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YMCA May Take Over Sports Park and Recreation Center

Sports Park employees will be laid off as a result, the city employees' union president said.

The city of Imperial Beach is currently in negotiations for the YMCA of San Diego County to take over operations at the Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Center, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"imperial-beach-sports-parkrecreation-center"} -->, City Manager Gary Brown said Monday.

Brown declined to comment on the fate of current Sports Park staff but employee's union president Mike Murphy said they will be laid off—eliminating the city's smallest department.

"It's just a sad, eerie day that the city has gone away from kids again," an anonymous sports park employee said, noting that children may be asked to pay fees for some services that are now free at the Sports Park.

Employee negotiations are ongoing.

No formal deal has been signed with the city, said South Bay Family YMCA Executive Manager Lisa Johnson.

What happens to current staff is up to the city, Johnson said.

"It's too early in the process to say, but that's really up to the city," she said. "That's really their thing until they select a provider."

Handing the Sports Park to the YMCA will allow for partnerships between South Bay YMCA branches and YMCA Camp Surf in Imperial Beach, Johnson said.

Brown will meet with SEIU Local 221 President Murphy in closed session Wednesday ahead of a 6 p.m. City Council meeting.

City Attorney Jennifer Lyon and Brown will also meet in closed session with a YMCA representative Wednesday to discuss "price and terms of payment," the meeting agenda stated.

The YMCA may take over by the end of the year or early 2013, Brown said.

"The Y said they would basically not charge the city to operate it," Brown said. "We think the Y could provide a lot more upgrades in service to the public than we can with our staff."

The decision to turn over management of the property is not based on the performance of Sports Park employees, Brown said.

"This is not a performance issue at all," he said. "It's how can we best, in this case, how can we get more services to people at a facility that we have."

The union tells a different story.

Murphy said the city did little to support the center and keep it in city hands. Ways to generate revenue were not implemented, and the city has not done enough to promote activities.

"It's been ongoing for a lot longer than going back to the spring," he said. "It's been losing money for years."

As the city tried to balance its budget this spring, Sports Park staff were asked to make cuts and increase fees. Some higher fees were instated, hours were cut and staff was reduced from 12 employees to 5.

Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Director Jim Coates that cost saving measures and ways to generate income

Libi Uremovic September 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
i just audited the sports park: http://imperialbeach.patch.com/blog_posts/sports-park-2011-financials-misstated-by-67165 ''...City Manager Gary Brown estimates that it costs the city roughly $200,000 a year to run the sports park...." the city attorney fees for the last fiscal year were $600,000 - which is $400,000 over budget.... ..eliminate the city attorney and we can have 3 sports parks...
Libi Uremovic September 18, 2012 at 02:52 AM
"..City Manager Gary Brown estimates that it costs the city roughly $200,000 a year to run the sports park...'' 1, $200,000 isn't what you put on the 2011 financial statements, is it mr. lizard? 2. $200,000 to run it, but he's not taking into account the revenue the sports park generates... ...or the benefits to the community ... it's time we the people realize that we have a city manager, ass city manger, city attorney, and mayor that are hate our children...
iblocal September 18, 2012 at 08:21 AM
that is really sad. There are always so many activities going on there. We could use some classes for dance, just about anything. I hope they rethink that situation. Not good.
Nana * 8 September 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I agree the city does not promote any activities at the rec center. It could be so much better if the city would let the folks who run it now do their job. The employees love what they do and make very little doing it. I would like a break down of how the city arrived at the $200,000 a year to run the rec center. What really needs to be done is the city needs to get their act together and do their jobs, it's a shame that there are so many employees at the city that do nothing all day but cause trouble for everyone else!!!!!!!
Shorebird September 18, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Gary Brown, does he live in IB? Where are some other budgets cut? It appears every big cut has serious effects on the children of this town. The city of IB doesn't like anyone very much. How much money would the city save if they sacked Gary Brown and all his attorney pals???
ibcalif September 18, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Director Jim Coates ran the program into the ground and wasted both tax money and voluntary contributions. Thanks a lot Coates.
Fred September 18, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Totally ridiculous. Let them keep there jobs. Gary Brown is corrupt and already runs IB as Jim Janney is his assistant not the mayor. Grow a sack Janney and step up. The employees care about the kids and money cant replace that. IB is my city and the people running it is a complete disgrace. Instead of finding ways to help you find ways to bring people down. Gary Brown and Janney are the ones who didnt want the skatepark in the first place. We need to take the contaminated sewage signs from the beach and start putting them in front of City hall.
Libi Uremovic September 18, 2012 at 06:35 PM
jim coats does a good job - i don't know how they offer so much on such a small budget... ...there's no tax money or voluntary contributions in jim coates' hands for him to waste...that would be the hands of our city officials... in 2008 there was a line on the budget that showed i.b. receives $2 million/ year in contributions... ...the contributions line no longer exists on the 2012 budget...
ibcalif September 18, 2012 at 06:42 PM
The "Y" or the Boys & Girls Club would run it much better than a over-paid union goon. David Garcias and Coates were like peas in a pod. Good riddance to both; they fed at the public trough long enough.
John Galt September 18, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Nothing wrong with outsourcing Parks and Rec. Maybe get better service.
Libi Uremovic September 18, 2012 at 08:23 PM
jim coates is a salary line worker that makes $51,000/yr and he deserves every penny....he is the only full time employee at the park... sports park salaries for all of their employees combine only run $7,000/month.....that's less money than the imaginary graffiti coordinator position... p.s. david garcias only made $60,000/yr ....and where is he indeed....garcias is now the regional rep for the union.....he more than anyone should know what's really going on in the city...
Libi Uremovic September 19, 2012 at 01:33 AM
something very wrong in a city that turns its back on the community there's nothing wrong with the service and there is no way any organization is going to be able to prove that kind of service on that amount of money..
Libi Uremovic September 20, 2012 at 03:16 PM
"...the city's smallest department...." actually the city's smallest department is senior services that has a budget of $27,988 - and $8,500 of that is in 'abc accounts' , so the senior center never sees that money... i haven't audited the senior center yet and after what i've found at the sport park i'm afraid to look...
Bob O'Neal October 31, 2012 at 08:55 PM
The land that the park is on was donated to the city for a youth park and must me used in that way. Also part of the arrangement was that Imperial Beach Little League was to have it available to them at no charge for it's use as long as they wanted. The city needs to make sure that that is a rider in any negotiations with YMCA
Shorebird October 31, 2012 at 09:04 PM
So who on the city council or City staff will profit from the Y running the park? No doubt there will be some kind of "side agreement" for someone in one of these two groups to profit. Why else would they want to turn it over?
Mitchell D. McKay December 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
The property on which the Imperial Beach Recreation Center currently sits on was originally donated to Imperial Beach Little League by members of the local Lions Club. I researched this topic in 2000-2001 for the IBLL as a board member. In the 1970s, the City "arranged" for a transfer of properties and they made the current site of the IBLL fields available in exchange for the property closer to Imperial Beach Blvd and then built the gymnasium. It is unconscienable that the City would be (once again) asking for fees from those two organizations which provide recreation services specifically to the children (residents) of Imperial Beach. There is also a small piece of property (current T-ball fields) that is covered by a Congressional "Conditional Conveyance" (thank you Mr. Brian Bilbray, Sr.) who's use is contingent on it being used to "provide recreational services" to the residents of Imperial Beach. Search Google for H.R. Bill 4647
Shorebird December 14, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Avarice, greed and nefarious undertakings by IB CC abound

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