WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2006
ROBERT LIVERMORE COMMUNITY CENTER
4444 EAST AVENUE, LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA
CRESTA BLANCA BALLROOM
DIRECTORS PRESENT: David Furst, Maryalice Faltings, Scott Kamena, and Dale Turner (4)
DIRECTORS ABSENT: Director Goodman (1)
STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Jim Brandenburg, Michael Kyle, Julie Lange, Gretchen Sommers, Brian Tibbetts.
Meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. p.m. by Chair Kamena. Roll was taken and all Directors were present except Director Goodman.
2. PUBLIC FORUM
Chair Kamena asked for public comment on any item not on the agenda.
No public comment.
3. CONSENT AGENDA:
3.1 BOARD MINUTES
3.1.1 Meeting of February 22, 2006.
3.2.1 Letter from Dale Kaye, President/CEO of Livermore Chamber of Commerce, commending staff for excellent work on the February 11 Chamber Installation Gala.
3.3 General Manager’s Monthly Report (#58/8).
3.4 Payroll and Claims.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Furst, approved the Consent Agenda, passing 4-0.
4. CONSENT AGENDA: RESOLUTIONS:
4.1 Resolution No.1998, a resolution approving a grant application for $75,000 to the State of California for Proposition 40 Parks and Recreation Bond Act Funding to partially fund the construction of Trail Segments H-2 and F.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved the Consent Agenda Resolutions by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Director Turner, Director Faltings, Director Furst, and Chair Kamena (4)
NOES: None (0)
ABSENT: Director Goodman (1)
5. BIDS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS: None.
6. OLD BUSINESS: None.
7. NEW BUSINESS:
7.1 SITE SELECTION FOR PERMANENT RESTROOM IN NEIGHBORHOOD PARK
General Manager Barry summarized the staff report. The District has budgeted $30,000 in the 2005/2006 fiscal year budget and $200,000 in the 2006/07 fiscal year budget (including a $50,000 contribution from the City of Livermore in 2006/07) to construct a permanent restroom in a neighborhood park in response to resident requests over the past several years. Staff has analyzed all District neighborhood parks in Livermore for the placement of a restroom building, and recommends either one of two sites: Marlin Pound Park, a 9-acre park located at 2010 Bluebell Drive, or Lester J. Knott Park, a 5.2-acre park located at 655 North Mines Road. General Manager Barry listed the criteria staff used in considering all District parks for possible placement of a restroom building at a neighborhood park. Staff recommends that the Board of Directors select one of two recommended sites for the construction of a permanent restroom, either Marlin Pound Park or Lester J. Knott Park.
Chair Kamena opened public comment.
1) Vito Cartaglio, 3931 Hillside Avenue, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
2) Jim Davis, 623 Laurelwood Court, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
3) Bill Hayman, 3918 Thornhill Drive, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
4) Lauri Falabella, does not live either of the parks. She uses all of Livermore’s parks. Spoke in favor of restrooms in all Livermore parks. Would prefer to see restrooms closer to the playground areas.
5) Jamie Mendez, 3748 Thornhill Drive, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
6) Roy Mar, 3792 Valley View Way, Livermore, spoke against a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
7) Teri Chavez, 673 Laurelwood Ct., Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park. Ms. Chavez brought photos of the park to share with Directors.
8) J. Michael Miller, 635 Laurelwood Ct., Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
9) Peter Leary, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
10) Robin Osborne, 723 Newbury Street, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park
11) Beth Wilson, 1503 Bluebell Court, Livermore, neighbor of Marlin Pound Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Marlin Pound Park.
12) Lynn Freitas, Laurelwood Court, Livermore, neighbor of Lester Knott Park, spoke against installation of a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park.
Chair Kamena closed public comment.
Chair Kamena, in response to some of the citizens’ request that the funds budgeted for a permanent restroom be used instead for park landscaping and maintenance, explained that the District has two pots of money, the General Fund and the Capital Fund. Certain expenses may only come out of each of the funds. Legally, landscaping expenses cannot come out of the capital fund, which is the fund which would be used to construct a permanent restroom in a park. He explained the ERAF shift in tax dollars from local areas to the state, which began ten years ago. Half of LARPD’s tax dollars, he explained, were shifted to the State of California, costing the District over $25 million over the last ten years. Two years ago, the State increased the amount it was taking from LARPD, another $600,000. The District was forced to lay off over 10% of its full-time workforce, including park maintenance staff. This has affected our ability to effectively maintain the parks. The ERAF shift of the additional $600,000 will stop being taken from the District this next fiscal year and, when that happens, said Chair Kamena, we do intend to increase the budget for park maintenance.
