City Government

Ice World Woes Hot Topic

Granted, the City operated Ice World skating rink is probably not uppermost in the minds of citizens or city councilors.

Despite assurances that everything is under control from City officials, we tend to believe problems lie deeper than the slick surface of the ice. Seems clear that some folks have been sacked, but the city is claiming “personnell matter” to keep public scrutiny cool.

Here is a set of questions the GUARDIAN received from a reader. With no staff to chase down the answers, we will simply share the questions:

“From the outside looking in it would appear that there is so much more going on at Idaho IceWorld than just people thinking that two management staff might be making extra money on company time.

–Why did they remove the coaches bio’s from the website
if the case was closed?

–What is going to happen to their “Learning how to skate program” without coaches to run them?

–What and how does the city do differently at Warm Springs Golf course? I hear the manager and staff does private lessons on city time? (Which I don’t believe to be the case.)

–However, people do seem to be wondering why they would hire a hockey director that was running a program that competes for the very same kids?

–Why is the travel hockey programs having such a hard time working together?

–Why doesn’t the city let Idaho IceWorld handle their own business and let them make the money they are making and trust in the people they have in place to do their job?

–Why are they preparing yet another report to justify why the rink shouldn’t be turned over to a private management firm?

–Why are they looking into selling the Cutting Edge Sports shop?

–Why are they dragging their feet to get a restuarant in the place of Round Table Pizza that left?

–Why are they terminating some of the good employees to protect the upper management personnel of Boise Parks and Recreation?

–Why do the employees feel they have no one to go to when
they have issues because they can’t trust things will be dealt with in a fair and unbiased manner?

–I think someone driving the Zamboni to Burger King was the least of
their problems!”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Sounds like someone is just trying to make more trouble. Although they bring out some good questions and ones that I am sure have been in the thoughts of the consistent patrons of IceWorld. Idaho IceWorld deserves better. The city is lucky to have such a beautiful facility and we are lucky to have it ran by Boise Parks and Recreation. Things aren’t always what they seem and my family will continue to support the rink and the staff.

  2. Wow sounds like someone is bitter at iceworld and is trying to stir up trouble. Iceworld is a great facility that benifits the entire region. So what if the coaches can teach lessons for pay. Keep up the complaining and whining and maybe we can lose a great community venue.

  3. Publishing unanswered questions is not fair to those running Idaho Ice World. The responsible parties should be asked these questions in private before they are forced to respond publicly online. The recent article from the Statesman regarding the Guardians had a quote from Nancolas that expresses this same view.

    “said he doesn’t mind the scrutiny but believes quick postings of questions and concerns can create an unfair appearance of impropriety.”

  4. These are all good points. Shame on the guardian for being a antagonist. Trash the statesman for poor reporting but I doubt they would publish rumors so readily.

  5. So after a quick review of the “figures” submitted by Jim Hall, one might surmise several things. The first thought is that he is an outright liar. The second thought is that he is ignorant. The third thought is, that he is grossly incompetent. How many of you mensa’s will it take to glance at the numbers that he has submitted and realize none of it adds up?

    Secondly, his description of “instruction time” is completely falsified. I suppose that the unknowing layperson might be ignorant enough to believe that what he has stated is true, but if you really believe that anyone is out there teaching lessons for $8.00 an hour then you are completely uninformed. Call out there and find out for yourself. In fact, this little cut and paste is right off the website:

    Q: I see people taking private lessons. How do I do that and is it expensive?
    A: There are two ways to set-up a private lesson: Pick up a private lesson sheet and fill it out. We will arrange for an instructor to contact you and schedule a lesson. You are welcome to come and observe our coaching staff and approach them directly to arrange a lesson. Most of the coaches charge between $25 – $35 for a 30 minute lesson. Please note that this rate is for the coach’s time only and does not include admission or skate rental.

    Almost as amusing is the fact that several “employees” have gotten loose on this forum and have rushed to the defense of “iceworld”. Could it be anymore obvious? From a financial standpoint, the rink stinks. Bieter should create an independent oversight to go through this with a fine tooth comb, starting with the figures that Jim Hall submitted.

    Below is the reference that was used for my post.

    UPDATE 8/14
    Apparently we are off a bit on the tone. Jim Hall, director of parks, tells us the IceWorld has made nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in the past four years. Users were half adults in 2004 and today it is 75% youth. Visits have climbed from 350,000 to 550,000.

    Instruction is done on city time as part of the recreation program. Private instruction is done on non-city time at a rate of $8 per person per half hour. That money is for “ice rental time” which goes back to the city. That training is done only during freestyle training time. In short, it is clean and while the “competitive training” is conducted by the same coaches, it is all off duty. Case closed.

  6. In reading Diesel’s post, and the “Update 8/14” portion I have a question. Idaho IceWorld has “made” nearly $750,000 in the past four years? Is a Parks and Recreation entity supposed to be “making” money? After paying salaries and maintenance, and saving for future high ticket maintenance, should there be a profit? I for one no longer play hockey due to the high cost, a cost by the way that recently went up. I know other people with kids that have migrated to other sports because of the high cost. I don’t think Mr. Hall shouldn’t be quite so proud of the profiteering at a public facility on the backs of the taxpayers it is supposed to be benefitting. On the contrary, he should try lowering some fees to make the facility more accessible to lower income families. Yes, I know there are scholarships for some, but the sport is losing the middle income people who do not qualify for a subsidy. Lost in all this is the absolute shameful management for the last several years. The lost opportunity to grow the sport of hockey due to the cognitively impaired people in charge out there will take years to remedy. I’ve always questioned the legality of what seem to me to be for-profit events at the parks we as tax payers fund the maintenance on after they are trampled by said events, but this Exxon mind set tells me it’s all part of Mr. Hall’s regime.

  7. Clarence thedog
    Jan 31, 2009, 7:12 pm

    Now it looks like coaches jobs are up for grabs. Applications will start online February 2nd.

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