Tammy Birnel Correspondence

October 6, 2009

To whom it may concern,
I am writing in regards to the use of facilities(gyms, buildings, etc.) that the community is allowed to have access to.
I put in my paper work in to do so, and got approval, from Tegan Steen (of whom I am ccing this email to).
She was very nice about the process, trying to find an available gym for me. I had gone through this process before a few years back with someone different.
I got a call today (10-6-09) saying that another organization (I believe it is Youth basketball) gets to use the gym that I asked for and trumps my usage of the gym.  I have started to make plan "B" for the 30+ youth that I wanted to use the gym for, and got to thinking. Thus, I decided to send this to the higher authorities and to have them pass it onto the school board for policy changes, etc.  I am not sure who is in charge of buildings, since I couldn't find that on the district website.
First of all, my paper work was in first.  I was also told that this "Youth basketball" is something that has been done year after year, but they just didn't get their paper work in before me.  I even saw my name on the Intermediate School white board for the volleyball night I want to have with the local youth of the community from different churches.  I was also told that this "Youth basketball" needs to have it by Dec. 7th, and EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  I can only have it for ONE month, when I had originally signed up for Nov-April, but only ONE night a week.
My main complaint is why does one particular group get to have the gym for every single night, and for many months in a row?
Why does one group get to take that much time and other community groups don't get a single night?
I would like the policy reviewed and maybe some things changed.
I could totally understand if this were a district related event---put on by the schools themselves.  I would have no problem with that.  The schools themselves, have first priority!  But, when it comes to opening it up to the community, I don't think it is right for any one group to "have a monoply" on the time they get and to take EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  We ALL pay our taxes and should equal access to these buildings, especially when we went through the proper channels to get them.
I think I should still be able to have my Monday nights back and they should have to trim back their nights to 4 nights, because I did get my paper work in properly and was also approved for that time slot.  I don't look forward to disappointing several teenaged youth, when I did all I could possibly do to secure this spot for our volleyball time.  Believe me, they won't understand the decision that I got trumped by some other group that had their paper work in after me!
Please make some considerations in the policies of how much time any one particular group gets to have at any one gym.
Thank you for your time!
Tammy Birnel


October 9, 2009


Ms Birnel,

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back with you.

Thanks for sharing your concerns and questions.  They will be forwarded to the board of directors.  They are currently in a review process of the facilities use policy and will, I'm sure, find your input helpful in their processing.   The Woodland Board is deeply committed to serving the children of the community.   As well, they are committed to making our facilities available to the community for use for free or a very low rate.  The board has established priorities that we must consider in scheduling facilities.  Our top priority is school related activities, followed by community based organizations that provide services to school aged youth in our community.   Youth Basketball is a program that has a long tradition in our schools.  Until this year it was managed by The Community Education Program.  With our $1.34 million in reductions this year, the community education program was eliminated.   We are currently working with the Woodland Beaver Boosters to collaboratively work with our staff to continue the tradition of youth basketball.   As such this program takes priority in scheduling.   

I understand from my conversation with Tegan Steen that you were made aware, at the time you scheduled the facilities that you may be bumped for youth basketball.  I understand that you are inconvenienced by this.  I anticipate that in future years we will have the facilities scheduled by youth basketball earlier in the year to avoid such conflicts with other community users such as yourself.    Should you wish to address the school board on this issue you are welcome to attend the upcoming meeting of the School board on Monday October 12 at 7pm.  Our meeting is held in the District Office portable which is at the South East corner of the WHS/WMS football field.

Thanks again for the email.  If you have further questions please feel free to call or write.


Michael Green

October 12, 2009


Thanks for finally getting back to me.
I was beginning to wonder what the district's response was concerning this.
Since that email I did research about the district policies and I somewhat understand your preference to schedule community youth events, versus more private, smaller groups.  But, there is one problem with the monoply on that as you will see below.
However, I disagree with the fact that any one particular group is allowed to have a gym or facility EVERY SINGLE NIGHT of the week.  I feel that is wrong, and should be looked at when the board of directors look into reviewing the use policies.  We are talking only one night here, versus them wanting it five nights.  There's also a covered area with basketball hoops that they could use for this ONE night we are asking for!
I do want to come to the board meeting, but will be finishing the Ultimate Frisbee night we have held all summer/early Fall.  I also am not feeling well, so not sure where I will end up tonight.  My husband might represent me at the board meeting.  I hope my correspondence at least makes it there, since I know the board agenda includes that.
I also want to comment that I was NOT told that I could possibly get bumped.  That is inaccurate information.  You don't know me. My husband, when I told him I got the gym secured, said I said nothing of the fact and he knows I wouldn't plan and organize something, knowing that could happen!   Really, why would I go all out and promote the event I want (see attachment) knowing that I could get bumped and have to go back and disappoint the kids??   I wouldn't put myself in that position and therefore, was not told about "the possibility" of being bumped.   So, attached is what I was spreading around and am receiving back from the youth.
Obviously the decision is made, and the 30+ kids in the community aren't going to understand what transpired here.  It makes no sense and I have discussed it with other community people and it keeps coming back to me that NO SINGLE GROUP, no matter who they are, should get to have a monoply on a gym or use of any facility for a full season.  Please make the board of directors aware of that, as I will try and send this email to them also.
Thank you for your consideration and time,
Tammy Birnel
360-608-9731 c
360-225-8998 h