Naming of ball fields put on hold

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2003

Saying it needs more public input, the Kenai City Council decided to wait until later this month to decide whether to name the Kenai softball complex in honor of Steve Shearer, one of the original organizers of the town's recreational softball league and an instrumental part of the fields being built.

Shearer, who died in 1998, is credited with getting the Kenai league admitted into the Alaska Softball Association in 1977. He also is widely credited with spurring the movement to have the fields built, according to a proposal submitted to the council Wednesday.

"Steve lobbied hard and worked diligently with (Kenai Parks and Recreation Director) Kayo (McGillvery) to have these fields constructed. He, and his teammates, pulled volunteers together to build the dugouts and concession stand," reads the proposal. "All in all, Steve took the responsibility on himself, by himself, to play league ball. It would be fitting to have the Kenai Softball Field Complex dedicated to his memory."

The proposal would call for the construction of a large wooden sign, as well as a small garden to commemorate Shearer's contributions to the softball league.

In addition to a letter submitted to the council from the memorial committee, made up of Steve Dexheimer, John Sivley, Earl Hicks, John Yeager, Mike Navarre and Kay Shearer, the proposal also included 111 signatures from Kenai, Soldotna, Nikiski and Kasilof residents.

However, the council decided it needs more public input into the proposal, voting to postpone a decision until its Dec. 17 meeting.

"I don't want to be perceived as just running this through without a lot of public comment," said council member Linda Swarner.

The proposal will be available for the public to view on the city's Web site. Anyone wishing to comment can contact the city at 283-7535 or visit

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