The Grove - October 9th 2014

Mayfield Village
“The Grove” Committee
Oct 9, 2014 Meeting Minutes

The Grove Committee met on October 9, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.

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Members Present: Garry Regan (Chair), Pat Andrzejczyk, Patricia Russo, Rick Hall, and Ron DiNardo

Also in Attendance:

Bruce G. Rinker, Mayor
Steve Jerome, Mayfield Village Council
Patsy Mills, Mayfield Village Council
Jim McKnight, Landscape Architect
Diane Wolgamuth, Director of Administration
Bill Thomas, Recreation Director

Comments by Mayor Rinker

Mayor Rinker stated that the Committee had clearly demonstrated that The Grove was a popular venue.   He felt the 2014 season provided a nice variety of events and showed the flexibility of the space.  Mayor Rinker stated that he believes sustaining the “buzz” is important, but we must consider not only the next steps, but how best to maintain the facility going into the future.

The Committee discussed the infrastructure improvements that had previously been identified along with other needs that became apparent during the season.  Mayor Rinker suggested that although the natural setting of The Grove is charming, some additional flat area around the base with one row of stone seating would provide a more finished look and be somewhere convenient for people to sit.  The Mayor and the Committee agreed that additional lighting is another issue that needs to be addressed.

With respect to programming, Mayor Rinker advised that he is prepared to go to Council to discuss bringing in a part-time person to focus on programming and promotion so that Ms. Wolgamuth could focus on her other Village responsibilities.  He suggested that the Committee consider bringing in two or three bigger acts next summer that would be ticketed, in addition to the smaller, free events, so that The Grove could introduce a more professional component and begin to sustain itself. 

Mayor Rinker thanked the Committee for their efforts, complimented them on “making believers out of a lot of people” and stated that “now that The Grove has arrived, we must use our resources strategically.”  [Mayor Rinker left the meeting at approx. 6:15 p.m.]

Recap of 2014 Season

Mr. Regan noted that while hiring a part-time staff person is a priority, the search and hire should not delay the infrastructure upgrades nor planning for the 2015 season.  The Committee reviewed the presentation prepared by Mr. Regan and Ms. Wolgamuth to report on the 2014 season.  Mr. Jerome stated that the only complaints he heard were about insufficient lighting and the food vendors.  Mrs. Russo suggested that it was important to retain a natural look with the additional lighting.  Mrs. Andrzejczyk suggested the future band shell would likely include lighting.  Mr. Regan agreed and stated that, for now, we need to make sure people can get out safely.  Mr. Thomas suggested we remember lighting for the food vendors as well.  Mr. McKnight agreed to revisit the quotes received last year for additional lighting that was not completed.

Mrs. Mills asked if the Committee could prioritize the needs at The Grove and the Committee agreed that staff was most critical.  Mr. Hall suggested that Jessica Allen, formerly the Executive Director of Fairmount, could suggest where to search for qualified candidates. 

The Committee discussed the Village’s budget process and Mr. Regan stated that March is too late to begin scheduling events for the summer.  Mr. Thomas agreed that his summer Recreation programming is already set by March of each year.  Mrs. Mills suggested that Mr. Regan talk to Finance Director Wynne about budgeting and address Council in November.

The Committee discussed donations received during 2014 and Mr. Regan suggested that a “suggested donation” be provided.  Mrs. Mills added that the suggested donation should be announced at the beginning and end of each program.  The Committee discussed installing a permanent donation box.

The Committee agreed that hiring a staff person for programming and promotion was their first priority and that additional lighting was next.  The Committee discussed and prioritized the remaining infrastructure items.  Mrs. Russo suggested utilizing the construction trades at the High School to build a storage shed and perhaps make more sandwich board signs.

Mr. Hall thanked Mr. Regan, Ms. Wolgamuth and Mr. Jerome for covering most of the work all summer.  Mr. Jerome stated that everyone pitched in where they could, but it was a much larger task than expected. 

Mr. Regan stated that he felt the cool weather this summer greatly affected the number of attendees and that the season would have been better with better weather.  He added that he felt the Committee did a good job on the variety of entertainment provided.  Mrs. Russo stated that the entertainers want to come back; they clearly liked the response they received from the audience.  Mr. Regan stated that he did not hear any negative comments.  He believes that Council will provide the funding for programming and for additional upgrades.  Mr. Regan stated that he also believes that we need to do a better job of getting the word out and he would like to get some young people on the Committee. 

The Committee discussed the difficulties with expecting volunteers to attend and cover all the summer programming and Mr. Regan suggested that volunteers be assigned to particular events.  Mr. Jerome stated that it is a lot to expect from volunteers and he agrees that we need to hire someone.  Mrs. Mills suggested that every Committee member bring a friend to the next meeting to create a larger pool of volunteers.

The Committee discussed the difficulties with getting food vendors to commit to attending events.  Mrs. Russo suggested that primarily Mayfield Village food vendors be used.  The Committee agreed that as the numbers of attendees increased, it would be easier to secure food vendors.  Mr. Regan suggested that it might make sense to seek community-based groups that could sell pop, chips, etc. and the Village might also want to consider investing in concession equipment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Wolgamuth, Director of Administration