MINUTES OF THE BELMONT COA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Beech Street Center
May 17, 2010
Present: E. Hamann, Chair, Diana Dick, Neil Hegarty, H. Kazarian, A. Lougee, A. Mullin, J. Semuels, P. Solomon, Nava Niv-Vogel, Executive Director.
Absent: M. Cahalane, J. Kantor.
The Chair brought the Board to order at 7:32 p.m. in the Beech Street Center Conference Room.
1. Minutes: The minutes of the May 4, 2010 minutes were not reviewed and will be reviewed at the next meeting.
2. After Hours Use For Beech Street Center: The Board discussed the difficulties Karen Nichols was having in getting a rental/custodial waiver for the Friends of the COA Crafts Fair event. Ms. Niv Vogel will be in attendance to supervise the event. Jim Staton has contacted Selectman Ralph Jones. Staton, Jones and Tom Younger, Town Administrator will be meeting on rental proceedings and the Crafts Fair.
3. Marketing Plan: The Board reviewed the existing policy for renting the Beech Street Center (BSC) and how it is cumbersome, confusing and not "renter friendly." Ms. Niv-Vogel raised the fact that Kristen, the COA's Coordinator has experience in event planning and already gives tours of the BSC and answers questions about the BSC. Chair Hamann has heard that the rental process is frustrating for those seeking the rental. Board members who have sought rental stated that a $1 million certificate of insurance is required of BSC renters by the Town, but there is little information in how or from whom to obtain it. Rentals have dropped off in recent months and none are planned for September. The Working Group on the COA Marketing Plan (Mr. Hegarty, Ms. Dick, Ms.
Mullin and Ms. Niv-Vogel) presented a draft Plan on ways to better market the BSC and obtain rentals for the BSC and to have the COA staff coordinate rentals of the BSC. Current procedures utilize the Town Administrator's Assistants. After discussion, the Board voted to have Ms. Niv-Vogel make final edits in the Marketing Plan and forward it to the Selectmen through the Chair, Town Administrator's Office and Town Treasurer's Office. The Draft Plan sets forth the current rental process, barriers to its success and sets forth in part the following statements:
A. "A positive, business friendly process is in the Town's best interests if it is to take full advantage of the potential; to generate rental income from the Beech Street Center. This process should provide a single access point for potential customers that would expedite the application process in one office. During this process, they would receive comprehensive written materials including application form, a guided tour explaining the various options and costs, and an interview with the staff member responsible for event scheduling and management.
Recommended- 1/ To relocate the rental scheduling and application process to the Center; 2/ Assign the overall responsibility to implement the Center Party Rental Program and the marketing plan to the Director of the Council on Aging, the Resident Administrator at the Center."
B. Public Awareness of private rental of the center must be greatly expanded. With parking on site, this beautiful, accessible and very flexible venue for large and small functions needs to be widely marketed if it financial potential is to be realized.
Recommended- 1/ Assign Director, with the support of the Council on Aging to develop a comprehensive marketing plan with public announcements, attractive printed materials, oral presentations and other opportunities to raise the public's consciousness of the availability of this new and exciting building; 2/ Without adding staff, make appropriate job description changes to take advantage of presently existing skills among the staff who are capable of assuming responsibility for the management of the Rental Plan. Attract a team of media knowledgeable volunteers and tour guides to supplement staff."
After a response, this issue would get on the Selectmen's Agenda.
4. FY 2011 Budget/Warrant Committee Report: The Board next discussed the Warrant Committee Report on the COA Budget which was set forth in the Town Meeting Member's Packet for the May 25th and 26th Town Meeting. Ms. Niv-Vogel reported that the FY 2011 COA budget being offered by the Warrant Committee and Selectmen cuts the extra senior center coordinator's hours sought ($22,000). Kristen, the coordinator now does part coordinator and part administrative jobs. This funding would have allowed Kristen to be full-time Coordinator and allowed a new person to be hired for the administrative assisting. The Board discussed Warrant Committee report recommendations regarding consolidation of the COA with other Town Departments and the need for better data from the COA. The Board
discussed how it has submitted data in many forms over the years and how it needs to better educate the warrant committee and Town Meeting on COA functions. Mr. Semuels and Mr. Kazarian clarified that the consolidation recommendations were stated to them at a Warrant Committee meeting to be among possible ideas to save the Town money in future years in all departments. Ms. Niv-Vogel stated that the proposed override vote in June will have no effect on the COA budget.
5. Town Meeting: The Town Meeting is scheduled for the nights of May 25th and 26th at the Middle School at 7:30 p.m. The Board discussed how the budget is voted on and the fact that amendments must be made in advance to shift monies from one line item to the next. Seniors will be encouraged to attend Town Meeting in the audience to support their COA programs and services. They will not be able to speak unless recognized and named early by a Town Meeting member as a potential speaker by the Moderator.
6. COA Board Appointments: Mr. Semuels, Ms. Solomon, Mr. Kazarian and Mr. Kantor were mentioned as having their COA Board terms ending at the end of June. Ms. Morrison has resigned from the Board due to extensive travel required in her job. There was discussion on whom wished to be reappointed as well as potential candidates for open seats. The Selectmen will make the final decision in June.
7. Dumpster: There is an issue regarding the need for and placement of a dumpster at the BSC. The building plans (building committee, planning board) did not call for one. The need arises because trash is not being picked up every day. It is being picked up every other day. The issue has gone back to the Selectmen.
8. Next Meeting: The next meeting of the COA Board is June 7, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the BSC.