These days it takes something “Really Ridiculous” to motivate me to interrupt my retirement and put pen to paper. It happens about once every 10 years, and this one defies everything I thought I knew about Community Involvement, Collaboration and Cooperation.
The City of Trail has a “Community Plan” that states; “Community Plans should reflect a Consensus of Public Opinion which is used as a Framework for further Development.”
Consider that statement in light of the proposed Development/Upgrade that is scheduled for the Pickleball and Tennis Courts adjacent to Butler Park this fall.
I’m a member of a large group of people in the area who play pickleball 3 or 4 times a week. We’re mostly a group of seniors who enjoy the opportunity to socialize, exercise, and engage in friendly competition and we’re not a threat to anyone – except ourselves!
Consequently, when news of the Upgrades/Renovations to the courts circulated, we felt that this would be the perfect time to work collaboratively with the City of Trail, and provide some useful input into the planning and design of the new facility.
When we approached the Trail Parks and Recreation Dept., we were told that the contract for the upgrade had already been awarded to Sierra Landscaping in Kelowna and there was nothing to discuss. We then asked to see a plan of the proposed development, which was also refused.
My first thought was that I’d love to hear the reaction from our community if a contract was awarded for a hockey facility or a baseball facility – without any input from the user groups!
Nevertheless, we realized that the renovations were still months away, so we felt that there should still be an opportunity for some “Communication.”
We made several attempts as a group to try and initiate discussions with Trail Parks and Recreation – and several members also tried individually to initiate some dialogue. One of our members even submitted a scale drawing showing the “Existing” footprint of the facility, along with a “Proposed” drawing clearly showing how a few minor changes would be Mutually Beneficial to All Users of the facility.
After repeated attempts to “Communicate” there has still been no response from Trail Parks and Recreation which makes a mockery of the Community Plan – and begs the Question: “What’s the Point of having a Community Plan – if it Doesn’t Involve the Community?”
We are absolutely delighted that funds are available to upgrade our facilities and we want to ensure that those funds are spent wisely, which involves Communication, Collaboration and Cooperation……which brings me back to the “Community Plan.”
Is Anyone Listening?