Letter to the editor: Pool complex, lifeguards deserved better from city
The City of Craig is being challenged to come up with money to provide taxpayers with services we have enjoyed in this community for decades. It is never easy to go through cutbacks and layoffs. That said, I believe our elected officials and those they hire at the City of Craig have a responsibility to honor and maintain city facilities the taxpayers of this community have paid to build and support through our taxes.
This past week, the community was notified that the Wave Pool was closed. The mechanisms for the Wave Pool were damaged when a fill valve was left on overnight, flooding rooms that contain the inner workings of this pool.
Sylvia Griffiths did an exemplary job managing the pool complex, overseeing the care of both pools, supervising and training water safety instructors and lifeguards each summer for countless years, and she retired after training her replacement earlier this summer. Unfortunately, her replacement resigned shortly after Sylvia left. The City of Craig chose not to replace the pool manager position this summer, leaving head guards to soldier on and take on additional duties as hourly, seasonal employees.
The Wave and Lap pools at the Craig Pool Complex are enjoyed not only by the young people of our community, but by children bussed in from Baggs, Wyoming, as well as Hayden and Steamboat Springs. Countless children and adults have learned water safety skills and swimming at this facility, and taxpayers in this community have saved thousands of lives over the years through their support of this facility that teaches a vital life skill.
This community has supported a public pool long before our first boom and bust cycle. I encourage the City of Craig to find its cost savings elsewhere, and to leave the Craig Pool Complex whole, finding a replacement manager for the facility who has the skills, abilities and interest in carrying on the safety record and service the City of Craig has traditionally provided its citizens at our public pools. We live in a river valley, with a nearby reservoir, and numerous opportunities for recreational water sports. If we value life, we need to support and maintain our public pools.
I thank the lifeguards at the Craig Pool Complex for all their hard work keeping this facility going during this summer when they received limited managerial support from the City of Craig.
I would love to thank the Good Samaritans who helped me during our huge snowstorm about a month ago.