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Summit Junior Baseball

Board of Directors Meeting---Wednesday, 01/13/2010

Meeting Minutes


In Attendance:  Zusi, Floegel, Fuoti, Calabrese, Maldonado, Lenz, Barbara Vitti, Rob Vitti, Pacillio, Nardino, Hiltebrand, Coburn, Luciani, Schneider, Melendez, McLaughlin, Carlson, Donatacci, Greenstein,  Bonomo

1.        Minutes from December 10, 2009 Board of Directors Meeting were APPROVED.  Several presentations and updates followed:

2.       Special Projects-Vince Donatacci—Jefferson Concession Stand Proposal

Mr. Donatacci introduced Mike Vernotico, who developed preliminary drawings of a proposed expansion of the Jefferson Field shed.   As Mr. Donatacci explained, the proposal would enable a portion of the shed to be used as a food concession facility, enabling SJBB, like the Summit football program, to raise additional funds in support of SJBB programs.

Mr. Vernotico offered his drawings for review and explained various aspects of and issues associated with the proposal.  Before beginning, Mr. Vernotico noted that shed is located on Summit city property but that Jefferson Field is  located on Board of Education property.  Mr. Vernotico explained that the proposal would involve expanding the shed toward the Summit Community Pool .  He explained various issues that would need to be considered, including:

·         Whether to move the existing retaining wall or use the expanded shed itself as a retaining wall (he recommended the latter);

·         Sewer lines—making the necessary connections  would require permission from the city, since it would involve connecting to sewer lines through the adjacent parking lot and other property, requiring an easement; he roughly estimated that the sewer work might cost approximately $5G to $10G;

·         Obtaining Board of Health approval, since the shed would be used as a food concession facility;

·         Cost—he noted that the original shed construction cost approximately $30G four or five years ago; there were a number of questions  regarding the cost of the project; it was agreed that more precise estimates needed to be developed and presented to the board.

Mr. Vernotico indicated that connecting to water mains was not a major issue.  Board members asked several questions, including: 

·         A request for an estimate of anticipated revenue, perhaps using the Summit football program concession experience as a starting point;

·         A request that consideration be given to adding rest rooms as a component of the project.

Mr. Donatacci noted that if anyone had any questions, they should direct them to him. He will work with Mr. Vernotico as necessary to respond to questions , refine the proposal and plan for next steps.

3.       President’s Report—Keith Zusi

Mr. Zusi described that, working in partnership with Overlook Hospital and Judith Josephs at the Department of Community Programs, SJBB has arranged for Rick Wolf to speak on Thursday evening, April 22, 2010 at Summit High School.  Mr. Zusi explained Mr. Wolf’s credentials as an expert on youth sports.  Mr. Wolf will speak about youth sports, their importance and meaning, and youth coaching philosophy generally.   The board agreed that all SJBB coaches should be strongly encouraged to attend.  Mr. Zusi indicated that he had been reaching out to other youth sports programs in town to encourage their members’ attendance.  Mr. Zusi indicated that Overlook Hospital kindly agreed to cover the cost of the event.

Mr. Zusi reminded board members of the February 2, 2010 event honoring the former board members, which will be held at the Knights of Columbus at approximately 6:30 PM.

Mr. Zusi noted the community’s intention (and thus SJBB’s intention) to implement mandatory background checks for all coaches beginning with the spring 2010 season.    Mr. Zusi indicated additional details would follow shortly.

A question was raised regarding spring travel coach selection.  Mr. Zusi noted that a coaches’ committee would make recommendations to the Executive Committee, which would then approve or disapprove the selections.  Mr. Zusi noted that any recommendations or questions in this regard should be directed to Mr. Kaufman.

4.       Treasurer’s Report—Barbara Vitti

Ms. Vitti noted that the organization’s tax return for the 2008/2009 fiscal year was filed and that the annual independent audit for the most recently completed fiscal year was underway.   Ms. Vitti noted that, to date, the program has received $66G in registration fees for the coming season (for approximately 550 registrants).  Ms. Vitti noted that the regular registration deadline was the end of January, 2010 and that the late registration deadline was February 15, 2010.  Concern was expressed about ensuring proper coordination between the registration process and the evaluation process, since evaluations are scheduled to begin on Saturday, 2/6. 

5.       Softball Director’s Report—John Calabrese

Mr. Calabrese noted that arrangements for inter-town league play with Chatham and Madison had been finalized.  Players involved in inter-town play would be grouped in a 5th/6th grade league and a 7th/8th grade league.  Inter-town play will be on Saturdays only, with in-town play during the week.     There will be in-town only play for a 1st/2nd grade league and a 3rd/4th grade league.

Mr. Calabrese provided an overview of the winter clinic program that was being run in coordination with Frozen Ropes in Springfield.  The program involves an initial evaluation session and parent discussion, followed by regular Friday evening clinics at Summit HS, and ending with outside play (hopefully), toward the end of the clinic program.


