League banners get a sporting chance outside schools | February 14, 2014 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - February 14, 2014

League banners get a sporting chance outside schools

by Katie Straub

A unanimous decision by members of the Mountain View Whisman School District board will open up a couple of visible new spots for youth sports organizations to hang their registration banners.

The resolution will allow banners to be hung outside Slater School and Crittenden Middle School during sports registration periods. The board reached its decision at its Feb. 6 board meeting.

The former policy surrounding such banners, which passed last October, designated only three legal locations: Eagle Park, Rengstorff Park, and McKelvey Field. The same policy required the organizations to hand over their banners to city staff to hang in designated areas and then remove after eight weeks.

The new resolution, originally proposed by Superintendent Craig Goldman at the Jan. 23 school board meeting, opens Slater School and Crittenden Middle School as two additional designated public spaces in which the city, through a shared park space agreement with the district, will allow the banners as a "limited public forum."

The resolution is intended to provide Little League and other sports with wider advertisement opportunities while also preventing banners from hanging in any non-designated locations throughout the city.

Leane Reefls, sponsorship director for Mountain View Little League, spoke at the Feb. 6 school board meeting in support of the resolution.

"I'm really excited to hear that there are some other opportunities for posting registration sign-up signs," she said. "Since the city clamped down on our ability to post registration banners and get the word out, we've been trying all sorts of things ... it was just becoming more and more challenging."

She said that Mountain View Little League would benefit from access to more public spaces for banners, as they have been struggling to find effective advertising alternatives to banners.

Ken Larson, president of the Mountain View-Los Altos Girls Softball league, also spoke at the meeting to emphasize the importance of banners to support local youth sports enrollment.

"When I came on the board three years ago, I thought it was acceptable to put up banners in certain locations," Larson said. "We stopped putting up banners. Enrollment dropped because we didn't have this forum."

Larson went on to praise the new resolution and the additional legal banner locations it provides.

"Fifteen percent of our new girls that are playing for us this year found out because of the banners that were allowed to be put up," he said. "Thank you for the opportunity to put the banners up at two more sites."

Email Katie Straub at kstraub@mv-voice.com


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