Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Deep End

It was great to slowly watch the legislative chambers of the Fond du Lac City-County Government Center fill with residents who wanted to have their say on the future of the Taylor Park Pool. More than 75 people attended to voice their concerns Monday night and talked from the heart about why they'd like to see the pool continue to operate.

In a year filled with protests about state budget cuts, here were some sincere pleas without anger to consider those who would be affected by closing the local pool. One woman said she lived three blocks from the pool and didn't realize until recently what a wonderful asset it is for the City.

Others talked about how unlike the County water park the pool gives parents more of an opportunity to interact with their kids in the water. They also talked about the health benefits for both young and old alike. One man said he loved being able to swim in the outdoors and enjoy the sun as it beats down on the water and gives it a shimmering effect.

One woman who grew up in Florida says in that state you have to be rich enough to afford a pool or belong to a club to swim. She moved to Fond du Lac five years ago and says the City's park system is just amazing.

One of my favorite comments came from a woman who said some students with special needs use the Taylor Park Pool because unlike the County water park it is quieter, easier to keep track of kids and less hectic. She says the pool is a phenomenal place.

Advisory Parks Board members told those attending the meeting they hoped to see a similar turnout the next time the pool is on the City Council agenda. A decision about the pool's continued operation will hinge on continued support for it.

This is one of those good fights you sometimes hear about. If the pool is closed it shouldn't be an easy decision for anyone involved. As one speaker mentioned too many things are sacrificed in the name of progress or economy. As another said, "When are we going to look for reasons to keep something good?"