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etownboarder
02-07-2009, 06:39 PM
Indoor pool cuts hurt Edmonton seniors
BY GORDON KENT, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COMJULY 2, 2009 6:01 PM

EDMONTON - The city’s decision to reduce indoor pool hours is hurting seniors and makes it harder for people to stay healthy, says a Mill Woods woman helping fight the changes.

Norma Dunning’s six-day-a-week early-morning fitness routine was disrupted this week when the Mill Woods Recreation Centre replaced Tuesday’s 5:30-9 a.m. lane swim with an hour later in the morning, and closed the pool on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. as part of city-wide budget cuts.

Many of the early birds are seniors who will have a hard time reaching the nearest alternatives at Confederation or Hardisty pools, which could become crowded with the extra patrons, she said Thursday.

“The woman I swim beside every day, she’s 77 years old. She had back surgery, but she comes in every day and does the backstroke for 30 minutes … that’s part of her commitment to keeping her back healthy,” Dunning said.

Full Story: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Health/Indoor+pool+cuts+hurt+Edmonton+seniors/1753742/story.html

Jimbo
02-07-2009, 08:39 PM
I like this lady. She has a point when it comes to seniors and health care. The City has a point too, we can't afford to do everything we'd like to.

The global economic downturn may not have affected you or I. There may be even some benefits for some people. But now we (the city of edmonton) have a projected $35M budget shortfall, due to circumstances well beyond our control. The Province and Feds aren't any better off, and can't/won't do much more.

The market meltdown has disproportionally impacted a lot of seniors wealth, and they can't make it up on a fixed income. etc.

The budget hit for these pools is $160K. Some would say that's a drop in the bucket, not much money in the big picture. Some would say that about $35M. It is just a matter of perspective. To those seniors, $160K is everything. I'm sure there are others feeling the same pinch.

As far as taxes go, I don't mind paying a little more for this kind of thing. If anyone wants to start up a fund for the pools (I'm not the right guy), I'll chip in. $100? $20/mo? $20? Maybe if we come up with something, the City (Prov/Fed) can come up with something. Or maybe we can get enough together to keep this pool open at least ($15K?).

It's not a lot of money, depending on one's perspective, but it can add up.

etownboarder
02-07-2009, 08:44 PM
Another pool worth mentioning would be the rehabilitation pool in the old General hospital. My grandmother used to go because she had her knee replaced, and then they closed it down because it hadn't been maintained properly and it would've cost a bunch of money. It's really unfortunate as this pool was meant for this kind of rehabilitation work, plus it was great for my grandmother who is not really comfortable using a big public pool with dozens of people running about. Now she goes to a regular public pool which really isn't meant for this kind of thing... it's not designed for people who have difficulty going up/down stairs or ladders. It's too bad it's all the seniors and people with disabilities that are getting screwed by the economy.

Chmilz
02-07-2009, 09:52 PM
As far as taxes go, I don't mind paying a little more for this kind of thing. If anyone wants to start up a fund for the pools (I'm not the right guy), I'll chip in. $100? $20/mo? $20? Maybe if we come up with something, the City (Prov/Fed) can come up with something. Or maybe we can get enough together to keep this pool open at least ($15K?).

It's not a lot of money, depending on one's perspective, but it can add up.
Government must love you. Instead of demanding better budgeting practices and efforts to find efficiencies within, you'll open your wallet just a little more. I'll willingly pay more taxes when the government can prove to me that they've exhausted every. available. option. period.

Downgrade the quality of the pens used in offices. Give councilors bus passes instead of car allowances. Turn off the lights in unused rooms. Reduce air conditioning by a degree or two.

And those are just the little things that add up mighty fast. If half the big mistakes weren't made, we'd have the best infrastructure and social programs in the world. It's not like any other city that is better that us (many cities in Germany, for example) had a windfall, it's just because they are managed better and their politicians held accountable.

armin
02-07-2009, 10:33 PM
I watched the fireworks yesterday down by Royal Glenora. Explain to me why they get a million bucks from the government while they close down facilities for seniors.
So they can put a convertable roof on their building and still charge 10k for a membership while seniors have to struggle to find public services?
That's unfair and it's sadly expected in this city/province.

