An Interview with Tim Raimer

Tim, you were the Park and Rec Director in Portage for how many years?    21 1/2 years.

That is a long time of serving the families in our community.  Thank you for that Tim. How many programs were you able to help get started and gain support for in Portage?

Quite a few June.  Some we tried, some worked and some didn’t, but we tried them anyway.

You’ve been supportive of building a Skate Park for the skateboarders in our community for how long?  What do you think the greatest obstacle has been to gaining support in the past?

I think it’s been the City. By that I mean government and the people.  I think that their not knowing exactly what it was, having false assumptions and not being educated enough about the benefits of a Skate Park to the community was the biggest obstacle.

Why is this Skate Park still an important project to you?  Because it is something that is needed.  There really is such a large number of people in our community who do skateboard.  But because we don’t have a place for them they are scattered around, so it doesn’t look like many. There is such a large number of people will benefit and more kids will get involved and bring their families into it.

What is your idea of an ideal Skateboard Park, Tim?

My ideal would be that it be  something that’s going to be able to be there for a long time and one that is built strong.  Strong enough to withstand weather and skating wear and tear and also that would withstand possible vandals.

But with more people involved do you think there will be less vandalism?  Yes.

I think the ideal park will bring people into the community and we’ll have tournaments and  competitions and stuff.

Do you see that it could develop into a program within the park and rec system like T-ball and soccer have?

Yes I do, I think when we have it built right that could definitely be a possibility.

Tim, I’ve noticed there are a couple tennis courts not being used in our community.  I wonder if some people are afraid that if we build a skate park it’s going to end up being like those unused tennis courts?  Do you think that is a possibility with the Skate Park Tim?   No, June I don’t.  The Tennis Court on the one street was built in the wrong area.  Those courts, and some others were all built in the early 80’s and they were built over concrete slabs and the concrete erodes and cracks and then the asphalt slides over it.  We don’t want to build the Skate Park wrong.

So Tim, what you are saying is if it’s built right it costs more and money is always a problem.  But you think we can get this accomplished, correct?  Yes I do!

Thank you Tim.  It took someone like Kyle to take it by the horns and get it going.

I agree with you Tim.  Kyle had said to me, “Skateboarding is my life.” when he asked for my help with the committee.

Yes, Kyle took it by the horns and got it going and it will be a good thing.

I hope the Skateboard Park is going to be a good benefit for a long time to this community.

Tim, what do you think the greatest benefit, if you could only pick one benefit to our community, what will that be when the Skate Park is complete?

The greatest, the biggest benefit will be giving that age group of kids a place to skate and making them feel like they are part of our community.

To that I say AMEN.  Thank you Tim!

– June Paul