At the Skatepark Community Meeting last night, Councillor Grimes confirmed publicly that Sam Smith Park will not be on any list the new Community Working Group comes up with as a possible location for a skateboarding facility. Up to now, we had only heard from his staff.
At the meeting, many of the comments from the floor were requests for transparency and trust during the process. It is expected that the twelve member working group, which will hold its first meeting on December 4th, will offer a progress report to the community at another public meeting in January. Of special interest will be the site selection criteria they come up with and the weighting that will be given to each. It was promised that the group members eventually chosen will make their e-mail addreses and phone numbers available so that there can be ongoing, two-way feedback between them, acting as our representatives, and the public.
If you were unable to attend the meeting last night and wish to apply to be on the group or wish to offer a comment, you can e-mail LURA consultants at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416 660 3755.
It is interesting to note that the preliminary list of selection criteria offered by City staff at the meeting last night would have precluded Sam Smith Park from the short list of possible sites two years ago. Two of the criteria, which we were told are standard for the City when choosing a site for a skateboarding facility, state that "the skatepark must be visible to passers-by" and "the skatepark must be compatible with other park uses and natural areas". As you recall, those were the two most important issues the community raised in opposition to a secluded skatepark in a meadow next to wetlands!
What a lot of trouble, time and energy could have been save two years ago if staff and politicians had not ignored their own sensible policy! What a lot of skateboarding could have been enjoyed!