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Tempers Flare in Baseball Battle over Burlinguton Field at City Council – “Worst City Council Meeting Ever”

May 1st, 2012 by

 

Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Karen Connelley gave an overview of what the committee and commission has done over the past year during the City Council meeting Monday night. She said that all of the decisions have been made with the focus on the children of Drew County in mind.

Connelley said that, “there was not a job description for the Parks and Rec Commission,” but the volunteer group pulled together and accomplished many things for the City.

“We decided that the best thing for us to do as a Commission was to visit every park in the City.” “We were able to see what goals each park needed.” – Connelley

She stated that in January the Commission/Committee began meeting with leagues about contracts and that information regarding these events has been misconstrued.

“We have been honest, we have been open. All of our meetings have been public.” “I stand strong in supporting what this Commission/Committee has done.” – Karen Connelley

Rebecca Socia, President of the Softball League said to Mrs. Connelley, “You also sent certified letters to each league.” Mrs. Socia stated that she received a letter saying to present any questions to Mrs. Connelley by a specific date, in order to work out the contracts between the league and the City.

“Did everyone get that letter?” –Alderman Beverly Hudson
“Yes, they did.” – Karen Connelley

As discussions surrounding the proposed contracts continued, Alderman Sherrie Gillespie asked the Council about leagues being 100% responsible for damage caused during their events, according to the agreement.

“If you have some parent get out of line and tear something up, then they will be held responsible.” – City Attorney Whit Barton

“I don’t understand how you monitor something like that and hold any league responsible for something that they might have known anything about.” – Alderman Beverly Hudson

“It’s an attempt to protect the city from being responsible from some baseball player taking a baseball bat and taking it to the windows or something.” “The fans, generally, do not tear up stuff.” – Mayor Allen Maxwell

For situations like these that may arise, the agreements also require all leagues to have insurance.

Alderman Al Peer said that the City Council did not receive a copy of the contracts before the leagues were asked to sign them. Whit Barton said it is still in council’s power to amend or reject contracts.

“If it’s not approved, what happens?” – Gillespie
“You’ll have to tell me what to do… you’re in control of this situation.” – Barton

A motion was made to allow the Mayor to approve the agreements between the Parks and Recreation Department and the various programs in the City. The motion passed with only Sherrie Gillespie and Al Peer voting no.

Later in the meeting, Charles Harmon, an attorney for the Babe Ruth league, attempted to described the situation from the league’s perspective.  Harmon was interrupted by an outburst from the crowd, and the meeting spiraled into what was described as “the worst council meeting we’ve ever had”, as described by one elected official, after that point.  One alderman told the group that she was “embarrassed that the city has had to go through this.”

The videos are posted above.

(Any comments posted must have legitimate e-mail addresses)

13 Responses to “Tempers Flare in Baseball Battle over Burlinguton Field at City Council – “Worst City Council Meeting Ever””

  1. MyAuntLulu says:

    Ms. Beverly Hudson said it best, “what an embarrassing mess.”

  2. dollar bill says:

    all ive got to say is i cant wait till may 22nd. then we will find out if monticello is ready for a change.

  3. and says:

    While I agree, the main topic was and still is being overlooked. This is about the kids wanting to play baseball. If the Babe Ruth board TRULY had the kids as their best interest and not personal gratification it would be still in existence and the new league, Monticello Baseball Association would never even been considered.

    Sadly, too many PERSONAL feelings came into the limelight festering all open wounds until amputation was the only source of salvaging the kids summer and to be able to play baseball. That is what it should be about….KIDS playing baseball. Not a lot of “men”(?) pounding their chests trying to gain attention at what has been accomplished in the past while not trying to instill integrity by coming forth with how such an established league of 50 years LOST $3000 for the previous year????

    Here is another thought…Sherrie states the city council should not be getting involved in all of this but yet she was complaining about the lack of knowledge of the “contracts” and even later made the comment “I want to be there when you have the next meeting”. Which side of the fence are you on Sherrie?

  4. EXCUSE ME! says:

    It is obvious to me which SIDE Ms. Gillespie and Mr. Peer are on; the impartial side. They both asked if both leagues couldn’t play ball. On the other hand I urge every voter in the city of Monticello to watch and pay close attention to the video and vote this city council OUT. When the camera panned to the council on several occasions, most of council members were fiddling with their paperwork or pens, not even PRETENDING to be paying attention to the attorney for Babe Ruth. Their minds were set before they even walked into that meeting so why waste time and money on a meeting.

