In a surprise move Tuesday night, the Santa Maria City Council has stopped the controversial transitioning of two dirt ball fields into multi-purpose grass playing surfaces.
After passionate pleading from many speakers during the public comment period, Mayor Alice Patino asked for the changes to be halted.
Along with Patino, Council members Etta Waterfield and Gloria Soto also expressed concerns about the current repurposing of the fields.
City leaders will take a look at the issue in the future and consider options.
Council chambers were absolutely packed and the room erupted with loud applause and cheers after the city made the announcement.
Prior to Tuesday’s city council meeting, there was a public meeting held Monday night where a full house was on hand for more information regarding the change of athletic fields. That meeting was held by the Recreation and Parks Department.
The City explained why the changes were being made and what solutions would be in place because of them.
Diamonds at Minami and Simas parks were in the process of being switched to all grass, in order to accommodate the growing need for additional space for soccer and other sports like rugby and lacrosse.
When word began to spread around the city regarding the field changes, many in the community were not happy about it.
Baseball and softball coaches, league officials, players, parents and others urged city leaders to stop the move.