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Letter to the Editor: 'Clawson Residents Deserve Better Facilities'

A Clawson resident and coach says the city should come together to improve the park conditions.

As the majority of Clawson residents who attended the City Planning meeting concerning our park, I walked away frustrated. There are always opinions on change. Those living close to the park obviously are against any improvements that may require compromise, possibly making alterations to their lifestyles. I respect their opinions but hate the loss to our city’s children, business owners, much-needed revenue, job opportunities and making our city a show place again.

Not once, but twice now, over two million dollars has been offered to make our sports facility as top notch as all of our neighboring cities. Guaranteed, insured money costing Clawson nothing.

First it was rejected to turf the football field, install a new track, bleachers, lighting and press box. No school track meets are allowed due to the inferior condition of our city track. The teams must even be bussed to other schools for their practices. 

During a rainy week, where school soccer and football and city football are played, our field is destroyed for the seasons.

Our competitors have voted our baseball and softball facilities the worst in our leagues. Middle school baseball has no practice or game area that even resembles a baseball diamond.

Years ago our park fields were nice. Not so anymore. There is not a positive thing that can be shared because there is no money and no maintenance other than dugout repair and grass cutting. There can not be a combined effort from the city and schools for repairs because both claim lack of funds.

There are fifty boys and fifty girls in our schools who play ball, and another couple hundred who play in city leagues. Our children deserve quality sporting conditions. All Clawson residents deserve better facilities.

Now, as the city planner stated, “this is a golden opportunity but it is gone.” You didn’t want someone else to finance the two million in upgrades so are you willing to support the changes needed with your own tax dollars? As a city, we need to work on a millage to upgrade our main city park area just as we did for the library.

You can not have a family friendly town if you don’t have family friendly reasons to bring, and keep, people in Clawson. My family and I will support anything in Clawson that helps show a positive change for our schools, our children and adults, and our sports facilities.

