A letter was sent to the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director on July 16, 2012 (available by request)
A follow-on letter was sent to the Mayor and Vice-Mayor on July 9, 2012 (available by request)
The City Council was notified about the status of lap swimming at McCambridge pool by letter of June 22. This letter also offered an opinion that a public notice on a community meeting about Verdugo pool construction was badly handled:
Bob Schmitt letter to Burbank City Council, June 22, 2012
April & May
The Burbank Leader truly "takes the lead" and publishes several stories and reader letters about the (in)action in re-opening Verdugo Pool.
Council approves $5.2M Verdugo Pool makeover (May 12, 2012)
"Burbank City Council voices displeasure with pool construction delays" (May 9, 2012)
"Verdugo pool opening pushed back " (April 22, 2012)
"Verdugo Park pool should be reopened" (April 25, 2012)
"City needs to fix and reopen Verdugo Pool" (April 14, 2012)
From the Burbank Leader, April 28, 2012
2010 - 2011
Nothing much to report: Verdugo Pool remains closed and Burbank's other pool(s) is/are "summer only"
City still trying to pool resources, August 7, 2010
City Council Elections - April 14, 2009
There are six candidates for three open seats on the City Council:
Dave Golonski: 818-843-2948
Response to email
David Gordon: 818-842-2111
Response to email
Kimberly Jo: 818-260-0669
Response to email
Elise Stearns-Niesen: 818-843-5473
Response to email
Jess Talamantes: 818-632-2397
Response to email
Garen Yegparian: 818-563-3918
Response to email
What is their position on year around swimming, one of the City Council's Top Five Priority Goals? All were contacted by email on April 6 and responses appear above as received!
I sent the following by email to the City Council on February 20, 2009 in response to the two items from the previous day, below the email:
Dear Mayor and City Council -
I know there will be many new City Council members soon, but I've just heard some potentially disturbing news that needs your attention and clarification.
As shown in detail at http://teamburbank.com/news.htm, my recent questions to the Parks & Rec department about the status of repairs to Verdugo pool indicate there are NO plans; it will not open this year or perhaps ever.
Further, a direct communication to a Burbank swimming supporter by a current Council member seems to indicate that an indoor aquatic facility is being considered for Verdugo park. My own opinion aside (wrong site), all of these plans, discussions and ideas are taking place entirely apart from the public, to include the adult swim community and Burbank residents.
In spite of strong interest expressed by adult lap swimmers in extending the use of Burbank pools to a year round season, no one I know has received any communication on any of these plans/concepts.
Needless to state, there has been NO progress on an extended swimming season (in spite of Council financial support for this last year) and the pools will open, as usual, on June 15.
I am grateful to the City of Los Angeles for providing year round swimming at Van Nuys and Glassell parks. I am very disappointed that the City of Burbank neglects its facilities and the needs of its adult residents.
Email from Sports Office, February 19, 2009:
Thank you for your inquiry. I will address your questions as best as I can.
1. What are the issues, discussions and decisions that affect repairs and re-opening Verdugo pool?
Cost is the driving force behind the decision to not repair Verdugo pool. At this point repairs are not cost effective. A complete renovation will be needed at Verdugo pool.
2. When will lap swimming for adults start?
Lap swim is expected to begin June 15.
3. What is the status of the $50,000 set aside by the City Council to extend the swimming season in 2008 (but not used because of pool damage and early closing)?
The $50,000 remains in a holding account.
4. What is the status of the consultant's report from the two community meetings on Burbank aquatics?
The consultant was hired to facilitate the community meetings in order to solicit ideas and input regarding proposed improvements to the City's two aquatic facilities. The community's input, via the graphic depictions, were submitted to the Aquatic Facilities study group.
5. Are there any other meeting minutes from your department or the Park, Recreation and Community Services Board relevant to the swimming programs in Burbank?
