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City Releases Statement on Future of Sports Park, Little League

The city will sit down with baseball and softball leagues to try and find common ground before a decision is made about the future of the Sports Park and Recreation Center, statement released Wednesday said.

A statement was released Wednesday afternoon by Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney which states that the city wants the YMCA to manage its recreational center, but want to first sit down with baseball and softball leagues to come up with a "win-win decision for the community."

Though no public vote or discussion has taken place about turning control of the Sports Park and Recreation Center over to the YMCA, the city has talked with outside entities about a possible takeover since this spring.

The statement released Wednesday goes on to say no deal has been set yet and before a decision is made about the future of the area for IB's youth.

Before a deal is struck with the YMCA, "staff will meet with YMCA, Little League and Girls Softball to create points of agreement beneficial to all." Staff will then report the result of meetings to City Council. At least one public meeting will be held, the statement said.

IB Patch reported in September that the city wants to turn control of its rec center to the YMCA in order to save roughly $200,000 a year.

The city held closed-door meetings in September and again last week to discuss "price and terms of payment" to the YMCA. Plans to release the statement Wednesday were announced by City Attorney Jennifer Lyon at the end of last week's meeting when notifying the public that no action was taken in closed session.

This fall tearful Sports Park employees and teens who frequent the rec center spoke during public comment at a council meeting. Many expressed concern over cost increases to use the facilities and urged the city to form a committee to help guide the decision making process for youth activities in IB.

Imperial Beach Little League and IB Girls Softball leagues have been expressed concern with the possibility that baseball and softball fields may be eliminated if the YMCA takes over the facility and its lands.

IBLL President Don Spicer also expressed outrage in a letter to Little League familes over the fact that they were not notified early in the process about talks with the YMCA and that the city is putting its financial troubles on its young people.

According to 2010 Census Data, near one in five IB residents lives below the poverty line, compared to 12.3 and 13.7 San Diego County and California averages.

One in four IB residents are below the age of 18.

The city plans to make a decision on the future of the Sports Park in early 2013, said City Manager Gary Brown.

