Turko Talks Baseball, Sports Park 'Outsourcing' to YMCA

KUSI News' Michael Turko interviewed Imperial Beach Little League officials and Mayor Jim Janney about a deal currently being negotiated to possibly hand control of the Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Center to the YMCA.

A fight over whether the YMCA takes over the Imperial Beach Sports Park and Recreation Center landed on KUSI News' Turko Files Tuesday evening following an Imperial Beach Little League (IBLL) meeting last night that attracted "more angry parents than you see at most Imperial Beach City Council meetings."

On Monday, IB Patch asked Imperial Beach City Council candidates what they would do with the Sports Park if elected.

KUSI called the plan "outsourcing" and Turko began the segment by saying, "You don't mess with little kids and baseball. It's just an untouchable thing."

IBLL president Don Spicer told Turko baseball and softball leagues that use the four fields next to the Sports Park spend more than $20,000 maintaining the facilities and that the leagues have always had a free-use agreement with the city that may change if the YMCA takes over.

Mayor Jim Janney told Turko the city doesn't have the assets to pay for both the Sports Park and core functions like public safety and that adult leagues may help offset costs to the youth leagues.

Turko said the YMCA doesn't manage baseball leagues and the amount of money adult leagues may make is unknown.

The plan to hand control of the facility to the YMCA would save the city about $200,000 a year, City Manager Gary Brown told IB Patch.

Click here to see full KUSI video.

"There appears to be an umbrella of secrecy with this negotiations process.  The city officials do not seem to be working for the best interest of the children of our community," Spicer wrote in a letter to IBLL members last week. "Families are losing their homes, jobs, hours of work are being cut and the cost of basic needs continue to rise. It is imperative that costs are kept affordable for our families."

Last month, IB Patch published a story about city negotiations with the YMCA. Shortly after, Sports Park employees and some teens that regularly use the facility urged the city to scrap the plans and establish a committee made up of local residents to help make decisions about youth activity in IB.

What do you think about plans for a YMCA takeover of the facility? Should any agreement made allow baseball and softball leagues the same free use they have enjoyed in the past? Is it unreasonable to ask baseball and softball leagues to pay? Share in comments.

