Response from Ms. Kimberly Jo:

Ms. Jo made a visit to our residence on April 4 as part of her planned neighborhood visit.  When asked about her position on year around swimming and the pool facilities, she expressed some familiarity with the issue, having knowledge of the expenses incurred building the San Fernando aquatics facility.  She agreed that it is very important to develop the community support for any pool replacements by opening at least one pool on a year around basis.

Response from Dr. David Gordon:

"Dear Mr. Schmitt:

Thank you for your note and involvement with swimming.  Presently, we are exploring various options in the infrastructure subcommittee as well as funding of possible expanded use at our City pools.  No concrete plans/funding measures have yet been presented but I remain open to hearing proposals that will benefit the community.  I am sincerely hoping that we can get at least one of our two public pools open and running again by summer. 

I certainly can understand how disappointed those wanting an extended open pool season must have been when both pools had to be closed unexpectedly for repairs. 

Again thank you for your note. 

Regards,

David Gordon
Member, Burbank City Council"

Response from Mr. Jess Talamantes:

Mr. Talamantes called and explained that he was very familiar with the swimming pool issues because he has been a member of the Parks, Recreation and Community Services committee for eight years.  Also a facilities committee.

He explained that the committee is aware that the pools were both closed last September "for safety reasons".  He said he attended the first community meeting on the swimming programs.  He said the committee has been meeting with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services department and an architect to discuss replacement options for both pools.  He thought that it highly unlikely Burbank will be able to build an "aquatic center" because there is no suitable space - about 10 acres.  He said the current plan is to replace both Verdugo and McCambridge pools, which will take place over several years.

I asked him whether any consideration had been given to seriously implementing year around swimming, but he saw this issue is terms of "cost-benefit" to Burbank and one that was closely linked to construction of new facilities.

He invited all swimmers to the next Parks, Recreation and Community Services committee on April 9 at City Hall, 6 pm.

Response from Mayor David Golonski:

"I am in favor of creating a year round aquatics program in Burbank. I am also in favor of extending the season in the interim if that is what is feasible. I am in favor of replacing both McCambridge and Verdugo pools, hopefully with at least one being enclosed. I believe enclosing a pool will make a year round aquatic program feasible in Burbank and I believe it can be designed to provide an open-air experience when the weather permits. It is my understanding that Verdugo is past the point of replacing and we are proceeding with plans to replace the existing pool (and retain the size).

I hope that answers your questions, feel free to contact me at 843-2948 if you would like to discuss further."

Thanks,

Dave"

Response from Elise Stearns-Niesen:

"Dear Mr. Schmitt,
 
Thank you for your inquiry and I apologize for taking a day to get back to you.
 
First, let me tell you what I know to be true at this point in time with regards to the two public pools and the possibility of a year-round aquatics center.  The repairs to the McCambridge Pool will be completed in time for the pool to open for this summer.  As for the Verdugo Pool, it appears that it will not be repaired in time to open it for summer of 2009.  It is in need of significant repairs.  I think there are still questions as to whether it would be most cost effective to rebuild, replace or repair the Verdugo Pool.  I believe the city staff is in the final stage of completing the aquatics analysis report in which they will address these issues and present to council in the spring.  I believe they will also be addressing the plans for a year-round aquatics center at that time as well.
 
Second, hereís what I think about the two public pools.  I agree that the McCambridge Pool should be repaired and reopened for the summer.   However, if it would be most cost-effective to replace the Verdugo Pool, I would be in favor of replacing it.  I would be open to the idea of a year-round aquatic center in that location, but I would certainly want to take into consideration all the implications of this, from neighborhood resident opinions to cost of such a project and everything in between.  My biggest concern at this time is whether the city can afford to build such a facility at this time without dipping into our general fund (the funding in which our city services are budgeted, i.e. police, fire, etc.).  If itís true what you say, that the city has appropriated funds for this, I would be in favor of moving forward on a year-round aquatics center.  However, I donít believe money was allocated for that project.  I think what you may be referring to are the funds that were allocated to extend the lap swimming season.  Those particular funds were not utilized because of the pool closing due to the repair issues (as I realize you already know).  Funding this project during these uncertain economic times is a concern for me.  Unfortunately, the pool project doesnít qualify for federal stimulus grants.  Iíd like to see this project happen, just at the right time and in the right place.
 
I cannot give a definitive answer about keeping one of our public pools open for year-round use unless I had all the information about costs with regards to maintenance and staffing and general budgetary implications. 
 
I hope this gives you an idea of my stance on the issues surrounding our swimming pools.
 
Thank you again for you inquiry.
 
Sincerely,
 
Elise Stearns-Niesen"

Response from Garen Yegparian:

"Thanks for the e-mail and speaking at the PRCS Board meeting on Thursday.

Sorry about the delayed response, the campaign has been very hectic.

I am in full support of year-round use of our pools. I have been swimming at Verdugo the last two summers, after years of intending to but not making it. It is ridiculous that in Southern California, a pool should not be open year round.

I had suggested joint use of the schools' pools in a different context, but that was met with some hesitation. However, now with Verdugo out of commission (extensive, unidentified, leakage is the problem), the schools are coming into play.

Our pools must and will be replaced, and in the not too distant future. I remain unconvinced that the proposal for the replacements, now wending its way to City council, is the best we can do.

Please feel free to call me, I'm better by phone than e-mail. 818/563-3918.

Garen"