Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Town Considering Fencing Town-owned Soccer Fields

Posted by auroracitizen on April 18, 2009

Recent reports indicate that in an effort to reduce maintanence costs of town-owned soccer fields, one option tabled is fencing soccer fields adjacent to schools.

Since these are town-owned and funded by the entire population, shouldn’t the entire population have access?

Equal access is already not available. Users groups have priority at certain times which seems a reasonable situation. But to now restrict access even when user groups are not using the facilities seems too much.

Use the envelope and pencil icons immediately below to forward this post to friends or leave a comment.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “Town Considering Fencing Town-owned Soccer Fields”

  1. Robert the Bruce said

    This will be my last post on this subject because Evelyn is now threatening me. Good thing there are no rolled up newspapers around or I would be wacked by it.

    Again, I have posted two specific questions to Evelyn about this topic. She refuses to answer them. Could this be because the answers back up my contention?

    Regardless, I went to the Town’s web site to see if there was anything to say that the public could not use these parks or their facilities. I could not find anything to that end. I did find some interesting things though….

    Community Parks and Sports Facilities

    Enjoy playgrounds, water splash pads, sports fields, skateboarding and a wide variety of other recreational activities in Aurora’s parkettes, neighbourhood and community parks.SPORT FIELDS
    Did you know that the Town of Aurora has a large and growing inventory of sports fields? We currently maintain 65 soccer fields and 18 ball diamonds located throughout the Town. These facilities are some of the best in the region, largely due to the Town’s high maintenance and construction standards, and the excellent cooperation received from user groups with regard to scheduling.

    The Department of Leisure Services Parks Division requests that all sports groups refrain from using any sports field after October 15 through May 1 of each year to allow for regular maintenance and to give the fields time to rejuvenate. No Field Permits will be issued to any group prior to May 1. Depending on weather and field conditions of the day, permits may also be canceled or delayed until conditions improve. User groups utilizing any field that has been deemed out of play by the Department of Leisure Services will have their permits revoked for regular season play on our facilities.Both of these quotes are from this link: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index_e.aspx?ArticleID=1183

    I think it’s quite clear that the Town is encouraging the residents to use the parks and fields. Let us hope that this topic will not raise it’s head again next year. As for current councillors that are reading this blog – we know that you do. Please direct staff to allow children to use the fields during school recess.

    Fuimus

  2. Evelyn Buck said

    Robert you have the name and the Clan motto but if you insult a Finnigan with a Scottish upbringing, be ready to raise your sword.
    You refer to my age and imply a dullness of intellect.
    You accuse me of a lack of professionalism because I persist in keeping people informed.
    You dismiss a logical explanation as “stupid”
    Finally you patronise me by suggesting, I shouldn’t get angry because I know you are right.

    On guard sir, You have crossed the line.

  3. Nigel Kean said

    I believe that the Town fields and parks should be for everyone who wishes to use them. There are groups who reserve certain hours for their leagues and I have no problem with that. I do,however have a problem with not allowing kids and adults to use these fields when they are not under a permit from a group.
    Who paid for these fields and who pays for them to be maintained?
    Well, it is you the taxpayer.
    We all have an equal right to play sports when they are not being used.In a time whem parents are being told that their kids are not getting enough exercise, why would this council decide to take that time away.
    Again, I say that all taxpayers and their families should be allowed to use these fields and not just those who are in organized sports.

  4. Barry said

    This seems to be a touchy subject but I must admit I’m not well-informed on this so I have some questions.
    1. Are the parks meant for both private and public use?
    2. Is the intent to use the parks to generate profit or just be revenue neutral?
    3. Do we know who has paid for said use and how much they paid and is this a “first come, first served” deal or do potential users submit bids?
    4. Does the Town charge enough user fees to cover the maintenance?
    5. Has the Town asked the schools to “kick in” some of the cost in return for student usage?
    6. Can one get a schedule of when parks have been reserved for paid users and when parks are available for public use? The Town website lists the parks but there doesn’t seem to be a schedule unless I missed it.

