News

Menlo Park: Private clubs fight over public pools

History of conflict affects current negotiations as council gets contract

Years of tension boiled over during the past few months as Menlo Park began negotiating a fresh five-year contract with Team Sheeper to run the city's $6.8 million, publicly funded Burgess aquatics center along with Belle Haven's pool.

While the council could approve the contract on Tuesday night, March 1, the dissension over pool access between SOLO, a nonprofit competitive youth swimming club, and Team Sheeper, a for-profit business, has yet to simmer down.

As of Feb. 24, the proposed contract requires Team Sheeper to pay $3,000 a month to lease the Burgess pools; be responsible for all operating costs; and operate the Belle Haven pools for at least three months a year. City staff estimated that would save Menlo Park $540,000 to $640,000 a year, not counting the additional $36,000 in revenue from the rent payment.

The latest terms raise SOLO's total lane hours from 45 to 80 per week from September to May during the late afternoon by adding half-hour blocks -- and maintain some practice space at Burgess instead of shipping SOLO off to Belle Haven during the summer.

However, adding the time as half-hour blocks won't help the club, according to SOLO board president Steve Zanolli, who said the SOLO swimmers practice in hour-and-a-half to two-hour blocks. "It's like giving us brand-new tires on a car that doesn't run," he said. "While we are happy with the additional two lanes, the rest is just misdirection."

He also challenged the notion of labeling SOLO as a subsidized program, saying other programs at the pool, such as Aqua-Fit, also don't pay the $16-per-lane-hour breakeven cost. Under the new contract, SOLO would pay $8 per lane hour for the first 45 hours, then $16 for all remaining hours. If Team Sheeper's contract is renewed after five years, SOLO would pay at least $16 per lane hour for all its time in the pools.

No victory laps

Of course, giving more time to one group means giving less to another. Lap swimmers will lose 35 lane hours during the late afternoon weekdays under the proposed contract, along with 14 hours on weekends.

How many people that impacts, however, is hard to say. When asked for the average number of lap swimmers from 3:30 to 5 p.m. during the week, Tim Sheeper, owner of Team Sheeper, declined to answer, saying, "Whatever number I say is wrong."

The Almanac conducted an informal survey of several lap swimmers, and found perceptions split between "rarely need to share a lane during the late afternoon" to "four or more swimmers sharing a lane" during warm weather months.

"It's more challenging when it's not just your programming, and your philosophy and vision," Mr. Sheeper said. "We have a lot more people to listen to, like moms, adults, seniors, the city, and so on. We have never been able to satisfy SOLO within the limits of our vision."

Pay to go away

The acrimony between the clubs started almost as soon as Mr. Sheeper took over operating the Burgess pools.

Five years ago he announced that Burgess didn't have enough room to give SOLO the number of lane hours promised under the terms of Team Sheeper's lease with the city, an obligation inherited from the days the city of Menlo Park ran the pool.

In a letter to former SOLO president Chris Hinshaw, Mr. Sheeper wrote:

"Due to pool conflicts, the remaining hours due in the obligation will not be available for use." Team Sheeper said it would instead pay SOLO for those hours -- a total of 1,647, about 75 percent of the pool time promised to SOLO -- at a rate of $2.74 per hour.

It was a matter of economics, Mr. Sheeper said. Another community group, PASA, was willing to pay more than SOLO for pool time. "It made much more sense," he explained, but said at that point he became aware of the charged politics surrounding the situation and the city's lack of support for the buy-out, and withdrew the offer.

$20,000 versus $3,000 rent

Money continued to be an issue during current negotiations as well. When SOLO bid against Team Sheeper for the new pool contract, the group offered to pay $20,000 rent to the city each month.

The city's decision to instead accept $3,000 from Team Sheeper raised questions about how thoroughly the finances were analyzed, although rent was only one of 13 criteria used to evaluate each proposal.

The city concluded that SOLO couldn't afford the monthly payments. But Mr. Zanolli of SOLO said the city never asked whether SOLO members could personally guarantee the $20,000 per month it offered to operate the pool.

