Oct 13 2020

OPINION: Passage of Measure UU Is Best for Piedmont

The existing pool is badly decayed and rehabilitation does not make economic sense. An enhanced pool complex in the Civic Center is historically appropriate. With the passage of UU and the new tennis courts already in place, there will be a comprehensive revitalization of the City Center.
For Measure UU, the City is correctly using a progressive tax structure with a General Obligation Bond rather than creating a costly and regressive tax structure of a Community Finance District bond (also known as a Mello-Roos District).  Should Measure UU fail, we will likely see a much larger bond measure before us, as  a Mello-Roos District, with a lengthy list of expensive capital improvements.
For retired Piedmont seniors on fixed incomes, UU is a progressive bond measure based on ad valorem value and is the fairest taxation levy.
The pool is the largest user of natural gas in town and Greenhouse Gas; saving elements should be used with the new pool. Especially for seniors, the prior day use fee was grossly excessive and a modest cost structure for seniors should be implemented.
While I did not use the Piedmont pool, I support the passage of Measure UU. On balance, the passage of UU is best for Piedmont.
Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident
Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

3 Responses to “OPINION: Passage of Measure UU Is Best for Piedmont”

  1. Rick, your support is based on the way residents would be taxed for the pool. But do you agree that the pool should be handled separately from other very important capital projects like seismically retrofitting the police and fire buildings? You can be certain that another bond will follow for those projects if Measure UU passes. If the City Council addressed all important capital projects in context, I have a feeling that the police and fire buildings would be assigned a higher priority, and we wouldn’t spend $20 million on the pool.

    The “we’re spending $1,000 a day on leaking water” argument is disingenuous. During COVID we can’t use the pools anyhow. Drain those pools while they’re closed. Allowing leakage at that level while the pools can’t be used is financially and ecologically irresponsible.

  2. Kathleen, Likely I was too subtle when I stated “a lengthy list of expensive capital improvements.” Should UU fail, I would not like to see a 2nd attempt at financing a new pool lumped in with a wish list of community rebuild projects including high priority Police and Fire Buildings. Piedmont seems to treat recreational facilities as essential services; while they are important they are not as essential as public safety.

    My pragmatic support is certainly not the Yes on UU cheerleader approach.

  3. Rick – there is a third option if UU fails – a smaller pool. The lap pool is stretched to 9600 sg ft only to accommodate lap swimmers so they can swim while the teams practice. A smaller 6400 sq ft pool could accommodate swim and water polo teams and lap swimming, but lap swimmers would have to give up all day access to the pool. This is what all other communities do – limited lap swimming hours. The fun pool could also scale back. It is 3900 sq ft, larger than the current lap pool, 3200 sq ft. So a Scaled back UU-2 could easily meet community needs.

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