News

Menlo Park council in tense negotiations with aquatics center operator over Burgess Pool contract

Mayor: 'I would shut the pool down rather than give in to these demands'

The Menlo Park City Council heard complaints from some residents that under operator Tim Sheeper, Burgess Pool focuses on athletic programs to the detriment of other pool users. File photo by Michelle Le.

Contract negotiations to decide who will operate Menlo Park's public pools appear to have hit an impasse at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 28.

The city offered current Burgess Pool operator Tim Sheeper a one-year contract as it seeks to find a single operator to run both Burgess Pool and the new Menlo Park Community Campus (MPCC) aquatics center in Belle Haven, which is set to open in 2023.

Since 2006, the city has outsourced the operation of its public pools to Sheeper.

At issue is not only the contract details, but criticism that under Sheeper, too much priority has been given to athletic programs at the expense of public access to the pools.

I would shut the pool down rather than give in to these demands.

-Betsy Nash, Menlo Park mayor

Sheeper was not at the meeting, though he and Carole Hayworth, CFO of Team Sheeper sent emails to the City Council that provided their stance on the negotiations.

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Sheeper listed several of the accomplishments under his supervision, including offering the "lowest-cost and highest accessibility" for both open and lap swim, as well as claiming to have had the highest number of public year-round swim lessons in the Bay Area prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheeper states that he is requesting a five-year contract to rebuild the institution following the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We fully believe it will take an all-hands-on-deck, concerted effort and that length of time to build back to our baseline of services we had pre-pandemic," Sheeper wrote.

He said he is interested in operating the new MPCC facility, but that the company cannot assume the risk of both Burgess pool and MPCC being included in the city’s request for proposals from new operators, so he would like Burgess to be excluded from the process.

Hayworth's email noted that Sheeper waited two months to hear from the city following his notice of termination, before sending his starting terms on May 2. She wrote that the contract was being negotiated so close to the contract's end due to city staff delays and a lack of notice about it being brought to the council. She also said that the contract being offered was not a one-year contract, but a contract subject to end either in a year or when the Belle Haven pool is completed.

"This leaves complete uncertainty and instability not knowing exactly when the contract would actually terminate," Hayworth wrote. "(The contract) is not guaranteed to last through another cycle. We are looking for some stability and commitment."

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Hayworth said that Sheeper and Menlo Park had a history of five-year contracts before the current one-year contracts began and that only monthly memberships are available to pool users until he knows whether the contract will be terminated.

According to city staff, Sheeper is also requesting compensation for revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and to end a revenue-sharing agreement that's in the current contract, which expires on Aug. 31. In February, Sheeper issued a notice of termination if he and the city can't come to an agreement before the contract ends.

Three people spoke at the meeting about the lack of access for disabled and elderly residents of Menlo Park at Burgess Pool, bringing up the cancellation of several wellness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic that were never reinstated. There is currently one wellness class offered at Burgess Pool.

“There's been an undue emphasis on the athletic component of Tim Sheeper to the exclusion of some of the rest of the residents of Menlo Park,” resident Janet Davis said. “Especially the elderly and the disabled … a lot of people who would like to use the pool cannot at the moment.”

Council members took issue with both the lack of wellness programs at Burgess Pool as well as Sheeper’s contract requests.

“I think for Mr. Sheeper essentially to be threatening to take his ball and go home when it’s, in fact, the city’s pool is … a very challenging place to be,” Mayor Betsy Nash said.

Nash also said that she didn’t see why Sheeper would be compensated for lost revenue when residents weren’t receiving the services offered by Burgess Pool.

Council member Cecilia Taylor asked if the city or Sheeper had done a survey of those who use the pool in order to gauge interest in specific programs and see if Burgess Pool is serving the full needs of the community. Sheeper does conduct a survey annually, said Sean Reinhart, director of Library and Community Services.

Council member Jen Wolosin suggested that a community-wide survey be conducted to see if there are people not being served by the pool who wouldn’t have been included in Sheeper's surveys. She added that she’s grateful to Sheeper for the service of operating the pool over the years.

“We do get emails from various residents and constituents with concerns,” Wolosin said. She stated that the emails tend to focus on a lack of accessibility for elderly and disabled residents as well as families. "It's hard to know the extent of how many residents are really satisfied.”

Nash also took issue with the terms requested by Sheeper and did not want to change the contract offered by the city.

“I would shut the pool down rather than give in to these demands,” Nash said. “There are many things that (Sheeper) does well, but right now I do not like to be bullied into a position where I don't think it is advantageous for the city, I don't think it's advantageous for the residents.”

Wolosin, while open to negotiation, said she believes the five-year contract to be “untenable.”

Nash proposed a motion to offer Sheeper a one-year contract and proceed with a request for proposals for both pools while staying open to negotiations with Sheeper.

The motion passed 3-1 with Ray Mueller recusing himself and Drew Combs opposed. Combs said that he was not against the motion, but would like to concede to some of Sheeper’s terms while still looking for another operator for both pools.

If no agreement is reached, Sheeper's contract will end on Aug. 31 and Burgess Pool will transfer to another contractor or be run by the city of Menlo Park.

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Cameron Rebosio
 
Cameron Rebosio joined the Almanac in 2022 as the Menlo Park reporter. She previously wrote for the Daily Californian and the Palo Alto Weekly. Read more >>

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Menlo Park council in tense negotiations with aquatics center operator over Burgess Pool contract

Mayor: 'I would shut the pool down rather than give in to these demands'

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 8:27 am
Updated: Tue, Jul 5, 2022, 10:13 am

Contract negotiations to decide who will operate Menlo Park's public pools appear to have hit an impasse at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 28.

