June 24, 2013 by wcobserver
The Observation Post
by Steve Winkler
As the days grow longer and the hills go green the boys of summer pull out the bats and balls, oil the gloves and head to the ball park. It’s not just the kids that come out for America’s favorite pass time. In a society that likes to organize and structure summer fun it means that along with the kids comes a gaggle of adults in the form of coaches, assistant coaches, umpires, managers, fund raisers, volunteers, drivers, grounds keepers, directors, and of course Commissioners. And parents.
City owned and operated Carter Park in West Fork is a modern facility with all the amenities’ of any small town sports facility; fences, bleachers, well tended in and out field, lights, paved parking, rest rooms, concession stand and a pavilion for picnics. The facility is financed with a city sales tax and overseen by a seven member commission that hires a professional parks and recreation director.
Any keen observer of small town social life knows that many folks around here rank Sports right up there with God and Country. So it’s no surprise when any perceived deviation from the principles of fair play and character building will spawn emotions that one doesn’t usually see in, say, academics or the arts. Adults sometimes seem to forget that sports are kids playing games.
There are as many reasons why adults get involved in their children’s sports activities as there are adults. Some emphasize character building and teamwork; others see it as community involvement; others may relish the ego satisfaction, networking and sense of esteem that comes with it.
Kids in summer, left to their own ingenuity, will usually find an empty lot, a ball and bat, some improvised bases and spend a lazy afternoon having fun the way only kids can have fun. Those days are gone.
There is a brouhaha brewing in the West Fork Baseball Program. The conflict involving players, coaches, the director and a commissioner has been festering since early spring without a resolution in sight.
The situation is unfortunate but not rare in small town sports. The difference here and
now is that instead of gleaning distorted facts from second and third hand chatter, we can hear first hand from some of the parties involved.
Parks Director David Roebke has, much to his credit, posted several documents on the Parks website that help clarify the nature of the contentious issues. Along with minutes of meetings are lengthy and detailed letters of complaint from parents and a letter from Parks Director David Roebke referring to Commissioner Susan Neyman.
We realize that there are people who will see this openness as “airing dirty laundry” or not “being positive.” But it is this sort of open, honest, public discussion that will better achieve a resolution that will help the kids…PLAY BALL.
Click here http://westforkparks.com/category/news/ to review the documents.