City Government

Zamboni Joy Riders Fired


Two Boise Parks Department Zamboni drivers who made a joy ride lunch run to a Burger King are out of work and may even face criminal prosecution.

Boise Parks officials fired them immediately upon hearing of the stunt. The two employees decided it would be fun to drive the rigs half a mile from the City owned and operated ICE WORLD indoor skating rink at the outlet mall to the hamburger joint.

They could be charged with operating unlicensed motor vehicles on a public street, but there is little chance for a speeding conviction.

Team Dave may not jump on things as fast as the GUARDIAN and some citizens think they should, but last week when a citizen complained to the mayor’s hotline about what he saw at the drive thru window at Burger King, they got right on it.

Parks Department director Jim Hall called the stunt, “One of the five stupidest things I have seen in 35 years of work in public parks.” He didn’t elaborate on the other four, but our curiosity is certainly aroused.

Hall said the Zamboni ice grooming machines are finely tuned vehicles worth $75,000 each.

“We have inspected both vehicles and there was no apparent damage,” said Hall. Repair costs to a damaged blade could run $10,000 according to Hall.
The Ice World skating arena hasn’t been a great source of pride for the city since millionaire J.R. Simplot donated it several years ago. A former employee was charged with selling city owned skates and hockey sticks on EBay after a Canadian cop alerted them.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I guess there could be a few incidents to make the top five:
    — A zoo manager taking a zoo monkey to town and leaving it unattended in his vehicle. It escaped and broke every car antenna off for an entire city block near the Federal Bldg.

    –After hours parties where wagers were made on Ostrich races.

    — Land Tortoises being “rented” out for children’s birthday parties.

    –An employee attempting to hurry along the molting stage of a large snake and cooking it on a heating pad.

    These are history, but within the time frame used by Hall in establishing his Top 5. Maybe the public should have a vote–the GUARDIAN seems to like that.

  2. Well if they were going to a Starbucks I could understand. But a Burger King? They belong in jail!

  3. Great zambonies,Batman, Team Dave is at it again!! It seems two lawbreaking would-be professional Zamboni Nascar competitors are out of a job thanks to the quick thinking and law and order style of Team Dave. These two public servants actually drove 1/2 mile from that great Boise hot spot,” ice world” to Burger king.

    No doubt they wanted to display their zambonesque skills in the BK parking lot as they munched on a Whopper and boasted about their other exploits on their cell phones. These two individuals are just the type that City Chief Dave likes to hold up as example so none of us other law-scoffers pull off a similar stunt!!

    How about that poop farm guy last year who liked to spend taxpayer monies on personal items? How come we still don’t have a regular city auditor, especially with your devotion to financial ethics?

  4. My nomination for one of the top five incidents would be the behind-the-scenes tour during “Feast for the Beast” at Zoo Boise in which the tigers’ cage had been left unlocked and one of the animals “escaped” and attacked a visitor. (It’s not really “escaping” when they just walk out, is it?!)

  5. So the Simplots donated the ice rink to the city, but it hasn’t been doing very well? Why is that? I don’t skate so have no knowledge of the skating community.

    Earlier the Simplot family donated JR’s house to the State of Idaho for a Governor’s Mansion. So far no one wants to live in that house, even JR’s own former son-in-law. Meanwhile the State of Idaho (that is us taxpayers) has to maintain this property because it was accepted as a gift.

    I am really happy that the Simplot family has been able to get all these tax deductions, although I seriously doubt that anyone in the Simplot family would go hungry if they actually sold those properties and paid the taxes due. (Or, if they want to know about tax deferred real estate exchanges they can just give me a call.)

    Meanwhile the escaped zamboni drivers made a run for some fast food. Now that is really funny. I guess the seriousness of the situation just doesn’t register in my tiny brain. They misbehaved and I assume are now unemployed without a favorable recommendation. But your story did make the nightly news, Guardian, so you are becoming famous. Don’t let it go to your head – 🙂

  6. BoiseCitizen
    Nov 22, 2006, 7:05 am

    Ms. Ullman left the best part out, that the woman attacked by the tiger and shot by the cops was actually wearing a tiger suit!

  7. No the best part about the shooting at the Boise City Zoo was the women that was shot settled out of court. Hardly cost us taxpayers any thing!

  8. These guys should have been promoted!

    Why is Idaho great? Because of people like these two.

    They aren’t scofflaws. They are mavericks with an insatiable lust for adventure. These two are unwilling to coast along with a packed lunch and a boring job.

    If Lt. Hall and Capt. Bieter had any sense at all, they would make these two,”Official Ambassadors of Free Spirit” (OAFS) for the City of Boise. Imagine how cool that could have been!

    Alas, the Captain and his faithful Lieutenant lack any kind of humor, which is sad.

    EDITOR NOTE–We think David LEtterman’s Show might be interested in talking to them.

  9. This is a GREAT story, Guardian! I hadn’t heard about the Zamboni Liberation of ’06!

    Can a civilian be nominated for the Parks Stupid Award?

