Category Archives: August 2006

Ice, Ice Baby!

Here at our super, top-secret parks and recreation test facility (otherwise known as my back yard) we’ve been working to perfect our temporary ice rink construction techniques. This four-year project — engineered by me and constructed with the help of my nine-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter, five-year-old daughter and occasional help from my dad and father-in-law — has featured virtually no logical thought and speed has always taken priority over success. So, I guess you’re warned. That being said, I’m happy … Continue reading

Posted in August 2006, Grounds + Sports Turf, Issues, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Which Way Did They Go?

Good employees are hard to find. And, once they come to work in your organization they are frequently even harder to keep. This is especially true for entry-level workers in so-called blue-collar jobs. While this may not be a problem in some places, in areas experiencing population growth (like ours) and the accompanying expansion of infrastructure, it is a real and growing concern. Couple this with price increases for basic commodities and materials and the shifting of labor to the … Continue reading

Posted in August 2006, Columns, Departments, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, Voices of Parks & Rec | Leave a comment

The Making Of A Good Parks And Recreation Administrator

Everything I needed to know about being a successful parks and recreation administrator I learned in kindergarten? Hmm? I’m not sure. I really need to sit down and first think about whether or not I am a successful parks and recreation administrator. I mean really, who decides? My performance evaluations have always been pretty good. I get my three percent raises every year, except when I don’t — because of budget cuts! I think most of our staff respects me, … Continue reading

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Towers And Silos And Walls, Oh My!

The popular (if convenient) rap on college and university professors expressed by practitioners, legislators and even some academics is some version of, “They have no idea what goes on in the real world.” Like many generalities, there is some truth to the perception academic types spend their time in the so-called “ivory tower,” huddled in their little isolated silos studying some obscure subject, safely walled off from the bother of actually solving everyday problems. To the extent this scenario is … Continue reading

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Blunt Management

Pick up and read a business magazine and you’re likely to get personnel advice such as “Never criticize an employee directly.” Other books or speakers encourage you to “sandwich” the criticism between two positives. For example, if an employee is continuously late, a supervisor is instructed to say, “James, you’re a valued employee here at Acme Widget Enterprises. However you’ve been coming to work late quite a few times. Hey! Good job on last week’s budget report!” James only remembers … Continue reading

Posted in August 2006, Columns, Departments, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, Silvana Clark, Voices of Parks & Rec, Writers | Leave a comment