Opinion

Let’s clear the air about Pickleball Club


Editor’s note: The following is in response to the March 15 story “Club in pickle after city eliminates shared use of tennis court.”
The March 15 article about Manzanita pickleball contained serious inaccuracies. At its March 7 meeting, City Council refused to allow pickleball play on City Park tennis court. Yet the court often sits unused, the number of pickleball players in Manzanita greatly exceeds that of tennis players, and a recent survey shows Manzanita widely supports pickleball play on the court.
All that pickleball players ask is to be able to use the court when available. Prior to Council meeting, a group of pickleball and tennis players met and agreed that tennis players would have priority and pickleball players could use the court only when no tennis players want to use it. By adopting this policy, all conceivable conflicts would be eliminated. But City Council refused to consider this solution, taking the position that because pickleball players hadn’t yet submitted a final business plan for new pickleball facilities, Council wouldn’t consider any interim shared-use arrangement, regardless of whether it makes sense for City residents. As explained at the meeting, this more-than-fair interim plan is needed while pickleball players seek new permanent pickleball facilities.
Regarding unexpected residue left when pickleball-lines tape was pulled up, pickleball players (myself included) are prepared to work with the City to remedy this. The fact is the tennis court surface is in very poor condition and needs re-surfacing, so tape residue is the least of problems.
The article describes Pickleball players as a “club” in contrast to “casual” tennis players. Manzanita Pickleball Club was organized primarily to serve as a vehicle for facilities fundraising. Membership is open to everyone, but isn’t required to play pickleball. We regularly invite the community to join our play, through the Community News Briefs of the Citizen and BBQ. Pickleball, like tennis, is open to all Manzanita residents and visitors.
Sincerely,
Stephen S. Brier
Manzanita