Things the city shouldn’t do.

I don’t care how tight the budget is, there are some things you don’t cut, or add charges to. Charging volunteer youth leagues for use of ball fields on a daily basis is one:

Beginning this season, the city is charging all non-city leagues a flat rate of $50 per ball field, per day to use its baseball diamonds.

It would cost Pinewood an estimated $2,500 to play games at Belmont Park and double that to also practice there, said James M. Walker, president of the Pinewood association.

via Local youth baseball leagues feel economic pinch.

That said, I do think the association should be asked to hold fundraisers each year to help upgrade and maintain their home parks. From selling ads on the fences to local business,  to car washes and the like. Some contribution is fair- per day, per field just makes me wonder if I go down to the field at the end of my street- am I going to get a ticket for playing?

But, it seems that we do have money to buy our part-time Mayor lunch and send her on junkets:

Dayton’s and Akron’s mayors have city charge cards; the Columbus mayor does not.

Dayton and Akron pay for their mayor’s travel. Columbus uses a combination of public and private funds.

In these three large Ohio cities, the policies on travel and expenses differ.

Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin is reimbursed for meals in the city that concern economic development or other official city business, said Kery Gray, a spokesman for the city commission, which is like a city council.

McLin, who is a part-time mayor — Dayton also has a city manager — has a city charge card but primarily pays for her expenses and is reimbursed, Gray said.

via Ohio.com – How mayors elsewhere pay their expenses.

Three trips overseas in the name of “economic development” while we’re holding up 3rd graders for user fees?

We have to focus on livability before we try to hustle people to relocate here. Would it make sense for the Mayor of Riverside to make those trips? Why do we have the Dayton Development Coalition? Isn’t that their job?

The Pinewood Athletic League has figured a way to work an end-run around the city policy by playing at the fields at Kemp School.

The only way I know to stop Mayor McLin from being the queen of Dayton on the taxpayers’ dime is to vote for Gary Leitzel.

If times are that tight that we have to squeeze the kids, it’s time to stop giving the Mayor a free lunch.

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14 Responses

  1. Gary April 29, 2009 / 9:16 am
    I attended this meeting at the request of Tony Mauro. Abner Orick was there also. What I don’t understand is why the policy was decided last fall but no one knew about it until now. Joey Williams knew nothing about the fee when I asked him last night. He said that some policies are department policies. Early communication with your customers reduces problems. Communication with your customers crucial if you want to ensure quality customer service. I suggested that the department of Recreation and Youth Services start selling $1.00 tickets for hot dogs and soda at these events instead of increasing fees. They would probably make more than $50 a day. They could get the volunteer parents involved in helping to support the city’s ball fields. I don’t think they “got it” but they listened. Everything revolved around money and not having enough. The word “Budget” came up several times. Seems that “Management by Budget” is the operational style at City Hall.
  2. Frank Coleman April 29, 2009 / 12:23 pm
    I’m so sick of this crap. This is why Dayton is suffering; too many politicians playing “the game.” it’s time for forward-thinking individuals to be placed in positions of authority.
  3. Matt April 29, 2009 / 2:46 pm
    Don’t most little leagues in other cities charge registration fees, have fundraisers, etc.? Aren’t those for t-shirts/uniforms/umpires/field rental and maintenance?
    Isn’t there also a charge for people/groups who use the pavilions?
    Isn’t it reasonable that people who utilize facilities more than usual (ie. on a regular basis) should bear some burden?
    Not advocating, just saying…
  4. pizzabill April 29, 2009 / 4:07 pm
    Matt,

    Pinewood is a non-profit grass roots neighborhood little league comprised of City of Dayton residents who volunteer to make it possible for neighborhood kids to play baseball, and is an organization that has been helping kids play ball for 20 plus years or so.  My business has sponsored Pinewood teams for several years and I’m sure those fees go toward t-shirts/uniforms/umpires and the nice team photo plaque they give sponsors as a thank you.

    (We’ll try to be somewhat objective here and set aside exploiting the obviously emotional picture of a small child in their little league t-shirt, standing over a baseball glove crying, fingers gripping a chain-link backstop,  as a City of Dayton commissioner locks the gate to the ball diamond… and stick to the main issue)

    The issue is that the City of Dayton now wants it’s City of Dayton taxpayers to pay twice to use the very City of Dayton parks that are already paid for with the taxpayer’s tax dollars.  I guarantee you some city worker is getting paid whether the ball fields get used or not, and I seriously doubt the marginal cost increases at all when the fields get used.  And isn’t the whole point of having ball fields so that citizens use them?  Isn’t this the point of having a Parks and Recreation department?  And who better to use any city park or facility than a group of neighborhood kids chaperoned by dedicated, involved tax-paying citizens?  What city would actively try to discourage this?

    So let’s think this through:  A group of very involved, dedicated volunteers spend a great deal of time and effort to organize, pay for, and operate a neighborhood little league and want to play on the same City of Dayton fields that their tax dollars already pay for.  And the City of Dayton’s response is to CHARGE THEM $50 PER DAY?

    I love having a business in Dayton and loved the many years I lived in the city, but this situation is outrageous and embarrassing to me, and should be to anyone who cares about Dayton.  This isn’t the way to treat citizens, especially ones doing such good.

    Somebody downtown please help the City get its head out of its ass.

  5. Hudson Rush April 29, 2009 / 5:42 pm
    Very nicely said PizzaBill. I’m glad the city is “broke”, after all…last week they spent 7.2 million on a rec center and an additional 530 thousand on the City Hall repair.
  6. David Esrati April 29, 2009 / 7:09 pm

    We shouldn’t forget the 1.5 mill+ to run people out of their homes to prepare for a Kroger that wouldn’t come- and then $800K to buy a burned out building and some other properties at the corner of Wayne and Wyoming.

  7. Still Mad at Kroger May 1, 2009 / 12:44 am
    I think you counted the money twice.   They had $1.5M for Kroger but only spent $800k  after Kroger backed out.   If it wasn’t for the budget crisis, it should be a no-brainer to get rid of that eyesore on the corner.   At least somebody took a stand and did something for the neighborhood.   Cutting costs only goes so far.
  8. David Esrati May 1, 2009 / 8:30 am
    I may have counted money a little less than twice. Between the appraisals, options- and the year and a half of a city employees time- I’m sure we spent a lot.
    All this, on chasing a site without a contract.
  9. Dani May 3, 2009 / 2:18 am
    Charging those amounts for a youth team is beyond reproach for this city…just another reason for people to want to cut and run.  Instead of making cuts where needed (trimming some of our political fat) we are going to charge children who just want to play ball.  There is a cost to maintain the fields, but the cost of the business leaving the city?  Common sense here people!
  10. Concerned Coach November 3, 2009 / 7:39 pm
    I’m a coach for the pinewood baseball association, and I can tell you that this pay per day per field crap is nonsense. We clean up and encourage our players and their parents to help us clean up. We run our own chalk lines. Pretty much anything that needs done at the field we use gets done and mostly by all of us chipping in. Why should we pay someone else for all the hard work we’re doing anyway? I hope this changes for the 2010 season. It would be nice to have to worry a little less about polotics so we can focus more on the children and our love of the game!

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