CAC: January 30th 2017

Mayfield Village Citizens Advisory Committee
Meeting Minutes
Jan 30, 2017

The Citizens Advisory Committee met on Monday, Jan 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Present: Bob Haycox (Chair), Lorry Nadeau, Rosemarie Fabrizio, Merv Singer, Kay Phillips, Sandy Batcheller, Patricia Russo, Allen Meyers, Mary Singer, Loretta Williams, Joanna McNally, Sara Calo, Marilyn LaRiche-Goldstein, and Steve Schutt

Absent: Mary Salomon and Paula Lear

Also PresentPatsy Mills (Council Representative), Diane Wolgamuth (Director of Administration), Bill Thomas (Director of Parks & Recreation/outgoing), Shane McAvinew (Director of Parks & Recreation (incoming), and Resident Dustin Graef

Administration of Oaths of Office

Council Member Patsy Mills opened the meeting and administered the oath of office to the following members that were unable to attend the Jan 23 Council meeting:  Sandy Batcheller, Patricia Russo, Kay Phillips, and Marilyn LaRiche Goldstein.

Election of Chair

Mrs. Mills requested nominations for Committee Chair for 2017.  Mrs. Batcheller nominated Bob Haycox; the nomination was seconded by Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein.  There were no further nominations and the Committee voted unanimously to re-elect Mr. Haycox.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Haycox thanked the Committee and asked if there were any additions or changes to the minutes of Nov 28, 2016, previously provided to the Committee.  There were none and the minutes were approved as written.

Presentation by Outgoing Parks & Recreation Director Bill Thomas

Mr. Thomas thanked Mr. Haycox for inviting him to speak at the meeting.  He introduced the new Parks & Recreation Director, Shane E. McAvinew, and advised that Mr. McAvinew had been sworn-in by the Mayor at the Jan 23, 2017 Council meeting.  Mr. McAvinew addressed the Committee and informed them that he has worked in the recreation field for 23 years, primarily in Barberton, Ohio.  He has a wife and two teenage sons.  Mr. McAvinew stated that he could tell immediately that recreation is special in Mayfield Village.  He is amazed by the vision, intends to continue to foster and build the recreation program, and hopes to have a long-term relationship in the Village.  He stated that Mr. Thomas has already become a mentor to him in his first week and he has enjoyed meeting the staff as well as many residents.  Mr. Thomas stated that he feels very confident that Mr. McAvinew is the right person to carry on his legacy.

Mr. Thomas went through a series of slides (a copy of his presentation is attached to these minutes) and spoke about his time in Mayfield Village.  He stated that his position has been very exciting for 18 years.  He came here with 25 years of experience when hired in March of 1999.  Before Mr. Thomas arrived in the Village, there was a Recreation Commission that was started in 1968 and, without any funding, organized activities for youth and adults.  “They started with soccer and baton lessons, then girls and boys softball.”  At that time, there was an outdoor ice rink at the corner of Thornapple and SOM.  Mr. Thomas described his failed attempts to create an ice rink with the Service Department.  “It was hard to get the weather to cooperate.”

Mr. Thomas showed the Committee a newspaper article from 1998 which described Mayor Rinker’s vision for recreation in Mayfield Village and showed the master plan for the North Commons recreational area, including the pool, soccer fields, baseball fields, amphitheater, playground, etc.  “Look at all the things that came true.”  Mr. Thomas stated that soon his dream of an intergenerational park with tennis, bocce and sand volleyball will become a reality at the old Zako property next to the softball fields, and added “that is going to be on Shane’s watch.”

Mr. Thomas reviewed with the Committee the Ordinance creating the Recreation Department and the Parks & Recreation Board.  He described that February 23, 1999 was his first day on the job and Mayor Rinker expected him to have the pool up and running by July 3.  A newspaper photo from that time shows that the pool was not much more than a hole in the ground when he arrived.  Mr. Thomas shared the job descriptions he created, his pool management plan and calendar, and described the difficulties he encountered in getting the pool staffed and opened on time. 

Mr. Thomas stated that he knew from the beginning that he could not sustain recreation programs in Mayfield Village without reaching out to the entire School District.  “I am all about collaboration.”   Mr. Thomas described how the Recreation Department has evolved in the intervening years, including hiring the current Assistant Recreation Director, Danielle Echt, as an intern in 2000, and following the suggestion of resident Ann Regan to offer programs for persons with disabilities.  He stated, “We now have the largest municipal program in the country.”  Finally, Mr. Thomas described the overall growth of the Recreation Department and showed the number of programs offered in 1999 compared to the number of programs currently offered.

Mr. Thomas asked the Committee members for their feedback regarding Cruise Night.  He described that the event location was moved to the soccer fields in front of Progressive in 2016 due to the construction at the Community Room.  “There have been mixed reviews about the location and a decision needs to be made for this year.”  Mrs. Russo commented that she believes the event is iconic at the center of town.  Mrs. Calo stated that she believes the fields provide an opportunity to expand and showcase what the Village has to offer.  She added that there is less burden on Police and Fire at that location and believes it is a safer environment for the event. 

Mrs. McNally agreed, stating that it is hard to find somewhere to park at the center of town and she finds the shuttle is awkward with children.  “The event is always packed and it is hard to find somewhere to eat.”  Mrs. McNally stated that she liked last year’s location as there was less worry about crossing the street.  She feels the town center area is less impressive and the event has more potential to grow at the field location. 

