YFTL Community Petition for Change

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We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our Mayor, Douglas Nicholls, and City Council to act now and withhold co-sponsorship of YFTL for the 2018 fall season, contingent upon the revision of YFTL bylaws to allow for open voting of Board members, whereby all members within the YFTL recreation community (coaches, parents, umpires and Board members) are permitted to nominate and vote for members of the Board for the upcoming year. Open voting keeps Board members accountable for upstanding professional behavior, which we as the community feel is of utmost importance, given their influential role in our children’s lives. YFTL Board member behavior reflects upon the City of Yuma, because as co-sponsors, you are endorsing these individuals in their leadership roles within the community. Open voting would ensure that acting Board members are functioning to serve the community and children rather than private interests. An open voting system would ensure that YFTL is most accountable to represent and serve the City of Yuma in a positive light, as the City continues to co-sponsor YFTL. As elected officials, we are confident you understand the importance of elections with regard to accountability of officials and retaining individuals in leadership roles who are upstanding. Coaches and players have begun to migrate away from YFTL. In the last twelve months, at least four teams have left YFTL to play in other cities, traveling far to play in leagues such as those offered by the City of Somerton, San Luis, and El Centro. That amounts to approximately fifty families leaving YFTL in the past year. That is significant. It speaks volumes about the desire of the community to play ball in a respected area, as well as the need for the City to step in and take meaningful action to affect change. We ask you very specifically to make your co-sponsorship of YFTL contingent upon a bylaw revision to permit open nomination and voting for Board member appointments for each year. As is done in other successful leagues, ballots can be collected at closing ceremonies during fall seasons each year to facilitate the voting process for the year ahead. It is a reasonable request to make YFTL more inclusive, and it is desired by the community.