6.       Field Operations—Greg Mayes

Mr. Mayes indicated that all of the fields have been winterized and that all “field champion” positions had been filled.   A meeting of the field champions is to occur in February.  Mr. Mayes indicated that a field maintenance information sheet and checklist for coaches was being developed.   He indicated there would be a greater emphasis placed on creating expectations for coaches regarding field maintenance generally an d providing formal training in field maintenance as well (on a Saturday morning before the season starts).

Mr. Mayes indicated that additional work needed to occur at Long Field in order to ensure that the field could be used for both 50/70 and 46/60 play.   There was discussion about the potential need to make acquire and make available an artificial mound for this purpose.

Mr. Mayes also indicated that a police report had been filed in connection with tire-track damage that occurred at the newly renovated Wilson Field.   There was a discussion of possible barrier solutions in order to prevent an incident like this in the future.

7.       Marketing/Purchasing---Jeff Schaffer/Neil Greenstein/Vince Pacillio/John Griffith

Mr. Schaffer indicated that e-mails were sent to coaches regarding equipment return day (Saturday, 1/16 at 9 AM).    He indicated there was a particular need to ensure the return of catcher’s mitts on a timely basis, given supply and cost issues.  Mr. Schaffer indicated there would be a formal coaches’ checklist and checkout process for equipment this year.   Concern was expressed about creating too many mandates and requirements for volunteer coaches.

Mr. Greenstein indicated that equipment purchasing for the coming season was to begin next week.

Mr.  Pacillio indicated that dates for the various Pizzafests had been set.   He indicated there would be no Pizzafests for the 7th and 8th graders.   Mr. Calabrese indicated that, for softball, participants from Madison and Chatham had been invited to the softball Pizzafest.

Mr. Pacillio indicated that Patriot’s Night was set for May 8, 2010 (fireworks night), with a pre-game parade of SJBB players at 6:30 PM.  SJBB will also be able to participate in a 50/50 raffle as part of the event—raffle ticket prices to be determined.   It was noted that appropriate planning and coordination with the regular season schedule would need to occur in order to ensure maximum participation.    He indicated that volunteers would be needed to help coordinate the event---more information to come in the future.   There was a discussion of (i) game ticket sales coordination, including minimizing coaches’ involvement (and possibly allowing sales on line),  and (ii) the need for regular and frequent promotion of the event, including the possibility of creating sales competitions among the teams and leagues, including prizes for teams that sell the most tickets.

Mr. Griffith provided an update on sponsorships.  He indicated that, to date, 25 had been received.  There was a discussion about how this number compared to prior years at this point and an acknowledgment that the number was low relative to prior years.  

There was an agreement that there was a need for a concerted effort to recruit sponsors individually, but at the same time avoid having multiple people solicit the same business or individual.   Ms. McDonald indicated that she would circulate an updated list of sponsorships received to date.

There was a discussion regarding the selection of a vendor for Picture Day (scheduled for April 24, 2010).   Several parties were interested in bidding for the business.   It was expected, based on a feedback to date and preliminary pricing indications, that a new vendor would be selected this year.

There was a brief discussion of Opening Day festivities and questions regarding possible events.  There was concern expressed about coordination with the school vacation schedule.   There was agreement that additional discussion and planning was necessary.

8.       Other Matters

Mr. Donatacci provided an overview of the coaches’ teaching or instruction manual that was being developed through the coaches’ committee.   He emphasized that it would be geared to providing helpful drills and instruction techniques at each age level.   He encouraged everyone to submit their ideas (specific drills, DVDs, books, etc.) to him as soon as possible.  He indicated these ideas would be taken into account in developing the manual, which is intended as a living document, updated to take account of what is particularly successful and what is not.

Mr. Coburn provided an update on 6th grade 50/70 league planning.   He indicated there was a hope that there could be eight teams in the league, with an additional game or two played against similar teams in other communities with 50/70 6th grade programs.    An update of the rulebook (for 50/70 league play) and outreach to other communities (soliciting inter-town play opportunities) is  in process.

Mr. Vitti provided an update on Suburban League developments (7th and 8th graders).  He indicated it was still uncertain whether Springfield would be included in the league this year, given various issues in prior years, particularly with respect to game rescheduling.   He indicated discussions with Springfield regarding our concerns were underway.  Mr. Vitti indicated that he is also hoping for at least an 8 team league as well, with 13 or 14 players per team.

Ms. McDonald provided an update on the status of registrations to date.   Concern was expressed that the number of registrants, particularly at the 6th grade level, were particularly low at this point; however, it was also noted that registrations for Kindergarten and 1st grade were particularly high.    There was a discussion of the need for a better communication strategy at the Middle School as well as within the minority communities in town.

There was a detailed discussion regarding the possibility of 50/70 play for 5th graders this spring.  The pros and cons of this approach, particularly given the novelty of 6th grade 50/70 play, were discussed at length.    It was agreed that (i) additional research regarding other community approaches for 5th graders needed to occur and (ii) the possibility of 50/70 league play for 5th graders during the summer would be considered at a future meeting.

It was noted by Mr. Douglas that volunteers (16) were needed to help with spring evaluations beginning on Saturday, 2/6/2010.