Monday, January 5, 2009

No Splashing!

UPDATE: Tuesday morning. So the venerable Gazette reports that 40 people packed the Select Board meeting last night, not a bad showing. Hey, it worked for the Lincoln Avenue anti-speed folks (cars not drugs that is) so at the very least pool supporters got their attention.

Of course the next thing I would do is organize a standout in town center with the High School swim team and some senior citizens as well (preferable in wheel chairs) all in swim suits at high noon when the temperature is below zero.


Original Post: Monday morning. A gaggle of concerned citizens will crash the Select Board meeting tonight to lobby for the moribund Middle School Pool. Unfortunately the Select Board and Town Manager have no control over the Pool and little control over the Amherst School Committee who do have jurisdiction.

And since Stephanie, the new Select Board Chair, dislikes trying to solve problems during the the 6:15 Question Period--it's a pretty safe bet she will simply try to postpone the issue to a future agenda.

What's to discuss? The cost to retrofit the pool to come into compliance with federal safety law is fairly negligible and if the other unrelated mechanical problems are really that bad then why did they not close the pool earlier; or--you know--FIX THEM!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what else they should talk about...

O'Reilly said...

Apparently, drains for pools are custom designed and so this new drain must be custom designed unless a standard size safety cover fits.

I get the feeling that no one is really on top of the issue because the stories in the Bulletin give wide price ranges not more specific estimates.

More to the point, I read that the teams that use the pool are all still swimming at odd hours at other unidentified pools, which is good news and which makes solving the problem less urgent.

I bet if you trace the legislative history of this law you'll find it was written by people who stand to profit from the business it generates, not by lawmakers who recognized a serious safety risk and took action to address it.

Anonymous said...

The safety of our children and grandchildren STILL comes FIRST>

Until later..............

Anonymous said...

The world is a dangerous place. You cannot negate every danger there is to every person, adult or child. We need to focus on the the simple things of educating people to the dangers there are and the risks that are associated. And this does not mean that every danger needs a warning sign or a safety rail like the one by Zanna's.

With the education of danger we should also discuss the fact there is also responsibility we assume when we take the infomation we have an make a decision. Yes sometimes we are wrong and but a few times we might be right.

Anonymous said...

The drains of the Amherst pool are perfectly safe. It would be next to impossible to become trapped by the drains for 3 reason:

1) They are 12 ft down - you have to be a fairly strong swimmer just to get down there.

2) They are large - it would be hard to cover they entire drain in order to create a vacumm seal..

3) They are gravity fed so there isn't a major suction force.

Alison said...

I don't know enough about the mechanics of pools to determine whether or not our pools are safe, but I do know that there is a federal law on the books enacted in 2007 to mandate certain safety measures. I also know that rather than attempting to comply with that new federal law (whether or not the town agrees that the law is good or not is irrelevant--it is a law)in a timely fashion, the decision-makers in town chose to ignore the situation until the last minute, requiring the closing of our middle school pool. I agree with the decision to close the pool under these circumstances (I, also, believe it is better safe than sorry) but wish the whole thing could have been avoided through some proactive work by our decision-makers. With a little more foresight, Amherst could have had an open, safety-compliant pool right now.

Anonymous said...

Well said Allison!

Anonymous said...

Would it not have been better for our Federal Reps. to concern themselves with the more pressing issues then to worry about pool drains. The last year has clearly pointed out that they are more concerned with the little issues raised by one or two citizens then the needs of the many.

As long as we thought they were doing their job they get to keep them.

I also think that if you look at the implementation of the law and the availability of solutions you will see that they did not keep pace with each other.

LarryK4 said...

But of course, if Cherry Hill opens this spring it will have a fancy new $22,000 lawn mower (completely paid for by taxation) to keep golfers happy.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Larry, your're changing the subject. The town also buys toilet paper, so what. These two expenditures are completely unrelated.

Golfers are taxpayers too!

Alison said...

Anonymous 10:33AM: Whether or not we think our federal-level decision-makers are concerning themselves with the "more pressing issues" is (as I pointed out previously) irrelevant. We cannot just pick and chose which federal laws to follow. Amherst had one year to comply with the law and I think our local decision-makers have failed our citizens who use our pool. Not by closing it on December 19th, but by preventing this from happening in the first place.

I think your well-put criticism of our federal decision-makers could easily apply to our local decision-makers as well. Witness the time spent on Leah the dog at the Select Board meeting last night versus the amount of time spent discussing the budget crisis...unbelievable!!!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, golfers are indeed "taxpayers too." Only problem is about half of them who use Cherry Hill pay taxes to other towns (and not nearly enough in Green Fees to make the turkey break even).

But you're right about the toilet paper. Last year the town probably spent on TP what it would have cost to retrofit the Middle School pool in time to comply with the Federal law.

(Not that I'm saying we should forgo toilet paper in favor of swimming. Especially in Amherst, where the Powers That Be are so often full of it)

Anonymous said...

Someone should be held accountable for not doing his/her/its job...

In the dreaded private sector, this is what gets someone fired...

Anonymous said...

If people only knew how little accountability there is over there... how criminals have gotten away with murder for years...

Anonymous said...

"If people only knew how little accountability there is over there... how criminals have gotten away with murder for years..."

What the heck are you talking about? How about something specific. Give me even one example.

Anonymous said...

The Larry Kelly blog. Where paranoids come to rant.