Holly Hill Florida Looks at AA NA Meeting Procedures in the Parks

Holly Hill Looks at Park Meeting Procedures

January 10, 2011

HOLLY HILL – Children romping on playground equipment at Sunrise Park giggled and shouted in the dark recently, under the watchful eyes of their aunt, Beth Thomason.

On the same night a woman’s low voice nearby murmured about her drug problem. She sat at a picnic table with a camp lantern glowing on nearly 20 adult faces, many under hoodies and knit caps in the cold. Thomason said she knew it was a self-help group, because she once attended similar meetings in support of a relative. No incidents occurred Friday at Sunrise. But recent conflicts over park use by large groups caused citizens to request commissioners look at stronger regulations for the city’s parks.
Park rules and policies will be discussed at a public workshop 5 p.m. Tuesday in City Commission Chambers.
According to a flier on a City Hall table, anonymous self-help groups meet daily at Sunrise and other Parks in Holly Hill. AA Daytona Beach Meetings in Daytona.
In Holly Hill, park reservations by large groups aren’t required, but an option to assure a spot is available for $25, said Acting City Manager Mark Barker.
An individual at Friday night’s meeting, who didn’t want a name used because the group prefers anonymity, said the number of people at a meeting varies and many who attend are required to be there by drug court.

Commissioner Rick Glass said he’s anticipating help from the city attorney at the workshop. “I have had many, many people call, and I just got off the phone with a citizen who was talking about it,” Glass said. “They want (sign-up) procedures put in place for parties – basic policies like other cities have, where parties of 20 or 25 people have to pull a permit.” Park regulations for municipalities at municode.com show other cities, including Ormond Beach and Edgewater, regulate many issues from conduct and park hours to penalties. Barker said “right now, to control certain behaviors,” other regulations are used – not park specific – such as laws covering alcoholic beverages, firearms and public safety issues.

Commissioner Liz Towsley Patton said the issue has been discussed before – not at length. “We will look at all sides and decide,” she said. “I am open to that, but, do I think we need to shut parks off to groups or go through a certain process? No.” Commissioner Donnie Moore said: “As it stands right now . . . I do see some issues, and we can work on that.” Moore said requiring reservations by large groups might be considered, but he also hopes to designate playgrounds as non-smoking areas. Commissioner Roy Johnson said he aims to find “what is best for everybody,” but not “restrict people from using the park.” A local business operator across from the park believes the city should regulate park use. “I am in a little store where people stop to get their whatnots, and they say what’s on their mind. I have heard grumblings,” said Mr. Sanderford. He spends seven weekdays operating Holly Hill River Mart, and said local residents complain about meeting groups monopolizing the park and the parking. The complaints resulted in a petition asking city lawmakers to look at the issue, he said.

Former mayoral candidate Steve Smith presented the petition. Barker said an unsigned copy of the petition is on record. Smith said his trouble at the park began while running for mayor. He reserved the pavilion once a week for 10 weeks, having cookouts and campaigning, but encountered harassment and disagreeable persons in a group meeting at the park pavilion with no reservation, he said. “The city should limit (the number of) times,” of use by large groups, Smith said, and all groups “should be submitting some remittance to the city for the maintenance of the park.”

Smith also had a solution.

“The thing that is missing is, we don’t have a leisure services or parks director, so there is nothing scheduled.” Organized activities would help, he said.

9 thoughts on “Holly Hill Florida Looks at AA NA Meeting Procedures in the Parks

  1. Holly Hill commissioner calls detractors ‘nut jobs’

    By Chris Graham
    Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    HOLLY HILL – City Commissioner Donnie Moore said Tuesday night he will not step down from office, despite calls from citizens for his resignation after revelations he moved away from the city in May.

    The way he said it, however, drew the ire of residents and the county’s top elected official in attendance at the City Commission meeting.

    “I’m sure not going to resign and walk out on the large number of people that have supported me and put me where I am for a handful of nut jobs,” Moore said, which elicited gasps from people in attendance.

    “That is extremely insulting,” one woman yelled.

    County Chair Jason Davis, after leaving the meeting, called Moore’s comments “inappropriate.”

    Moore later apologized during closing comments and after the meeting, saying he feels he has been at the center of a “witch hunt.”

    “I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. “You can’t take words back.”

    Moore, who represents the city’s third district, has been under fire after an affidavit obtained by The News-Journal showed Moore started living in Ormond Beach in May. He also filed for a homestead exemption on a home he shares with his wife in Lake County starting in 2012.

    Last week, Volusia County Elections Supervisor Ann McFall said her office had opened an inquiry into whether Moore and his wife voted illegally in 2012.

