Pools must have rules, management

Published 11:23 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

City of Natchez officials are expected to meet today to discuss a petty squabble over the new Natchez-Adams County swimming pool.

The meeting needs to be short because the city needs to trust the professional managers of the pool, the YMCA to do its job and keep elected officials out of daily operations.

The pool opened more than a week ago. We hope city leaders remember that early in the pool’s planning citizens and public officials all agreed that having professional pool managers was critical to the new pool’s success and the approval that allowed the construction to proceed.

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Many people remember just how unruly and dangerous the city’s last public pool became at Duncan Park. The city was incapable then of managing the pool; fortunately it eventually closed before someone was injured there.

The YMCA, we were all told, would bring structure to the pool. They would apply rules fairly to all pool users and by all accounts, the YMCA appears to be doing just that.

Unfortunately, a Natchez man became upset because his group’s insurance paperwork was not received in a timely fashion and thus his preferred time of pool access was not granted. After he became upset, YMCA leaders called the police to help. Now the man seems determined to make an even bigger fuss over what was simply a failure to follow the rules.

A small group of residents — and at least one elected official — apparently do not want to play by the rules, they would rather simply bump the YMCA out of the picture by stirring up trouble in hopes of either getting the YMCA to leave on its own or to stir up enough trouble to convince locals to push it out.

That’s the absolute last thing Natchez needs. The YMCA’s rules and order have been good for Natchez and critical to the support for the pool. We hope the city will show support for the YMCA in today’s meeting, while resolving the problem of the moment.