The City of Ottawa - I have nice things to say

Posted by Chris Penton on

The Market will move to Optimiste Park on Labour Day. In order for the park to act as a commercial site, the City must rezone the area. After the go to 'come on, man, really?!' reaction that sometimes manifests itself into speech, I put myself in the shoes of policy makers and the folks that carry out these policies. Indeed, sometimes tight and restrictive, I have seen societies that have gone in the opposite direction. In appreciation of our overregulation, I now suffer silently through the cutting of red tape.

Apparently quite a process, I met with the four senior managers in charge, including the head of parks himself. They all took it very seriously and genuinely wanted this arrangement to work. Although City employees work in extreme silos, in this case, they pulled their expertise together in one room to begin the process. I would describe the atmosphere in the room as light hearted, professional and expeditious. This may come as a surprise to many, as you cannot get a pothole filled. But, I have found  the lower on the totem pole I go, the fewer laughs there are, the more tightly wound the employee tends to be and the less likely they are to be in a position to actually solve your problem. The fear of the rule book and potential reprimand, I suppose. My best guess is that the managers have been around a bit longer, have learned to laugh certain things and, of course, have the authority to get things done quickly.

The Managers asked the questions they had to, instilled the appropriate amount of fear in me and set clear action items. The next day the notice went out.

Although not free (nothing is) to use Optimiste Park, I think the City will make a good landlord and partner. So far, so good.


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