To the more than 140 people who signed the petition to Council advocating against closing Buckman Pool:
Thank you for voicing your opinion by signing the on-line petition, which sent an email from you to me. Unfortunately the petition was set up without transmitting your email address to me, so I am unable to reply to each signer individually. I hope those who signed the petition see this open letter in response.
About 10 years ago, when my daughter swam at Buckman with Portland Parks & Recreation's synchronized swimming classes, I was involved in saving Buckman Pool in a previous round of cuts. I know the value of the pool at the school, especially until the City can fulfill the longtime promise of providing a community center at the Washington High School site.
It would be helpful if you have ideas for where else to cut in the Parks budget, which is under the leadership of Commissioner Fish. All bureaus have been asked to propose cuts of 4 - 8%, due to the ongoing impacts of the recession. The Council is required to balance the budget, both this year and in the five year forecast. I would welcome your suggestions for other places to cut, in order to save Buckman Pool. Please reply to Caitlin Lilly with your ideas.
There is a budget forum tonight at the Cleveland High School cafeteria (3400 SE 26th Avenue) from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and participate, to help the Council make very difficult decisions on where to find savings.
Thank you again for participating in this challenging budget process.