CAC - January 25th 2016
Mayfield Village Citizens Advisory Committee
January 25, 2016
The Citizens Advisory Committee met on Monday, Jan 25, 2016 at 6:45 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center.
Present: Sandy Batcheller, Rosemarie Fabrizio, Bob Haycox, Shirley Jay, Marilyn LaRiche-Goldstein, Paula Lear, Joanna McNally, Allen Meyers, Lorry Nadeau, Kay Phillips, Patricia Russo, Mary Singer, and Loretta Williams
Also Present: Brenda Bodnar (Mayor), George Williams (Council Representative), Stephen Jerome (Council Alternate), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), and Resident Ron Lear
Oaths of Office
Mayor Bodnar opened the meeting and administered the oaths of office to members that had not yet been sworn in for 2016.
Election of Chair
Mr. Williams advised the Committee that Mr. Haycox has indicated an interest in serving as the Chair of the Committee. Mr. Haycox was nominated and the nomination was seconded. Mr. Williams asked if there were any additional nominations. There were none and Mr. Haycox was unanimously elected to be the Committee Chair for 2016.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Haycox asked if there were any comments or changes to the minutes of Oct 12 and Nov 9, 2015, which were previously provided to the Committee. There were none and the minutes were approved as written
Policy for New Community Room
Mr. Haycox directed the Committee to a handout that had been prepared for the meeting showing rental details from surrounding cities for their Community Rooms (a copy is attached). Mayor Bodnar suggested that the Committee start by discussing the table size desired for the main meeting room. She advised that ThenDesign Architecture (TDA) is working on the furnishings package for the new building. They originally were considering larger tables, but Donna Heath, the Senior Program Coordinator, requested that the new tables remain at 4 ft. in diameter as this size is more conducive to card playing and other senior programs. Ms. Wolgamuth showed the Committee a floor plan prepared by TDA illustrating that, if 4 ft. tables are used, a total of 19 tables would fit in the room. With six seats per table, total seating would be 114. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that by Code the capacity of the room is 171. With larger tables seating eight, 17 tables would likely fit for a total of 136 seats.
Mrs. Jay agreed that larger tables would not work well for card or game playing. Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein commented that she thought 4 ft. tables were the perfect size. Mayor Bodnar asked if everyone was okay with having only six seats per table. Mr. Haycox responded that sitting at larger tables makes it more difficult for converse.
Mrs. McNally asked if consideration had been given to 4 ft. square tables with round drop leaves that could seat six to eight when opened. The Committee agreed that this option was worth exploring. [Subsequent to the meeting, Senior Program Coordinator Donna Roman advised that six people typically need to be seated at a table for card playing so square tables would not be preferred].
Mayor Bodnar advised that the new meeting room would have a partition wall so that two events could be programmed simultaneously. Mrs. Russo asked how sound proof the wall was likely to be. Mayor Bodnar responded that since it is a collapsible wall, it would likely not be very soundproof.
The Committee discussed whether two private weekend events should be scheduled simultaneously and agreed that rentals should be kept to one group at a time. Mrs. Russo commented that when renting a party room at a hotel, exclusive use is not an option. Mrs. McNally suggested that an hourly rate be considered, with a mandatory minimum. After discussion about the difficulties with ensuring that people would clean up and vacate the room in time for another group to come in, and the amount of time needed to set up for an event, the Committee agreed that their recommendation was that private weekend rentals should be limited to just one rental at a time and just one rental per day.
Mayor Bodnar asked how the Committee felt about the rental rates. She advised that the current rental is $100 for residents with a $150 refundable damage deposit. Non-residents, sponsored by residents, are charged $175 with the same $150 refundable damage deposit. Mr. Jerome suggested that the rent be raised to not less than $150. He commented that the Village is not here to make money on the facility, but the new building is going to be a much nicer facility. He suggested the damage deposit also be increased. Mrs. Russo suggested adding cleaning fees. Mrs. McNally suggested a half-day rate and charging a 48-hour cancellation fee. Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein suggested eliminating the non-resident fee and charging just one rate.
Ms. Wolgamuth described that she and a group of staff have already been meeting to discuss these issues in an effort to provide a policy recommendation to Mayor Bodnar for the new facility. Staff had suggested that perhaps when residents sponsor non-residents, the resident need to remain primarily responsible for the facility. The Committee discussed ways to do that, including having the resident pay the damage deposit and requiring that the resident attend the event. Mrs. McNally stated that she did not feel that the resident should be required to attend the event.
Ms. Wolgamuth stated that a recommendation had come from staff that non-residents not be permitted to rent the Community Room or at least not until 60 days before the rental date. Ms. Wolgamuth explained that she has heard complaints from residents, and particularly this Committee, that the Community Room is always booked far in advance and is not typically available. Enforcing a non-resident policy like this would allow residents to have “first dibs” on renting the Community Room. The Committee agreed that enforcement of such a policy was a good idea.
