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Travel Softball Whines About Increased City Fees! Print E-mail
News - Opinion
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Friday, 05 October 2012 00:47


- Some folks are a little upset at the city regarding increases in field usage fees for travel softball teams. Six supporters of travel teams stood in front of the Madera City Council Wednesday night to voice their concerns during the public comment portion of the meeting.

They say the increases in fees have become too expensive for most of the teams and some may be forced to find alternative places to practice and play. Some teams may even be forced to disband leaving fewer opportunities for female youth to participate.

Ignacio Magos who coaches the Yotes, a team made up of many players from Madera High School's softball teams, told the council that a few years ago they were paying $40 a field and now the fees are $85 a field. With the cost of uniforms and equipment, Magos said the teams would have to raise thousands of more dollars to practice and play games.

Ok.. basically Mr. Magos is upset because city fees have gone up. Well guess what, all of the city services have gone up. My water bill last month was up $15 and if you saw my front yard you would wonder where the water is being used.

Everything is going up. We live in the bankrupt State of California who is taking more and more money from the local governments, who in turn are scrambling just to keep their heads above water. So if they have to charge local travel ball teams a little more so we can have police officers on the streets, I am fine with that.

How many kids are being serviced by travel ball? Each team may have 12 to 14 girls? Here is a question, how many boys are on these teams? How many boys are even in the whole Bobby Sox program? I don't want to see that city cut breaks to any organization that doesn't support GENDER EQUITY.

The park in question during Wednesday nights city council meeting was Town & County Park where there are four baseball field (one in need of serious upgrading to meet ADA) and five softball fields (three fairly new). The softball fields have parking lots, restrooms and two snack bars.

Two of the baseball fields have no snack bar or restrooms and one of those fields is not accessible to the handicap. The other two are over 50 years old and their parking lots are in need of major work as is the snack bar.

Mr. Magos, how much has the city already given you? Three brand new fields and a brand new snack bar with restrooms. All the fields covered by lights. Madera's Little League's pay over $3600 a year for the fields and lights. With that they service around 400 kids (boys and girls) with youth sports in the spring, summer and fall.

Travel teams are outside of the organized leagues. It's a pay to play activity. If the city is going to charge me to use the pavillion to have a barbeque at the park, I sure hope they are going to charge you to use the softball fields.

Have another car wash and pay the fees. Madera's fees are still cheaper than Fresno's and I thank God we have a community that is still able to offer these services in these troubled financial times. Call Chowchilla Parks and Recreation and see what their fees are. Oh that's right, their city eliminated that department.


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