City Answers Your Questions on Volleyball (Sort of)

I just received this memo from Bob Piazza, the head of the Parks Department, on the possible City takeover of the summer volleyball leagues.  I’ll point out that this memo is really talking about the questions that have been raised when the City takes over the summer volleyball program, not if.  Based on this document it appears its full speed ahead on moving the league into a city-run function.

Analysis to follow, but in my quick read, the most interesting thing for those concerned about this is the last point:

Q. Is the City open minded on this issue?

A. Yes. The City is listening and will continue to listen to the concerns of the volleyball community.

Full text follows:

Issue: The Recreation Department is considering operating and administering the summer volleyball leagues. Its aim is to provide a better product at a lower cost to participants. Here are some questions with the Recreation Department’s responses:

Q. Why does the Recreation Department want to organize and administer beach volleyball?

A To better serve all of the volleyball players who enjoy the beach. Some of the nights have grown in popularity, some haven’t. One of the things the Recreation Department would like to do is balance the crowds throughout the week to better serve all of its beach users, including volleyball players.

Q. The Volleyball league generates revenue for some local businesses. How would this change with the Recreation Department running the leagues?

A. The Recreation Department plans to expand that relationship by inviting more local restaurants to participate by offering incentives to draw the volleyball players.

Q. What other enhancements to the Volleyball leagues does the Recreation Department plan to have?

A. The Recreation Department plans to have an opening night ceremony with music and also plans to have music on a regular basis. Players can expect to see an opening night concert as well as a closing night award ceremony. The Recreation Department is considering adding Friday nights to help distribute the crowds to have less of an impact on parking, traffic, etc. Also under consideration is holding playoffs right here in Long Beach and giving all playoff champions a fee waiver for the following year.

Q. What about shirts?

A. All participants will receive a shirt included in the league fee. Additional shirts will be available for purchase.

Q. What about membership requirements?

A. There will be no membership requirements to participate in the league other than the entry fee.

Q. How much is this going to cost teams to play in the league?

A. It is anticipated that the cost to play in the league will be approximately $550 per team.

 Q. What about concerns that the Police and Lifeguards have about the Volleyball Leagues. 

A. Many city departments including recreation, lifeguards, police, sanitation, and beach maintenance will coordinate their efforts to provide services for the public and ensure the safety and convenience of all beachgoers.

Q. What about people who want to play volleyball outside of the leagues.

A. The Lifeguards will continue to work with the Volleyball Association to balance the need for available nets with the needs of other beach users.

Q. Is the City open minded on this issue?

A. Yes. The City is listening and will continue to listen to the concerns of the volleyball community.

 

 

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26 thoughts on “City Answers Your Questions on Volleyball (Sort of)”

  1. Can’t wait. We have been getting ripped off by these organizations for years. Why do I have to join volley america to play on my own beach? 700 for 4’s come on man!That is the figure on EEVB website for this year in Long Beach. EEVB claims it is out for volleyball, I doubt it! They are here to make money period! They don’t even hold playoffs in Long Beach. I play softball and the indoor volleyball with the Rec and it has always been well run. My kids play in their sports programs and they are well organized as well. It is time for a change!

  2. Hopefully they’ll have people running the league who, unlike Rich from EEVB, actually have some clue about something other than where to go to get drunk after the games. Hundreds of people playing a physical sport yet he doesn’t have even the basic first aid kits on hand to attend to any injuries.

  3. Stop supporting Piazza. I want to run for office as a Republican and I need some issues to build a platform.

    Oops did I just type that?

  4. Having built the popular non-partisan group Citizens For Long Beach, NY (http://facebook.com/citizensforlbny) and as an avid member & supporter of the Long Beach Volleyball Players with Voices and Votes community, I can dismiss comments like those of “Not Garry Pullakousky” and attribute them to ignorance and politics as usual in this City. For those of you who don’t know me, I run a new media agency and am a community advocate. I have worked closely & personally with EACH and EVERY candidate & council member this past year in their efforts to leverage new media. My interest was to create greater transparency and facilitate an active dialogue between the City, its elected officials, candidates and the community.

