Here’s the scenario:
A town, (I’m not naming any names), is trying to decide whether or not its public swimming pool should open next year. The pool operates at a loss of over $10,000 dollars a year, and has lost over $72,000 since 2005. Attendance is down, while security problems have risen, costing the city additional money in the way of police overtime.
Additionally, over $13,000 worth of repairs must be done before the next season for the health department to allow the pool to open at all. If that isn’t enough, the pool area is also not ADA compliant, and to rectify that, goodness only knows how much more money will need to be spent.
So, why is this an issue? Common sense, (which I know government officials lack), says shut the pool down. It is in disrepair, people aren’t going there, and it’s a security nightmare. So, it would seem that it’s time to let go. I don’t want to hear about how people’s parents used to swim there, how it’s a part of the town, how it has a history. Today’s people aren’t using it, and if it’s losing money, it must go. I also don’t want to hear about the “thousands of poor children,” who took swimming lessons there, and will no longer have that chance. There are two YMCAs in this town, both of which offer swimming lessons, so this is a straw man argument.
The bottom line–a public swimming pool is a luxury, not a necessity. And for a city that’s already losing money, and adding more taxes to what the residents already pay, just to make up for those losses, to even consider holding on to such a luxury at such a high price is absurd. It would be nice if city officials could actually do what is best for the town for a change, instead of bowing to sentiment or some other sense of obligation. Knowing what I know about government, however, I won’t be holding my breath.