Sunday, May 09, 2010

Call for a public hearing for the pool enclosure

Back in November, Council members began the discussion about the pool enclosure. At that time I questioned the need for going to referendum in the spring. It was explained to me that a "springtime pool vote" promise was made during the campaign. Unsurprisingly, no one mentioned that promise to me until after the election. Regardless, the current Council pressed forward investigating a pool enclosure. And I think that was the right thing to do. But now the next step in that process is Tuesday night.

Anyway, I've asked that - during Tuesday's discussion to call a public hearing on the pool enclosure - someone be available on Tuesday to explain the reasons for a special election for the pool. Barring this explanation, it seems to me that reasonable people could conclude this is simply an attempt to pass the referendum by using a likely low turnout.

FWIW, I got something of a reasonable explanation this weekend. But I want to ensure the voters understand the rationale for this unusual situation.

Tim White

21 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tim
Is there a way to get the actual number of "individual" town residents who use the pool?

How many individual and family memberships have been sold over the past several years?

Don't you think this is important information for all of us to determine whether or not it is actually used by a good amount of residents?

I recall a year or so ago when this was brought up, you told us that they only counted the number of people who walked through the doors each day, which is ridiculous.
They charge non-members, but town residents, to use the pool. They must have those numbers, or I would be concerned.

I would appreciate getting this info before I have to vote.
Although I don't use it, I would vote for it if I found a majority of the town did.

Anonymous said...

Tim,
1. I second 7:48s request for the number of members to the pool. That information must exist somewhere.

I also do not use the pool, but I will likely vote for it if there are facts to back it up.

A few more questions:
2. Do you know what the cost differential is for a 2 year period? I know that analysis was done for 10, 20, 30 and 40 year periods, but right now we are in a recession. Maybe the new pool enclosure shouldn't happen right away.

3. What is the cost analysis for a summer only pool? I know, less memberships and all of the other reasons thrown around for not doing this. But, I want specific numbers, not emotional opinion.

4. Is the public aware that the vote will cost somewhere between 10K to 20K? Why can't this vote just be added in the November election at no cost?

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Um...what's going on with the CPD situation? Priorities Tim...get the CPD situation straightened out. So far this Town Council is batting .000

FAIL - No CPD Resolution or sign thereof 6 months after the local election.

FAIL - Butchering the Education Budget for no apparent reason other than to get back at the teacher's union.

FAIL - Pool enclosure spending when the town cannot afford it and there's no emergency or explanation to do so at this time. Not to mention the shady nature this referendum is being setup.

I think this is by far the most hated TC we've had in recent history and it's only been 6 months, lol.

Keep up the great work. You are practically spoon feeding the democrats a win in next years' election.

Anonymous said...

Existing TC has not gone far enough--Slocum a liberal Republican has to get back to his roots. The economy is not coming back rather its money following people who have money.....

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

8:48
What a joke you are.
Do you really think the town has forgotten the mess the last council put us in?
You claim one of the failures was the "butchering of the education budget". Who gave the teachers the 4.4% increase?

You claim the CPD issue is a failure. Who closed their eyes to it when Tim brought it up last year?

You claim the pool enclosure vote is not necessary. It is necessary. Let the town decide what to do with this pit.

Dream on if you think this town is ready for the dems to take control once more. If it weren't for our charter, Adinolfi would be the only one on the council.

Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

8:48

You are absolutely right. This TC is a huge failure. Don't listen to these other folks. They have no idea what they are talking about.

The only thing 9:45 might have right is that it might be less about party and more about individuals. I am a registered republican and some of these TC members should be muzzled. They are ruining the party.

Anonymous said...

9:58
This is 9:45-
What do you mean "the only thing I may have right"?
Tell me what was wrong in my statement?
Who allowed the 4.4% increase?
Who closed their eyes to the CPD problem when it was brought up?
How can you say that we shouldn't be deciding on what to do with the pool at this time?
Do you realize that this town continues to subsidize the pool to the tune of $460K? This should be addressed and is being addressed by this TC.

Instead of saying we "don't know what we are talking about", tell us where we are wrong and why it is such a failure? You haven't stated any facts.
I doubt you are a true republican. If you were, I would expect you to be a little more educated on the process.

Do you recall 6 months ago? Talk about a failure, that dem council would have put us in bankruptcy court.

Anonymous said...