According to Community Services Director Cherise Brandell, the city did ask, and SOLO never provided the guarantees in writing.

As with much of the controversy, who's right depends on where they're standing: City staff did ask for guarantees -- but in February, two months after announcing that Team Sheeper should be awarded the contract.

"We said, 'that ship has sailed," Mr. Zanolli said. The club saw no point to identifying its backers when the contract had been awarded; had the city asked before making that decision, SOLO would've provided those guarantees in writing, according to Mr. Zanolli.

Back in the water

The noise from the pool fight obscures the underlying perception that most pool users are content with the way Mr. Sheeper runs the Burgess facility. "What gets missed is what's going well," he said.

Comments

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Posted by wcs
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Nice job of reporting a complex discussion Sandy.

Just one comment for Mr. Sheeper, re:

The noise from the pool fight obscures the underlying perception that most pool users are content with the way Mr. Sheeper runs the Burgess facility. "What gets missed is what's going well," he said.

I don't know how Tim can know what's "going well" when he doesn't invite, broad, ongoing, open customer feedback. The user's group should meet more than once per year and citizens should be given the option of participating in it. For that matter, the contract should also be reviewed more than once per year. Corporations have quarterly reviews...so that they can address whatever may need addressing in a timely manner...and also so they can let everyone know what's "going well." I'd really appreciate a more transparent process from our contractor.

Personally, in addition to "playing nice" with Solo, I'm hoping that Tim addresses the issue of making the pool a great place for families to come for open swim...right now, if you're not paying for a class or part of a team, you're a second class citizen.

Thank you for listening.


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Posted by mat
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

wcs says... "I don't know how Tim can know what's "going well" when he doesn't invite, broad, ongoing, open customer feedback."

See the details of the survey he conducted here... Web Link

317 respondents, or 66% are extremely satisfied.

Next?


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Posted by Wcs
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

As I took the survey , i'm aware of what it says. And it mentions dissatifaction w availability and space for open swim. Or, the need to address this as an issue. But perhaps you feel 66% of 3-400 people means the rest of us should just take a hike. It's not a club, it's a public swimming space. Asking for the city to address the issue is completely reasonable. Asking for fair community participation in the users group and a transparent process...also completely reasonable . Next?


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Posted by Calling Out The City Council
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:15 pm

The heart of the matter remains unaddressed by our cowardly city council:
Allowing a $6 million public facility to be run like a private country club while paying virtually no rent to the city in return.
Shameful, especially in these tough economic times.


Like this comment
Posted by Wcs
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:02 am

To: calling council out. I agree. but believe they will go through with this anyhow. From what I've seen so far.


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Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 2, 2011 at 11:07 am

Amazing oversight from folks in this forum. The city decided to outsource the running of the pool to save money - to the tune of $400K per year. That in itself is reason enough. This new council put it out to bid as they should, that problem is solved now. What the exchange will be now is fairness. You want more rent? SOLO doesn't have the money to do the programs
Sheeper does and pay the rent you want. No matter what you think, you are wrong in that.

When you outsource, you lose some key control areas. If you don't like it, don't outsource.

Council did right -- and 5-0 so it wasn't even close. But, of course, your vast experience outsourcing public pools must be heard.


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Posted by Old Menlo Swimmer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Yes, "interesting" is spot on.

@ "Calling Out" and "Wcs": You are both missing a critical calculation.

Sheeper is covering all costs of running the pool - energy costs, staffing, lifeguards, training, program development, organization, management, overhead, etc. Essentially the deal is a barter-like agreement.

The SOLO offer is higher...but you fail to account or realize that SOLO would not do any of the staffing, etc....nor would they pay the energy bills, run city programs at the pool, etc. They would have the city do that instead.

So there is the rub. You have an "apples" offer from Sheeper and an "oranges" offer from SOLO. Sheeper's program is "value-added". The SOLO offer is cash and no services provided.

