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Friends of Brodie Park South Continue Their Assault

by on March 28, 2012

At last night’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting, a letter was brought to the attention of the Board, which was written by someone involved with Friends of Brodie Park South, without identification of the author.  The letter is linked at bottom.

While they state repeatedly in public and in their written communications that they are not against youth sports, their actions belie those assertions.

I am posting the letter here in the hope that people who are interested in town sports will realize that these people, while few in number, have an agenda and that they don’t care about facts, there are many distortions, or rules if the rules are ones they disagree with.

The Recreation Commission needs to hear from us.  Letters are probably the most effective.  I don’t suggest you look them up in the phone book as the “Friends” letter requests.  Letters can be sent to members or the entire commission c/o Town of New Hartford, PO Box 316, New Hartford, CT.   

We also need to attend the April 4th Recreation Commission Meeting and show our support for the kids.   This will affect all youth sports in the long run.  The meeting is at 7:00 p.m., place yet to be announced.   I will post the location as soon as I know it.

The letter also contains contact information for FoBPS. Please only use this contact if you wish to lend your support to them on this issue.  Any negative feedback directly to that contact will not benefit our youth sports program.

FOBPS letter

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15 Comments
  1. Steven Roth, President New Hartford Youth Football & Cheer permalink

    Thank you for your passionate post. I have had the honor of presiding over New Hartford Youth Football & Cheer for the past year and in that time I have learned much. First and foremost I have found that the people who volunteer their time (countless hours) to NHYFC are heroes. They are dedicated to a program that, at it’s core, instills a sense of community and teamwork in our youth. I have also learned that no good deed goes unpunished. A few dedicated individuals in town have determined that Brodie Park South should only be used for “passive” purposes. They want to ensure that the entire 140 acre (we only use the open fields, less than 4 acres) property be dedicated as “open space”. In their ever increasing militant attacks, they have accused NHYFC of endangering our children’s lives through unsafe parking, destroying the environment with trash, noise and light pollution; flaunting town authority to pursue our own nefarious agenda through “Millitary style” coaching. I find these attacks abhorrent and desperate. The TRUTH is that we have been very sensitive to the neighbors (only 2 houses are adjacent to the fields) requests. We were asked to move the lights and we did; we were asked to park in specific areas and to be mindful of the neighbor’s properties and we were. We swept the field every night after practice to ensure that the trash was picked up, often leaving the field much cleaner than how we found it. We have not complained about the constant violations of the park rules prohibiting dogs from the park (or playing fields as posted) even though many of our children ended up smeared in dog excrement. The item that troubles me most, however, is the demand that NHYFC vacate the field at BPS immediately even though we have been working on a transition plan to move to a less controversial site. Those that oppose NHYFC or any town use of BPS for sports have no interest for what is best for the youth of the town or the town’s needs in general. If they did, they would exercise some patience while we followed through on our transition plans and worked to accommodate all the involved parties. I ask those of you who would support the the opposition to investigate the FACTS of the issue for yourself and not to believe the propaganda put forward by a few agenda motivated individuals. In supporting the youth of our community, we build a stronger future for our entire community.

  2. NewHartfordHeldHostage permalink

    That’s quite a letter. I’ll assume that it’s the 4 hour practices that last until 9pm. How do those coaches keep the attention of a 6 or 7 year old boy for that long? It almost seems like an exaggeration, or dare I say a lie. Hopefully some parents of football players will shed some light on these claims made by the “Friends” of Brodie Park South. Please don’t let a handful of people destroy what these dedicated kids have built; a youth football program to make New Hartford proud.

    • Coach Rob permalink

      To clarify, practice is held from 6 – 8. This allows ample time for stretching, warm-ups, conditioning, and cool-down exercises, in addition to teaching football skills and plays, and to practice the plays that they have learned. In reality, each of these activities within the practice are about 15 minutes long, thus the coaches are able to maintain the children’s attention and keep them engaged.

      Practice begins the beginning of August, and runs 5 nights per week until school starts (from 6 – 8).
      Then, practices run 3 evenings per week during the school year (from 6 – 8). Games are held on Sundays, and are not at BPS. The season ends at the end of October, with playoffs running into the beginning of November.

      In addition, football is a high-energy sport which teaches self-discipline, sportsmanship, commitment, and leadership. Given the rise of childhood obesity and the sedentary lifestyle that most children (and families) lead, football provides an opportunity for children to stay active while developing a strong, positive character with excellent role-models in their coaches and older peers.

      Unfortunately, in situations such as these, the benefits are always overlooked, and the truth becomes twisted.

  3. Sally O'Neill permalink

    Just a note for clarification purposes regarding the FoBPS letter. Planning & Zoning did not decline the Farmer’s Market application after having been approved by the Recreation Commission.

