Park Board meeting, Aug. 6, 2015


An annual ballroom dance marathon will celebrate is 11th year in January, the third year benefiting the Exceptional Foundation. But park and rec folks aren’t looking forward to it.

AUGUST MEETING: Summer camp enrollment is growing, and so is the ill will between the park board and neighbor, the Exceptional Foundation. The board this month discussed its inclination to deny parking privileges for most of the 11th Annual Ballroom Dance Marathon, a 3-day fundraiser held in January that will benefit the Foundation. That discussion will be ongoing. However, the board did deny parking for a Memorial Day family reunion whose members planned to lease indoor space at the Exceptional Foundation and possibly a pavilion at Central Park.

Members present: Keith Stansell, Tom Blake, Jody Brant, Marjorie Trimm, Tyler Vail, and Chris Meeks, chairman.

Members absent: Becky Morton, Paula Smalley, and Michael Murray. Also absent was council liaison Richard Laws.

Staff present: Berkley Squires, public service superintendent.

Audience attendance: 1

Approved minutes of the July 7, 2015, meeting.

Chairman’s comments: Mr. Meeks said the board would establish a nominating committee for park board appointments. The budget, which was already approved, would be followed up with meetings with the mayor later this month.

Agreed to approve parking for only one day of  the Exceptional Foundation’s three-day annual fundraiser: Members discussed the Exceptional Foundation’s proposed January Dance Marathon at length, saying last year’s event was a parking fiasco and suggesting they might even ask the foundation to hold the fundraiser at Rose Hall, the Senior Center, or another location. They said the Foundation has already posted the event [clarification–the Foundation is the beneficiary only, not the producer of the event.] and plans are to offer parking and a shuttle service from the Our Lady of Sorrows parking lot.

The fundraising weekend and estimated attendance:

  1. OK FOR PARKING- Fri., Jan. 8, 6:30-11:30 p.m., 200-250 attending
  2. REC CENTER PARKING IN DOUBT – Sat., Jan. 9, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., workshops, 130 attending
  3. REC CENTER PARKING IN DOUBT – Sat., Jan. 9, 6:30-11:30 p.m., dance, 200 attending
  4. REC CENTER PARKING IN DOUBT – Sun., Jan. 10, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., dance competition, 150 attending

Board members went on to say that Saturday was a busy time, with too many basketball kids being dropped off, to share parking for a big event.

Denied parking for a family reunion next May: Nearly year in advance, a Wheeler family’s reunion on Saturday, May 28, 2016, with 100 people expected, was refused parking on the grounds that it is Memorial Day weekend and opening day for the pool. The request sparked a conversation about the difficulties of enforcing pavilion reservations in general, and of possibly prohibiting any pavilion rentals on holiday weekends or placing holiday use on a first-come, first-served basis. The Wheeler family had planned to rent the outdoor pavilion and also use Exceptional Foundation indoor facilities.

Approved a People-to-People reunion party for later this month: The event will be held at 1:30-3:30 p.m., Sun., Aug. 30, at Central Park, and use about 20 parking spaces.

The meeting adjourned.


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