Biernacki: “Widespread Community Support” for Skating Rink

Northern Star‘s article on the impending demise of DeKalb’s synthetic skating rink:

Because The Skate School was not at fault for the decline in patronage, Biernacki said he is sure the council will relieve the contract.

“We pursued [the ice rink] with widespread community support,” Biernacki said. “That support did not translate into patrons.”

Biernacki said there are many choices for the council to make in regards to the future of the ice rink. “We need to look at all of the options,” Biernacki said. “We could reprogram the rink or mothball it for a while. It’s still up in the air.”

Oh, my. There’s a whopper packed right in the middle. Let’s pull it out and eyeball it for a min.

The notion that there was “widespread community support” for this venture is utter hogwash. The timing was wrong (economic meltdown) and the group chosen to make it happen (ReNew rather than DeKalb Park District) was wrong. That’s just for starters. The comments at the Chronicle website will be long gone for now, but if you search this site with “rink” you will see that rink-related posts were some of the most-commented EVER. To this day, I have not talked to one person outside ReNew, the City, or the Park District who thought the rink was a good idea for a TIF project.

Also, let’s not forget that the only reason the City/Renew was able to present halfway decent numbers for its first season was the billboard advertising, which they either couldn’t or wouldn’t pursue for the second.

You can say: “But, yinn, hasn’t this subject been beaten to death?”

The answer is no, not when City administrators continue to equate the pet projects that ReNew wants into “widespread community support” — which, btw, they just did again for the $12 million downtown makeover.