Candidate Q & A: Shelly Bedrossian, Recreation and Parks Commission

The following represents the candidate’s responses to the Current’s Park and Rec-specific questions. Jump back to Election Guide

Years in Marblehead: 12

Occupation/education: Bachelor of arts from Boston College in political science with a concentration in economics. Small business owner

Appointed positions and/or elected offices: Board of directors of Friends of Council on Aging; board of directors, treasure and scheduler for Marblehead Youth Hockey.

What should be the Rec and Parks Commission’s top five goals in the years ahead?

  1. Create a long-term plan with funding initiatives to revamp Reynolds and Hobbs fields into consistent, safe and usable space for sports and recreation that is not weather dependent.
  2. I think the Commission is phenomenal at youth programming but there could be some improvement on adult programming. The current staff of one will need some help with work-load on this issue.
  3. Repurpose Reynolds Street Bud Orne rink into a safe and usable street hockey rink and futsal court through private donations and corporate sponsorships.
  4. Ensure that the 2018 Lars Anderson $2 million gift for a winter sports/skating facility is used as it was intended.
  5. Continue to work with a private equity firm who will design, build and manage a state-of-the-art multi-generational sports facility with no burden to taxpayers.

The commission has been accused of not being responsive enough recently, particularly to the hundreds of pickle ballers in town. What’s your reaction to that? What would you do to increase the commission’s responsiveness?
I think there is a lot of frustration on all sides of this issue; neighbors feel underrepresented due to lack of noise mitigation, the pickleball community feels underserved with adult programming and court times, and the commission is most likely at a loss due to lack of funding. Everyone is right.

I have a creative solution; have the pickleball community pay for their own growth via programming through Rec and Parks.

STEP 1: Fix noise mitigation issues at Vets so court usage times can be expanded. This issue can be solved by August 15 by offering training classes that are sanctioned by Rec and Parks which will raise the $6,000 needed for proper shrubbery at Vets.
STEP 2: Source a certified instructor who carries proper insurance.
STEP 3: I am not sure what the Rec and Parks earnings vs. vendor/instructor split is, but for this example I will use 60/40. In order to net $6,000 there will need to be $10,000 of gross sales. So we can back into that number.
STEP 4: Advertise and schedule a variety of times and program lengths with a ratio of 12-to-1 so all three courts at Vets could be used for efficiency. Options could be twice-a-week for four weeks or once-a-week for eight weeks.
Eight class sessions would be $150 which would net $90 of profit per student based on the 60/40 split. There would need to be six sections offered and fulfilled for the program for the $6,000 to be earned. Program slots for all levels; youth, adult, seniors, beginners through advanced.

STEP 5: Adopting this model will allow planting to be done by September 1. 

Now that Town Meeting passed an article urging town boards and commissions to be more accessible and transparent, do you support holding hybrid meetings? 

Yes. Most definitely.

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