This week, during the Board of Finance’s budget reviews, Mark Wiggins told Recreation and Parks Director Brian Flaherty that the town should cut funding to youth sporting leagues if parents are found drinking at games.
“I’ve seen it first-hand,” Wiggins said, who was previously the president of Waterford Little League North. “It is just beyond my comprehension that a bunch of adults can’t get together for three hours without this happening.”
Wiggins said several times he’s see parents drinking at youth games. He said if the threat of losing that league’s funding was out there, it would curb that behavior.
“Why couldn’t we make it clear that this money from taxpayers is contingent on the president enforcing a no-tolerance policy,” Wiggins said.
Flaherty said he has not heard those complaints recently, although said he would take them very seriously. He said drinking on town property is against a Waterford ordinance, and said if it was reported to him he would immediately consult the Waterford Police Department.
“This is disturbing,” Flaherty said. “If it was reported to me, I would meet right away with the police.”
Wiggins said that while that helps, “no one is calling the police on their friends of buddies.” He said if there was the pressure of losing funding instead, it would be more effective.
Fellow board member Cheryl Larder disagreed. She said if you see someone drinking at a game, the league president should tell him or her to stop.
“You go over, and you say, ‘Come on you guys. It is totally unacceptable, this shouldn’t be happening’,” Larder said. “Step up and act like adults and make everyone around you act like adults so the kids have the role models they need.”
Flaherty said the league must agree to the town’s policies to use the town fields and receive town funding. Most town sports leagues get funding from the town, which makes up a percentage of their budget.
Have you seen people drinking at youth sporting events in Waterford? What should the penalty be?