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home : letters : letters November 24, 2015

1/23/2014 12:20:00 PM

To the editor:

The city has proposed a referendum. Concentrate on the last three letters of the last word in the preceding sentence. Four million dollars for an outdoor pool. For that much cash the city could afford to send every youngster of a certain age to California for swimming lessons in the world's largest global pond, the Pacific Ocean. This city, which has already squandered a great deal of money from the general fund, which is now $20,000,000 in debt, wishes to spend even more cash on a non-essential item. Do they believe, like children, that desire equals need?

If money is to be spent I have some suggestions. Tax holidays for businesses which have been here for over thirty years. Grants to new businesses downtown. Fund programs for youngsters in danger from alcohol and drug addiction. Cash gifts to the people who work in the local nursing home. (And are under-paid).

An outdoor pool serves a limited number of individuals, for a restricted number of days. Now, the city, as a good-will gesture, donated $10,000,000 to the Mayo Brothers. They did it to get the hospital. The Mayo Brothers, a not-for-profit group, made an enormous profit last year. As a gesture of good will, why not permit the Mayo Brothers to donate an indoor pool to the city?

We have a town of not quite forty-one hundred souls. We have families depending upon the local food shelves, youngsters struggling with bullying and drug addiction, businesses isolated on the south side because of the highway reconstruction, a downtown that has as much retail traffic as Death Valley (on a good day) and the council thinks a pool is our greatest need? This is like the passengers on the Titanic, as the waters rose, worrying about having clean underwear on in case of rescue.


Phillip Hammes

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