Oct. 15, 2013 — Susanville City Councilmember Lino Callegari recently changed his mind about supporting a plan for the city to contribute up to $200,000 a year, an amount to be matched by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, to fund a joint powers agreement to form a commission to manage the construction of a pool in Susanville.
According to Callegari, the old Roosevelt Pool and the building that houses it could be refurbished and put back into service. Callegari said he’s uncomfortable committing future city councilmembers to funding a project they did not approve, and should some unforeseen development derail the process, his constituents and taxpayers from the city of Susanville would have to pick up the tab. He suggested the voters should be the ones to make the decision about how to proceed with the pool project.
Some close to the pool closure disagree with Callegari’s assessment Roosevelt Pool can be put back in service. In addition to the problems with the building and the integrity of the structure, they cite problems with the aging pool itself, including the old pipes and a huge water leak with a source that has never been discovered. They say the old Roosevelt Pool facility is beyond repair, and that determination was made when the pool was closed about a decade ago.
Callegari is an elected official, and we all should support his efforts to represent his constituents, who he says want to see if the old pool can be rebuilt and who don’t want to saddle the city or its taxpayers with a long-term debt.
Numerous debates by various players in the Susanville pool game continue, and one of the reasons for the JPA agreement is to create a group that can move the pool project all the way to completion.
Callegari’s decision represents yet another opinion in the mix — and a decision regarding the possibility of refurbishing Roosevelt Pool should be made once and for all, if it hasn’t been made already.
A robust public debate about how to bring a pool to the community benefits each and every one of us, and there is no reason to avoid the discussion. Except for the JPA proposal championed by city councilmember Brian Wilson and Lassen County District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman, we’ve had nothing but talk about the pool. That lack of action, the grumbling indecision and the desire of various entities to have the pool at their site are exactly the kinds of issues that led Wilson and Chapman to come up with the JPA proposal in the first place.
If Susanville is going to have a pool anytime in the near future, we need to finish talking. It’s time to make some decisions.
If you have an opinion about how to move the pool process forward, we invite you to write a letter to the editor and express yourself to further this public discussion. Many city and county leaders say building a pool is the community’s highest priority, but Callegari says to his constituents, a pool is much farther down the list. So is he right? What do you think? Is a pool really the community’s highest priority? Where do we go from here?
Once we figure out what we want, we can set a course to get us there.
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