Brentwood Council will tackle touchy field permit issues
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, 4:39 p.m.
A vote will be taken next month outlining new permitting rules for the use of Brentwood facilities, officials guaranteed.
After months of heated discussion and resident pleas, council members say they will rule on how field permits will be distributed for municipal parks — and all borough facilities — on Feb. 17.
“I think it's time for us to take a vote on those two new fields,” Councilman Pat Carnevale said Monday, when he asked his colleagues to make a decision, as soon as that night. “We've been putting this off for far too long. It's time for us to be making our decision.”
Concerns over field usage time and borough permits escalated when a group of Brentwood parents and coaches recently formed the Brentwood Travel Baseball Association with plans of using fields in Brentwood Park this upcoming season.
The Brentwood Athletic Association, though, holds permits for the two older fields in the borough park through 2017, officials said. The BAA had a permit for four fields since the late 1990s, but the elimination of two fields and the building of two new ones in Brentwood Park led to discussion about whether the BAA has the right to all four, or just two, for the next four years, officials have said.
Officials have not determined if permits issued prior to the adoption of the new permitting rules with be honored, council President Marty Vickless said.
Council members in December tabled a vote to honor a request by the BAA to transfer permits from Winsor and Dailey field, which were torn down, to the two newly constructed fields in Brentwood Park.
The new permitting rules will create a hierarchy for the issuing of permits, Vickless said. The Brentwood Borough School District will be first in line to receive permits, he said.
“This has dragged on longer than I would have liked,” Vickless said, as he urged council members on Monday to wait until the procedures are reviewed by the borough solicitor and recreation committee to bring it up for approval. “I would rather hold off and do it correctly, rather than rush through it and end up with something that we have to keep revisiting, changing the rules on.... Just to vote on something isn't always the best thing.”
Council members said they worry that the delay in a decision is affecting the residents.
“It's not just the organizations that are a little bit on edge. It is the community and the children,” Councilwoman Stephanie Fox said. “My hesitation is that they're going to go to other boroughs because we don't have this finalized and it keeps getting delayed.”
Carnevale said if he were watching from the audience, he would be mad at the time it has taken officials to act.
“They just look at us like they're just putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. You just can't do that to people. If I was sitting some place and you were doing that to me, I'd be screaming at you from that pulpit. I'd be going through the ceiling. This just can't keep going on. You can't do that to people,” he said. “You're lucky I'm not standing on that side.”
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