Community Notebooks: Trying to make the rinks better
( display item 16)
The account of the attempts to get the rink report on the council agenda makes an interesting story:
In 2007, the Parks and Environment Committee asked city staff to report back on a Rink Report presented by the Centre for Local Research into Public Space (CELOS).
This is the link to the April 2007 Parks and Environment Committee Decision Document:
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/pe/decisions/2007-04-10-pe03-dd.pdf -- Item PE 3.5 (Last item), directing staff to report back.
To date, city staff has not reported back.
Shortly after the April 2007 meeting, the outdoor rinks were transferred to the Community Development and Recreation Committee, which did not follow up on the Parks committee decision linked above.
A CELOS researcher contacted 311 to ask three questions about what happened to the staff report required by Parks Committee:
1. Who decided which standing committee at the city was to have carriage of this matter? Who has the authority to make these kinds of decisions?
2. Why was the decision made to transfer outdoor ice rinks from the Parks and Environment Committee to the Community Development and Recreation Committee?
3. On what basis/criteria was the decision made, given that the lion's share of the rinks budget and oversight/decision-making are in Parks?
Here is a summary of the reply from Brenda Patterson, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation in her letter:
- Brenda Patterson was not the General Manager at the time and does not know why staff did not follow up.
- There is no mention that the 2007 CELOS rinks report will be looked at now. Rather, all ice issues will be looked at as part of the overall Parks, Forestry and Recreation Recreation Service and Parks Plans.
- An invitation to sign up to participate in the community engagement process for this
- The standing committee chairs and senior staff can decide which committee will have carriage of an issue, regardless of which committee has the key decision-making power.