Friday, October 2, 2009

Ice rink supporters ask Council for re-vote; Puck Boy agrees and says children shouldn't have to watch him 'rearrange the furniture' at current rink

The group Build the Rink is clamoring for the Pasadena City Council to reconsider their vote last month on whether to build a new ice rink in the city. The Council voted 4 to 3 to build the new rink, but one member -- Victor Gordo -- was absent and five votes were needed to move the project forward.

The three Council members who opposed the rink (Chris Holden, Terry Tornek and Margaret McAustin) also voted down a motion to postpone the vote until the entire Council was present. As a result, the project died, although the city had spent millions of dollars over the last decade studying and planning for the new rink with two sheets of ice to replace the dumpy current one with an under-sized rink.

Build the Rink is asking supporters to email Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Council members and request a revote. I agree it's worth asking. Problem is, the Council had a quorum when they voted last time and while refusing to postpone the vote may have been sleazy and against the public's interests, it was also perfectly legal.

I've posted Build the Rink's email, which includes Council member's emails, after the jump. I'm going to pen my own email, which will go something like this:

Dear Council members;

On Wednesday night, I was sitting on a bench in the Pasadena Ice Skating Center, changing into my hockey gear. The place was crowded, as it often is, and several of us were sitting or standing around in our undergarments as small children milled about.

The current rink is too small and has one tiny side room that is a de facto co-ed locker room. I don't think small children should have to watch me wrestle my athletic cup into place, but obviously the Council has no issues with me "re-arranging the furniture" in front of impressionable, easily frightened kids. It's also worth mentioning that the Ice Center's one sheet of ice is too small and does a poor job accomodating the needs of figure skaters, hockey players and those who simply want to skate.

Ice skating is tremendously popular in Southern California, despite the pleasant weather here. Building a new rink with two sheets of ice would be like constructing a new park in the city and would give thousands of people the chance to skate and advance their skills in a variety of disciplines. If the city can build a park for dogs -- and I'm all for dogs -- it should also consider building park facilities for people.

Obviously, the Council had a quorum present when it voted last month on the new rink. The three opponents of building the new rink prevailed only because one member shirked his responsibility to be at the meeting. While that's loathsome and vomitous in its own right, the fact is that the Council is supposed to represent the will of city residents. For that reason alone, I urge you to vote when all eight members are present so that the ice rink matter can be resolved fairly.


Steve Hymon


On September 14, 2009 the Pasadena City Council voted NOT to pursue negotiations for a privately-funded arrangement with Polar Ice Ventures to build a new ice skating rink in the City of Pasadena.  The Council voting on this item was not in full attendance -- Councilmember Victor Gordo was not present at the meeting and did not have an opportunity to vote on this item. This item needed 5 votes in order to continue with the negotiations with Polar Ice, but in absence of Councilmember Gordo, received only a 4/3 vote in opposition of the Polar Ice pursuit.

If you believe that the Pasadena Ice Skating community was not fairly represented with a full Council for the vote to continue the pursuit of a funding arrangement with Polar Ice Ventures, we ask that you send an email request to Mayor Bogaard and the Councilmembers requesting a REVOTE of this item with the attendance of a FULL Council.

A template email is provided below for your convenience, or your own message is also encouraged.  The email addresses for the Mayor and Council are also included below.

Thank you for your support of this critical effort.

Pasadena "Build The Rink" Committee
Pasadena, California

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