Cedar City Councilmember Terri Hartley provided her input regarding the master plan in a statement at the meeting. Hartley thanked Leisure Services Director Bryan Dangerfield for his direction and work on the plan and continued to say that government processes are typically slow for the reason of providing checks and balances to make sure correct decisions are beveled up to the top in representation of majority of the people.
“Processes are in place to prevent government officials or others coming in and making impulsive or careless decisions and I’m concerned about our city council being over involved in some of our processes,” Hartley said. “I believe our role is to be leaders and to guide the process to make decisions, but to not to unduly influence the outcome.”
She continued to say that if the process is circumvented it can stifle other groups from coming forward with their wishes and think the council has some preconceived decisions.
“This master plan, in my opinion, is taking on the atmosphere of a contest not a study,” Harley said. “I wish that we could get it back on track. I don’t want every group thinking that they have to come to city council and present their point of you to get our attention or monopolize the town hall meetings that Bryan’s tried to organize.”
She continued on to say that interested parties need to fill out the survey, as it is available online at www.cedarcity.org until the end of the month, as well as make wishes known to the Leisure Services Board.
“Coming to city council doesn’t accomplish this because we’re not in charge of putting together the master plan,” Hartley said in her statement. “I personally think the ice rink is a good thing along with many other venues. However, through due process I think we can make it even better if that’s the way we choose to go.”
The rink is not currently a perfect, private partnership, but it could be as the process, she continued.
“The majority of the community does not want another venue at the Cedar City Aquatic Center that needs to be subsidized by tax dollars,” Hartley said, “It cannot be compared to the lease property at (Lin’s Marketplace) as some elude to. It is like comparing apples to oranges.”
She closed her statement saying that Dangerfield and the Leisure Services Board need to be supported and trusted to continue with the master plan.
As a part of getting their voice out, about 20 kids in support of a new Skate Park were in attendance. Councilmembers encouraged the group to fill out the survey online and make their interest known to the Leisure Services Board.
A formal item was on the business agenda to discuss the plan for the ice rink. Youth Enthusiasts Together For Ice Founders Kerry and Chad Fain were present and mentioned the fact that after the first meeting Town Hall meeting the ice rink was not a consideration and that they do not want the consideration of the master plan to be a battle.
“The master plan turned into drama as the (Leisure Services Board) continues to work on it,” Cedar City Maile Wilson said to Iron County Today after the meeting. “Why is it such an urgency right now?”
Dave Staheli, owner of Staheli West and an investor in the ice rink, had come forward to leaders previous to the meeting and said he’d put money to help with the development of the indoor rink, Wilson said.
Councilmembers Paul Cozzens and Fred Rowley agreed that popularity in numbers are there to make the ice rink valuable. Cozzens said his daughter was turned away last Tuesday night because the rink was full with 361 people skating. He continued to say last Thursday, after the meeting to the Iron County Today, that he is also interested to help other groups including the skate park group.
“If the skate park ends up being a success, I will be the first in line to help because everyone is valued and the master plan survey is not a contest,” Cozzens said.
Rowley said he felt that three members of the council were reluctant to talk about the ice rink’s future because the Leisure Services study is unfinished.
“When an opportunity arises, you change your plans,” he said of Staheli’s proposal to improve the ice rink. “His proposal, in my mind, has some timeliness issues attached, so I wanted to get the council to consider Dave's proposal independent of, or concurrently with the study.”
The council agreed to heard the proposal from Staheli at its Feb. 1 meeting.
Dangerfield made a statement on Facebook regarding the master plan following the meeting.
“ Everyone’s opinion is valued,” according to the statement. “ We encourage all of our Cedar City households to take the survey and to let us know what programs and venues they would like to see the Leisure Services Department provide for the community.”
The statement continued to state that the Master Plan becomes more valid with a variety of opinions collected across the spectrum of sports, fitness and recreation.
“On Feb. 1, the opinion-gathering process will turn to coming up with priorities, costs, timelines in a 5-year, 10-year and 20-year basis,” according to the statement.