MAY 26, 2011 Draft Minutes





MAY 26, 2011

A Regular Meeting of the Livingston Parks and Recreation Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on May 26, 2011.


The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Commission Chair David Blevins


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.


Present were Commissioner Ricardo Soria, Secretary Joy Peterson, Chair David Blevins, Commissioner Manuel Cota, Commissioner Julio Valadez, and Vice-Chair Hector Becerra. Also in attendance were Council Member Theresa Land sitting in for City Council Liaison Margarita Aguilar and Toni Marquez filling in for Recreation Superintendent Jacquie Benoit. Absent was Commissioner Oscar Trejo.


It was moved by Commissioner Soria, seconded by Commissioner Valadez to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of April 28, 2011, as amended, to correct the spelling of Council Member Theresa Land’s name. The motion carried 6-0.




  • Lil Guys tot lot.
  • Lower costs for kids, gym at sports complex.
  • Chair Blevins – what can we do to move forward?
  • Superintendent of Public Works Kathryn Reyes – goal setting – make a motion to adopt the short term goals of the Tot Lot at Lil Guys Field and lowering costs for kids.
  • Commissioner Valadez – how do we approach the idea for Lil Guys Field and lower the fees for kids in the recreation programs.
  • Kathryn Reyes – develop ideas.
  • Toni Marquez – the cost to play sports in Livingston is cheaper than in other surrounding cities; people are able to make payments. The Recreation Department does not turn kids away. We have payment plans or find sponsors.
  • Commissioner Valadez – where do you find sponsors to provide for kids who don’t have funds.
  • Kathryn Reyes said develop a sign-up sheet for sponsors for a child in need.
  • Toni Marquez – children are signed up and a sponsor pays later.
  • Commissioner Cota – how do you look for sponsors?
  • Toni Marquez – send letters out to sponsors or we ask a resident who would be willing to help a child.
  • Commissioner Soria – suggested putting a flyer in with water bills.
  • Toni Marquez – this needs to be approved first.
  • Commissioner Valadez – suggested including a sponsor form for a child in the water bills. Another idea is to purchase an ornament to help a player participate in a recreation program. (like they do at the Mall for needy kids at Christmas).
  • Commissioner Becerra – who decides on who gets the sponsor?
  • Toni Marquez – that would be a good project for the Commission. Call Jacquie Benoit, she has a form that we could use for this process.
  • City Council Member Theresa Land – come to a City Council meeting and voice concern for a sponsor – meetings are televised.
  • Commissioner Peterson – when do we break ground for the Tot Lot?
  • Kathryn Reyes said she will this up at next meeting. There needs to be an approval from the City Council and a budget set-up first and also a project plan.
  • Commissioner Valadez made a motion to accept two goals – Lil Guys project and lowering fees for children. Commissioner Soria seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.


Kathryn Reyes proposed a fundraiser to help with the cost of the Lil Guys project. The path is to be paved with pavers sold to residents for $100 with their family name, etc. on the paver to help with the costs. Public Works would pour the pavers to help cut down on costs as well.

Kathryn Reyes proposed that we could tap into existing irrigation and then possibly use larger pipes for future expansion and get some supplies donated.

Commissioner Valadez asked about turf and if the City knew of a company that could provide this material. Kathryn Reyes said she will contact a local company that the City works with to see how much the turf would cost. She will also check on the cost if the City does the work or if the work needs to be contracted out.

Commissioner Valadez asked if there was a name for the project and proposed that it be named. Also that a sand box should be included in the plan.

Commissioner Soria asked why not move the play area in the middle and spread it out. He asked about the road in between the lot and the ball field. Kathryn Reyes explained that school employees drive through there as an access road. The school owns the Lil Guys Field property and the City owns the lot for the proposed project. She said she will check on the property lines. It was suggested that a utility shed to store equipment be included in the project because equipment is currently stored in the restrooms.

Commissioner Valadez asked can we make changes to this layout. Kathryn Reyes replied yes. She said the Commission’s input is encouraged, but we need to keep in mind that everything we decide to put into the plan will depend on cost and maintaining the lot. We would like to see small structures placed around the Tot Lot for open play.

Commissioner Peterson said a space for small equipment is a good idea and would work for this area.

Commissioner Cota thought the lot was too small.

Commissioner Becerra asked what about foul balls.

Kathryn Reyes said a net needs to be purchased and this would be taken into consideration when setting up final plans.

Commissioner Valadez suggested that merry-go-rounds, swings, etc. be placed on the lot.

Kathryn Reyes explained that any play structure has to be approved by the City for risk management, space saucer and any type of equipment will have to be assessed. Toni Marquez will bring playground books for Commissioners to view to help with ideas and will find out the cost for proposed play equipment.

Commissioner Valadez said it should be determined if people want to donate trees, benches and other items with their family name on them to be placed on the lot to help cut down on costs.

Kathryn will get Davis Ruiz involved to set-up a final plan and get a budget in place to start fundraising.

Commissioner Cota suggested putting in a pitching machine. Kathryn Reyes said there is no space on the lot for a pitching machine.

Commissioner Valadez suggested erecting a fence between the parking lot and the sidewalk and said hedges would be good.

Kathryn Reyes said once we decide on what we would like to see on the lot we can then get costs budgeted and move forward with final plans. She said a slide show with ideas could be developed as well.

Guest Katherine Schell Rodriguez commented that the children’s play area has to include handicap access.


