Live-tweet thread by Ramiro Merino:
Tonight I’ll be live-tweeting the @CityofFresno’s Fresno Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission meeting for @fresnoland. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.
Follow along for updates or tune in at
Commissioner Maiyer Vang will be absent from the meeting.
There is quorum for the meeting to continue.
The Commission approved the Minutes for the August 15, 2022 Regular Meeting.
Commissioner Sarah Parkes said “The Cultural Arts Campaign was updated with Mayor Dyer’s video & will be posted on social media. Additional information to promote the survey will come at a later date. The Request for Qualification for boots in the park outreach closed last week.”
There was no update for the Parks Master Plan.
During the Outreach Committee update, Commissioner Oputa asked if any commissioners can take notes as it relates to public comment.
City staff offered to take notes in addition to the regular actions taken that is recorded.
Commissioner Sarah Parkes said “I am in Chicago exploring the city trials. I am inspired and hope to bring these ideas to the City of Fresno.”
Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa had no comments.
Commissioner Cummings said Clean Air Day is coming up and trees will be planted on the Fresno State campus, with additional planting days to come.
Commissioner Kimberly McCoy said “We reserved a park to celebrate my cousin’s graduation. It was disappointing to see the service of the park. We did not want our children to go into the bathrooms because there were homeless people in there. When does the ranger program start?”
Commissioner Vice Chair Jon Dohlin suggested that before the Commission goes live, to make sure the technical issues are addressed, such as sound, video working, etc.
City staff Aaron Aguirre said “The Park Ranger program will be starting soon.”
[Note: There was a pause on the livestream from my end.]
Aguirre said “We are in communication with the Public Works Department. We have our monthly meetings with them and will address..”
these issues at that time.
Commissioner McCoy asked about warming centers. City staff Aguirre said “The intent is to open up more warming centers during the cooler months.”
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “Safety Day is coming up. Coed junior football is starting up as well.”
There was no public comment during unscheduled communication.
The meeting moved to a workshop to provide an update on the PARCS Department FY 2023 Budget for Measure P Expenditure Category (3) Youth & Senior Recreation Programs; After School Programs; & Job Training for Youth & Veterans.
Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa asked “Are the hours extended hiring winter and spring break?”
City staff said yes, hours are extended.
Oputa: “I appreciated hearing about cultural inclusivity. Do we look at holidays outside of Judeo-Christian holidays?”
“Yes we are.”
Oputa: “On slide 19, can you talk about how you determined which youth were placed in what discipline.”
City staff Hayley said “This year, we placed them based on general interest. Going forward, it will look forward. I have lots of ideas on how to make this better.”
“Moving forward, the selection process will look different.”
Oputa: “I would be interested in the demographics of the youth and the demographics of the job placement. To be frank, we have to consider our unconscious bias.”
City staff Hayley said “I have to be careful when asking those specific questions. There is red tape.”
Commissioner Oputa clarified and said “I was referring to youth you already hired. You can get the demographic questions from that.”
Commissioner Cummings asked “Do the youth have the same opportunities to ask questions?”
City staff Hayley said “We have an assistant dedicated to a concentrated group of youth. I was thinking of having them write their questions instead of saying them out loud.”
Commissioner Cummings said “I don’t want to lose the youth for not having transportation to get to work. There are lots of opportunities with Measure P. I’m glad this is the second year, we can go only go up as far as I’m concerned.”
City staff Aguirre said “I was speaking to a parent and let them know we have youth sports coming up. Their first question was ‘how much?’ It is heartbreaking to see youth wanting to participate in a program but can’t due to costs.”
City staff Ramirez said “Seniors are getting food at home.”
Commissioner McCoy asked “Are there plans to open more senior centers in area A and B since areas C and D each have 3.”
City staff Aguirre said “We would like to update these centers.”
McCoy said “I know the Maxi Center has a lot of seniors. Are there plans to have a senior program there?”
City staff said as staff increases, they will look at this.
McCoy: “Is there wifi to centers in southwest Fresno? Are there computers abatible for youth to use?”
City staff Aguirre said the centers do have wifi. The city will need to identify what the needs are.
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “Our goal is to have very park and very program to be adaptive.”
Commissioner McCoy asked “Do we have plans to have a science center for youth in south west Fresno?”
City staff said “We have staff that rotates and goes to each center…”
City staff: “We also have science mobiles that travel. As staff get comfortable, they will build it into their programs.”
Commissioner Barraza asked “What kind of relationship does the city have with the Fresno State parks and recreation program?”
City staff: “One of our staff has a great relationship, they meet with the department frequently.”
City staff Edward Chinevere provided an update on the status of the progress projects funded by Measure P.
“We went through our facilities and identified what needed to repairs and replacements.”
• estimate project cost
• design phase
• construction/in progress
[There was some technical difficulties and the livestream for the meeting paused.]
The Bulldog and 6th North Building is currently under construction and will be completed by November of this year.
The Van Ness & Weldon Park is a street improvement project.
Commissioner Parkes said “I would like to see visuals for these projects as they come along. Are there plans to do additional outreach for the community regarding their needs? There are people not able to play volleyball because the nets do not meet their needs.”
City staff Ramirez said “It is our standard to take before and after pictures. We will add them in the presentation.”
Commissioner Jon Dohlin asked “What about the Tower Theater? It was notable in its absence.”
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “If it receives Measure P funds in the future, then it will be added in the fiscal year budget.”
Dohlin: “If it was purchased using Measure P funds, wouldn’t it be repaired using Measure P funds?”
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “Not necessarily, we can use different funds for the different projects, like the general fund, etc.”
Commissioner Oputa said “I am so happy that the Lafayette bathrooms are getting done. I didn’t grasp the 30, 60, 90 concept.”
City staff Chinevere said “The 30 60 90 are the design phases. This is when we do major changes and when we do community outreach to gather feedback.”
Commissioner Barraza was having audio issues. The city clerk said “This is also the source of our feedback.”
City staff Ramirez suggested Commissioner Barraza email his questions to City staff so they can be answered.
Commissioner McCoy asked “You said Nielsen Park is having improvements. What kind of improvements? Benches, bathrooms?”
City staff Chinevere said “We’re looking at bbq replacements, trash receptors & possibly play area improvements. We have found that some particular projects…”
have a higher need so we don’t categorize them that way.
McCoy asked “When was the last time that Einstein Park was updated? That is my home park.”
City staff Aguirre said “The restroom and community center were painted last year. For the nets, we have the resurfing package.”
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “It will take a phased approach to reach the non-highest needs parks.”
Commissioner Chair McCoy opened the meeting to public input regarding allocations related to Measure P, updates to the Parks Master Plan and Cultural Arts Plan, and annual PARCS Department Budget and Capital Improvement Plans.
[Note: There is a lot of feedback from the livestream at the moment.]
Resident Glenna Gammel said “I think all of the parks should receive funding. I know in the park where I live, the bbq pits were removed.”
Resident Kalvin Xiong said “I want to do a follow up at Vinland Park. The new net installation makes me think the City did not listen to us. It seems to me we’re not taken seriously. We feel insulted. The city needs to allocate funding for nets that meet our needs.”
City staff Aldi Ramirez said “I encourage you all to bring up items you want to hear about. We have this as a standing meeting until the budget is voted on in November. I encourage to share your ideas.”
With no further discussion, Commission Chair McCoy adjourned the @CityofFresno’s Parks, Recreation, and Arts Commission meeting at 7:55 p.m. The next meeting is on September 19.
For more public meeting coverage from the @fresnoland Documenters, visit:
Originally tweeted by Ramiro Merino (@Ramiro_Merino_) on September 13, 2022.