Stefka White: Save the crocodile tears over Shadow Mountain
To the editor:
People think that once the 2006 budget has been passed, it is set in stone. It is not. Governments can pass a supplementary budget at any time and they do.
Shadow Mountain Pool is an asset to the community, and it is a shame the county commissioners are closing it, as if one segment of this community, the disabled, doesn’t count.
The closing of Shadow Mountain was a done deal even before the hearing, which was Dec. 6. The hearing was just a formality, as those of us who were there learned quickly. Only one county commissioner, Tom Gray, suggested ways that Shadow Mountain could remain open. He was quickly shot down by the other two County Commissioners, Saed Tayyara and Darryl Steele. We were told that it was “one of the hardest decisions they had to make.” But it was clear that two of the three had already made up their minds and they weren’t going to listen to anything to change it.
Why is it always the most vulnerable who have to sacrifice a facility they need on the alter of budget cuts? Why is it only Shadow Mountain and the pool that are being closed?
If the budget is in such a crunch, then why have the county employees gotten a raise?
I don’t think that the county residents are so callous that they want to see a facility, badly needed by some in the community and enjoyed by others for recreation, closed.
I’m more inclined to think that maybe people are tired of seeing how their money is spent and are sick of paying and paying.
Just because some people don’t need the Shadow Mountain pool doesn’t mean others don’t.
By that token, I don’t think I should pay taxes for things I don’t use. For example, I don’t need the schools. Lots of kids do, but I don’t need them. So the heck with those people.
The hearing Dec. 6 was a farce. Only about a dozen people could squeeze into the meeting room in the courthouse.
The rest of those who were concerned with the closing of Shadow Mountain were left in the hall, where they could neither hear nor comment at the hearing.
I thought the hearing was important, so I risked trying to get there. I struggled with the roads, the cold air, which took my breath away, and the wheelchair, which was most difficult to get out of the van. I should have saved my breath and energy.
Commissioner Tayyara said he had talked with people and that “the stories made him cry.” But he voted against keeping Shadow Mountain open. I didn’t see any tears. I saw determination to close Shadow Mountain and not even consider ways to keep it open even for another year, such as not replacing some employees who quit and using their salaries to help keep the pool open. Or how about closing the Shadow Mountain pool during the summer months, when the city pool is open, and save money for heating the pool for those three months?
Save the crocodile tears, county commissioners. Instead, talk to the third county commissioner who had some ideas on how to keep Shadow Mountain pool going.
Can you say “supplementary budget”?
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