BY AARON WALKER
Youth sports are important. Local non-profits play a massive role in the success of those sports, and the growth of those youth within the community. After seeing that the County has willfully and intentionally put Los Alamos County Little League in jeopardy with their “policy changes” is absolutely wrong, and there is not excuse for it. Now, after a chance to fix the issue without major blowback they have chosen to dig their heels in.
Charging a local non-profit over $40,000 to use the fields for the season is outrageous. Mr. Lynne choosing to take the position that he doesn’t wish to waive the fee is just as outrageous. The county is going to put money in to maintaining the fields in any case, why is the county choosing to pass a $40K bill on to a group that provides a massive service to the families in this community. This is a group of volunteers and parents that put their heart and soul into baseball season for their growing kids.
Why is the county choosing to dig its heels in at the expense of the local families and especially the children? This $41,000 bill is going to be passed on to participants in the form of an extra fee of ~$170 PER CHILD. How many people are going to be able to/willing to pay for that? What about families with multiple kids that wish to participate? ~$340 for 2 kids. This policy will be the death of local non-profits providing sports to our local youth.
How is it possible for the county to be so ignorant to the optics of this situation playing out? How can they possibly say it’s reasonable to charge so much to a non-profit for fields that would be maintained regardless of use?
It’s time for Mr. Lynne and Mr. Styron to figure this out, and to solve the issue extremely quickly. The ONLY resolution is to waive the fee for ALL OF the local non-profits that provide sports for youth, not just baseball. The usage of the Anti-Donation Clause is a cop-out, as the County Manager can be asked for a discount/full waiver. Los Alamos County Little League asked for this as far as I am aware, and it should be granted immediately.
*For full transparency, my boys do not participate in Los Alamos County Little League.