Sunday, January 28, 2018

On ‘white elephants’: An Olympic-
sized lap swimming pool at the
Lake Worth Beach.

Who was the first to call a lap swimming pool at
the Lake Worth Beach a “white elephant”? The answer may surprise you. Find out below.

And many of the people who say they want a brand new lap swimming Olympic-sized pool at the Beach didn’t even use the now-condemned pool when it was open.

Don’t you think it would be “repugnant” — as one current City commissioner said this year at a budget workshop — to construct another ‘white elephant’ at the Lake Worth Beach? Also, as the editor at the Herald wrote, “Does it have to be there?” The headline of that editorial earlier this year was “Stop the bleeding”:

     Lake Worth needs a pool, but they also need some Staffers with some creativity. How many times do we have to fail at the same thing before we realize it is the taxpayers who suffer in other areas so we can keep failing?
     If staff won’t get creative, maybe the electeds should take take the wheel and not just take staff’s worn out ideas that have proven time and again to be extremely expensive to the taxpayer.

So. Who was the first to call an Olympic-sized lap pool at the Beach a “white elephant”? It was Mr. Tom McGow back in 2010:
“Commissioners need to take a hard look at
the economic realities of our pool and the national trend towards municipal aquatic parks.”

Fast-forward to 2017. . .

“[T]o subsidize what’s happening at the Beach is repugnant to me on many levels.”
Quote. Lake Worth Commissioner Omari Hardy
at a City budget workshop, July 11th, 2017
(see entire quote below).

We know. . .

  • A new 50-M lap pool at the Lake Worth Beach and Casino complex will need to be subsidized using City taxes. 
  • Why subsidize a new lap pool when so many of the people who will be using it are not even Lake Worth residents?
  • Many of the people who say they want a new pool didnt even use the former pool at the Beach when it was open. 
  • When the next recession hits, and it will, we’ll be left with a pool the City will not be able to maintain. Back to square one. . .
  • Our City can have a pool for the public — for swimming lessons, lap swimming, and exercise — in any number of locations in the City.
  • A pool at the Beach, we know, is an amenity that will never make a profit or even break even (budget neutral).
  • If a new lap pool at the Beach is constructed, it will continue on the failed business model from back in 2010.
  • However, a small aquatic complex would be an attraction for visitors and tourists (fewer lifeguards, less maintenance).

The entire quote from Commissioner Hardy:

“When this line [Hardy referencing Beach Fund graph] gets to zero in Fiscal Year 2018 that means we’re taking money out of the General Fund. As far as I understand, it’s not like we have a lot of money from the General Fund to spare.
     For me, the idea of taking any money out of the General Fund when we’re barely able to afford the services we’re providing for our residents right now, and when we need to fund additional services, and we’re unable to do that, the idea of taking money out of the General Fund to subsidize what’s happening at the Beach is repugnant to me on many levels.
     I don’t think that we should ever allow ourselves to get to that point, and if we do, we need to make hard decisions about what’s important and what’s not.”

Think this comment is hard-hitting? Then click on this link for another quote by Commissioner
Omari Hardy from another budget workshop
earlier this year.

Have thoughts on this issue?
Click on this link to contact your
“Mayor and Commissioners”.

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