April Editorial Winner

Save the Pool

WAYNE TROTTER, The Countywide & Sun

Fresh from getting their collective heads handed to them in the Feb. 14 referendum, Shawnee's city commissioners went back to the people Monday night and asked those willing to show up at the Expo Center what they'd like to do next. The answer was loud, clear and specific: Keep the city's swimming pool open.
Fair enough. But doing that means the commission will have to squeeze a minimum of several hundred thousand dollars out of the budget it will write for the 2012-13 fiscal year that will begin July 1— and all that will really do is bring the aging pool up to federal standards. The most likely source of that kind of money is the so-called "third-penny' sales tax. But guess what? That kind of project is exactly what the third penny is supposed to be for.
Before the Valentine's Day massacre at the polls, the commission was accused of not listening and there is a lot of evidence that was a fair charge. When the Chamber of Commerce said the city was asking for too much, the commissioners turned a deaf ear. When past chairpersons of the Shawnee Economic Development Foundation said the same thing, commissioners turned their heads. But when only 20 to 30 percent of the people supported the commission's ambitious plans on Feb. 14, the city's mothers and fathers had no choice. They had to listen.
Listen this time, ladies and gentlemen. Fix up the pool and keep it open.