CARD makes some changes in their plans for a phone survey, now scheduled for late February

4 Feb

Since I wrote a letter to the Enterprise Record telling people to watch for a CARD survey in late January or early February, the ad hoc committee that was formed to make arrangements with the consultant has called for a few changes. For one thing, contrary to what the consultant told the board at the meeting I attended, the survey will now include a question about “ a potential revenue measure,”  according to GM Ann Willmann. The consultant had told the board, there would be no mention of CARD, no mention of a revenue measure, just a vague discussion of what kind of activities people were interested in. 

At least now they will be more honest, but I’m guessing there will be no mention of their $1.7 million pension deficit, expected to grow by roughly $57,000 a year. This needs to be part of the discussion. They also need to answer for years of neglect at various facilities,  such as Shapiro and Pleasant Valley pools. They need to explain the decision to buy the rot-riddled and non-ADA compliant money pit known as Lakeside Pavilion. They need to explain what happened at DeGarmo Park, the flooding of the play field, the failure of the playground facilities, ten’s of thousands poured into repairs at that park since it opened. They need to be more up front about how they fund management pensions at the expense of other employee’s hours and benefits and deferment of maintenance to their facilities. 

They seem to be very defensive about the aquatic center. I didn’t even mention that in my last letter. They just want to avoid the questions I’ve raised about their pensions and other silly expenditures.

Phone survey for CARD planned for late February

By Laura Urseny

lurseny@ chicoer. com @ LauraUrseny on Twitter

CHICO >> During the week of Feb. 20, hundreds of Chico households will be getting calls, asking for a few minutes of time to answer some questions about recreation.

The survey is sponsored by the Chico Area Recreation and Park District, which wants to know residents’ feelings about recreation and CARD itself.

“ We’re rea lly tr y in g to determine what people know currently about CARD, how CARD is doing, what they would like to see in parks and facilities in the community, and how they recreate,” said CARD General Manager A nn Willmann on Tuesday.

Last year, CARD’s board of directors budgeted up to $ 38,000 for a contract to EMC Research of Oakland for the survey. EMC hopes to get at least 400 responses.

The survey will also ask a question about “ a potential revenue measure,” Willmann said.

That revenue measure was the catalyst for this survey and much of what happens in 2017. EMC Research did a similar survey for the Chico Unified School Distr ic t , which was able to put a successful bond measure on the November ballot for district improvements.

CARD has been considering building an aquatics center, which has been part of its master plan for years. The closure of C A R D – op er at e d S h ap iro Pool in 2016 pushed up the significance of the proposed center.

CARD has not had the money to build it, but has discussed a way to raise money for it, and possibly other CARD priorities. The board has been talking about a tax, choosing between a set per- parcel tax or a “ benefits assessment” tax on property owners based on property valuation.

Regarding the survey, Willmann said the board expects to get a repor t from EMC in March. After that, CARD will look at doing a public relations campaign to help the community better understand what CARD does and determine what the community wants in regards to recreation.

Another sur vey could follow the campaign to gauge its impact, and then CARD would determine whether to proceed with a revenue measure.

Willmann said the survey will include questions on the proposed aquatic center, but not ex tensively.

“ It’s about all forms of recreation, not just will CARD build a pool.”

Willmann said information culled from the community interaction may also be used in the general plan update, which is going on currently.

CARD’s board budgeted $ 28,000 for the sur vey, and a total of $ 80,000 in regards to the steps leading up to deciding on the revenue measure.

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2 Responses to “CARD makes some changes in their plans for a phone survey, now scheduled for late February”

  1. Rob February 7, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    20 years ago we had two very nice neighborhood pools, heavily used for recreation as well as swim lessons, and they think they can replace that with a Taj Majal center located five miles south of town?

    • Juanita Sumner February 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

      When my kids were in swim lessons at PV Pool back in the late 90’s, a consultant came to look at a crack in the pool that was leaking so bad they could not keep it warm enough for Aqua Jets workouts. The consultant told the pool manager it could be fixed for about $2500. The pool manager told me the board would not pay it, that they were holding out for – funny, he used the same phrase – a “Taj Majal aquatic center.” Like the manager predicted, the board ignored the repair and Aqua Jets left for In Motion Fitness.

      I assume PV has the same problems that closed Shapiro – like inadequate sanitation, trip hazards, inadequate bathrooms (which encourages kids to pee in the pool). I don’t think that leak was ever fixed, meaning, how many gallons of water a day? And cold water for those early spring swim lessons. No wonder revenues from the swim programs are way down.

      I hope you get a call from the consultant Rob!

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