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A Message from the General Manager

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HRD Board of Directors held a strategy meeting to discuss the Rec’s future.

On Saturday, June 19, 2021, the Board hosted its Annual Board Strategy Session meeting to review the challenges and opportunities from this past year and develop goals and plans for next year and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for the District both programmatically and financially, but it is poised to rebound over the next couple years. The District, which relies heavily on user fees for its operations and for maintenance and capital improvements, saw a decline of approximately 1 million in revenue since March 2020 when the first shutdown took place. In addition, the District recently completed a 1.5 million dollar capital project to install an ADA accessible ramp, new facility restrooms and seismic retrofit of the gymnasium which significantly reduced its reserves.

The Board identified current and other deferred maintenance and capital projects that must be addressed over the next few years. These include parking lot and pathway asphalt repairs and paving, main building roof replacement, tennis court resurfacing, facility painting, vehicle replacement and more. The Highlands Pool has previously been identified for a major renovation, but this will require significant capital funding and investment which the District must identify.

The Board Strategy Session focused on two major topics including the development of a facilities master plan and a proposal for a “Friends of the Rec” foundation, which are two ways the District could help move some of its strategic goals forward. For the facilities master plan the Board considered the potential scope for the project which would yield the highest benefit and resonate most with the community. Any such project would involve significant community engagement and outreach to ensure there is alignment on priorities. District staff plan to bring back proposals for the Board to review in September.

The second topic discussed included the formation of a “friends group” or non-profit park foundation, an approach many parks and recreation districts have taken to champion their fundraising efforts in support of their mission and to advocate for their programs and services.  Foundations help to promote the social, educational, environmental, and cultural life of communities where they exist as well as encourage community involvement and leverage the efforts of volunteers. The effort will require investment by the District as well as support from community members who are inspired to help the District remain sustainable for future generations.

For more information about the master plan or “Friends of the Rec” foundation, please feel free to give me a call at the Rec at (650) 341-4251 or email me at generalmanager@highlandsrec.ca.gov .

Parks Make Life Better!

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Derek Schweigart

General Manager

 

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