Letter: Keep Tommy Cheatham

Editor’s note: The following letter is addressed to Wellington officials. A copy was sent to the Town-Crier for publication.

It has come to my attention that you have put the Wellington Tennis Center’s contract out to bid. While I understand this is completely normal operating procedure when presented with expiring contracts, you have, in fact, more logical options at your disposal.

I have been a resident in this village for more than 19 years. I have been a passholder at the Wellington Tennis Center since 1999. I’ve been through this process several times and I am amazed that the village still feels the need to go through this almost every single bidding cycle.

I am respectfully asking you to consider other options.

Tommy Cheatham has been running the tennis center for the last 17 years. Since moving to the new facility, he has increased membership (passholders), grown the adult and junior programs, added more women’s, senior men’s and women’s teams, league nights and participation in general.

While I understand there may be areas that can be improved upon, why not give Mr. Cheatham that chance? He has been a longstanding successful employee and a proven product. When you open the door for others to analyze and underbid an incumbent, you aren’t always getting a true picture of what a new bidder can actually achieve.

I would venture a guess that the vast majority of passholders and those who frequent the tennis center are extremely satisfied. The tennis center is a focal point where the equestrian community, recreational supporters, young families, senior members and competitive players all come together. During traditional peak hours of operation, the tennis center is at capacity. Just try to find a parking spot at 10 a.m. during the week, or on a Saturday.

Please don’t turn over the keys to this jewel of a facility to some unknown entity. I respectfully urge staff and council members to rethink the decision to put the center out to bid. The community would be better served if the concerns that you have are addressed by the knowledgeable members of your staff and didn’t require tremendous upheaval. Speak directly with Mr. Cheatham. Tell him where you think costs can be cut, ask where he thinks improvements can be made — then allot a certain amount of time for that to happen.

The tennis center isn’t broken, there is no need to try and fix it.

Rosemond Hammond, Wellington