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Burgess Park Pool Contract

From: Kevin Kogler <kevin_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 23:17:13 -0800

Dear MP Parks and Recreation Commission:  

I wanted send you all an email with my thoughts on the management contract at Burgess Pool. Unfortunately, I was traveling on business and unable to attend the recent town hall meeting.  

As opposed to the many people who have a strong view for one organization versus the other, I have been active with both organizations and have a more balanced view point.  

I was a member of Team Sheeper Triathlon and Menlo Master Swim teams for 5 years. During that period, I spent countless hours working out with Tim as my coach and ultimately completed a couple of Ironman distance triathlons with Team Sheeper. This was a transitional period for Team Sheeper and the Menlo Master swim team, as it lost its access to the Sacred Heart swimming facility and had to relocate to significantly inferior swim facility in Redwood City. I really enjoyed my time with the Sheeper teams and was quite happy to see the team be able to move to the renovated Burgess pool. Tim was a great coach for adults and created a positive environment and community around the team.  

However, I have also been active with Solo for many years as well. My two daughters, now 7 and 9, have been swimming with the Solo swim team since each was 4. I have seen them develop from small children that could barely get their head above water, to strong, physically fit girls with beautiful swim strokes. It has been very rewarding to see my girls gain self confidence and pride from competing in swim meets throughout the Bay area. Tom is a fantastic youth coach, and effectively mixes sound teaching on swim techniques with a fun and positive environment. The Solo team also has a great community, with the fa0milies forming tight bonds around team activities.  

As a result of my exposure to both organizations, I am somewhat indifferent to which group operates the pool. However, I do feel strongly that the choice of one organization should not impact the viability of the other organization. Both the Sheeper and the Solo organizations are both assets to the community, and it is exactly these types of organizations that create the social networks that make Menlo Park such a great place for our children and families. Further, both serve different needs. Sheeper offers more of a social youth swim program, while Solo offers a youth program geared towards competitive swimmers.  

So, I believe that it is your duty to make sure the assets entrusted in you, in this case the Burgess pool, are used in a way to foster the maximum number of communities and opportunities for our residents. So, if Sheeper continues managing the pool, they should be obligated to offer access to Burgess to allow Solo to continue to offer swim programs consistent with past practices. In other words, you should insure that Solo gets adequate access, times and rates to operate a quality competitive youth swim program. Conversely, if you decide to award Solo the management contract, Sheeper should be awarded access in order to maintain its programs.  

It's my understanding that there are some games being played between the Solo and Sheeper organizations. While this is disappointing, some of this behavior natural in a free market where the parties are trying to get a return on their investments. However, in this case the operator does not own the pool. It is owned and paid for by the community. So, I believe that it's the Board's duty to ensure that pool is used for the benefit of the community - and that neither Solo or Sheeper uses the contract as a way to solely benefit its organization to the detriment of the other. Both Solo and Sheeper are great organizations and contribute to the Menlo Park communities. We need to find a way to make the contract and pool work for both organizations.  

Thank you for your time.  

Kevin Kogler

650 853 0503     Received on Mon Nov 08 2010 - 23:48:21 PST

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