With the weather outside getting frightening, local tennis ball bobble heads are turning towards a long-established, technology and tradition. Playing indoors through the winter in heated, indoor tennis bubbles.
Except of course, for the victims of Kansas City parks commish Aggie Stackhaus latest tirade against all things sane and sensible.
Stackhaus single-handedly shot down the UMKC‘s plan to cover the Plaza Tennis Courts – free of charge to the city – so its tennis team and others could continue to play during the colder months.
Something about the parks department not having the training or resources to deal with the bubbles, Stakhaus said.
Hold it right there…
"She said the parks staff didn’t have the expertise to put ’em up or take ’em down, which is ridiculous because UMKC pays for that," says former park commish Bob Lewellen. "And seriously, she said that this would not be aesthetically good for the Plaza. But it’s good for Hallbrook; it’s good for Mission Hills."
So if it has nothing to do with the park department incurring costs or additional work, it’s good for UMKC and local tennis players and it’s not an eyesore, why is Aggie fighting it?
"I think it’sbecause many things weren’t handled right from the start," Lewellen says. "And sometimes Aggie talks before she thinks and then she has to back up what she says and that’s the case right now.The mistake was made by those who wanted this bubble on the Plaza was by not properly approaching the (parks) commissioners individually and talking about the project. They sort of just brought it up at a public meeting out of the blue."
Which raises the question of how Stackhaus managed to kill it with but her single dissenting vote.
"The parks commission has five commissioners, so they only need three votes," Lewellen says. "But this issue is not a priority with any of the commissioners – it has no backers. UMKC should have lobbied ahead of time. So I don’t think it will happen (in the immediate future) because it has no champion now. Maybe next year with a new mayor and new commissioners."
The bottom line for Lewellen: it’s a shame not to take advantage of UMKC’s offer to provide the Plaza courts with a tennis bubble but that’s what happens when petty politics rears its ugly head.
Maybe there’s a reason somebody started a Facebook page called "Get Aggie Stackhaus Out of Office"