Staff presented the 2008 Aquatics Season Review to the Park, Recreation and Community Services Board on November 13, 2008. Attached are the minutes from the meeting. The PRCS Board will receive an update on the status of the pools once the Aquatic Facilities study group completes its strategic plan for the replacement of both facilities Please let me know if you have any further questions.
City of Burbank Park, Recreation & Community Services
Building Community through People, Programs and Parks since 1925
This is a February 19 email from swimming supporter Eric Michael Cap (http://www.GoldStreetPost.com) Tel/Fax: 818-567-1911. Burbank, CA
"Thanks for the update. I spoke to Mayor Dave Golonski the other day when he knocked on my door while campaigning, and he told me the City has some money set aside (approx. $8 million) that could be used for construction of a new aquatics facility. His vision is for an enclosed "green" competitive pool (i.e. full Olympic size) at the current Verdugo Pool location and making McCambridge more for family/recreational swimming. There may be grant and other funding opportunities via federal stimulus that we can take advantage of. It’s not going to be easy but there’s at least a few people running for Council that are supportive...
…Let me know if/when you get a response to your questions. If not, I’ll be at the March 3rd Council meeting and can ask some follow-up questions to get this item back up for discussion as we approach spring and budget time. Cheers!
Supporter Runs for City Council
Barbara Sharp ran in the February 24 City Council primary elections - she is a supporter of year round aquatics in Burbank. Here is her email to this site:
My name is Barbara Sharp, one of the Candidates for Burbank City Council, with a request to those who have not yet sent your mail-in ballots for the upcoming Primary Election. If you haven’t already voted, I humbly request you consider me as one of your three choices for local office. I am attaching a flyer that tells you a little more about who I am and where I stand on many important issues.
Like you, I am a supporter of year-round Aquatics in Burbank, so if you have questions or would like to discuss this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me. For more information, please feel free to check out the following links:
http://www.SharpForBurbank.com (official campaign Web Site)
The Burbank Park Pools are Closed! City Council and Board of Education Considering Opening Using High School Pools
The City of Burbank had two community meetings to provide input for a aquatics facility in Burbank. Was this the last chance to influence long-term plans? See the "News" page for a summary.
Here's a survey distributed at the first meeting. Fill it out and send it to the Park, Recreation & Community Services Department.
Email the City Council at: CityCouncil@ci.burbank.ca.us Make your opinions known! Ask your family and friends to send emails also!
Also see the News page on the progress towards opening high school pools and for details on the closing of McCambridge.What is open? Here's a email from Carol on Dec 30, 2008:
"For anyone who may have missed the last sign posted at VNSO pool, it re-opened today. They realized that VNSO, Glasell Park & Westwood pools would all be closed at the same time and wisely decided to open VNSO a week earlier. Yeah!!!
Please note: on Wednesday, 12/31, there will be no be morning swimming. The pool will be open noon-5 PM only. We'll be back to regular hours on Fri. & Sat. And, as you probably already know, the pool will no longer be open on Sundays. In addition, there will be no more long-course swimming M-W-F mornings between Feb. 19 and May 29 while multiple swim teams work out there.
There is a new pool to add to our back-up list. It is located in Chavez Park in San Fernando. It's a 50 m x 25 yd pool, but they swim short course. Water temp is 80-82 degrees. Lap swimming is M-F 6-7:30 AM, 11:30-1:30 & 5-7 PM. Sat & Sun hours are 12-3. It's $3 a swim or $2 if you're over 55 or a student. But they offer monthly passes for $25 or 12 entries for $20. lt's located at 208 Park Ave., San Fernando 91340. Parking is on the Park Ave. The tele # is 818-898-1290. Here is a link:
You can see the artist's rendering. Or check out MapQuest:
LA Valley College pool should open for lap swimming in Feb. I'll keep you posted--or you let me know if you hear first.
Happy New year! See you at the pool. Carol"
September 2008 Community Meeting - Aquatics Facility
Shannon Miller and I attended the community meeting on September 10. Saturday's meeting had about 6 people; this meeting had about 32 people, most who I do not know from the pools.
