TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

PARK & RECREATION BOARD

MINUTES - APRIL 8, 2003

 

 

The regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 8, 2003.  Chairman Fritchey called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Park & Recreation Board:        David Fritchey, Chairman

                                                Ron Smith, Vice Chairman

                                                John Kuebler, Secretary

                                                Henry Carpenter, Member

                                                Richard Jutkiewicz, Member

                                                Patricia Martin, Member

                                                Andrew Newbon, Member

 

Others:                                     Donna Liney, Recreation Director

                                                Wes Hackman, Supervisor Liaison (joined meeting in

                                                 progress)

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Mr. Kuebler moved, Mr. Newbon seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Minutes of March 11, 2003 as written.

 

 

YARDLEY BASEBALL DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Robert Buckley, President of Yardley Baseball, was present.  Mr. Fritchey noted

Mr. Buckley had sent a letter to the Board asking for time to speak this evening. 

Mr. Buckley stated he understood that some further discussion took place on this issue

after he left the meeting in March.  He stated Yardley Baseball is now registered through

AABC for both teams and provided documentation in this regard.  He stated as of today

they have twenty registered participants.  He also provided information from Babe Ruth

and Little League that two teams can apply as a League in their first year.  Mr. Fritchey

stated he is less concerned with what they constitute as a League than he is with whether

Mr. Buckley’s organization constitutes an intramural program.  He feels what is proposed

is only practice for the travel team.   Mr. Buckley stated he reviewed the Township’s

intramural definition and feels his organization more cohesively follows these rules and

regulations than the other organization in the Township.  He stated according to the rules,

three quarters of PAA does not constitute intramural after age eight. He stated he does feel

the Township rules need to be changed.

 

Mr. Smith asked where else Yardley Baseball will be playing other than Lower Makefield

Township.  Mr. Buckley stated they did get a School District field from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

five days a week, but because of the time allotted, they will not be able to use it for games. 

Mr. Buckley stated they are looking for another field to play games.  He stated he was

given four hours on Sunday by the Township.  Ms. Liney stated they were permitted

for 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.  Mr. Buckley stated he does not feel he can tell his ten

year olds that they will be playing two double-headers every Sunday. He stated he needs at

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least one more solid time during the week and probably they could intermix some dates that

are not used by PAA so that they could have three days a week.  Ms. Liney stated PAA

does feel they are going to require what they have been given.  She stated she is sorry that

she does not have any additional fields to give Yardley Baseball.  She stated she has

requested schedules from PAA and if it looks like they can plug something in for

Mr. Buckley, she will gladly do so but at this point she does not feel she can promise

anything.

 

Mr. Smith stated he assumes the other games Yardley Baseball plays will have to be away

games.  Mr. Buckley stated if they do not get the additional field time, they will have to

fold the League.  He felt after leaving the last meeting that he was going to be given

equitable time.  Mr. Kuebler stated when Mr. Buckley was last present he only had

seventeen players and did not really have even two teams.  They are now into the baseball

season and Ms. Liney is trying to give Mr. Buckley space as best as she can.  He stated

since they came in late and only had only one team, his recommendation was that they

should do everything they could to help them.  Mr. Smith stated based on the permit which

was provided, this has been done.  Mr. Kuebler stated the Township does not define a

League and prior to the information presented this evening from Babe Ruth and Little

League, he felt that a League must have four teams. 

 

Mr. Buckley stated PAA has not yet submitted a schedule and instead simply indicated they

wanted everything that was available.  Mr. Smith stated PAA has come in repeatedly over

the years asking for lights on the existing fields since they did not have sufficient field

space to handle the players they already had. He stated this has been a discussion which

took place well before Yardley Baseball came to the Township.

 

Mr. Fritchey stated twenty players is still not two full teams.  Mr. Smith stated he felt

Mr. Buckley had indicated that he was only looking to get started in the spring and

indicated that he would be able to double the number of players by the fall.  Mr. Smith

stated by giving them some field time, the Township is giving them the opportunity to start

their organization so that it can grow in the fall.  Mr. Smith stated he feels Ms. Liney has

done a good job at giving time; and he is concerned that he is now hearing from

Mr. Buckley that if he does not get more time, the League will fold.  He feels this shows a

lack of commitment.

