To the Editor,
I am writing to voice my strong opposition to decreasing the residency requirement for the Orangetown Complex to 60 percent residency as recommended by Orangetown Mighty Midget’s leadership. The 85 percent residency requirement was put in place to protect our kids and our community. OMM’s blatant disregard for this requirement has already had an impact on our community.
Based on OMM’s numbers, its travel club, WCFC, has 800 members, only 250 of which are town residents. If OMM had adhered to the 85 percent requirement stipulated in its original land use agreement, then there should have been 680 town kids on their travel soccer team, not 250. So that means that there are 430 town kids who have been denied the chance to play travel soccer on our town complex!
Many of these town kids are now playing soccer for Rockland FC. Rockland FC filled a gap that OMM/WCFC left, and took in the kids that OMM/WCFC didn’t want. The fact of the matter is that the 400 or so resident children that play travel soccer for clubs like Rockland FC, Arsenal, and Clarkstown are kids that didn’t get the opportunity to be a part of WCFC.
Now that very same complex which we were denied the opportunity to help build is being used against us. OMM is citing their history of field development and financial stability as reason to give them more exclusive and unregulated access to town land. The only reason that they have private money for private fields is because through their non-compliance with the land use agreement they chose to reject our town kids and our town money!
As an OMM rec parent, I gladly paid my $200 dues each season. But OMM’s leadership made the choice that when it came to travel, my money wasn’t good enough. OMM’s leadership decided winning championships was more important than serving our community.
I ask that our town board do what is right and protect our kids and our community. Leave the 85 percent residency requirement in place. Don’t sell off more public land to this private group that has lost sight of its original community-based mission. Force OMM to end their attempts at destroying Rockland FC, our existing local travel club. Help the two clubs to merge in a way that protects Rockland FC, a club that was there for our kids when OMM wasn’t. Don’t let OMM’s non-compliance and the money and fields it generated be used as the sword to destroy a grassroots organization that was there for our town when OMM wasn’t.