Marisa Garcia (PRCS) provided an introduction and immediately received many "off topic" questions about closing McCambridge, failing to give good notices about swimming (including the community meetings) and questioning why "the season" ended too soon. She gave some background for both McCambridge and Verdugo pools, which clearly was unknown to most of the attendees. After 15 minutes of this questioning, the meeting was back on its purpose and taken over by the consultant/facilitator. The "facilitated" comments, from small groups in three sessions, were very uniform - keep both pools open year around, offer a full aquatics program for all ages, improve the locker rooms, etc. I do not recall a single request for one "upscale aquatics center".
I only participated in my group and did not speak publicly, but it was clear that no attendee knew about prior swimmers' meetings, including the 9/9 joint meeting, or the reasons Verdugo and McCambridge were closed. Several speakers further mentioned a strong need for better public communications. One attendee collected email addresses and said he would start an online discussion group; I told him and a few others about the data now collected on TeamBurbank.com
It's encouraging to learn that the apparent Burbank public interest in the pool facilities and an aquatics program is greater than formerly thought, but it's too early to tell whether this is the "tip of the iceberg" or the sum total of interest.
Much greater publicity and public input is needed! The public input process should be accelerated - why can't a report be completed before "December or January"?
This above summary was sent to each Council and Board member.
City Council and Burbank Unified School District Board of Education Meeting
The joint meeting on September 9, 2008 took up the issue of using Burbank and/or Burroughs high school pools to replace the Park pools, now closed as damage is assessed and repaired. All Council and Board comments were positive and a Memorandum of Understanding is being drafted. Three lap swimmers were at the meeting. To see Bob Schmitt's comments, go to 00:52:00 (52nd minute) of the live video. The Board - Council discussion is at 04:40:00 (4th hour, 40th minute).
Live Video Discussion
Background: When the two high school pools were closed because of earthquake damage in 1994, both schools used the Burbank park pools. The Burbank City Council meeting on Tuesday, 9/9 joint use issue stated:
JOINT MEETING WITH THE BURBANK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION:
1. JOINT SCHOOLS PROJECT: BURBANK HIGH SCHOOL, JOHN BURROUGHS HIGH SCHOOL...: The purpose of this special joint meeting of the Burbank City Council and the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education is to discuss: .... 3) the draft Joint Use Agreement; and, 4) discussion regarding the cooperative use of City and District pools.
This is from the Staff Report:
"Lastly, some very recent structural issues have surfaced related to both McCambridge and Verdugo pools, and it is evident that the next few years will be challenging for the City to meet the community’s aquatic and water safety needs. Unexpectedly, City staff made the decision to close and drain McCambridge Pool this week, ending abruptly what was to be a season extended to the end of October. With the recent earthquake we experienced, staff began to observe water seeping through the cracks in the basement all around the viewing window in the mechanical room at McCambridge Park Pool. Concerned with water seepage into an area with electrical equipment that City staff enters and performs work in several tines a day, our Public Works Department staff had a structural engineer visit the location and assess the situation. While the expert does not go so far as to say we need to shut the pool down and deal with this immediately, it is written in such a way that staff feels the prudent decision is to close and drain the pool immediately and begin the necessary structural work to ensure the pool can be reopened safely in time for next year’s summer season.
Unfortunately, McCambridge Pool was home to our recently extended lap swimming program and our abrupt closure has left them very disappointed and without a facility. I anticipate some will come Tuesday evening to appeal to the District to assist with facilities to meet their needs and interests.
To make matters worse, Verdugo Pool is in worse condition. We have always recognized and acknowledged that Verdugo Pool would need to be replaced first and are in the process of master planning new aquatic facilities. Verdugo pool finished this past season with major issues including three inches of water loss per day. City staff is getting costs related to a temporary fix to get us through until a new facility is planned, but the costs may be too exorbitant for the City to consider on a temporary basis. I shared this information with Dr. Bowman as soon as I became aware of the situation and to let him know we may need the District’s assistance in meeting the community’s aquatic needs over the next few years."