GreenSPACE
02-07-2009, 11:37 PM
I like this lady. She has a point when it comes to seniors and health care. The City has a point too, we can't afford to do everything we'd like to.

The global economic downturn may not have affected you or I. There may be even some benefits for some people. But now we (the city of edmonton) have a projected $35M budget shortfall, due to circumstances well beyond our control. The Province and Feds aren't any better off, and can't/won't do much more.

The market meltdown has disproportionally impacted a lot of seniors wealth, and they can't make it up on a fixed income. etc.

The budget hit for these pools is $160K. Some would say that's a drop in the bucket, not much money in the big picture. Some would say that about $35M. It is just a matter of perspective. To those seniors, $160K is everything. I'm sure there are others feeling the same pinch.

As far as taxes go, I don't mind paying a little more for this kind of thing. If anyone wants to start up a fund for the pools (I'm not the right guy), I'll chip in. $100? $20/mo? $20? Maybe if we come up with something, the City (Prov/Fed) can come up with something. Or maybe we can get enough together to keep this pool open at least ($15K?).

It's not a lot of money, depending on one's perspective, but it can add up.

I have no idea what you are saying here. I hear these kind of "non-arguments" from Edmontonians alot. You want a compromise solution for something that doesn't need a compromise solution. Decide what you believe in, rather than ask us to pony up money for something that is an operational expense for the City. Either you are for this cost saving measure or you're not, cause I have no idea what you just advocated for. I certainly am not giving money to the City to run a pool, that's the whole reason I pay taxes. And either my taxes are allocated to that because everyone decides it's worthy of funding, or we don't. I personally don't want to see the pool hours cut.

GreenSPACE
02-07-2009, 11:41 PM
I watched the fireworks yesterday down by Royal Glenora. Explain to me why they get a million bucks from the government while they close down facilities for seniors.
So they can put a convertable roof on their building and still charge 10k for a membership while seniors have to struggle to find public services?
That's unfair and it's sadly expected in this city/province.

That's not a fair argument, since you're making a complex budget decision making process sound like you can just throw money around willy-nilly wherever you see the need. We take money from the fireworks and next you'd have hundreds of people complaining about why we don't put enough money into the fireworks to promote civic pride and attract tourism to the city. I just can't believe you made that comparison.

I think the thousands of people that experienced and enjoyed the fireworks last night would not agree with you about the fireworks, and would take offense at you comparing fireworks to funding for seniors facilities. It's not a fair comparison.

noodle
03-07-2009, 07:01 AM
I think he was complaining about the Royal Glenora getting funding so they can put in a retractable roof for their well-heeled clientele rather than funding the public pools so seniors can maintain their health.

Jimbo
03-07-2009, 08:05 AM
I like this lady. She has a point when it comes to seniors and health care. The City has a point too, we can't afford to do everything we'd like to.

The global economic downturn may not have affected you or I. There may be even some benefits for some people. But now we (the city of edmonton) have a projected $35M budget shortfall, due to circumstances well beyond our control. The Province and Feds aren't any better off, and can't/won't do much more.

The market meltdown has disproportionally impacted a lot of seniors wealth, and they can't make it up on a fixed income. etc.

The budget hit for these pools is $160K. Some would say that's a drop in the bucket, not much money in the big picture. Some would say that about $35M. It is just a matter of perspective. To those seniors, $160K is everything. I'm sure there are others feeling the same pinch.

As far as taxes go, I don't mind paying a little more for this kind of thing. If anyone wants to start up a fund for the pools (I'm not the right guy), I'll chip in. $100? $20/mo? $20? Maybe if we come up with something, the City (Prov/Fed) can come up with something. Or maybe we can get enough together to keep this pool open at least ($15K?).

