Letter to the Editor by Dave Windsor – Cornwall Neighborhood Rink Fiasco JAN 7, 2015

RIP VRinkI can see a lot of irony in the condemnation of council to skew the city and continue to show ‘council continuing per se’ in a bad light. Negativity is more popular as it helps people to ‘feel’ they have a right and the power to shout others down.

I am somewhat ambivalent about the rink and as said in todays paper we got caught between a rock and a hard place on this one. That means ‘both’ sides had very important points to make. On the one hand, the Vincent’s, through the kids showed the effect ‘picking on kids’ by the power of the bylaw was overzealous, meanies while highlighting the real needs of the community and that is free, easy and accessible sporting for neighborhood children.

This is where years of foresight have let us down. EVERY area of the city should have a block sporting facility in open air, with volunteers but city jobs and tardy maintenance usually by under are at risk. Winter to be a rink and summer to be a splash pad or a swimming pool. We all know this to be expensive making it improbable. Insurances have knocked us down to cover litigations that we never use to have.

Society has cocooned to the point of invisibleness in this regard. Expensive formalized sporting facilities have power of need to stay alive to force bylaw maintenance as much as neighbors disagreeing with each other. Street sports are dangerous and even more frowned upon than ever.

For the Vincent’s and their supporters, with the media hype, to take this to the max. was unfortunate with regards to the city getting it in the eye nationally, once again. Yet ultimately they have voice and they have a point we cannot ignore. Our children’s life skills are at stake. Those that slouch, lose while those that do, lose.

Council and other core heads need to visit this serious growth need without delay. It is not something to put under the rug. It will fester.

Dave Windsor

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  1. I think this became an unstoppable force (city) against an unmoveable object (rink). Who wins? Usually no one wins.

    I agree more sports facilities are needed in every city. But that comes down to taxes. And right now the taxpayers are being bled to death with taxes and “user fees” (a fancy word for new taxes).

    And yet again Cornwall is put in a bad light on the national and I fear international stage. The city was in a no-win situation. If they ignored the bylaw infraction it invites others to flaunt the law of the land and do what they want, when they want the law be damned. And if they enforced the bylaw they are seen as picking on kids and a Canadian ico, the outdoor rink.

  2. Cornwall City Hall and the By-Law crew certainly over reacted. There was no threat to buried services (obviously, since nothing was damaged), and that ice surface… look around, there’s ice and snow covering everything.

    Glen Grant needs to take a pill, and Aurel Houde, …c’mon man it’s a children’s playground; a bright light amidst the the filthy snow banks and empty Tim cups that litter Cornwall at this time of year.

    Cornwall received a black-eye from coast to coast, thanks to city governance.

    It’s apparent that the public safety spin, and the rule of law spin were pathetic attempts to cover a bad move… Our new set of clowns can’t roll with a punch, or accept that a grave error in judgement was made??

    Is this our new council??

  3. Yes this is our new council. They are acting just like the old council!

  4. Let’s not let one item define Cornwall or the new city council.

  5. Another politician like all the others. Mayor O’Shaughnessy what a crock are you giving us. Wires, gas lines? The pieces of wood in the ground to support the boards aren’t 4 feet into the ground i’m sure. I believe that gas lines and underground wires are in the range of 4 feet deep. When you put up your real estate and elections signs, isn’t there a concern that you might hit a gas or underground wires? Of course NOT. Give me a break. Like it’s been said before, you can always tell when a politician is lying, his lips are moving. Hey we’re making news Canada wide now. What should have taken place is somebody from city hall meet with the family and WORK together for an acceptable solution by saying “let’s see if we can help you with a solution”. Hope Don Cherry talks about this on Hockey Night in Canada. Great job Leslie and Norm Levac. Another black eye for the city and barely a month into the job

  6. We cannot overlook our HERO kids that made the PICTURE that made the National news. What needs to be done for each of them is a collage of them and the Canada World Hockey Team in their WIN photo with the CUP and their Gold Medals….now wouldn’t that be neat. This would be a life time keep sake for the kids. Blown up to a full page…….with the number of copies a s players ‘plasticized’ on both sides for each one in the national picture. WOW! Just saying, hint, hint. Sure would be nice if someone did that for them. Maybe a City Hall Presentation to them would go a long way to heal any wounds………….

  7. Dave Windsor the bylaw is not overzealous it is sound and logical.

    The application of the bylaw was in the hands of an overzealous politician who failed to apply simple logic and unfortunately demonstrated a general lack of people skills and problem resolution.

