Dear Whitney Little League,
In light of recent events regarding an embezzlement case where a neighboring little league has been named as a victim, I felt it crucial as your League President to reach out to you in order to address valid concerns regarding the handling of our league finances which some may have. The 2019 Whitney Little League Board are very well aware of these current events and take the responsibility we have to our youth, the league and your trust very seriously. Katie Morgan, our treasurer, has taken a proactive and preventative approach with her new position, as she has created the following processes for financial transactions for the league:
- Katie has created a system of "duplicity," where two (2) individuals, Joe Valentine, who is a non-voting "at large" member of our board, serving as bookkeeper. The second individual, Katie, who will also be managing league funds. While Katie will be the only individual who has access to league funds, Joe, acting as bookkeeper, has oversight of balances, and transactions.
- League transactions and balances are reported to the board monthly.
- Any electronic transaction occurring on the website, such as registration or our soon to be introduced league store is direct deposited into the league accounts.
- Expenditures are itemized, as are incomes, (snack bar, registration, sponsorship dollars).
- Snack Bar revenue will be counted at the end of each day by two (2) board members and signed off on, then deposited immediately, or as soon as bank business hours permit.
- Expense reimbursement requests (equipment or supply purchases) are submitted to the Treasurer, in person, monthly during board meetings with valid receipts.
- Any check written against league accounts requires two (2) signatures, which include Katie Taylor, our Vice President, Joe Green, or I.
- We, as a league, will continue to encourage electronic transactions, such as the square at the snack bar and online registration, to minimize the handling of cash directly.
- We will continue to provide an annual finance report via email to all league members.
- Whitney Little League is also insured for theft and liability by Little League Internationals' insurance carrier, AIG.
In addition, myself, and our League Treasurer, Katie Morgan will be attending a District 5 meeting next week, regarding additional measures we can take to ensure we are implementing best financial practices and securities as a league. We hope these changes Katie has made, and processes we will adhere to as described above, will address any questions or concerns you may have. If you wish to discuss this topic further or have any questions, please feel free to contact myself, VP Joe Green, or Treasurer Katie Morgan.
Second, last spring, the San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD) revised their policy as it relates to facility use and fee structure throughout the district. For the first time in nearly sixty (60) years of its existence, our league will be charged an hourly rate to use the Whitney Little League fields. The current fee schedule would require the league to pay SJUSD $12 per hour of use for each field used on Saturdays throughout the season. Conservative estimates would put potential cost to the league at roughly $8,000 to $10,000 annually. This expense, by our estimates, would threaten the very ability for our league to function financially, unless we increased registration fees to approximately $25 per player. As a result we, as well as several other Sacramento area youth organizations who rely on SJUSD facilities, have been in communications with district representatives and have been assured by the district the fee will be lowered to $6 per hour of use as they are aware of fiscal impact the current fee would have on youth organizations such as ours. The recommendation of lowering the hourly usage fee will be before the Board either next week, or in December. Regardless, myself, as well as representatives from other youth organizations will be present to provide input. NOTE: "hour of use," is defined by game time only.
The natural question you may have is, "OK so what are we getting for the new cost of using the fields?" GREAT question! As you may or may not know ALL of the facility, field, and infrastructure maintenance and burden, to my knowledge, have always been ours to bear and ours alone. We have NEVER relied on SJUSD for anything as it relates to up-keep or stewardship of the property, but for the cost of water. On Friday, November 2nd, Jeff Waltrip, Head Groundskeeper and I met with Chris Ralston, Manager, Maintenance & Operations, and Tracie Hawkins, Grounds Supervisor of SJUSD, to walk the property and find out what this fee would result in. We were informed they would take over the general maintenance of the fields. What does this mean? It was reported we could expect the district to handle fence repair, irrigation maintenance, seeding the fields, aerating, fertilizing, weed eating & mowing. We politely declined mowing as we believe their larger equipment would damage the fields. In short I am cautiously optimistic this may prove to be beneficial for the league, as it would lessen our burden on the high cost, of big jobs we currently handle in house, and rely on an ever shrinking number of volunteers to complete them. Certainly we would still be required to address "specific" site maintenance duties, such as baseball dirt, or beautification projects like painting for example. As a result of this, we've had to make difficult decisions already. One of them is not prepping the fields now for the spring season. We will have to have the faith the district will be true to their word in doing this task. I have been informed by district representatives, this job will be completed next week. It is my hope we can create a beneficial partnership with the district for the betterment of the youth and families who we serve. Certainly, as this issue develops, we will do our best to communicate any status change or possible assistance we may need from you, our league members. I thank you for your support and faith you have in the board to ensure Whitney continues to grow and thrive.
Whitney Little League