Letter: Pickleball fees should be returned to their original level

To the Editor:

I was recently struck by the disconnect between the recent comments by the first selectman about a more compassionate Ridgefield, and the number of letters to the editor regarding the four-fold increase in pickleball fees. While I have only lived in Ridgefield for a little over six months, one of the very striking elements of this wonderful town is the care it takes in making sure the senior population is fully engaged and treated with welcoming respect. This four-fold increase in fees seems to fly in the face of that ethos.

The question is, what is fair? What is fair to the mostly senior players, to the other users of the rec center, and to the town’s taxpayers who help support the facility? Since pickleball is a service offering at a community-based center, the proper way to evaluate fairness is on the basis of cost. For this issue, the ideas of “opportunity cost;” what could the center charge for the space if pickleball was not using it and the concept of “marginal or incremental cost” come into play. I do not know how many other uses the gym spaces may have for the times allocated, but I do know that the majority of group classes take place outside the pickleball times. As to the marginal cost, the lights and heat/air are already on, and in most instances the rec center staff are already there dealing with other issues. While there are equipment needs, they are intermittent and de minimis compared to a piece of “exercise” equipment.  

Exercise and social interaction are two key elements to a long and productive life. Let’s show a little compassion here for those of us aiming to “live long and prosper” and return the fees to their original level.

Tom McIntyre

Branchville Road, Jan. 11