Gilbert’s parks and recreation advisory board has for the second time denied a youth football league’s bid to join a coalition that gets preferential treatment to use town athletic fields.
The board voted Jan. 10 not to admit Top Flight Football into the Gilbert Sport Coalition, a group of youth sport organizations that have priority when reserving town-owned athletic fields.
“You have to have some kind of a system for fields, because clearly there’s not enough fields for everybody,” town spokesman Greg Svelund said.
Svelund said Top Flight was denied membership because of “unprofessional” behavior displayed by the league’s president, Carla Miller, and her husband, director of football, Tom Miller.
“It’s been a range of unprofessional and rude and almost abusive interactions going back a number of years,” Svelund said.
Carla Miller, who declined to comment citing concerns that she and her husband would appear uncooperative toward the town, denied the town staff’s claims.
“I would certainly disagree with that,” Miller said. “We provide a really good program for about a 1,000 kids in our community. We’ve been doing this since 2003.”
In a memo to the parks and recreation advisory board, Gilbert staff members said the league had misled a parent by stating in an e-mail that the town had “changed its mind” about allowing the league to use additional fields for a scheduled tournament.
The league was first turned down, along with two other organizations, in June. The other two leagues were approved last week.
Top Flight can continue to rent Gilbert’s athletic fields and has already reserved space at the town’s Discovery Park for next season, Miller said.
“We’re absolutely going to carry on with our program,” she said.