On May 24, 2023

30+ year league threatened to end

 

Dear Editor,

I’ve run the Killington Softball League every year since 2004. I took one year off in 2009 and was begged back the following year because of how poorly it was run. I’m not saying this to brag, it’s just I’m good at running this league and one reason people like playing in it, is because of that. Nobody else wants to run this league. One of the reasons I’ve run it for so long is, so this town has softball. 

I was informed last week by Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth that I’m not allowed to be the commissioner or be the league’s representative. New Rec Director Emily Hudson told me I needed to attend a Select Board meeting to request permission for the league to be allowed to play at the Ada Hall Softball Field on River Road. Chet stated my banishment was a Select Board decision. How can they decide without me attending the meeting to request permission? 

This stems from a 2021 private text message to the league coaches where I called former Rec Director Sarah Newell an offensive word. I was upset that Sarah didn’t answer any of my emails regarding starting the league up. The text was shared with Sarah. It was a lapse in judgement, but I’ve since apologized to her and publicly in a newspaper interview. I thought we moved on but apparently Chet has not. 

The quick timeline is in 2020, the league was suspended by Chet for “Covid Violations” which were not violations in Vermont, but I was told by Chet that he didn’t care what the governor said. The rest of 2020 season and 2021, the league played in Chittenden. Last summer, I brought the league back to Killington to support the town and businesses in it. I ran the league but appointed Josh Stevens as my spokesperson. In July 2022, I sent an email to Chet and Sarah asking for an end of season meeting with them, and Josh, to discuss the town taking over the league this year as they expressed. Neither Chet nor Sarah bothered to respond to my email. 

In the 19 years I’ve run this league, I’ve worked greatly with over six rec directors and town managers. I’ve never had an issue with anybody. I’ve only had issues with Chet and Sarah. They’re horrible at communicating, which has been a major problem. I don’t get their combativeness with me. 

Yes, I said a bad word. Yes, I’m not perfect but to penalize the league and stop a tradition that has happened every year since 1990 is insane. That field was built for the community to play on, which is specifically what this league does. What’s the use in it sitting vacant?

Thank you,

Killington Softball League Commissioner DJ Dave Hoffenberg

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