The city offered current Burgess Pool operator Tim Sheeper a one-year contract as it seeks to find a single operator to run both Burgess Pool and the new Menlo Park Community Campus (MPCC) aquatics center in Belle Haven, which is set to open in 2023.

Since 2006, the city has outsourced the operation of its public pools to Sheeper.

At issue is not only the contract details, but criticism that under Sheeper, too much priority has been given to athletic programs at the expense of public access to the pools.

Sheeper was not at the meeting, though he and Carole Hayworth, CFO of Team Sheeper sent emails to the City Council that provided their stance on the negotiations.

Sheeper listed several of the accomplishments under his supervision, including offering the "lowest-cost and highest accessibility" for both open and lap swim, as well as claiming to have had the highest number of public year-round swim lessons in the Bay Area prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheeper states that he is requesting a five-year contract to rebuild the institution following the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We fully believe it will take an all-hands-on-deck, concerted effort and that length of time to build back to our baseline of services we had pre-pandemic," Sheeper wrote.

He said he is interested in operating the new MPCC facility, but that the company cannot assume the risk of both Burgess pool and MPCC being included in the city’s request for proposals from new operators, so he would like Burgess to be excluded from the process.

Hayworth's email noted that Sheeper waited two months to hear from the city following his notice of termination, before sending his starting terms on May 2. She wrote that the contract was being negotiated so close to the contract's end due to city staff delays and a lack of notice about it being brought to the council. She also said that the contract being offered was not a one-year contract, but a contract subject to end either in a year or when the Belle Haven pool is completed.

"This leaves complete uncertainty and instability not knowing exactly when the contract would actually terminate," Hayworth wrote. "(The contract) is not guaranteed to last through another cycle. We are looking for some stability and commitment."

Hayworth said that Sheeper and Menlo Park had a history of five-year contracts before the current one-year contracts began and that only monthly memberships are available to pool users until he knows whether the contract will be terminated.

According to city staff, Sheeper is also requesting compensation for revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic and to end a revenue-sharing agreement that's in the current contract, which expires on Aug. 31. In February, Sheeper issued a notice of termination if he and the city can't come to an agreement before the contract ends.

Three people spoke at the meeting about the lack of access for disabled and elderly residents of Menlo Park at Burgess Pool, bringing up the cancellation of several wellness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic that were never reinstated. There is currently one wellness class offered at Burgess Pool.

“There's been an undue emphasis on the athletic component of Tim Sheeper to the exclusion of some of the rest of the residents of Menlo Park,” resident Janet Davis said. “Especially the elderly and the disabled … a lot of people who would like to use the pool cannot at the moment.”

Council members took issue with both the lack of wellness programs at Burgess Pool as well as Sheeper’s contract requests.

“I think for Mr. Sheeper essentially to be threatening to take his ball and go home when it’s, in fact, the city’s pool is … a very challenging place to be,” Mayor Betsy Nash said.

Nash also said that she didn’t see why Sheeper would be compensated for lost revenue when residents weren’t receiving the services offered by Burgess Pool.

Council member Cecilia Taylor asked if the city or Sheeper had done a survey of those who use the pool in order to gauge interest in specific programs and see if Burgess Pool is serving the full needs of the community. Sheeper does conduct a survey annually, said Sean Reinhart, director of Library and Community Services.

Council member Jen Wolosin suggested that a community-wide survey be conducted to see if there are people not being served by the pool who wouldn’t have been included in Sheeper's surveys. She added that she’s grateful to Sheeper for the service of operating the pool over the years.

“We do get emails from various residents and constituents with concerns,” Wolosin said. She stated that the emails tend to focus on a lack of accessibility for elderly and disabled residents as well as families. "It's hard to know the extent of how many residents are really satisfied.”

Nash also took issue with the terms requested by Sheeper and did not want to change the contract offered by the city.

“I would shut the pool down rather than give in to these demands,” Nash said. “There are many things that (Sheeper) does well, but right now I do not like to be bullied into a position where I don't think it is advantageous for the city, I don't think it's advantageous for the residents.”

Wolosin, while open to negotiation, said she believes the five-year contract to be “untenable.”

Nash proposed a motion to offer Sheeper a one-year contract and proceed with a request for proposals for both pools while staying open to negotiations with Sheeper.

The motion passed 3-1 with Ray Mueller recusing himself and Drew Combs opposed. Combs said that he was not against the motion, but would like to concede to some of Sheeper’s terms while still looking for another operator for both pools.

If no agreement is reached, Sheeper's contract will end on Aug. 31 and Burgess Pool will transfer to another contractor or be run by the city of Menlo Park.

Comments

Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 2, 2022 at 9:49 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Jul 2, 2022 at 9:49 am

If the Menlo Park library was operated on the same principles as the pool is currently being operated only AP students would be allowed to use the library except for maybe one hour a day.


Lifetime Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 2, 2022 at 4:07 pm
Lifetime Resident, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jul 2, 2022 at 4:07 pm

This is a tough situation and difficult to decide, but the demands he is placing on the city are not realistic. Let him walk and bring the operation f the pools back inhouse trough the Park and Rec department. Outsourcing is reasonable in some cases, but the city is absorbing all the cost of operation of the pools and this guy is reaping(raping) the city for his financial benefit.


Mitchell Johnson
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 3, 2022 at 2:06 pm
Mitchell Johnson , Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jul 3, 2022 at 2:06 pm

How is the city going to run a massively complex operation like a swimming pool? Do they even have a clue what this kind of staffing and detail involve? Who is going to unlock the doors everyday at 6am? Tim Sheeper has been responsible, generous, dedicated and professional throughout his tenure. If five people said they don’t like shopping at the Safeway on El Camino would you close down the Safeway? What an ungrateful city council and community. Good luck trying to keep Burgess running without Team Sheeper. You’ll need it.


