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Board Meeting Minutes

LIVERMORE AREA RECREATION AND PARK DISTRICT
4444 EAST AVENUE
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA 94550-5053

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
REGULAR BOARD MEETING

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
5:45 p.m.
 Robert Livermore Community Center
4444 East Avenue
Livermore, California

MINUTES

LARPD BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Dale Turner, Maryalice Faltings, Scott Kamena, Steve Goodman,and Chair David Furst (5)

LARPD BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: None (0)

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT: Tim Barry, Pat Kasberg, Michael Kyle, Barbara Kraybill

1. CALL TO ORDER-ROLL-PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Meeting was called to order at 5:46 p.m. by Chair Furst, who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll was taken and all Directors were present except for Director Kamena.

 

2. CONSENT AGENDA

 

2.1 Board Minutes

2.1.1  Regular meeting of July 13, 2005.

2.2 Claim Against the District

A claim had been filed against the District on behalf of Maria Walker. Staff recommends approval.

 

Director Turner requested removal from the Consent Agenda, Item 2.2, claim against the

District.

 

Chair Furst requested removal from the Consent Agenda, Item 2.1, Board minutes.

 

Director Turner expressed concern regarding approving the claim by Maria Walker because claims always go first to the District’s Legal Counsel. Director Turner does not feel the Board should change the way they do business. Director Turner would like this item to go to Legal Counsel for his opinion and have him report back to the Board.

 

General Manager Barry responded that this was a very small claim and the District was clearly at fault. His intent was to work with the citizen to acknowledge that the District was at fault and pay the dollar amount claimed without expending any more legal time. General Manager Barry realizes this is not the normal protocol but he did consult with Legal Counsel Kyle who set up a process for the documentation needed for the District to use if the claimant accepts the District’s offer and will sign off on the claim.

 

Legal Counsel Kyle addressed the Board and stated that this is out of the ordinary that99.9% of the time the District rejects the claim and that automatically puts it into the hands of CAPRI. With this claim there seems to be little or no question about liability and the amount of damage to the automobile came to under $150 dollars. He advised General Manager Barry to resolve the claim if it could be done for about $500. Legal Counsel stated that he provided the District with a release for the claimant to sign and it would release both property damage claims as well as any potential personal injury claims. He indicated that this needed to be made clear to the person who is making the claim.

 

No public comment was received.

 

Director Kamena arrived at 5:56 p.m.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings approved the Consent Agenda Item 2.2, the claim by Maria Walker, passing, 5-0.

 

Chair Furst requested that the minutes of July 13, 2005, be corrected on page 3 to have Linda Mendoza’s comments expanded to add that she stated that she had never been to a single meeting either on site or any sub committee meeting dealing with the Oak Grove Nature Reserve.

 

No public comment was received.

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Faltings, approved the minutes of the meeting of July 13, 2005, as amended, passing 5-0..

 

3. NEW BUSINESS

 

3.1 BOARD TRAVEL

General Manager Barry stated that the Board Policy Manual directs that “An amount to cover Board training, education and conference expenses, shall be designated for each Board Member each fiscal year in the District’s annual budget.” (Policy 4090.31) In the past, the Board would designate an annual dollar limit for each Director, dividing the total budgeted amount for meetings and travel evenly between the five Directors. Since the 2005/06 proposed budget has an amount of $11,500, each Director would have $2,300 to use for this purpose for the year. In the past, if a Director wishes to go over their annual allotment, their choice was to pay out of pocket for expenses beyond their allotment, or follow Policy 4990.312 “Expenditure for training, education and/or conference expenses in excess of the budgeted amount may occur only if approved by majority action of the Board of Directors,” and bring their request to the Board for consideration. General Manager Barry recommends the Board of Directors establish its annual dollar limit per Director for travel to conferences and meetings, as directed by theBoard Policy Manual.

 

Director Faltings stated she will probably exceed the $2,300 allotment because shewould like to attend three state conferences (CSDA, CARPD, CPRS) and the NationalRecreation and Park Congress in San Antonio, Texas. She is the president elect for CARPD and has an obligation to attend their meetings and conferences. She anticipates having to come back to the Board to request an increase for her travel expenses.

 

No public comment was received.

 

On a motion by Director Kamena, seconded by Director Turner, approved allotting $3,500 to Director Faltings for travel expenses and $2,000 each for the other Directors, passing 5-0.

 

Director Kamena stated that he does not anticipate spending his allotment and that hefeels it is beneficial for the District that Director Faltings serve on the state boards to look out for LARPD’s interest and that he is happy that Director Faltings does this for the District.

 

3.2 ELIMINATION OF RENTAL OF THE MAIN HOUSE AT RAVENSWOOD IN 2006

General Manager Barry stated that the Ravenswood Specific Plan, adopted by the Board in 2002, calls for the phasing out of high-impact functions currently scheduled in the Main House due to the wear and tear on the rooms and the interest in restoring them to period furniture for use as an historical interpretive museum. “Low impact public events and small receptions could be conducted within the building,” but staff would only schedule RPL and District official functions in this space on a limited basis. The Plan envisions this phasing out to coincide with the development of a new Pavilion structure or, in its place until it is constructed, a temporary pavilion/tent could be used. The estimated cost of a permanent Pavilion has been prohibitive, so staff has researched the feasibility of a temporary tent to be used on a seasonal basis.

