GV punished soccer league for infraction
The Rotary Fields at Sierra College were closed for use by Gold Country Soccer League’s teams the week of July 29 due to an apparent row between the league and the city of Grass Valley’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The city claimed that the fields weren’t reserved within the proper time frame, and the league claims they were. As a result, the city closed the soccer fields, but the baseball diamond was open for use by the softball league. I am assuming this action was taken by the city to punish the soccer league for not following procedures. But in reality, who was actually punished? The young people in the area that practice on those fields. Because of the action by the city, it was necessary for teams to find other areas to practice in, or not practice at all.
It is hard for me to understand the city’s position with regard to these fields. The then-four Rotary Clubs and the soccer and softball leagues built these fields for their use as well as for the general public, the thought being that their programs would receive scheduling preference. The soccer league initially invested close to $30,000 in these fields. They were turned over to the city to manage and maintain. The city should be trying to accommodate these two community-oriented organizations and give every consideration to their needs, within reason, of course. Both organizations should be able to block off times for their own use in recognition of their investment in the fields. Why can’t the soccer league schedule field use on an annual basis? Why can’t the fields be used on Thursday evenings after the weekly maintenance?
The next time there is a misunderstanding, I hope the city will think about who empowers them and who they serve and to facilitate the use of the fields, not regulate them.
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