Commissioner Valadez – waiting on kite expert – two options on where to hold the event – the sports complex and Livingston Middle School. Kathryn Reyes said there is only dirt at the sports complex, but we can level it. Commissioner Valadez would prefer the sports complex, but the kite expert prefers the Middle School. March or April are the best times for kite flying in his opinion. Both locations have pros and cons. The sports complex has the dirt area that needs to be leveled, but has good parking and a snack bar. The Middle School has more open space; however, there are no bathrooms or snack bar. The parking is adequate.

Chair Blevins asked the audience to comment on this event. Katherine Schell Rodriguez brought a kite for all Commissioners and said she talked to Shelby School personnel and they liked the idea.

Commissioner Valadez noted that Merced had a “Build a Kite” event at the Mall which he thought was a great idea.

Council Member Land said don’t leave out the Middle School because these kids would like to participate. Commissioner Cota felt this was a good idea. Commissioner Valadez brought up the idea to Jacquie Benoit to include carnival rides and vendor booths at the event.

Commissioner Cota suggested the Key Club help out at this event.

Katherine Schell Rodriguez recommended holding the kite festival on the Thursday before spring break as Council Member Land suggested and open the event up to all schools.

Chair Blevins said he looked forward to the event and made a motion to table this item to the next meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Valadez and carried 6-0.


Commissioner Soria said we could advertise to rent our facilities and charge out of town people to help generate money to be used for either of our short term projects.

Commissioner Soria announced the need for sponsors for needy kids for recreational programs on Channel 2 in both English and Spanish. He gave a report of his soccer schedule and how they were doing.

Commissioner Cota suggested putting up a sign at the sports complex listing rules prohibiting such things as cussing, horseplay, children being on the field and other disruptions at baseball games. He mentioned having difficulty with parents interfering when coaches are trying to teach kids at games. Commissioner Cota said coaches are volunteers and do not have the time and should not be responsible for handling disruptions. He said the Recreation Assistants are getting paid to assist at ball games and maybe they should be responsible for seeing that parents, children and spectators obey the rules. Commissioner Cota commented that the Key Club members could possibly be used as a resource for supervision duties.

Commissioner Cota asked why Joey Chavez had to bring up an issue about a problem involving his son and a recreation volunteer to the Commission that the Commission should have been aware of beforehand when he had already discussed this matter with Jacquie Benoit.

Toni Marquez replied that Mr. Chavez was not happy with the way Mr. Rivera addressed his son. Jacquie Benoit asked him to fill out an incident report. Mr. Chavez has still not filled out an incident report and did not notify the Recreation office that there was a problem and his concern will not be addressed until the proper procedure is followed. .

In reference to problems during games at the sports complex, Toni Marquez said everyone should step in to stop a child’s misbehavior even a coach.

Commissioner Peterson said recreation personnel do address the cussing, but parents ask her to speak to their children. She said not all children follow directions.

Kathryn Reyes said we can make signs that could be posted.

Toni Marquez said that with 400 kids in the baseball/softball program, we had a great season.

Commissioner Becerra said he had no problems with his team or the parents.

Commissioner Cota asked that as Commissioners what we are here for. Kathryn Reyes replied to help the department become stronger. Commissioner Cota thanked Toni Marquez for doing an outstanding job.

Commissioner Valadez said as a coach he addresses the parents before the season starts to set a tone for the season.

Commissioner Valadez asked do we listen when people come into to tell us problems and who takes care of that?

Commissioner Becerra suggested that staff wear shirts at the sports complex to be more recognized. Commissioner Peterson said staff does have bright green shirts.

Toni Marquez said the Recreation office can take care of something that comes in, but proper procedure needs to be followed. Complainants are to address the person they have the problem with. If that does not resolve the issue, then they need to contact the Recreation office and fill out an incident report so staff has the proper paper work to follow up with. The Recreation office will hear both sides of the story and will try and come to a positive resolution for both parties.

Commissioner Peterson said that as long as there is something in writing. Council Member Land asked if someone just tells staff something verbally does nothing get done. Toni Marquez said no, only if the problem doesn’t get solved and the incident is not resolved, then the incident is written up. Commissioner Peterson commented that a paper trail goes a long way.

Commissioner Valadez asked if someone wants to address the Commission do they have to fill out an incident report? He felt that they can voice their opinion if they wanted to.

Toni Marquez said Recreation Department staff will always listen and do what they can to help. Sometimes people just want to vent. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed it does need to be written up.

Drag at Lil Guys was supposed to be moved and stored and it was still on site. Kathryn Reyes will have it done.


Toni Marquez commented to Commissioners that there are only three staff members working in the office, but they are available to each of you and the public. She said please call us with any issues or questions you might have


Chair Blevins

· Rules posted for sports complex similar to the ones at Lil Guys

o No cussing, no smoking, etc.

Commissioner Cota

· Key Club to help out. Toni Marquez said we do ask the Key Club for help at Easter and for Toys for Tots.

Guest Elizabeth Lucero, Key Club Lieutenant Governor, said there are 123 members in the Key Club.

· Commissioner Valadez asked can the club be involved with the kite festival.

· Toni Marquez said to contact Frank Vierra, Key Club coordinator. Karendeep Sahota is Key Club President for Livingston. The Key Club can help out with most events with an adult staff member present.

· Commissioner Valadez asked if the Key Club can help with the 4th of July event. Elizabeth Lucero said she will check and noted the Kiwanis Club already helps with the Atwater 4th of July because they are sponsored by the Atwater/Winton Kiwanis Club.

Commissioner Peterson asked when do we break ground for the sports complex?

· Kathryn Reyes said there needs to be approval to proceed and she will bring information to the next meeting.


Chair Blevins made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:56 p.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Valadez and carried 6-0.

Respectfully Submitted: Toni Marquez, Recreation Assistant


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