No threat to America’s pastime in Amissville
County has ‘no intent’ to eliminate baseball program at Stuart Field
It all began with an arguably poorly worded posting by the Rappahannock County government announcing a special meeting this week to discuss possible “disposition” of a popular county-owned youth baseball field.
Which, not surprisingly, was immediately followed with a Facebook posting by Amissville resident Page Glennie: “Next Thursday, 21 September 2017, at 10 a.m. the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors has called a Special Meeting. On the agenda is ‘Discussion and Potential Action re. Lease Agreement between Rappahannock County and the Rappahannock Athletic Association, Inc., for property in Amissville known as Stuart's Field.’”
The lease, as Glennie pointed out, automatically renews unless
either party gives written notice before Oct. 1.
“The only ‘Potential Action’ is to give notice not to renew the lease,” opined Glennie. “Why would anyone in the county government not want to renew the lease for these ball fields and deny our children a recreational facility that costs our county nothing?”
The posting generated considerable emotion among county residents from here to Culpeper.
But Rappahannock County Parks Authority Chairman Ron Makela assures this newspaper’s readers and young baseball players alike that nobody is ejecting anybody from the baseball diamond.
“Absolutely not,” Makela reacted. “The county has no intent of eliminating the baseball program. Instead, we want to better utilize the building that’s up there.”
Referring to a former Ruritan building owned by the county that “has a large meeting space [and] handicap-accessible bathrooms,” Makela said. “Why is the county not using this?”
Makela recalled that it was then-Rappahannock County Administrator Debbie Keyser who alerted him to the fact that the Stuart Field lease was coming up for renewal and she said it might behoove the county to review it for the first time in 10 years.
Meanwhile, a county official familiar with how today’s special meeting came about said the original and still primary purpose was to review applications for the county administrator’s post, which from a permanent standpoint has been vacant since Keyser’s departure several months ago. The application deadline was Sept. 16.
The official explained that today’s meeting was the first opportunity for the board to review the applications and choose which candidates to interview in the future.
The parks authority discussion was added today because the 10-year lease between the county and the Rappahannock Athletic Association to use the field expires on Dec. 31, but the official notice period to renew the lease expires on Sept. 30.
In addition, per the lease, either party has the right to declare that they do not wish to renew the lease on Jan. 1, but they must state their intentions by Oct. 1. If both parties remain silent then the lease automatically renews for another term.
It’s actually a “prudent” thing to do, said the official of today’s Stuart Field lease review, even if some are now “up in arms and assuming the worst.”
Stuart Field is used primarily by players from the Rappahannock Culpeper Baseball league.