Editor: I write in response to the July 30 Teeing Off column discussing Arlington Senior Babe Ruth’s (ASBR) plan to expand and the conflict with Arlington Post 139’s Team.

ASBR’s plan likely conflicts with current Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) guidelines for field allocations. Those guidelines proscribe a new sports league or program where one already exists. The guideline permits new programs only for sports not presently offered in Arlington. Consistent with that guideline, ASBR would not get field allocations for its new team, because it encroaches on an established program.

The Department of Parks and Recreation’s guidelines are wrong. Communities, and the sports they play, evolve. We need innovation even for sports currently offered and can’t assume existing programs will do so.

Further, the guidelines violate county-government policy. The Public Spaces Master Plan requires equal access of parks resources for the entire community. That requirement is broad and not limited to ADA compliance.

DPR must publish criteria for new programs, even if the sport is currently offered. We need to evaluate programs on their merits. Monopolies over public resources are not in the best interest of the community. The criteria need to reasonably evaluate the benefits of new program offerings, lean toward inclusion, and not be so onerous that answer is always “no.”

Stephen Finn, Arlington

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