On a motion by Chair Kamena, seconded by Director Faltings for purposes of discussion, approved the installation of a permanent restroom in Marlin Pound Park.
Chair Kamena noted that we have heard from many citizens requesting restrooms in Livermore parks. He explained the public notice process, and that the notices go to the neighbors closest to the park. Not all of the neighbors hear about it the public meeting. The District welcomes the public’s input.
Director Faltings stated that she opposes installing a restroom in Marlin Pound Park. She stated she is opposed to permanent restrooms in neighborhood parks. She would rather see a permanent restroom installed in a park with more community usage, such as Bill Payne Park. It is too expensive an undertaking for a neighborhood park. She does not want to see a permanent restroom in either Lester Knott or Marlin Pound Park.
Director Turner made two points. First, he feels LARPD staff should report the issues (vandalism, loitering, etc.) reported tonight by neighbors of Lester Knott Park to the police. Second, he is concerned about the vandalism that already occurs in portable restrooms. He noted that all of the Lester Knott Park neighbors who spoke tonight were opposed to installation of a permanent restroom there. In response to a citizen query this evening, he stated that he does not know about whether we have a legal standing to put a permanent restroom there. Director Turner is opposed to a permanent restroom at Lester Knott Park. He stated that Marlin Pound is more conducive to sports activities because the terrain is flat. He feels Marlin Pound Park would be a good choice. He feels it is important to have restrooms where there is high usage due to sports activities.
Director Furst stated that the District has heard from citizens who would like restrooms in neighborhood parks. He noted that there have been many incidents of vandalism involving restrooms, such as at the skate park and at Independence Park. He noted that vandalism seems to be rampant. He stated he cannot speak in favor of having a restroom installed in a neighborhood park at this time.
Chair Kamena stated he has been the main proponent on the Board of restrooms in neighborhood parks. He noted that people’s feelings seem to depend on how close they live to the park. A restroom would add to the District’s already strained budget. He agrees with the other Directors that perhaps another park would be a better choice, one with higher usage and less neighbors, such as Bill Payne Park, where we have also had people ask for a restroom.
Director Turner stated that he feels Bill Payne Park would be a good choice because of the sports usage.
A vote was taken on the motion to install a permanent restroom in Marlin Pound Park. All Directors voted against the motion, and the motion failed.
On a motion by Director Faltings, seconded by Director Turner, approved directing staff to investigate the appropriateness of installation of a permanent restroom in Bill Payne Park, passing 4-0.
Chair Kamena, made a motion, seconded by Director Furst, to install a permanent restroom in Lester Knott Park. All Directors voted against the motion, and the motion failed.
7.2 SITE SELECTION FOR NEW BICYCLE STUNT COURSE
Chair Kamena introduced the topic. The skate park at Sunken Gardens Park has been landscaped. This park has suffered many problems, including vandalism and use by bicyclists of the park. The skate park is only intended for skating use. This has caused problems and occasional injuries. He said we are here tonight to discuss constructing a bicycle-only park, adjacent to the skate park at Sunken Gardens Park.
General Manager Barry summarized the staff report. The District has budgeted $160,000 in fiscal year 2005/2006 to construct a bicycle stunt course at a District-owned location in Livermore in response to public input from young people and the Youth Advisory Commission over the past several years. After surveying all District parks, staff feels that Sunken Gardens Park is the most appropriate location for such a course. Skaters and bikers can be compatible, but the District’s insurance Joint Powers Authority has stated that the two activities taking place together is too risky. Mr. Barry listed the considerations taken in choosing a location. The District notified the neighbors surrounding the park about tonight’s meeting. Staff recommends that the Board of Directors select Sunken Gardens Park as the site for the new bicycle stunt course project.
