Nearly a year after issues surrounding the city's relationship with the Boosters of Boys and Girls Sports organization surfaced publicly, Bob Johnson has presented the findings of a City Council-appointed ad hoc review committee.
Johnson, also a Parks and Recreation Commission member, was selected as the committee's leader at a joint-meeting with the City Council in November.
However, scrutiny over the BOBS program began last April when citizens raised issues with the election of Blaine DeJong and the general credibility of the organization. Despite a city ordinance precluding DeJong from holding a coaching position due to a prior misdemeanor conviction, he was chosen president of the organization.
BOBS, a group that raises money and runs fee-based sports programs in conjunction with the city, does not fall under city jurisdiction. The organization is governed by an executive board.
Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock was among the council members calling for a review of the relationship between the city and BOBS.
On Wednesday, Johnson was expected to tell the City Council that the committee feels all BOBS executive board members should be held to the same standards of background investigation and fingerprinting as those required by volunteer coaches.
Johnson was one of 10 committee members that met publicly three times since November. Of the 10, three were current members of the BOBS executive board and three former board members, Johnson said.
In other action Wednesday, Lodi City Council members:
• Received an update from Mayor Larry Hansen on the Envision audit and legal proceedings relative to the city's contamination litigation.
• Appointed to the Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee Donald Kundert and Roger Stafford for terms expiring Jan. 1, 2008.
• Held a public hearing to receive community input on how to use federal Community Development Block Grant funds and allocated roughly $1.8 million in federal funds to various nonprofit community programs.
• Received a report on the city's financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003.
• Heard a presentation by Police Chief Jerry Adams on the annual police awards.
• Recognized Scott Davis for his 2003 Parks and Recreation Commission chairmanship and Victor Schuh for his past service on the same commission.
• Set an April 7 public hearing to consider raising water, wastewater and refuse rates.
Last spring, some citizens publicly questioned whether the BOBS executive board meetings fell under the Brown Act, California's open meeting law. In his written report, provided at Wednesday's meeting, Johnson said the committee feels the minutes were available to the public, but suggested the procedures may need to be reviewed and clarified, if necessary.
Further, the committee feels the city shouldn't be overly concerned about part-time Parks and Recreation Department employees volunteering their time as BOBS volunteers or sitting on the BOBS board, according to Johnson's report.
Among the committee's other recommendations:
• A periodic spot audit of the organization's books to insure funding for scholarships for children who can't afford to participate in youth programs.
• BOBS and Parks and Recreation Director Tony Goehring plan to meet to rework language in the 1987 agreement between BOBS and the city. It is currently unclear if Goehring has authority to direct BOBS members.
• BOBS has secured a P.O. Box to separate itself further from the city. Previously, the organization used the city's address.
• And, in an attempt to clarify which programs are the responsibility of the BOBS, the organization is developing a new registration form.