outdoor hockey season on thin ice? (update)

I was hoping that my prediction wouldn’t come true, but, sadly, it looks like this year’s Lynwood outdoor rink season is going to be as disastrous as last year’s.

Even though the City advertised heavily in the big papers and tried to convince experienced rink operators to sign the contract, there is still no one taking responsibility for the Lynwood rinks.

When I phoned they even tried to convince me to take it on! I guess they don’t know that the councillor has blackballed me. The last hope seems to be that the community association executive will step up to the plate and don their tuques, but, knowing who is on the executive and why they’re there, that seems unlikely.

The danger is not just that the 2011-2012 season will be as disappointing as last year’s. If nobody does the rinks then we could lose them permanently – there is a long waiting list of newer suburban sprawl neighbourhoods in Kanata, Barrhaven and Stittsville that would love to have outdoor rinks but, since the grant money in the City’s rink budget is capped (at around $1M), they can only get in if some other neighbourhood drops out.

If we lose them we may never get them back. Steve Yzerman, who once worked as a rink rat at Lynwood when he was at Bell HS, would be rolling in his grave if he wasn’t busy managing the Lightning.

As a taxpayer I don’t like the way we threw our money out the window last year on the Lynwood rinks. In return for an investment of at least $10,000 (once you include the rink grant, the cost of installing/taking down/ storing the boards, the office full of City managers, the cost of water and hydro, etc.) we got almost nothing for our tax dollars. Very little maintenance was done by the moonlighting City worker – the season started late and finished early, the ice was of very poor quality, the snow wasn’t cleared, the facilities were always closed, the puddle rink never did open, there was no supervision, etc. In other words, the contract wasn’t respected and the City bureaucrats who are supposed to be supervising their rink-operator colleague didn’t seem to be doing their job.

I hate to say “I told you so” but I predicted all this back in the fall of 2010 when it became clear that Rick was going to take me down and make me sleep with the fishes for criticizing his sleazy tactics. The invitation below was hand-delivered to every home in Lynwood.

Rick and the City bureaucrats cancelled the elections and appointed their own Rick-friendly executive, banning me and excluding everyone who wasn’t riding Rick’s runaway train. Since then the Lynwood rinks have gone from being the best in the city to the worst, and the policy of not charging rent for all community members who want to use the community building has been scrapped.

Normally the rinks would be opening soon – during the four years I worked on the rinks they were open well before Xmas – this year they may not open at all.

Thanks, Rick – pretty classy making the kids pay for your megalomania.

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4 Responses to outdoor hockey season on thin ice? (update)

  1. Rich Littleton says:

    It doesn’t sound too promising if there’s no crew locked and loaded as of yet – temperatures will be dropping soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Having seen how fast the shops have been erected between Kanata and Stittsville, I am of the opinion that Bell’s Corners will soon become an industrial park, more or less just a drive-through for people to get to some place other than Bell’s Corners.

    I have lived in Bell’s Corners since 1972.

    – I drove that Kanata to Stittsville stretch yesterday, the first time since they started the widening the roads, building that $4M problem-plagued bridge and throwing up cheap cookie-cutter housing and vast seas of asphalt on the flood plain.

    That gargantuan Lowe’s alone will take a big bite out of the profits of the Bells Corners wannabe big box stores.

    And we’re fighting back with cheap Xmas holiday season wreaths strung up on lamp standards?

    Is it not time for a new strategy, one that doesn’t just serve the needs of the crooked politicians and the giant developers who finance them?

    We can’t blame everything on Rick, but if you look at his expand-the-urban-boundary voting record and who finances him, it makes you shake your head.

  3. Jayme says:

    Anonymous, five years ago I would have agreed with you, but with DND and the new mosque, which will be the biggest in the city, I think Bells Corners will be a place where people want to live, with younger people moving in.

  4. ottawaowl says:

    The City just found someone to operate the Lynwood rinks!

    Unlike almost all other neighbourhood outdoor rinks it won’t be locally-run by the community association, but rather by a private operator who doesn’t even live in Bells Corners. He also runs two other rinks in the west end, so he’ll have his hands full.

    But at least we’ll have a rink, and having an experienced operator is a real bonus – preparing the base ice/maintaining good conditions is a lot more complicated than you might think.

    The contract doesn’t include supervision, so the facilities will be open only if the community association can find some volunteers or hire someone.

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