Mayor’s Report on the Future of Golf Manor’s Recreation Commission

Since November of 2019 I’ve been speaking with our legal counsel about how to address the collapse of the Golf Manor’s Recreation Commission, which does not have enough members to be in compliance with the ordinance that created it. 

History of the Recreation Commission

The Golf Manor Recreation Commission was created by Council Ordinance in 1973. Twenty-four years later, a 1996 Council Ordinance was enacted with further definitions in 1997 and 1998 supplementing the original. Eleven years later, a 2009 Council Ordinance was enacted under Mayor Alan Zaffiro, defining the Constitution and Bylaws of the Commission as they look now.

Rationale moving forward…

Golf Manor’s Recreation Commission has not been following the rules of the Council Ordinance that created it. It is my opinion that the rules are good rules, and that we shouldn’t get rid of the rules just to say we’re in compliance, but rather we should come up with a plan to become compliant with the existing rules. So…

Where are we out of compliance?

The following is a summary of precisely which rules the Recreation Commission is failing to meet, the article number within the Ordinance that defines each of these rules, and the bare minimum we will need to do to bring the Commission back into compliance.

  • We need 9 members, plus a liaison — so 10 residents, and the quorum is 5 (voting members), so at least 6 residents need to be identified and assigned. Article III (A).
  • These members have to have background checks submitted and approved prior to being activated as members. Article III (E,F).
    • And any volunteers as well, if they will be around children (18 years or younger), also need background checks. Article III (E,F).
  • The Commission needs to file certain regular reports and follow certain record keeping and expenditure rules designated in the Ordinance: 
    • Minutes for meetings need to be taken and follow the format designated in the Ordinance.* see 2009-3 Article IX (D), and VI (C).
    • Expenditures need to be approved by council prior to being made by the commission. Article VI (A).
    • Reports need to be made to council on schedule that reflect:
      • Status of facilities and programs, and that
      • 25% of the Commission’s expenditures have been made for “park improvements and recreational programs in the park”. Ordinances Chapter 137.03

Overview of How to Get Into Compliance:

  • Begin a process of recruiting members through our community engagement committee. This may take awhile: 
    • Develop a process for receiving and reviewing background checks. The Mayor can have the Village administrator speak to Chief Campbell about possible assistance with this process. 
    • Once we have enough residents interested, who have passed the required background check, have the proposed members approved (voted on) by Council, with Term limits compliant with chapter 137.02 of the Ordinance (e.g., recommend 3 members for 1 year terms, 3 members for 2 year term, and 3 members for 3 year term; all following terms will be 3 year terms).
    • The Recreation Commission will once again be able to make recommendations to Council and operate at the Council direction once at least 5 members have approved by Council and are present (establishing quorum). I recommend that it delays operation until 9 members have been voted on by Council, to afford continued operation with inevitable absences.
  • In the meantime have the membership of the Community Engagement Committee take on the responsibilities of the Recreation Commission (with regard to activity planning and deployment) until such time that the Recreation Commission is once again able to function in compliance with the Village Ordinance. This makes sense because the Community Engagement Committee will likely be involved in most of the Recreation Commission’s events anyway, given their goal to enhance community communication about and participation in Village events. Therefore it makes sense to have them involved and working on recreation events while they are identifying potential members for appointment to the (relaunch of the) Recreation Commission.

[UPDATE: Due to the complications of necessary precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Engagement Committee’s activities have been slow to pick up the recreational activity planning, deployment, and membership search outlined above. If you have interest or any questions concerning the Recreation Commission, please contact myself, the village administrator, and/or the chair of the Community Engagement Committee, Councilman Danny Kniepp. ]

This report is respectfully submitted to the Village residents of Golf Manor. Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor. To our staff and elected officials, thank you for your service to the community.

Stefan Densmore, Mayor, Village of Golf Manor.

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