Minutes for April 17, 2012

7:30 PM Borough Hall



Present:  Mitchell, Richards, Flynn, Conlin, Shertzer, Gormally, Wright, Spoto, Caputo


Absent:  Bednar, Mancuso, Sentowski


New members Mark Caputo and Lydia Spoto were introduced.  One spot remains vacant on the Commission.  Nicole Wright will approach a possible candidate to see if she would be willing to serve.  Celia distributed a contact list and asked that everyone verified his or her information.  Celia requested that all urgent issues that arise between Commission Meeting be double copied between her official email and her personal email (


The Commission discussed the need to name a Vice Chairman or Co-Chairman, a Secretary, and committees to mange specific issues regarding Finance, Sports Programs, Non-Sports Rec Programs (Summer Rec, Easter Hunt, Trout Derby, 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas/Menorah Lighting) and Facilities. A sub-committee consisting of Deb Bednar, Celia Flynn, Nicole Wright and Deb Shertzer will assemble a proposal for adoption and assignment at the May meeting.


RVA field assessments were discussed.  It was agreed that the Finance Committee would examine this process and evaluate its fairness and potential future application to the Mountain Lakes Recreation Program.


 Financial Disclosure Statements have been distributed to all Commissioners via email and need to be signed and returned to Celia.  This process must be completed annually.  A Conflict of Interest position letter from the town lawyer was also distributed for all commissioners to understand.


The definition of a Recreation Program was discussed It was agreed that swimming, sailing, track, basketball clinics, girls’ lacrosse, field hockey, summer tennis programs and Briarcliff baseball and softball all fall solidly under the Mountain Lakes Recreation Commission Banner.  In addition, football, baseball, soccer, and boys’ lacrosse offer access to recreational sports but are managed as clubs and do not fall within the direct oversight of the Recreation Commission.  Wrestling is run as a Boonton Township Recreation program.  The Sports Committee will need to decide what role, if any, that the commission will play with the Club and out of town sports.


A draft 2011 Recreation Program Report will be emailed to the Commission for discussion and finalization at the May meeting.


It appears that some of the summer tennis programs are offering participation to participants outside of Mountain Lakes and Boonton Township which is not as agreed.  Celia will follow up.


Dede Conlin suggested that Swimming Punch cards should not expire as they represent a significant cash outlay to families but play a critical role in terms of minimizing the need to mange cash at the beaches.  Last year the cards expired at the end of the season for the first time.  However, several members felt that the large discount allowed by the cards justified the expiration.  After discussion, it was decided that the cards would be more practical if they were offered in increments of 5 and 10 visits instead of 10 and 20 but that the discount should be less as users were not being asked to purchase a high number of visits. Lydia Spoto made a motion that card prices should be $25 for 5 visits and $50 for 10 visits. Cards would expire at the end of the season. Nicole Wright seconded the motion. All present voted in favor.  


Scott Richards made a motion that the Commission recommend to Borough Council that the minimum child age for free admission to the beaches be changed to 6 from 3 to reflect a more realistic usage of life guard time and attention.  Lydia Spoto seconded the motion.    All present were in favor.   A further motion was made by Deb Shertzer to provide an early purchase incentive by allowing residents to purchase tags at the 2011 price until June 22, 2012.  After the 22nd, the price will increase to $30 for an individual and $120 for a family. Mark Caputo seconded the motion.   All present were in favor. It was also noted that nannies must have a tag.  Nonresident nannies can buy a Caretaker tag for $25 or $30 after June 22. 


Scott Richards reported than Swim team registration has dropped from about 200 kids to 160 largely because the more competitive swimmers are expected to practice at the Y.


Dede will coordinate with Jay Eveleth to ensure that kids in sailing program pass the Recreation “swim competency test”.


Discussion on Development and overview of the Goals of Mt. Lakes Rec. Commission and Recreation Duties and Responsibilities will be deferred to the next meeting.


The Easter event was well attended.  Estimated attendance was 150 kids.  Eggs will be better cooked next year and eggs will not be put out in advance as the kids took them early.  The bunny was excellent.


Trout Derby, 50th annual event will be held April 20 and 21.  The Borough had to get a fish-stocking permit this year.  When obtaining the permit, it became apparent that the lake is far too warm for the trout to survive and reproduce over the long term.  In future years, it was recommended that large mouth bass or sunnies be used.  The cost of the trout is high ($2700) and could be reduced if the stocking used a breed that could reproduce in the water temperature of the lakes.  This year it has been stipulated that children must catch the fish themselves to receive a prize.  T-shirts will be sold.  There is conflict with soccer tryouts, the Tritown parade, and the Delbarton lacrosse game.  Next year Celia is considering trying to switch the date with the Woods and Lake run to minimize conflicts.


There continues to be an issue with obtaining track practice time for the Rec program.  Celia is looking for a location to build a “practice” track.  A minimum of 4 hours of practice time is required.  A plan must be developed well before the start of the 2013 track season.


It was agreed that a DJ will be hired again for the 4th of July but will begin 7:30 instead of 6 pm this year.  Other details for the 4th of July were deferred to the May meeting.


The Borough is considering using a swipe system for the tennis courts this summer.  However, those present did not feel that this would be a truly effective deterrent to non-resident use of the courts as there would be no one checking who was actually entering the courts.  Last year, a Park Ranger patrolled tennis court use.  The Ranger also patrolled the beaches after hours.  Generally, this was considered to have significantly decreased the non-resident abuse at both facilities, as the Park Ranger would request police back-up if non-residents did not comply with requests to leave the facilities.  It was noted that one tennis pro would not stop using the Mountain Lakes courts until he was given a $600 summons by the police.  Scott Richards made a motion to rehire the Park Ranger for the summer to patrol the tennis courts and beaches for non-resident abuse.  Nicole Wright seconded the motion.  All present were in favor.


An early drop off option will be offered at the Summer Recreation program for an additional fee of $30 a week.  It will not have an educational focus.  Regular hour camp fees will be held at last year levels but it was felt that a more significant “late sign-up penalty” needs to be imposed to discourage families from continually causing havoc with the camp staffing requirements.  Nicole Wright proposed that the weekly camp fee be increased to $125 fee for those who sign up at the last minute.  Scott Richards seconded the motion.  All present were in favor.



Meeting adjourned at approximately 10:15pm.




Immediate Action Items:


1.       All Commissioners must sign the Financial Disclosure Statement and return to Celia. 

2.       Deb Bednar, Deb Shertzer, Celia Flynn and Nicole Wright to develop a draft recommendation for the structure, committees and positions required to allow the Rec Commission

3.       Nicole Wright to approach a possible candidate for vacant Recreation Commission position.

4.       Celia Flynn to follow up with all tennis pros planning to use the Municipal Courts to ensure that programs/lessons/clinics are directed solely to Mountain Lakes and Boonton Township residents.

5.       Charles Gormally to ensure that Borough Council revises Municipal Ordinances to reflect the changes to the Beach rules and regulation outlined above.

6.       Dede Conlin will coordinate with Jay Eveleth to ensure that all sailing program participants have passed the appropriate water competency test prior commencing sailing instruction on the lake.

7.       Celia Flynn to hire a Park Ranger to patrol beaches and the tennis courts this summer.






The next Rec Commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 15th at 7:30pm, Borough Hall.