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In The Wake Of Field Of Dreams, What's Next

With the election over, and the referendum defeated, where does that leave the Field of Dreams?

Perhaps the most resounding loss of this November's election was the defeat of the 'Field of Dreams' referendum. The unofficial count shows 2,858 votes were cast against it, while only 1,669 were cast in support of it.

At Monday's work session of the Mayor and Council, Mary McElroy and George Adelung -- both members of the Committee that worked on the Field of Dreams-- asked the council what their plan was now that the Field of Dreams referendum had failed to pass and given the fact that the town's current fields are often unusable after any type of inclement weather.

"Every time that our team has to relocate to another town because our fields are unplayable, that's money we don't get from snack bar sales," McElroy said.

Explaining that during the campaign, candidates talked about available grants to assist in the purchase the United Water property should it became available again, McElroy asked what those grants were and inquired whether there are grants available to rehabilitate the existing fields.

McElroy pressed, "During the campaign, many of you sitting around this table kept talking about grants that were available that could help with the purchase of the United Water property and rehab the current fields."

When faced with silence, McElroy continued, "I want to know what grants?"

The council agreed to have Marlene Casey, the borough's grant writer, come to the January work session to discuss grants that may be available to rehabilitate the borough's current fields.

Adelung told the council that the kids in New Milford deserve a decent field to play on and said, "You did nothing to support the Field of Dreams."

Councilman Diego Robalino said that the referendum was non-binding and it was up to the Mayor and Council to decide how to proceed.

Councilwoman Randi Duffie said that the council needed to come up with a plan to rehabilitate the current fields.

"We can't wait for the United Water property to maybe come up," Duffie said. "We need a plan."

 