The city obviously sees the value-added offer by the Sheeper program as a better deal than the cash


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

How far is the new face book campus from the Belle Haven pool--could face book/Tim Sheeper/Solo revitalize this under used facility for the use of employees and solve some of the crowding problems at Burgess at the same time??
Just wondering--there seems to be a visioning session scheduled for the 5th about the neighborhoods surrounding the new face book campus...


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Posted by long time swimmer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

Five years ago our city council was facing the possiblity of not opening the pool because of a projected operating cost of $750,000 per year. With no time for a proposal process and seeing that no real bidders existed, our courageous council majority showed leadership skills and made the right choice by contracting the aquatics center operation to Tim Sheeper. Those leaders (Duboc, Winkler and Jellins) paid the oprice with a union backlash that forced them out of office

The aquatics center has been so skillfully run that other municipalities faced with similar closures are clamoring to find how we performed this miracle.

This time around union operation was not even on the table because it is so obvious the previous council's decision was correct. Current council members Cohen and Fergussen, who voted against outsourcing to Tim at the time, are now taking credit for his success.

A proposal process has ended that probably cost the city over a hundred thousand dollars by again granting the contract to Menlo Swim and Sport. Tim Sheeper was the only qualified bidder as stated 5 years ago. SOLO, the only other bidder, is a tiny group of 75 swimmers, half of whom don't live in Menlo Park, who falsely claimed they could pay $20,000 per month rent. One look at their financials and staff correctly determined they weren't qualified. They can't even pay the market rate to rent lane time!

Now Tim is burdened with a number conditions in the contract that may sink him. The most serious of which is turning around the money losing Belle Haven pool. However with his energy, creativity and courage he will probably have another success. Tim's critics in the community, on the park and rec commission and on the council almost killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

I believe and hope this gentle giant will prevail.


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Posted by For the record
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Talk about rewriting history! "Long time swimmer" is spinning so hard I'm getting motion sick.

The city was facing the possibility of not opening the pool five years ago? That is so far from the truth it's laughable. And the cost figure cited is even higher than the bogus one often used. There was no documentation -- I repeat, NO DOCUMENTATION -- of the estimate of $500,000 the staff presented at the time of the cost to the city to run the new pool complex when it reopened. No credible breakdown of costs, no where, no how.

And the "courageous council majority" who orchestrated this outrageous no-bid take-over of a new $7 million publicly funded facility by a private company, rent-free, paid the price because the union lashed back? What a joke. Voters, who were outraged by an imperious council acting with no accountability in awarding this irresponsible contract, were finally able to hold them accountable at the polls.

I had hoped to never write another word about this whole smelly affair, which I was happy to consign to the past. But I couldn't let that nonsense stand.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

To For the Record: I'm not sure what you would qualify as "documentation"--but all the Almanac articles on the subject of their being no viable funding source to operate the pool are easily available in the Almanac archive either on line on or at physically at their offices.
I have never ended up using the pool since it was rebuilt, but I was present at all of the Menlo Park Planning or,Parks and Council meetings on the subject as this all unfolded. I remember thinking the MP staff had really mishandled the project (almost intentionally), and I was thrilled to see that Menlo Masters would be able to return to their home pool with a viable solution to the problems that town staff had created for the public.
I also remember the team collecting money to build the pool for the city just to help make it all happen--but the gift offer was rejected.


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Posted by For the record
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Ed, I have reviewed Almanac stories, and confirmed my recollection that it was only two council members who even suggested that the pool opening might be delayed. The way the story unfolded, it was clear to me and many others at the time that the statements were a ploy to ensure that Sheeper, who at least one of the above-mentioned council members knew wanted to operate the pool, would be given a contract to do so. It was all deceitful, shameful and disgraceful.

Let me ask you this: Do you really think that Menlo Park residents, after paying nearly $7 million to build this pool complex, would have allowed the council to postpone opening it? Do you think there really would have been 3 council members willing to support such a ridiculous proposal? The council woman who spearheaded this deceit got two other council members on board when it looked as if enough of the public wouldn't protest too loudly. If the public had, I'm sure the pool would have opened on time, with a much more efficient plan for the city to operate it. As it happened, the city staff wasn't even given the chance to come up with a solid, workable, low-cost plan.