Frozen
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 4, 2022 at 1:28 pm
Frozen, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2022 at 1:28 pm

Let's put this in perspective.

Sheeper was handed a brand new pool 15 years ago, and subsequent councils have renewed his contract multiple times. Pretty sweet deal, and if he ran a community operation, few people would have problems with it.

However, from the beginning, his priority has been his masters swim program. By all accounts, he is an inspiring coach, and many members are regular Menlo Park residents. Others, though, are among local movers & shakers with pools of their own in Atherton and Hillsborough, often with county club memberships too, but they trek over to our pool because of Tim. I have to wonder how much pressure these non-residents have exerted to maintain the status quo -- I've never seen the Almanac explore this aspect at all.

Our family used to go to the old pool, as grungy as it was, and one of my kids was on the swim team. Once Tim took over, community hours were reduced substantially, and when we did venture over there, we were confined to a small section of the pool. Even though we live walking distance from Burgess, we started heading to Rinconada and paying non-resident fees to use a facility that is much more welcoming to families.

I am glad the council is questioning this new agreement. Sheeper has had a good ride; time for someone with a community focus to begin operating the pool.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 4, 2022 at 6:15 pm
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 4, 2022 at 6:15 pm

Great, so now the City will close the pool in addition to the Gymnastics center?! How exactly is this serving the community?! A little late to put the contract out for bid, and obviously the dysfunctional City management is in no way qualified to run the aquatics facility in the professional manner that we’ve seen under Sheeper. Keep the terms for a year and keep the pool open while putting operations out for bids. How utterly disgraceful to hear our Mayor state that she would rather shut down the pool.


ZB
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 5, 2022 at 12:30 pm
ZB, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 12:30 pm

I, for one, have followed Tim Sheeper from pool to pool, happily landing at Burgess for the past 11 years, when it became my neighborhood pool. I will continue to follow him as long as he is coaching and managing a swim program. I expect a lot of swimmers will also follow him, leaving Burgess with too few paying customers. He did an excellent job of leading us through covid restrictions and concerns, as well as maintenance issues that arise from time to time.


Brian
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 5, 2022 at 2:12 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 2:12 pm

The city used to run the pool and they should do so again. I agree with some of the above statements, Burgess used to be a community pool, now it feels like a private pool that allows residents to use a small section of the pool for limited hours. I hope the city kicks Sheeper and his ridiculous demands out and either runs it themselves or brings in an organization that respects the community and encourages them to come to the pool.


codydog
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 5, 2022 at 2:54 pm
codydog, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 2:54 pm

So we have come full circle from when the pools at Burgess were completed 15 years ago. The first thing the City did then was to announce that they could not afford to run the pool year round and would only keep it open in the summer.
So our Mayor is can build on that policy policy and shut the pools down entirely. What an achievement!
Such a shame to destroy such a successful program. We have been so lucky to have this swim facility so ably run by Tim and crew all these years.


Cameron
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 5, 2022 at 4:51 pm
Cameron, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 4:51 pm

I would encourage Mayor Nash to take a balanced view of the pool which includes the voice of the majority of the people who use the pool. The city ran the pool 15 years ago - it was not well used - I encourage the city to look at the attendance numbers from that time.

Sheeper has a number of strong, highly used, programs. These programs are the MOST reputable and well attended programs on the peninsula. There are always lanes available for lap and casual swim. The athletic lanes are often packed with 5,6,7 swimmers while the casual lanes have one or no swimmers.

I would encourage Mayor Nash to survey people who actually use the pool, in addition to the vocal few who want it as their own private backyard pool, during the contract negotiations.

The pool is clean, well maintained, the staff are happy and cordial. Burgess has an excellent reputation along the peninsula reflecting well upon MP. Please don't change something that is not broken. Also of note.... Sheeper runs events which collect thousands of cans of food each year for the local community along with other programs - he is invested in MP!


Iris
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 5, 2022 at 5:02 pm
Iris, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 5:02 pm

It sounds as if Sheeper has been doing two things: 1) operator of the pool itself (e.g., opening it up, making sure there are life guards, checking the water and plumbing), and 2) controller of the programming, most of which are provided by Sheeper himself as a for-profit business. If that is true, then isn't this potentially a form of self-dealing, putting one's interests above that of our residents? I don't know enough to say this is what is happening, but from other comments here, it appears that there are concerns along those lines.

Why is it that one contractor has both roles? Why is it that a contractor who manages the programs is able also to award so many programs to himself?

What if the City managed the programming of the pool (i.e., its uses), allowing its interpretation of what is best for the residential community that pays for the pool? And, unlike the past when the City employees also ran most of the programs, what if most if not all of those programs were outsourced to external providers at times and prices that benefit the City?


Unbelievable
Registered user
another community
on Jul 5, 2022 at 5:08 pm
Unbelievable, another community
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 5:08 pm

This story starts in June 2020 when an experienced Parks & Rec Director was fired to save money and replaced with someone who has no experience in the field. The current Community Services Director has no business leading a department of professionals have left in droves since he took over. Over 10 management staff from the Assistant Director to Program Assistants have left because of him and his poor leadership. He responsible for ensuring that the aquatics program runs smoothly and the contract requirements are being followed.
The Parks & Rec department has no staff with experience to run an aquatics operation because they have all left the department leaving it without the ability to run major programs like aquatics, special events, gymnastics and even every day programs.
It is the councils job to provide quality programs for our community and statements like Mayor Nash's, "I would rather shut down the pools rather than give in to their demands" confirm what many of us already know. They put personal agenda's over the good of the community.


