View Full Version : S.I.H.L. No place to play
10-17-2000, 02:56 AM
Searcy In-Line Hockey League of Searcy, Arkansas is looking for a safe and adequate place to play. Mayor David Evans (501-268-2483) has declined S.I.H.L. the use of any 'city park' tennis court in the Searcy city limits. The city is working on our 'hockey pad' at the Sports Event Center. This parking lot has NO restrooms, water fountain/soad machine, no shade, no pay phone, and it's out in the middle of nowhere. S.I.H.L. wants to give kids and parents a safe place to play roller hockey till the city can finish our area. But the Mayor and Parks & Recreation don't seem to care if kids of this community have a place or not to play hockey SAFELY. The Mayor has left S.I.H.L. no other choice but to file a petition. This petition asks citizens of the community 18 and older if they would like to see S.I.H.L. use Berryhill/any city park tennis courts. If any business or individual can offer any support or suggestions, contact Thomas J. Corby (S.I.H.L. President) at 501-279-2732.
10-17-2000, 02:48 PM
Suggestion for you. Get some volunteers who are willing to waste a night for the cause. Have someone sit at the tennis courts for the entire evening, maybe 4:00pm - 11:00pm. Keep track of exactly how many tennis users there are. Do this for about two weeks. I am willing to bet you that you will have some pretty compelling numbers (or more precisely, lack of numbers) that you can bring to the city. If the usage of publicly owned tennis courts in Arkansas is anything like it is here, you should be able to convince the city that it is being severly underused in its current status as a tennis court.
Another good argument to make is to ask City Parks & Rec what their role is for the community. You'll probably get an answer like "To provide for the recreational needs of the community." No kidding! Now use your tennis court survey, and your own SIHL numbers, and ask them what the real recreation needs of the community are. Is it to provide a tennis court that gets used 3 times during the course of 2 weeks? Ask them when was the last time they saw two 10 year old kids playing tennis? If the City Parks & Rec TRULY wants to serve its community, they will have a hard time saying no when you present them with your numbers.
Be prepared to volunteer too. Have a large number of people who are willing to give up a weekend to convert that unused tennis court(s) into a rink. Make it impossible for the city to say no. Usually, their justification for "no" is cost and manpower. If you have a good answer for everything they come up with, you should be able to convince them.
We did all of these things here. Our converted tennis court rink was so successful that it led to the city eventually building a brand new outdoor rink from the ground up.
You can't fight city hall - you have to be logical with them.
Good luck! Feel free to call me if you have any questions.
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