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John Bigger November 17, 2012 at 02:56 AM
I have worked very closely with Junior Football to maintain the integrity of the field even if it means restricting practices and usuage and they have been very cooperative. Is the field closed for a day or two after a heavy rain? Yes, but that is due to its location, not maintenance. The other Recreation fields are very well maintained considering the amount of use. Williams Field (behind the Library) is one of the best in the area. Kennedy Field (behind Boro Hall) was in excellent shape until it was damaged, but I assure you it will be back by next softball season. Every January, I meet with our DPW Field Crew and our unpaid field maintenance specialist to go over the needs for the coming year. Our specialist advises what needs to be done and when to do it. To say there is no maintenance plan is not only inaccurate and untrue, it is unfair to our DPW Staff. My guarantee to the citizens of New Milford is their Recreation Fields will continue to be of high quality
Mary McElroy November 17, 2012 at 09:00 AM
No, you give me a break. How do you think the HS PTO functions? It's almost entirely from the snack stand &the revenues generated from home games support the entire student body of NMHS. The fact that you don't know that tells me that you're most likely not qualified to comment. It's not the parent's of the kids on the HS football team, soccer teams, band or cheerleaders that are saying just pass the money along to OUR kids. It's not the parents who work in the snack stand saying just make sure that money goes back to MY kid. So do yourself a favor before you continue to make comments and get the facts straight. Look at yesterday's Record's & their take on our field with the girl's state soccer playoff game: "field conditions prevented either teams from making things happen." There was plenty of slipping and sliding as players struggled to keep their footing and control the ball...a hard-fought game that was made more difficult by a soggy and choppy field." And yet, the girl's HS team got the job done & so did the football team tonight. It's telling that the only people who continue to comment on field conditions in terms of performance are those who have been OPPOSED to the field. Head's up people - no field in any condition has anything to do with producing winning teams-our town couldn't be a better example of that. However, the fact that it's taken a over a decade to resolve a fairly simple issue such as flooded and over-crowded fields speaks to a much bigger problem.
Mary McElroy November 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM
"Furthermore, we think its a bad idea to let the current "FOD" committee continue to hold the public bullhorn on providing a voice for better fields for our kids." What stopped you from coming out to the M&C meeting and speaking into the public bullhorn? This is an open public meeting of your elected officals & the place to let your voice be heard. If "we" or you are so interested in the cause, come on down & sit with the rest of us for 4 hours. There is no admission charge & unless I'm mistaken, it's the place that we have the "public conversation" with our elected officials. You seem annoyed that I am asking questions about how we are purchasing the UW property with grants; I do believe the campaign season is now over & as such, it's time for someone to articulate the alternate plan for purchasing the UW property & putting the field there. No one is letting the "grants writer" control anything, requesting that she make a presentation at the M&C meeting is an attempt to understand how we secure around 8 million to purchase the land & then build a field there and the timeframe for all the grant money. As for the grants that I know about with my work on the field committee, I'd be happy to have a conversation about towns that secured grant money for field projects, while I'm not an expert in securing grants, I have done much research on how other towns have funded fields and which towns have utilized grant money.
miriam pickett November 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Can't we all get along? New Milford kids deserve a field that allows them to play safely and to the full extent of their abilities. They need a field that is centrally located and enhances our community. Can we all agree on that? FOD supporters, join SOD to help us keep the UW property in the public domain. Maybe, just maybe, by working together we can accomplish everyone's goals and all New Milford will win in the end.
NM Resident November 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Mary, PLEASE Let everyone have a chance to speak. Try taking a deep breath before you assume you understand the intelligence and motivations of fellow posters and go into attack mode. People who have different ideas are not all ignorant idiots who hate kids, only care about themselves, and want to secretly see the town fail. This is an important public forum and voice for New Milford residents. Your comments tend to go personal- and there is no reason for it. We can all have opinions, discuss ideas and groups, without personally attacking individuals or trying to bully away their right to voice their thoughts.. Many pople I know will not voice their opinions on Patch specifically because they are afraid YOU will attack them. I don't believe that is what you ultimately want, right? You are very passionate about your causes- Thats great. So, deep breaths.. Please Mary...
NM Resident November 17, 2012 at 01:54 PM
An article is posted. 1. Someone comments on the state of the fields in NM. 2. John Bigger responds. 3. People who were, and were not, at the last meetings get more, detailed information- 4. No ones feeling are hurt 5. Next time, John does not have to think twice to respond. Even comments that might not be "right" open up a forum for discussion and a way to pass along information. Not everyone can make it to meetings Mary- or want / need to let YOU know if they were. This is a valuable forum.
Fran November 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM
It's unfortunate that our kids are affected because the taxpayers can't afford to agree to any project that will increase taxes. It may be time to have an outside source take a forensic look into how our money is being spent.
Mary McElroy November 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