PH
Registered user
Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 5, 2022 at 7:18 pm
PH, Woodside: Emerald Hills
Registered user
on Jul 5, 2022 at 7:18 pm

@Unbelievable "This story starts in June 2020 when..."

Actually the story starts in 2001 when voters of Menlo Park voted to pony up $38M in bonds for *PUBLIC* facilities that include the pool.

I don't pretend that MP has ever run the pool as well as Sheeper might, but we have all struggled with the fact that Tim might be unduly privatizing a public facility.

Maybe it means that council beat up on Justin Murphy to find a public employee who can run the pool, or maybe it means that the bidding process be more competitive and more strict in requiring public access and public times, or whatever, but I am with Mayor Nash on this one, that I have always worried, since we first built the pool that it wasn't as available to the public as I had imagined when we floated the bond.

It is not a private pool and never meant to be one.


John Higgins
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 6, 2022 at 10:02 am
John Higgins, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 10:02 am

I'm a Menlo Park homeowner who had a total hip replacement in March and I've been swimming with the Menlo Masters as part of my ongoing rehabilitation from that surgery. There are many people who swim with the masters who have similar health conditions, but every masters swimmer is trying to maintain their health and fitness. My daughters learned to swim at Burgess and then swam for the Mavericks team. The supposed division between community members and athletes based on the programs that they participate in is artificial.
The best thing for the community is that be pool be used as much as possible. Tim Sheeper does an outstanding job running Burgess pool and is incredibly focussed on the needs of the community. He deserves a lot of recognition for keeping the pool open and in use as much as possible during COVID and he deserves a 5 year renewal of his contract.


Nearby Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:33 pm
Nearby Resident, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:33 pm

Take a look at the schedule of availability for the two pools at Burgess Park:
Web Link

Very few hours are taken up by the Masters program. Indeed, there are many hours of lap swim and open swim. Programs like summer camps and youth team practices serve our local youth.

It's very deceptive to say that only elite athletes are being given access to Burgess Pool. On the contrary, if you show up on any morning between 8am-12noon, you will see a preponderance of elderly pool users.


Nearby Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:59 pm
Nearby Resident, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Could somebody please describe what is meant by "wellness programs" that are missing?

Also, how specifically are the elderly and disabled not able to access the pool enough?


Nearby Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:10 pm
Nearby Resident, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 2:10 pm

Here is an example of how the city runs a spacious resource, the Nealon Park softball field. For years, the softball field was used by my children on the weekends or in the afternoons (when it wasn't being used by the local soccer or baseball/softball teams), they would go and play catch or baseball. Or frisbee or just hang out there. It's a huge grassy field. Dogs are not allowed there (except M-F 8-10am), and some complaints came in regarding dog waste and dogs being there in the off-limits hours. So instead of figuring out how to manage the situation (e.g. post more signs about dogs not being allowed, or patrolling the area to remind people of the rules) while keeping access open, what does the city do? They close down and lock the softball field. Now, the only people who can use the field are the dog owners from 8-10am on weekdays, and people who reserve and pay for the field for their sports activities. All the other hours in the day and week, that beautiful giant softball field is chained up and locked for no one to use. What a waste.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 6, 2022 at 4:54 pm
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 4:54 pm

So, having Menlo Swim and Sport provide excellent services to the community, so good in fact that some say it feels like a private swim club, maybe even a country club in Menlo Park - but open to everyone with reasonable drop in fees is somehow a bad thing?! Some people complaining about his contract with the City would prefer NO a pool access or a poorly run and understaffed aquatics center?! This is why we can’t have nice things..


codydog
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 6, 2022 at 5:53 pm
codydog, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 5:53 pm

Memo to Mayor Nash and City Council of Menlo Park
You are listening to a small chorus of complainers who loudly make unsupported allegations about the poor management of the Burgess pool. The criticisms levelled by this complainer's chorus have no evidence or facts to support their claims. Our Mayor has peevishly declared that she will close down our greatly valued and widely used pool complex.
The Burgess complex is the ONLY athletic facility in current use in Menlo Park.
There is no comparable swim facility in the Bay Area that rivals Burgess. People love the pools here and the varied programs offered to many kinds of swimmers.
This is all possible because the City does not run the pool. Our Mayor and Council have failed us in attacking a well loved and heavily used program that could never be replicated under City control.
You are unresponsive to the greater community you are sworn to serve. No due diligence of any kind has been done here. If you are incapable of negotiating in good faith to preserve a valued community asset you should step down and make way for someone who can. There is no reason the City cannot negotiate a fair contract that ensures we can continue to enjoy the outstanding swim facility we have in place.


Stuart Soffer
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 6, 2022 at 7:19 pm
Stuart Soffer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 7:19 pm
Pot Meet Kettle
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 6, 2022 at 8:03 pm
Pot Meet Kettle, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2022 at 8:03 pm

First, a number of commenters seems to define "community" as Menlo Park residents or worse yet, "homeowners". But people who live in the southern peninsula (PA, MP, RWC, Portola Valley, etc) all use and enjoy each others' parks, rec classes, and sports facilities. Yes, Menlo Park residents are fortunate to have a public pool as nice as Burgess and should want it to stay that way. But Tim Sheeper and his successful swimming and triathlon programs are big reason why Burgess is as nice as it is. It shouldn't matter what zip code pool users come from--they are paying customers.

Second, the commenters who think the City can just go out and hire enough lifeguards, swim instructors, and pool attendants to keep the pool open and fully staffed on the same schedule as Team Sheeper are completely out of touch with reality. The City already has vacancies throughout its org chart. Letting Sheeper's contract lapse would just add to this problem.


