Once again our mayor and city council must be reminded that government should not be run like a business. The goals are opposite. Business is properly focused on profit. Government is supposed to be focused on serving constituents.
Tax money pays for our recreation buildings and the salaries of those who run them. The buildings should be open to all, at all times, for no charge.
Extra services already carry a charge. If you’re playing cards at the Adult Center and want some coffee, you put your money in the cup. People who use the pool tables contribute to the extra maintenance required. If you want to use a meeting room for your group, you pay a fee. You pay a fee to take a class. The new Recreation Center charges fees for participation in children’s sports and the pool charges both membership fees and additional fees for taking a class.
All these fees are in addition to tax money, so people are paying three times for the same service — tax money, membership fees, additional service fees for each service chosen. This is wrong.
I understand membership fees for a swimming pool or a golf course, services not really available to all and having hefty maintenance expenses. In the case of the pools there is a big loan to pay off. I do not agree that members should be charged to take classes — one fee is enough. An entrance fee to the Adult Center building? No. The building has long been paid for. Maintenance is minimal. There are few staff members. People are paying for classes and meeting rooms. Does government really think we should pay for a meeting room and then all members of the group must pay a fee to get to the meeting?
City government should return to providing services without trying to turn a profit or trying to support the service wholly through fees. We pay taxes so we can have amenities. We pay extra fees where reasonable to cover extraordinary expenses. There is absolutely no reason to charge an entrance fee to the Adult Center. Rethink this, Council!