… Hide.

Not really. The weak hide. The tough ones strap on their body armor and prepare for battle.

But the school board and now, unfortunately, the superintendent, are not tough. Had they been tough, they would have appeared before the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee (FPCAC) last night to explain their contradictory and absurd letter, as well as state their position on fields at Fairview Park.

(For an excellent recap, visit Geoff West’s Bubbling Cauldron blog by visiting http://abubblingcauldron.blogspot.com/2015/01/fairview-park-committee-chairman-resigns.html)

Instead, they sent a rookie board member, who had the guts to stand up and make a statement immediately and who had the grace to smile when she was finished. Mrs. Snell is to be commended for attending, even though she left early, which is something I believe is a first for a board member. If it is not a first, it certainly is rare.

But wait, there’s more.

Supt. Navarro and board president Fluor signed the position letter that Fluor later claimed was not taking a position. That message was delivered not by either of them, or Mrs. Snell, or any other district official but by a civilian, so to speak, who stated before the committee last night that she was relaying information she had received from Fluor by phone. Lightweight leadership at its finest.

Some of you may be thinking that maybe Navarro and Fluor couldn’t come because of schedule conflicts. That may be true, but it doesn’t account for the fact that there were many other district people who could have attended besides Mrs. Snell but did not. And it also doesn’t account for the fact that the FPCAC has been meeting for 18 months, during which time, the board could have presented its case at any time.

All of this is a smokescreen to hide their real agenda, which is to further restrict youth sports access to “their” fields. They sent a similar letter to another committee at the 11th hour last year to try to stifle lights at one location and tried it again last night at the FPCAC meeting. (Hint to the board: The letters don’t work so you may want to try something else, such as getting involved live and in person earlier in the process.)

Their letter complained about excessive wear and tear and insufficient funds to cover the repairs. But they don’t acknowledge that board and city representatives meet regularly to discuss mutual issues and that if they needed more money for field repair, they should have made it public sooner, not moments before a crucial committee decision. And if they really are broke, how about implementing some of the cost-cutting measures I wrote about in the Daily Pilot for years?

The handwriting is on the wall, folks. The fences being erected at three more schools will be another step toward reducing youth sports activity and before too long at all, they will vote to end their participation in the Joint Use Agreement. Wait for it.

I will close with a repeat of an earlier statement: The fields at local schools are not “district property,” they belong to the taxpayers of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach and we will hold the current board members responsible for any attempt to restrict youth sports access to OUR fields.

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