Menlo Lifestyle
Registered user
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:29 am
Menlo Lifestyle, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:29 am

"I would rather shut down the pools rather than give in to their demands." What a childish statement. Once again our city council shows their total lack of connection with the residents of Menlo Park. Betsy is going to throw a tantrum and effectively eliminate a valuable service that we pay for. Of course most of the clown car falls right in behind.

This city council is so out of touch with Menlo Park. They've got a community that is the envy of most of the Bay Area and at every corner they're tearing it down.


James Pistorino
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 7, 2022 at 9:43 am
James Pistorino, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 9:43 am

I am hoping to bring a bit of objectivity to this discussion.

First, when the pool was reconstructed, the City determined that it could not afford to operate the pool/was not competent to. Thus, a private operator was chosen that turned what would have been a significant expense into a small/slight revenue generator. What makes people think the City is more able to afford/has become more competent to operate the pool/can operate the pool better/cheaper than a private operator?

Second, as I understand it, after an initial fixed period, the City/Sheeper contract automatically renews at the end of each August for one year, except if either party provides notice 6 months before the renewal date. Apparently, Sheeper has been attempting to negotiate the contract but still provided notice of termination in February. Thus, the City is facing an August 31, date when Sheeper will stop operating the pool. From a sheer negotiation perspective, the time for the City to be negotiating/seeking alternatives was months ago, not when they face the imminent shut down of the pool. Again, if this is how they operate, what makes anybody think they could run the pool competently/cheaply?

Third, while I like Tim Sheeper and think he has done an excellent job running the pool (but please reopen the pro-shop), I have no dog in this fight. If there is another operator that can do a better job/the same job more cheaply, the City should contract with them. To my knowledge, there is no such entity. One entity we know cannot do it is the City. With regard to what Sheeper seeks in a contract, it does not sound crazy/excessive/exorbitant to me. Instead, it sounds like what someone operating a business would want. This is what negotiation is for.

Finally, my family has used the pool daily/weekly since it was rebuilt in 2006. I have never seen a lack of access and it has always seemed open/welcoming to everyone. In my view, Menlo Park is lucky to have it. Don't mess with success.


Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:07 pm
Roy Thiele-Sardiña, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:07 pm

Institutional memory lass has people forgetting how absolutely HORRIBLE the pool was run under Menlo Park's reign (Pre-Sheeper)

I have said it many times, I don't consider the City capable of operating ANYTHING....efficiently, effectively or fiscally. These are the same council members with a HUGE unpaid pension deficit spending big money to hire more employees.

If Ms. Nash goes through with shutting down the pool as she bluffed. I assure you I will lead the charger for her recall. while it is obvious she is bluffing, that negotiating style would harm the city and it's residents (her constituents)

Roy Thiele-Sardina


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:42 pm
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 4:42 pm

The City needs to renew a 5 year contract with Sheeper if that’s what it takes to keep the pool open and operating in a professional manner. You can’t expect the contractor to invest in the program in a year to year contract - it had always been for 5 years prior to Covid. And BTW, the Almanac writer could have done a better job on the story and included comments from people who actually use the pool facility regularly instead of just reporting on a handful of complainers whose accounts are sketchy and clearly weren’t fact checked.


dave gildea
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm
dave gildea, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm

I read a criticism that too much priority has been given to athletic programs at the expense of public programs. This distinction is strange since any member of the public can join the athletic programs and all members of the athletic programs are members of the public. In any case, the criticism is not valid. Burgess has lap swim and open swim for almost all hours for almost all days. The primary exceptions are the youth and adult swim teams. These teams intensively pack 4 to 6 swimmers per lane over several lanes during their time allotments. I wonder if the author of the criticism has considered that these swimmers would be spread into the lanes and times that are currently allocated to lap and open swims? Or, would the author advocate that the teams be eliminated from their use of the pool?


Cyn
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:40 pm
Cyn, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2022 at 8:40 pm

My husband and I are long-time Menlo Park residents and have been enjoying lap swimming in the Burgess pool since 1985, starting when the pool was managed by the Menlo Park city staff and subsequently when Tim Sheeper took over. We therefore have many years of comparison of the managing of Burgess pool under the two systems. I have always compared the pool management under Tim Sheeper to a Swiss watch. Everything always worked, was beautifully handled, things were clearly labeled, and there was great attention to detail. Sheeper’s swimming instructors and employees returned year after year and were excellent communicators with children and adults.

My husband and I are in our mid 70s, and I am disabled (double arm amputee). We have never had any problems finding a time when we could swim in either or both the instructional and the performance pools. Because of my disability, I prefer a shallower lane in the performance pool; the extremely accommodating swimming instructors would always allow me to share the shallow lane if a lesson were in progress. We have nothing but praise for Sheeper’s management of the pool and think it would be a travesty to not allow him to renew his contract to manage it. Moreover, Sheeper has maximized use of the pools by many constituencies without seriously limiting access by any one group.

The dependability of staff and the condition of the pool were significantly poorer when the city managed the pool: staff not showing up on time, constant turnover, etc. Please do the right thing and do not have the city attempt to take over the complex management of the city pool, but rather allow Tim Sheeper to continue his outstanding management of Burgess pool.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 8, 2022 at 3:58 am
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 3:58 am

Beautiful note, Cyn - and I share your sentiments.

Please email the Menlo Park City Council.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 8, 2022 at 7:55 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 7:55 am

Perhaps the issue is one of perception and reception.

Participants in the organized program are, by definition, well organized and have an advocate.

Individuals nor participating in the organized program must find their own way - some do but many do not.

Why not have someone serve as the organizer and advocate for the individuals who wish to use the pool but who do not wish to or are not able to participate in the organized programs?