Libi Uremovic December 13, 2012 at 02:56 AM
'... Mayor Jim Janney which states that the city wants the YMCA to manage its recreational center...' why? our city workers are doing an exceptional job in the sports park and the leagues take care of the ball fields... we need new management, but not at the sports park....we need new city management, new mayor, and we can obviously eliminate the community services direction completely... the elimination of greg wade would save the tax payer $1/4 million/year in direct costs ...which is enough to pay for the sports park and the 4th of july...
John Galt December 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Outsourcing city recreational center jobs to the YMCA makes $ense. Will likely get better service at a lower cost. If nothing else, the burden to the taxpayers should be reduced, while providing excellent service to our youth.
Mitchell D. McKay December 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Again, I have nothing against the YMCA in general...I would, however, like to see the details of the contract that is being proposed between the City of Imperial Beach and the local YMCA. But at a minimum, there should be no fee increases for at least one year IF the YMCA is selected to "manage" the Sports Park...then see if the YMCA is actually performing to the Community's expectations (meeting the Community's needs)...Additionally, I would recommend a Board member from both the IBLL and Girls Softball be added to the local YMCA Advisory council so as to preclude any decisions being made without proper representation by the two groups most likely to be impacted by facility/ball field issues. The City has been looking for years at ways to "recover revenue" from IBLL and Girls Softball - in the late 1990s and early 2000s the City Manager was trying to force both IBLL and Girls Softball to "Pay to Play" on the ball fields in the City Park by requesting as much as 15% of all sales (which equates to 30% of profit) from the league-run (volunteer staff) concession stands! So this comes as no surprise to myself or others who have seen the long, sordid history unfold at Sports Park.
ibcalif December 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM
This is a great move for Imperial Beach and for the future of the Sports Park. Thanks to Mayor Jim Janney for his leadership.
ibcalif December 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Agreed. It will be exciting to see what new programs and ideas the YMCA will bring to the Sports Center.
Libi Uremovic December 14, 2012 at 02:30 PM
"...the city wants the YMCA to manage its recreational center,...' notice that the city has changed from 'sell' to 'manage'....that's because the state has frozen their activities.... ...but ymca will only come in if they feel there's a profit for them... everyone that uses the sports park & ball fields needs to contact the ymca and let them know that their takeover is not what the people of ib want and the facilities will be boycotted if ymca takes over...
Libi Uremovic December 14, 2012 at 02:36 PM
the ymca could not possibly run the sports park without raising the fees...because the ball teams are maintaining the fields the ymca will have to raise the fees to re-coup the $5,000/month or so that the teams save the city .... all of the grant programs the city uses are not available to the ymca... last year the sports park had a lunch program so that kids would have a free place to eat ... and yes, that's where i want my tax dollars going - and that's what taxes are for - the basic needs of the community...
ibcalif December 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Libi, as usual, wants the entire IB government jailed, removed, reformed, etc. (except for her own little pet union people, projects and departments). In that case, it's "NOBODY TOUCH MY CHEESE"!
Libi Uremovic December 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM
yes that's right...i will always stand up for those that can not defend themselves ...just as you will always take from those that can not defend themselves... '....and so this is xmas....and what have you done...another year over ....and new has begun....'
alexus hodorowich December 14, 2012 at 09:37 PM
hi my name is alexus hodorowich and am 17years old i go to mar vista high school am a senior and i would hate for you guys to take the sport park away form us who go to school and then came here to play baskteball or play games its not cool to have the ymca take over the sport park becaues child and teen came here every single week to play sport or to have fun and to not worry about people like you take the sport park away form us its not cool i have been going to the sport park since i was in 9th grade and i really like came to this place and haveing a great time here and talking to the staff people like you guys dont get no where in life caues you are messing up the sport park and takeing thing form the people in imperial beach that need things . And i hate how you can just think about money and not about the people . People are more importent to life then money .SO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT and not think about money caues teens and child need this and you cant just take it away like that and yes i will stand up for the sport park any day caues its my family and now one its going to take them away form me .
alexus hodorowich December 14, 2012 at 09:47 PM
ibcalif what is your really name my really name is alexus hodorowich and i dont hide things why are u hide
dylan michael hodorowich December 14, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Hi my name is Dylan hodorowich my sister alexus hodorowich we both have been going to the sports park for a while i have been going to the sports park since i was a lil boy i have been playing basketball since i was 4 years old this is my home this is a place were i come to enjoy my self and enjoy the staff and other students to see this place go down is to see a part of me go away so "ibcalif" and "john galt" what gives you the right to say the ymca is better because its really not ive been there and its really not as good its a nice place but its just not the same well hope you actualy take the time to think about it this place is home to lots of people thanks you
ibcalif December 14, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Libi and the unions: get off the cross, somebody needs the wood.
ibcalif December 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Libi and the unions: get off the cross, somebody needs the wood.
Mitchell D. McKay December 21, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I do recall a financial impact report I had prepared when the IBLL was trying to work with the City Manager to avoid a "Pay to Play" scenario back in 2000-2001 and we documented that the IBLL alone was contributing between $4000 and $6000 per year on Field Maintenance (included new fencing, new dugouts, lighting, & other building upgrades) - this was money the City did not have to spend on the facilities they are now trying to turn into a "profit center". We also calculated that the volunteer effort required (coaches, managers, Board of Directors, concession stand staff) to support just IBLL (even at minimum wage) was in excessive of $200K per year. And all these community services were specifically for the young people of Imperial Beach...a service which the City could NEVER afford to fund, much less staff. I for one, say to the City "Hands Off" of IBLL and Girls Softball!!!
Stephanie Kinnamon January 03, 2013 at 11:09 PM
The City and IBLL have a 1 year contract until Aug. 2013, but if they want out they have to give IBLL 120 days notice (see the attached pdf). Has that happened? http://saveibball.com/images/2012_City_Contract.pdf

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