Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Praising Democrats

I went to the city council meeting last night for the hell of it. The only issue that generated debate was a proposal to lower or eliminate the fees for the use of Horlick Field by a mostly adult baseball team.

Apparently, the actual cost of maintaining Horlick Field has been estimated, by the city parks department, to be $168 per game. During last years budget wrangling, it was decided that adult teams would pay $80 per game (lights extra) and that junior teams would play for free. The $80 was a steep increase from previous years.

The initial proposal to waive or reduce the fee for one team only was, thankfully, shot down, but only by a narrow majority. And three Democrats, Mayor Becker, QA Shakoor, and Alderman Shields offered the most coherent arguments in favor of keeping a standard fee for all adult teams.

In the end, I believe they reduced the fee across the board to $30 per team, so you, dear reader, have just agreed to subsidize baseball even more than you were before.

On a related note, I wish someone had asked why it costs $168 per game to line the fields and cut the grass. I suspect that jobs like those could be put out for bid and considerable savings could be had.


Anonymous said...

I think the bigger question is if the Council set the fees at 'x', why were they being lowered, for some orginizations, without the Council's knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Also, I find it odd that these three democrates would vote to subsidize most other sport/cultural activities in the city,(such as communities centers) but they are against subsidies for baseball. Why, because it is a boring sport, it is indeed, but that is no reason not to subsidize it being played.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want to pay for other people to play baseball either, I just think the arguements you found coherent rang hollow. I would like to know, as the Mayor asked, how many of these players live in the city. I certainly don't want to subsidize non-residents.

Denis Navratil said...

I don't know about ringing hollow anon, but I hope that the same thinking would apply to other sports as well. Re the question of residency, it is a good one. When I used to play softball, non city players had to pay extra. Why that doesn't apply to baseball I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Let me geuss, you played shortstop.J/K

Anonymous said...

Q.A Shakoor is NOT a Democrat. He never has been. Just ask him and he'll tell you. He chooses to be independent.

Denis Navratil said...

I didn't know that anon. I will ask him next time I see him.