LWV OBSERVER REPORT: Recreation and Parks Commission, June 27

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: June 27


MEMBERS PRESENT: All members present, including newly elected member Shelly Bedrossian.

Reorganization, reappointments

Matt Martin was elected chair, and Linda Rice-Collins was elected vice chair. 

Peter James and Jaime Bloch were reappointed superintendent and recreation director, respectively. There was a brief discussion about having an annual review and formulating criteria ahead of time.

New business

  • Rice-Collins met with the dog park people about replacing the surface material, which is stone dust, to playground fiber (wood chips). One problem is the difficulty of finding dog’s “leavings” in the wood chips, and the other is the challenge of getting it to the park with no direct truck access. More research and discussion is needed.
  • The timbers at Gatchell’s have been removed, and the land has been regraded for safety.
  • A spotlight was installed at Gatchell’s, but it isn’t facing the right way. It will be adjusted.
  • The department has no equipment big enough to move the CSA shed from Stramski’s to Coffin School. They will have to hire a private company.
  • Bedrossian has offered to donate two cameras to Stramski’s and Seaside (or four at one park), which would be directly linked to the police station. The cost would be $7 per month per camera. The commission will walk the sites to see the best locations and consult with the police.


  • One tree at Crocker Park has been trimmed, one dead one has been cut down, and a hanging branch has been removed.
  • Fort Sewall was prepared for the Festival of Arts Champagne Reception last Sunday.
  • The Seaside tennis courts that are “bubbling” are under warranty and should be repaired soon.
  • The new mower has been recalled by the company for overheating. This is causing a maintenance problem as it won’t be back for a couple of weeks.


  • Bloch gave a big shout out to her staff who took over the past couple days when she had a health problem at a very busy time with the start of the summer programs.
  • The first two days of the playground program have been impacted by the unsettled weather. There is access to Glover School until 4:30, but some programs continue until 5:30.
  • Dino Dig is coming up soon, with 50 kids signed up.
  • There will be an ice cream social Sunday night, either July 11 or 18.
  • She is very open to new programs suggested by someone who has the skills to lead it (such as the intro to Chinese for young kids).


Cheryl Patten spoke for the pickleball group asking for more evening hours at the Veterans Middle School courts. The new hours have only been in effect for a few days to accommodate the neighbors. The commission will have a meeting on July 11 at 7 p.m. to present pickleball policy to players and neighbors. This will be an informational meeting only.


  • A representative for the Miles for Mary 5K run on Oct. 14 asked for use of the bathrooms at Devereux. This will be too hard on the plumbing system, so they will have to use porta-potties as they have in the past. Rather than use plastic water bottles, they can use a “water monster” for water if they pay for a staff member for two hours work to fill it.
  • Girls, Inc. from Lynn asked to host a fundraiser pickleball tournament on Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They predict 125 attendees and would donate $5 from each entry fee to the department.
  • The Boys and Girls Clubs of Salem requested to use Devereux Beach on July 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a swim and picnic. They will provide three lifeguards. They will be charged $75 a bus for two busloads.

All three were approved.

The next regular meeting will be on July 18.

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