Minutes – December 5, 2013

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The meeting was called to order at 530 PM by Chairman John Mason

Attendees: Deb Fridy, Steve Houghton*, John Linville*, Terry Shadley*,Tim Barney, Shirley Barney*, David Williams, Joanna Collum*, Chris Lucas, Nancy Ruzic, Willa Mineo, Teresa Clayton,  Jerry Venute*, Kevin Fretty*, Elisabeth Grzelak*, John Mason*, Steve Lane (shortly after 530)

  • Leadership Team Members

FINANCIAL REPORT: EGrzelak (copy will be attached to the minutes)

Expenses were $1721.16.Dr. Mason is owed $254.00 for establishment of petty cash fund and booklet printing Darrel Jacobs is owed 565.11 for gas, fertilizer, herbicides, and tools.  Additionally planning forward we need to request $50.00 to bring petty cash balance back to $200.00 and purchase a $500.00 gas card.

This totals #$1369.11. This amount will be requested in a letter sent to Steve Lane for approval and then forwarded to the City Treasurer for deduction from Fetch Dog Park Balance.  Elisabeth will make the disbursements and keep the records of petty cash and gas credit card use.

Estimated income from tag sales $3000.00.  Based on an estimated starting balance of $10,000 minus the above expenses and this year’s tag sale income our ending balance should be at least $11,703 (conservative)

We are hopeful that we can manage our finances and will only need to interact with the city once a year


Membership Form (copy will be attached to the minutes)  Steve Houghton presented a concise form that can utilized when purchasing a tag at the Humane Society.  Steve is now on the board at the Humane Society and has presented it to them.  The form was voted upon and approved.  It will be placed on web site so it could be downloaded and filled out prior to going to Humane Society for tag purchase.

Park Layout Issues: _SLane.

Grass-the long and short of it.  At our request Steve discussed some of the issues such as mowing time, drainage, and grass length.  After discussion and input the plan is to map out the tall grass areas in the spring.  They will be similar to what we have now. The mowers will attempt to cut a swath close to the fence to allow a walkway and also increased ability to spot dogs trying to sneak under fence. During the season the City with their special mowers will try and keep the tall grass areas in small dog area 6-8” and in large 8-12” in length,.  This will probably decrease the seed and eye nuisance   This will allow for flexibility and modification as season progresses.  This was felt to be an acceptable compromise.  No one disagrees that the tall grass improves the overall appearance of the park and offers challenge to some of the larger dogs. At least one complete short length mowing once a year is recommended.

Feasibility of another fenced area: JVenute. Proposals to add or incorporate a smaller fenced area in or adjacent to present Fetch Dog Park to accommodate dogs who are young or otherwise needing space to be able to adapt to the regular park was presented with  drawings by JVenute. The group was very concerned that this would mean aggressive dogs would be showing up and using this area,  Our experience with aggressive dogs and their owners has not been very good.  There was concern that this would open up a new “can of worms” ie new rules, new liabilities etc. .Jerry was asked to bring supportive evidence of its usefulness, information from other parks etc and then we could revisit the issue. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

Security: nothing new.  Signage was discussed.

Bulletin Board:  The fence is being used to post notes and there are concerns that this gives an unsightly appearance.  A vote was taken requesting that Steve Lane purchase a bulletin board we can use for all of our informational needs and he agreed to proceed.  He will arrange for purchase from our funds and installation

Trails:  The overall beauty of the Park and its trails were discussed.  The Fitness project of Northridge students along with some widening of the trail has been a very nice addition. Steve Lane was given a vote of thanks for his efforts on behalf of the City to keep our Park so nice.


Web site and booklets have been up dated and updated printings are available.  JMason received input from SFoster about changes that could be made in the page referring to donations.  Is it necessary, considering amount and frequency, to make the donation tax deductible?  At this time it was agreed to leave the page as is.    The use of the park for events such as the recent Bark for Life Cancer Benefit was discussed.  All agreed it is good use of the park.

Incident:  There has been an owner with 2 dogs who has been reported on 3 occasions-April July and November.  There have been other instances not reported.  There have been attacks on other member’s dogs and overall bullying.  The owner has been requested to follow the guidelines-leaving the area, controlling the dogs and using the small dog park if available.  He has not responded in an appropriate manner.  Members are leaving the park when he is present. After discussion it was felt that he should have his membership revoked and denied future use of the park. Chairman Mason will prepare the letter and send it to the Leadership Team members for their approval.  On Approval the letter will be signed by Mason and Grzelak and sent via registered mail to the offender notifying him his membership is revoked, his tags are revoked and the Humane Society is notified by copy also so that he will be denied new tags in future.

Issue: :  Member TClayton had reported that her dog got sick after eating some of the Clematis plants along the front fence of the park.  As a result she had reviewed the subject on the web and it appears the plant has toxicity for dogs.  There may be different strains and since this is the first episode linked to the plant we will review with Berry’s and Darrel Jacobs prior to removal.  Since DJacobs nurtured them through the drought and got them flourishing and beautiful we will certainly want to discuss the issue with him prior to transplantation. SHoughton volunteered to contact a resource he is familiar with at the University of Illinois.  He feels they can provide the information necessary for an informed decision.  Once the issue is clarified the Leadership Team can take action.  In the meantime members should actively encourage any dogs near the plants to move and leave them alone. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

Issue:  Member CLucas asked who was charge of enforcing the rule regarding the number of dogs that an owner/handler could bring to the park. She was concerned that since the rule stated 3 dogs and since some members brought 4 that confusion could result. This could challenge the integrity of the Park and create problems for the Rangers. The Chairman and other members of the Leadership Team discussed how the issue was dealt with.  We have allowed this to proceed because the other members of the park have assumed the owner/handler relationship to the extra dog.  This has worked well and without problems. The member was concerned that this was not an adequate solution.  The Chairman and members of the Leadership Team will talk this issue over with the 2 owners involved.

They are both valued members and we will need to reach a solution that is acceptable to all. FUTURE ACTION ITEM

There was no more issues or business to discuss so the meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM

Respectfully Submitted

John C. Mason, Jr  Chairman