Minutes of Park Commission Meeting
Held on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall at 7:30 pm
1. Call Meeting to Order:
Mr. Bowen called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Members present were Mr. Bowen, Mr. Scafidi and Mr. Wood. Also present, Mr. Santos, Mr. Hannon and Mr. Aponte.
2. Minutes to Approve:
A. Public Session – February 9, 2016
Mr. Scafidi motioned to accept the minutes as written, seconded by Mr. Wood and carried…
Vote: 3 - 0, in favor
3. Citizens Issues / Special Interest Groups:
A. Follow up: Scott LaFleur – Proposal to Donate Sculpture and have it installed on Town Property
Mr. Santos asked Mr. Bowen if he could speak on agenda Item: Directors Report – Public Art Program Update. Mr. Santos then explained to the Park Commission and those present that he and his staff had been working with Community Development Dept, a representative from Hudson Public Schools, and the River’s Edge Arts Alliance to create a Public Art Program for the Town of Hudson. Details on this program were still yet to be determined and may not be complete until late 2016 at the earliest. Mr. Santos also informed the Park Commission that the Town Manager had been involved in some discussion related to the creation of the Public Art Program. The future program may be governed by a committee whose make-up (still to be determined) would most likely include Town officials, representative
from the local arts organizations and potentially community members, as well.
Mr. LaFleur then spoke on behalf of his proposal and expressed his frustration, yet understanding of the current status of his request. He stated that he was hoping to gain approval before the creation of a Public Art program, which may or may not give him a response 6-9 months into the future. He stated that he had dealt with many different boards and commissions and was prepared to see this through. He wanted to ensure that he was being afforded the same opportunities that others had who previously donated gifts to the Town of Hudson. He stated that he would be willing to go through the process but wanted to ensure that all others would have to go through the same process when donating something to the Town. He then asked about the benches located on town property that had been donated
(some as memorial benches). He asked what process those donors had gone through. Mr. LaFleur also stated that he had spoken to a family who had previously sold/donated land to the Town of Hudson for which a bench was eventually purchased and installed.
Mr. Santos stated that many of the memorial benches across town have been in place for quite some time. He said that some benches had been installed due to an agreement made between the Town of Hudson and those who sold land to the Town. Other benches were purchased by Hudson Recreation and installed in set locations as a memorial bench to serve an entire facility. For example, the memorial bench at Riverside Park. Anyone could add a memorial plaque to the bench but another memorial bench may not be added until all spots on the existing bench were taken. Mr. Santos also mentioned that the benches along the A.R.R.T. were installed as part of a Bench Program created by the Town as a fundraising mechanism to help offset the costs of the A.R.R.T. build out. Mr. Santos further stated that
memorial benches should not be compared to the sculpture proposed by Mr. LaFleur and that if the public art program is finalized in the near future; there was no guarantee that Mr. LaFleur’s project would be accepted. Lastly, Mr. Santos stated that the general consensus of those who have been discussing the future public art program all agreed that public art (excluding specific projects commissioned by the Town of Hudson) should only be installed on a temporary basis, not permanently.
Mr. LaFleur asked the Park Commission their thoughts on the proposal. Mr. Wood commented and said that guidelines need to be in place as his request was of a public art nature. Mr. Scafidi stated that the previous bench programs and requests differed from Mr. LaFleur’s proposal. Mr. Scafidi also stated that some of the benches were purchased by the Town with funds donated by the family. And at times although families gifted funds (or land) to the Town, they often asked what the Town wanted or needed, rather than giving the Town a pre-determined gift.
Mr. LaFleur requested that he be notified of any future meetings related to his request, stating that he would continue to pursue this with the Town and explore all alternatives to see this project through.
B. Men’s Softball Program – Park Commission to consider once again allowing Men’s Softball program to use Moulton’s Field during Spring and Summer seasons.
Members of the Hudson Men’s Softball Program present were Michael Zompetti, Nelson Zompetti. Also present was Jesse Hayden on behalf of the program.
Mr. Santos informed the Park Commission that given the fact that there had been issues when the program had last used the facility, he requested they come before the Park Commission in order to secure approval for future use. Mr. Santos stated that his goal was to determine if the Park Commission would allow this specific men’s program access to Moulton’s field. Mr. Santos then stated his concerns from previous years, which included: alcohol consumption (both on field and along road with players/spectators), incidents where fights broke out an incident in 2013 when a player urinated on an abutters’ property, the limited parking, the poor lighting and field conditions and the lack of onsite program management. Mr. Santos also stated that if the Park Commission approved use of the field that
the program would be subject to the same fees other Adult programs were currently paying, that field use is prioritized such that Rec, HPS and Youth programs would have first access to field reservations, that previous field maintenance practices were not allowed (no vehicles on field and clearing the infield of water using sump pumps was prohibited) and also that all inclement weather guidelines apply (if field is saturated, games must be cancelled and rescheduled).
