Council, PRMCC meet today on Commission’s advisory role, work plan, parks projects

MARTINEZ, Calif. – After expressing concerns about the topic for several of its own meetings, the Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission will meet with the City Council today to discuss its advisory role.

The joint meeting also will address the Commission’s work plan and its recommended priority ranking for park projects.

Michael Chandler, deputy director of Administrative Services, wrote both the Council and the Commission that in July 2010, the Council adopted new bylaws for the Commission (PRMCC).

Those bylaws were reviewed at a joint meeting March 17, 2010, and encouraged standing and ad hoc subcommittees to work on major projects and policies as well as to provide recommendations to the City Council.

“The changes in the ordinance were intended to preserve the advisory role of the Commission to the City Council,” Chandler wrote.

Among the provisions, the PRMCC was tasked with reviewing policies impacting parks, recreation, marina, library and cultural arts and to provide comments on funding them.

In addition, the ordinance provided that the PRMCC should make periodic appraisals of the marina, the city’s recreation areas and parks and programs for the arts, culture and the library. In addition, the PRMCC is to give comments on items referred from the Council and other commissions.

The PRMCC’s June 16, 2018, retreat at the Martinez Senior Center was led by representatives of Management Partners, and it was the Commission’s first special workshop in years, Chandler wrote. At that session, Commission members said they wanted a joint meeting with the Council in order to have a better definition of their roles.

Among the topics discussed were the PRMCC’s recent accomplishments, its aspirations for future successes and the frequency and level of importance of Commission duties and responsibilities as specified in the Martinez Municipal Code.

A survey indicated most of the Commission’s time is spent on park programming, Chandler wrote.

The same survey indicated the PRMCC ranks marina duties as important, even though the Commission’s authority or span of control is limited and undefined, Chandler wrote.

“High prioritization of the Marina reflects the group’s frustration with the topic,” Chandler wrote.

Also during the workshop, the Commission said it wants to have the Municipal Code break “park planning and recreation program,” part of the PRMCC’s duties, into two different categories.

Commissioners said “there are too many responsibilities for the PRMCC to be effective,” Chandler wrote. In fact, members pointed out the Commission as it exists now is a merger of four previous panels that have been consolidated because of both limited staff resources and the frequency those earlier commissions failed to have quorums at meetings.

While the previous four panels sometimes had overlapping responsibilities, the merger has caused the PRMCC to be more reactive in nature, members said.

In addition, the Commission said it wanted to focus on culture to promote “a cultural dialogue,” Chandler wrote.

The PRMCC will provide the Council with its work plan, a year’s worth of items the Commission hopes to accomplish during the 2019-20 fiscal year. Council comments on the plan will be incorporated into the work plan, which is expected to be submitted to the Council for approval June 5, Chandler wrote.

The Commission also will give the Council its recommendation for prioritizing parks projects in the city’s 2019-20 Capital Improvement Program.

Top priority is the replacement of the Hidden Lakes Restroom and concession building that would include making sure the building complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pathways also should be improved, the Commission has suggested.

Replacing the lighting in the Ignacio Park Plaza is the second priority. Third is completion of the Susana Park interpretive panels, and replacement of the Cappy Ricks Park play equipment.

This meeting comes before the Martinez Council meeting, which will take place later tonight. The special joint meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. today in the Council Chamber of Martinez City Hall, 525 Henrietta St.

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