Serving A Purpose

THERE IS a movement afoot in Shadyside to abolish the village’s recreation board. Such a possibility surfaced at Monday’s council meeting.

A motion to eliminate the board was made, passing by a 5-1 vote, advancing it as part of the three-reading rule.

The village’s recreation board first came into existence in 1948, via village ordinance. The subsequent 60 plus years have seen the rec board’s responsibilities dissipate.

The board now deals solely with the village swimming pool, overseeing the hiring of its workers. Pool manager, lifeguards, concession and maintenance workers fall under the panel’s discretion.

Village council has a recreation committee. Many officials believe there is no need for both, especially with the lack of duties currently being carried out by the rec board.

That may be the case, but we feel the recreation board is still a needed entity for its sole purpose of overseeing staff personnel. Selection of summer pool workers is a task that must be taken seriously.

Quality, well-trained and mature employees are a must for a successful pool season. Municipal pools are not money-makers, they typically lose money, but they provide a much-needed community service.

The Shadyside pool did not open two years ago. Last year, a passionate village-wide campaign yielded enough advance pool-pass purchases to enable the pool to reopen.

The pool operated efficiently last summer. Much of the credit must go to the people working there, from manager Melanie Haswell down the line.

Those employees were hired by the recreation board. The composition of that panel includes teachers and school board members who are more familiar with the job applicants than council members. As a result, they are in a position to make better selections.

Any business is only as good as the people working there. The rec board apparently made correct employment hires a year ago, as the pool operated efficiently. The recreation board deserves some kudos for smooth summer sailing.

Moreover, board members are not compensated. They serve for the right reason, the best interests of the village and the pool.

We see no reason the board needs abolished.