Crestwood Aquatic Center Discussion Not Everyone's "Cup of Tea"
“I do a lot of campaigning for candidates that I think are knowledgeable and willing to do your work so we won’t have to come to the meetings," resident Ruth Wooldridge told the Board of Aldermen.
Tuesday night Crestwood aldermen will review a contract with Lifeguards Unlimited to continue operating the city’s Aquatic Center.
Two weeks ago a different aquatic management company, Midwest Pool Management, was ultimately rejected by aldermen, despite submitting a bid that would save the city more than $30,000 over the course of the contract. (Five votes were required to approve the new contract. The board voted 4-3, with Alderman Paul Duchild absent.)
Alderman John Foote, who voted against the Midwest Pool Management contract, attributed his decision to support letters from Lifeguards Unlimited employees and customers sent to aldermen.
Around 10 students who currently serve as Aquatic Center staff and several other supporters even attended the Feb. 12 meeting. A few of them got up to share the positive experiences they’ve had with the company.
Still, Foote said his vote came at a literal price—“We are not able to afford the gamut that was once covered,” he said. “If we cannot continue to maintain [revenue sources], we will have to make selections, that is you will have to make selections, on what you can do without.”
Alderman Tim Trueblood’s comment that favoring Lifeguards Unlimited made city bidding a “hollow process” inspired an editorial from Call Newspapers’ Mike Anthony.
But not everyone at the Feb. 12 meeting was happy with the amount of time dedicated to Aquatic Center discussion.
“This is not my cup of tea... We are very disappointed. We have discussed swimming and pools all evening, and have gotten nowhere as far as I can see,” Ruth Wooldridge said, speaking on behalf of a small group who arrived with her.
“I do a lot of campaigning for candidates that I think are knowledgeable and willing to do your work so we won’t have to come to the meetings.”
Wooldridge asked why there had been no mention of Crestwood Court redevelopment.
“We hear our city, which we dearly love, is going down the tubes fast,” she said.
The group left immediately after Wooldridge’s comments.
After Wooldridge’s departure, Mayor Jeff Schlink told the crowd that Centrum would wait for new aldermen to be elected before they come back in front of the board.
Alderman Jerry Miguel said he disagreed with Wooldridge’s sentiment that the city is “going down the tubes.”
“The sky is not falling, although that’s a perception that certainly seems to be out there,” he said.
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