    I suspect that most understand the reason why this process was rushed through the Christmas season with such deliberate intent. That is now past and we need not dwell on it at this time but rather get the rink up and going and demonstrate to a nation of onlookers that a community can rise above the shortsightedness of its leadership take the reigns and get the kids back on their rink .

  8. The story was well presented by CFRA Ottawa. Embarrassing to this community to hear Leslie (mayor) attempt to justify the resolution and stumble through an explanation of nicked gas lines and power feeds. Made me almost think that tent pegs should not exceed 5 inches then I gave my head a shake.

    Sad to see a potential leader do so poorly out of the gate. Hopefully he will reexamine his approach and like a wine improve. Otherwise it will be a long and yet again disappointing four years. Let’s remain positive.

  9. Agreed David Oldham (January 8, 2015 at 6:01 am & January 8, 2015 at 6:11 am). Like I’ve said before let’s not let this bump define the new mayor and council.

  10. Author

    Hugger between this and the Brock Frost scandal and the way that this council has handled the situations they have defined themselves. It’s sad that they have chosen to in this manner, but it’s on them.

  11. Good point Pete made. Let it be known that NO stakes are be driven into the ground for election purposes. Not to mention they are a driver distraction and may block visibility. Thank you mayor for your insight on this.

  12. Oh, Please. The Brock Frost mess is his own doing, sure he’s a member of council but that’s where it ends. I’m sure there will be plenty more items that will more correctly define this new mayor and council. To me this is one bump on a four year road.

  13. Author

    Hugger when Tammy Hart went rogue her council issued a statement. Councilor Frost issued several press releases signed as a councilor. It’s pretty basic and simple. Based on the charged and bizarre nature of Councilor Frost’s claims a press issue should have been released as he put the city in a liability position.

  14. And if you’ve noticed since those press releases were released as a councilor there have been no more. Someone (his lawyer, the mayor or a more seior council member) has obviously spoken to Brock on how to / how not to conduct himself as a councilor. This no more defines this council than Elaine MacDonald’s labour council and NDP ties defined the last council.

  15. Author

    Hugger the truth should one. The facts are the facts. We need answers about Grant’s involvement and why the heavy handed process. Why is Leslie giving interviews on CFRA saying that the Vincent’s launched a facebook campaign when all Mrs. Vincent did was appeal to Councilor Murphy? The media ran with the story from there and the public responded.

    How can people take a position if the facts are being politicized?

  16. Becoming a city councilor has a huge learning curve to it. A little leeway should be given. This new mayor and council (& hopefully city administration) has learned something from the ink mess.

  17. Mike M….most realtor and / or election signs are NOT on th city road allowance, they are on the owner’s property thus no problem.

    Admin….the truth should one??? Yes, we need answers of why Glen Grant stuck his nose into this. As an ex-councilor he should have had no more effect on this than you or I could have. But we know that didn’t happen.

    I wouldn’t say the facts were being politicized, I’d say they were being incorrectly reported. And if so, how is Joe Average to know what is really happening?

  18. Author

    Well Hugger our Mayor was on CFRA radio and stated that Mrs. Vincent started a facebook campaign. I don’t that’s very fair…or accurate and you can’t blame that on the media.

  19. I agree it isn’t fair. But let’s not jump on the mayor’s ass, as it seems to be the thing to do in cases like this. Mayors, etc. are fed info. If he was fed wrong or misleading info it isn’t really his fault. The real person to blame is whomever gave him the misleading info. Yes, the back stops at the top and the mayor should have been more hands on in this case. Live and learn, I guess.

  20. The mayor’s campaign slogan was. “Change starts at the TOP” thus he should have looked into the facebook stuff beforehand himself. Let’s not blame his advisors. The mayor had large signs during his campaign that had stakes IN the ground or the wind would have flipped them over, and the signs were not always set back on the properties but somewhat close to the road for better visibility perhaps encroaching on city property?

  21. This ongoing issue about the rink is a sorry situation. Lets hope that the Mayor and Council will tackle ongoing community issues with the same speed and enthusiasm they showed when addressing the bylaws to bring the boards down.

    May I just say that I live very close to a city park that has two outdoor rinks that are under used by our community. To add to it, the city provides lighting for night time use of the rinks. It’s so bright that it lights up our block and stays lit up for hours on end. Such a waste of money and resources. The city should be advertising the fact that there is free skating available plus the added bonus of night skating. Pardon the pun, but it seems to me that we should be making light of this community resource.

  22. Newsworthy….The lights on the rinks are on timers. They usually shut off around 11 p.m. That’s so anyone can skate when they want. Waste of money and resources? Perhaps. But would you rather pay a city worker overtime to come over and turn the lights on and off every day?

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