I did a little cuttin’ and pastin’ of the Power Point presentation of the city’s ‘ADVO-CATIONAL’ presentation of the OUTDOOR pool pool issue. This ‘supposed’ educational piece is chucked full of ‘persuasive language’ and misleading ‘facts’.
Where to begin?
1) There is NO indoor pool on the ballot, only a simple question. Do you want a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg. If you vote NO a number of things could happen. They could keep the existing pool, they could fill it in and have green space. There is NO guarantees that a NO vote would result in an indoor pool at that location.
2) The photo of bundled up folks walking to the pool in a romantic winter wonderland setting. What about pictures of kids riding their bikes to an outdoor pool in the summer?
3) True, there is a ‘proposal’ to replace Spellerberg with an Indoor pool. But that is all it is. The city council will have to approve the budget again this fall and approve the bonds to pay for it. Would the NEW council do that? There are NO guarantees.
4) They claim that the outdoor pools are obsolete, but continue to use them.
5) Need for indoor water. Huh? According to who? Past city surveys have shown that the public would support an indoor facility but only IF it is self-sufficient or subsidized (like the Ice Hockey facility). The support drops to almost 10% if we would have to subsidize the facility.
6) There are plenty of opportunities throughout the community for indoor swimming. Also, the VA has said nothing about a joint venture with the city and a therapy pool.
7) The skewed numbers. While it is true that it is more costly to operate an outdoor pool hourly, the real numbers are about $100K a year for an outdoor and $700K a year for an indoor.
8) The traffic/parking analysis is strange on many levels. They are pretty much admitting that we would be building and subsidizing a year round facility (360 days a year) for only 2-3 swim meets. So please, explain the NEED. As for the traffic increase for the outdoor facility, I am confused. Drive by Drake Springs sometime on a hot day, while the pool is packed, the roads are not, but you will see a multitude of bicycles and kids walking.
9) This is a lie, there is around $6.4 million set aside for Spellerberg, for either an indoor or outdoor facility. But like I said above, the council still has to approve the expenditure this Fall. A $13 million bond will also have to be approved that citizens can get revoked in a referendum if the council approves it.
So while the city claims they are ‘educating’ us, they are really ‘advocating’ their position, while misleading voters on an outdoor facility. Are they stretching state law or simply flat out breaking it? I think it is time the AG’s office do an investigation of the city’s ‘educational’ programming.