Citizens For A Better Norwood 2

Sunday, May 20, 2007

3/23/07 Rec. Commission communication to Finance & Audit Committee

Norwood Recreation Commission Budget needs 2007

The reasons we have asked for additional funds

Employees Cost-Minimum wage, workers comp & PERS* increases

Minimum Wage went up to $6.85 an hour. We had started our employees at $6.25 an hour. So we have 19 employees that need to be paid $6.85 over what we have previously paid them. Besides minimum wage going up, Workers Comp and PERS have increased. With these increases our employees for all of our programs will cost us an additional $14,000 to $15,000. This would include our pool workers, gym workers and all other programs we do through out the year.

Operating Expenses
Chlorine cost have increased 11% in the last two years. We have shopped around for better cost but Miami Chemical does have the lowest price. Other chemicals that we use such as acid, cleaning solutions, paper products have all increased in cost. As we all know these cost have increase at a rate of 2 to 3% each year. We have lawn chairs that need to be replaced at Waterworks, last year we had to remove about 15 to 18 chairs that we not repairable. We will have added expenses of traveling this year with the pools and the office being in 4 different places.

Recreation Van
The recreation van is a 1991 and needs to be replaced. We use this van for many things, transporting children from the centers to the pools, getting supplies for our programs, transporting supplies and equipment for events and programs. We need to have this vehicle replaced.

As compared with other communities, for the programs we offer, this funding request is not out of line. When you compare our total recreation budget to the city’s budget, we are only asking for 6/10 of one percent of the incoming funds. In 2003 the city was contributing $127,000 to recreation, in 2004 it was cut to $85,000 and we have been given the same amount since then despite inflation. This was a 32% cut that we have struggled with over the past few years as well as inflation just like all the other departments in this city have faced.

March 23, 2007

* Public Employees Retirement System

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bessie’s COW report for May

Call the police! Call the police! Call the police! That was the emphatic message for residents from the two nice Norwood police officers who spoke at last Tuesday night’s COW meeting. They were there, of course, because Councilperson Brigid Kelly put resident Tom Brown’s April letter to council regarding South Norwood problems on the meeting agenda. Mr. Brown and his wife Casey attended, too, but I didn’t see Ms. Kelly.

So, here’s what the police officers want us all to do. If we see ANY suspicious behavior, see speeders, drag racing, crimes being committed, hear loud noise, including loud car stereo’s blaring, whatever it is, call the police immediately. If you don’t think it’s an emergency, call the police non-emergency # 458-4520. If you don’t have the non-emergency # handy, call 911; and, no, we won’t get in trouble for calling 911 with a non-emergency report. Even if the police don’t catch anybody from a call, they need us to call so they know where hot spots are popping up and can then devote more patrols to those areas, or they can bring in radar and lasers. The NPD chief and captain are in the process of developing a plan for problem areas, and they really do need citizen input to help identify them, so call the police!

Other agenda items that were discussed:

1. Financial Recovery Plan - The Auditor of State‘s preliminary forecast should be ready for presentation to the Administration any day now.

2. City newsletter - Nothing new, although Keith Moore suggested they get started by collecting information from department heads and putting it on the city’s website soon, then make copies of the information and place them in businesses around town.

3. Red light cameras - Nothing new except that Joe Sanker is going to distribution 13 pages of red light camera information he has to the rest of council.

4. Front porch deck issue - This was discussed at length at the April COW meeting attended by Dan Blye, Norwood’s code expert. Since there’s no consensus to write an ordinance restricting front porch decks, the topic will stay in COW rather than go to the Law and Ordinance Committee.

5. Norwood’s codified ordinances on the city’s website - This will be a good move for everybody in and out of government, cheaper, too, than the $3,800 spent last year for books. Some of the codified ordinance books purchased last summer didn’t include the first chapter. The Walter H. Drane Company has quoted a cost of $2,400 to scan the ordinances, plus $30 per month, for an annual charge of $2,700. Other quotes will be collected.

6. ID badge making machine - With a $3,000 grant from the Norwood Health Dept., the City would kick in an additional $3,500 to purchase the machine. COW will report out that there was consensus to proceed with the purchase.