This is my response to Andes Town Supervisor Martin Donnelly's letter in last weeks Catskill Mountain News ("Andes pool problem explained," July 17, 2014), regarding the ongoing problems with the opening of the Andes Town Pool. I would like to address his letter point by point.
Mr. Donnelly states, "Unfortunately we are not clairvoyant as we would have been able to foresee a problem prior to July 4th and saved all of us from the angry rhetoric, indicating we put a damper on some of your 4th of July plans." I don't believe that the paranormal has much to do with the problem. I do believe that inattention, poor planning, and not having a professional in charge of the pool maintenance is the problem.
Mr. Donnelly's next quote is, "since last September, we have been planning the day's opening of the pool." I have info from very reliable sources that the pool committee met a total of ZERO times, so much for his extensive planning, and if they did meet their planning did not work out very well, as the pool is not open as of July 17th.
Mr. Donnelly goes on to say, "We could not plan for the burst pipe just before graduation.” Graduation was June 27th and I am writing this letter on July 17, TWENTY days later and pool is still not open. Does it take 20 days to fix a pipe and get the correct water parameters if you know what your are doing? I think not.
His next quote is, "Under no circumstances will the board or I approve the opening of the Andes pool where a safety and or health hazard is a concern."
I agree with him on this -- no one should swim in a pool where there is a safety or health hazard and town should not allow it -- but I think he is using this statement to confuse the issue, and create a smoke screen. I believe the real question is WHY on July 17th 20 days after the pipe burst is the water still unsafe to swim in?
Mr. Donnelly next quote is a grand crescendo of false bravado and arrogance: "We offer no apology for the delay in the opening." I believe he owes the children that are deprived of a place to swim, the taxpayers that elected him and merchants that lose business when the pool is closed, a very big "I am sorry, we made a mistake and we will fix it pronto."
Mr. Donnelly again plays the "confuse the issue" card about safety, and adds a new card, the "bash the PITA taxpayers" card. "We would rather be subject to the ranting and disparaging remarks, than to put our community, especially our children, at a potential health risk to satisfy the very very few." My response to this is that no parent in his right mind would want his kids to swim in a pool that has a heath risk, and again, why is it still a health risk?
The answer to that question is, Mr. Donnelly was not paying attention to the pool and made some bad decisions, and will not admit it.
Sometimes it takes a little ranting and disparaging remarks to get our public servants to pay attention. I hope he is paying attention now.
The pool finally opened on July 18th, 19 days behind the proposed opening date of Saturday June 18th.
Joe Damone Andes Tax Payer