It's not a lot of money, depending on one's perspective, but it can add up.

I have no idea what you are saying here. I hear these kind of "non-arguments" from Edmontonians alot. You want a compromise solution for something that doesn't need a compromise solution. Decide what you believe in, rather than ask us to pony up money for something that is an operational expense for the City. Either you are for this cost saving measure or you're not, cause I have no idea what you just advocated for. I certainly am not giving money to the City to run a pool, that's the whole reason I pay taxes. And either my taxes are allocated to that because everyone decides it's worthy of funding, or we don't. I personally don't want to see the pool hours cut.

How about this. You do what you want, and I'll do the same. What I advocated is doing something myself as an alternative to sitting on my butt and complaining online. If you don't want to chip in for this, or anything else, that's fine - don't. If you don't want to volunteer, don't do that either. Don't make any donations to anything if that's the way you feel. I'm not telling you what to do.

Your taxes aren't enough, even though they're going up at a rate far in excess of inflation. That's what the problem is. Some people can afford to pay more, but some can't. Asking everybody to pay more doesn't work for those who can't afford it. See what I'm getting at?

I'm talking about doing something about a problem. Helping some people out. I'm sure it's easier to ask the city for money (and by extension force some people to pay who can't afford it, like some of those very same seniors). That's why we have the problem in the first place.

Maybe it's a "non-argument", because it's not an argument.

nobleea
03-07-2009, 09:11 AM
I've always like the thought of a once a year survey included with your tax papers (both federal and municipal). On it are a hundred check boxes for various things. You decide where your tax money should go. Maybe 50% of tax money is allocated this way. It would take a few years for the system to optimize.

etownboarder
03-07-2009, 09:17 AM
I think he was complaining about the Royal Glenora getting funding so they can put in a retractable roof for their well-heeled clientele rather than funding the public pools so seniors can maintain their health.

Yep... that's how I read it too.

Chmilz
03-07-2009, 09:35 AM
I think I'm going to go live on an uninhabited island or something, because I'm nearing my breaking point for the BS that comes from our government.

Scarma
03-07-2009, 03:26 PM
I think he was complaining about the Royal Glenora getting funding so they can put in a retractable roof for their well-heeled clientele rather than funding the public pools so seniors can maintain their health.

It's still a bad comparison, because these programs are run by 2 different levels of government. The city is making cuts to the Millwoods Rec Center. But it's the federal government that's giving the Royal Glenora that extra funding - it's coming from a federal infrastructure program.

On the other hand, it sounds like the city could have applied for funds under this same federal program... I wonder if anyone did?

armin
03-07-2009, 04:38 PM
How is it a bad comparison?
Fireworks are something every person can enjoy if they choose to go watch them.
A retractable roof so a private club can get some sun only benefits those members.
The city could just re-allocate those funds to pay for the city pools.
Royal Glenora upgrades cost 16 million. They raised that by raising their memberships. A gift from the federal government is stil our money and it can be used more wisely.
How well was it promoted that people could apply for these grants and it's quite greedy that the Royal Glenora would stoop to such a level.

Scarma
03-07-2009, 09:52 PM
A retractable roof so a private club can get some sun only benefits those members.
The city could just re-allocate those funds to pay for the city pools.

How could they possibly do that?? The Royal Glenora is a private club, that got infrastructure money from the federal government? How could the city possible re-allocate any of these funds???



How well was it promoted that people could apply for these grants and it's quite greedy that the Royal Glenora would stoop to such a level.

This is a really confusing argument. Greedy? It's the responsibility of the board of directors of the Royal Glenora to investigate all funding options. The feds' infrastructure plan is aimed at non-profit organizations, the RG qualified, so why not apply?

As anyone who has ever applied for anything is always told: it's not up to you to say you are not qualified. It's the job of the group or person who takes your application to tell you that you are not qualified. If I was a member, I would be upset if these opportunities were not being investigated.