Mitchell Johnson
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jul 8, 2022 at 8:07 am
Mitchell Johnson , Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 8:07 am

Peter Carpenter, have you ever been to the pool? There is a reception desk with a friendly helpful person always available to help all types of swimmers, all types of pool users. This has been the case for years.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 8, 2022 at 9:25 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 9:25 am

"Peter Carpenter, have you ever been to the pool?"

Yes - years ago I used it for a few months but dropped out when I found the then in place schedule for individual use too difficult to accommodate my needs.


Frozen
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 8, 2022 at 9:40 am
Frozen, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 9:40 am

A couple of things.

First, comparing the former pool operation to the current operation is misleading. Former staff members were fine! The problem was a 50+ year old pool that kept breaking down, which is why it was the first project approved with Measure T money. (As an aside, squabbling among council members -- the same people who later gave the pool to Sheeper without any discussion -- led to a delay in construction, increase in price, and thus, less Measure T funding for other priority projects.)

Second, it's pretty clear that Tim's posse has heard about this thread, hence the recent posts praising him. How about talking to the many residents of our city who don't use the pool -- to find out their issues. I can name one: the fixation on "lanes" and "laps" makes the pool unsuitable for families who just want to let their kids play in the water. Other local pools facilitate this kind of activity; Burgess has only a very shallow wading pool that will bore most kids older than toddler age.

Not everyone goes to the pool to exercise or sunbathe.

A prior poster suggested that the city specify the programs it wants and let Sheeper (or another third party) handle the operations. With Sheeper responsible for both roles, the programming piece gets muddled. His expecting compensation from the city because of the pandemic shows you where he is coming from.

The residents have been paying for 15+ years for a pool that's not very useful to many of us/our families. Can we put the "community" back into the equation?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 8, 2022 at 11:35 am
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 11:35 am

"Can we put the "community" back into the equation?"

Great proposal!

Let's find a way for the unorganized MP residents to use this pool more easily and more often. Make an increase in such use a performance metric of a new contract.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:38 pm
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 12:38 pm

So those of who use the pool are speaking out because we actually like the way the pool does provide valuable community services to a myriad of groups. Funny that some people complaining about Sheeper want to turn the pool into a backyard pool where there is little or no programming and THEY just get to play in the pool whenever they want and do away with lap swimming and other programming that residents currently enjoy. And the dysfunctional City management wouldn’t even be capable of doing that and would likely shut it all down as the Mayor threatened. The City has created a lose:lose situation


Parent
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 8, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Parent, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 2:09 pm

I am not a competitive swimmer (I hate swimming laps), I am not interested in a country club, and I love hanging out at a pool swimming with my kids. You'd think we'd be that part of the community that wants the pool to be operated differently -- but we don't! We love the programs that Team Sheeper offers for kids.

Camp Menlo is our kids favorite summer camp. It's been a wonderful way for our kids to learn to swim. Having lessons every day for a week, along with supervised free swim, really reinforces the skills that they learn. And the field games and playtime during camp are great. We also recently started our kids in the Bridge Swim Team, a class/team that meets 2-3 times per week for kids ages 5-10 to learn the structure of swimming laps / team swimming but without it being as formal as a real swim team. Our kids are not likely good enough swimmers to ever be part of a real swim team, but this is a great way for them to reinforce their skills and understand what lap swimming is like.

These are great swimming foundations for our kids, and my friends who live in other cities are envious that these options are available in Menlo Park. Our family is part of the community and this is a community benefit.

I have never talked to Tim Sheeper and I have no feelings about him -- I just like these programs!


private citizen
Registered user
Laurel School
on Jul 8, 2022 at 6:54 pm
private citizen, Laurel School
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2022 at 6:54 pm

Team Sheeper was the end of our family's use of the new Burgess pools.

Tim took over in 2006. The then council granted him a 5-year, rent-free contract. He also negotiated reduced accountability for pool maintenance from $25K/yr. to $10K/yr. The council pushed the contract through so fast that Sheeper had yet to evensubmit a proposal for new residents rates. With Council's help, Sheeper was able to push SOLO Aquatics out of Burgess altogether. The city and council allowed a 10-year relationship with SOLO to break down to please Sheeper. The process of unseating SOLO was slow and painful. And there was no saying 'no' at the council meeting when Sheeper brought his Masters swimming group to the meeting to push for council support.

I moved my child to MA to resume swim lessons with SOLO - which had an excellent swim program. Not only was the program-head a great teacher, but he saw to it that his young staff were well-trained and held to a high standard. Being taught by the program-head was great, but you knew your kid would do just as well with any of the staffers he assigned. And the older staff mentored and watched over newer, younger staf

Before Sheeper, on hot afternoons, parents/caretakers brought kids to the pool for free swim. We sat on the grass chatting. We brought snacks for the kids and watched them as they played. It was a real community affair. when Sheeper took over, the free-swim kids were relegated to ever smaller areas of the new pool. Eventually they were pushed to the outer two lanes without access to the stairs. Finally, Tim's classes took over the entire small pool and our kids were directed to the first lane of the cold, empty olympic pool for free swim. We tried it once. That was the end of Burgess for us.

Our community pool became a country club for Sheeper's classes and his M Program. Many in the M program aren't even residents. Of course they like it and want it to continue. But our taxes pay for it & we have no say.



JR
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2022 at 5:03 am
JR, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 5:03 am

I believe that Tim and his team are great assets to the community. I have found the pool complex to be accommodating and professionally managed. Tim is a generous leader and we are fortunate to have him, in my view. I believe that city operation would be a mistake and that one year contracts are too cumbersome for such an enterprise. 3-5 years seems reasonable. If there are concerns over certain access and programs, then consider those as points of negotiation and discussion, but let's not take for granted how well the aquatics program has been managed.


