Several representatives from non-profit organizations in the township came out Tuesday night to support the use of the Adams Avenue complex by the
Cranford Baseball and Softball League.
The use of the Adams Avenue complex by the CBSL was questioned by resident and former mayor, Mark Smith, in a letter to the committee and again at workshop meetings. Smith had suggested that the township reexamine the CBSL’s lease that says the organization will pay $1 per year for the use of the fields.
On Tuesday evening, CBSL board member, Keith Hoffman, said he understands that this committee does not intend to change the lease, but several of the non-profits are concerned about what the future holds. Hoffman added that the idea of monetizing organizations that provide youth sports to Cranford is disturbing.
“That [to monetize this] would be the death of something that is the heart of this community,” Hoffman said.
Smith had said in his letter to the committee that the use of Adams Avenue field is disturbing the neighborhood, creating parking problems, noise issues and more.
Hoffman said that a few residents have complained about parking and that is something the CBSL is already working on with the Cranford Police Department's traffic bureau.
The organization has asked Chief Eric Mason to take a look at the issues and suggest what the CBSL can do to help the situation. Hoffman added that they are always willing to sit down with anyone that has a reasonable concern.
“We are always willing to be a good neighbor,” he explained. “This organization has been around for nearly 60 years.”
Hoffman added that grandparents could now come and watch their grandchildren play on the same fields they once did, pointing out again that youth sports are what brings the community together.
He also agreed with Smith’s point that there has been increased use of the Adams Avenue complex over the years, which he said is something the organization is proud of.
“We are now seeing the first crop of girls who have benefited from the increase in the level of participation coming into high school,” he said.
The next few years will be a very good time for Cranford Softball, he added.
Mayor Tom Hannen said that the committee has agreed not to change the lease and wished Hoffman and the organization success in the future.
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