September 2008 - All Pools Closed!
From Burbank Park, Recreation & Community Services Department:"It is with regret that I inform you that effective immediately, McCambridge Pool will be closed until further notice.
Following the July 29, 2008 earthquake, City staff retained the services of a structural engineer to evaluate the structural integrity of McCambridge pool. Based on the structural investigation report received by the staff, immediate repairs must be made which require the pool to be emptied.
We apologize for this unfortunate circumstance. However, if you registered and purchased a September lap swim pass or a Special 14-Visit pass, we will process a full refund for your purchase. Full refunds will also be given for the Aqua Trim Fitness Class. A check will be mailed in approximately 3-4 weeks. Staff will begin to process refunds immediately."
Community Meeting - Aquatics Facility
The City of Burbank is having a community meeting to provide input for an aquatics facility in Burbank.
Saturday, September 6
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Community Services Building
150 North Third Street
Wednesday, September 10
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Buena Vista Library
300 North Buena Vista Street
This is a survey distributed at the first meeting. Fill it out and send it to the Park, Recreation & Community Services Department.
Alex Has a Great Swim in Waikiki!
A Verdugo weekend swimmer, Alex Kostich, finished 5th in the Labor Day 2.38 mile Waikiki Rough Water Swim, behind three Australian swimmers and one from Honolulu. Alex is 38, nearly twice as old as the first-place finisher!
Los Angeles Valley College Pools Open
The Los Angeles Valley College new pools are scheduled to partially open on
September 2 for classes. An apparent pool manager on site was not sure what the "community use" would be.
The pool closed 2 years ago for the new construction.
The pools look like best facilities in the area, after those at the Rose Bowl. At first, there seemed to be three pools. The pool manager told me how they put in the movable swim wall - it's really two pools, one with the wall. He also mentioned a few very odd choices in the the original design and how difficult it was to make changes.
Lap Swimmers Meet with Chris Dasté Park, Recreation & Community Services Director and Deputy Director Marisa Garcia
A special meeting with lap swimmers is set for Thursday, August 28th at 4pm.
This will be in the new Community Services Building, Community Room #104, 150 N. Third Street, Burbank
McCambridge Park Opens for Lap Swimming (2008)
Now open through September 30, evenings and weekends. See the home page.
Marisa Garcia is the new Deputy Director overseeing the Burbank’s Aquatics program.
"I have been brought up to speed with your concerns and those of lap swimmers. As you know, the City is underway with an Aquatics Master plan; discussions will include year-round operations."
From the Burbank Leader, July 9:
Deputy Director Leaving
From the Burbank Leader:
"COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: We should have access to pools all year round", June 21, 2008
"Council OKs cash for pool, June 14, 2008
"Council made a good decision on pool", June 14, 2008
"City Council green-lights funding for McCambridge Park Pool", June 11, 2008
Verdugo Pool, Burbank (2008)
Was forecast to open for lap swimming on June 16, but actually opened June 14.
Burbank Hires a New Park Director
"New parks director named" is a February 1, 2008 report from the Burbank Leader that Chris Dasté from Tracy CA will replace Eric Hansen on February 29. Let's get him interested in year round swimming in Burbank! Email or call him at 818-238-5310.
Burbank Excel Swim Team Checks In!
February 3 - Burbank Excel Swim Team president calls! Velvet Philipps explained the club faded when McCambridge pool failed to stay open in 2003. She will share their files and is a great supporter of this "year round" cause.
New Burbank Parks Director?
"City seeks new parks director" is a January 11 story in the Burbank Leader about a replacement for the retiring Eric Hansen. Will the new Parks Director be more responsive to aquatic needs? Write to the City Council!
Last Update: July 8, 2012