It is not a “field of broken dreams”

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To the Editor:

As a concerned Keizer citizen and KYSA parent, I am appalled at how the city of Keizer and the Keizertimes has portrayed the proposal of repairs and updating needed at the Keizer Little League Park.

This should not be a battle between the city and the youth organizations, nor is this a battle or result of the “split” between Keizer Little League and Keizer Youth Sports Association.  If you are observant, you will see that KLL and KYSA are working closely together for this goal. This is not about who took over the fields. It is a mutual goal of having a safe ball fieldx that both organizations can have their players and fans enjoy.

If you actually read the proposal for the $500,000 request, it is not to “mow fields, make repairs, and run the concession stand.”  The Keizer Little League Park was constructed over 25 years ago, the minor repairs, the weeding and mowing, painting and scraping are all regular maintenance that has been done this whole time.

The “laundry list” of repairs are actually updates that over several decades of time any ball park would eventually need.  Including paving the gravel walk ways making them handicap accessible so family members and friends with disabilities can easily attend and cheer on their ball players.  To have netting put in over the spectator seating areas keeping children and families safe from foul balls. Retaining walls that need to be redone because they were done incorrectly 20+ years ago and are falling apart and unsafe.  That is not something that “their own people” can do themselves and costs more money than the two organizations have combined.

Simple maintenance to the fields has been done by volunteers, but it is time for long lasting repairs and updates to keep Keizer Little League Park a “field of dreams” not a ghost town. What I see is a city that no longer cares about the children and the future of sports in Keizer even though the ballpark brings in more revenue and visitors than any other park in our city.  I see a city and newspaper that does not support their youth sports programs because there are individuals that still have hard feelings about the “split” between two organizations years ago that is causing a “field of broken dreams” not the parents and those trying to support the repairs and updates.

For once, make this about the children and the future of baseball in our community, not your own agenda. Eventually these families will go elsewhere, to play where there is support from a community. Keizer Little League Park will be no more because there is no support from the city in which is resides. That will be a sad day.

Bree Hughes
Keizer

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