Monday, September 19, 2005

Nowhere to Go, Part IV

Closed for Season II

My last email appears to have stirred at least Commissioner Tormala into action. Here is his email to the Commission, followed by an email he received from a parent of a Creston tennis player.

To: Robert Harrison, Kathy Speer
Date: Sep 16, 2005 12:20 PM
Subject: RE: Aberdeen Par

This is unacceptable. There is all this talk about the city helping the schools. We can't give them money for their budget, but we should be able to find funds to let our kids have some dignity and use bathroom facilities. This is an embarassment and black eye for all to see. Let's quit talking about things we can't do for GRPS and do the things we can. If we can spend a total of $74,000 (30,000 to a PR firm and 44,000 for a NEW employee) $25,000 for questionable citizen surveys, $29,000 for lunches alone this year, $50,000 for consultants,etc. we should be able to find funds to open the restrooms. Below is the first of probably many contacts from outraged parents and supporters. The City Commission must act to resolve this or we will look like hypocrites who talk about helping schools but when push comes to shove wring our hands and do nothing. We can blame the state rightfully so for cutting revenue sharing but we are the ones who prioritize the way we spend the money we have and there is more than enough in our budget savings to resove this, I also could point to many other areas, but Colleagues I'm sure you get the point. Let's act!

>>I am the parent of one of the Creston High School Girls Tennis team. It has been brought to the attention of all the parents that the restroom facilities at Aberdeen Park will no longer be opened for use when the team has home games there. Creston has been using the tennis courts at Aberdeen for practice and home meets for many years now and the restrooms have always been opened for use during their matches with other schools. It is embarrassing to GRPS and to the city to have to tell parents and other schools teams that they have to go 3 blocks to use the Burger King restroom when there are adequate facilities on site. Coach Robert Harrison has been trying to work with the athletic director and the city parks and rec as well as the commissioners to work out an acceptable arrangement. His suggestion was that a key be signed out to him and he will be responsible for opening, cleaning up and locking the bathroom. I understand that there have been problems in the past with other coaches but our coach was not one of them and he should be given the chance to prove himself responsible. I know that tennis is not money making sport but our girls need your help! Please look into this matter with the other commissioners. Thank you for your time.

Kathy Speer

Of course, being politicians, they can't really help themselves:
To: Robert Harrison
Date: Sep 16, 2005 6:47 PM
Subject: RE: Aberdeen Park

Coach, I understand your frustration, that is why I hope you will support my re-election. I voted against the tax subsidy for the Hotel and against this year’s budget. My Opponent Dave Shaffer has received over $3,500 dollars in campaign contributions from the DeVos and VanAndels.


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