The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Guest Column

November 23, 2013

Balancing the city budget on kids' backs

(Continued)

And remember, the town of Oneonta has a swimming pool within 100 feet of the city line. Spend a summer morning near the town pool and watch from which direction the children arrive. A high percentage are “city” children.

Philanthropic families saw a need for swimming pools for Oneonta. The Briggs Family donated the Wilber Pool. The Wright family donated a swimming pool at the Oneonta High School that the Board of Education could not sustain.

At a recent economic summit, one discussion focused on the characteristics that businesses examine before locating in community. A good school system and youth programs are necessary.

Solutions to budget problems are difficult. For consideration:

• If children must pay for programs, consider doing it by those enrolled in the local school system or by zip code.

• Raise funds by: Ask for people to fill a “swimming pool bowl,” (small fish bowls or plastic pools for collections), like the Firemen’s Fill the Boot collection.

• Ask local businesses to sell paper fish ($1 each) to put in their windows like the MS fund collection.

• Ask for sponsors. Many businesses would donate.

•  Ask the college swim teams to hold fund raisers.

• Charge admission for a water show at the end of the season.

• Ask businesses that use the new city brand “Life Enjoyed” for a small fee to recover the more than $20,000 that was spent for its development, and to insure that life is enjoyed by our youth.

Or, let’s just support what we value: our children. Don’t change the first sentence in the Parks and Recreation statement: The City of Oneonta is proud to offer a wide variety of FREE youth programs for children of all ages.

KARYL SAGE is an Oneonta resident and a retired elementary teacher.

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