Frozen
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 9, 2022 at 9:36 am
Frozen, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 9:36 am

Tim himself is a nice guy; this isn't about him personally. I know many of his fans and realize how much masters programs mean to them physically and mentally. No one wants to take that away.

But I resonate most with private citizen's description of the pre-Sheeper era. Not only was the pool an ideal gathering place for young families, it was a magnet for middle school-aged kids -- too old for camp, too young for a regular job -- to get together. Those two groups, families and young teens, were a fixture of my community pool experience, from childhood through pre-Sheeper. To Nanc's point, many of us do want the backyard pool experience but on a larger scale. We shouldn't have to join a country club to find it.

Nonprofit community-serving organizations like SOLO should have access to our public pool. That can't happen as long as the pool is run as a for-profit enterprise. We, the residents who are already underwriting its operation, shouldn't expect the pool to make money. Is the library profitable? No, and that's as it should be.

There should be a way to serve both the Sheeper-style masters programs and summer camps while allowing the pool to return to its roots as a community resource. Sheeper's current operation is not working for many of us.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:03 am
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:03 am

How is the current programming specifically not working for you?

How would this ‘community pool’ work with a return to the good ole days in an environment where the population in Menlo and on the Peninsula has increased dramatically?

You think the City can operate the pool successfully in house and pay the bills doing that?

How would turning away people who currently use the pool for current activities and who enjoy the services currently provided be an improvement?

Again, when exactly are YOU unable to use the pool when you want to?

We all need to compromise and allow for access to all, if it’s a pool that is actually a community pool it would serve us all. Not just shut down current programming in favor of those who want access to a play pool all day long.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul solves nothing.


Frozen
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:29 am
Frozen, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:29 am

"I got mine, and I don't care if others can't use the pool."

Too bad this attitude is so prevalent. But neighboring cities seem to be able to combine masters programs with ample community access-- without going broke. Maybe our city government can find out how it's done?


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:40 am
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 11:40 am

Frozen, the pool does currently serve all segments of the community. maybe you need to see their schedule? Or maybe you can share your specific issue, that is - at what time during the day are you unable to access the pool? Are you not seeing any available times in which you can use the community pool for your desired activity? Are you unwilling to compromise and are you in favor of shutting it down?


codydog
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2022 at 12:11 pm
codydog, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 12:11 pm

What about all the lap swimmers and the water aerobics classes attendees? What about all the summer camp kids and the swimming lessons? What about the Mavericks swim team that practices there?
Do you want your kids to splash around in the performance pool which is too deep for play?
Masters swim from 6 to 8 am and noon to 1 pm. And not every day of the week.
Guess we should clear all those people out and make way for you to lounge around the pool unbothered by other users. Like your personal private country club.
Oh, and it should be free to you.
How long do you think the City will subsidize your free play?
Pretty entitled.


private citizen
Registered user
Laurel School
on Jul 9, 2022 at 5:33 pm
private citizen, Laurel School
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 5:33 pm

[Post removed at poster's request]


MaryR
Registered user
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jul 9, 2022 at 8:26 pm
MaryR, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2022 at 8:26 pm

There seems to be two adversaries in this discussion: those with experiences prior to 2006 and those who are currently utilizing the pool and its programs. Demographics have changed over the past 16 years. Many more people are interested in using the pool for exercise, wellness and rehabilitation as opposed to playing in the pool with their children. There are 3 pools at Burgess and two of them are appropriate for children due to the depth of the pool - the baby pool and the instructional pool. That leaves the performance pool for swimmers who prefer swimming as their daily exercise. As others have noted: look at the pool schedule and see how time has created time for all of us.

I don't know the details of Tim's contract with the city, but I very much appreciate how he has conducted his side of the business. He has hired exceptional staff including swim teachers, life guards, maintenance and customer service. He has amazingly created schedules that meet the needs of a variety of swimmers and doing it all for a relatively low fee. As a senior, I'm very grateful that he has set fees that I can afford.

Tim and his staff did an amazing job keeping the pool up and running during the pandemic. I, for one, swam 3 days a week and it kept me physically and mentally able to contend with the ongoing challenges. I would be very surprised if Tim made a profit during those years. I feel the city and community owes him the opportunity to be given the chance to build back his business.

For those of you who gave up on the pool years ago, I encourage you to drop by and talk to some of us who you call "Tim's Crew" to see why we appreciate the pool, the staff and the programs. I've never met Tim, but I've definitely found a community that has become so very important to me. If Menlo Park closes the pool, I'll go to Palo Alto. I won't stop lap swimming.


Stuart Soffer
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 10, 2022 at 1:58 pm
Stuart Soffer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 10, 2022 at 1:58 pm

See the background on Measure T, the recreation bond issue. MP Residents pay back the bond for Measure T every year, whether or not they use the facilities such as Burgess pool.


Web Link


There is a real disconnect between the Measure T, and private, for-profit use of a public recreational facility.


This may taint the sincerity of future bond measures.


Stuart Soffer
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 10, 2022 at 2:50 pm
Stuart Soffer, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 10, 2022 at 2:50 pm

Isn't Tim Sheeper supposed to operate the Belle Haven Pool also?

What happened? Did he get out of that obligation?


Running hard to stay in place
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 10, 2022 at 10:39 pm
Running hard to stay in place, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 10, 2022 at 10:39 pm

The Menlo Park Pool is a significant public asset, paid for with a bond that Menlo Park residents pay down with their property taxes.

