Formation of a Community Pool Advisory Committee, its primary task to advise the City Council, city staff and project managers throughout the design and construction process for a new city swimming pool complex, was unanimously approved Monday night by the council.
The committee, which will have a City Council-appointed chair, a current or former member of the Piedmont Recreation Commission and — at least initially — three to five members-at-large, will serve as “a conduit for the community’s voice in the design refinement and construction” of the new pool, according to a city staff report.
City Administrator Sara Lillevand said the committee is a key part of the “community engagement component” in the pool project. Following a campaign by city leaders and other residents, Piedmont voters in November approved Measure UU, which calls for authorizing the city to issue up to $19.5 million in general obligation bonds to finance construction of a new city swimming pool.
“In practice, the PAC will assist the project team to ensure the project meets community expectations, to communicate project progress to the community, and to make recommendations to staff and the City Council on how to best balance any conflicting priorities against budget resources and community expectations,” that report also says.
The pool advisory committee members will be recruited to coincide with the city’s appointment of an overall project manager for the pool. The Piedmont City Council voted unanimously in February to issue a “request for proposals” for a project manager to preside over the design and construction of the pool. The council could name that person sometime in April.
The committee meetings will be open to the public.
Vice Mayor Tim Rood asked Lillevand why a sitting Piedmont Recreation Commissioner wouldn’t be named as a liaison to the pool committee, rather than have a current or former commissioner serve as a full member. Councilwoman Betsy Smegal Andersen wondered why the proposed pool committee has only five to seven members; she contrasted that to the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, which has nine members plus a city staff liaison.
And Councilwoman Jen Cavenaugh suggested that a member of the Piedmont schools community should be a member, given that the city pool is also used extensively by school teams.
City Attorney Michelle Kenyon said the makeup of the committee, and the number of committee members, can be changed by the City Council as the process moves forward, as desires and needs become clearer.
Lillevand assured the council that, in any event, Piedmont school officials will be involved with the new pool.
“Absolutely the school district is going to have a lot of input in this process,” said Lillevand, who also said she believes the committee will also have a “strong sustainability presence.”