Santa Rosa City Schools will continue to host Santa Rosa American Little League games and practices at Monroe Elementary School after the school board Wednesday night approved a three-year deal with the volunteer-run organization.
The deal continues a reduction in fall use that dropped the number of games from 137 in 2012 to 72 in 2013. The deal also eliminates Monday practices from future fall seasons — reducing the total number of uses from 156 this season to 117 in 2014.
The league does not pay for use of the fields but maintains complete responsibility for development and maintenance of the fields and associated facilities. The district maintains fields that are used for both school activities and baseball.
"It's clearly a reasonable use," Board President Bill Carle said. "In the end, we are dealing with 500 families with a lot of kids who are getting a lot of benefit from Little League."
The 6-0 vote came despite complaints from a neighbor who contends he and his wife have suffered "aggravated harassment" for years from league participants and spectators.
"They just don't seem to follow the rules," David Lewis said of repeated honking and car alarms sounding on his property line. "It persists."
Lewis and his wife have appealed to the board for years to better address what they describe as boorish behavior among league participants and spectators.
"It's not the kids. It's about the disrespectful, distasteful and rude behavior of the adults," Sandra Lewis said. "The adults need to be a better example for the kids."
Board members acknowledged the ongoing behavior issues but applauded the efforts of league leaders to reach the 500 families that are associated with the little league program.
The deal is for three, one-year agreements that can be approved by district staff and not go before the board each year unless issues arise.
"I think the agreement is really fair and I think it's really been thought through," Little League board member Jessica Adams said.
Board member Laura Gonzalez was absent Wednesday.
Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press democrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here