My Turn: Soccer is not ice hockey

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Disappointed, outraged, inexperienced, old boy/girl network, sham, hidden agenda! These are all words I could incorporate into my diatribe. No, I'm not talking about the local Assembly elections!

I'm talking about the recent rink manager appointment! What happened to the requisite experience requirements that were indicated in the job description for the rink manager? The person that was hired has absolutely zero experience with rinks or rink management, what she has is connections in Parks and Rec. In fact, she is employed there!

When Parks and Rec first started hiring for this position, several very qualified people applied. The city selected three very highly qualified and experienced people. The city had a reception where the public was invited to meet and greet the candidates at Centennial Hall. I went because I had applied for the job and thought that I should have at least been interviewed. I have 25 years experience and thousands of hours in rinks. I sharpen skates, can drive a Zamboni, I've scheduled ice time, coached hockey teams, refereed games, and my friends will be surprised to know that I was once even a finger painter - I mean figure skater! I went to meet the candidates with a chip on my shoulder and I dug deep into my brain to ask questions I was sure they couldn't answer. But some of these candidates hailed from Minnesota and Fairbanks and other hotbeds of skating and I couldn't stump them. They knew the difference between hard ice and soft ice and the difference in temperature between the two. They knew the difference between a dime grind and a nickel grind and one of them even knew that the Stanley Cup weighs 32 pounds. I came away impressed and was happy that I could now focus my attention to coaching youth teams. The eventual hire of Greg Smith brought not only a super qualified rink manager to town but also one heck of a good goalie.

Fast forward a couple months and troubles arose. Greg had some family issues that required him to resign so the job was up for grabs again. I began to look forward to another chance to meet and greet the qualified candidates. Didn't happen! It's because there were no qualified or experienced candidates. The city and director of Parks and Rec promoted one of their own with absolutely zero rink experience. Someone so unqualified she has to go to Rink School and take Rink 101. But she plays soccer I guess that qualifies her; soccer is kind of like hockey, the players wear shorts so there is that connection.

Joking aside, the bottom line is that the city advertised a job and laid out specific experience requirements and the person they hired didn't have them and other people that applied did have them but weren't hired. Some experience has to be better than none! I don't think anybody can say the person selected was the most qualified or experienced person that applied! I also think there needs to be a board to make decisions like this because it is very obvious that the people who make these decisions don't know the difference between a slapshot and a triple toe loop! Why do I think this is the first step into turning the rink into an indoor soccer venue?



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