Our town has made the national news lately for the most unexpected reason: the City Council banned sledding in all but two of the city’s parks.
In their mind, there was a logical reason for this restriction: other municipalities in Iowa have been faced with multi-million dollar lawsuits for injuries sustained by sledders and the councilmen were trying to limit the city’s liability should an accident occur here. But the issue has, dare I say snowballed, and taken on a life of its own in the media.
The Council had good intentions by trying to provide some options for the outdoor activity, but their benevolence just has made the matter worse. Why those parks and not others? If it is safe some places, why not everywhere? If we can absorb some risk, why not more? And on it goes. In an attempt to lessen the pain, I think they kept the ill will alive.
It reminds me of columns from my favorite syndicated parenting expert, John Rosemond. He says often that once you start explaining to the children, you will lose. There is always one more question, another excuse or a justification desired to address a new loop hole. The council would have been better saying: “no sledding until the State legislature protects cities from the liability, period.” People wouldn’t like it, but they would understand it more than the seemingly arbitrary ruling they have now.
People don’t like bad news, but they like decisions they don’t understand even less. If you have to deliver the bitter pill, don’t deliver it with explanations and apologies. There are times when the equivalent to “because I said so” is the better answer, and it is best left at that.
Source: Telegraph Herald