Pools and Recreation Centers are Needed

I just came across an editorial from the DMN that talks about the budget decisions that the City Council will have to make.

While it is true that the City Council is going to have to make some difficult decisions, the article is looking at the wrong items. I may have a different opinion than council on the necessity for bill pay stations, but pools and rec centers are needed.

Most affluent neighborhoods are home to many families that have their own personal pool. I would guess that a few of those same residents have basketball hoops and exercise rooms as well. There’s no 24-Hour Fitness in South Dallas or Pleasant Grove, just so you know.

In southern Dallas, there are very few families with pools and other centers for recreation. Other than a scattering of YMCAs, which are usually at capacity, there’s not much cheap recreation. Oak Cliff has two YMCAs; South Dallas has one Y. Southeast Dallas? No YMCAs. Where are the kids going to go?

I wonder if they read this line item in the budget workshop report put together by city staff with respect to the pools (on page 119). It reads:

The 135,000 participants who visited these facilities in the past will not be served and the opportunity to conduct the 1,650 Teach A Child To Swim lessons will be lost.

The editorial is also written in a condescending tone which I don’t appreciate; I doubt the 135,000 citizens that use the pools would either. Closing of city pools has been a constant drumbeat of the DMN for some time. They wrote a similar article in July of 2008 (payment required).

When you close rec centers, you also close all of the programs for kids and seniors. For kids, this is their only safe haven from the perils of their neighborhood.

This runs counter to their “north-south project” for which the DMN is advocating. Idol time is a danger to our children; the pools and rec centers need to stay open. I know of 135,000 people that feel the same way.


7 Responses to “Pools and Recreation Centers are Needed”

  1. Glenn Says:

    Mr. Davis I agree with you that recreation centers are extremely important to Oak Cliff as well as Southern Dallas. However, there are actually two YMCA in Oak Cliff. One is located on Hampton not to far from Camp Wisdom. this location is named the Oak Cliff YMCA. The other Oak Cliff location is located in S.O.C.(Singing Hills) on Ledbetter. The name of that location is Moreland.

  2. Michael Davis-Dallas Progress Says:

    Thanks Glenn – I’ll fix that. can’t believe I forgot about the Moorland Y.

  3. Rawlins Says:

    While you’re back-peddling: As with ‘Pleasant Grove’, there’s ‘no 24-hr. fitness in’ Buckner Terrace, Parkdale, Urbandale, Piedmont, Pleasant Mound or Pemberton Hills in Southeast Dallas either.

  4. anonymous Says:

    Where were the original public pools located? So that someone could maybe fix them up and reopen them…

  5. Michael Davis-Dallas Progress Says:

    I’m not sure where the old schools are located. The pools with which I am familiar are the ones operating right now.

  6. Michael Davis-Dallas Progress Says:

    Rawlins,I am writing on the fly my friend – I’m not going to list every neighborhood each time I write an article.The point was made that there aren’t many other places south of I-30 that have pools and rec. Mission accomplished.

  7. Jeff Siegel Says:

    Hey, Mike, we've been all over this — http://www.advocatemag.com/oak-cliff/blog/46819084.html. There has to be a better way to balance the budget than closing rec centers on the weekends.

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