ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen last week denied the request of a disgruntled Bob's Hill resident to remove the neighborhood basketball hoop.
The board was met with applause after voting to take no action on the request to remove the basketball hoop located at the end of the dead-end road because of a single resident's concern over noise and rowdy teenagers shooting hoop.
"I love basketball and I played from morning until night," Selectman Joseph Nowak said. "It keeps kids out of trouble and it keeps them active and as long as they make sure they aren't there raising Hell I would be happy to allow that hoop to stay up."
Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said the resident requested that the hoop be taken down last year and he denied it then. But the resident asked to appeal Mazzucco's ruling so it was brought to the Selectmen
Like Mazzucco, the Selectmen did not budge after listening to multiple residents who supported the hoop.
Resident Roland Rylander said his own kids have used the hoop and it fosters a sense of community in the neighborhood.
"At one time, I counted 15 people at that hoop and it wasn't just teenagers. There were kids of all ages, parents and even grandparents all shooting basketball," he said. "What is the point of living in small-town America if you can't go out on Saturday night and play basketball with the family?"
Resident Tammy Scalise said she remembers making improvements to the hoop when her own kids used to play with it. She did add that although she thought the basketball hoop was a good thing, she wanted to try to resolve any conflicts in the neighborhood.
"We wanted the opportunity to have our kids play but she is a taxpayer and has the right to bring this forward," she said. "But I think this can be resolved with respect on both sides."
Mazzucco said he received 10 emails supporting the hoop.
"They unanimously were in support of the hoop that has been there for 30 years or more," he said. "I think I received more emails on this supporting that hoop than I have on any one issue since I have been here."
Mazzucco said the appeal was scheduled for last month but the concerned resident could not attend the meeting. Although she was informed that there would be a meeting Wednesday, she did not attend.
Rylander added that sometimes there is vulgarity or the kids play music but nothing bad enough to uproot the basketball hoop.
"Do they sometimes play music? Certainly. Do they sometimes use language they shouldn't? Certainly," he said. "But if that was the litmus test we would ban school buses."
Other neighbors said if they catch the kids using a word they shouldn't, they tell them to cut it out.
Even some of the kids that use the hoop said it is important to the neighborhood and promised to be mindful of the neighbors.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa researched back 17 years to see if there were any situations regarding the basketball hoop. The only one he could find was the call a year ago from the disgruntled Bob's Hill resident.
Tarsa added that there has always been a basketball hoop there, even when he was a kid. He said even today when the kids see a car coming they stop playing and get out of the way.
"I can think of three different hoops that have been on the street from a piece of plywood nailed to a tree to the hoop there now," he said. "I am not advocating for kids playing in the street but it is a fact of life that kids will play in the street and Bob's Hill has very little traffic."
He added that if there ever is a noise disturbance the police have no issue discussing it with the kids and working it out.
Although the board could have taken no action they decided to vote unanimously in support of the hoop.
"Everyone that has spoken said they are willing to oversee and make sure the kids are playing basketball and having a good time and there is no trouble," Chairman John Duval said. "That is great to hear."
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