In the swim of things - NOT!

Friday, September 11, 2009

We sympathize with the many upset parents, caregivers, baby sitters, siblings, and children who were repeatedly broken hearted this past summer season as Cherokee's fabulous Bacon Aquatics Center was closed too often for seemingly no reason in good weather time after time.

We question the dedication to recreation of the City, the Parks & Recreation Department, and pool officials for too often preventing usage of such a wonderful place for our children (and adults!) to frolic in the comfort of their chosen home town in what is truly a delightful facility.

Thunderstorms forcing the pool to close is understandable. So are unforeseen plumbing problems, swim meets, and really frigid temperatures.

But lame excuses bandied about like "staffing problems," or lack of sufficient numbers, or "threatening weather" that never materializes, fly in the face of the spirit in which this community rallied to make their donations to make the Bacon Aquatics Center become a reality - a real polished jewel for Cherokee.

The Labor Day Weekend's "staffing problems" is just the latest in repeated lame excuses for shutting the heated pool down in the shank of superb weather and robbing this community of access to a valuable and cherished resource it helped build.

On Labor Day Weekend, our last warm weather holiday of the year which this year consisted of three glorious "summer" days with temperatures in the 80s, our pool was closed. Our last shot until spring, gone on the whim of those in charge.

Exacerbating the problem is that we know several parents who have religiously purchased season tickets and, with so many closures, are now questioning the value of that. Their posture is, "It's closed so often, we'll just buy day tickets, or go somewhere else. When we bought the tickets, they told us it would be open through Labor Day and it wasn't. They lied."

We also know of several families who had family or friends coming to town for a weekend, a reunion, a birthday party, and planned on all going to the fancy new pool. Whammo. Pool closed. No real reason cited. No one there to even talk to about it. Doors locked.

Some very good and vigilant community-minded people led the charge to bring the Bacon Aquatics Center to reality. Many made sizable donations and/or purchased $1,000 memorial bricks. We know of some folks who buy season tickets and never go to the pool. They simply want to support such a wonderful facility.

The frequent closings and the lame excuses that followed must be disheartening to them.

They certainly are to us.