'Champions' make the difference


(A map depicts the third phase of the Rotary Park revitalization project.)

It's hard to imagine city councillors reacting this favourably to a $200,000 funding request for anything.

But the latest Rotary Park ask found the finance, administration and operations committee members in a more-than-receptive mood.

In fact, councillors have not been this favourable since, well, a similar pitch by the Brock Trail committee.

Sure, there will be naysayers (cue the comments section) before the final vote during the coming budget talks. There always are.

But my guess is a majority of councillors will back the third and final phase of the Rotary Park revitalization, much as they voted to commit capital funding for the trail.

There's an obvious sentimental value to Rotary Park for anyone who has been in Brockville for more than three decades, or who grew up here.

Who wouldn't want to fund the last remnant of the old Memorial Centre, home of glorious hockey victories that, for most people, grow more glorious in the retelling?

There is more to the likely success of Rotary Park than sentimentality, however.

As Councillor Fullarton observes in the story linked above, council is favourable to projects that find “champions” in the community, folks who then work to leverage city funding through further donations, and who demonstrate a willingness to put in the time and effort.

That's what helped move the Brock Trail up the priority list, as well as the railway tunnel.

It's also what will, I predict, secure funding for a skylighted roof over a monument to hat tricks past.