In last night’s board meeting the Beaumont Unified School Board approved a combined request from JAF (Junior All-American Football) and AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) to waive some of the facility use fees for the San Gorgonio football stadium. I applaud the board on their decision to support our local community’s sports teams.
We already are paying property taxes to support the new sports complex and the sports registration fees families pay can be significant, especially if you have more than one kid involved. Our families have already sacrificed a lot to keep the district solvent and any help from the district will be greatly appreciated.
Five years ago when I first started attending these meetings, I watched the Pass Stingrays Swim Team make a similar request for fees to be waived. Their request for fee waiver was denied. While I was listening to last night’s discussion I was hoping someone would speak up for the swim team. Board President Mrs. Susie Lara, who was on the board when they denied the swim team’s request, brought up the swim team and said she believed if they were going to waive fees for soccer and football they should also do something for the swim team.
There appeared to be very little support for Mrs. Lara’s suggestion from the rest of her colleagues. One argument expressed for why the swim team should be treated differently was that the pool requires chemicals. I think a football field needs water, reseeding, pesticides and fertilizer, at least natural grass does. Mr. Orozco reminded everyone that these teams are our high school’s farm team to which Mrs. Lara and Mrs. De Longchamp argued so was the swim team. I was a little surprised Mr. Hackney, a strong supporter of the high school’s aquatic teams, didn’t speak up to support the swimmers.
I want to thank Mrs. Lara for standing up for the swim team. I believe she even voted against the fee reduction for the football and soccer teams in order to make a statement in favor of the swim team. At least this is what it sounded like to me; there was a lot of confusion when they took the vote and my phone doesn’t make it easy to replay portions of the audio minutes. Regardless, it is refreshing to see an elected official make a stand on principal and show consistency in her voting record. I want to encourage the Pass Stingrays to make another request to have their fees reduced.