 

Mr. Buckley stated he went to the School District allocation meeting and PAA had fifteen

60’ field permits and he received only one field from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. which he cannot use

for games. 

 

Mr. Kuebler stated he does not feel that they would have to play two double-headers if here

are two teams since each team would be playing some other team.  Mr. Buckley stated they

are going to play other teams if they can find someone to play.  He asked if PAA could not

be given the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. slot on Sunday and give his organization one other time

during the week.  Mr. Kuebler stated it is Ms. Liney’s job to permit the fields.  Ms. Martin

stated she has already received her son’s PAA schedule and would be concerned if it were

now changed.    Mr. Carpenter stated he did not feel it would be difficult to swap one of the

slots with PAA to take over some of the time on Sunday and give Mr. Buckley’s League

one of the other slots during the week.  Mr. Kuebler stated part of the problem at Stoddart

is there is if there is a rain out, it would involve all three fields and it is difficult to

re-schedule.  He stated apparently some PAA schedules are already out or are going out

shortly.  He stated he would encourage PAA, Yardley Baseball, and Ms. Liney to see if

there is a way to accommodate a change. 

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Mr. Morrison stated they are organizing eighty teams for practices and games, and this is

an enormous task.  Mr. Kuebler stated when PAA submits the full schedule, Ms. Liney

may be able to find some open slots. 

 

Mr. Buckley asked about his status as far as sanctioning and if there are any deficiencies he

should address.  Mr. Fritchey stated he feels they have been given the “green light,”  and

the time they have been given is generous given the number of players they have.  He

stated he feels they need to have a girls and boys program, an intramural program distinct

from a travel program, and have more than one age group.  He stated this means more than

Mr. Buckley’s son’s team.  He assumes Mr. Buckley will have this in the fall when there

will be less competition than in the spring and he should have significantly higher numbers

of players.  Mr. Smith stated he feels they have been given provisional sanctioning. 

Mr. Kuebler stated they are going to consider changes to the rules and regulations

considering sanctioning.  Mr. Smith stated he does not consider Yardley Baseball to be an

organization and at this time, they have only been issued a permit. 

 

Mr. Fritchey stated they felt that an organization that wanted to be sanctioned would

comply with the existing rules regarding insurance, having a Board of Directors, etc. and

would have programs for boys and girls and for multiple age groups. Mr. Smith stated

Mr. Buckley indicated that if he was given field time in the spring, he would be coming

back in the fall with a full program.  He stated they have now given him this field time.

 

Mr. Buckley stated Ms. Liney advised him that he was not sanctioned and when the rules

were changed in the fall, he would not meet the sanctioning requirements.  Ms. Liney

stated she did not advise Mr. Buckley that he was not sanctioned.  She stated they would

have to meet the requirements for sanctioning.  She stated she looks at a number of factors

when making decisions on field allocation and tries to serve the largest number of

Township residents.  Mr. Buckley stated he felt Ms. Liney indicated a “deal was struck

with PAA.”  Ms. Liney stated she did not state this. 

 

Mr. Kuebler suggested they consider having interlocking games with PAA ten year olds. 

Mr. Morrison stated they have scheduled Friday nights as the make up night.  Mr. Buckley

stated he does not feel they have received a great deal of cooperation.  Mr. Fritchey stated

he feels the Park & Recreation Board and Ms. Liney have been very cooperative and have

given Yardley Baseball a significant amount of field time for the number of players in their

program. 

 

 

RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Ms. Liney stated the Township is in the process of obtaining proposals for installation of

units to provide climate control in the concession stand at the Community Pool. 

 

Ms. Liney stated she has been in touch with the representatives of Yardley Men’s Baseball

and the Township was able to satisfy their requests. 

 

Ms. Liney noted that the Community Pool restroom renovations are on schedule.  Staff

work weekends have started, and the Pool servicing company has done some initial

preparation.  The tot pool feature will be installed upon receipt.  The Township continues to

process memberships and enrollment is ahead of last year. 