After discussion, the Committee agreed as follows:
- It would be reasonable to increase the rental to not more than $200 and increase the damage deposit to $200;
- The non-resident fee should be the same as the resident fee;
- Non-residents should not be permitted to rent the Community Room until 60 days before the rental date;
- Residents and non-residents should be limited to renting the Community Rooms four times per year.
Mayor Bodnar suggested that both the resident and non-resident being sponsored be required to sign the contract.
Mayor Bodnar asked how the Committee felt about changing the hours that the building is open and suggested closing at 11 p.m. or midnight on weekends rather than 1:00 a.m. The Committee agreed that the extra time is needed to clean and suggested the hours remain the same.
Mrs. Batcheller stated that some residents are not happy about the construction of a new building and are likely to be unhappy about an increased rental cost. Mrs. Fabrizio commented that it is important to determine if this is a service to the people who live here. She asked, “Do we want it to be self-sufficient?” adding, “We can’t charge enough to make it so.” Mr. Jerome commented that the community is already paying the taxes to build the building. Mrs. Russo commented that there is always a concern that the money will run out. She reminded the Committee that the rental rates have not been raised for years.
[Mayor Bodnar and Councilman Jerome left at approximately 7:20 p.m. to attend another meeting].
The Committee asked about the typical uses at the Community Room. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that during the week, during the day, senior programming is scheduled in the facility. Community groups like the Historical Society and Mayfield Women’s Club utilize it on weekday evenings. Private rentals typically only occur on Friday evenings and weekends.
Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein asked about the cost to clean the facility. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that the cleaning cost in 2015 was $12,336 to clean seven days a week; weekend rental income in 2015 was $9,500. This is exclusive of the hours that are spent by the Service Department, cleaning and setting up during the week. Mrs. McNally commented that she thought it was admirable that the Village was building a new facility and asked if the groups that utilize the building during the week pay a fee or a cleaning fee. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that they do not. Mr. Haycox stated that he believes that the Community Room is a service to the community and we can never charge enough to pay for the cost of the building, therefore, the Village will always subsidize it at some level.
Ms. Wolgamuth advised that some consideration was being given to hiring a caretaker or facilitator to oversee the new facility. The Committee discussed the cost of hiring several part-time employees to fill this role versus calling the Police Dept. or Service Dept. if renters need assistance. Most of the Committee members did not feel that it was necessary to have someone on-site during events. Ms. Wolgamuth advised that part of the concern was allowing renters to use the more expensive equipment that would be in the facility, like the projector, wireless sound system, etc. without sufficient instruction or oversight. After discussion, the Committee suggested locking the expensive technology items in a cabinet and, if needed for an event, have the renter pay an additional fee for a facilitator to come in to show them how to use the equipment. This would help prevent equipment from being damaged and would also help prevent after-hours emergency calls to the Service or Police Depts.
Mr. Meyers asked why the construction of the new Community Room has been so slow. Ms. Wolgamuth responded that Seitz Builders, the building contractor, and ThenDesign Architecture have been doing an excellent job and are currently on or ahead of schedule. Their goal was to enclose the building before winter so that interior work could be done during the winter months. That has been accomplished and interior work is on-going. Ms. Wolgamuth reported that the old building will be razed in May and the new building is expected to open in mid-August. The site work is scheduled to be done in the summer months when school is off session.
Mr. Williams reported that Council has elected Joseph Saponaro as the new Council President and that he was elected to the position of Council President Pro Tem, meaning that he will fill in when Mr. Saponaro is not in attendance at meetings.
Mr. Williams reported that the Village is in an excellent financial position at this time. All the information about the Village’s finances is on the website. The general fund currently has a balance of $11,775,000, money has been set aside for the next sewer conversion project and other drainage and infrastructure projects. Mr. Williams stated that Finance Director Wynne does an excellent job of putting money aside. He added that the Village’s debt is down to $5.7 million from $17 million in 2005 and that the new Community Room is already paid for.
Mrs. Jay asked about a recent ordinance that she read about in the Council minutes relative to the keeping of chickens. Mr. Williams advised that residents can keep chickens and the ordinance controls where and how.
Mrs. Philips comments that the new Civic Center parking lot is a great improvement.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
Ms. Wolgamuth stated that there are not many schedule events in January and February. She advised the Committee that, due to the construction at the Community Room, Cruise Night and July 4th fireworks would be moved to the soccer fields for this year only. Progressive has agreed to allow us to use their parking lots for these events. Details are currently being worked out.
Mary Singer noted that this year’s Memorial Day ceremony would be held on Sunday, May 29. Volunteers will place flags at local cemeteries on Saturday, May 28.
The Committee agreed to the following schedule for upcoming meetings. All at 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb 29
Tuesday, Mar 22
Monday, Apr 25
Monday, May 23
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Diane Wolgamuth, Director of Administration