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City, School District Consider Fees on Youth Leagues

City and school district officials discuss the possibility of imposing extra park fees on the city’s youth leagues to help bridge budget shortfalls.

City and officials met with the presidents of the city’s youth sports leagues earlier this week to discuss the possibility of imposing fees on the leagues to help pay for the maintenance of the city and school district parks.

Glendora American Little League President Mike Gorski said consultants met with the city’s youth league presidents a few weeks prior to research the possibility. Gorski said the proposed rate ranged from $5 to $12 per player.

The city is also researching a suggestion by Mayor Pro Tem Joe Santoro on imposing parking fees at where a few of the youth leagues practice and host games.

“My concern at that time and still is the fact for the last three years we’ve been forced to make numerous reductions to the city budget, including maintenance of the different parks including Louie Pompei,” said Santoro. “I don’t want to see the parks deteriorate because the lack of maintenance.”

The city will need to make $1 million in cuts to bridge a budget shortfall. According to Community Services Director La Shawn Butler, the department has had to make $305,000 in cuts, including layoffs in maintenance positions.

Butler said maintenance on both Louie Pompei and parks cost $380,285. The total maintenance on Louie Pompei Park alone costs 374,578.68, said Butler.

Youth teams at Louie Pompei Park pay $12 an hour for light use of the park. Adult teams pay $20 for the first hour and $15 each additional hour.

While the proposal is still in the research phase, it had already sparked some protest via e-mail and an online petition.

The meeting with city and school district officials aimed to diffuse mounting anxiety within the leagues since consultants met with the league presidents.

“The city wanted to iterate that the plan isn’t as far along as the consultants had us believe,” said Gorski.

The city is currently creating a joint use agreement with the school district for shared parks, including the parks at and middle schools.

But the initial proposal still has league presidents concerned. Gorski said imposing extra fees on top of the money and hours leagues spend into the maintenance of the parks would put further strain on the leagues.

“We have nearly 400 kids in our league. Lassie and soccer have well over 1,000 kids,” said Gorski. “When you put a fee on each of those kids, it becomes a pretty tough pill for some of the leagues to take.”

Gorski said his league puts in 5,200 hours each year in the maintenance of the parks the teams use.

“Our league does not come up with a big balance at the end of the season. What we bring in, we spend,” said Gorski. “We’re concerned that anything on top of what we’re doing is asking an awful lot.”

However, Gorski said following the meeting, he felt assured the city and school district officials understood the leagues’ efforts in park maintenance.

“I think the public can be assured that our decision process here is highly interactive with the community as just demonstrated by the numerous budget discussions with Commissions, the public workshops and several City Council meetings,” said Butler. “The same would certainly be true with any new fees or fundraising concepts.”

JC May 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
The City has no idea how much maintenance is being done by the leagues and their volunteers. At the baseball fields at Goddard, on any given Saturday, it's the volunteers who are cleaning up, making sure the bathrooms are clean, picking up trash, etc. (In fact, trash is also picked up by students doing detention at several schools.) Lynda Denman almost single handedly maintains the Pony field and facilities, including running the Pony program, and Ted Haller maintains the Little League fields. On any given day, including the summer, you will see them up there mowing grass, cleaning, and supervising crews of players to maintain the facilities. Can someone tell me exactly what the City does, besides providing the grounds, for the baseball programs? And they are going to charge US? Seems like we should be charging them! Oh, but don't forget the City has the time and energy to explore the construction of walking trails, and to send out surveys on park usage. How in the world would they pay for walkling trails and dog parks? Someone at City Hall is living in a dream world and it's time to wake up. Furthermore, I can't believe they'd have the audacity to charge for parking. If it weren't for volunteers, this city would fall apart. Now they're going to charge them to be there? Astounding and insulting.
JM May 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Soccer has 1400 kids, softball 400, and include football and cheer 500. Round it to 2000 kids which comes to a low estimate of 4000 voting adults, let's just vote out any person who even considers this.
bw May 24, 2012 at 10:20 PM
BK...RC is indeed correct about the magnitude of League funds that Glendora Lassie League puts into the fields and facilities at Pompei and Finkbiner Parks. This doesn't even take into account the hundreds of hours of free labor that individuals, like myself, donate to keep the facilities at their best. If they want to charge, then fine, but they had better be prepared to provide a well kept, fully staffed system of parks and support people to go with it. Our Leagues in Glendora have great volunteers...that is what makes them so great. These volunteers will step back and let the city handle the work, which won't be pretty. The leagues and the parks will drift into disrepair without the level of volunteerism we have now. Hopefully the majority of the City Council sees that pissing off the people who maintain the great facilities on their own dime & Time isn't a good road to head down.
Citizen of Glendora June 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I for one will vote them out!!! I cannot believe they would even consider charging for parking!!! These people are so out of touch. They have no clue how much volunteerism takes place on these fields- how much time we spend day in and day out doing the city work!! (btw Snow Day is a joke and waste of $$)
Ian June 16, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I liked the comment from WJ who stated that if parents cannot afford the parking fees, then their kids won't be involved in youth sports and will thus be smoking dope at the skatepark. It's been a long week, and it was nice to get a good chuckle to end the week.

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