Enough has been said about this. Let's move on and not resurrect old lies.


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Posted by travesty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

For the record is correct. It is irrelevant that you can find the old info in the Almanac -- the newspaper just reported the numbers that were spun by a council majority that was soundly defeated at the polls (for the pool debacle and others) a few months later.

Staff research proved that neighboring communities all ran their facilities profitably or at breakeven. The council chose to suppress this staff report in 2006.

Sheeper had no experience running such a facility when he was awarded the contract. Most of us could turn a profit if we were given a cost-free $7mm facility in which to conduct a business! The city of Menlo Park essentially provided the seed capital for Sheeper to run a business. It stuns me that so many of you don't understand how amoral that is.

My family has only visited the new pool a couple of times in the last five years because the hours that it is open to the public are so limited. We usually swim at Rinconada, even though we can walk to Sheeper's club. Alas, corruption begins at home.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I repeat --at the time this all unfolded, the Menlo Masters team was well on its way to raising the entire sum to build the pool just to make sure there would be one. AS A GIFT TO THE CITY FROM THE COMMUNITY! The Burgess pool had gone through so many years of being out of commission and closed due to disrepair that the Menlo Masters team had been swimming elsewhere for 4 or 5 years at that point, in Atherton and Redwood City pools. The offer of a free pool was rejected. The city wanted to build it themselves--they ran into financial problems because staff wanted two pools instead of one big one that would have been more efficient.
As you pointed out, by a Council Majority vote, a second offer, this time to manage the pool was made by the Menlo Master coach and this was accepted. Just Watch Tim make a big success out of the Belle Haven pool as well--when the city never could. Can't wait to hear you complain about that also.


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Posted by travesty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Love the history rewrite. Menlo Masters was largely responsible for the delay of pool construction that resulted in substantially increased costs. They demanded an Olympic sized pool; they didn't care if the kids lost their playground or if their Olympic facility depleted Measure T funds. Because the pool soaked up so much Measure T money, many of the promised renovations on the Measure T list will never be funded.

The pool is a success only for Tim and his minions. Those of us who would like a community pool have lost most access to our city's only aquatic facility, allocated only a scrap of space during limited hours. Sheeper probably thinks he's doing us a favor -- what do we expect for a mere $5?

As for the spurious "donation," I think you are confusing Menlo Park with Los Altos, where the masters group did raise money to construct the pool. Interestingly enough, in Los Altos the city retained control over many aspects of operation.

I'm not sure how Belle Haven will be a success, given that there is no built-in customer base to support the kinds of programs Tim runs. I surely don't expect the Atherton crowd to head east of the freeway for their recreation. Should be fun to watch, and don't be surprised if Sheeper comes away looking a mite sheepish when it all goes down the drain.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Talk about history re-writes!! Hats off on the "perception management".
I worked on the fund raising drive myself. I know how every detail of how hard the team worked and how much, and how fast we collected money from our own membership. There were some individual pledges of 100,000 plus! Yes it was for one 50 meter pools meant for partitioned use because it was cheaper. And yes there are a lot of more serious swimmers who wanted the 50 meter option with a more usual 25 meter width to use for a variety of configurations. The two pool system seems to have worked quite well anyway and as you might have noticed by now swimmers in general are pretty good at adjusting to flow around obstacles which ever way is required.


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Posted by John P Johns
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

As a member of the Menlo Masters swim club for six years, I followed Tim from Sacred Heart to Herkner to Burgess Park. Tim's program at each facility was first class.

Tim has done more than keep a body of water heated and chlorinated. His efforts have helped transform a facility that was in danger of becoming a $6 million white elephant into a gathering place.

Tim Sheeper has built a great program, or more correctly a great portfolio of programs at Burgess.

The fact that he would be subject to sniping from anonymous posters is troublesome to me. I honestly believe that those who criticize Tim, how he was awarded the contract to operate Burgess and how he has managed the facility is a sign of ignorance.

I know Tim to be an honorable man. Although Tim is not on the public payroll, he is, in my view, a public servant of the highest calibre.