    95% of all relationships fail because of poor communication and that is what I was looking to address. This City government has a poor relationship with the community because of its LACK of communication. What we are seeing today with this new council, parks and recreation director, & City Manager is a classic example of communication breakdown. There has been little to no communication on City initiatives from the hiring of key City positions to this proposed takeover of 2 successful Volleyball leagues.

    In the interest of closing the gap of this “fiscal crisis” this new administration is, without ANY input, bulldozing their way into business communities to take their cut! Notice how I do not mention whether its Democrats or Republicans..because it’s IRRELEVANT. The fact of the matter is the City is run by folks who are having a one way dialogue – with themselves. And only NOW, after we have made some NOISE via our Long Beach Volleyball Players with Voices & Votes group and other social media outlets, has the City started to take meetings and have conversations with the volleyball community and league owners.

    Let me be clear, I think we can ALL agree the City couldn’t even ASSIST to promote and support the Quiksilver Surf competition last year. Evidence of that debacle is Quiksilver not coming back again this year. Now the City wants to take over two leagues that have been growing in popularity for many years now? What business does the City have in doing this? If you lease land from the City for the purpose of building a business, the message this sends is, if you are successful and the City sees opportunity, your business is RIPE for the pickings. How is that OK?

    The City has gained quite a bit from private enterprise. EEVB and Evolutions started these leagues in the mid 1980’s when little was happening on the beach and have built them into 50 court weeknight events that brought in over $65,000 in fees for the City last year and over ½ million dollars over the course of the leagues. The leagues have been well run and received by the players which is evident by the over 10% annual growth rate over the years. The City would be happy if all of their programs would show such growth and popularity!

    So the question is, why now? The City of Long Beach has had ample opportunity to set up public nets throughout the City for YEARS. The answer is plain and simple. The City is looking to cash in. To me and a large contingency of Volleyball players, that’s NOT right.

    Now, add the “fiscal crisis” and deficit. These leagues require personnel, equipment, insurance, web presence, music, awards ceremonies, promotional items like tee shirts, etc etc. Where would this money be coming from..a slightly cheaper rate then EEVB & Evolutions? We already get nearly all of these services from the two established leagues! Asides from the deficit spending the City would be doing now to get the ball rolling, what happens when the City cuts its budget again? Volleyball gets AXED and we are back to square one.

    I hope people continue to take the time to reach out to the City, the Council and the media. I consider myself a community advocate, not an activist. I do not pretend to represent all of the voices here involved. I can only voice my own opinion and hope others voice theirs just the same. It seems by the overwhelming response, many share the same opinion. Thank you.

  5. Gary you are so wrong on so many points it is ridiculous! Maybe if both these businesses gave back to the city like the surf school does they wouldn’t be in this situation. What has EEVB or Evolutions ever done for us? They help with Michelle O’neill and Lt Williams. Oh thank you so much! Joe Brand and the Recreation department helped out much more just ask! As for the quicksilver this is a completely different group of people. Also you don’t axe a source of revenue! The city is self insured so wrong on that one again! Growth, haha Monday nights have decreased overwhelmingly! A group of us Monday night players left and play on new York avenue cause it sucked so much! By the way bigger isn’t always better as people east of long beach who live in those buildings don’t want the volleyball or the people west of Edwards. Doubling up the nets and adding them by the water is just plain greed! Websites are free nowadays where have you been? These are two organizations who have been sucking us dry and giving a sub par product! Nets suck, no balls, no playoffs in one league and the other has the competitive fours and sixes on the same night so you have to choose if you are in both. a half a million dollars in over 25 years may seem like a lot but the city can probably do that in three! As a taxpayer I would rather my city make the money than two individuals especially one who doesn’t even live here. I for one do not share your opinion!

  6. I can’t believe I actually wasted time reading all that drivel. You have a political agenda and are plotting to run as a Republican. It’s blatantly obvious. Nobody needs your help in terms of their communications efforts. And as far as transparency goes, you’re quite transparent in your actions, positions and demeanor. Good luck on that Republican line. Say hi to Hennessy for me.

  7. LOL, cause the rest of you on here do NOT have a political agenda. Ahh to have people use their real names when the post and be honest. Last time I checked your folks are in charge you should all be using your real names. Cause prior to November you said you could not, for fear of retribution now you got nothing to fear, unless of course you’ve been muzzled, but I doubt stand up guys like that would muzzle you.

