District Administrator helps DLL elect new boardBy Bruce Whetten
District 8 Little League Administrator Brooks Bishop was in Douglas Friday meeting with a group of local parents who had some questions and concerns regarding the status of the Douglas Little League program.
Bishop, who was accompanied by Robin Murray, chief umpire for District 8, began the meeting at the Douglas Lions Club, telling those in attendance that Douglas’ Little League charter for this year had been placed on hold because the required paper work and insurance had not been filed with the national office.
“I have been trying to communicate with the previous board for the past six and a half months,” Bishop said. “I have not been able to get the responses to help us get going. All of our leagues charters and insurance run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.”
Bishop said he handed out new charters at his November district meeting in Sierra Vista. As of Friday’s meeting he still had Douglas’ packet.
Bishop said he was also informed by the regional director there had not been a proper election to select a Little League board of directors in quite some time.
Bishop and Murray were in Douglas to help those in attendance elect a new board who would then elect an executive board and begin the paper work process in order to get the league going.
“This is how it has to be done,” Bishop said. “There are rules and regulations that govern how we operate. … We are a federal chartered program. Every league, every year, must have a legal election.”
When asked where Douglas stood as far being in compliance with the rest of the teams in District 8, Bishop said there was only one other league who had not turned in their paperwork as of yet.
Bishop added Valley Little League of Elfrida/Pearce would not have a league this year but that was not the league who was “behind” Douglas in terms of filing their paperwork.
“I’m here because I’m trying to make it so your kids, my kids, can have a great program,” he said. “I’m hoping by what we are doing here tonight is make it so we can start fresh. … we want you to have a fully functional league.”
Bishop reiterated the fact it is so important to have the insurance in place before anything, including registration, is done so if an unfortunate accident were to occur the league would be covered.
“If you have a kid who shows up to register and breaks his arm, guess who is liable,” Bishop asked? “The board, because you don’t have Little League insurance yet. Do not do anything until you have your insurance.”
The group of people at the meeting ended up voting 17 people to the board. Once that was done that group met and elected an executive board.
Enrique “Red” Hurtado is the new president for Douglas Little League; Robert Rodriguez is the vice president; Terry Vera, secretary and Melissa Rodriguez, treasurer. Other board members are Gabriel Ortega, Ken and Sandee Nelson, Joey Grajeda, Efrain Elias, Susan Hurtado, Sergio Hernandez, Miguel Silva, Dawn Partain, Suzette Pena, Patty Gonzalez, Angie Castillo and Anie Valencia.
Bishop encouraged the new board to move quickly and get the paper work filed as soon as possible so they could begin registration.
Douglas Little League had 24 baseball teams and three softball teams last year.
Bishop also addressed the situation last year where he had to disqualify a local all-star team from the state championship game for what he calls “failure to follow Little League tournament rules and regulations.”
“That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “I’m the one that certified that sheet based on what I was told. What I was told was not complete. … It’s over, it’s done with. I don’t ever want it to happen again.”
Bishop offered some suggestions to the new board as to positions they should have if they are going to have baseball and softball again this year. He also shared some rule adjustments Little League has made all geared towards making the game safer for the kids.
Bishop announced there would be two rules clinics at the Murr Recreation Center in Fort Huachuca March 2 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The clinics are free and open to all those interested.