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Letter: Should not pay rent to city

While I commend the Hudson City Council for extending the lease to the Hudson Boosters to use city property for ball fields and for waiving the liability insurance for the Hudson Booster Days event, I find it disturbing it voted to charge the Boosters a monthly rental fee for the use of a city storage shed (reference March 20 HSO article).

Some would indicate it is only $50 a month rent, and that this action is consistent with the rental fee charged to other clubs who rent city storage space (rowing club).

The issue is not the dollar amount being charged. It's the principle, and it's setting a precedent for potential additional payments to the city in the future.

As a former longtime member of the Boosters as well as past president of the Hudson Basketball Association, I was able to visit with many leaders of other communities while coaching traveling baseball and basketball. In many of these communities, the city was the governing body responsible for the organization, management and implementation of youth activities and sports within their respective communities. This comes at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover employee salaries and benefits, equipment, field maintenance, etc. Obviously these costs are passed along to the consumer through higher taxes and exorbitant participation fees.

The Hudson Boosters and other youth organizations in the greater Hudson, North Hudson and township areas provide many recreational activities for the youth of our community. And, they do it within the framework of non-profitable, charitable organizations whose members donate countless hours to not only manage and execute these youth activities, but also organize and staff major fund-raising events to minimize participation costs and taxpayer increases.

As far as consistency in fee policy is concerned, I am not aware the rowing club is providing a quasi youth recreational department for the city. I'm sure from a legal perspective, significant dollar and manpower benefits to the city from one organization to another can be taken into consideration when establishing policies and procedures.

I wonder when Aldermen Scot O'Malley, Lee Wyland and Dennis O'Connell voted to charge the Boosters rental fees if they took into consideration the financial impact to the city if the Boosters decided to close down its operation and turn the responsibility over to the city of Hudson.