LWV OBSERVER REPORT: Recreation and Parks Commission, April 18

Marblehead League of Women Voters Observer Corps

Observer Corps Reports are provided by volunteers from the Marblehead League of Women Voters. To learn more about the League and its activities, see my.lwv.org/massachusetts/marblehead.

BOARD: Recreation and Parks Commission 

DATE: April 18


MEMBERS PRESENT: Derek Norcross, Karin Ernst, Rossanna Ferrante, Linda Rice-Collins, Matt Martin, Peter James, Jaime Bloch

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman Derek Norcross. The minutes from the last meeting were approved.

New business

  • Ernst reported on a meeting with various individuals in connection with sound mitigation at the Veterans’ pickleball courts. A proposal from the sound engineer will be forthcoming. The courts are actually in bad condition with cracks. It was requested that a sign be installed at the courts saying something to the effect of “please be mindful of the neighbors, no swearing.”
  • The memorial at Chandler Hovey is progressing. A company was hired for stump grinding at a cost of $185.
  • A request for a softball clinic should go through the high school athletic director.

Parks (Peter James)

  • The sand in the Devereux parking lot is being moved with the help of the Highway Department.
  • Repairs to the pavilion will be done before the beach opens.
  • The new smaller pavilion will be installed by July 1.
  • The Rainbow Zone will be repaired when the weather gets warmer.
  • The Commission approved a payment of just over $38,000 for the new mower. There will be two more payments over the next two years.
  • Three vehicles will be put in surplus.
  • The boiler in the Community Center has been replaced.
  • The fertilizer is down, and the fields are prepped.
  • The commission approved new seasonal hires for beach maintenance and parking attendant.
  • The commission approved $14,000 for a vertical lift at Stramski’s. This is the part of the $48,000 actual cost that will not be covered by Shattuck Fund money.

Recreation (Jaime Bloch)

  • An April vacation club is being held at the Hamond Nature Center for 25 kids in grades K-3.
  • Coming soon will be several T-ball leagues, including a parent-child division for ages 3 1/2-4.
  • There will be a soccer league on Sundays, after-school Chinese will continue, and Bloch hopes to have a nutrition workshop and a writing program.
  • Much of the summer playground staff is returning as well as tennis and lifeguards (if they don’t get a higher paying job elsewhere).
  • Sailing staff is still light. The sailing program is small, but very rewarding for the participants.
  • Bloch and Norcross had a very good meeting with Superintendent John Buckey, Sarah Fox and Michele Cresta about the MOU (memo of understanding). They will meet later this week to add an addendum about what facilities are needed for Rec and Park programs and what facilities Rec and Park provide for the schools. This will be done each year in April for the next school year.


A mother asked to hold a birthday party-fundraiser open to the public on July 29. She will be offered Bud Orne Playground or Reynolds Playground and be required to get insurance.

A request by the Democratic Caucus to host a meeting at the Community Center (for about 50 people) was approved with the understanding that they will pay for staffing and insurance.

Next meeting

The next meeting (after Town Meeting) will be on May 16.

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