Must work together

To the Editor:

To the Board of Hunter Park: We need to work together. I'm writing on behalf of myself as employee and community member, as well as on behalf of those who were counting on summer ice at Riley Rink. With the sudden cancellation of summer ice at Riley Rink, the board of Hunter Park has further alienated itself from staff and community. The purpose of this letter is to initiate a plan to reverse this decision and create a win-win situation for everyone involved. We are confident it can be done and is in the best interests of all. It's our intention to proceed as planned with leagues, tournaments and camps this summer. We are willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen.

This letter is intended to be proactive and productive, not accusatory or condemning. Noneth eless, the facts are what they are, and once again Riley Rink is positioned for scrutiny and ridicule. As those of you who made this decision know, it was handed down without forewarning of any kind; no one was informed that this decision was pending; no one - staff or community members - was approached or enlisted who could have assisted in preventing the causes cited for taking this action.

While it was put out in an email on Friday that the numbers don't support the ice make, there's considerable evidence to the contrary. Already those with firsthand knowledge of this are coming forward in protest.

We've all held our tongues in the face of wasteful spending and little or no consistent, aggressive marketing of programs, watched as administrators have come and gone while the quality of programs and community interaction continues to deteriorate. We've been approached by disgruntled donors who continue to fund us out of a sense of duty rather than confidence and watched individuals as well as families who have taken their business elsewhere - to Rutland, to Troy, to North Adams.

This is unnecessary and reversible. We need to be honest, objective and forward thinking, starting with renewed commitment to summer ice. The mission statement of the organization needs to be honored and the true purpose of the rink and its status as a component of a non-profit organization created to serve the needs of the community must come to the forefront.

David Fitzgerald



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