    Just askin’

  5. Anonymous said

    I live in Newmarket. I have a yard that backs onto a park with a town soccer field and a school that makes use of that field during recess. There have been many springs over the years that I have seen the town put sod, soil and seed, airate, snow fencing, dig up spots and put in more soil, sod, they have come with the water truck to keep it watered, that field today is in the same rough shape as it was when I moved here 18 years ago. I have a daughter who has played soccer for a number of years now. I can tell you that the fields that are within a school recess range are in pour shape and the ones that are solo are in great shape. So maybe this is something to also take up with the schools. They do not maintain the grass area of the school. The grass is left to grow all summer. I guess someone does not have in the the budget to maintain. So why should the children be allowed to run on town maintained fields when the school boards and the schools themselves do nothing to maintain them. That includes keeping the children off them even when they are out of commission by the town. Maybe the children should just not be allowed to play on them during school hours. That way they are there for them on the off hours and are safe to be played on.

  6. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    I think Evelyn is right, but I have some comments.

    First, the sports fields are provided for specialized sports. At present the town priority is to provide high quality sports facilities.

    Another town priority appears to be to stop paying for the costs of building and maintaining such facilities.

    Why is it that the sports fields can’t take the wear and tear? Maybe it’s because we’re a bit spoiled. In many parts of the world, kids play sports on baked clay fields, not on grass. The answer may not be attractive to Aurora parents… lumpy mud makes a great playing field, and it is fair to both sides.

  7. Robert the Bruce said

    Now Evelyn, you don’t need to get angry with me when you know I’m right.

    I have spoken to Jim Tree on another issue and I do not doubt his expertise. However, even a genius can have a stupid idea.

    In true fashion however, you failed to answer my questions…

    1. What reasons other than “abuse” are fields fenced off?

    2. What maintenance, other than normal grass cutting, has Norm Weller field needed? The reason for this question is to determine if a $10K expense is warranted to prevent “abuse”.

    I don’t think I made a generalisation in calling it stupid. I’m quite specific, it’s a stupid idea! Again, you twist things around. I never called Jim, you or anyone stupid, just the concept.

    You say that our fields are being “abused” because they are over used. What determines overuse? Is one soccer game or practise a night for a week over use? Does 10 recess periods from two elementary schools a week constitute abuse? During the recess periods, the kids are not wearing spikes like the soccer kids are. Maybe we should ban soccer spikes like golf courses banned steel spikes over 15 year ago!

    Not only is fencing of the field stupid – there’s that word again – it does not make any sense.

    I think my analogy about “over-use” or “abuse” of streets is quite accurate too.

    I think that Mr. Downey and perhaps Mr. Tree think that these fields are there as corporate assets and should not be used at all? They just become proof that lot levies have been received and used.

    ===================
    Regarding FUIMUS….. I am surprised that someone so well read as yourself with your heritage does not know. I take insult to your statement that I am trying to “impress people”. However, as you do when painted into a corner, you take on a vindicative tone and try to hurt someone with personal attacks rather than deal with the facts.

    Robert the BruceBruce Clan – Clan Motto Fuimus (We have been)http://www.familyofbruce.org/

    Fuimus

  8. Nigel Kean said

    I am disappointed that our children cannot play soccer if they wish to on their own time when fields are fenced .
    For anyone, especially a councillor, to say that they can get a permit if they wish to play is a slap in the face to all in Aurora who pay taxes.
    There are, I am sure, other ways to make the budgets work rather than depriving kids of their rights to play a sport and keep healthy by doing so.
    As residents, we have just as much right to use these fields as do those selected clubs with permits.
    The reason that some of us moved here was to allow our kids to play in the open fields and to stay healthy by doing so.
    Next we can fence of the green spaces and build parking lots as was said in a song from the 60’s.

  9. Evelyn Buck said

    In the Nokiidaa Trail post is the telephone number for Jim Tree, the Town of Aurora Parks Supervisor. He joined the town in his teens.He has taken advantage of every course of education available in his field. He has grown to be among the best and most professional in his field of expertise.Our parks are the best of any town around.
    He is the epitome of management that every municipality should aspire to, value and respect.

    The $10K in was his budget for the soccer field fence. It had been previously approved by council.

    Maybe Robert, you would like to call and tell him how stupid he is and offer your sweeping generalisation to support you contention.

    Or maybe you wouldn’t find it so easy to do it to a man with expertise.