    Some of the old-timers may remember when a college punk, in an apparent fraternity initiation rite, got drunk, climbed the fence at the Zoo after hours, and tried to pluck one of the tiger’s whiskers. (It’s hard to ascertain whether it’s the same tiger that tried to eat a “Feast for the Beast” guest.) The kid left with 9 fingers instead of the original 10, and I’d say he got off lucky. (Coulda left with just one arm.) They found the finger, a couple days later, just where you would expect to find it. At that point it couldn’t be reattached.

    If the awards were expanded out to “Stupid Public Servants” in all areas of the bureaucracy, you can chisel these ones into the plaque, because they will NEVER be displaced:

    – The cop who was firing tracer bullets on a hot windy day and burned up the foothills from Mountain Cove Road to Mile High mountain,

    – The Capitol employee (AG’s office?) who put her cigarette butt in a Rubbermaid plastic trash can and burned the Capitol building.

    – The Einstein who subsequently decideded to sue Rubbermaid (unsuccessfully) for the cost of repairing the Capitol.

    EDITOR NOTE–This is an obvious plea to expand the TV reporter “DOPE AWARDS.” OK, we will have a ripoff of Stupid Human Tricks, but we need a name for it.

  10. We should also include those firefighters who accidently used the “jaws of life” in a practice drill on a car that was at the training facility to be repaired during downtime. It belonged to a family member of a firefighter…oops. I actually think this happened on more than one occasion.

  11. Just a point of clarification, but isn’t Simplot a billionaire. Or are you talking about another Simplot?????????

    EDITOR NOTE–Billionaires are also millionaires. It is a lesser included offense.

  12. Why does Ice World need 2 machines, anyway?

    ERIC–You could get on Letterman as a straight man yourself. They need two in case one breaks down on the way to Burger King!

  13. Congrats!!! Guardian in the local daily!

    I still think it was a HUGE mistake to not promote these guys.

    I have a funny feeling we’ll be seeing them on Letterman.

  14. They need 2 machines because they have 2 sheets of ice. Definately not a smart idea having these machines going on public streets… Top speed is ony about 8 miles an hour, unless they were the Olympia Model… Now we’re talking speed!!!

  15. Maybe we could kill two birds with one Zamboni here. What if we convinced the Chamber to do a massive out of state publicity campaign that “showcases” all of the above mentioned incidents. The rest of the country would think (with good reason) that we are all a bunch of idiots here in lovely Idaho. Naturally, no one in their right mind would want to move here and “Presto – ChangeO” no more growth problems!

    CYCLOPS, my dear– Your editor is fat and bald, but not dumb. Google ZAMBONI on the news part of the site and you will see Boise’s fame around the entire world–thanks to the GUARDIAN influence.

  16. The saddest part of it all is that the ONLY reason the two employees were immediately fired is because they were temporary help. If they had been regular old employees, they’d be on paid leave and we’d be reliving the poop farm fiasco all over again. I knew the expedient personnel action sounded too good to be true.

  17. Hold up there, Tam…

    What if more scato-facto floats to the surface and not all was as it seemed back then?

    Has the fat lady sung?


    And as for you, ol’ one eye…

    You totally ROCK!

    I say, let’s get Margaret from her little store to start a save the “Zamboni two” !!!!!!!!!

  18. Temporary employees HA. The only reason that they are temp employees is because the new GM that presides over the kingdom of ICE WORLD immmediately changed everyone’s employment too seasonal when he took over. He believed he could run it like the old ball field that he managed. I know these 2 people personally. For one, it was his last night. The other had put in his two weeks notice. Neither was actually interviewed. Ice World lied about that part. As well as the cost of the Zambonis. Only one is $73,000 with an $8,000 blade. The much older of the two is worth far less. These two live for fun but never intended for any harm to be done. No one got hurt, no damage was done, and nothing was stolen. It’s just a great story to tell your friends.

    AS WELL AS PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD including every major news outlet in the USA and Europe. –EDITOR

  19. curious george
    Nov 23, 2006, 10:14 am

    I think everyone is overlooking the obvious. These two were canned because they let the cat out of the bag and co-opted a soon to be announced change in city policy. Since the Zambonies are propaned-fired they qualify as (wait for it) Alternative Fueled Vehicles.

    Soon every city employee will be issued an AFV, as Boise’s newest effort to improve its image.

    Plee-ee-ea-ase, someone let me know if a Zambonie Parking Zone sign pops up in front of City Hall.

  20. And to add to Curious George’s keen insight….AFV also and acronym for AMERICAS FUNNIEST VIDEO! Surely someone captured this midnight munchie maneuver on video!

  21. Guardian, you make my point. If we can mate the officer with tracers, the firemen cutting up the wrong car, the Tiger shooting and all those other little “gems” with the “Great Zamboni drag race” the sky will be the limit to run off the”growthaholics” that seem to have set up base camp here. Bald?

  22. Boise media has NO sense of humor. I got a call from friends on Portland, OR raving about the exploits of the Zamboni Two. I think the Guardian ought to set up an online way to make donations to help these guys defray the fines our mighty proud city will probably slap them with. The whole country will kick in. This story may be bigger than the Broncos in a Bowl. When I find out who they are, there will be a couple of beers waiting for them at a bar with a sense of humor.

    Some bar ought to have a Zamboni Two celebration.
    Help keep Boise funny.

  23. Oh, and the story made the Olberman program on MSNBC tonight – Monday 27th. This is really fun. Good job, Guardian !!!

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