    Citing the investigation, Moore spoke briefly Tuesday night, thanking his supporters and saying he had found residency in his district, though he did not give out his address. He added he would fight the accusations made against him.

    “I’m not running from this,” said Moore, a Daytona Beach firefighter.

    While Moore’s status was not on the meeting’s agenda, several residents called on Moore to resign from his seat.

    Resident Mike Chuven said Moore was thumbing his nose at citizens despite saying he was elected by them.

    “That’s because they thought he was one of them,” Chuven said.

    Former City Commissioner Arthur Byrnes commended Moore for his service as a firefighter but said Moore’s status on the commission could jeopardize the city.

    “Please take action before Holly Hill once again becomes a joke,” he urged the commission.

    But City Attorney Scott Simpson advised the commission that nothing could be done at Tuesday’s meeting and the investigation may settle the issue. According to the City Charter, a city commissioner must be a resident of the city and be a “qualified elector” or else forfeit office.

    Simpson said the commission could wait for McFall’s ruling or discuss the issue at a future meeting. He also cited a ruling from the Supreme Court regarding a similar case in which the court ruled that acts as well as intent have to be a factor in determining if a violation was made.

    “It’s a much harder determination than one might think,” he said.

    Commissioner Penny Currie asked for a meeting to be held July 16 but could not gain a consensus from her colleagues.


  2. Holly Hill has now put into place no smoking rules for all of it’s city parks. AA members at meetings have been disregarding this new rule. The police even had to speak with them about it.

    They need to actually obey the rules of the park and stop giving park patrons a hard time. The park looks really nice with the new sidewalks etc. Now if we can get a handle on crime and harassment by 12 steppers and others that would be great.

  3. What do we want from parks? Serenity versus zip lines
    March 25, 2012 12:05 AM Posted in: Footnote
    When I found myself in Tuscawilla Park last December covering the Occupy Daytona demonstrations, I had to ask myself why it had been so long since I was there last.

    This is a scenic, wooded spot that brightens the less-than-scenic intersection of International Speedway Boulevard and Nova Road. It even features an outstanding disc-golf course.

    But, no, I don’t get out there much. Even with disc in hand.

    And, well, that suggests a problem. Occupy Daytona was the most action the park had seen in ages. And when a public space sits too empty, well, bad stuff starts happening there.

    So now, the city of Daytona Beach is considering a plan that would bring more people to the park beyond the familiar mix of disc-golfers, demonstrators and homeless people.

    We’d get zip lines! Zoom Air, a company based in Sanford that runs something like this at the Central Florida Zoo, would create an “aerial adventure park” up in the Tuscawilla trees.

    Which sounds quite cool even if it’s not yet clear what this would look like, how the disc-golfers would be affected and how much of the park would need to be fenced off.

    Daytona Beach’s City Commission voted in favor of the concept on a close 4-3 vote Wednesday, but even supporters on the commission said they wanted more details before they’d be ready to see the city sign anything.

    In a tourist town, you can’t have enough things for people to do and it’s not like Tuscawilla Park is used as much as it should be. Still, this raises a familiar debate about what we want out of our parks.

    Zone 6 City Commissioner Cassandra Reynolds lives near the park and says she and much of her neighborhood oppose the plans.

    The park is near a “busy intersection, the busiest in Volusia County,” she noted. “And because of that, we around there take solace in being able just to move into a peaceful, serene setting right there.”

    The value of being able to walk in a peaceful, serene setting doesn’t show up on the city’s evaluation forms.

    We seem to expect more of parks lately.

    Cities want athletic activities, opportunities for leases, vendors and activity fees. In these tougher economic times, cities, counties, even the state, are asking parks to pay more of their own way.

    But lost in the drive to make parks do more and be used more is the idea that sometimes parks are valuable just for being parks. Just for being natural areas. Especially for being natural areas in places where you’re surprised to encounter a tree.

    The aerial adventure course sounds intriguing. But if something like that goes there, I hope the city makes sure there’s still room for someone to step away from the noise of International Speedway Boulevard and walk among tall trees unimproved by ropes and cables. The walk in a serene setting that Reynolds celebrated.

    Sometimes it’s important for a park just to be a park.

