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LETTERS: Frontier Little League Leaders Question Increase of Recreation Fees by Cerritos City Council

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has received several letters and comments regarding the fee increase proposal by the Cerritos City Council. If you have an opinion about the situation, please feel free to comment below this post, or send your email to [email protected].

Dear Editor:
FYI…certainly the objective is to increase revenue. However, if you run these groups out of town or out of business, there will be NO revenue. Then you could use paid staff to organize leagues, which will be much more expensive than the current volunteer system.
Seems a little harsh to be drawing a line in the sand over $7,000. Is the City of Cerritos really that broke?? If it is, someone has not been minding the store.

Samantha Simpson

Hello Parents,
This past weekend, an article appeared in the Los Cerritos Community News that took us all by surprise. On Monday, November 5, 2012, City of Cerritos Recreation Services Superintendent Sherre Titus presented a recommendation to the Cerritos City Council that would implement a new $5/hour per field fee and an increase in related fees for sports organizations that use Cerritos athletic fields. We are one of those organizations. The City Council voted unanimously to approve this recommendation and it is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2013. Our estimate is that these new fees will cost Frontier Youth Baseball League approximately $7000 for this Spring season alone.
Understand that neither our League President Ron Lacayo nor our Board of Directors were made aware that this recommendation was going before the City Council. It appears that the other youth sports leagues in Cerritos were in the same position because none of them were at the City Council meeting. We strongly believe that we should have been notified by Recreation Services in order to be able to provide the City Council with our perspective before they voted.
Ron and I have a meeting tonight regarding field allocation for the Spring season with the City of Cerritos and other sports leagues. After the meeting, Ron and I will e-mail you additional information regarding these fees and a plan of action. At the very least we are going to try and delay the implementation of these fees until after the conclusion of our season. We have already prepared our budget for the Spring and it did not include $7000 in field use fees. If these fees were collected this year, it would have a significant adverse effect on our baseball program.
At this point, please keep Monday, November 19th at 7:00 PM free on your calendars. That is the next City Council meeting at Cerritos City Hall. We will be asking for families and players to show up in force to support our position.
Please look for a follow-up e-mail later tonight. We will keep you updated.

Gene Luevano
Vice President
Frontier Youth Baseball League

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  • mark hylland says:

    First of all, Little League Baseball does NOT own the city fields and just because they have been provided with the benefit of using the fields does not mean they are owed anything. The fields belong to the city and are maintained by our tax dollars. If the Little League does not want to pay their fair share then they should step aside, there are many other leagues who assist our children and willing to pay. In fact, they could be utilized to bring in additional business to our locally owned businesses. NORWALK—ARE YOU LISTENING, Cheri Kelly—It is time to start charging YOUR friends for the use of OUR city fields. Potential Councilmember Adams, what is your position on this issue? I think this is an excellent topic for debate between the City Council Candidates.

  • mark lee says:

    Maybe you should educate yourself a bit more about ALL the little freebies Cerritos residents get from the city before you make such strong assertions. Or perhaps you should be given the benefit of the doubt just in case your preparing your next reply which condemns the city of Cerritos for providing its residents with fee reductions, discounts, subsidies in myriad ways not just athletic fields.

  • Jay Gray says:

    The problem isn’t so much the city’s cost to maintain the fields as it is the misguided priorities of the city council.

    For instance, for nearly a decade, Bruce Barrows continues to chase the Maglev train, instead of focusing more on Cerritos.
    The city has spent tens of thousands over the years on this $9 to $20 Billion train. A train that, I’ve seen articles stating could take over 400 homes. One has to wonder if there is really more to this. According to news articles Barrows worked for Lockheed as a transportation consultant. Moreover, Lockheed is an early financial contributor the the project. Carol Chen is reported to own business property sitting within yards of the proposed Maglev tracks. Is there a conflict of interest here? Who’s best interest is being representative here?

    The CCPA has lost around $3 million per year over the past two decades. Including cost of construction that’s a nearly $100 Million dollar loss to residents. Yet, the CCPA Endowment, which includes political cronies, has around $8.5 Million in its fund and has a goal of $20 Million. What competent board would allow a venue to lose Millions and then go after youth leagues for a few thousand dollars?

    How about the Magnoia Power Plant. This venture is also losing nearly $3 Million per year. Furthermore, not one household receives power from the plant. Interesting? It seems to be nothing more than corporate welfare on the backs of residents.

    How about the city council’s $100 Thousand travel budget? Not to mention lifetime perks. For instance, one former council member (as reported in this paper) was able to take around $80,000 in cash from the Cerritos College Board, due to his free health benefits, as the result of his being a previous council member.

    Our residents are asked to pay more to cover these losses, because city council members refuse to address the real issues.

    Over the years our city council has taken MILLIONS from the general fund — money that could have been use for parks, programs, trees, sidewalks, whatever and “loaned” that money to the redevelopment agency. Once the money went to the agency the funds were restricted on what and how it could be spent. In my opinion this was nothing more that thievery from residents and welfare for corporate and special interest.

    Let’s all remember that redevelopments were not created to last for ever. The city council should have know this! Therefore, it would seem the council, entrusted with tax payer money, lost Millions of tax payer money, due to either poor management or not making the needs of residents a priority.

    And now, like all self-interested politicians, they want the tax payers to keep paying so they can continue to enjoy the benefits and perks.

    It’s my opinion we would not be in this financial mess if these politicians were held accountable to the People. Politicians have learned they can waste tax dollars and make the People keep paying by raising taxes, fees, service charges, etc.

    I am glad the sports groups are taking public stand, at the risk of losing field allocation. This may be what is need for the entire city to wake-up!

    This financial mess won’t be solved anytime soon as at least three of the March Council candidates have “ties” to sitting council members.

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