Letter to the Editor | Yes on Measure UU

Summer. Warm air, maybe a breeze. Laughter, shrieks of delight. The smell of chlorine. Brightly clad bodies draped in terrycloth. Splashes. “Marco! Polo!”

The pool. That’s what I think of when I think back to summers of my youth and it makes me smile.

My husband and I want that for our three young boys (an almost 8 year old and 5 year old twins). We want that for your children, too. I recall vividly taking my eldest to Piedmont Pool for a baby-and-me swim lesson. After the lesson, I looked longingly at the parents lounging on the grassy hill on towels, talking, laughing and looking on at their older children frolicking in the water. I thought, “I cannot wait until that can be my husband and me, when our children are water safe and can enjoy this pool.”

We thought last summer (2019) was going to be that longed for summer, but unfortunately, the Piedmont Pool facilities were closed much of the time for repair. This brought tears to our boys’ eyes on many a hot, hot day, as they stared longingly at the pool as we walked home from summer camp.

“Why can’t we go to the pool today, Mommy,” was a constant refrain.

This is why our family wholeheartedly supports Measure UU.

While people of every age can benefit from time in the pool, children benefit so much from the gift of learning how to swim. From feeling safe in the water. The confidence it inspires. It is a skill for life.

The Piedmont Pool facilities have reached the end of their life. They are not going to reopen. Passage of Measure UU will allow Piedmont to construct new swim facilities which will bring back to Piedmont swim lessons, swim team, swim everything…summer.

Please vote yes.

10 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor | Yes on Measure UU

  1. What percent of Piedmont has actually used the pool?
    What are the number of individuals ?

    This is not an amenity that will make Piedmont a more desirable place to live or improve the value of our homes.

    The City should not take on this kind of debt

  2. I, for one, want to have a community pool and feel it’s important for Piedmont to have one, and I’d use it often, but according to the ballot language, Measure UU doesn’t provide adequate funding to pay for the project. Here are two sections of the Measure UU language that make me uncomfortable:

    SECTION 5. OBJECT AND PURPOSE OF BONDS

    The final costs, locations, designs, layouts and other details of the Improvements will be determined as plans are finalized, construction bids are awarded, and projects are completed. Therefore, the City Council cannot guarantee that the Bonds will provide sufficient funds to allow completion of all needed Improvements.

    NOTE THAT THE CITY COUNCIL CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT THE BONDS WILL PROVIDE SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO ALLOW FOR COMPLETION OF ALL NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS.

    SECTION 6. ESTIMATED COST OF IMPROVEMENTS
    The estimated cost of the Improvements is $23,000,000. The estimated cost includes legal or other fees, the costs of printing the Bonds, and other costs and expenses incidental to or connected with the authorization, issuance and sale of the Bonds.

    NOTE THAT THE COSTS ARE ESTIMATED TO BE $23,000,000, WHICH IS $3,500,000 LESS THAN THE BOND WOULD PROVIDE.

    If the cost of the project is projected to be $23,000,000, why is the bond measure for only $19,500,000? Where will the shortfall of $3,500,000 be coming from? I’d like this to be a successful project.

  3. As Amy mentioned in her comment, it’s not just one pool that cost $19 million. It’s a complex of two pools, locker rooms, staff areas and indoor community space built on a hill in an earthquake area by a municipality. These factors just make it more costly. The proposed design is in fact modest without fancy features (slides, hot tubs, etc) that many community pools have. My family and thousands of others throughout the years have benefited from the community pool. It’s brought us joy, provided swim team training, a first job as a lifeguard and a place to meet friends and family on hot summer days. We can’t be the only community in Alameda County without a place for the high school swim team and water polo team to practice. It’s too broken to be repaired so either Piedmont wants a community pool or we don’t. I know I do.

  4. Let’s be realistic. This is a vote about whether or not to have a pool in Piedmont. The current pool was built when LBJ was president. It’s about to be closed permanently because throwing millions of dollars more at a decrepit, unsafe facility makes no sense. If we don’t rebuild the pool, Piedmont won’t be providing a basic amenity to its residents and schools. We’ll just have a giant, embarrassing padlocked eyesore in the middle of the city. Let’s step up for the next few generations of Piedmont families and vote yes on UU!

  5. There have been a number of studies done over the years, all of which say the current configuration is inadequate to meet the demands of the community. The current cost estimates to replace the pool facility, based on the 2016 conceptual plan, are roughly $8M for two pools (to replace current 3 pools), $6M for the required building to house equipment, restrooms, changing areas, etc, and $3.5M for site work. This totals $17.5M in today’s dollars. It will take 12-18 months to go through a public process to finalize the design and engineering, so even if Measure UU passes, construction won’t begin until 2022. The $19.5M bond cap provides an allowance for increased construction costs and higher interest rates in 2022. I hope you support Measure UU – I personally can’t imagine Piedmont without a community pool.

    • Thanks, Amy. Very helpful information regarding the project’s costs – appreciate your detail. Piedmont needs a pool and I’ll be voting YES.

    • I want a pool and I’m happy to pay for it when a formal plan with designs has been put forward. Without a clear understanding of what we are building for our community I don’t feel comfortable voting for it. We used the pool and are going to miss it. Managing our public facilities and keeping them in good repair is something our local administration needs to make a priority. With sufficient maintenance and upgrades over time we won’t need to completely start from scratch every 50yrs.

  6. From everything I’ve read about Measure UU, $19 million won’t be enough to build the proposed new pools, which means more money will have to come from somewhere else. Also, as a comparison, has anyone done a study on what it actually would cost to restore the existing pools? I love swimming and support having a community pool, but I feel we’re being asked to vote for a project with an undeveloped scope and unknown cost that admittedly will be underfunded even before it begins.

    • It seems like UU supporters have a strawman, if you aren’t for UU you are against a pool for Piedmont. This seems unfair. In fact one might say that if you are for UU, than you’ll guarantee that we won’t have a pool for at least two more summers. If we could fix the existing pools for a lot less money and within a more reasonable time frame, I’d support that.

      Besides it looks like the city council may float a much larger bond measure to replace the police and fire department buildings to the tune of $40-50 MM. Gotta save our pennies.

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