Director Furst inquired how far the stunt course would be from the nearest homes. General Manager Barry stated that the park is 8-1/2 acres, but that he does not know how close the homes are. The bicycle stunt area and skate park area, combined, would take up roughly 25% of the entire park. Director Furst asked about maintenance costs. General Manager Barry responded that we do not know as we have not had this type of park before. There are maintenance requirements of graffiti removal, litter pick-up, etc. The permanent features of the park are intended to withstand heavy use. Park Supervisor Brandenburg stated the stunt course looks like it would be much less maintenance than the skate park. Graffiti would probably be our biggest concern. Director Furst asked if there are other parks in the Tri-Valley having both a skate and bike course in the same park. Recreation Supervisor Lange stated that she believes that either the city of Dublin or Pleasanton allows both bikes and skates. Director Furst expressed concern that the skate park suffers such vandalism that there has been talk of abandoning that park; he is concerned that our vandalism might double or triple with increased use due to the bike stunt course. General Manager Barry stated that he feels vandals are the smaller segment of society, and does not wish to characterize the park users as the vandals. Perhaps some of the young users can help with graffiti clean-up; perhaps they can use peer pressure to keep the park nice, suggested Mr. Barry. There is vandalism in our other parks as well. The skate park is probably LARPD’s highest use-per-square-foot park. The neighbors could be helpful in preventing and reporting vandalism as well.
Director Faltings stated that she believes the District has a site master plan for Sunken Gardens Park, and she does not believe a bike stunt course is part of this. This would involve amending the site master plan. She stated that having a bike park for bikers would help the District with its liability, since bikers in the skate park are a liability to the District.
General Manager Barry stated he checked into the site and that the District does not appear to have adopted a master plan for the park. Senior Recreation Supervisor Tibbetts stated that the District adopted a plan for part of the park, but did not create a master plan. Director Faltings stated she is concerned about such a lot of hardscape in one park. She would like to know why staff recommends this as a location. General Manager Barry stated there are three primary reasons: there is off-street parking; this park location for the stunt course is the furthest away from residences of any other park; and bicycle stunt activity is compatible with skateboarding.
Chair Kamena asked if additional maintenance costs might be offset by less damage to the skate park because of bikers not damaging the skate park by using it. Park Supervisor Brandenburg feels that this could, indeed, help prevent deterioration of the skate park.
Chair Kamena opened public comment.
1) Donna Hunt, 1213 Hillcrest Ct. Livermore, neighbor of Sunken Gardens Park, spoke against installing a bicycle stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
2) Ben Grassio, thanked the Board for considering doing this. He spoke in favor of installing a stunt course at a Livermore park, whether it is at Sunken Gardens Park, or at another park
3) Marc Vargas, 6145 St. Andrews Way, spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
4) Jim Dickie, stated he would like to request more surveillance and maintenance if a bike stunt course is installed at Sunken Gardens Park. Also, he asked if the Board might consider putting a bike stunt course by the BMX park at Bill Payne Park.
5) Ruthann Kirchner, 574 Leone Drive, Livermore thanked the Board for considering the issue. She spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park. Ms. Kirchner recommends having experienced riders on the committee if the District decides to put the stunt course there, as these riders have experience and contacts.
6) Lena Lacy, 3700 Pacific Avenue, Livermore, said she is concerned about the comings and goings of bicyclists to the park, not necessarily the park itself. She is concerned about the safety and protection of the seniors living nearby. She asked if the park would be monitored.
7) Peggy Adams, 1191 Hillcrest Ave., Livermore, spoke about the necessity of installing speed bumps on Hillcrest next to the trailhead, as well as installing stop signs, if there will be a bike stunt course installed at Sunken Gardens Park. She would also like decibel checks for both organized and unorganized events.
8) Thomas, 1020 Dolores, Livermore, spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
9) Jack Cunningham, 3700 Pacific Avenue, Arbor Vista Apartments representative, spoke against installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park. He is very concerned about the safety and well-being of the seniors living in this apartment complex, which is close to Sunken Gardens Park.
10) Sue Ann 18413 Buena Vista Ave., Livermore, spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
11) Mike, 1020 Dolores, Livermore spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park. He does feel more parking would be needed.
11) Daniel Soto, 613 So. H Street, Livermore, spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
12) Mike Grearson spoke in favor of installing a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park.
Chair Kamena closed public comment.
Director Furst made a motion, seconded by Director Turner, to locate a bicycle stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park. He complimented Chair Kamena on his efforts to make this happen.
Director Furst stated he is in favor of this, but does have reservations because of the problems that have come up already. He is in favor of providing as many recreational opportunities as possible to youth and adults in Livermore. He is very much in support of this.
Director Turner agreed with Director Furst.
