Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mixed messages.

What I find confusing, and even frustrating, are statements such as this from today's (04/02/13) T&G article regarding playing field conditions:
"Crews from the Department of Public Works and Parks will be performing much-needed maintenance to the fields over the next several days."
How is that confusing? Contrast that quote with the following quote from a January article regarding the loss of Tag Days for local little leagues:
"When the city faced difficult budget challenges 25 to 30 years ago, Mr. O’Brien said, the city essentially “walked away” from some maintenance issues at many of its fields and facilities used by local youth sports leagues because of deep cuts in the Parks Department budget."
If the the City Manager says the City has "walked away" from maintaining local ball fields, why does  the Public Works and Parks Commissioner claim that the DPW will work on little league fields before releasing permits?

There is no denying that our city parks and sports fields are currently waterlogged and unplayable. The City has a right to delay use of the fields until they are playable.

However, there are many baseball fields in the City of Worcester that are maintained exclusively by volunteers from local leagues. Most leagues are very sensible about field conditions, and won't endanger the playing surfaces or children by playing on waterlogged fields. They'll do the necessary work to fix up the fields between now and the start of the season, which is usually the second or third weekend in April.

A blanket ban on field use for leagues that are doing the City's work for free, with materials purchased by donations and league fees, isn't practical or fair. That's not how partnerships work.

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