Editor's note: The original grammar, punctuation, and style of any comment has not been changed.
After the July 30 announcement that the Lake Ridge Community Swim Club would no longer be hosting the Lake Ridge Lancers, a team that has called the LRCSC home for the last few decades, current and former Lancers, coaches, parents, and pool members took to the comments section to express their strong feelings about this decision.
These are just a few of the 139 comments left on that article, roughly categorized by topic. The vast majority of the comments were made in support of the swim team, although a few comments expressed relief that the swim team's departure might lead to a cleaner and quieter pool.
The swim club has called an emergency meeting for its members on Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. Members of the public and the press are not invited.
Keeping the Pool Clean
Pool member Kimberly Bowyer expressed happiness about the board's decision to oust the Lancers.
"I PAY to attend and often cant get it because they are STILL there and leave a mess behind. No other pool in the area that hosts swim teams open to members LATE because of swim meets! This is the absolute best news I've had in a long time!" she said.
"When the Lancers turn the pool over to the club you can eat off of the pool deck," Brenda Turner replied. "We clean chairs, the deck, the bathrooms, etc. We check and double check to make sure that the area is spic and span. We can accept your not wanting the team there, but we will not accept lies as your rationale."
Kaleigh DePetro said the swim team cleaned up after every practice and meet.
"Often, it's cleaner when we leave than it is we arrive," she said.
Bowyer said that that wasn't always true.
"So pardon me for not wanting to clean up their water bottles, towels, shoes, gum from the table, etc.," she said.
Bowyer later added, "I would like to clarify my unpleasant sounding post from yesterday. I was excited about not being restricted on pool hours and it wasn't about hurting the kids. This clearly is a MUCH larger issue than I initally gave it credit for."
Crunching the Numbers
Michael Levine tackled complaints that the swim team took up too much time and space.
"The only time the members do not get to use the pool that it would normally be open is 6 HOURS! over an entire summer," he said. "Let's do simple Math here. It is 385 dollars for a family to join the pool. divided by 90 days in the summer. That is $4.28 per day. pool is open 10 hrs a day. So that is .42 cents per hour a member is paying to use the pool. I am sure the Swim Team would have been willing to reimburse each member the $2.50 they spent on their membership but were not able to use the facilities."
Cyndi asserted that non-member swim team families are not swimming for free.
"We have always paid a higher team registration fee and the past 2 years we have also paid an additional surcharge on top of that which has gone directly to the club," she said. "We do not participate in any recreational swimming at the club unless we are paid invited guests. Our family will never join this swim club because we already pay HOA fees for our community pool. It would be silly to be members at two different pools. We joined the Lancers because our pool is too small to host a team."
Lancermom added that the swim team paid a $3,500 fee to the pool this summer.
"The fee paid was approximately 40% higher than the fee paid last season," she said.
The Board's Level of Transparency
Kathi Levine said that the LRCSC board's majority opinion was actually just a unanimous vote from present board members.
"And as far as Mr. Nauth's "quorum", it was only the members of the BoD who oppose the swim team who voted. How convenient that Mr. Mazzoccoli wan't informed. There was also another board member who left ill that was surprised by the vote. This is how this board operates. There is no respect for the general membership - only a mission to get what a certain few want done done. And the blatant violations for the Rules of Order that govern this board are appalling," she said.
A pool member who goes by the name Laura Ingalls Wilder said she has never been informed of any decisions or meetings.
"They claim to post things on the bulletin board outside of the guard shack, but I think it is posted on a gum wrapper for secrecy," she said. "The pool members have NEVER seen a budget, not from seasons past, nor as a proposed budget for the following season."
Wilder called for Nauth to name the members of his quorum. "Was Vicki McKay present? She is a swim parent and a board member, AND the treasurer. I can't imagine she voted to get rid of the team that has loved her daughters for 2+ years. There is nothing but secrecy, nepotism and crookedness, and we the members have allowed it to happen. No one has held the Board accountable. They are blatantly disregarding Robert's Rules of Order."
The Lancer Legacy
Former Lancer swimmer and head coach Amy McMullen reminisced about her time with the team and expressed sadness that the LRCSC would displace "a community institution that has been around for 30+ years."
"Playing at the neighborhood pool, learning a new sport, and being part of a team: these are your best childhood memories," she said. "The Lake Ridge Lancers swim team has provided those memories for countless children and families every summer for the past 30+ years. These experiences change lives; Watch NBC & you'll learn that Olympians like Michael Phelps & Missy Franklin who both learned to swim at their community pools. It's a shame for the Lancer family that the LRCSC Board can't see the big picture."
Lancer swimmer and high school sophomore Kaleigh DePetro said the team has shaped her life.
"I've met my very best friends on this team, learned how to swim (which is life-saving BTW), learned how to be a humble winner and a good loser, and most importantly, I've learned what it means to be a part of a team, a part of something bigger, and that has made a permenent, positive impact on my life," she said.
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