Youth sports — the issue that likely toppled most of West University’s current city leaders in last Saturday’s general election — may be off the table by the time the newly elected mayor and councilmembers are sworn in on May 24.
Mayor Bob Higley — who did not seek re-election — has called a special City Council Zoom meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday (May 6) to discuss a budget item “related to options for supporting youth sports.”
It’s believed he will ask councilmembers to reinstate the $125,000 no-strings subsidy to the Tri-Sports Association that the council controversially pulled in November of 2019 after a detailed budget review process. The three sports entities represented are the West University Little League, West University Softball Association, and RISE Soccer, all of which draw heavily from inside and outside West U.
Higley would only say, “With the outcome of the election, there’s a piece of business that needs to be resolved.”
While West U signed a memorandum to continue providing use of city fields and utilities to Tri-Sports, the issue of the canceled subsidy blew up during the municipal election. Two political action committees raised a combined $40,000-plus, according to their last financial reports, and backed Susan Sample, the former mayor seeking to return to her old job, and council candidates Melanie Bell, Shannon Carroll and John Montgomery, who all supported the Tri-Sports subsidy.
The slate members all won, with incumbents Lauri Lankford, Ed Sobash, and a third incumbent, Kevin Trautner, who had run for mayor, being turned out of office after one term. Only Councilmember John Barnes was re-elected.
The public can dial-in and be heard at the meeting, either by calling 346-248-7799 or joining via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86232054858. The Meeting ID Number is 862 3205 4858.
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