Pool essential to community
June 13, 2008 · Updated 4:25 PM
I am still trying to calm down after reading City Councilman Mike Hellicksons response to preserving the Kenneth Jones Pool (Oct. 5, Pool fans swamp city hall). He said if there was any money available in the current budget for extra city services, they should be spent on public safety or transportation. Then he said, We should be providing essential public services. The city should not be providing entertainment. Cities should be providing things people cant provide for themselves. When we start paying to entertain people in a time of recession, weve got a problem.
Okay, Mike, do pools only provide entertainment? I am speaking to you as a mother of two daughters that swim year-round on a swim team, and I am a member of the Federal Way Masters swim team. Every day, the Kenneth Jones Pool is filled with year-round swim team members, girls and boys high school swimming and diving teams, water polo teams, sychronized swimmers, lap swimmers, swim lessons for all ages and rehabilitation swimmers, in addition to the swimmers there for entertainment.
My parents, along with other voters in the 1960s, had the vision to see what a pool could provide to its community. They saw the value of providing a pool for swim lessons for children and adults so that they would be water-safe. They saw the value of providing a pool for the hundreds of year-round swimmers who practice five to six days per week in order to compete locally, regionally and nationally. They saw the value of providing a pool for the high school teams to train and compete against other schools, just like any other high school sport does. They saw the value of providing a pool for the individual who cant provide their own pool in their yard and needed therapy to help overcome an injury or surgery. They saw the value of providing a place for hundreds of swimmers and their families to enjoy open swims together. I dont think the high school swimmer, diver, water polo member or sychronized swimmer who is working toward a college scholarship call the workouts entertainment.
One doesnt have to look far around Federal Way to find a variety of activites, events or forms of entertainment that the city has provided for and continues to fund. I feel confident that the rest of the City Council sees the pool for what it really is. Mike, you are moving to Pierce County at the end of the year, anyway, so please take your vote with you.