In the deep end
Just a week into the new Greensboro City Council’s rein, and things seem to be going swimmingly — at least for the coalition dubbed “Big Swim” by Keith Brown of the Triad Watch blog, which saw their dreams of a state-of-the-art swim facility come true last week when council voted 5-4 to procure funds for the project from a hotel/motel tax.
We suppose we could get into the dynamics of the vote, which revealed two distinct factions on council: At-large members Robbie Perkins and Nancy Vaughan, District 3 Councilman Zack Matheny, District 2 Councilman Jim Kee and District 1 Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small all voted in support of the aquatic center funding, while conservative members Trudy Wade of District 5, Mary Rakestraw from District 4, new at-large member Danny Thompson and Mayor Bill Knight stuck to their guns.
Clearly the vote was about more than just the swim center. It starkly outlined some of the new alliances on council, called into question the effectiveness of the conservative bloc and cast Vaughan in the role of the tie-breaker vote — which, if retained, will give her considerable clout in the future.
And we suppose we could carp about the nature of the project, how it was quietly slipped into a parks and rec bond issue after being turned down by voter referendum twice, was abruptly placed under the purview of the Greensboro Coliseum after passage, has even in the drawing stage gone way over budget and has raised contention on everything from community accessibility to parking.
And we could probably point out that this swim center seems to be moving forward much more quickly than other similar bond projects like the skate park approved by referendum in 2006 but which has yet to break ground.
Also there’s the matter of a slightly smaller facility just down the road in Cary, closer to a bigger airport, with an actual operating budget three times the size of the theoretical costs her in Greensboro.
But really, such arguments would amount to sour grapes, as we have aligned ourselves against the tactics used to push this swim center through from the beginning, and this thing looks to be a go.
So what do we do? We become boosters, that’s what. The aquatic center is happening, so we figure that we might as well build the best one in the state.
The proposed center will be one of two in the North Carolina heartland with a 10-meter diving platform. It will have more seats than the other facilities in the region. And, of course, it will be new, giving us an edge when it comes to recruiting the kinds of events the center’s proponents say will give private enterprise financial boons.
Instead of pissing in this new pool, we have chosen to swim.
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