Amazing just how expensive the pool has been. It just can't stop dividing people and making political trouble. It is a massive use of the majority's money for the select few who use the pool.

Ds and Rs seem to slowly but surely blend into a glob of clueless wannabe leaders trying to figure how to ratchet up the spending in the lame belief that this time, just this last time, one last massive slug of other peoples money will fix all that is broken.

This is one tax payer who, confronted with the reality of how this town performs its duties, will just be voting NO on any attempt to continue the pool farce.

First, towns have no business being in the pool business in the first place.

Second, anyone believing that fixing the current mess which includes massive annual subsidies and emergency repair bills every season or so by providing yet another 10 or 20 million isn't living in the real world. Vote NO for any increased financial expenditures for the town pool.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 9:58,

I've got news for you...if you think this council is a failure you should change your affiliation to Dumb-ocrat.
This council has finally dealt with the teacher union's fiscal rape of the Cheshire taxpayers, unlike the previous council who catered to them. Just like the conservatives will be forced to remedy Obama's mess in 2010-2012, this council is forced to deal with Esty and company's mess now...and we fair-minded citizens applaud them for it.

Anonymous said...

"...This council has finally dealt with the teacher union's fiscal rape of the Cheshire taxpayers, ...

While you are at it just remember if you think they dealt with it, just what associated with the highest public teacher pay raise in the lower 48 did they change? We are still paying and paying. Any teachers actually shown the door yet?

Don't break you hand patting yourself on the back. Now that the teacher thing is fixed on to millions and millions for a pool used by very few, loud residents.

And when that is done we can lock up hundreds of acres of north end industrial park land for some imaginary life style center shopping mall with high density housing maybe around 2025?

Anonymous said...

Instead of the Republicans being financially responsible, they are pushing for a $10,000-20,000 special referendum to allow the voters to tell them that $7 million is too much. If they had any balls, they would squash all enclosure plans for at least the short term

As I asked before, is Southingtons nominating commttee as stupid as Cheshires? Putting a recent law school grad working in general law up for judge instead of someone with 10 years of probate experiance? Doesn't get any more rediculous that that. Another office we deserve to lose

Side note - how much is Pete or the rest of the Bowman family paying you to keep quiet Tim? You would think that a nominee for any position would be news but the slightest mention and you delete all reference. How much are they paying you? SELL OUT!!!

Anonymous said...

how much is Pete or the rest of the Bowman family paying you to keep quiet Tim? - this is really a sad post. The Bowman family has a long rich tradition of being #1)family oriented #2) community oriented. Yes, the Bowmans have done quite well in this town DOING BUSINESS. Honest Business. If you dont like them dont be a customer. But to make such ridiculous claims regarding payouts... The Bowmans have done more for this town than any other family can claim. Business and personal support of Cheshire baseball/softball, football, swimming, police and fire(both departments and individuals in time of need), town fireworks, Cancer society, MS, and the list continues. This was a blog pertaining to a public hearing for a pool enclosure. Grow up or grow a set and place your name on a blog that makes fruitless claims

Anonymous said...

7:18: HONEST BUSINESS?!? Did you just move here?

a) Biofuel plant
b) Norton boiler
c) Land use/development grabs

I can go on but what's the point? I'm sure others will in angry reply to your brown nose. Everyone knows what's up-- but it is harder to get riled up when they support the other causes you mentioned. Support of those groups is good for business; they are not all dopes! No-- not all the Bowmans are dishonest-- but we all know the ones that are! A rectal extraction of your nose from the sphincter of the Bowmans is in order.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
7:18: HONEST BUSINESS?!? Did you just move here?

- COWARD

Anonymous said...

More people use the pool than use the senior center. Should we cut the senior center?

tim white said...

how much is Pete or the rest of the Bowman family paying you to keep quiet Tim?

That's absurd. But so you understand the reason I deleted your original comment was that it was entirely devoid of any relation to this post.

Furthermore, you've got to be kidding me if you think the Probate Court is some sort of hot topic in town.

I've done front page posts on a host of US Senate and Governor races. Those posts have virtually no comments. And when I'm talking to people around town, I've had exactly ZERO people mention the probate court race to me.

Yet you seem to think the nominating convention (for which I wasn't a delegate) was some sort of hot topic in town.

