To the editor:
Monday night I attended city council's meeting and listened as council voted 11-1 to close Dease Pool. No one was permitted to speak from the public including myself.
I have been a strong supporter of our outdoor pools over the years and in 1978 I obtained over 1100 signatures to save Dease Pool, the first attempt by the city to close the valuable treasure.
Walter Assef was our mayor at the time and he and the rest of council did the right thing and voted to keep the pool open.
I say this is a valuable treasure because this is where tens of thousands of citizens have learned how to swim over the last 106 years. I also obtained more signatures about 10 years ago to help prolong the life of this pool.
This pool has been the best bang the city has ever got for their dollar and now that the pool needs repairs the city has turned their backs on all the children that use this pool. In my opinion, a new pool at this location is probably the best option. The upgrade of this pool could be done in two steps with the change room facility possibly being built in the second year.
Administration had council vote in this the first night after they took office and ratification of this vote will take place at next week's council meeting giving the public little time to prepare for this meeting.
The public has been shut out of this process.
Administration referred to the cost of replacing this pool and the present usage.
Last year Vickers Street was under construction which did not help attendance and the present facility has no showers Whenever I have driven by I have seen hundreds of kids splashing around particularly on very hot days.
Some people I have talked to also question the proposed cost of $1.2 million dollars to replace the pool and $1.4 million to build a new change room facility. This is one of the reasons the public needs to have a voice in this decision.
If the pool is not replaced how much money will the city save by having hundreds of restless youths wandering the streets with nothing to do. Is the city not advocating for more facilities for young people and the integration of our youth which this pool is certainly doing.
The sad thing about all this is the timing. Two weeks before Christmas the Mayor and council voted to close this pool and gave debutantes no chance to speak up on behalf of these kids.
Ratification of this motion to close the pool will take place this coming Monday at City Hall.
It is my understanding that the public will have an opportunity to speak at this meeting by submitting a request to Gordon Stover, Committee Co-ordinator office of the City Clerk by the end of the day on Wednesday or by Thursday by 11 a.m.. Individuals can also email Mr. Stover at firstname.lastname@example.org
The public can also ask to speak at this meeting by getting permission from a councillor prior to this meeting.