The council decided to add some stipulations to the agreement after learning that the league is not enforcing some simple rules needed to maintain the facility.
“It’s a mess out there,” said Interim City Manager Deborah Ballí. “We’re not charging a dime. All we ask is that they pick up after themselves.”
But Ballí said Little League officials have told her they think it is the responsibility of the city to clean the area.
The city manager said it has taken three city employees two hours to clean up the restrooms, stands and fields after each night of play. “That’s six hours,” she said.
Councilman David Carabajal said he had been to the fields and has seen the abuse.
“The toilets are being used as trash cans,” Carabajal said. Trash is being scattered in the building and someone had actually spit on one of the walls of the new building.
Carabajal said the problem is a lack of parental guidance. He said children are running wild around the restrooms during the games and he actually saw a small girl run through the men’s room as she chased a boy through the building.
“The players and coaches are doing their part,” Carabajal said. “The problem is with the spectators.”
Carabajal said Little League board members are at the games each night but they refuse to do anything to discipline the children who are running around the complex unattended. He said the board members should make sure that the parents of the children take control of them when they are at the park.
“That’s not the deal,” City Attorney Frank Warner told the council. He recommended that the city include language in the agreement with the Little League that will give the city the right to termination if the organization refuses to control the situation and clean up the messes left at the complex.
Warner said the city should include a 60- to 90-day termination clause in its agreement with the Little League organization.
“We should be able to terminate at will with 10 days or 30 days notice,” Warner told the council.
But Carabajal questioned whether the city could hold the league responsible for the messes made during the games.
“It’s hard to hold the Little League accountable when it’s the spectators who are doing it,” he said.
Council members are expected to take up the subject at a later meeting. Until then, the city will not have an agreement for the Little League to sign.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.