Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Councillor Walters on Fitness Classes/Gym Services at CMRC

At the September 14th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting - Stefan Hoezler (co-owner of Concrete Fitness) appeared before the Joint Committee to raise concerns about Fitness Programs and the Gym operated by the City of Williams Lake at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex (CMRC).  After Mr. Hoezler's presentation - Joint Committee directed their Staff to report on the various aspects of Mr. Hoezler's presentation at the October 26th Joint Committee meeting

In the meantime, either before and at the September 14th Joint Committee meeting (and still is continuing) - members of WL Council and the CRD Directors for Electoral Areas D, E, and F were receiving letters imploring members of the Joint Committee to reject what Mr. Hoezler is requesting, namely a review of all services offered by the CMRC.  This matter will be considered further, as I've said above, at the Oct 26th 5:00pm meeting of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee.  This meeting will be held in the Rick Hansen Boardroom at Williams Lake City Hall

Now - the fight for fitness programming and the gym at the CMRC has gone onto the Internet and specifically Facebook.

On the "Re-Elect Laurie Walters" Facebook page - Kandee Wilkinson (a CMRC Fitness Instructor) asked the following of WL City Councillor Laurie Walters:

Laurie what are your thoughts about Concrete Fitness taking all fitness away from the Recreation Center, as it is called recreation center for a reason. Fitness is for all no mater age, gender, rich or poor. I don't want it be just concrete monopolizing the fitness market.

Councillor Walters responded with:

People choose to live and move to a community for many reasons. A big reason is the PUBLIC RECREATION available, including the fitness component. The provision of accessible fitness/recreation services is a key component for a healthy community. These include programs for seniors, low-income, disabled, children, minorities and other populations that are not serviced by Private Gyms. The Cariboo Memorial Complex has been in the business of provision of these services for over 20 years, as have most other communities in BC.

It should be noted that local City Councillor Sue Zacharias feels the same as her colleague, Councillor Walters, by empathising the concern of what low-income families would do without the fitness programming/gym services at the CMRC

The real issue is how to ensure the balance for gym and other fitness programs that low income residents can afford without necessarily doing harm to the very businesses that offer similar services and pay a heavy tax load to the CRD for the Recreation Function that makes these low cost fitness  programs and gym equipment available.  This is best served by a review of the entire Central Cariboo Recreation Function since its' creation in 2007.  The time for a review is timely, given the recent desire of politicians to find a long-term solution for the Sam Ketcham Pool and an Indoor Turf Facility.

Let's make sure our recreation programs, in all of its forms, is sustainable, both short, medium and long term - for recreation operations and capital - no matter if you live in the City of Williams Lake or in CRD Electoral Areas D, E or F

But let's be clear - Stefan Hoezler and his supporters (including the local BIA and Chamber of Commerce) has never asked for a complete shutdown of all fitness programs and gym operations at the CMRC.  He, along with businesses that offer yoga and other similiar fitness type programs want to ensure that they can make a living while ensuring that public recreation programming and gym services remains available to those who can't afford to attend a private gym or private yoga or other similar fitness program, outside of the CMRC and on this - if everyone keeps a level head, this goal can be achieved



Anonymous said...

You are WRONG Steve. Mr. Hoelzer is asking that the CMRC get out of ALL Fitness services other than the fitness centre (Which he also wants to see never expanded).
He states this clearly in his letters to the City which are on public record.
He is also twisting data and getting people to sign his petition with unscrupulous means. I have just learned that Essence Pilates withdrew their support of Mr. Hoelzer due to the fact they felt they were mislead into signing his petition. They also added that they have NO problems at all with any of the programs offered by the Complex, and feel they are a compliment to what they do. In addition they added they feel that the CMRC doe snto, in any way, compete with Mr. Hoelzer. Pretty big words from one of the bigger fitness folks in town.

Steve Forseth said...

Anonymous at 10:54am...

Thank you for your comments...

However - it is "very clear" that we are going to "agree to disagree" as I don't see any suggestion - either written or oral that says Stefan Hoezler is looking to shut down ALL Fitness programming at the CMRC.

I've read the letter authored by Mr. Hoezler to the City of WL on July 19th and listened to his presentation to the local Joint Committee on Sept 14th and I don't see any suggestion that he wants to "devastate" all fitness programming at the CMRC. However, I do see and hear Mr. Hoezler calling for a review of services at the CMRC which is a reasonable request

If he is losing supporters then that is unfortunate, however I would point out that both the Chamber of Commerce/BIA have put the full weight of their respective organazations behind Mr. Hoezler's concerns' and it is fair to assume that this issue was fully discussed before issuing their letters of support

Finally - for the record, I stand by my blog post and its' conclusions...

Anonymous said...

His comment at the end of the letter to the City says the City should not run programs offered elsewhere by the business community.

What do you think that means, Steve? A plain reading means the City should not offer fitness classes or the weight room. In fact, at the beginning of the letter, he lists the services not offered by the business community - pool, rinks, and Performances in the Park. Anyone who can read knows what he was asking for.