by Laney Meredith, story
Darren Doyle, photos
There was a packed court room at Monday's Fiscal Court meeting as many concerned parents and coaches discussed the future plans of the little league program. Judge Wil Cannon started the discussion by saying Little League Program Director, Greg Hudson, was thrown into a moving stream after he was hired, which led to his resignation.
Cannon said that according to his research, no other Fiscal Court in the state of Kentucky governs local Parks and Recreation programs. He reiterated that "County government should not be appointing (little league) board members". Cannon said that his plans would be for the county to still provide the property, maintenance, electricity, water, concessions, and that all the proceeds from the concessions could be kept in the program. Cannon stated, "The last thing we want is to turn our back on the little league program."
Mark Woosley, District 6 Magistrate, said the Fiscal Court hired Hudson to better the program, and the reports that he had received were that things were much better. He added that the county's fees are half the price of what other counties pay to participate in little league programs. Woosley said as a member of Fiscal Court, he would support little league as much as he could. He also commended Greg Hudson for the job he had done with the program this season.
Discussion for the parents was then opened up and Brooke Vincent voiced her opinion, first commending Hudson for a job well done and that the reason for his resignation was not the public's business. Vincent said that the position lasted only a few months and wondered why it was so easy for the Fiscal Court to simply "give up" instead of hiring another director and move forward. Vincent was emotional about the issue and said that Fiscal Court was pulling back too quickly.
Judge Wil Cannon replied saying that his plan would be that Fiscal Court wouldn't just "walk away," but just would no longer appoint the board members for the little league program and that everything came down to finances. Cannon said "If we can't afford it, we can't."
A citizen in attendance suggested charging a small admission fee for little league baseball and softball games. Hudson responded by saying that Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth League would not allow charging fees for regular season little league games.
A parent asked if the City of Brownsville could help fund the program, but Judge Cannon said he wasn't comfortable with asking the city for funding, as the property is owned and maintained by the county.
Hudson noted in order for the little league program to move forward without being governed by the county, it would have to be organized as a 501C non-profit organization. "The President's handbook outlines the constitution, bylaws, the board, and committees appointed by that board," he said. "Cal Ripken league still recognizes our current board."
Cannon said he wanted to move forward with little league basketball as the season would be here soon, and current Parks and Rec. director A.B. Webb said he would help with basketball if no one else would. Superintendent of schools, Patrick Waddell, sent word that the school system would continue to allow gym use for little league basketball.
Magistrate Edd Rich said that when he started little league football several years ago, he didn't ask the Fiscal Court for anything. "I found my own volunteers to help me, and since then, someone else has taken the program over, and as far as I know, things are still running smoothly."
Judge Cannon agreed to continue researching the best options for moving forward with all little league programs and assured everyone in attendance that the court would do what was in the best interest of everyone involved.