Piedmont Pool

Julie Reichle Piedmont pool.jpeg

From Piedmont Civic website:

The Community Pool was operated for decades at no cost to the City by the Piedmont Swim Club, a non-profit organization. (The pool was originally built and paid for by the Swim Club. ) It was used by the community, Swim  Club members, the Piedmont Recreation Department, Piedmont schools, and the Piedmont Swim Team.  The Piedmont Unified School District teams were incorporated into the lease of  the pool starting in 1998.  The Piedmont Swim Team, (separate from the School District), submitted a letter supporting continued operation and funding by the Piedmont Swim Club.

In 2010, the Piedmont Swim Club wanted to continue to operate and pay the expenses for the pool; however, in a closed, private meeting, the City Council decided not to renew the $1 lease with the Club and the City assumed the full expense of operating and maintaining the pool.

At the June 29, 2020 Special Meeting, the Piedmont City Council will consider ceasing the pool operation. Discontinued pool operations will likely be coupled with any tax increases on a November 2020 ballot measure.  The cost of a new “Aquatic Center” has been roughly estimated to cost $15,000,000. 

The_San_Francisco_Examiner_Sun__Feb_21__

The San Francisco Examiner - Sun. Feb, 21, 1954

Oakland_Tribune_Fri__Apr_2__1954_.jpeg

Oakland Tribune - Fri - Apr. 2, 1954

piedmont swim club.jpeg
Oakland_Tribune_Sun__Sep_5__1954_.jpeg

Oakland Tribune - Sun - Sep. 5, 1954

Oakland_Tribune_Tue__Apr_21__1964_.jpeg

Oakland Tribune - Tue - Apr. 21, 1964

Oakland Tribune - Sun - May 30, 1954

Piedmont Civic website:

 

The Piedmont Swim Club heavily subsidized the Swim Team for their use of the pool and gave the School District free pool use.  When the City took it over, much changed as the operation proved more challenging than anticipated.  In May 2013, months after the City began running the pool, the City informed the School District at the last minute that they could not use the pool that year.

 

The Piedmont Post’s January 11, 2012 article, “Rood’s tenure as final swim club president,” gets almost all key facts regarding the negotiations between the city and the swim club wrong.  From the beginning, the club agreed to pay all pool expenses, including major maintenance and capital improvements, as it had for 46 years.  In return, it simply asked that the terms of the existing lease be continued.

[...]

In January, however, the new city attorney substantially rewrote the lease, imposing new financial obligations on the club: that the city would have the sole discretion to deny the club the use of the money the club had set aside for major maintenance and capital improvements it was contractually obligated to make and keep that money itself; that the city could unilaterally have any work performed and send the club the bill; and that the club purchase hazmat insurance (which no other pool has and the city has not bought).  When the club did not agree to those terms (which were not in the rent-free lease the city gave the new arts center three months later), it was a member of the city council, at its February 7 meeting, who said “we’re out of time.”  (The only council member who sat down with the club to understand its financial projections supported the lease.)

Bill Drum

Jon Sakol

East Bay Times 2017.jpeg