Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2003


Still bad timing

July 17, 2003

I would like to start out by saying "thank you" to The Eudora News for giving us a forum to discuss important issues, and even more for the ability to defend our opinions when they are misunderstood.
Also "thanks" to all of you out there who know us and have given us comments of courtesy and support regarding our previous letter (July 3 issue).
Our statements in that letter seem to have been confusing to some who read it.
Certification and water safety instructor qualifications are not the issue. We all understand that the young people have worked hard to become qualified life guards, one of the more coveted jobs available to the young people of Eudora in the summer. We never challenged the lifeguards' ability to run a safe environment or to save lives. If they were unqualified in this area, neither we, nor anyone else, would patronize the Eudora pool.
The pool problems date back further than five years ago, when the first of today's pool staff even began working there. In no way can the real problems of the pool be rested on the shoulders of the young people who work there over the summer. We never intended this misunderstanding.
The issue is taxes and maintenance -- a responsibility that falls squarely on the city's shoulders. The point of the letter was to draw out talks about the growing tax burden pressed on the lower- and middle-class taxpayers of Eudora during an economic slump and to try and create new ideas and discussions about what to do with the pool.
We asked, "Why do the bathrooms look so bad when a power washer and some sanding and painting during the off season, consequently when it is drier, would help so much?" Or how about some inexpensive yet functional shower rings and curtains hung up for some privacy? Any discount store sells them. And how about that sink that hasn't worked for years? And as far as the bugs go, we can call every regular pool patron we know and do a quick poll to see what the number one statement is that people utter when they sit down on the edge of the pool. It's a guarantee the word "bugs" is in there somewhere.
But most importantly, why haven't the taxpayers been made aware of the more serious problems before they became so bad that the only way to fix them is to build a new pool? If the pool had been better maintained over the years maybe we wouldn't own an old run down pool that paint won't even stick to anymore.
Let's be frank. We should have been discussing this five years ago when we saw the city's growth patterns accelerating. At that time, the influx of new taxpayers could have helped pay for a new pool. Then when the new schools that were going to be needed eventually came along, the tax burden may not have been so heavy.
But, hindsight is 20/20, and we have chosen our path -- our new schools first. So, let's pay for them first and give the average taxpayer and voter a break.
How about hearing some discussions about how to fix and keep up the pool we already own and buy the taxpayers some time until the economy picks back up? Then we can feel comfortable about paying for "wants" like a new pool, unlike the "needs" we have in our beautiful new schools.
So again we ask, "How and why should we pay for a multi-million dollar new pool if simple and regular maintenance cannot be done on an older yet still functional as of today pool?"
A new pool -- no matter how many cool and super functional things it has to offer -- is still going to be paid for by many Eudora taxpayers that will never set foot inside the door for whatever reason.
We are all working toward progress in our own American dream for our families, with each family on a different time and pay scale. However, what we all have in common is the same desires for freedom, grace with our Creator, and a beautiful well-functioning community to live in that is an extension of our families' ideas and beliefs while we are building our dreams. Also that we are not taxed to the point that all we are working toward becomes the monster that destroys us in that process.
Everyone is for progress. We are for progress, but with wisdom and patience so that all of Eudora's taxpayers can reap the benefits they sow, year after year.
Shannon Cook

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