Mr. Hayden (former league manager) spoke on behalf of the program and addressed his knowledge of previous incidents and explained how the program addressed each issue as it came about. He also stated that the program had worked with Hudson Recreation to make facility updates (lighting) and also addressed their contributions back into the community. He expressed his support for the program in Hudson. Mr. Hayden then excused himself from the meeting.
Mr. Michael Zompetti expressed to the Park Commission that there is a need for this program in Town. He stated that the program was one of the best when it was running and not only Hudson residents but others were and still are attracted to the program. He stated it gives those 18 plus an opportunity to play and the program was built on a positive sense of comradery. He stated that in order for the program to run successfully, they need 3 weeknights, preferably 4 in order to get the program up and running again. Mr. Michael Zompetti stated that he would be willing to work with Hudson Recreation to address any concerns and could potentially shift schedules to alleviate parking concerns. He also stated that his plan is to be onsite most nights. If he was not available, Mr. Nelson Zompetti would
be onsite in his place. He stated that all players would be notified of the no alcohol policy and that there would be zero tolerance. Mr. Michael Zompetti also stated that if alcohol is being consumed onsite as part of this program that the permit could be revoked and the program would no longer have access to Town of Hudson facilities.
Mr. Nelson Zompetti spoke on behalf of the program and added that many who played in the past wanted to come back and play in Hudson once again. He stated that there were opportunities for families to come together to support the players and even added that he had the opportunity to play with his nephew in the past. He stated that many of those in the Softball Hall of Fame, played in the Hudson Men’s Program at one time or another. He expressed his concern for access to the field (or lack thereof) and claimed that in the past other programs would reserve extra field space but not actually use the facility, thus making it impossible for this program or others to function. He also asked if field space was guaranteed from one year to another.
Mr. Santos informed all present that he was willing to work with the Hudson Men’s Softball program within the field permitting policies to give them access, should the Park Commission approve the program and allow them to use the facilities. Mr. Santos also stated that any dates reserved this year do not carry forward and that in future years the program would still be subject to gaining access only after Rec, HPS and all youth sports had been scheduled. Mr. Santos stated that he would not reserve field space for this program over youth programs or any other future Recreation programs. Mr. Santos also stated that the way in which the program had been given access to the field in previous years was not in line with the field permitting procedures at that time. Mr. Santos informed those present
of what days were currently available for use, stating also that some schedules were still not finalized. Discussion followed.
Mr. Scafidi and Mr. Bowen both stated that they had participated in the program in years past and would like to see it back in Town assuming the program could align with the current policies.
Mr. Wood motioned to allow the Hudson Men’s Softball Program to have access to Moulton’s Field, with the understanding that field use guidelines are to be established and agreed upon by both Hudson Recreation and the program managers and furthermore, if any such guidelines were violated the program would forfeit its use of the fields immediately. The motion was seconded by Mr. Scafidi and carried…
Vote: 3 – 0, in favor
5. Director’s Report:
A. Public Art Program Update
Mr. Santos commented as parts of Citizens Issues.
B. Fishing Derby Review
Mr. Santos informed the Park Commission that the Fishing Derby had gone well. 125 registered participants, 25 fish caught in total, 4 sponsors and many volunteers. The Derby budget (net profit/loss was still to be finalized).
C. Summer Staffing Update
Mr. Santos informed the Park Commission that he would be working with Dan and Josh to interview potential new staff members over the next several weeks. Mr. Santos stated that part-time seasonal employee recommendations would be presented during a future Park Commission meeting. Mr. Santos also informed that Park Commission that he would once again be reviewing the seasonal salary scale and may make a recommendation that the Park Commission align the scale to account for the future minimum wage increase (scheduled for January 2017).
6. Communications and/or Correspondence to be noted by Commissioners:
7. Old Business:
A. Update on relocation of Hudson Recreation Office, within Town Hall
Mr. Santos informed that Park Commission that Sam Wong (BOH) would be working with a designer to see if swapping offices, would meet his needs. If so, the previously discussed office swap within Town Hall would move forward as Mr. Wong would need to have this move completed by June 30, 2016. Mr. Santos also stated that the Town Manager and members of the Board of Selectmen, were aware of this potential office swap.
8. New Business:
A. Park Commission to discuss Field/Facility Use Policies and Fee structure updates
Mr. Santos informed the Park Commission that the Recreation Staff had been working on updating current field permitting procedures and corresponding fee schedules to meet the needs of Hudson Recreation and align with fees of the surrounding communities. Stating also that, any changes would need approval by the Park Commission and that they would not go into effect immediately.
Mr. Wood motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:09 pm, seconded by Mr. Scafidi and carried...
Vote: 3 – 0, in favor
Motion to Adopt: Mr. Bowen
Second: Mr. Wood
Vote: 3 – 0, in favor
Date: May 11, 2016