March 26, 2017

Youth baseball official frustrated by city’s tag days stance

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Patrick Sargent/For Worcester Sun

Where Cross, East Central and Shamrock streets meet Shrewsbury -- cross at your own risk.

With funding for youth sports leagues becoming increasingly difficult to come by in some corners of the city, Nick D’Andrea, secretary/treasurer for East Side Babe Ruth, remains disappointed in the city’s apparent disinterest in regulating the practice of “tag days,” which used to generate thousands of dollars per season for his and similar organizations.

“They keep kicking that can down the road,” said D’Andrea, who brought the issue before City Council last April with support from first-term Councilor-at-large Khrystian King.

Sun archives: King brings tag days debate back before council

City spokesman John Hill said safety and legal concerns prevent the city from condoning or supporting so-called tag days, when local organizations, such as youth sports teams, would apply for permits from the city and stand at intersections to solicit donations from motorists. For example, many remember the firefighters’ Boot Drive for Multiple Sclerosis.

“At the council’s request last April, the city manager asked the law department to investigate the idea of reinstating the Tag Day ordinance, which has been repealed upon implementation of the city’s panhandling ordinances in 2013,” Hill wrote in an email statement to the Sun.

“The law department recommended not implementing a new Tag Day ordinance for two reasons: first, because of the risks to persons and property arising out of Tag Day events; and, second, because it would place the city in the untenable legal position of requiring a permit for an activity which constitutionally requires no permit.”

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