Best I can tell, there's about two people who are very interested in this race. As a result, my sense is that the dozens of comments that were posted under the two Probate posts that I've done were probably coming from just one or two people. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. But I am certain that no one in town is discussing the race.

I'm a public official. So you should feel free to call me corrupt or a crook or whatever you want. But the notion that me deleting an off topic comment means that I'm on the take is beyond absurd. And frankly, for that reason alone... I think I may let the Probate-related comments remain on this thread... but simply avoid the topic entirely from here on out... including deleting any comments you make related to it. Seriously, it's ridiculous.

tim white said...

7:39... there have been many, many good things done for the town. Some things have been huge... like the many years our volunteer FD has been staffed with people allowed to run across the street to roll out the trucks. Goodness knows how much money that saved and continues to save.

As for your points... I've been pretty critical of the biofuel plant handling. But the Norton boiler is IMO properly blamed on staff and land use issues are best addressed with elected officials.

And with that, feel free to criticize me... but not town residents... or at least make sure your comments draw a logical relationship between an individual and how that individual is responsible for something. This stuff is just ridiculous... especially the Probate race.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the pool:
1. The referendum is not going to cost $10-20,000. There will be one polling place (the HS) and if it costs $5000 I'd be surprised.
2. Reasons to not wait until November are many. The sooner we get rid of the bubble the better. It almost collapsed last winter under a snow load and we have had a few low pressure "everyone out of the pool" events this spring. Pushing a vote to November simply increases the likelihood of a more serious winter "event" which we really don't need.
3. After a JUne referendum construction can start this Fall, and the pool can be open by next summer which is the big revenue season. If we wait until November, then construction doesn't start until next spring and we lose the summer season.
4. GFR has agreed to hold the price for the next several months after June 2010 but no longer. Wait until November and price goes up.
5. As for "few people use the pool" argument, this is not true. Lots of people use the pool.....enough to generate $500,000+ in revenue. It is used by as many people as use the parks, rail trail, senior center or library. It is a significant facility that will, in all likelihood get more useage if fixed. Having a town pool is not some odd, over the top facility but something that most towns with our demographics have.
6.For this coming fiscal year the pool budget will be around $890,000. The revenue will be $520,000 +. That means that the taxpayers are subsidizing the operation of the pool by around $370,000. This is a far cry from the "the pool is costing us millions every year" nonsense that hear around town. As a comparison, the Senior Center "costs" the town over $400,000 per year......nobody is calling for that to be shut down....and they have fewer members!
7. The annual bond payments for the
new enclosure start around $600,000 per year and go down every year for the next 20 years. Take off $50,000 in existing costs just to put the bubble up and down every year (yes, that is what it costs!)and you are down to $550,000...now subtract the energy savings and add the increased user fees and you are probably down to $450,000 net cost in the first year.....with the number dropping each year until the savings in expenses exceed the bond costs. To put this in perspective, the Annual Operating Budget for the town is around $95,000,000. Let's divide, say $500,000 in bond costs by $95 million........answer? .005 of the budget. For you folks afflicted with the New Math, that is one half of one percent of the town budget......and the number (%) goes down every year. Somehow I don't see this as an unreasonable amount to fix a long standing problem.

I would urge people to get the facts and see the good work that the PBCpeople did. These people were hardworking volunteers with in depth knowledge of energy, HVAC, building structures, construction contracts, etc. They did an excellent job of vetting the options and I would suggest that thoughtful citizens examine what they did and come to their own conlusions.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:48...check your dictionary. "Butchering" is not the right term for what this Council did to the BOE budget. There was no CUT. The Council INCREASED the budget almost $1 million over last year.($930,000 to be more accurate)
The previous Council (under the leadership of the D's) gave the BOE an increase of $1.1million......also a significant reduction from what Florio asked for. So when the D's do it nobody wimpers. When the R's do pretty much the same thing (1.1 million minus $930,000 is a $200,000 difference in a $60+ million budget) all hell breaks loose. The difference is that the union will never stir up the public against Dem's....their patrons and the party that passed the 4.4% raises each year for three years.

And don't forget, the student enrollment is going DOWN every year. When will that show up in the BOE budgets?
Stop the heated rhetoric about slashing and butchering and start looking at where the money goes....what is being taught and by whom. Cheshire is a good system and far from perfect.......and we need to start asking some tough questions about where the system is going. Shoveling money at the system just delays the debate and that is not good for the kiddies or their taxpaying parents.