Libi Uremovic October 31, 2012 at 11:27 PM
this city has plenty of money - we pay plenty of taxes to provide services.... the problem is management....we get rid of the manager, ass manager, and mayor and we can use the tax revenue for the basic needs of the city ... and yes, providing for kids and old people are part of the basic needs of the city...
barry November 01, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Now that's what should be on the voting ballots libi. We would have all kinds of money.
Tim O'Neal November 01, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Libi - you're absolutely right. For years the IBLL and IBGSA have offered to pay for their own expenses such as lights, water usage, and field maintenance in exchange for free use of the fields. Like Spicer said in the video, the leagues are spending thousands of dollars on the fields every year. So why does the city still pay a landscaper $36,000/ year to do maintenance the leagues are already doing? Why is the city wasting tax payer money on the ball fields when it doesn't have to and refusing to give the leagues a little autonmy? It's simple...control. Currently it's uncertain who actually owns the field. Were the fields deeded to the city or IBLL? Nobody knows for sure. When IBLL asked to see the deed the city told them it burned in a fire. The city seems to think having yearly expenses on the ball fields establishes ownership. Well see how this unfolds.
Nana * 8 November 01, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Why are the negotiations a secret? What does the city have to hide.
Tim O'Neal November 01, 2012 at 03:51 AM
The city lied to the Little League and Girls Softball. The city told the leagues that the YMCA approached them about taken over the Sports park facilities and only a cursory discussion has taken place. The truth is the city actively seeked out the YMCA (after they couldn't come to an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club) and has completely ignored the proposals submitted by our local leagues. The city wants to give the YMCA carte blanche in regards to the ENTIRE Sports Park complex.
John Galt November 01, 2012 at 04:21 AM
The YMCA maybe better geared to operate the sports park. Outsourcing like this can save money and improve the quality for the kids. Is there magic in the city operating it? No.
Eileen Bannan-Hanson November 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Most of the city's expense for Sports Park is for the gym and skate park. I think the field should be given to the IB LB and IBASA to run and maintain. The gym could be rented out for paid activities such as receptions etc. A group made up of the sports people can develop a plan or build on Don Spicers plan. This would best serve the kids of IB.
sofia bayardo November 01, 2012 at 04:34 PM
If the deal with the YMCA goes forward, those of us with kids in little league will have to pay much more money, what do you do if you have several children? Has the City come down to see how these fields are used, what they mean to the families and how well they are kept up? Came to leave in this city because we thought it was a great place for kids, what a heart break.
JC_4rm_IB November 01, 2012 at 05:07 PM
IBLL has been taking care of these fields for over 50 years and IBGSA for 37, why is this bothering them now? I tell you why, they say its a "Liability" meaning they are not making money with the park NOT that they are loosing! the leagues do it all, and that man who was being paid to maintained the fields dis nothing, in fact there are rumors going around in the park that he would hire people to do the maintenance for him! I truly believe The city saw when we hosted the All Stars and all the people that came from other parts of the city to play and saw Dollar signs! they have no clue its 100% volunteer operated! NO ONE is getting paid and any money coming into the league goes back into the Children for uniforms, gear, and maintenance of the field! I say give the fields to the LEAGUE!
JC_4rm_IB November 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I think they are trying to cover up a mismanagement case! The city says the spend $200k in the park, But i just don't see it! Nothing Ever goes on in the Rec. Center!
Christina Crews November 01, 2012 at 06:09 PM
It seems that the City Manager and Asst. Manager, along with the current mayor are the true thorns in IB. I've heard it from people with various interests all over town. They need to quit worrying about what color someone paints their business and worry about the well being of the people of IB. How does one, or many, begin to look for ways to get these managers out of City Hall?
John G. November 01, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I'd like to know where and what exactly the 200k/year they spend on IBLL and IBGSL sports park go towards? Is it taxpayer money? If it is taxpayer money we can put it to a vote. What has changed in 55 years? That's how long this agreement has been between the city and IB sports park.
JC_4rm_IB November 02, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Me too John, They sure aren't putting it in the fields! Its all a cover up! and Everyday new developements come out that will uncover what really is going on! Stay tune the news! IBLL will be asking the community to walk together to City Hall and Voice our concerns! We hope you all can make it in SUPPORT OF OUR KIDS!
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM
the total sports park costs for the last fiscal year was $186,957.16 $123,656.24 is the gross wages of all staff for the entire year - and let's not forget that total includes deductions they pay themselves. $63,300.92 is the total other operational costs main operational costs: $40,620.03 is the grounds maintenance by jessop & sons - it's been $3,052/month for the last 2 years. $8,157.27 for sdg&e $792.87 for at&t $1,119.31 for copy machine rental from feb-jun at $275.85/month $10,131.43 for 'operating supplies' - but this includes the food that is re-sold at the snack bar, so most of this money turns into profit. if anyone would like to see the spreadsheets showing the actual expenses for the sports park you can email me at: libi@libionline.net if anyone would like to see the spreadsheets that show the payroll totals and expenses for the fiscal years 2011 & 2012
