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Flor not disappointed by state tourney decision

NEW ULM — Al Flor, the Chairman of the 2020 State Tournament Committee here in New Ulm, said that he was not disappointed in the decision by the New Ulm City Council to deny the use of Johnson and Mueller Parks in New Ulm for the state tournament because of real concerns regarding rising cases of COVID-19 in Brown County.

“The decision came down to the health of the community of New Ulm and the people that we have to live with the rest of our lives,” Flor said on Saturday.” “Those are people that we have to have around every day. It was a tough pill to swallow but it was the right thing to do.”

While Flor understood the decision made by members of the New Ulm City Council, he did not appreciate the way in which it was quickly made.

“From a baseball standpoint and from the meeting, we did not appreciate the way it was conducted,” he said. “We felt that at least we could be heard.”

For the record, the city council did not allow any comments from the public on the matter at the meeting, pro or con.

“We should have gotten the opportunity to be heard because we are citizens and people of the community,” Flor said. “We had time invested in the tournament and we were proud of it. Now the way it looks we will never get that chance again.”

Minnesota Baseball Association President Fred Roufs was at the city council meeting. He was contacted for his comments over the weekend but he declined to answer any questions.

“We all know what is going on with COVID-19 but we just wanted to talk — it is an emotional thing,” Flor said. “Everyone has the right to share their emotions. We had decided it would be one or two baseball people to talk because we did not want to waste everyone’s time. There have been a lot of people who have done work on these parks and not just the City of New Ulm and they felt very betrayed. It hurt that we were not able to be heard.

“We knew when they [City Council] decided to meet again that we knew what was coming and we were at peace with that.,” Flor said. “This started back in 2013 with the planning stages of Johnson Park renovation and walking door to door for the RENU projects. And going to the state to get the bid process going. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into this. There were a lot of people involved and we just wanted to be heard.”

“Hopefully we prevented a spike in COVID-19 here in New Ulm by this. But we just wanted to have the chance to be heard.”

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