-Ralph Haney, Clawson baseball coach and resident

Clay Lepola August 30, 2011 at 12:20 AM
maybe a surcharge for those who did not want a 1 million dollar inprovement
micheal w smith August 30, 2011 at 11:18 AM
wow - 2 million to improve the park? OK, so let us quit lamenting what could have been and deal with what we can do. I suggest a public/private effort. Can we get some Clawson businesses behind a specific renovation like a ball field - and perhaps a milliage effort to provide funds to do a better job of maintenance??
Jen Murphy August 30, 2011 at 12:22 PM
I noticed Ralph you don't live close to the baseball field, in fact almost a 1/2 away. You don't have to deal with the day to day at the park. I know what I signed up for moving across from the park but I didn't sign up for 4th of July traffic for 50 days a week. I'm all for improvements for the park but not at the sake of losing the rest of the park to it. Most nights when I get home from work, I can't even park in front of or close to my house because of the activities going on in the park. I'm all for fundraising maybe even a bond for the park but not bringing in a company that will take over our park. Days of baseball games, no one else would be able to use the park, playground and pavilion in the park because there would be no parking. Would you like to carry your coolers a 1/2 mile cause there is no parking for the park? As a Clawson resident for 18 years, I think we deserve better then what Summit Sports offered us. I'm not talking about the money but about the community of our park. Yes I do believe the kids deserve a better soccer/football field, baseball field and tennis courts. We as citizens should help raise the money for our park, not sell out our kids so only a few can benefit from a new ballpark.
Clawson Citizen August 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Very well put Jen! I am also "just around the block" from the park, & wrote same concerns as you! Also, why couldn't Summit Sports wait for our decision? They pulled out way too fast! They didn't have all the concerns answered that were asked etc. I love how some people just see dollar signs and nothing else! Is it also true, this same group, or similar group, went to Troy, and they also turned them down too? Something isn't right with this whole deal. I am glad that the commissioners wanted more time to do the studies etc, on the impact of the area. Summit Sports is also being pressured by their team to find a place FAST for the next season! I was not impressed with the business tactics at all.
micheal w smith August 30, 2011 at 01:36 PM
People - it is over. For better or worse, we no longer are dealing with the issue of semi-pro ball in our park. Move on! Let us spend our energy in creative ways of improving our park.
Karen August 30, 2011 at 01:40 PM
OK so I have been reading stuff about this field for weeks now (even went to a meeting about it) and I am just so sad that the whole city has had to suffer because a the few that live by the park. Clawson isn't just 4-8 blocks. We are a wonderful community of people who have great kids who deserve a better place to play. I for one think the above article is right on! AND people keep talking about raising money... from where? If we had it don't you think that it would have been done already? I mean I am pretty sure that being the worst field isn't something the city wants to be known for. Ug! What a shame that the whole city will now have to pay(financially) because of the few who couldn't see the bigger picture.
michael J August 30, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Bits and pc's, in no cert. order. Clawson East, I have video of a great surface laid sat. cut out on Sinday rubber pellets being spread as I type. why does the City park have to be a sports park? One can have a family, and a family park , with out having to hear "F" bombs, with out dinging/cutting it up with one dimmensioal fields. Last Thursday at 6:30 there was this usage of the park. 3 x girls soccer pract's, Mavericks, 3 different cheer groups, J V Ft Ball GAME, tennis, and volley ball matches,, the streets were full, schalm lot 3/4 full, both cul-de-sacs over flowed UP on to the grass area up over the curb, Custer first block both sides one block no FIRE truck could make it down. elmwood, parked full, (resident park? or park . parking?) and washington (park side) was 14 cars to the curve. , forgot about the dogs at the doggie area, DOING DOGGIE STUFF out fld of big fld. The field at the top of page, is going to be used by add this up: 3 football plus CYO and other schools renting the field. 4 soccer plus cyo soccer. 2 lacrosse (?) spelling 1 or 2 fld hockey, (Girls) any type of body or skill level can play this MOM's Why one dimmension field, at city park when Clawson East, will have 4 diff. games, played on one all sports field at least 10 different teams using it. plus cyo and school rentals. like Clawson hs could rent it during building of our mutl faceted field. 30% of clawson students live some wheres else.
Dan McGuire August 30, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Maybe they shouldn't have let the High School football team run all their practices on the baseball fields until a couple years ago. Thats how most of the damage occured. The City let farm tractors ride around the track after a forth of luly parade in the late 90s, and that finished that off. Funny no one wannts to admit to any of that y
Joe Smith August 30, 2011 at 05:16 PM
I've come to the conclusion that "sports" parents are crazy! Just go to any Clawson youth sports events and you'll exactly what I mean...sports, sports, sports. Some of us just do not care at all about sports, get over it.
John L. August 30, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Jen M. & Michael J., you are both right. I drove by the field on Friday night, during a Varsity football game. Right before the game started, Maverick football & cheer were wrapping up their practices. Parking at Schalm, both park lots, up & down Bywood AND up & down Custer were FULL. I could barely drive through the city & this was for a high school football game!! How on earth would we be able to accommodate parking for a minor league baseball field??
micheal w smith August 30, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Good grief people, Clawson is a "bedroom" community - of course there will be plenty of school atheletics. I would rather kids had organized sports to grow up in then be unsupervised on the streets. A minor headacke at times for sure, but deal with it. I'd like to see more "we" and a lot less "me" in this conversation.
george gray August 30, 2011 at 08:44 PM
I wonder what the millage will be for all of us. this league issue is dead for now. there will be needed improvements on the park. I am worried what the city is going to do next. I guess I will have to get out my checkbook, there will no businesses , or organizations that are going to donate money to rrepair the park. The conditions of the field is really bad and the city has a respobility to take care of it.
michael J August 31, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Bit's & Pc's, I believe it is not over with, oh the guy impersonating a Highland appliance man, you know the slick back black hair guy training to be a used car sales man, or was he comeing down from the car lots, it was minor league. The Team is done, he picked up is ball and went home to Orchard Lake " BUT" The mechanisim that brought that SENARIO Is still in place. Was there any negotiations w/ council, or was it w/the city atty.? was the atty. told go at your own risk? Do all CHS teams need to play at one facility? Number of ord's violated. 1) Volum, 2) alcoh. In any city Park 3) curfew 4) Lights 5) signage, one sign per estab. Just the ones that come to mind w/o thinking. I feel that some one was trying a backdoor run.. perhaps a job or a contract will not be renewed, my thoughts... the way the city planner and asst. city atty. who work w/city atty. in other venues, went beyond the scope of their responcibilities, the atty. snapped at some ideas, Planner, editorizing, and putting the C P B in a hot spot, before they were able to do dudiligents, COUNTING Parking Spaces, two and more times, aT THE SAME TIMES THOSE same spaces are used for the rest of park uses.. Sure would of been nice, if not so many spaces would of been used at the CLAWSON CENTER that Oasis in the middle of an asphalt JUNGLE must of been a different Formula. for over there. No I don't feel the last or repercutions from this is over. Much to be learned.
michael J September 01, 2011 at 03:11 PM
What's wrong with the CSDist Pick the area since they used the fld for V F Ball, Assign, parents per game (including School of Choice parents) to do a clean up, Another way, is to assg. J V parents to clean up, since Varsity parents are trying to enjoy the evening. On city FB, a tax payer noticed how "dirty" the park was especially around the Track, consession area, (i, note, the cans were full so some people do get the picture, The fact that it is fri. night the wrappers had the whole week end to lay or blow around. There is signage at the top of Rock. Mt.Nat. Park, (stay on the path, it took 1 mill yr's to form, one foot print is one too many, If you like what you see, leave it the same way) [also in state parks] Some people who will get ask for their vote, might vote NO, cause, the people using it do not take care............................. The Liar, The pervert, oh yes the Stalker, (any other name handed out)

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