Weatherford Democrat

January 11, 2013

Council tosses Little League deal back to parks board


Weatherford Democrat

— By BRIAN SMITH

Because of new information, a revised user agreement between the city and Weatherford Little League will go back to the Parks and Recreation board for further review.

The revised agreement, scheduled for three years, has been a point of contention for the last several weeks with some parks and recreation board members accusing the league of not meeting the agreement’s terms. City officials were waiting for more complete financial information from the league, which was provided at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The parks board is now scheduled to review the newly provided financial information at its next meeting, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 17.

At its Dec. 11 meeting, council asked the agreement to go back to the board for further review in the hopes more financial information would be provided. WLL Board President Nancy Coker, who took her position in September, said part of the issue came from a scramble to get the information needed before the agreement expired and working with the league’s accountant. Coker said she noted the league’s finances were in disarray, including having three accounts with one bank, one of which has seemed to “disappear,” Coker said. Since then, banks have been changed.

Coker said she and the board are working toward righting the ship.

“I won’t put my name on them until I am ensured they are as accurate as possible,” Coker said. “For the sake of the kids, the board and I want to move forward with this agreement.”

Council members heard a presentation from Parks and Recreation Director Danielle Felts on what the agreement would entail. Felts said the original user agreement, which took effect Jan. 10, 2012, and was for one year, was scheduled for review by both the parks and little league boards and changes made at the end of one year.

Some of the changes proposed include having more public use of Lions Field for soccer and other sports groups and a $5 increase for both resident and non-resident players. The revised agreement also includes a more defined explanation of the maintenance responsibilities for both parties and allows for better alignment between the city budget process and league seasons.

Council member Heidi Wilder said she didn’t feel right in approving the agreement without the parks board looking at the new information.

“I’m hesitant to approve until the parks board has had a chance to review it,” Wilder said.

Parks board members said they were eager to move forward with the agreement.

“I’ve felt like there has been a sense of negotiation and coming together on both sides,” Parks Board Member Greg Shaw said. “I’m ready to move forward.”