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 01:37 AM
they got the number from my audit - but it was for the 07/01/10 - 06/30/11 year - $203,596.52 ....it was only $186,957 last year... the joke is that on the 2011 financial statements the city lists sports park at $270,762....yes, it's illegal that the city falsified the financial statements....
Jack Fisher November 02, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Bravo Libi !!! Thanks for doing the hard work of finding the FACTS about what is really happening. Let's sell the Chargers to another state and keep IBLL and IBGSL.
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
we give council instruction the 1st council meeting after the election we present the council with their instructions: fire manager, ass manager, and city attorneys - 2 firms on the payroll ... ..and we hand mayor mclseeze his 'i voluntary resign' form that he can sign or we will throw him out we close down rda, all of their lobbyist activities, and we restructure the accounting system so that the city closes the books every month and shows exactly where the money is being spent...
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
i've emailed the audit to turko files, khari, and erika lowery .. please cast your 1st vote council vote for erika lowery.... she has a finance degree and we can assign her to the city books ....
Erika Lowery November 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Looking over it now, I don't think there is enough coffee in the world.... Is there an SOP anywhere? There are just so many clerical errors that lead to errors in reporting. Garbage in, garbage out. PARS should not be coming out of the General Fund, Libi. It is a payroll expense.
ibsandyshores November 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Libi claims, "I have a Bachelor's in Accounting and a Masters' in Administration". Prove it. Tell us what colleges(s) you attended and years the degrees were earned. You say, "...I need help covering my expenses. I am asking the Citizenry to assist financially to expedite the IB City Audit." You want the job? Do what all professionals do: submit a proposal with a scope of work, itemize costs, identify deliverables and include your resume, to include relevant experience, former clients and referrences. And submit to the people of Imperial Beach.
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 07:17 PM
yes, i have the paperwork to prove it...and i also have a copy of my birth certificate.... ....i will show them to you in person... where would you like to meet? this is our city officials - not one of them has ever asked to see the paperwork on the audit...not one of them has had the decency to step up for the kids, old people, or working class families.... ....but they are digging hard to find any dirt on me....or anyone else that tries to stop them from pillaging the city and suppressing the citizenry... i'm not hiding ...if anyone wants to say something to me they can say it to my face... ...but you're cowards and you're thieves and you're know you're wrong...
John Galt November 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I guess I would suggest that we ask the city to hire an intern to scan in all documents for monies spent and taken in for years 2012, and 2011. Then make these avaiable for everyone on the city website as PDF's. Yes thousands of pages. This would allow the citizens, such as Libi, to have all documents readily avaiable to check the balance on. Maybe this would prove the city right and shut up a few folks, or bring to light criminal activities. We don't need Imperial Beach looking like the city of Bell! In this day and age I really don't understand why budgets and balances are not readily avaiable for everyone. Updated daily or weekly. This could safely be done without much money.
Erika Lowery November 02, 2012 at 07:39 PM
John, I agree with you on a couple of points: The budgets and expenditures should be public, with better memorandums than what is currently offered (there are ones where it looks like the department doesn't know WHAT they are spending the money on, because the end the memo with a question mark). We probably don't need to hire an intern to do this though. The departments should have these on file, have an admin do it. Going forward have it included with the procedures for expenditures. I also think it might not be feasible to do it daily or weekly. But have it posted with check runs or at the least, monthly. See John, I am not a quack. ;)
ibsandyshores November 02, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The request is reasonable and consistent with standard business practices. If you want to provide a professional service, for money, on behalf of the people of Imperial Beach, stop dodging around the request. No one cares about your birth certificate. You want the job? You want to work on behalf of the people? Then post your proposal for the people to see and let them determine if you are qualified.
Libi Uremovic November 02, 2012 at 08:29 PM
who are you? i've already got the city backing me... you're a little late to the game.....
ibsandyshores November 02, 2012 at 09:13 PM
(Chuckle) Alright, Libi. Your lack of response to the request speaks volumes.
Libi Uremovic November 03, 2012 at 12:47 AM
"...We don't need Imperial Beach looking like the city of Bell! ..." publicly throwing out the government is exactly what this city needs... this city is worse than bell.... bell just pillaged...our city officials targeted children, old people, and those that couldn't defend themselves....and they've done it for years so there's years of money trails...and they are very very easy to track...
Erika Lowery November 03, 2012 at 01:15 AM
The Little League will be starting a petition drive tomorrow. If you want to help circulate, they will be passing out petitions and flyers tomorrow, November 3rd, from 11am-1pm at the Minor Booth. Please join me in circulating this. If we can each hit our neighbors and inform them, we will show the city the support the Little League and Softball have.


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