Only a third of Indianapolis' 15 outdoor pools will open today, as part of a cost-saving strategy of the Indy Parks aquatics department. The remainder open June 5.IndyParks Foundation and not the City's budget made possible the improvements and upgrades to some city pools. The administration angered residents last year when they scheduled the renovations during the summer months so that the parks department could save money by not having to operate them for a whole year. With the shortened season, many pools will be open this summer less than 60 days, with most opening on June 5 and some closing as early as August 1. While average folks sweat out this long, hot Memorial Day weekend with their restless kids, Mayor Ballard will be attending swank parties attended by out-of-town celebrities and grazing at the buffet table at his suite during the running of the Indianapolis 500. He wouldn't have it any other way.
Citywide budget cuts also mean that eight pools will close one day during the week and six will end the season Aug. 1 -- one week earlier than in previous years . . .
Staggering the openings has altered the time-honored tradition of visiting the pool on Memorial Day weekend at some locations and has upset neighborhood residents who will have to wait a week before taking a swim.
"We didn't know we were outcasts," said Jerry Thomas, 39, who enjoyed the shade of a shelter on Tuesday at Douglass Park on the Eastside, one of the facilities that will open June 5 and be closed on Mondays. "Who are you singling out?"
Despite the cuts, parks officials touted $6.5 million in improvements and upgrades over the past year as evidence of the city's commitment to aquatic centers.
It could not be more clear that the Ballard administration doesn't give a damn about the City's parks and pools. The only reason Ballard made the improvements to the pools at all is because they were leaking so damn much water every year. The leaks may be plugged, but your water and sewer bills are going to continue going through the roof, in part so Ballard can reward the fat cat contractors who put more than $1 million in his campaign coffers with transportation contracts as a result of his so-called sale of the water and sewer utilities. Civic leaders with warped perspectives call him a visionary for doing this when it's really just more credit card financing.
I have a suggestion for the Mayor. Why doesn't he just let John Bales and his cronies sell off the parks and redevelop the land into a better use so he'll have more money to spend on his precious professional sports teams and downtown improvements to impress Super Bowl attendees as much as possible in 2012 and more money to spend on his overseas junkets for him and his wife? For a guy that claims to be proud of the fact that he grew up in a working class family on the City's eastside, he sure has a lot of contempt for average folks in this town.