OK, so this little blurb about Daily News reporter Joanne Beck's article on yesterday's school board meeting was supposed to be just that: a little blurb. But fool that I am, I let myself get pulled into the article, pulled into the futile quest for comprehension. Is it too much to ask that I want to walk away from the occasional news article feeling like I understand a little more about something, instead of becoming more confused and understanding less?
I'm not yet putting the blame on Joanne Beck here. Not this time, anyway. Sometimes the events themselves are baffling and the reporter gets caught up in the senselessness. Of course, this is part of the challenge of being a reporter who must face committees and boards and councils, because bureaucracy really can't help but breed senselesseness. It's your job, reporters, not to pass that confusion on to your readers. Otherwise, what are you there for? To warrant picking up a paycheck, I guess.
So, somehow the city school board's reorganization meeting yesterday turned into a debate on the youth football program — check out our earlier posts for more on the history.
City school Board President Pat Burk is willing to consider allowing Youth Football to play on a piece of school property. The president had put a request on Tuesday's agenda for the Building and Grounds staff to review North Street extension as a possible site for the football group.
Then everything changes. Dan Jones stands up and berates the school board for not letting the program play at Van Detta Stadium. The way Beck writes it, Burk was flabbergasted — it "came out of the blue" he told her — and had no idea why Jones "brought up the issue."
"It's unreal to me to say there would be more damage done by Youth Football at Van Detta than by the Batavia Blue Devils," Jones said. "I want to express my disappointment with the board."
So... does everyone follow? Dan Jones comes out of nowhere to yell at the school board who sheepishly has no idea what's going on and seems a little offended that their honor would be called into question. Am I reading too much into this? I don't think so.
From there, after making Jones sound a little crazy for "reprimanding" the board, Beck takes up his argument that city taxpayers will pay for youth football twice if the city relocates the program from Dwyer to a city park.
What!? Where does that come from? What does that have to do with the school board? And how would people pay twice for it? Where is the connection?
[Jones] is concerned that city taxpayers will have to pay twice for Youth Football to play. That would happen if City Council approves funding — a move it has been considering — to move the sports group to another city park. City taxpayers already pay school taxes and therefore would be paying again, Jones said.
That's the only answer we get: "That would happen if..." But why does Council's approval of funding mean the taxpayers pay twice? What's the connection with school taxes?
Taxpayers could get some relief if the school district would allow Youth Football to play games at a school-funded field.
I just don't understand this. I don't understand why Beck inserts it in the article. I don't understand why Jones says it — maybe he can explain it a little more clearly and in detail for us on here.