Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Let's Talk: Soccer Games in Fort Greene Park
There's some pretty lively discussion on the New York Times blog, The Local, regarding soccer games in Fort Greene Park. Council Member James has long been aware of the matter (you can read a succinct background here; basically, some feel that soccer playing has rendered parts of the park grass-less).
Recently, we received the following comment on TeamTish-
I have been reading about your activities regarding the FG park soccer dispute on the NYTimes blog. Is there any way that you can start documenting/clarifying your positions/actions vis-à-vis the soccer dispute on this blog?
Many of us are very concerned that a small minority of your constituents may be driving soccer out of the park completely at the expense of all of the other stakeholders in the park, including the soccer players. On the NY Times blog, a vast majority of the commentors are FOR soccer in the park.
It seems that you are moving towards taking out of the park completely. That does not seem to be a win-win outcome that treats all fort greeners as equal stakeholders.
As Council Member James has been quoted in many of the articles and posts written on this matter, and has held a number of meetings between the parties involved to discuss various solutions, we have not followed this issue on our blog. However, in response to the comment received, we said the following-
"Anonymous, we've been following the conversation over at the NYT-The Local.
CM James has been a part of this discussion for quite a while (it is in no way, a 'new' issue), and has actively been working to find a compromise between all parties involved (meeting multiple times with stakeholders and players, etc). We'll try to get a statement from Tish at her earliest convenience on this matter, but in the meantime it would be inaccurate to make any assumptions, as conversations with Parks (and all other parties involved) are ongoing."
Firstly, we recognize the complexity of this issue, and although we are eager to hear input from all residents, we feel that this matter needs to be addressed in a community-minded spirit. It would be unfortunate if anyone interpreted the Council Member's efforts to assist in this matter as anything other than a sincere desire to bring about a solution that benefits stakeholders and players alike. At this time, Council Member James is in discussion with alternative sites to access their soccer fields for these players for part-time use. Such a proposal may also grant the soccer players the opportunity to continue use of a designated Fort Greene Park area. We will update this blog as we receive more detailed information. Conversations with the Parks Department are ongoing.