Youth baseball requests use of Barney Schwartz Park
Council directs request to Parks and Recreation Commission
Paso Robles Youth Baseball Executive Board President Tom Seidel asked the Paso Robles City Council to place on a future agenda a discussion on the use of Barney Schwartz Park. Seidel said he was compelled to address the city council because of an issue that arose from the league’s current facility for the 11- and 12-year-old Bronco Division.
“These children play the majority of their games at Pioneer Park near the fairgrounds,” Seidel said. “The homeless people who congregate at this park have become an increasing problem for the obvious reasons. These are our kids we are talking about. We have families who are not allowing their kids to play baseball after 10 years old because they do not want to bring their families — specifically younger siblings — and subject them to this.”
The 4- through 10-year-olds play at Sherwood Park on four permanent and temporary baseball fields that the league maintains. The league as more than 520 children registered for the 2015 season.
Seidel told the council that he has to clean up many items that shouldn’t be littered in a park where children play, but he has had to more than once. He said that the teams are willing to practice at Pioneer Park, but would like to play their games at Barney Schwartz Park.
Paso Robles Youth Baseball has requested that the city to allow them to move the majority of their games to Barney Schwartz Park to provide a cleaner, safer environment for our families, Seidel said, adding that he was directed to talk to the Paso Adult Softball Organization, which has the first right-of-refusal for use of Barney Schwartz Park. “Once Adult Softball determines their field needs, the kids — both PRYB and Paso Robles Girls Softball League — can have whatever is left over.” Historically, the league is granted very little field usage at Barney Schwartz Park, he said. “This year, I met with Girls Softball and Adult Softball months in advance, trying to negotiate a reasonable and equitable share of field usage.”
He attempted to get five slots for fields, but said he was only able to get three, up from the limited usage they have been granted in the past. His goal was have two games on Tuesday, one game on Wednesday and use two fields on Friday. The league was granted one game on Tuesday, two fields on Friday and five Saturdays during the season.
The end of the meeting, Councilman Steve Gregory addressed Seidel’s request. “I don’t know what mechanism to offer to help,” he said.”I ‘d like to see if there’s any way for our staff to review this and see if there’s more spots available.”
Councilman John Hamon Jr. agreed and they both suggested that the issue be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Commission. Hamon also suggested that they should meet with staff first to see where it can go from there.