Mandate: No more choice for pickleball players

Prior to Jan. 1, 2019, pickleball players who chose to play at the Ridgefield Parks and Recreation facilities, had a choice of memberships. For many, the Recreation Membership, which included pickleball open times to play, was their choice. For some, like myself, I chose to join the full Wellness Membership for the additional access to the facility. But, that was my choice.
With the Jan 1 revised plan approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission, pickleball players no longer have a choice. If they want to play pickleball, they are now mandated to pay for a Wellness Membership that in 2-3 years time will be four fold in cost from what they currently pay in a Recreation membership, or pay increased drop in fees. Many of our players are seniors on fixed incomes. Playing pickleball for them has not only become an outlet for exercise, but also for making friends. Non-seniors play for many of the same reasons. By removing the choice of membership level a pickleball player wants to belong, and mandating the higher fees, many pickleball players will make the choice not to renew their memberships. I, for one, will do just that. I implore the Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Commission to review the newly implemented fee schedule, review their mission statement, and consider if the mandate of a few more dollars is worth the loss of the many loyal Ridgefield pickleball playing residents, seniors and non seniors, by removing their choice.
Andrea Beebe
Main Street, Jan. 16