Director Faltings stated she is in favor of it, but has concerns about the amount of hardscape in this spot. However, she does not see where else the District can locate such a stunt course. She is hearing that the park needs more policing by District staff and by the Livermore police. She is very happy to hear that skaters and bikers are not rivals. She likes the idea of a committee planning the park. Director Faltings feels the District needs an advisory committee to help plan the park. She is aware that the neighboring seniors have concerns. Director Faltings is concerned about the noise issues, particularly at night. She feels it is the best location for such a park, and applauds Chair Kamena for making this project a priority.
Chair Kamena expressed appreciation to staff for their efforts and thanks to the parents and young people for coming out to speak about this tonight. He feels LARPD needs to stay vital by keeping up with the changing interests of youth today. He stated that locating a bike stunt course at Sunken Gardens Park would be a compatible use with what is going on there now. Many of the bikers are already going to the park. Chair Kamena appreciates all of the constituents’ concerns, also. He hopes parking will not be a problem. His guess is that bikers tend to ride their bikes to the park rather than drive cars and, if so, this might cause concerns about insufficient parking to be unrealized. He is concerned about the noise and the graffiti, but is not sure what the District can do about it. He does not personally have a problem with graffiti at the bike park. However, he does not want it to negatively impact the neighbors or the seniors. Chair Kamena acknowledges that he heard that District Ranger staff do not love their duty of patrolling the park; the hardest part has been separating the bikers from the skaters. Chair Kamena stated he is in favor of this proposal. If the District does decide to do this, we do have a Youth Advisory Commission whose input he will invite.
Director Furst asked about fencing; what would the cost be of installing fencing, if we need to do so to protect the facility? Could staff look into the cost of this? General Manger Barry stated that staff will research fencing costs. The entire $160,000 which has been budgeted for the project will be spent on construction and planning.
Director Faltings noted that there are liability issues with fencing and without fencing. She would like the Youth Advisory Commission to establish an ad hoc committee which includes bikers.
Directors voted on the motion to install a bicycle stunt park in Sunken Gardens Park. The motion passed unanimously, 4-0.
Chair Kamena will refer this project to the Youth Advisory Commission and to the Facilities Committee. General Manger Barry invited the youth present to write down their names and contact information if they would like input into the type of equipment, etc. installed at the bicycle stunt course.
Meeting recessed from 9:05 p.m. to 9:12 p.m.
7.3 TIME CHANGE FOR SECOND BOARD MEETING OF THE MONTH
Chair Kamena explained the background of LARPD Board meeting times and televising of the two monthly Board meetings.
Chair Kamena opened public comment. No public comment was received.
Director Faltings made a motion, seconded by Director Turner, to have both LARPD Regular Board meetings each month begin at 7:00 p.m.
Director Turner mentioned that, if this is approved, the agenda format for both meetings should be identical.
Director Furst asked for staff opinion. General Manager Barry stated that staff would probably prefer a start time of 6:00 p.m., but that it is not of significant bearing. Staff will do what the Board prefers. Chair Furst stated he prefers a 7:00 p.m. start time, as it gives people time to get home, eat supper, etc. before attending a meeting.
Director Turner stated he feels the District should be consistent.
Director Faltings agrees with Director Turner, that consistency is important.
Chair Kamena stated he would like the start time to be 6:00 p.m., as it would be easier on staff and families and people who wish to speak at the meetings. He understands the consistency issue, but feels that interested people will come to the meeting no matter what the time is. He has never received complaints about the meetings starting at 5:45 p.m.
The motion to change the start time of the second LARPD Board meeting of the month to 7:00 p.m. was approved by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Director Faltings, Director Furst, and Director Turner (3)
NOES: Chair Kamena (1)
ABSENT: Director Goodman (1)
8. COMMITTEE REPORTS
The Board received reports on the eight committee meetings attended since the meeting of February 8, 2006, as follows: Budget, Facilities (2), Program, Livermore Cultural Arts Council, Livermore Downtown, Scottish Games and Sports Park
9. MATTERS INITIATED BY THE DIRECTORS
1) General Manger Barry stated that, due to the LLNL Science Fair at the RLCC the last week of March, the March 29 Board meeting will be held at City Council Chambers on Pacific Avenue in Livermore. The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 9:23 p.m.
Chair, Board of Directors
General Manager and ex-officio
Clerk to the Board of Directors