Repair and reopen Memorial Pool

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Once again voters have rejected the Walla Walla City Council effort to build an aquatic center. We can only hope three strikeouts conclude this matter. We’ve wasted way too much time and money on this ill-fated project.

The Council’s time would be much better spent cleaning up the blight at the Blue Mountain Mall.

It’s also time to quit wasting money trying to put a businessman out of business on Main Street.

From the start, the pool project has been a blatant attempt to finagle election procedures and circumvent long established legal ways to finance capital projects.

When the Council closed Memorial Pool many years ago it cited the cost of a new heating boiler as the main reason. Council history strongly suggests the main reason for closure was to divert the pool operating funds elsewhere.

It seems the Council thought closing the pool would force taxpayers to pay for a new one.

Taxpayers refused to give in to these tactics. Good job taxpayers. Those tactics needed rejection.

We’ve seen this fund diversion happen with long established designated maintenance funds for streets. Streets are neglected and the diverted funds disappear into some unknown abyss.

The latest example of designated fund diversion was the Aviary repair fund that was diverted to buy an unrelated lawn mower.

Have we no one on the Council with gumption enough to vote “no” on unscrupulous actions?

It’s time for the Council to “man up” and admit it made a mistake when it closed Memorial without another pool ready to replace it.

Maybe the Council should also apologize to Walla Walla kids for not having a swimming pool all these years.

The city should repair and reopen Memorial as soon as possible.

Memorial Pool was funded for over a half century. Those funds are now diverted elsewhere. The Council should reclaim those funds. Those reclaimed funds would likely take care of the pool reopening cost.

I wonder if those generous people who pledged to give over $1 million toward a new pool might consider giving those same funds to subsidize Memorial for the next 25 years.

If so, donate only one year at a time! Council history shows us that temptation seems too great for some to handle.

It’s time for the Council to operate in an undisputable manner.

Vern Filan

Walla Walla

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