 

It is intended that Ravenswood will still be rented for outdoor weddings and events, to include use of the wrap around porch of the Main House. Staff has recommended that the bedroom and bathroom be retained for storage of equipment that supports outdoor rental uses such as weddings. Staff also recommends retaining current uses of the kitchen to support food service for outdoor functions, and the billiard room for LARPD classes and meetings of RPL and other similar functions. If other facilities such as a Pavilion with kitchen facilities and storage for tables and chairs are developed, staff can see the entire Main House as being converted to museum and interpretive uses.

 

One potential issue with this policy is music for events. The Main House had been used for bands and DJs to play indoors with dancing. With the elimination of use of these spaces, wedding receptions will take place outdoors. Music will have to be more limited and monitored by staff, with time restrictions, so as not to disturb the surrounding residences.

 

The Robert Livermore Community Center provides several options for the public for rental space for functions formerly held in the Main House at Ravenswood. In view of the stated policy in the Ravenswood Specific Plan, the desire stated by the Ravenswood Progress League to implement this policy, and the availability of other options for the public’s indoor rental facility needs, staff and the Facilities Committee are recommending that the Board approve ceasing rentals of the dining room and drawing room of the Main House beginning in August of 2006 (due to reservations already taken one year in advance in the facility).

 

Director Goodman stated he is concerned about the loss of revenue and asked how this will affect the revenue. General Manager Barry stated that it will probably affect the revenue negatively to some extent and it would be during the winter when there is a need to be indoors. He’s not sure how it would affect the fair weather months.

 

Director Faltings suggested the District provide marquis to provide a large shaded area for the summer weddings and suggested constructing a storage building for the tables and chairs that are stored in the back bedroom because the wear and tear of moving the tables and chairs through the house to the outside and back again causes a lot of damage to the woodwork. Director Faltings stated that the dancing is hard on the floors and the DJ’s cause a lot of wear and tear by moving their equipment in and out.

 

Director Turner stated that he is not in favor of closing the facility because it is a public asset and it should be used.

 

Director Faltings stated that Ravenswood is a valuable historic resource and LARPD should protect it.

 

Director Kamena stated that the intent of the Ravenswood Master Plan was to close the main house but simultaneously have a pavilion constructed to take its place. The pavilion was an alternative for weather concerns. It is a unique wedding setting and it is extremely popular and the popularity will increase when the vineyard is there. It needs to be preserved and it needs to be enjoyed because it is a cozy setting for so many events in addition to weddings. The floors are not original and have been refinished and will have to be refinished again. With the absence of the pavilion he cannot support closing the main house.

 

Chair Furst stated that the master plan states that low impact and small events can still be held in the building and he wanted to know what constitutes a small reception and how will the District define a small or large event.

 

General Manager Barry stated that he cannot see the drawing room being used as it will eventually be converted to a museum and have period furniture in it and will preclude rows of chairs in there.

 

Director Faltings stated that furnishing of the building will not be done any time soon but that the intent is to begin with the periphery of the room and install window treatmentscarpet and some sturdy pieces of furniture that would be on the walls. She also stated that small events could continue to be held in the building but that “small” would need to be defined and a number put on it. She stated that the site can still function the way it’s been and the way everyone’s used to it without this continued high impact usage of the interior main building.

 

Director Goodman stated that the dancing in the building and the amplified music bothers him, but he feels that if it is moved outside the neighbors will object to the noise.

 

Director Faltings stated that she feels that there is a niche market for small wedding receptions and it doesn’t have to be full blown with disc jockeys and dancing. RLCC is the facility we are trying to rent for big weddings. If LARPD was spending the amount money it ought to be spending to maintain that site, there would be no profit at all, ever. The only reason LARPD is generating income is because that building has been allowed to deteriorate. It desperately needs painting and the porch needs repair. If the District has made money on it it’s because it hasn’t been taken care of the way it should. The site plan was written and approved because it seemed at the time that it was time to take a stand and say this is a historic site and LARPD needs to step up to its obligations and maintain it.

 

Director Goodman and Turner indicated they were reluctant to vote on this either way without more information.

 

Director Kamena stated that the main issue for him was usage and the way it’s enjoyed by the people of Livermore and he wants to finds ways to let the people use it by having tents or a pavilion. He thinks it is a shame to close it without a plan.

 

Chair Furst opened public comment.

 

Beth Wilson addressed the Board and stated that she’s gone to many events at Ravenswood and it is a jewel and it needs to be protected, but it needs to live.She would hate to see the Board vote on it now because there is too much that needs to be resolved.

 

Chair Furst closed public comment.

 

Director Faltings stated that she supports referring this issue back to staff and theFacilities Committee for information regarding:

* Adding tents and/or marquis to the LARPD rental equipment

* Construction of a pavilion

* Define “small” wedding

* Look at maintenance costs

* Construction of a storage shed for the tables and chairs

* Check if other historic sites in the area allow inside events

* How many residents, non-residents rent the facility

* Where do other rentals come from

 

On a motion by Director Turner, seconded by Director Kamena, approved referring the rental of the main house at Ravenswood back to the Facilities Committee for further discussion, passing 5-0.

 

8. ADJOURNMENT:  Meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

                                    APPROVED:

 

 

 

            _____________________________________         

            Chair, Board of Directors

ATTEST:

 

 

 

______________________________________

General Manager and ex-officio

Clerk to the Board of Directors

Livermore Area Recreation and Park District
4444 East Ave.

Livermore, California 94550-5053
(925) 373-5700

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