City: Never mind about the Gators

Dear Editor,
I am writing because I am a very concerned parent and Board
Member with the Gilroy Gators Swim Team. It was brought to our
attention last week that the City of Gilroy Parks and Recreation
Department wants to extend the hours of their summer swim program
to accommodate people who commute.
Dear Editor,

I am writing because I am a very concerned parent and Board Member with the Gilroy Gators Swim Team. It was brought to our attention last week that the City of Gilroy Parks and Recreation Department wants to extend the hours of their summer swim program to accommodate people who commute. In doing so they are essentially telling our established swim team that we cannot use the pool during the hours in which we run our program.

Never mind that we have a current written contract with the Gilroy Unified School District in which we pay for water time and have use of the pool year round. Our summer hours are distinctly stated in said contract and the City of Gilroy wants to use the pool during those hours which is right in the middle of our practice times. Our contract clearly states, “Terms of this agreement shall not be waived, altered, modified, supplemented or amended in any manner whatsoever except by written agreement signed by the parties.” This doesn’t seem to matter to the city of Gilroy.

Never mind that Cheryl Bolin, recreation superintendent, and Michael Dorn, acting director, don’t seem to care that they will be displacing 200-plus local community children that swim for our team for eight weeks during our prime swim season to accommodate how many commuter people? They say there is a need for after-hours programs, but will they have more than 200 people during this time?

Never mind that they can use the South Valley Junior High School pool without displacing anyone. This seems to be an option that the city will not even consider. The pool at South Valley is too small to accommodate the size and diversity of the Gilroy Gators Swim Team.

Never mind that our team has used Gilroy High School as our main facility for the last 20-plus years and are endorsed by the city of Gilroy (on their Web site) and Pacific and USA Swimming organizations. We host swim meets for our surrounding counties and bring many people into this city who then support local businesses. Local sports teams have also benefited from our meets by running the snack bar and raising money for their own organizations.

Never mind that we have three swim meets already scheduled to take place at Gilroy High this summer.

Never mind that the Gilroy Gators Swim Team picks up garbage every year at the Garlic Festival, a job that directly reflects on our community.

Never mind that our coaches are also the swim team and water polo coaches for Gilroy High School and the majority of those kids swim in our program as well.

Never mind that we are a non-profit organization that is run by parent volunteers. Last summer we had to find other water due to the fact that there was construction going on at Gilroy High School and we lost money. If the city has their way and we have to move every year during our busy season, we will continue to lose money therefore directly affecting the outcome of our team.

Unfortunately the city of Gilroy representatives are basically non-negotiable on their terms and the Gilroy Unified School District is not supporting their contract with our team. The Parks and Recreation Department has to have their summer schedule to the printer on Monday, March 28 so it has forced them to make a hasty decision. This calculated thoughtlessness will have a major effect on the 200-plus Gilroy Gator swimmers and their families.

The Gators proudly carry the Gilroy city name with them on uniforms while at home and at away meets. All we are asking for is fair treatment in negotiating times to use the pools that we have utilized for so long.

Kelly Kramer, Gilroy

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a

well-written letter.

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