, Howard entrance to Beach field, sand volleyball setup below the bridge at Beach, an update, and addition of lights at Dracena Park, and an update to the Community Hall Master Plan.

The next order of business was the nomination of the Betty C. Howard awardS. This award is given to recognize the dedicated staff and volunteers who performed outstandingly over the previous year(s). This year’s employee nominee was Katrina Morris, a Schoolmates employee at Havens Elementary. The Commission unanimously agreed she should be honored based on the recommendation by Director Lillevand. John Morrison, former Piedmont Middle School Principal, was honored for his volunteer contributions.

After the meeting concluded, I spoke with Jeremy Flake from the audience to discuss his involvement with the issues at hand. He said that he was there to see if the update to Hampton would include the basketball courts. Since Director Lillevand stated that the courts will be replaced and/or refurbished, Flake had no need to address with the Commission.

By Calvin Polvorosa, Piedmont High School Senior

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

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