Mayor Mike's Thoughts on the Budget and the Need For a "High-Quality Aquatic Experience"

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I said it the other day: The fact we can now trim down and embed City Hall videos will come in mighty handy on days when Dwaine Caraway goes off on self-proclaimed "tirades," in this case yesterday's 35-minute harangue involving the decision to shutter five city pools, two in his district. That video follows, for those who don't have a spare Curb Your Enthusiasm waiting to be watched on DVR.

But first, let's skip to the end -- to Mayor Mike Rawlings's initial thoughts on the budget, offered at the close of the three-hour-17-minute presentation. A few things. First: He's pleased City Manager Mary Suhm found money enough to fund hiring 200 police officers (since, as he says, public safety is "the foundation of the city"), and he wants to make sure the city pays the AT&T Performing Arts Center the $1.5 million the city promised to pay up (that issue pushes one of his "hot buttons").

Rawlings also wants to make folks more aware of 311 ("it's a tremendous asset to the city," says a man who's clearly never used it) and tells council members to "market it" better. He's also aghast and appalled that the city spends around $5 million cutting yards and vacant lots that have fallen out of code compliance. "That's troubling," he says. "That's a place where we could save a lot of money to spend on other things." Well ...

The former Park Board president then asks Park and Rec head Paul Dyer about the use of pools and his aquatic plan, which apparently is ready for the council whenever it's ready to see it. Dyer tells the mayor it's a "30-year plan that replaces the basic aquatic system," since what we have now isn't "what the community really wants" given dwindling attendance number. Dyer suggests funding it with, oh, maybe the sale of Elgin B. Robertson Park, which voters ixnayed in November. Rawlings agrees: "I just don't believe we're giving our citizens a high-quality aquatic experience, and they're speaking with their feet at times in that regard."

Now, take a dip in Dwaine.

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23 comments
Jeneheffer
Jeneheffer

Is there anyone more ignorant with the biggest ego than Caraway? What an embarrassment to everyone in Dallas.

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

Also, the point is, not that many Dallas kids know how to swim, thast a other reason why people don't go to them.

replay
replay

If you ask me, he'd better pay attention to providing a "high-quality NON-aquatic experience" to the citizens of Dallas. C'mon Mayor, be a big boy and deal with the big issues!

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

As I have cited before in past posts that the city closes pools even in good times.    I recall the closing of a city pool in the park (off Royal Lane) along the White Rock Trail.   It was insignificant but my point is that pool closings occur both in good economic times as well as poor economic times. The last time I used (or tired to use) 311 I found that if you had AT&T’s Uverse that the system did not work with voice over IP.  I was told that this would be fixed but after repeated complaints about a heavily pot holed road in the hood (and nothing being done about it) I figured that the city really did not care (except for their pet projects).

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Why doesn't Mayor Mike open the pool at the new convention center hotel to all Dallas residents. It's our pool, right?

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

So "aquatic experience" is now bureaucratese for "pools hours of operation."  Well, I guess we wouldn't want anyone to think is had something to do with the Trinity project.

LaceyB
LaceyB

you could always take away our beer pools in Uptown. We just lay around them. No one actually gets in, unless it's some divorced dad's kids that are visiting (which the apt complex probably doesn't know about), so, in essence, they aren't used except every two weeks. Even then, you can't get a full lap in--they're 3 ft deep so that you can be stupid drunk and not drown. Hence "beer pools". It would help reduce noise and unwanted loud weekend guests who sneak into our complex via our always open doors, as well.

The Derelict
The Derelict

last time i used a city shitty pool i shat yellow water with what look like sea horses for days

LaceyB
LaceyB

Our mayor gets all hot and bothered over 311? I certainly hope he's referring to the band. Because the phone service can't do shit! Not even about a noise violation. Also, that "Waiting for Guffman" city council fighting over the pool clip I posted yesterday beats curb anyday. Just sayin.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

City of Richardson is proud of their aquatic plan that will probably include closing most of the neighborhood pools (Terrace, Glenville, etc) and putting that latest and greatest spray parks in a few spots in the city.

Somewhere along the way, people will wonder "hey, why don't we have any actual swimming pools any more?" but that's the next part of the Richardson long term plan: Build a centrally located aquatic center in the style of Frisco's.

The Richardson Park and Rec surveys actually showed that just about as many people want dog parks as want new pools ... but the aquatic consultants who worked hand in wallet, er, hand in hand with Richardson didn't think that was all that important.

lorlee
lorlee

311 is great if you can get through.  They tout the reduction in the number of complaints/calls as some sign that thing are better out there.  Actually, it is because they cut the number of operators and the hours it is answered.  People get tired of waiting on line and just hang up.  My personal threshold is about 5 minutes.  So there really aren't fewer complaints -- just fewer people willing to be on hold. 

lorlee
lorlee

I read in another post about all the promotion they supposedly did about pools.  I live in one of the neighborhoods closest to the pool at Samuel Grand and if they did any promotion of the fact that pool is open -- We certainly didn't get it.  And that would have been imperative because it has been closed in some past years. 

TimCov
TimCov

Silly me, but I would be asking the people going to the pools and the ones who live neraby (and don't use the pools) why fewer people are using them.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

How about going to the pools to LEARN how to swim?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Are you referring to the park across from Lake Highlands High School on Church Rd?  Cause otherwise I'm wondering what you're talking about. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

I too was wondering why he was discussing the Trinity wave in conjunction with the pools.  I was bracing myself for an expansive discussion on over-all city expenses.  I thought he might be proposing something bold, yet responsible.  More blah, blah, blah. 

transplant
transplant

Moved from Austin. Really miss Austin right about now when discussing pools. Miss deep eddy, miss barton springs, miss little neighborhood pools that were used all the time.

iloveflipper
iloveflipper

There was an ad on Backpage once for a "high-quality aquatic experience". I too had an adverse reaction.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Well Dallas has many spray parks, which are very popularly attended, and carry far less liability; and, Dallas has quite a few dog parks. 

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Is it really that hard to figure out?  The average working adult can only use the pool outside normal work hours.  But the pool by my house was only open during the day on weekdays.  So nobody used it.  As a result, it got shut down.  Only in city government would they make a service impossible to use, then wonder why it wasn't used.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

No it was on Royal Lane (back before 1995) between Greenville and Central Exp (more like that section of White Rock Creek).   Is now a basket ball court.  

scottindallas
scottindallas

I've come to hate pools.  I lived in the Austin area for more than 5 years and the spring fed rivers ruined me for chlorine pits.  You mentioned the natural watering holes, for which there is NOTHING to compare here.  I miss that cold water, freezing in Summer and warm in Winter, crystal clear water and rope swings.  I'm rope swing P1

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