  4. The leader of the Sunrise Group Holly Hill Fl AA meeting, gets escorted out of City Hall Workshop.

    HOLLY HILL — Police escorted two individuals pointing fingers and raising voices at each other out of a workshop on the issue of regulating public parks on Tuesday. The incident prompted Commissioner John Penny to remind the citizens attending the workshop the commission was “setting park policy irregardless of any individual group,” and that behavior and discussion should remain professional. In a rare move, the commission allowed the public to speak during the workshop, which is not the usual procedure.
    Among 37 citizens who attended, some spoke their minds about wanting further and stronger regulations to include requiring any larger groups to reserve space and pay a fee for using the park, among other things. Steve Smith suggested having an educated and trained park director would help resolve some of the problems. Mr. Sanderford presented a petition with 88 signatures of citizens wanting stronger regulations. He operates a shop across from Sunrise Park.
    A few individuals hinted at the value of self-help groups using the park often, and one person even said the groups using Sunrise Park on weekends had relocated. Not until the commission closed public discussion did the crux of the issue surface clearly. “This has turned into a battle of two worlds, and I don’t think we should be in the middle,” said Commissioner Liz Towsley Patton. “There’s no secret we are here because of the NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings at the park.


  5. I found this on an AA Blog talking about having a hard time finding meeting places….go figure!

    27 February 2008
    Bad language in meetings
    The groups in one of the Districts in our Area are having trouble finding locations in which to meet. They’ve been kicked out of certain churches and the word seems to be spreading among those churches that we’re not very good tenants. The two primary issues are (a) too much bad language and (b) smokers congregating around the entrances and leaving butts lying around.

    My home group has a requests in our format bearing on these issues and we have [usually] dealt with abuses as they come up. It’s something I highly suggest that other groups consider with regard to what their group conscience should be. Every time I hear someone using language generally considered impolite I shudder, imagining some pillar of the church congregation passing by in the hallway at that moment and overhearing us. Personally I have little objection to people using whatever language they wish, but I also think it’s important that many people do take offense at such language and that we need to be especially wary with regard to our landlords.

    Not too long ago I heard something that covers my feelings on this subject very well:
    The absence of profanity offends no one.

  6. You’re right “MUNICODE.COM” Holly Hill’s park policy IS IN THE STONE AGE compared to everyone else! I agree, all this talk back in January and still nothing has been done. Instead they eliminated the deposits for the pavilions which was a brainless move. At least if people had to leave a deposit they might think twice about not leaving the park littered and if they did the city would get money towards picking it up. There is no excuse for the total disregard for updating and maintaining good park policy. If they just blow this off and think were not watching they’ll surely find out come election time. If the commissioners don’t take the initiative and do what they told us they would do then I’m with you. We will just have to go to the press and start calling the commissioners all over again to remind them we are watching and waiting. Whatever you do “VOTE NO ON NOVEMBER 8, 2011” TO KEEP YOUR VOTE FROM LAST NOVEMBER IN PLACE ! They are counting on us not to be paying attention. Let’s show them we are!

  7. Well, 2011 will soon be behind us and it will be interesting to see if anything gets done to update Holly Hill’s Park policies as promised to the citizens of this community who signed the petition. Guidelines that make sense eliminate confusion and chaos. That’s why we have guidelines in this world. Comments were made by commissioners that putting guidelines in place for our parks would be “micromanaging” and not something that Holly Hill government should be involved in. So who’s got this thing right, the surrounding city and County jurisdictions along with most jurisdictions throughout the country, or Holly Hill commissioners and officials who feel that having next to no policy is the best policy? We will keep watching and waiting for this commission to keep its word and bring Holly Hill’s park policy out of the dark ages. In case they are wondering we care and we are not going to let this just fade away!

    In the meantime please, don’t take our word for it, just check out {municode.com} to see what modern standard park policy looks like in comparison to Holly Hill’s park policy. You have to see this to believe it! Our parks are one of our best assets and are so important to our citizens and children. The apathy and lack of vision for a good Parks and Recreation system is shameful. We need to be worthy custodians of this valuable resource. It took a lot of money and dedication to build these parks which are totally underutilized. With no standards we get no results. Our parks are currently an attractive nuisance dominated by litter, confusion and chaos. Daytona agreed to share all their research and information with us free of charge so we wouldn’t have to foot the bill ourselves to bring our standards up to par. How can you beat that? If something doesn’t happen soon I guess the commissioners phones will start ringing all over again!

  8. Children playing in the dark on playground equipment is very dangerous.Over
    200,000 children end up in emergency rooms each year
    because of playground accidents. Many die each year. It is terrible that
    children would be allowed to do this by the City or their parents.
    Children do not need to be attending self help groups.

  9. I don’t think teens belong in any NA/AA meetings. There are too many predators
    there. And telling children they are powerless is ridiculous.
    I got sober at 18 and I am so sorry I spent many years in AA.
    Smart Recovery is better for self esteem.

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