CRESTWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – The Crestwood Village Board listened to an hour of testimony from opponents Thursday night, then voted to strip the community’s private soccer club of its exclusive rights to use city parkland.
Many parents brought their soccer-playing children to the board meeting, and a number of former players also turned out. Crestwood Soccer Club board member Rob McKay said his daughter came away confused.
McKay said most of the speakers supported the club’s position, but he said the village board ignored them.
“We’re not done,” he said. “We’re going to keep pursuing other avenues and opportunities to get this resolved with those fields. That’s our first choice. We want to stay there. The members of our club and the people who have come and enjoyed it year after year, they know this location and they enjoy it.”
Matches will go forward this weekend, but McKay said the club refuses to open its books to the village, as required under the revised parks ordinance. He said the club is exploring its legal options, although club leaders still hope for a compromise.
McKay said the club has put in countless amounts of volunteer time and money to transform what was once a rocky, unused area beneath ComEd high-tension power lines into five well-maintained soccer fields.
But Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta said the village has also contributed, and has cut the grass at a cost of about $14,000 a year. Presta has denied that the change in policy has anything to do with Club President John Toscas running against him, and losing in April’s mayoral race.