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Burgess Park Pools

From: domainremoved <>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2015 14:40:26 +0000

Dear Menlo Park City Council, I am a Menlo Park resident, parent, and my kids have been faithfully swimming with SOLO Aquatics for 5 years.  I am contacting you to express my concerns regarding the access SOLO Aquatics has to Burgess Park pools.
Below you will most likely find that I am sending you an email similar to that of many SOLO parents.  In case you have read it a dozen times by the time you get to mine, I would like to insert this: My children do not like physical activity.  If given the choice, they would sit on the couch all day, watching tv and playing video games.  It's not pretty, but there it is.  However, my husband and I force them to swim for exercise and safety; all three could swim before they could walk; and have been swimming 3x/week since they were toddlers.  Before finding SOLO, whining, bargaining and sulking were common associations with swim practice.  Since joining SOLO five years ago, my kids finally found joy in swimming and it is entirely due to SOLO.  Swimmers learn not only outstanding technique, but also self-discipline, dedication, loyalty, respect, goal setting, and how to overcome setbacks effectively.  SOLO's approach is dedicated to the development and success of the whole child.  I am deeply grateful that SOLO has a home in Menlo Park. 

SOLO operates a schedule using eight lanes for two hours on weekdays between 4 and 6pm and eight lanes for two hours on Saturday from 11am to 1pm.
 Per contract, Menlo Swim & Sport (MS&S) runs Menlo Park city pools.  I have heard the City’s Parks & Recreation Committee is considering extending the current contract with MS&S, with the understanding that MS&S will maintain previous agreements with SOLO.   But I do not believe the previous agreements with SOLO are specific enough to guarantee sufficient accommodation to SOLO.  Specifically, during the summer months, MS&S significantly reduces lane access to SOLO Aquatics, crippling SOLO’s summer swim program.  Currently, MS&S is offering only four lanes instead of eight for SOLO’s summer weekday practice. To ensure SOLO’s program receives adequate lane access, I would like is to see SOLO’s lane numbers, hours, and fees specified in the new MS&S contract before that contract is signed.  This should be fairly simple as MS&S has operated Burgess pool for 5 years already and should know the costs of providing lane hours.  In addition, to leave the grant of lane numbers and hours to the discretion of MS&S is a clear conflict of interest as MS&S has competing classes and is not incentivized to accommodate SOLO.

I ask the council to add a provision to the City’s contract with MS&S guaranteeing lane numbers and hours at set fees to SOLO. Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.
Stephanie Choi Freeman
Received on Tue May 05 2015 - 07:36:55 PDT

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