'Hooked' On Parade Planning
On behalf of the 2018 Chatham Independence Day Parade Committee I would like to sincerely thank the previous committee for all of their hard work and incredible organization. Brad Schiff, Danielle Jeanloz, John King, Stephanie Hamilton, and Jan Fields left us an incredibly detailed plan that made it very easy for us, as an entirely new committee, to pick up where they left off and continue the great tradition of the Chatham Independence Day Parade. We would also like to thank our liaison to the board of selectmen, Cory Metters, our staff liaison Police Chief Mark Pawlina, and our project manager, Perri Kapp, whose guidance over the past year has been invaluable. We hope that they, along with the rest of the town of Chatham, will join us on July 4 and enjoy the “Hooked On Chatham” Independence Day Parade.
Justin Bohannon, chairman
Chatham Independence Day Parade Committees
It's About The Kids
I spent seven years on the Harwich-Chatham Little League board, treasurer for seven and president/treasurer for two. Never did I think when my friend Vince asked me to join would I be there that long. The experience was so fulfilling for me that I stayed two extra years after my kids had aged out. Anyone that has served on the board will also tell you it's the most demanding and time-filling commitment you will ever have. It is a year-round commitment; plan on sacrificing your own family time on a regular basis as well as being inundated with calls and problems while you try to work or run your business. However, I wouldn’t change a thing!
The reason I served is the reason most do: to give as many kids in both towns the opportunity to play baseball over a 10-week period at a very affordable cost. Although there was a select group that would also play for the month of July on All-Star teams, we always strived to make every player regardless of ability feel like an All-Star. I would tell people often what made it worth it to me was on the final day BBQ seeing all those kids (over 200 a year) and families smiling ear-to-ear regardless of ability as they received end of the season awards and stuffed their faces with burger and dogs. It was a community celebration of a job well done. Ninety-five percent of parents were ecstatic and would go out of their way to thank you for your efforts. Its the other 5 percent that make me wonder why I ever did it. You know, the parents that think their child will be playing MLB. All they care about is their own self-promoting of the supposed up and coming MLB career for their child. The reality is, it's not going to happen. Research the statistics. But if you think there is that possibility, my advice is go play travel baseball and pay $3,000 to $5,000 a year and see how fast reality sets in. Little League is not for you.
That same 5 percent of parents choose to criticize and complain about every decision the board makes regardless of how big or small without ever offering to get involved. "The rules and policies are all wrong and they all know better.” HLL and HCLL, aka Monomoy Little League, have been around for many years and many past boards have seen all the problems and dealt with them. That is why there are bylaws and in-house rules we have always abided by. The rules and policies are there for reasons that have been debated for many years. We also have to abide by LL rules in order to keep our charter and insurance. These same 5 percent of parents, when asked to get involved and join the board, never do. They just want to sit on the outside and criticize and dream of their child’s million-dollar contracts. Does the board tweak and amend rules from time to time? Of course, but there is a process for that and it does not happen during the season. Never. It’s at the meetings all year long that no one sees where the board plans to get the season off without a hitch. If we are all doing it wrong, then please join the board and help us improve what we have. But please don’t lose focus and just remember, it’s about all the kids, not just yours!
Concerned About Wants Vs. Needs
As usual, I am again voicing my concerns on how the town of Orleans is spending the taxpayers' money.
We have already got our police station to pay for as well as the sewer lines through town that as yet have nowhere to go. And a huge department of public works maintenance building that is still not even close to completion.
My next concern is the number of experienced, certified mechanics we have and will need to be responsible for the care of all the vehicles from all the town departments and the equipment we use, how well they are serviced and the years they will remain in operation.
Maybe Orleans would benefit in having an advisory committee to oversee the spending of new items of equipment. Then the committee will proceed to the finance committee and board of selectmen. There has also been talk of paying property tax four times a year. If so, is this a precursor to raising taxes to pay for the wants and not the absolute needs of the town?
Explain Little League Resignations
Recently four long-serving executive officers resigned from our Monomoy Little League governing body. In their resignation letter to our little league community these officers cited changes to existing polices and procedures that they they felt "presented significant ethical issues" which would prevent them from continuing to serve.
As anyone associated with little league knows, it takes a tremendous commitment on everyone's behalf for the league to be a success. Specifically, being a player or a coach means adding a weekly three-night commitment to our already hectic schedules. However, without people like Dawn Routhier, Scott Morris, Larry Smith and Amanda Alten we would not even have a league, as their commitment stretches well beyond just three days a week.
Furthermore, Dawn, Scott, Larry and Amanda have tirelessly served for years, getting parents to coach, organizing team schedules and umpires, checking field conditions, as well as the always awesome end-of-year BBQ. It is a shame that they now end their tenures as executive officers on such a sour note.
As a parent, volunteer coach, and a person who believes that baseball's role of bringing people together has never been more important, I urge the Monomoy Little League Board of Directors to hold a special meeting to explain to the Monomoy Little League community what changes were made, why they were made mid-season, as well as what we can do to reach a consensus on how best to move the league forward.