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Aldermen Reconsider Pool Contract Decision, Despite Lifeguard Backlash

While current pool employees want the City of Crestwood to keep its current vendor, Crestwood aldermen voted to reconsider a lower bid at a future meeting. The new contract would save the city approximately $34,000.

Two weeks ago Crestwood aldermen asked staff to prepare a contract with their current aquatic center operator, despite having been outbid by a different management company.

Tuesday three of the aldermen who rejected the lower bidder asked to reconsider their decision in an effort to save the city approximately $34,000 over the course of the contract.

Dozens of supporters for the pool's current management company, Lifeguards Unlimited, were present at January and February board meetings to ask that the city retain LGU. On Feb. 12 aldermen Jerry Miguel, Daniel Tennessen, John Foote and Mimi Duncan voted against a contract with Midwest Pool Management--despite their not-to-exceed bid coming in $34,100 less than LGU's. 

LGU supporters argued that current employees may have to transfer to other pools to continue their employment, or pay additional fees to join MPM.

MPM operated the city’s pool from 2002 to 2004, but were underbid by Lifeguard Unlimited in 2005. While the rejection of the MPM contract appeased LGU supporters, it drew the ire of several others more fiscally minded. 

Read more: Aquatic Center Discussion Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Tuesday Miguel made the motion to reconsider MPM contract, an intention echoed by both Foote and Tennessen.

“On one hand there are the parents and lifeguards who want to stay with LGU. On the other hand, there is the bidding process, the work of park board, volunteers and the additional cost to tax payers,” Miguel said.

“I’ve decided that the cost to the city, both monetary and otherwise, outweighs the case presented by the lifeguards and LGU.”

Foote, who emphasized two weeks ago that going with LGU would mean cuts elsewhere, said aldermen are forced to bow to economic pressures.

Aldermen voted 6-1 to reconsider MPM. Since the MPM contract was not included in Tuesday’s regular agenda, it will need to be re-introduced at the board’s next meeting.

Duncan and Schlink commended members of the audiences who participated in the three discussions on the topic—including about a dozen students currently employed with LGU.

Schlink thanked the speakers for “having us pause and make sure we were looking at every doc, every word that was provided.”

A representative with MPM said they would welcome any employees from LGU who wished to stay in Crestwood.

John Dough February 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Perhaps they could also reconsider the $80,000.00 + they gave to the former City administrator. 'Silence and protection from embarrassment' seems to be a more valuable commodity than Life guards to the Mayor and Crestwood Aldermen...Maybe they should be questioned about this loss to Crestwood at the upcoming debates.
Stephen D February 28, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Not much worry about the taxpayers when one has to protect one's reputation. When it stinks like this at a local level, imagine how corrupt it is in Washington DC
John Dough February 28, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Stephen...do you think 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.'?
Lee February 28, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Uhh... $34,000 cheaper. Why is this up for discussion? They should go with the lower bid even if it is $1 cheaper. I don't care that your kid works 12 hours a week during the summer as a lifeguard, and I doubt other tax payers do either. I just moved to Crestwood. It's disappointing to see Alderman jacking up no brainer decisions.

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