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Posted by Long time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 7:57 am

The city manager and his staff made the right decision. Period! City staff appear to have done an excellent job vetting both operators. I'm glad the council supported the city staff's recommendation. I don't want the city to take a chance on an unknown operator when the current operator is doing a good job AND saving the city $$. Win for city. Win for tax payers. Win for swimmers.


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Posted by travesty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

It's not a win for taxpayers -- except for those who belong to Sheeper's club, as many of you do (especially those who do not live in Menlo Park so pay no taxes to the city or carrying costs of Measure T). We are footing the bill and subsidizing a membership that saves you thousands a year in country club dues.

I have no problem with a third party vendor running the pool, though the staff (and council's) grasp of economics leaves something to be desired. The concern is that the city relinquished all control over operations instead of following the Los Altos model.

Bottom line: it is (nominally) a public pool, and the public should be accommodated. Instead, residents of Menlo Park who are not part of Sheeper's elite club are relegated to the aquatic equivalent of steerage. The council should have insisted, on our behalf, that we get a minimum of six hours/day during the summer and full pool access, which is what Palo Alto residents have.

A travesty, and it is shocking that those of you who benefit from it are so blind to the corruption.


Like this comment
Posted by John P Johns
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:01 am

It's a travesty when anonymous posters try to ruin the reputation of a fine club and a fine gentleman.

I've visited Burgess on a dozen or more occasions during the past couple of years. My visits have been as a member of the public, not as a member of Menlo Masters. During these visits I have never been relegated to steerage as the poster under the pseudonym "travesty" would have it.

I have had a choice of swimming with the Masters (a very welcoming crowd mind you) or swimming laps on my own for which several lanes are reserved.

I am no stranger to corruption in local government. I fell victim to corruption myself when I worked for Menlo Park's northern neighbor.

The deal struck with Sheeper was a very good deal for the taxpayers. The competition was above board and hard fought. Sheeper won.

Travesty should accept the outcome rather than continue to poison the waters with a smear campaign.


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Posted by travesty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

How on earth is this a smear against Sheeper? He is only doing what any capitalist would do, trying to maximize his profits. But since his business is dependent on the largesse of the public, it behooves our staff/council to stipulate that the public be accommodated. That has not happened.

I'm thrilled that people who want to swim laps are allowed to do so. But the fact is that our old pool also accommodated families. You know, people with kids who wanted to bring their kids to play in the water. Marco Polo isn't much fun when you're confined to a tiny corner. How is it a "good deal" for the taxpayers when those of us with families can't use the pool? Unless we sign our kids up for classes, of course!

Anyone who thinks the competition was "above board and hard fought" was not around in 2006. But that's history. What's important now is to ensure that the needs of all the public, not just the Sheeper groupies (Sheepies) are met. And in this regard, council/staff has failed. Meanwhile, we are paying taxes to Menlo Park, paying the costs of Measure T...and going to other cities to swim. Pathetic.


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Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

So if I understand you correctly---you liked the previous crumbling facility better--when far less people were drawn to use it , and when there were far less programs.
Just a Big open free swim and a lifeguard--Right?
Sounds pretty nice and much Better for you I'm sure.........but
Please remember this was unsustainable for the city and would be for any other management contractor as well.


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Posted by get a life
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

Dear Travesty

Your posts are a smear campaign. You are not content with the result. So you cast unsupported allegations against the selection process and malign the prevailing party.

You are nothing but a cyberbully.


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

For those of you who enjoy coming over to Rinconada for open swim time --- please note that the pool does not operate at a profit. Never has. PA sees it as a "benefit" to the community and covers the difference between revenues (swim team rental and daily attendance fees) and the costs (energy, chemicals, staffing, maintenance).

I continue to be amazed by those arguments that say Sheeper is rent free. I think they do pay some sort of 4-figure fee. I cannot comment on whether the city deal is a good one or not.

