http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/10/17/guest-opinion-voters-urged-to-back-little-league-field


Almanac

Viewpoint - October 17, 2012

Guest opinion: Voters urged to back Little League field

by Jeff Morris

Atherton Measure M is a generous offer from the Menlo-Atherton Little League that deserves all of our support. The Little League submitted a plan to enhance and beautify the baseball field area at Holbrook-Palmer Park. The renovated field will increase the safety of the field for the children who play on it.

The current field is in need of upgrading since it has not been properly maintained by the town of Atherton. In addition to renovating the Little League field, the proposal includes resurfacing the tennis courts, adding public restrooms, and enhancing the landscaping. The proposal calls for the addition of seating behind the backstop to accommodate the families and friends of the children who attend the games. All of these improvements will be fully funded by private donations.

The fields can also be used by children that play softball, soccer, lacrosse and other activities that require a safe field. The Menlo-Atherton Little League will also take on the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the fields so that they are properly maintained at no cost to the city.

We are fortunate to have generous private citizens who want to renovate and upgrade the fields. As someone who oversaw the city approvals, fundraising and construction of the Little League field at the park over a decade ago, I am delighted that the next generation of families is offering to make these badly needed improvements.

Parks are central to any community. They provide families a place to gather, get to know each other, and play outdoors. Recreational youth sports are pillars of the community. Sports teach children valuable life lessons, build friendships, and help keep them active. Little League baseball is a popular youth sport and thousands of kids in the town of Atherton have participated in our Little League.

The baseball field will remain in the same location, the new seats behind the backstop will be understated and architecturally consistent with existing structures, and there will be no additional seats along the foul lines. The plans are beautiful and an upgrade from the original field installation.

The renovation of the fields does not conflict with the outcome of the election for the proposed library. Youth sports can be played at Holbrook-Palmer Park regardless of whether a library is approved and constructed in the future. Please do not confuse the library issue with your support for youth sports in Atherton. Please vote "yes" on Measure M to support children and families in Atherton.

Jeff Morris is a longtime Little League coach who lives in Atherton.

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