 

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Ms. Liney stated the survey maps for Snipes have been provided to the Park & Recreation

Board and they will contact adjoining property owners and advise them of any future

meetings. The survey map for the Samost property should be completed within the next

week or so and will be forwarded to the Park & Recreation Board in their packet. 

 

Ms. Liney introduced Mr. Harbinger who was present this evening and is interested in

applying for the Park Ranger position.  Mr. Fritchey stated the Park & Recreation Board

does not have a role in doing the actual hiring.  Ms. Liney stated she did advise

Mr. Harbinger that the Township Manager will be making this decision.

 

Mr. Hackman joined the meeting at this time.

 

 

SUPERVISOR LIAISON’S REPORT

 

Mr. Hackman stated the Township will be making a decision shortly on the management

company for the Golf Course.  He noted the firm they are considering will make a

presentation at an upcoming Supervisor’s meeting and hopefully the Board will then make

the appointment. He stated this firm is a top-flight professional organization.  They hope to

be able to open the Course in July, 2004.

 

 

REVIEW LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP PARK & RECREATION POLICY STATEMENT

 

Mr. Fritchey stated there was discussion at the last meeting that the Board should look into

the existing rules and regulations and Mr. Smith, Mr. Kuebler, and Mr. Jutkiewicz have

discussed this matter.

 

Mr. Smith noted the section dealing with sanctioning which speaks to a Mission Statement.

Mr. Fritchey read the Mission Statement.  Mr. Smith stated he feels the rules are rather

vague and could put the Park & Recreation Department in a difficult position if a new group

comes in every month requesting use of the Township facilities.  Mr. Smith stated he

would recommend a new Section “E” regarding Newly Formed Organizations - “Newly

formed organizations must have a reasonable and representative number of registrants

across several age brackets, commensurate with the specific sport.”   He also recommends

modifying Section (C) as follows:  “Any organization meeting the sanctioning criteria will

be given fair treatment in gaining access to and scheduling of the playing facilities, but the

Park & Recreation Department shall have discretion to take into consideration the existing

volunteer organizations which have historically served the Township.  He recommended

modifying Existing Section “B” as follows:  “Newly formed organizations shall meet all

criteria above with the exception of #7 and #11.  After the first year, the league will then be

required to meet the criteria of #7.  A new organization will be given a one year period to

implement an intramural program to comply with the criteria of #11.

 

There was discussion on whether a new organization should be given one year or one

season to implement an intramural program to comply with the criteria of #11. 

Mr. Carpenter stated he does not want to make it too difficult for someone to start a new

organization if they are not happy with the program being offered by an existing

organization.  Mr. Newbon stated he does not feel they are trying to make it harder to get

an organization formed. He stated he feels they are just trying to make it more clear.

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Mr. Smith stated Section #11 in the existing requirements indicates that 50% of the

participants in the travel team should be Lower Makefield residents, and he feels this

should be increased to 65%.  It was noted that it may be difficult to get this percentage

since it is more competitive at this level.  Ms. Martin stated she feels a majority of the

players should come from the Township since it is Township taxes that pay for the fields. 

Mr. Morrison stated program wide they would meet the higher requirement, but would not

meet them for girls softball since a number of those players are from outside the Township. 

It was noted these requirements would not be required team by team but would be based on

the whole organization. 

 

Mr. Hackman stated he feels that whoever wants to be sanctioned should be sanctioned by

January 1 if they want to be considered for fields in the spring and by June 1 if they want

to be considered for fields in the fall.  He stated Yardley Baseball just came last month with

their request and this created an administrative problem. 

 

The matter was tabled and this time and will be considered again in the future.

 

Mr. Kuebler stated Mr. Buckley did contact him at home and he advised him that neither

the Park & Recreation Board nor Ms. Liney were considering changing the rules for

sanctioning in order to “box him out.”  Mr. Smith stated all they are trying to do is look at

the rules to see if they need to be changed.

 

 

LEAGUE REPORTS

 

Ms. Smith noted that the YMS Awards Dinner will be held Wednesday, April 30.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Newbon moved, Mr. Jutkiewicz seconded and it was

unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        John Kuebler, Secretary