The Austin Parks and Recreation Dept. is gathering information about citizens' satisfaction with aquatic programs ["Austin Parks: Trying to Fill the GAP
," News, Aug. 16]. One proposed change would close the free neighborhood pools and replace them with municipal pools. Around 30% of Austin's children are living in poor families. Another sizable percentage are children whose families are getting by, but who are by no means affluent. For these children, municipal pools are both unaffordable and inaccessible. Where are they going to play all summer when the weather is hot? Those who are most likely to be affected by this change are also those who are least likely to hear about it and make their feelings known to Parks and Recreation. That being the case, the rest of us must speak out on their behalf. This week.
If our aquatic programs need more funds, raise fees at municipal pools. Leave neighborhood pools free and open to everyone.