Mrs. Russo responded that the field location highlights Progressive more than it does the Village.  Mrs. Mills clarified that the fields belong to the Village, not Progressive.  Mr. Thomas added that the Village is working on signage to make it clear that the fields and recreational area belong to the Village. 

The Committee discussed feedback received from local restauranteurs, many of whom indicated that they do not make money on Cruise Night, as well as the challenges with serving food at the soccer fields.  Ultimately, the Committee voted 11 to 3 that they preferred that Cruise Night be brought back to the center of town.  The Committee unanimously agreed that July 4th fireworks were preferred at the soccer fields. 

Mrs. Batcheller asked if there were plans to serve food out of the new concession stand in the Community Room.  Mr. Thomas responded, “Yes, and we are hoping to expand the gazebo concerts to utilize the concession area too.”  Mr. Haycox said that Willoughby offers many different types of music at its concert series.  Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein suggested that rather than only offering big band sound, the Village consider offering soul, Motown, salsa, and reggae music.  Mrs. McNally suggested a band called “Cats on Holiday” that is very good.  Mr. Thomas and Mr. McAvinew agreed that different types of music would be considered for the coming season.

Mr. Haycox thanked Mr. Thomas for coming to speak to the Committee and for his 18 years of service to the Village.

Council Update

Mrs. Mills reported on the following items: 

  • Code Red has been renewed, but a new cell phone app is going to be offered beginning in April. When emergency calls are placed, the app will be able to pinpoint the caller’s location.  An article from Chief Edelman will be in the next Voice of the Village and information will be sent to residents home.  This new app will eventually replace Code Red for emergency and weather notifications.
  • Girbino has been promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal.
  • Ordinance Review Committee is looking into requiring AEDs in certain business locations, particularly where large numbers of people gather. Meyers advised that the cost for an AED unit is approximately $2,500.
  • The rubbish contract with Kimble is currently out to bid.
  • The contract with American Fireworks has been approved for this year.
  • Council approved expenditures for geese control at the fields and funbrellas at the pool.
  • The zoning request by Dr. Moyal and University Hospitals was defeated by Council.  Dr. Moyal will need to circulate petitions to place the issue on the ballot.

Mrs. LaRiche-Goldstein inquired about the recent health care issue for Council members.  Mrs. Mills advised that the proposed ordinance has been defeated by Council.  She stated that it was an issue that came up annually during budget discussions.  Mrs. Mills added that the recent Council meeting had the largest turnout she could remember as the issue “really stirred the pot”.  She stated that she did not believe that Council would have voted in favor of the ordinance even without the strong response from residents. 

Mrs. Batcheller stated that the flyer that was circulated through the Village indicated that Council was considering passage.  Mrs. Mills responded that there was no name or number on the flyer and the ordinance would first have gone to the Ordinance Review Committee. 

Mrs. Calo stated that she was at the recent Council meeting.  She asked Mrs. Mills if Council members go through parliamentary procedure classes or training when elected.  Mrs. Mills responded that Council follows Roberts Rules of Order.  Mrs. Calo stated that the meeting was rough to witness and she believes a parliamentarian would have stopped it.  Mrs. Mills responded that she did not believe it would have been a good idea to stop people from making their statements. 

Mrs. McNally suggested that people there to be sworn in for Committees should have been able to go first as the meeting took forever.  Mrs. Mills advised that the first part of the agenda is the open portion but acknowledged that maybe the meeting should have gone out of order. 

Mrs. Nadeau stated that the ordinance was on first read on the Caucus agenda.  She was shocked when people at the Caucus meeting yelled out.  The Council President, however, discussed at length the reasons for the ordinance.  He never indicated that it would go to a vote of the people.  Mrs. Mills stated that the ordinance never got that far with Council and would have gone to Ordinance Review before being voted upon.

Mrs. Batcheller commented that Council must have known the ordinance would be controversial.  Mrs. Mills said she didn’t know that and added that Mr. Saponaro felt it needed to be discussed and voted upon.  Mrs. Mills stated that she was sorry about what transpired, but the ordinance was defeated and it was over.  Mrs. Calo suggested parliamentary training for Council members and Mrs. Mills agreed to suggest that to Council President Saponaro.  Mrs. Mills stated, “He conducts a good meeting and I am comfortable with him doing his job.”  She added that it is good for citizens to provide Council with feedback.

Mrs. Fabrizio stated that she thought many of the residents who spoke at the meeting were attacking and inappropriate.  “Most of us realize that Council works more than a few hours a week.  We appreciate the job that people do.”  She added that there were only a few outspoken people out of over 150 attending.  Mrs. McNally stated that people do not understand how the process works and suggested that an educational piece on the health care issue be written for the next Voice of the Village.  Mrs. Mills stated that all these comments and suggestions are well taken and she would pass them on to Council.

Upcoming Events

Ms. Wolgamuth provided the Committee with a copy of the Village calendar along with the Committee roster.  The next meeting will be held on Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Other Matters

Mrs. Batcheller advised that she received a letter from Dominion and after speaking with NOPEC, found that she had been removed from the contract two years ago.  She spoke with the Village and no one knows why she was removed.  Mrs. Batcheller suggested that the Village advise people to check their bills to make sure they are getting the best rate.

Mrs. Russo suggested adding a message regarding the bridge work at I-271.  Ms. Wolgamuth advised that a schedule had just been received from ODOT and a message to residents and businesses is being prepared.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.