Thanks again to the Burbank Leader for your recent coverage of the Verdugo Pool construction status. Without your continuing stories, how would anyone in Burbank know what is happening with the pools, swimming and aquatics? Perhaps Burbank's new public information officer, Drew Sugars, will improve the communications between Burbank officials and the swimming community.
I did get a rare email from the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department on June 28 stating that the City Council would discuss extending the swimming season on July 24. Indeed, the last agenda item on the city website for the City Council meeting on July 24 is “Extension of 2012 Aquatics Season — Step One.” I hope the department communicates this issue and the meeting agenda to swimmers, other pool users and Burbank residents.
The routine has been for the council to put this issue on an agenda, hold a hearing, authorize specific funds to extend the swimming season, and then the pool(s) stay open through September, or maybe even October.
Why is this micromanagement by the City Council necessary? Has the park and recreation department ever shown leadership to plan and budget for an extended (or full) swimming season? Not in my experience since 1990. The department seems to be very competent at producing studies, budget forecasts and alternatives, but has never shown leadership and recognized that the world has changed and there is a need for swim teams, adult fitness, lap swimming, triathlon training and aquatic recreation on a year-round basis.
As a Burbank resident — and taxpaying citizen — I think these recycled discussions and studies are truly a waste of public funds and employee resources. It's very predictable that the lack of action by the park and recreation department will result in diminished pool use for Burbank residents.