The pool redo project came about at a time when the term "public / private partnership" was quite popular, and this term was used to characterize and sell the pool "deal", which gave Tim free reign to define operation of and benefit from operation of the pool, even though the pubic was paying for it.

Fifteen years ago, many of use were unhappy with this deal, and you don't hear the term "public/private partnership" often these days, because it has become tainted. Operation of the Menlo Park Pool over the last 15 years is a pretty good example of the conflict of interest which has tainted the term.

Given that the pool is a public resource, there should be a public process by which all Menlo Park residents can decide what programs should be supported, and there should be a competitive bidding process among interested parties who are qualified to operator those programs. Perhaps most importantly, the contract to operate the pool should be formally and publicly reviewed every 4 years or so.


West Menlo Mom
Registered user
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jul 11, 2022 at 12:47 pm
West Menlo Mom, Menlo Park: University Heights
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 12:47 pm

I have utilized the Tim Sheeper managed pool as a public lap swimmer. Not sure I understand the gripe about the pool only being available for his elite athletes - it is virtually always open to the public. Would someone making this claim please provide supporting details?


codydog
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:01 pm
codydog, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:01 pm

The Belle Haven pool has been permanently closed as part of the Facebook construction going on in Belle Haven. The City is going to pay to build a new pool complex- details of which are hard to come by. Date for new pool completion in Belle Haven is uncertain or not available at this time.


Running hard to stay in place
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:22 pm
Running hard to stay in place, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 1:22 pm

West Menlo Mom, do you support having a public process to determine how we use the pool and an open bidding process to select the operator?


Frozen
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 11, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Frozen, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 2:09 pm

The facts:

* Tim operates a quality lap swim program that serves all lap swimmers, masters and others.
* Many residents would like to use the aquatics facility for non-lap purposes.

All residents will benefit from an open process that:

* Surveys everyone, not just current users.
* Collects information from nearby cities to learn about their operations (this hasn't happened since the aughts).
* Establishes programs to serve the entire community.
* Determines who will operate the programs and the facility.

If we want to be fair to all, not just current users, the city needs to take action.



MaryR
Registered user
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jul 11, 2022 at 4:32 pm
MaryR, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 4:32 pm

I don't have any objection about surveying everyone (users and non-users), but there is no way that this could be done before August 1. If the city had responded to Tim back in February, perhaps there might have been enough time. Probably not.

As to opening the bidding process to select the operator, this also cannot be done before August 1. Running any public pool must be very complicated and include knowledge and experience in many facets including water quality, structural maintenance, swimmer safety, Human Resources and technology. I'm sure there is many more areas needed to run a pool safely. What person or group would make the final decision to award the contract? If it is to be done right, then it would take time. Time to write and send out the survey, time to compile the results, time to send out an RFP, time for the RFPs to come back and be read, time for interviews, etc.

Basically this process is not something done in a few weeks or months. If the city decides to shut down the pool they will loose revenue and good faith from the swimmers. Plus they will still need to maintain the pool or there will be additional city costs to bring the pool and facilities back to code.

If you want to make changes and do it right, start now for a 2026 implementation.


Running hard to stay in place
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 11, 2022 at 5:16 pm
Running hard to stay in place, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 5:16 pm

MaryR, waiting four years to fix something which should be fixed in the next year does not sound like a great idea to me, unless you want people to simply forget about this.

Not sure what revenue the city will lose out on in any case. Tim keeps any revenue right now.

If the pool closes because Tim walks away, that's on him.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Jul 11, 2022 at 5:22 pm
Peter Carpenter, Menlo Park: Park Forest
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2022 at 5:22 pm

I urge the Council to approve a one year extension of the current contract with a simple amendment that requires Shepper to increase the use of the pool by unaffiliated users by 50%.


Nanc
Registered user
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm
Nanc, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm

If the City fails to finalize a contract with a vendor to operate the pool, that’s on the City Council and Management. Their failure will impact the community members who rely on the City to keep these facilities open and accessible.


Running hard to stay in place
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 12, 2022 at 4:58 pm
Running hard to stay in place, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2022 at 4:58 pm

Nanc: Tim not paying the city any money. He is providing services and getting paid for those services by the public. Unless the city is threatening to take away the pool from him, it is definitely on him if he walks away. And if he uses the threat of walking away to get a better deal or to get further subsidies from the city, then why in the world would that be on anyone but him?


Private citizen
Registered user
Laurel School
on Jul 20, 2022 at 2:29 pm
Private citizen , Laurel School
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2022 at 2:29 pm

About ms Hayworth’s comment that Sheeper is accustomed to being renewed every five years… the original, rent-free, five year contract was pushed through very quickly. At the time, We were told that residents would have the option of participating in reevaluation and possible reupping at the end of three first five year contract. When the contract came up for reevaluation at the five year mark, the council quickly pushed through a new 5- year contract. The same was done for the last contract renewal. It was completely removed from public site and input.
A questionnaire is a great idea, but if you only canvas current users, you are guaranteed a continuation of the status quo . A questionnaire should also reflect that a number of residents no longer use the pools and why that is.

There are countless local pulls who balance out the needs of a for-profit swim program with the need for a place to hang out and enjoy free swim. It’s about sharing the resource and possibly reducing the number of for-$$$ programs in favor of equal time for those of us who also pay for access and aren’t focused on lessons or team events, but on relaxing, socializing and free time. Look
Green Meadow - it’s private but serves both groups. Look at public pools in other peninsula - you will see that they make it their business to serve a range of populations.
What’s up with MP? Seems like some of us have a hard time sharing.


codydog
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:03 pm
codydog, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:03 pm

Name one other public pool on the Peninsula that offers the range of activities and access to large variety of groups that we enjoy in Menlo park. Private homeowner pools are not equivalent.


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