May the 4th be with you in Whitewater on a mostly sunny day with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:43 AM and sunset 7:59 PM for 14h 15m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.2% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission meets at 6 PM.
Small-town Whitewater has an indoor lap pool, leisure pool, and fitness center. The Whitewater Aquatic Center, attached to Whitewater High School, is more spacious with more elaborate facilities than nearby towns’ pools. In the past, both the City of Whitewater and the Whitewater Unified School District contributed to the costs of maintaining the pools, but their last agreement lapsed in ’21.
Concerned over ongoing funding for the facility, a community group formed a Save the Pool Committee. The group concerned over the pool formed some months ago, and there have now been ongoing discussions between the city and the school district about the upkeep of the facility since then. See from the local press ‘Save the Pool’: community members assemble regarding Aquatic Center negotiations and Aquatic center subcommittee considers $5 million in improvements; non-binding referendum.
Well, what to make of all this?
First, it’s a good-looking facility, and a source of community pride for members.
Second, the pool is in no danger of closing today, tomorrow, or the next day. There’s time for the public bodies arguing over funding to come to terms.
Third, while long-term costs between the parties are in dispute, there’s no claim that the Whitewater Aquatic Center needs $5,000,000 now or perhaps ever for repairs & maintenance.
Fourth, consider how odd this dispute is: Whitewater is a small town, and the City of Whitewater and the Whitewater Unified School District are the same communities. A dispute between these parties is not an arm’s length controversy between a buyer in Oregon and a seller in Arizona. On the contrary, the city is the heart and largest part of the district. A controversy like this is something like a dispute among siblings. Conflict here is internecine conflict. Different institutions may have different goals, but the officials of these institutions are, in fact, all neighbors in the same small area. (The idea of litigation between these parties over the pool is, needless to say, a bridge too far.)
Fifth, while the pool matters greatly to some, neither of these public institutions exists to be providing — or arguing over — a pool. The district and the city have more fundamental tasks before them (respectively, education and public safety). This suggests that ending this dispute with the least ongoing time, effort, and cost is the best course. (Closing the pool is what no one wants, and would only increase community time lost to an aggravated controversy.)
The rational course is a settlement that assures ongoing operation at minimal cost while further discussions on medium and long-term solutions are crafted. A reduction in political temperature — down to, let’s say, negative 30 Fahrenheit — would serve this community well.
Let’s assume, however regrettably, that Whitewater’s city and district officials do not lower the temperature of this dispute. Well, if they can’t solve this matter, there’s reason to doubt their ability to solve any matter. Honest to goodness.
The best use of a pool is, of course, as a pool. If that cannot be worked out, however, then time and tide will wait for no public official. At that unfortunate moment, someone will have to come along with another use for the facility.
While the best use of the pool is as a pool, it should be obvious that the best alternative use of the space would be — without any doubt — as a Kitten Aquatic Sanctuary.
So, someone should send a message to the Whitewater city manager, Whitewater Common Council, Whitewater superintendent, and the Whitewater School Board: if funding for the pool cannot be sorted out dispassionately, then someone (perhaps a libertarian blogger, let’s say) is gonna start a kitten-water-therapy campaign for the space now used as a pool for people.
Any reasonable person — anyone sober and of sound mind — should grasp immediately that this alternative would be destined for success.
The community, however, surely prefers the first use of a pool to an (admittedly) enticing alternative. And so, and so: public officials should come to an economical, short-term deal so that they may concentrate on their fundamental tasks.