  8. Gino, I can appreciate that you do not share the same opinion as I do. Let me though, respond to some of the comments you made. “What has EEVB and Evolutions done for us?” Last time I looked, helping two local charity groups get off the ground is solid philanthropic work. In fact throughout the entire Long Beach community, I appreciate how many local businesses come to the aid of our charities! From restaurants, bars, boutiques and salons , they all seem to get involved offering gift certificates to manpower. So I do thank organizations like EEVB and Evolutions for helping out. I don’t doubt that others like Joe Brand helped out these charities as well. A lot of hands have lent help throughout the years! That’s what makes Long Beach so great! We have so many generous people in this City!

    What have they done for the collective “us”? I can only speak to what they’ve done for me and surmise that others have had perhaps similar experiences. I didn’t know many people when I first moved to Long Beach in 1998, but heard about the two leagues through my sister who played volleyball in the Creole Big Apple Volleyball League and LIVA. She also played a summer or two with EEVB and had positive things to say about the league. When I ventured out at night in the beginnings of my living here, I ended up checking out places like Minnesota’s and Bogarts (now Sutton Place) and I experienced a couple of league night promotions. Through those events I met more people. Those people invited me to play on their teams and pick up games on the weekends and from there I had friends for life. So what did these leagues do for me? They welcomed me to a vibrant volleyball community in Long Beach.

    Let’s talk about Quiksilver. This was an event whose plan had many facets to it that never came to fruition. If you were a student of everything that went down with this event, you would know that the fundamental issue that lent itself to the mishandling of this event, is that our City had MANY HANDS involved but no-one took direct ownership of it! Coupled with poor planning and preparation, weak communication, and confusing messages to both the event organizers and the community, it took a number of City hands, to screw this one up. Luckily, Quiksilver was able to pull off a great event anyway. It was our community that made it happen!… Just like the volleyball community that has be organized by these two leagues. Our community makes these volleyball leagues successful, but these leagues and the business behind them helped develop the Long Beach volleyball community!

    A City run league scares me. While I appreciate the ambition, at this point the City government hasn’t given us a reason to trust they can do half the job EEVB and Evolutions can. Not to mention, what right does the City have to just take over these two businesses? If anything, the City should do its due diligence to see how it can better support these leagues and share in their revenues based on continued successes. If the leagues perform well the City should benefit as well! If there is a failing night as you so noted about Monday evenings, then perhaps the City – on a trial basis – could try organizing a league for that night! Don’t take away the hard work and investment that built these two leagues for TWENTY FIVE years! That’s just not right.

    You mention the size of the leagues, it makes me proud every time I walk under the boardwalk through to the courts, to see the sea of players from east to west. As for your argument about the people who don’t want volleyball east of Long Beach Road and west of Edwards, this is a very old argument –we play in the EVENINGS Gino. For a couple of hours. And this is a peaceful sport with little to no raucous behaviors or noise. I believe both leagues have been working with the space the City allots them in the most creative of ways. Don’t kill the leagues because they are popular. And certainly don’t take away someone’s business because of their success.

    As for equipment issues and league particulars, you should raise those issues with the league owners directly. Have you ever tried communicating with either Rich or Kevin? They both seem pretty accessible. Both through their respective websites as well as in person during the summer season! I’ve never had a problem accessing either one of them.

    As a side note, I wouldn’t be in business if websites were free as that is precisely the digital world of work I am in and manage daily. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be in business if the City too, saw my successes and felt it was ok to take over and bank my revenues.

  9. I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree Gary. I have brought up the equipment issues and nothing was ever done about it. Also I feel that the city is not shutting down these businesses, they are simply not leasing the beach to them anymore. They are free to set up where ever they can by leasing other beaches. As for your fear of the city running the leagues I do not share that opinion either. I have grown up here my whole life and we have very good sports programs at the rec, although the building itself is in need of a desperate face lift. I tell you this from experience as I have played in them since I was seven years old. Currently I play softball and I have to say it is well run. They only have two fields which are awesome by the way and they have over 40 teams. Schedules are online, standings are online, so I am not afraid of the city running any sports program what so ever. They even schedule make up games. Never had any of my volleyball games rescheduled. You lose a night oh we’ll too bad for you is their attitude. Also why do I have to go to the same tired places after volleyball? If they were truly for long beach they would invite the whole restaurant community to participate. If the city can lower the prices, offer the same leagues, and add things to the program I am all for it. I believe in the saying it is better to care of the needs of the many, not the few or the one. The many in this case are the long beach residents who will greatly benefit through the revenue this will generate for them for years to come. It took over 25 years to give the city a half a million dollars is the information I have been reading. I believe the city can do this in under five. This I’m sure can help by reducing tax increases, provide better services, fix infrastructure, which would in turn attract people to this great city.

