By: Mike DeWitt
It’s every little leaguer’s dream, that perfect game-ending situation that runs through a ballplayer’s mind: At the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, the bases are loaded with your team down a score. Three balls and two strikes, a full count and it’s do or die.
There’s nowhere to hide. It’s just you at the plate. A chance to be the hero.
For Pinery Park Little League (PPLL), the game is winding down and it’s time for the league to step up to the plate so that its contract with the City of Wyoming and Pinery Park isn’t terminated.
After 60 years of organizing youth baseball here in Wyoming, the PPLL is in jeopardy of losing its home.
The problems started back in 2011 when the PPLL lost its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the IRS due to a lack of transparent bookkeeping and financial information. Since the loss of 501(c)(3) status, the City of Wyoming has asked the PPLL to take the necessary steps to get the nonprofit title back with the IRS.
Four years later that still has not been accomplished. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for an organization that has proven to be run very inefficiently.
Electrical and maintenance bills haven’t been paid on time. Board meeting dates are flimsy with sometimes only a couple of days’ notice before a meeting. Board election positions are posted with the minimal amount of notice (two weeks) mandated by the league’s bylaws. Umpires are paid in cash out of the concession stand register with no paper trail to follow. And the League has been unable to present their financials at the request of the Wyoming City Council.
“This league is extremely, extremely unorganized,” exclaimed Mayor Jack Poll in a heat of passion and disappointment at the City Council Meeting on September 14. “And, if they can’t have the leadership to run this league on our fields with the requirements that we have, then it’s time to change direction.”
The Wyoming City Council had a very long discussion about what to do with the PPLL and whether or not the contract should be terminated. By the end of the meeting, they decided on a few next steps:
- The PPLL must turn over all financials, bank statements and loose pieces of paper
- The PPLL lawyer and the City lawyer will draw up a new contract that has some teeth
- The new contract will designate the Community Resource Alliance as the fiduciary for the finances of the PPLL
- The PPLL will form a separate committee to field complaints from league participants
The new contract must be submitted by September 30 so that it can be placed on the October 5 meeting’s agenda. If no agreement is reached, the contract will be terminated on October 5, and the Parks and Rec Department will charter youth baseball.