But at least try to get your heads around the concept that Sheeper is responsible for covering all operational costs of the Burgess Pool - Menlo Park does not cover any of the following: electricty, gas, chemicals, staffing, janitorial, program development and management, etc. So what you are (conveniently) ignoring in your arguments is that Sheeper is paying rent in the form of directly covering the costs of running the pool (vs. paying the city to do it for them).

In Palo Alto, the city covers those costs and runs the programs. The PASA swim team rents Rinconada - but does nothing towards running the pool. But make no mistake, it is a deficit operation.

You can't have it both ways. You either rent it out and manage it yourselves (most likely at a loss) or have a private firm (profit or non-profit) cover the operations for you.

Just to give you an idea of what pool rentals are - Stanford will rent one of their pools to club at $100/hour. Paly rents at $80/hour...SOLO is getting a pretty nice discount compared to current market rates.


Like this comment
Posted by Long time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

It's obvious who affiliated with the losing bidder isn't it!


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Posted by Travesty
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Wow, so I'm a "bully" and "affiliated with the losing bidder." Wrong on both counts. I'm just a mom looking for a place for my kids to swim. Looks as though our city has overlooked the needs of families, and now we've got a bunch of haters on this forum who want to make sure we know know just how much they despise recreational swimmers.

Look, I already got the message: Sheeper's pool doesn't want our kind. Thank you for reaffirming that. Enjoy freeloading off the rest of us.


Like this comment
Posted by Calling Out The City Council
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

This has always been about what the pool should be:
A) A community pool - run at loss, no doubt - but run for the general public (since it was paid for by the general public).
b) A pseudo country-club, run by a private enterprise, who has taken advantage of what the city has allowed to happen.

If Sheeper was such a "fine gentleman" who really gave a rat's you-know-what about the public, he'd open up his books plus commit to running his enteprise as a non-profit.

I ain't holding my breath waiting for that to happen, though.

Yea, it's a travesty.


Like this comment
Posted by Long time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:11 am

If the losing bidder wants more lane time, use Bell Haven year 'round or use MA school pool. It's my understanding he's the coach at MA.


Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

As a Menlo Park resident AND parent of kids who take lessons at the pool I see both sides. I understand the sensible argument made by those who point out it isn't such sweetheart deal for Tim Sheeper as some are making it out to be, and he is paying many costs that would have otherwise have been on the city.

That said, the person who identified herself as a Mom wanting more recreational swim opportunities for families has called out an issue that has bothered me about the pool as well. My kids are getting excellent instruction, and I while I'm not a team or lap swimmer, several friends are -- and they deserve some guaranteed time as well.

However, as several folks have pointed out -- there is part of this debate that isn't about whether Sheeper is getting a special deal. With respect to our family swim experience that isn't the main question for me. The important thing is -- can we go to the pool outside of lessons and just swim with friends and/or family?

The answer is NO. In that respect, Burgess is not a good community pool. Let me be clear -- it is excellent in a number of other respects. The bottom line is that if we want to swim as a family in our own town at a supposedly public pool on a hot summer day we usually can't -- unless we want to sit in 2 1/2 feet of water in the baby pool.

Burgess doesn't have to turn into Rinconada, but come on -- can't there be some sort of middle ground here? That's what I would like to see. It doesn't have to be either/or, but if Tim Sheeper reads any of these articles or commentaries, and assuming he is a "fine gentleman", then I'd like to see him work to negotiate some reasonable middle ground.


Like this comment
Posted by Long time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

I am not affiliated with either pool party but being a resident of Mennlo Park I believe the city council made the right economic decision. I'm happy the city council saw through the smoke and selected a way to save us $$.


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I just checked out the pool schedule and see the problem for family swimmers.

However, I was over at Burgess during the holidays (for a class) and noted that families did use the "bubble" pool for fun - the only problem is that all of the lane lines were left in the pool.

The solution is simple and would not take much adjustment --- have the facility remove some lane lines to accommodate "rec swimming". The pool does not have to be 100% lane lines.

Many local swim/racket clubs do the exact same thing; with much smaller facilities. They lane off about half the pool and then leave the other half open for kids/families/fun.

Easy to accomplish.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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