Youth baseball league criticizes Laredo’s process preventing them from using park fields


The vice president of the Babe Ruth League this week presented community concerns to city leaders about the process for obtaining a permit to use city park lands for baseball practice. He said the process was complicated, asked for unnecessary documents and ultimately left the children with no place to play.

League vice-president Ricardo Villarreal represented the youth league and said he appeared before the board after trying to get approval to use the pitches in the park they have been using ever since. eight years. After the board changed the leagues mandated to submit 501 forms – an application to reserve or renew the reservation of an entity name and can be used for non-profit, for-profit professional corporations and more – they received permission from the president of the Orange Crush League to use his.

Villarreal accused a Parks & Recreation staff member of calling the president of Orange Crush and allegedly threatening him with the consequences and responsibilities he would have if he loaned another organization his 501 to procure the land. . He said they told the president that he would be liable for all damages and concessions made by the Babe Ruth League if he loaned his document for them to use to procure land.

He told LMT in April that because they were unable to use the Babe Ruth League 501 and the president of Orange Crush received veiled threats, they requested a new one.

He demonstrated a 90-page folder of classified documents before pointing out that all the necessary documents were classified several times in May and June. Villarreal said the current contract is with the legal department, and as a new 501 organization since April, children still don’t have the ability to use any land in the park.

When asked by council if and when the Legal Department received the documentation, City Attorney Sophie Garcia said she first received the paperwork on Friday. Following this question, Alberto Torres, member of the Council of District IV, asked for an extension for the examination of the documents. She replied that they had been examined, but that other documents had been requested from Villarreal.

He said that after the Babe Ruth League paid for their new 501, they were then asked for a Form 990 and the old 501’s bank account number. According to Villarreal, he submitted his application and required documents directly. in Garcia on Tuesday and was instructed to correct some typos in the organization’s bylaws.

He said he felt assured that after the corrections he would be able to sign the City contract by the end of Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

As for the children, Villarreal’s citizen commentary was followed by a veritable youth baseball team who hoisted billboards all asking the city to let them play. Following the alleged threats and lack of permits, Villarreal eventually leased the baseball field from Laredo College.

Maldonado echoed Villarreal, saying 90 full pages of required documents cost $6,000. He added that despite this, Parks and Recreation Director JJ Gomes would not be returning his call to discuss the matter. He also criticized District VIII council member Alyssa Cigarroa for appointing an assistant baseball league advocacy officer.

“They asked me for 90 pages, I gave them back. We’ve been fighting since November and the season has passed,” said Maldonado, who went on to say that another local league had received their license to play in a land in District VIII. before them.

Gomez said there were a total of 12 leagues that had applied and were in compliance with all of their documents throughout baseball and football. Garcia then confirmed that all leagues go through the same impartial and clean process to receive a permit.

In case it is necessary, District VI board member Marte Martinez said they will return at the next board meeting with an agenda item targeting the league situation.

District V councilman Ruben Gutierrez acknowledged he was briefed on the situation months prior, and city staff told him the legal department received the information in January. City management have been instructed to look into the inconsistencies and attempt to resolve Villarreal’s plea, but also to ensure the issue is resolved by following the same fair process that all other leagues have followed.


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