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Residents Express Concern over Kiley Center Fee

Peekskill city officials are reviewing a proposal to charge a $40 a year registration fee to use the Kiley Youth Center.

A proposal to charge a registration fee at the Kiley Recreation Center in Peekskill has some residents up in arms.

The Peekskill Common Council is considering a proposal to make users pay $10 a quarter, or $40 a year, to use the programs in the facility. Officials said the move is being considered as part of a series to make up $30,000 in revenue.

Last year, officials were considering eliminating staffing in the building as part of a number of cost saving measures in this year's budget.

A week would be established each quarter for registration. It's not clear if the youth would receive any sort of identification card after they register . The process would start sometime around April 1.

Recreation officials are exploring other ways of creating revenue such as basketball tournaments, clinics and camps.

"During the budget process, we discussed a lot of things about the Kiley Center," Councilwoman Marybeth Mcgowan said during Monday's Common Council meeting. "The staff at the Kiley Center themselves, also brought up the possibility of a $10 fee for a particular period of time. That $10 discussion is still on the table and I believe it will be implemented. When it is implemented? I don't know."

Jim Edler accused the Common Council of racism and suggested that they undergo race sensitivity training.

"There's another more creative  way you can pay for [training]," Edler said. "I think you can take the money out of your pockets and go out for some anti-racism training…instead of asking this kids at the Kiley Center on quarterly basis to participate in."

Darrell Davis, the leader of the Committee for Justice, said that the fee would target the children in the community with the least resources.

"The point is that the most needy community, kids with no backyard, no porches and you want to start charging $10?" Davis said.

Peekskill resident Leesther Brown believes the city doesn't have the authority to charge a fee for the center, because the city doesn't own the building.

"This agreement says that you have to provide all of the educational programs, the recreational programs and in consultation with the house authority which is the board, not [Peekskill Housing Authority Harold Phipps," Brown said. "You can't change this agreement."

Fred January 15, 2013 at 09:24 PM
$40 a year for child care? That's $.77 a week. Can someone explain to me how that is racist?
leesther brown January 15, 2013 at 09:54 PM
It's not racist....#that'sthatbs...my issue is that there is an agreement in place that took place during the transfer of title,and there really is no programming going on there other than basketball,the City would have a better argument if there were programs that provided life skill and other programs that would provide self sufficiency and resiliency,computer/technology training,SAT prep, the after school program that Phipps put into place by hiring the Board Chair that hired Phipps is nothing more than him paying back a favor(her words not mine). PJ and staff were already providing that service and this woman was hired without board approval(federal funds), or qualifications. This center programs should be revamped and community friendly all will not be or desire to be NBA stars. The Kiley Center is the only community center in the county that does not provide the above mentioned. It could be a beautiful center if all would really sit down and address the needs of the community in collaboration with the Youth Bureau and the school district.
Willie Bobo January 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I accuse Jim Edler of being fat and suggest he undergo a stomach sensitivity training. That fool can't even tuck his shirt in. Why doesn't he take $40 out of his annual food budget and sponsor a kid for the year?
leesther brown January 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM
That's the former Board Chair...#friendofthechameleon....Better yet contact the Boys and Girls club a conversation that was had back in 2006,and I'm not saying that to put folks out of work perhaps some could retain their jobs through this type of program.
peeknobrainer January 15, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Oh for the love of all that is decent. Jim Edler lives in Cortlandt. How many people of color do either the Town of Cortlandt or the Village of Croton employ? How many affordable housing units for poor families - NOT seniors - have either of these places built in recent years - last I heard they had failed to meet goals and may be among the communities in Westchester that the feds won a lawsuit proving were racist in their housing goals? How many students in either school district (and what percentage) are students of color? Does Jim Edler REALLY have absolutely no idea how to provide fair access to housing and education and after-school programs in his own community? Can't he improve on his own community's record of near-total ethnic scrubbing before pointing out the splinter in his neighbor's eye? Over $10 fees? Really? I am so tired of people using our community to feel good about themselves. Without doing ANYthing of lasting value for ANYone.
elizabeth January 16, 2013 at 12:18 AM
if my child wanted to go to any recreation programs i paid for them myself and it sure was a lot more than what they want to charge and i still pay school taxes county and city taxes my daughter up until i told her where it is when she was 18 she did not even know where or what it was
Fred January 16, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Leesther, I do disagree with your strong opinion, but I also respect it and the amount of research you've conducted. You're clearly a smart guy.
leesther brown January 16, 2013 at 02:35 AM
@Fred..you're entitled..Thanks..#sister
Cremlock Dregs January 16, 2013 at 01:10 PM
The youths could probably find that amount on the sidewalk walking to the Center. God forbid somebody has to pay for something in this society. And what's with Darrell Davis' comments about "no backyards, no porches"? Last time I checked the parks were all still open and free. What do people do on porches anyway, except play the banjo? Are there any banjo pickers down at Kiley? I always enjoy a feel-good banjo tune.
Wendy Kelly January 16, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Time the adults take responsibility for their own children!!! No one paid for my summer recreation sessions my parents worked and bugeted for us three kids. We never asked for anything from the community nor govn't we gave back to society and I will continue to do so.
leesther brown January 16, 2013 at 07:09 PM
@Wendy..Get over yourself....where the hell do you get off making the statements you make,what the f**k have you contributed to the community?!!
leesther brown January 16, 2013 at 07:38 PM
LOL..Wendy...what's that K stand for?!!#keg....
Wendy Kelly January 16, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Leester you need to stop bullying people. I owe you no explanation.
Jill Gertz January 16, 2013 at 09:16 PM
The city/school district could raise money issue permits to use the tracks. Not only could they use the coin but they could restore order to the tracks. Every day you have people on the tracks with kids on bikes and plastic cars, holding hands in the first lane, going in the wrong direction, sitting on the track (in the first lane) in metal chairs watching soccer games, letting little kids use sand pit as a beach (not only do they bury glass bottles but cats defecate in those pits and kids can get sick). The track is too often chaotic.
Anabasis Bob January 16, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Jim Edler, Cortlandt Manor, member of C-PHAT, Committee 4 Donuts and passionate supporter of Milton Hershey and the people he represents and the people you don’t. We have come here three years asking for your leadership and your help in acquiring fried foods for those of color and of limited means and you have repeatedly ignored our pleas. I would have hoped that you, Mary Foster, being of plump circumstances yourself, would have sympathized with our efforts. The worst type of fatty is the one who denies that she is fat in the first place.
leesther brown January 16, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Hold the phone "nelly" no one is bullying you!. You came on here with that BS...you don't have a clue about what you're talking about,now you can say what the hell you want-..#pouryouanother....
Rasheed Oluwa (Editor) January 17, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Please stay on topic and refrain from the fat jokes and name calling. You all have good insights to provide, but the insults only serve as a distraction from whatever valid point you are trying to make.
TO THE POINT January 17, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Leesther i'm with you!Why not have training for the kids and show hands on life skills such as a carpenter,electrician,mason.something they can use and make usefull in their community or others.They could rebuild peekskill after mary and crew are done with it!!!

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