In this country and in this city, in particular, there is a significant discrepancy between the amount of money spent on private vs. public improvements. The current situation—crumbling public infrastructure—is the result of years of the community’s inability to fully commit to supporting our public facilities.
I see Measure UU to rebuild the Piedmont Community Pool first and foremost as a simple question: whether we, as a community, value a pool or not?
City public improvements such as pools, parks, courts, tracks, and trails are the last remaining vestiges of what can be considered the commons—outdoor places that play a central role in both creating community and providing for the simple, nearby enjoyment of the outdoors. In an urban context, we would do well to not let our lives be limited to the experience of individual spaces, such as our cars or our homes. If we let our lives be connected only virtually by digital technologies, we lose out in the richness of experience that our world has to offer.
Public financing for a public improvement is appropriate. Does that mean that the City needs to have bids before agreeing on Measure UU? No, it doesn’t. Do you go out and get bids for a bathroom remodel before you decide as a household that you need a new bathroom? Certainly not. You assess the problem, agree on the need for the improvement, limit the budget, and then hire the appropriate designers, contractors and other experts to bring your ideas to reality.
If the community can first agree on the need for a new pool to replace the now defunct facility, then Measure UU authorizes up to $19.5 million which will be overseen by a committee and issued based on the final design. Setting a bond limit now and having each household pay for the bond issue is appropriate.
I would submit that construction of a beautiful, new, public pool facility in Piedmont in return for a bond issue that costs less than the price of a Starbucks Venti Latte per week, per household, is an affordable and not unreasonable price for Piedmont residents to bear.
Please join me in support of Measure UU. We can come together as a community and replace this deteriorated aquatics facility with a new pool facility for future generations to enjoy.