Terry W. Stoddard, who’s on his eighth season as Swim Pasadena coach, has started a petition to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) to open pools in the county, saying LA County wants to put a CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER sign on all LA County Pools – without any public input.
“In an effort to Stop the potential of a ‘Ripple Effect’ on all pools in Southern California, I have taken it upon myself as a resident of the 5th District of LA County, Temple City, to create a petition to show support of LA County Opening their County Pools for the Summer of 2020,” Stoddard wrote.
Stoddard’s petition has been published on www.Change.org since the weekend and has so far gathered over 1,000 signatures out of a 1,500-signature goal.
“Over the course of the last two weeks I have called and written all five BOS and although I have spoken with aides I have not successfully been able to get through to the BOS themselves, even Supervisor Kathyrn Barger who oversees my 5th District,” Stoddard wrote.
Stoddard hopes the petition could be discussed when the Board of Supervisors meet Monday night. Aside from encouraging people to sign the petition, Stoddard said he hopes they would also reach out to the County Supervisor in their district and asked them to consider reopening public swim pools throughout the county.
Stoddard also mentioned that LA is the only county in California that has proposed a 100-percent cut in funding to public pools and aquatic centers, “denying its youth, adults, and seniors, many of whom live in the most underserved parts of our County,” the opportunity to swim safely this summer at any of its 30 pools.
“Refusing to open any pools this summer will put more Angelenos at risk of drowning. And it will cost hundreds of jobs that are supported by our taxes and fees paid to County Parks and Recreation and to small businesses who operate at our pools,” he wrote.
In the petition, Stoddard also called on the county to consider getting public input before deciding to close pools. He said tens of thousands of pool users will be affected.
“There has also been no outreach to non-profit partners or the small businesses who operate programs at these pools,” he wrote. “That is wrong and inconsistent with long standing practice for such drastic actions.”
Stoddard’s full petition can be viewed at www.change.org.
In a recent advisory, the County Department of Public Health posted a set of protocols for reopening public swimming pools, where it says the department is “adopting a staged approach, supported by science and public health expertise, that is aligned with California’s roadmap” to allow the safe reopening of public swimming pools.
The advisory included a checklist of all applicable measures that the operators of public pools must implement to ensure the safety of the public and their employees.
The advisory is found at www.ph.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/protocols/Reopening_PublicSwimmingPools.pdf.