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MUSD not happy with Spreckels LL
District could toss group off Brock Elliott campus
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Spreckels Little League officials, contrary to a letter from the district on the possible safety hazard, had to mark the plastic sleeves used as post holders for the temporary home run fences. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Spreckels Park Little League officials were surprised at the recent review and evaluation from the Manteca Unified School District on their current recreation agreement for the Brock Elliott School athletic field.

On Friday, league president Jon Shaefer addressed the letter from the desk of Steve Trantham, who is the school district’s director of operation.

He believes the concerns listed may have been brought on by some disgruntled parents – “(In our bylaws) we have a code of conduct which they violated,” Shaefer said – and possibly bad blood between the league and school officials.

According to the letter addressed to both Shaefer and Kevin O’Neill, former league president and vice president of baseball operations, “Several issues have come to the district’s attention of which we would like to address. It is our hope that each issue will be addressed in a timely manner to prevent further attention.”

Shaefer has plans of meeting with Trantham as soon as next week.

The letter, in conclusion, indicates “future violations may cause the agreement to be terminated.”

Both sides, in fact, are hoping that all issues will be resolved with an agreement being reached for next season.

Just last year, the league extended its agreement to another five years, Shaefer said.

He’s hoping to have the first item on the list regarding the additional concrete poured around the snack bar resolved.

Shaefer noted that the 10-by-14-foot slab was installed without the OK of the district for the barbecue grill used to cook up food for the concession stand.

“We’re a non-profit and the snack bar is one of our sources of revenue,” said Shaefer, who indicated that the area paved over consisted of weeds.

The league, however, did receive the necessary approval to have the portion in front of the snack bar paved in 2008.

The district, according to the letter, may require Spreckels Park Little League to remove the additional concrete.

Shaefer is hoping otherwise.

Manteca Unified also pointed out that the temporary home run fences were added without the proper authorization. Furthermore, many of the post holders or plastic sleeves were said to be protruded above ground level thus causing a safety hazard.

Not so, said Shaefer, who said the post holders were dug in deep enough that those areas had to be marked off in order to set up the fences.

“We take down those fences every day (during the season),” he added.

The district could ask the league to remove all post holders, with the holes filled and reseeded. The temporary fences had been around for about eight years, according to Shaefer, who has been involved with the league for six years including the past two as president,

Spreckels Park Little League is fresh off hosting a District 67 tournament consisting of nearly a dozen teams. Shaefer, who coached the age 9-10 youngsters, used vacation days to help organize the event.

The opening ceremony for the league took place on April 1.

Shaefer has the key for the local Little League facility while taking his responsibility quite seriously. It’s the same lock used for years, with the district looking to change the gate lock in order to maintain control facility.

A single key will be checked out for each of the organizations using the Brock Elliott field.

“I told Steve (Trantham) that’s a good idea. My key was passed down from the previous president,” said Shaefer, who is also one of the owners of the In-Shape Health Clubs.

He pointed out that the league didn’t use herbicides or insecticides of any kind to mark the foul lines but, rather, a white spray-painted mixture.

Meanwhile, the storage pod used to house the riding mower and other equipment – another district concern – has since been removed with the baseball season now over.

Shaefer, in addition, has several bins from Waste Management used to recycle cans and bottles. He also makes it a point to have those involved clean up the baseball facilities at the end of practices and games.

Spreckels Park Little League consists of five fields including two for Farm and T-ball players, accommodating 275 youngsters.

During the winter months, Shaefer said the Brock Elliott field also doubles as a retention basin, requiring an estimated 500 man hours to get the facility ready for the start of the baseball season.

Among some of the district-approved upgrades in recent years, according to Shaefer, are the fenced off pitching bullpens installed for the safety of the spectators and the shaded structures above the dugouts painted to match the school colors.