After listening to accolades to the city on little league baseball play this season at a recent City Council meeting, I believe it is time to set the record straight on the exclusion of Glen Cove Junior Baseball/Softball from utilizing our city fields this year.
Glen Cove Junior Baseball/Softball had a long standing tradition for over 60 years in promoting the sports of baseball and softball to thousands of young Glen Covers.
However, this past year, primarily through the efforts of Mayor Spinello and Councilman Mike Famiglietti, the venerable 501c3 organization led by dedicated volunteers were asked to finish the 2015 season during a transitional period for a new group to take over in 2016. The organization was also informed that their field use permit would not be renewed in 2016.
I have been hearing recent arguments that the organization refused to open its financial records to the Glen Cove Recreation Commission for review. Glen Cove Junior Baseball/Softball was willing and ready to open its financial books for scrutiny.
The organization did not raise its permit fees the last several seasons to give young players and their families regardless of race, color, nationality or creed, the affordable chance to meet new friends and develop sportsmanship.
I also feel it is disingenuous that Mayor Spinello and Councilman Famiglietti complained about Glen Cove Junior Baseball/Softball performance last season and at the same time accept a $23,800 check for 2013 and 2014 for field lighting from the group after last summer’s successful Mayor’s Trophy tournament.
Last year’s Mayor Trophy tournament drew about 100 teams from Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn for its exciting tournament play.
Lastly, our City Attorney Charles McQuair remarked to me several months ago that the board members “were tired and burnt out.” Charlie confirmed that the city was willing to give the organization a permit for one more season and break in another group to take over.
Charlie, I am sorry to tell you making that offer to any organization would be an insult to their efforts and goodwill. Our Glen Cove Junior Baseball/Softball board members deserved the opportunity to continue their good work and retire when ready with dignity and grace.
—Steve J. Gonzalez