    The mayor talked about the Babe Ruth members acting like children. The only childish behavior I noticed was his and David Cason’s. I don’t have a dog in this fight but if I did, I wouldn’t put him in a fight where the head dog AND his pack CAME to fight with the intention of killing my dog. I had no opinion on this matter until I watched this video. How baseball became this political is beyond me. I was sickened and ashamed of the majority of our city administrator’s behavior in that meeting. Common courtesy teaches us to pay attention when we are being spoken to and especially if we have to make a decision on the topic that is being spoken about.

    This was baseball but I suspect that our all of other business is handled in the same manner. It is time for a big CHANGE.

  5. Here we go again, says:

    The alpha dog barked and all the other dogs fell into place behind him. What a joke, the city council had already made up thier minds before they met. It’s obvious they had no interest in what the Babe Ruth lawyer had to say. They had already decided what thay were going to do. Shame on you! Is this about the children, or about the parents wanting on the board of the baseball league? It looks to me that it has been about David Cason not getting his way with Babe Ruth, so he threw Babe Ruth under the bus. I urge everyone to go to the polls in May and vote these clowns out, and vote this mayor out when he comes up for re-election..

  6. LAX says:

    From what is shown on the video. The only adult who spoke were Mrs. Socia. Mrs. Socia presented her case in a professional manner without being confrontational or tried to make someone feel like they were inferior to her unlike Ms. Connelly. The council meeting should have ended after the vote for the Mayor to approve league contracts the rest of this stuff should have been played out in front of the Parks Committee. The only reason this turned into “Worse City Council meeting ever” is because Mayor Maxwell failed to take control of the meeting which is his responsibility.

  7. concerned drew count resident says:

    This is embarrassing for the City of Monticello. I believe that this City Council should be replaced, and start new. These people are acting like a bunch of children. This is not a good influence for our children of the community. But I do know one thing I will be praying for this and everyone invovlved. God is control of all things… This is one crazy mess… lol!

  8. Wow says:

    This drama sounds like a bunch of teenagers. Why is our mayor getting so upset and pointing fingers? What is really going on when our leader (used loosely) is so quick to jump in on attacking members of a baseball board?

    In all the talk about this being “for the kids,” I heard a lot of “them” and “us.” Let’s be honest…..is it really about the kids?

  9. EXBOARDMEMBER says:

    I was on the board for years, where was everyone else when we were painting, cleaning and putting up the fence around the field. We worked long long hours with no pay, we did it for your kids, because like me my kids were gone, and most of the board members kids were gone. All our money was used on the field, equipment, paying for umpires, fees, balls, and alot more. I know first hand where the money went. “ON BABE RUTH”. I was also on the board of Little League for a few years, and when you have parents on the board they vote for what they want not what is best for the kids and league. The city was building all those fields on 278, why not play there, oh I know, their not finished yet. We have always played on Burlington Field. The mayor has his few friends that are trying to ruin things for your kids, not mine anymore I just pray that Babe Ruth stays as is, with members that really do care,not someone trying to change things for themselves. Anyone asked the kids about what they want, or is it just like it’s what the parents wants. I raised money for the World Series and yes the CITY MADE MONEY OFF OF IT, ASK THE BUSINESSES.
    HOTELS, FOOD, STORES, YOU NAME IT.
    It’s say that the mayor is trying to run everything, well wait until elections, and also the city council most of them will be gone. That will tell you how the CITY feels.
    You have traveling teams, only a few elected kids, why because they thought they were better then the other kids, well guess what they weren’t. The world series gave kids from Monticello a change to play in something that they may never had a chance too. I was so proud of those kids, ask them was it worth it.

  10. GRANMAW says:

    They have all gone crazy……\\\\\this stupid stuff needs to stop…………you act like a bunch of crazy hillbillies….the kids are going to play ball one way or the other…..THE END!! More serious things need fixed in this town….get over it!!!!!!!

  11. Fedup says:

    The board should be voted on by the membership – bottom line.
    Parents & the children are the life blood of theses leagues. I have helped on these fields, worked tournaments etc… before, during & after my kids played & continue to do so. Why? Because I love the game & we need to provide a positive outlet for ALL of those involved.
    It’s not about all stars & tourneys. It’s what they learn to prepare them to play the game as well as life lessons.

  12. Really? says:

    Here’s what ought to happen. Do away with the Babe Ruth Board as present. Do away with the Monticello Baseball Association board. Elect complete new members, not allowing present members to run. This boils down to the fact that Joe Rodger the former mayor and Alan Maxwell the current mayor are at a “pissing” contest. Until they are reigned in the two baseball boards are going to continue to be at war with eachother.

  13. Adam says:

    Do away with both. We only need one Association for all age groups of baseball in the city. Who ever wants to be apart of this association put you name out there the city votes for who is running for what and lets play ball. Done deal no more crying and no more upset parents. I understand why MBA did what they did. I cant understand why BRB will not release any info. most of the time this means your hideing something.

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