Acting To Improve Jones County Recreation Department

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We began this year's baseball season with excitement to be in Jones county where we live and pay taxes. We were very proud to have a league that we could call our own. However, this excitement and pride was quickly diminished as we began practicing. The sign ups being when they were, we expected things to be already organized and a plan in place to begin our season. After several weeks of practicing, our head coaches received a tentative schedule with a game scheduled the next day. Over the next couple of weeks changes were made to the schedule and posted on a personal Facebook page and not the Jones County Recreation Department page, nor were coaches notified. All coaches and other volunteers were required to sign up, take a training class, of which they were required to give contact information including phone numbers and email addresses. Therefore a suitable and professional way of communicating a schedule change would be to send an email or have a phone tree with instructions, as well as calling the 4 head coaches personally, and posting to the Jones County Recreation Department Facebook page. Furthermore assistant coaches who signed up at the meeting were pressed to get to a training, yet at no other time was there an attempt to include them in any communications, meetings, or representations. Additionally, the schedules that were put out were extremely confusing having both coach pitch and t-ball on the same sheet, then an additional sheet for coach pitch with other dates. There should be a schedule for T-ball and a schedule for coach pitch, period. Our goal is the same as yours, to have a successful recreation department, but these types of things are causing us to loose parent volunteers and players. With leagues in Kinston, New Bern, Jacksonville and Swansboro, there are too many options for parents who get frustrated with disorganization and we feel the need to address these issues with you. We feel we need to do a better job of getting the word out to our local kids and work on signups early on for each sport.

We feel coaches and officials should be given training on the rules we intend to follow; be given rule books at the beginning of each year to insure we are giving kids proper instruction. Which probably brings up a point of having enough money. However, are coaches ever given a roster of who has signed up? Is there any accountability on the coaches part for keeping up with the paperwork and ensuring each kid has paid before the halfway point of the season?

The draw to Jones County is our family orientation. We work together as a community, and as I have seen this year, we do what is necessary for the kids to have fun and have an opportunity to play if they so desire. We are not so bound by the strict societal rules; this is something we enjoy and want to keep it that way. We are also a community of people who are willing to help, let us know how we can help.

Again we are not here to criticize; but to say that we as a group want to see a change in our recreation department, and take part in it so that it can be a source of pride for the people of Jones County. We truly feel that we can take our league to new heights and become a beacon for the surrounding communities and draw them into Jones County to participate.

We feel our recreation is in desperate need for some improvement and/or staff changes.

Thank you,

Parents of Jones County

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