Planned meeting to discuss swimming pool postponed at last minute

Published 11:44 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018


NATCHEZ — A planned meeting between the YMCA manager of Natchez’s community swimming pool, a summer camp organizer and city officials was postponed at the last minute Tuesday morning.

Aftershock summer camp organizer Javarrea Jones notified meeting participants Tuesday morning that he could not attend Tuesday because his mother was hospitalized in Jackson, and he requested the meeting be rescheduled for Wednesday.

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Wednesday would not work, however, because Tate Hobdy, YMCA supervisor and Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission chair, could not attend and other participants will not be able to attend until after June 28.

The 11 a.m. Tuesday meeting was set at the request of YMCA pool manager Alice Agner after a Friday incident in which police were called to the pool over a dispute about the Aftershock campers’ access to the pool.

Agner’s letter said she had met with Jones a month ago to outline the required insurance paperwork that would be necessary before his camp would be allowed to swim in the pool at his requested time of 10 a.m. Thursdays.

Agner said she did not receive the paperwork in time and assigned Jones’ time slot to another group and when she told Jones that he told her that Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis told him he did not need all the paperwork. Agner’s letter also said she later found some paperwork in her email spam folder, and she offered a 9 a.m. Friday time slot to Jones, whom she said declined that time slot.

Jones and his campers then showed up at 9:12 a.m. Friday, Agner’s letter states, while pool employees were conducting pool maintenance.

“I explained that I thought he wasn’t coming today,” Agner wrote. “ . . . He was very angry. I explained they had to be out of the pool by 9:50 because I had another group coming.  I had to clear the pool at 9:57.”

Due to the short timeframe, Agner said required swim tests could not be conducted, so the campers were allowed to swim with lifejackets on for a short time.

At some point during Friday’s incident one of the pool employees called police who arrived to settle the dispute.

Following Friday’s incident, Jones sent his own letter of complaint, saying he met with Agner four times to arrange access and that he had submitted all the necessary paperwork. His letter also states that he has “written statements from YMCA workers” saying Agner told one of her lifeguards to call the police during Friday’s incident.

“On Wednesday June 13, 2018, I stopped by the pool to verify our children had access on Thursday June 14, 2018,” Jones’ letter states.  “I was notified at that point that additional documents were needed and the allotted time was given to the Special Olympics. However, once these requirements were met, my children would be able to swim on Friday, June 15, 2018, at 9 a.m.

“I submitted all of the required documentation and on Friday after paying to transport the children to the pool, we were denied access by Ms. Agner, stating all lifeguards was on break, and that she has the YMCA coming in at 10 a.m.”

The meeting will be re-scheduled sometime after June 28, because Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and Mathis will not be available until after that date.