To the Editor:
We have finally found an issue to motivate our citizens. It is not the opioid crisis. It is not 30g affordable housing. It is not emergency declarations or fake news. It is pickleball, and more precisely the dastardly thing we are trying to do to Ridgefield’s pickleballers.
Parks and Rec has proposed pickleballers pay the same fees as other users of recreation services. They want them to pay a drop-in fee of $10. The drop in fee for the pool is $10, the Wellness Center $15, the fitness center $13, and Martin Park is $15. The fee in Brookfield is $10, and $15 in Oxford and Yorktown.
The reason they give for not raising the fee is many of the pickleballers are seniors on fixed incomes and less well off than the average Ridgefielder. What I found out is the majority of the pickleball players are non-residents. One letter writer said if we raise the fees, the non-residents might go to Oxford or Fairfield. That would be a good thing. I do not want my tax dollars subsidizing non-residents. Do not let the door hit you on the way out.
The pickleballers do not want Parks and Rec memberships; they only want to use the pickleball courts. They think that is a plus for their argument. It is a negative. They do not want to be part of the recreation community. They only want underpriced pickleball, and believe it is okay for them to do this because they are seniors. I am a senior. It is not okay to care just about yourself.
All parks and rec is doing is trying to have a sensible and fair rate system that brings in enough revenue to try to break even. We need to support that responsible thinking.
Pond Road, Feb. 25