Neighbourhood Playgrounds Require More Attention From City Officials

Robert Kirwan
Valley East Today

As one drives around the neighbourhoods of Valley East , it becomes quickly apparent that our playgrounds are in need of attention. Old timers recall the time when playgrounds were actually the “community centers” for neighbourhoods. During the summer there were programs for the children. During the winter, the clubhouse was open every day, all day, and the rinks were well maintained. Those were the days when public funding for recreation programs was readily available. Not only did the municipal employees maintain the grounds, but the facilities and equipment was something that you could be proud of. Indeed, staffing of the playgrounds was guaranteed.

Today, neighbourhood playground associations are struggling in an uphill battle to build any kind of community spirit. Admittedly, there is a problem finding volunteers willing to put in the hours to operate these facilities and programs. However, the question to be asked is, “Should residents be responsible for local playgrounds, or should this be something that you receive for your tax dollars?”

City Councillors may be approving the spending of up to $250,000 to hire a consultant to prepare a feasibility study on the construction of a major convention center that may then cost millions of dollars of tax dollars to develop. While there is no question about the positive impact a major facility such as this can have on the entire Greater Sudbury Area, one can only imagine what our communities would be like if each playground in the area received a budget of $50,000 a year to cover the cost of staffing, equipment and maintenance. Imagine how it would look to outsiders to take a tour around the region and see vibrant, well-maintained, well-equipped playgrounds in every major subdivision. One can only imagine.

During this election period, it is expected that there will be a lot of discussion about the state of our recreation facilities. Instead of spending millions of dollars building one huge facility, many taxpayers would like to see the money spread around to the local playgrounds.

Candidates for election will be required to make a clear statement about where they stand on neighbourhood recreation facilities.



Why another consultant????
Why is every time City Councilors have to make a decision, that they have to hire a consultant. Can't they find someone that works for the City to figure this out, or have groups to help out. If they have to hire a consultant then hire them and keep them and get rid of the people that can't help or have no knowledge on different issues. This is a subject we hear to often with the city councilors, we need to find councilors or workers that can multi task. Or form a committee that can address this matters. We could save lots money going this route.
Lets start with a new approach after November 13, 2006
Monique Grenon

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