It’s the story in the Daily Pilot about three Eastside achools getting lighting for their fields so the kids in youth sports have more places to play.

You can read it by clicking HERE.

Spoiler alert: The rest of this post describes what is missing.

Long before I became chairman of Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee, I was actively involved in trying to find more fields for youth sports. The logical solution, to me, was to work with the school district, since there is an abundance of school fields.

But Fairview Park came up on the radar and the attention was diverted there for the time being.

Now, there are three fields with lighting, which is an excellent start. So what’s missing from the story: There isn’t a single word about the district’s involvement. To read the story, you’d think that the Parks & Rec. Commission acted autonomously when in fact, they had a lot of cooperation from the district.

I e-mailed the Super and got this response:

“… we have been working with City staff over the past few months.  We worked together to identify a process that provided impacted neighbors with an opportunity to participate in a public forum and to limit the impact of the extended hours.  By impact, I am referring to the impact on the adjoining homes regarding noise, lights and parking as well as the impact to the field with the added wear and tear.  The primary function of a school field is to provide an environment where our physical education curriculum can be taught to students and to have play space for recess and lunch.  We cannot allow a degradation of facilities to the point that our curriculum and extra-curricular activities cannot take place on our open spaces.  City staff have been exemplary partners in working to meet both goals and we appreciate their consideration for our issues.”

So, here’s what… The district is to be commended for their cooperation with the city of Costa Mesa to help provide more places for our kids to play. It is greatly appreciated and hopefully, it will be the start of an ongoing partnership that will put an end to the fields issue forever.

As for leaving the district’s involvement out of the story, well, I hope this post will go a long way toward giving them the credit they deserve.

Steve Smith

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