Scott City, Youth League make deal

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

In hindsight, the controversy over the Scott City Youth League and its contract with the city may have been a lot of arguing for not much change, at least in terms of the contract.

Monday night the Scott City city council voted 7-0 to authorize Mayor Tim Porch to enter into a new contract with the not-for-profit Youth League giving the league use of the city's ball fields.

The youth league is an organization of parents that administers the city's youth baseball and softball leagues.

In October the city council held a special meeting to hear concerns that had developed over how the league was managed over the summer.

Youth League parents and others filled the room to discuss whether the city should continue its relationship with the league. Arguments became heated at times, on both sides. The primary grievances brought against the youth league were improper management of the concession stands, dirty restrooms at games and a failure to communicate with parents.

The meeting followed a suggestion by some members of the Scott City Park Board that the city terminate its agreement with the league.

The city council soon formed a committee made up of two council members, two park board members and two league members and instructed them to negotiate a new contract to sign before the new year.

That contract is now signed, with little change over the previous arrangement.

The major changes in the contract increased liability insurance coverage, required the league to provide the park board with year-end financial statements and instituted a 50/50 cost share on the first $1,000 of utility costs from youth league games.

Youth League president and city council member LeAnn Wilthong said the issue has quieted down.

"Nobody in town even cares anymore," Wilthong said.

Members of the park board couldn't be reached for comment.

Wilthong and Rob Short, then president of the park board, both said part of the controversy was a lack of communication between the park board, responsible for maintenance of the ball parks, and youth league leadership. Complaints about dirty bathrooms and poorly staffed concession stands went to the park board, not the youth league, Wilthong said.

She calls the situation a "personality clash" within the Youth League that she thinks has finally been resolved. And Wilthong said a better working relationship with the park board has also been established.

The Youth League will now hammer out policies for handling complaints within the organization and increase parent involvement, Wilthong said. She didn't want to specify what those policies would be before they are discussed with the league board of directors.

In other business, the city council also voted to raise trash pickup rates after entering a new contract with trash carrier CWI. The new rate is $1 higher, with customers inside the city limits paying $9 instead of $8.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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