    And what the heck does Fumius mean. Smoke and Mirrors. Abre-cad- abra or is it just a word you made up yourself to impress people.

  10. Robert the Bruce said

    Evelyn said (2 times…) “Sports field fencing is normal everywhere and for a variety of reasons.” Other than abuse, what other reasons are fields fenced off?

    I have lived near Norm Weller park for 14+ years. Other than the occasional cutting of the grass – it sometimes looks like a hay field rather than soccer field – what other maintenance has been performed here?

    We have issues with the youth sitting in front of TVs and video games so in order to counter that, we tell them not to use the green field beside the school.

    I sincerely hope that the $10k cost was turned down because it was a stupid idea rather than a saving of $10k.

    Maybe we should decide that as a town, we don’t do anything. Then we don’t have to worry about maintenance or costs. Let’s not pave a street because, you know people are going to drive on it and next thing you know, we’ll have to plow it or resurface in a few years.

    The argument does not make sense.

    Fuimus

  11. Evelyn Buck said

    An essential factor is being missed. The soccer field in question was paid for by the town.

    Our tax resources built it and maintain it. Maintenance is expensive.Over use is abuse and a waste of tax resources.

    The school board did not contribute to the construction nor do they contribute to the maintenance of the field. They over use and abuse it.

    Fencing would require the board to obtain a permit like everyone else and allow staff to ensure against abuse.

    Sports field fencing is normal everywhere and for a variety of reasons.

    The item was raised during a budget discusssion of $10K.

    You can agree or disagree on whether we should fence off areas of a park.

    Maybe the real discussion should be whether or not to build soccer fields and maintain them properly for that purpose.
    Maybe we should just let soccer players play on sand like they do in Barrie.

    For the discussion to be helpful the reason for the recommendation is relevant.

    Staff provided a practical and normal solution to a real problem. Council rejected it and took the money out of the budget.

  12. Robert the Bruce said

    I have complained about the exclusiveness of public fields for a while. I have a child at Highview PS. According to her, they are not allowed to use the field between Highview and Light of Christ during school hours (except for gym classes). This means that recess and lunch times they must stay behind the school or in the playground. Reasons given are from The Town and that the field is a town field. The addition of fencing just makes this worse. I paid for the field at Norm Weller park with my tax dollars, all tax payers should be able to use it.

    Fuimus

  13. Evelyn Buck said

    An essential factor is being missed. The soccer field in question was paid for by the town.

    Our tax resources built it and maintain it. Maintenance is expensive.Over use is abuse and a waste of tax resources.

    The school board did not contribute to the construction nor do they contribute to the maintenance of the field. They over use and abuse it.

    Fencing would require the board to obtain a permit like everyone else and allow staff to ensure against abuse.

    Sports field fencing is normal everywhere and for a variety of reasons.

    The item was raised during a budget discusssion of $10K.

    You can agree or disagree on whether we should fence off areas of a park.

    Maybe the real discussion should be whether or not to build soccer fields and maintain them properly for that purpose.
    Maybe we should just let soccer players play on sand like they do in Barrie.

    For the discussion to be helpful the reason for the recommendation is relevant.

    Staff provided a practical and normal solution to a real problem. Council rejected it and took the money out of the budget.

  14. Alison Collins-Mrakas said

    Nigel, you have raised some very good points. Thank-you for encouraging residents to contact their Councillors.

    I would be happy to hear from the residents on this matter or any matter that is of concern to them.

    I can be reached by email anytime at:
    acollinsmrakas@e-aurora.ca

    or during the day through the Town Hall at 905-727-1375.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,
    AC-M

  15. Nigel Kean said

    I am disappointed that this issue is even on the table.All Aurorans pay taxes and should have access to the soccer fields and open space.
    Why did the Town spend almost 1 Million dollars on the astro turf field at Sheppards Bush then fence it to prevent the taxpayers who paid for it from using it.
    Here is another case tax money being used for fencing when the fields should be open to all. As a resident and taxpayer in Aurora, I urge you to call the Mayor and Councillors and stop this fencing before it gets going.
    If you have children,young or old,or you yourself want to use the fields for recreation then please call all Councillors and the Mayor to tell them that you are against this.
    Aurora’s population is growing at the expense of the green space so it is important that we, as residents have the right to use these fields when we want to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: