Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2010

Letter to the editor

July 15, 2010

To the editor:

It’s unfortunate that folks like Dorothy Martin (July 8 Baldwin City Signal) fire off letters to the editor before getting all of the facts. She obviously didn’t bother to research what she was talking about.

First of all, Steve Friend has done a great job as the recreation commission director for the City of Baldwin City. Steve has turned all of the programs under his direction around and on a profitable or at least break-even status.

He was instrumental in getting the new ball fields at the intermediate center built. The facility is absolutely world class and will bring in a wealth of income thanks to organizations wanting to schedule tournaments throughout the ball season.

Steve is a great human being and it’s unfortunate that folks like Dorothy don’t take the time to at least look into the “why” behind not having fireworks this year. Steve, like most of us, also has a private life, and sometimes things happen in our private life that impact our work as well. I don’t know how many activities in Baldwin City that Dorothy attends, but if she takes the time to look around, at almost all of them she will see that Steve is in attendance in some sort of “work” capacity. Steve doesn’t know what a 40-hour work week is. In my dealings with him I would estimate his at more like 60 or 70.

Dorothy must be a very minuscule human being to let something as insignificant as one year’s fireworks to become a tirade to suggest Steve moving to another city. If that ever happened, it would be a tremendous loss to Baldwin City and a huge gain to wherever he went.

I’d suggest she go to the recreation center and get involved in one of the many programs available to folks of Baldwin City.

By the way, on my walk Sunday as I went past the BCRC building, I happened to notice that Steve was working. Hmmmm, I wonder if Dorothy works on Sundays?

Art Cederholm

Baldwin City


TheOnlyGreyghost 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad Mr Cedarholm spoke out. The rec dept has improved 1000% since Steve got here. He and his staff work their tails off to provide (or improve) so many programs and activities for this town.

With respect to the ballfields, I would add, for the benefit of anyone who needs reminding, that Steve took time to search eBay and made the effort to snag used equipment, including lighting, for the ballfields--shrewdly obtaining a $300,000 value for a mere $23,000. (

I don't seem to recall Ms Martin's letter praising Steve for pulling off that amazing coup. If he'd been a typical functionary, he would have simply pushed for new equipment. Since Baldwin would not have had the kind of money to buy state-of-the-art equipment brand new, this would have meant settling for something inferior. While we're handing out thanks, here's a shout-out to Ken Wagner, George McCrary, Chris Croucher, and others who offered free use of equipment, donated their time, and worked so hard to get that equipment into place. Steve organized all this--while he was still new to the job.

It is so easy to criticize the efforts of officials when we feel they have dropped a ball, and also so easy to forget how that same person has many times gone above and beyond the call of duty to do something for the community good.

Here's a kicker on the firework flap: if Ms Martin had spent 30 seconds doing a Google search, she would have found this 2008 article,, which indicates (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it wasn't even part of Steve's job description. At least, not two years ago...

Sounds like he just volunteered to help out that year--and for that he gets blasted this year?

Maybe, having someone new and energetic who was willing to help, the previous organizers backed away from the responsibility (I'm not blaming them--I'm just trying to figure out the chain of events). Perhaps they felt they had done their duty and it was time to move on.

But if there was ever an "official" transferrence of the responsibility to the rec commission, I don't recall it. (Anyone?) Perhaps some of those 2008 organizers mentioned in the article--Sherri Caldwell, Shad England--or Greg Sanders, who owned the firing board and was contracted to shoot off the shells-- would be kind enough to fill us in.

If Ms Martin has the time to write a long letter scapegoating one of the hardest-working people in Baldwin, maybe she also has the time to volunteer as the new chairperson for the fireworks committee. At the very least, she should TAKE the time to dig around a little before launching an attack on someone who already seems to be doing a lion's share.


TheOnlyGreyghost 8 years, 5 months ago

For anyone who missed exactly what Dorothy Martin had to say on the subject, here you go:


markdunn 8 years, 5 months ago

I like Steve. Steve is a nice guy.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.