Recreation and Parks Welcomes New Team Members

A couple of fresh faces were in attendance as the Recreation and Parks Commission met to hear about a range of programs, events and agreements on Oct. 25. 

Recreation and Services Manager Christopher Paulson formally introduced Norma Mower and Andrew DeLeon at the beginning of the meeting, the newest Recreation Supervisor and Recreation Coordinator, respectively. Mower and DeLeon each had a chance to address the Commission, with the former detailing her nearly three decades of experience in parks and recreation service and the latter discussing more recent projects.

After each had a chance to speak, Senior Recreation Supervisor Paul Paolone recapped last week’s Beverly Hills Fall Art Show and previewed some future programming. Paolone hailed the fall show as a success, declaring it “a very memorable bash for the community to partake in.”

Additionally, he gave a sneak peek of next year’s Spring Art Show, the 50th anniversary of the event. Paolone confirmed the date of the event as May 17-18 and responded to some of the meeting attendees’ feedback, suggesting that the milestone exhibition could have interactive painting stations if residents felt inspired to create their own art.

Paolone also provided updates about the ArtWalk Guided Tours, two of which are scheduled before 2023. Next year, he explained his plan to incorporate new sites into the walking tours, such as a history of Rodeo Drive and analysis of the art in City Hall.

After briefly touching upon the annual Harvest Festival, Paolone concluded his presentation with holiday announcements about the Greystone Mansion. He promised visits with Santa and crafts for children, but only hinted at what was in store for December.

“Now that it’s back, there’s no other option but to go big,” Paolone said.

Paulson followed with an in-depth look into the drafted Memorandum of Understanding that the City negotiated with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). A plan to “clearly delineate the various responsibilities of the entity versus the city,” the draft agreement gives AYSO priority to use local fields from August until December – Little League would retain access for the first half of the year. The Memorandum also prohibited subletting to clubs or other groups, outlined participant fees for resident and non-resident players, allowed storage in city and district closets, and set training session maximums for referees, coaches, and volunteers.

Paulson elaborated on the city’s duties as well, including lining the fields and securing goals. In response to questioning, he clarified that rangers already included the field areas in their regular rounds and argued the supervision would be adequate security.

Under the agreement, AYSO would also be allowed one “large-scale special event” per season. AYSO Beverly Hills Region 76 plans to revive the Sportsmanship Cup, last held in 2019, for this year’s allotment.

The next major item on the agenda was a breakdown on permits handed out by the Filming and Special Events Division of the Community Development Department. Magdalena Davis, the Community Services Manager, described the difference in two types of permits. Filming and Photography permits, for example, are required for all Beverly Hills commercial shoots except those in Greystone. 

Special Events permits, on the other hand, come into play when the event is “in the public right-of-way” or the operations of the park are changed – for example, with rental equipment. These permits are unnecessary if the rentals can occur within standard public procedures.

Next, Assistant Director of Community Services Patty Acuña gave a report on the 2022 Recreation and Parks Award. She detailed the nomination process – nominations could occur via the public or a commissioner, with the recipient being invited to a later meeting to receive the award.

Acuña and Paulson commented on other happenings as the meeting went on, from the upcoming Beverly Hills Fire Department Girls Empowerment Camp to facets of Universal Transitional Kindergarten training. Paulson also congratulated several members of the Commission, shared winners of a “Bright Idea” employee excellence award for June’s Beverly Hills Pride Night.

Finally, Commissioner Alissa Roston fielded questions and gave quick updates on other City matters. One of the last topics mentioned was the pickleball pilot program, as meeting attendees were eager to hear results, especially with notable Major League Pickleball investments from the likes of Tom Brady and LeBron James.

“We are working with a third-party vendor to help us with the survey,” Roston said. “We want to get opinions…before we evaluate it as a whole.” 

Share Post