July 20, 2007

Our pool.

I complained back at the proposal stage. Here's the situation now:
Madison's Goodman Pool has closed four times this summer because of low attendance, a new policy meant to save money -- but one that also may disappoint pool-goers.

The pool's policy is to close early if fewer than 50 people are on hand within the first hour of open swim or if attendance falls much below that....

[T]he closing policy is new this year after the pool posted a $140,000 operating loss in its first year. The pool didn't have the policy a year ago, because "last year we didn't know how much money we were losing."
Of course, if the pool doesn't stay open for predictable regular hours, more people will stay away, and things will only get worse.

By the way, it's 66° right now in the dead of summer here in Madison, Wisconsin, where we have many big beautiful lakes but an even bigger love of taxing the citizens to provide goodies people don't even want.

ADDED: Let me put it another way:

Lake Mendota

10 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Swimming in Madison lakes is a gross and disgusting proposition, especially after they've slimed up in summer.

The pool to which we belong also will close if it's really cold out (I think 60 F is the threshold) and the manager on duty okays it. And as the story notes, there are similar policies in Sun Prairie and Middleton.

chuckR said...

Maybe the local cops could get some extra detail duty and round up people like the Royal Navy press gangs did.
Swimming - its good for you, dammit!

Mike said...

I speny my youth swimming in the Madison lakes. They weren't great then either, but I think we had a higher ick threshold back then.

hdhouse said...

I was on a city board that had some oversight on city parks and playgrounds. One manager arbitrarily closed a large urban playground because the kids were not utilizing the park enough to warrant a supervisor and that made it unsafe if there was no supervision. It was asked of her what her solution was to which she replied that the playground would stay closed until attendance improved.

Mike said...

"If you don't answer the question, young man, we're going to have to gag you.

BUT...

Gag 'em"

chickenlittle said...

Growing up in Middleton in 60s and 70s, beach swimming was at Sandy Beach park, now called Spring Harbor park. Yes it was gross in the summer. The first "public" pool was at the long gone Midview Motel off Highway 12.

Just last year on trip back to Madison with my kids, we were so in love with the Goodman park pool that we went there three days in a row! I actually thought to myself that THIS might be worth higher property taxes (we live in CA now), where taxes are low and the services even lower.

froggyprager said...

To say it is something people do not want is missing the point. Kids on hot days want to go swimming. Yes many Madison folks don't use it because they don't like swimming or belong to another pool. Yes, there are days when it is not good weather to swim. When Madison selected this site they were trying in part to meet a need among lower income people in the area. To me it is worth a small subsidy to improve the lives of many families - it is packed on hot days.

Regular hours are key. You don't want a whole family to plan a trip to the pool and find it closed. My daughter would not be happy if that happened to her.

AlphaLiberal said...

Aside from the whining about taxes, my take on this was the same as Ann's.

Yeah, we need lakes because where else can anyone swim here? Hmmmmm......

Some parents don't want their kids in these lakes, though.

Synova said...

If I took my children to the pool during posted open hours and it was closed it would only happen once and never *ever* again.

"Mommy goofed up on the hours, sorry kids we'll go get a Dairy Queen," is for when it's Mommy's fault.

When Mommy has to deal with a van load of very disappointed children and it's *not* her fault she gets *vindictive*.

Danny said...

The problem is that public pools, today, serve primarily as a safe and supervised haven in the summer months when they don't have school. No pool means rise in crime during the daytime.

I live in a lower middle class neighborhood in DC and our public pool/community center has been shut down due to disrepair and lack of wheelchair access. The resulting increase in daytime crime has forced me to prepone my morning commute by two hours to avoid the throngs of youth that parade the streets with nothing to do.