  10. Gary, I’ll say what I said on last week’s post about this. Where does all the money go that we pay for the league? The city received only $65k last year. I read that 150 teams play Thursday nights as the most popular night, so figure there are 250 teams total for the year. That’s getting close to $200k worth of fees collected. Evolutions and EEVB are only out to make money.

    Remember when it used to be 2 teams per court? Now it’s 3 AND the price went up. They’re collecting $2250 per court, per night and we’re playing for a shorter amount of time from a few years ago. Also, the league used to enforce co-ed, they’ve stopped doing that as well.

    Please tell me what these 2 leagues offer that the city cannot??

  11. Allegria, eevb had a total of 312 teams last year. I got that info from last years standings so they are accurate.That doesn’t even count evolutions.

  12. Having the government run this is not a good idea on many levels. Lets try to keep government focused on the little it is supposed to do as opposed to letting it grow into a leviathan, muscling its way into our businesses and personal lives.

    Again, “lower cost” = taxpayers footing the bill, especially when someone gets hurt and decides to sue the city cause they have deeper pockets than the people who are currently running the program.

  13. Gino:
    Allegria, eevb had a total of 312 teams last year. I got that info from last years standings so they are accurate.That doesn’t even count evolutions.

    So you can see how quickly the numbers inflate vs. only the $65k the city received. People have been complaining for years about this but it was either pay or don’t play.

    VinnyLB, have you played in any of the Rec Center’s other leagues? I’ve played softball and it was very well run/documented on website. We paid even less for that team which required umpires!

  14. I’ll be honest. I could care less about volleyball. I also think the coalition sucked and it is becoming apparent is that we now have new players but the same old game in the new city council. Maybe thats what they meant when they promised transparency.

    BUT, what does trouble me is the new council is jumping in and basically taking over two businesses. Has the volleyball leagues been perfectly run? probably not. Will the city do a better job? who knows. BUT I’m sure alot of out-of-towners who come to LB for volleyball will be loyal and follow the league when it is forced to move. That means a reduction in revenue for the city through membership and also in money that is spent in our restaurants, bars, stores. How will this encourage other businesses to come to long beach? Should they worry about the city jumping in once they have established their venture? I can tell you one thing, if i ran the surf camps, i’d be wondering how long till they started thinking about jumping in and taking that over.

  15. Lorrie:
    I’ll be honest. I could care less about volleyball. I also think the coalition sucked and it is becoming apparent is that we now have new players but the same old game in the new city council. Maybe thats what they meant when they promised transparency.

    BUT, what does trouble me is the new council is jumping in and basically taking over two businesses. Has the volleyball leagues been perfectly run? probably not. Will the city do a better job? who knows. BUT I’m sure alot of out-of-towners who come to LB for volleyball will be loyal and follow the league when it is forced to move. That means a reduction in revenue for the city through membership and also in money that is spent in our restaurants, bars, stores. How will this encourage other businesses to come to long beach? Should they worry about the city jumping in once they have established their venture? I can tell you one thing, if i ran the surf camps, i’d be wondering how long till they started thinking about jumping in and taking that over.

    Not true at all… if Evolutions moves to Jones Beach or somewhere else, I will be playing in Long Beach. Why would I follow them? That’s just dumb.

  16. Lorrie:
    So you are an out-of-towner?

    No (as my name suggests), my point was if people are coming from out of town, it’s because they like LB. There are leagues at Jones, Gilgo and other nearby beaches but they are coming here for a reason and I doubt it’s to play in our overpriced leagues.

    For the record, volleyball should NOT be a business as you mention above. This is exactly why we have a community Rec Center to organize activities.

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