It is time to give a pool measure another try
The citizen-led pool advisory committee, parks and recreation leaders, and members of city and county government have an important decision to make in the near future ... and the clock is ticking.
Do they move forward with a bond measure for a new pool or do they decide that the time is not quite right or that support for the measure is not sufficient?
Based on the recent results from a scientifically valid survey, administered by California-based FM3 Research, we believe it is time for leaders to bite the bullet and do their best to get a pool measure passed.
Sure the past two bond measures failed, but this time around the whole situation has a different feel to it. Not only has a pool advisory committee worked to determine what the public wants and needs, another citizen committee has spent the past year advocating for a new pool and collecting public input on what citizens want and would support.
Add to that the fact that the city and county government have thrown their support behind this effort in the form of funding the recent survey as well as being willing to file for a county-wide bond measure.
That support combined with the recent results from the survey seem to indicate a recipe for success that may not have existed in years past. According to the survey, a slim but definite majority of voters would not only support a tax increase for a new aquatic, they would support a $28 million version of it with two indoor pools and an outdoor pool with a water slide. Voters show even more support if the bond measure is filed that eliminates the outdoor pool and slide.
For any naysayers regarding the survey results, keep in mind that according to statistical data regarding survey research, one only needs to survey between 300 and 400 people to get reliable data for a group of people totaling more than 100,000. FM3 interviewed around 670 of roughly 15,000 voters. In addition, the survey left few if any stones unturned. Survey takers not only asked whether they would support a new aquatic center, they gave them pros and cons and asked them again after presenting those arguments. Bottom line, the opinions swayed a bit, but not enough to take away that majority in favor of a bond measure.
The citizen pool advisory committee should exercise due diligence in deciding what type of bond measure to file — three-pool center or two, for example — but they should move forward as quickly as is prudently possible. The sooner that decision is made, the sooner they can begin advocating for the facility and appeal to people who may be on the fence.
This community is entering a positive time period in which community leaders and citizens alike have been put in a position to add to or improve amenities in the community that are a long time coming. Voters approved funding for a new school and a new jail, both of which were sorely needed due to maintenance issues. The pool is in a similar situation, and if the voting public is willing to support it, this seems like the perfect time to act.