County government gets plenty of static in this space.
And most of the time, it’s justified.
But not this time.
The manner in which Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office and County Health Department officials responded to the uproar over the abrupt closure of allegedly sub-standard Little League snack bars across the Valley has been enough to restore one’s faith in representative democracy.
In response to Raymond Kaecker’s request for a meeting, Erick Matos, Supervisor Barger’s Health and Legislative Affairs Deputy, quickly put together a meeting of Little League representatives and County Health Department officials.
You supply the athlete, Ray Kaecker will supply the rest at AV Sports and Graphics.
You know the drill. He’s been doing it for more than a third of a century.
But this was more about conscience than commerce for the man the Little Leagues came to for help.
The Health Department officials didn’t coldly quote from food safety code manuals.
They went out of their way to be understanding, and offer assistance to be in compliance with all food safety regulations.
No one needed to explain to them that the Little League representatives are engaged in a labor of love for the boys and girls at their little leagues.
No one is stashing proceeds from the snack bars in un-numbered Swiss bank accounts.
Every nickel raised from the sale of hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, french fries, Gatorade and soda is plowed straight back into the little league’s operational expenses.
You think of it as a hot dog and a Coke.
Some child from an underprivileged family thanks that transaction for his uniform, and his chance to learn the game of baseball.
For a kid who’s an only child, his or her teammates on the baseball or softball field become their brothers and sisters.
Little League teaches teamwork, respect and collective purpose.
In 2019, when so many of our institutions that are supposed to teach such lessons let us down so, Little League is more important than ever.
The meeting in Supervisor Barger’s Antelope Valley field office on Tenth Street West demonstrated that our County health officials understand that as much as our dedicated Little League moms and dads.
Kathryn Barger had a tough act to follow in Michael D. Antonovich, a man so dedicated to all of us in the Fifth District that he had no time or interest for personal political aspiration.
The speedy, common-sense response in this matter confirms she is a worthy successor and heir to Mike Antonovich’s reassuring dedication to constituent service.
When this is all ameliorated — and it will be — it would be a nice gesture to invite the Supervisor, Deputy Matos and our Health Department officials to throw out first pitches for the 2020 season.
Turns out, we’re all on the same team.