  4. NHYFC Parent permalink

    I have been involved in the NHYFC for the past two years as an assistant coach. I can say that without any question that practices in August are five nights a week from 6-8 p.m. And once school starts the practices are reduced to three nights a week at the same time. There have never been four hour long practices during my experience with the program. In addition,                                                                                                        there were Saturday morning practices only a very few times due to the large amount of practices that were cancelled due to the rain last fall. The practices were cancelled not because they would have been wet and cold, but because the NHYFC wanted to make sure that the practice area was not damaged because of how wet the field area was. The constant accusations that the NHYFC uses the space for such extended times is nothing more than blatant exaggerations of the truth so that a particular group can further their cause. It is most disappointing that the other group is supposed up be working with the Rec commission, the NHYFC, and themselves to adjust the park rules that best benefitted EVERYONE in our community. I find it hard to believe that the other group could be willing to work with others to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion over this issue while they still spread misinformation.

  5. Brant Keller permalink

    As an active member in Youth Sports in the town for Soccer, Baseball, and Football, I find all of this negative attention, and negative propaganda about youth sports as a personal attack on our children. Unfortunately, there are a handful of people, with self interest, trying to impact the lives of many of our citizens. I am not sure the relationship of FOBPS and FOBP but I would imagine that the have the same common goal and mission for the town. BTW…….below is the mission of FOBP as listed on their website…………

    “Friends of Brodie Park, LLC was created specifically to fund maintenance and improvement projects at Brodie Park in New Hartford, CT.

    We are your friends and neighbors, residents of New Hartford and other communities. We share this in common: WE LOVE BRODIE PARK!
    The Town of New Hartford made a great move when they purchased the defunct facility known as “Camp Berkshire”, and converted it into a public facility known as Brodie Park. In doing so, they gave a whole new population access to this beautiful place – for swimming, hiking, biking, walking, cross country skiing, sledding, picnicking, playing soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball…
    New Hartford has improved the facility since its purchase, concentrating on the waterfront and Berkshire Hall. Additional funds for maintenance and improvements have been limited, and parts of the park have suffered from neglect. The Friends of Brodie Park have come together to fill that void – our mission is to raise money to maintain and improve Brodie Park, for the benefit of everyone who enjoys this facility. We are committed to finding ways of funding these projects without creating an additional burden on local property taxes.”

    Wouldn’t using existing town property for youth sports and recreation be a more viable option and not burden the tax payer for studies after studies, wasted time and energy of all commissions that have been involved in this process?

    Thank you for providing a clear communication channel about this assault on our youth sports in the town.

  6. Alesia Kennerson permalink

    Maybe the meeting should be held in the senior center to accomodate a large group!

  7. New Hartford Football Mama permalink

    The FOBPS also omitted the fact that the town’s zoning lawyer was called in to address the complaints made to Planning & Zoning at a public meeting, and he stated that football’s use of Brodie South was within zoning regulations, and was in line with activities practiced at town parks all over the state. He stated that there was no legal issue. The Planning & Zoning Commission did address their complaints. It just did not have the desired outcome that the FOBPS had hoped for. How strong is their actual argument, if they must resort to a letter filled with false statements? Maybe if they had played football, they’d have the strength of character to take their stance while remaining true to the real events!

    • Mike permalink

      As I remember it, the zoning attorney said he wouldn’t want to go in front of any judge, with a case based on children not being able to play ball in a park.

  8. Curious... permalink

    These “Friends of Brodie Park South” – who are they? Is it the two neighbors to the park? Is it a vocal group of two other people? Five? Ten? If they never identify themselves specifically, how do we know that the FoBPS are even residents of New Hartford? Why would any Town Commission be required to/willing to answer to unidentified persons (or person) who may or may not even live in New Hartford?

    • Mike permalink

      All great questions. Also, since they have generated revenue to send out mailings are they an LLC., 501c3, a PAC? Do they have an executive board? What are the rules for membership? Perhaps we should find out. I’m a friend of Brodie Park South, and I’m sure most supporters of our youth sports are also.

  9. Alesia Kennerson permalink

    I don’t see a filing for that name under the IRS 501(c)(3) listings, or under the Secretary of State for an LLC listing (or corporation for that matter). No listing for them either at the SEEC (State Elections Enforcement Commission).

  10. Dan Sliby permalink

    My property abuts the BPS to the north. My daughter was fully involved with NHYFLC for three years. I found the letter delivered to my residence a complete exaggeration of facts. “Shrilling whistles”?, militant coaching?……for anyone to oppose organized responsible youth programs is beyond belief. Great kids playing a sport they love to be trounced by this letter is upsetting to me. How many houses are within earshot of BPS? I can count them on half a hand.

    If theres any issue New Hartford should have stood up to should have been the skate park and basketball courts. Kids skating after hours, swearing, loitering, graffiti, urination, deposition of rubbish, vehicles tearing up grass….etc, etc. These are not New Hartford residents, these are not organized sports.

    My hats off to the selectman and the members of NHYFLC

    WEST HILL RESIDENT.

  11. Anna permalink

    I live right down the road from where you guys practice. This nutcase lady asked me if she could go on my property to try and film kids playing football. I told her to go screw

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