You might want to take your own advice about the "deep breaths" techniques. You made your comments & perhaps because they've been questioned & you can't respond to the actual ISSUES, the new strategy is to go into victim mode as being attacked by the big "bully". If being knowledgeable, direct & outspoken on an issue while having a short fuse for BS makes one a "bully" than you can call me whatever you like. At least this big "bully" doesn't post: " NO ONE wanted to see the HS kids walking a mile to and from the school to another field (lurings) when the property next to the HS was still theoretically in play and could provide a much safer, monitored environment." Is this your example of comments that may not be "RIGHT" but open up a forum for discussion? I fail to see such comments as opening up any forum for discussion, but I do see them as repeated examples of deliberately misleading to ensure that there's no chance of any field by the MS. We already have HS kids in several sports walking to the MS & the last time I looked, it was certainly way less than a mile between the two schools. I could just imagine the outcry if our recommendation had been buy UW for 8million & put a 3 million dollar field there. While I agree with Miriam's sentiment about trying to work together, it's not going to happen with people who have their own hidden agenda or are unwilling to compromise.
Sandik November 17, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Mary, you need to step back! You think you're always right! When I read the Patch posting that George Adelung wrote, I was never so disgusted! Telling the children to give you a big thank you?? Are you kidding me?? The children should have never have been involved to the extent that some parents allowed them to be. Having your child email families to vote yes for the FOD is just sad. Some people have no shame! I for one have 2 sons playing NM football this year and would never let them send out e-mails to anyone. And to have children take the vote no for FOD signs down off NM residents properties is just a disgrace! My 6th grader told me that Ms. Perro made an announcement that she witnessed children from DEO removing vote no signs from properties around the middle school. Just another big disgrace!
karen November 17, 2012 at 08:21 PM
After reading the above and confirming it, I did not know, to laugh or cry. The poor children of New Milford so desparate, they are tresspassing and stealing. Did anyone read the poem "children learn what they live" I hope Mrs. Perro notified the police/SRO/parents and I am sure we will learn who they are by spring. Between this the parents being allowed to hand out flyers curbside as people were dropping the students off prior to the election, people outside the polls telling them to vote yes , I really should not be too surprised the children got looped into this.
Casey Marie Hittel November 17, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I woul also like to add that one parent was asking me to vote against the field if dreams while their children were trick or treating on my doorstep. After reading the comments above as to how parents were involving their children, i need to state that I'm disgusted by the practice of involving the kids in parent's personal political agendas, regardless of which way they want the vote to go. Is it really about their kids? Or just their personal preferences?
Mary McElroy November 18, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I'm not sure whose children you are referring to as sending out emails, but they were not my children. Further, any child who took a sign off a lawn whose last name is not the same as mine, has nothing to do with me. In the same token, I would never direct any child to touch another's personal property. I'm under the impression that one child removed a sign at the MS & nothing more. I have no idea about any Patch posting that you are referring to from George Adelung. The only thing that George sent out that ever referred to me was a letter informing parents of the referendum defeat. And while he may have mentioned my efforts on the field in that email, that is as far as it went and the email was to parents. He told parents to pass along a message from him to their children to be "hopeful" and "thankful". I imagine each individual family would have the right to pass along that message or not at their will. There was no mention of anything to do with me in his message to the children.
Ulises November 18, 2012 at 06:30 AM
I'd like to thank Mary McElroy. Even if you disagree with her, her heart is in the right place - our kids.
NM Resident November 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Heart is not the problem. Mary personally attacking everyone that has a different viewpoint is the problem. Assuming she understands the motivations and the backstory on complete strangers and then blasting them for their "inadequacy" is the problem. 80-90% of the conversations that devolve into angry threads seem to involve Mary. You know as well as i do that very few people give props to PATCH because of the arguing. Most will publicly say Patch is a joke, full of landmines, etc.. yet- everyone reads it, don't they? We'll- it actually has the potential to be a good public forum- If Mary can't control herself, then we will have to ask the moderator to get involved- and no one really wants to see Mary loose this forum for her voice. Say what you will, but I bet the mod would prefer if many of her NM posts didn't get marginalized and devolve into chaos because of the actions of just a few....
tony mac November 18, 2012 at 06:51 PM
It's so nice to see that this is still such a topic of hot discussion. I say let's build a new field after.... All the people who lost everything they own at the shore, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and everywhere else, have rebuilt their lives, homes, and families. Tis may take quite a few years but, why not wait? Has anyone else in town made four trips to donation sites with canned goods, clothes, and other essential items? I have. Why not help our fellow mankind rather than brag about our new " field of dreams?
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 05:47 AM
AGREE. GET OVER IT, THE TAX PAYERS DON'T WANT ANOTHER FIELD. THIS BOLOGNA HAS GOT TO END. WE DON'T WANT ANOTHER FIELD. THE VOTERS SPOKE. AND IM SICK OF HEARING "THESE POOR KIDS IN THIS TOWN." NEW MILFORD DOESN'T KNOW WHAT A POOR KID IS. NEW MILFORD RESIDENCE ARE MORE WORRIED ABOUT PAYING THEIR BILLS AND KEEPING THEIR HOMES. MOVE ON TO ANOTHER SUBJECT.
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 05:51 AM
I ALSO TOLD PEOPLE PASSING OUT FLYERS BASICALLY HARRASSING YOU TO VOTE, THAT THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES FOR EVEN TRYING TO PUSH THIS SITUATION. POOR KIDS MY BACKSIDE...THIS IS PATHETIC. YOU PEOPLE ARE SO DISGRACEFUL...IF YOU WANT ANOTHER FIELD PAY FOR IT OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKETS AND LEAVE THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR A FIELD OUT OF IT.
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 05:55 AM
