City of Jacksonville


Parks Task Force Committee

Governance/Structure Statement Subcommittee

Minutes of August 5, 2004 Meeting

I. Date, Time, Place, Attendees

A. Date, Time, Place of Meeting

Date of Meeting: August 5, 2004

Place: Mayor's Small Conference Room

Time: 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

B. Attendees

  1. Lanny Russell
  2. Pam Paul (via phone)
  3. T.R. Hainline
  4. Coen Purvis
  5. Rufus Pennington
  6. Christian Harden
  7. Barbara Goodman
  8. Tom Majdanics

II. The Meeting

A. The above listed persons met at the Mayor's Office for a subcommittee meeting concerning recommendations on governance and structure for Jacksonville's Parks Department. During the July meeting, the Mayor's Parks Task Force had a consensus on creating a unified department with a strong governing board. The assignment of the governance subcommittee is to recommend specific strategies on how to accomplish this goal. Lanny Russell, subcommittee Chair, provided a packet of information related to governance, and he updated the group on the current structure of the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department. He addressed the tasks of the subcommittee and mentioned briefly several new potential departments to keep in mind, such as Preservation and volunteer services. The group discussed what method of organizational structure would best govern the Parks system, such as geographic area, type of activity, City Council districts, or CPAC districts.

B. The group then discussed establishing a Parks Board of Trustees. Most of the subcommittee agreed that the Board should have policy authority and be in charge of finding, hiring and retaining an executive director (or superintendent) of the Parks Department. (Barbara explained how the National Park Service manages with a Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent. The Superintendent's job is focused mostly on external operations such as policy, vision, and interaction with partners. The Deputy Superintendent is responsible for internal, day-to-day operations.) The subcommittee members agreed this structure would fit Jacksonville's park system well. They also agreed a Board of Trustees should have control, along with the Mayor, over employment decisions concerning the Superintendent and that the Deputy should be hired by the Superintendent and confirmed by the Board. The group agreed to think further about how to ensure Board appointees were selected appropriately, such as by skill set, community group representation, or geography.

C. Recommendations:

· To create a 9 member Board of Trustees appointed by the Mayor with City Council approval. The Board would serve in 4-year staggered terms.

· To create the positions of and begin an immediate nationwide search to find a Superintendent and Deputy.

The subcommittee also agreed to revisit the idea of drafting an ordinance to ensure their recommendations are carried out in a timely fashion.