Letter to the editor Pool management was irresponsible
To the editor:
On this past Tuesday, June 4, I witnessed an event that symbolized the degradation of a Vermillion civic institution. My friends and I were by the basketball courts next to the water tower, right next to the public pool in Prentis Park. A fair amount of children were swimming this day, but apparently not enough to satisfy the Vermillion City Recreation Department.
Instead of figuring out a way to increase customers, the pool's management announced at about 4:15 p.m. that because of the lack of swimmers, the pool would be closing early and would reopen to the pubic at 6 p.m. We were all surprised to hear such a deplorable announcement, myself especially as I frequented that very pool many summers ago and was never so marginalized.
What the pool did was wrong in so many different and unique ways. I did not check, however, I doubt the children and their parents were reimbursed for their early eviction. Open swim times are clearly posted and those children paid to swim during Open Swim; not some messed up truncated version.
Moreover, any possible operations cost savings were next to nil as the pool had to reopen at 5 p.m. for Lap Swim anyway (aside, I wonder if the pool would pull that same stunt on the adults of Lap Swim). Beyond the balance sheet, the pool lost public goodwill and showed itself to be a reckless slave to the dollar, no matter the cost.
For what could have been hardly double digits financially, the Vermillion City Pool needlessly saddened a group of young Vermillion swimmers, probably angered parents, and swindled a portion of their swim fee. Businesses that take payment, only partially deliver, and anger their clients see red much faster than responsible, ethical, and well-managed businesses.
While the pool is not a business, perhaps it should take a few lessons in business ethics and sustainability. Being a civic organization is no excuse for irresponsible management. Instead, it should be setting the standard.
People dissatisfied with the Vermillion Public Pool are encouraged to inquire about USD's responsibly managed Dakota Dome Pool.