THE PARENTS OUTSIDE BERKLEY SCHOOL WERE A DISGRACE AND I TOLD THEM TO THEIR FACE THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 06:01 AM
PERSONAL PREFERENCES....ITS A TROUGH FOR THESE PEOPLE, TO FEEL THEY ARE IMPORTANT IN THIS TOWN....SICKENING. NOBODY EVER KNEW MY FATHER AND HIS FRIENDS BUILT SOME OF THESE FIELDS. NOT LIKE THE LEADERS OF SPORTS TODAY...ESPECIALLY JUNIOR FOOTBALL. SAD THAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT THEM THEN KIDS. GO TO NYC AND SEE THE FIELDS THOSE KIDS PLAY ON....AND THEIR THE ONES WHO MAKE IT TO GREAT COLLEGE'S. NOW MOST OF THEM ARE POOR KIDS.
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 06:14 AM
HEY JIMMY, FRANKLY I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR OPINION. NO FIELD....YOU LOST...END OF IT...GO HELP FAMILIES WHO NEED REAL HELP...BY THE WAY THE JR FOOTBAL LEAGUE OWES MONEY TO ME...HAVENT SEEN IT YET....AND I DON'T HIDE BEHIND FAKE NAMES....MY NAME IS TARA, THERE ARENT MANY IN NM...YOUR WELCOME TO COME TO MY DOOR AND DEBATE ANYTHING YOU WANT....I WILL LISTEN TO YOUR OPINION AND YOU CAN LISTEN TO MINE. WHO ARE YOU TO CALL ANYONE A COWARD WHO CHOOES NOT TO USE THEIR FULL NAME....MY FAMILY FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY TO DO THE SAME. BACK DOWN MISTER
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 06:19 AM
THEN YOU PAY FOR IT. NOT THE TAX PAYERS.
RESIDENT FOR OVER 40 YEARS November 25, 2012 at 06:22 AM
MARY, YOU SEEM TO HAVE SOME CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER. NO QUESTION MARK AT THE END OF THAT SENTENCE...MARY YOU HAVE A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER.........
Ulises November 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Jimmy, I asked for the UW property to be put on a referendum at the High School in April 2011 and at other M&C meetings but Mayor Subrizi refused, this is when we had an opportunity to purchase the land and lots of grants were available. The Mayor obviously favors FoD, most members are Republicans, and allowed a referendum for them because it removes the HS field from where it should be, right by the HS, exactly where the Mayor wants InSerra's ShopRite Strip Mall - her legacy.
Donna Colucci November 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM
A town MUST own the property to referendum it. FYI
the education of 42 November 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
A couple of questions regarding the Field of Dreams: How will this field benefit older people whose children are grown and moved away from New Milford? How will this field benefit the people who lve near the Middle School? How will the field benefit people whose children have no interest in sports, or have no children? How will this field benefit people who live in town, but whose children partcipate in sports at a private school? If the groups listed above don't benefit from this "Field of Dreams", then why should they pay for it through tax dollars? It seems to me that this field would be for a select group of people who don't realize that these kids should be playing for fun. These kids aren't going to have careers in professional sports; it just isn't going to happen. There a plenty of kids in this country who play at some level, but there are very few jobs at the highest level. My advise would be to spend the money on eductaion.
the education of 42 November 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I pretty much agree that over development is a bad thing - really not good at all. But respectfully Sir, New Milford hasn't been a hamlet since 1960. As for our SOD friends trying to keep this from turning into Camden; have you been to Camden, it is one one of, if not the most dangerous cities in the country. And Camden didn't get that way by being over developed. In fact, along the river where it is developed, it's a rather nice place. I know this because (due to the business that I'm in) I see several baseball games each summer at Campbell's Field, a very nice family friendly venue. If you want to keep New Milford from becoming a dirty city, condemn Brookchester.
the education of 42 November 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I would imagine that Coming from NYC and WNY would make New Milford look like the sticks, but the place that I'm looking to retire to would consider New Milford the big, evil city. And for the record, Camden is in no way a nice place. The ball park is nice, however. The city is really frightful. I try to catch day light games only, but I have been there at night, and the thing that I learned is not to stop at the traffic lights; you will get shot at. The company for which you worked sounds like a people friendly place - STAY OUT OF CAMDEN! Seriously, you are better off never having been there. As for me, my life was easier when the Newark Bears were in the Atlantic League, but to see those games now, it's either Camden or Bridgeport. I have lived in New Milford for 55 years, and let me tell you, I have seen this town change radically. On weekends, I run, my route takes me through Brookchester, and from when my wife and I lived there 35 years or so ago, that place now resembles the projects. Now, that isn't to say that every inch of the joint is bad, but rememer, when this was built in 1950, no one thought that the place would still be standing today.
Ulises November 28, 2012 at 04:49 AM
A referendum is a electoral devices by which voters may express their wishes with regard to government policy or proposed legislation. Referendums can be phrased as wished, thereby, even if we don't own a property the voters can be asked if the opportunity arises, again, to purchased this property should we or shouldn't we.
scooby doo December 01, 2012 at 12:10 PM
The whole town benefits from increased property values if a good athletic facility is built. People who sell their homes will get more money. If they don't want to sell, then their heirs will get higher prices. The kids are playing for fun but should be able to play on a field that is not hazardous. The current fields are all unplayable after any rain. Even the high school game had to be played at Dumont last night. But the field should be by the high school, not the middle school.
the education of 42 December 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM
With all due respect, what you are telling me, Scooby do, is that regardless if market fluctuations, changes in tax laws, or anything that causes economic cycles, this field will increase the value of my home. The problen in many of these towns is that the house is affordable, the taxes aren't. How about if instead of a field the money was used to make this a blue ribbon school district; I am willing to be that will increase property values quicker than the field.

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