Category Archives: Middletown Swim and Tennis Club

RESIDENTS’ BUSINESS PLAN TO OPERATE POOL CLUB PROFITABLY

Several members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club have been working hard behind the scenes to salvage the municipal pool club and protect our community asset from the Township’s misguided and rash plan to close and auction this valuable taxpayer asset.

At it’s January public meeting, the Middletown Township Committee announced the 2012 Middletown Swim and Tennis Club was in jeopardy of not opening due to their claim the pool club ran a deficit for the last three years of their 15-year ownership. The Township Committee cited a drop in membership for it’s revenue shortfall and said they would listen to any viable solution in order to open the swim club this Summer.

The SOS Committee (Save Our Swim Club) was formed to do just that. This group, comprised mostly of local business people, professionals, teachers and residents, collected financial records and Township documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Their finding showed a slight drop in membership but a sustainable membership base all the same.

The SOS Committee has developed a business plan – not only to operate the complex budget – but also provide a surplus necessary for future upgrades, ADA requirements and possible expansion. The plan includes moderate increases for cabana members with separate fees for membership. The SOS business plan also includes modified fees for the swim team, swim lessons, tennis lessons, day camp and daily day passes. Recommendations by the SOS Committee include ways to generate additional memberships and revenue through concession rentals and controlling daily attendance traffic into the pool club.

However, on February 6, 2012 the Township Committee held a planning meeting with motions to dissolve the pool club utility and set into motion the sale of the pool club property with deed restrictions, over continued pleas to slow the process, allowing more time for all interested parties to present their proposals on managing the pool club. They only sprung the news on the 1100+ members early this January in a press release. Prior to the Jan. 6th Town Hall meeting, there was no mention of the Pool utility dissolution…

The SOS Committee has found a sympathetic ear on the Township Committee noting with just 10 years left on the bond service, the annual payment will reduce by $100,000.00 in just 5 years allowing the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club to run at a surplus of over $150,000.00 per year with an operating season only 80 days long. This is even before proposed cost-saving and added revenue plans that the SOS committee has prepared. It does not make any sense why the Township of Middletown should make such a hasty and abrupt decision without looking for solutions. The Township has mismanaged the club for the past 3-4 years and instead of taking the steps to correct their mistakes, they are now looking to sweep all of the problems under a rug. How can we let this happen to our community? Aren’t our children, seniors and families worth it?

The next and most important meeting regarding the Pool Club will be held at Middletown’s Town Hall onTuesday, February 21st at 8:00pm. All Residents and Pool Club members are highly encouraged to attend.

For more information, e-mail: MiddletownSOS@gmail.com or visit our
Save the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club” page on FaceBook

Leave a comment

Filed under business plan, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, pool club members, press release, save our swim club committee

It’s Your Town – Video Newsletter 2/6/12

As I announce last month, the It’s Your Town newsletter was going to be changing. It’s author Don Watson, had decided that it was time to stop writing about what goes on at Township Committee meetings each month and start showing residents what actually happens during Township Committee meetings.
Mr. Watson has announced he will no longer be presenting the newsletter in its current form recapping Middletown Township Committee meetings as he has done for the past few years. Instead however, it is with great delight that he now will present video recordings of the Middletown Township Committee meetings
Below is the first video which he recorded held on Monday, February 6, 2012.
“… It was an impressive meeting to launch the first recording. The Middletown Swim and Tennis Club community showed up to make their case for keeping the club off the auction block. The mayor thanked the past president of the library board, Randall Gabrielan, for his years of service. This of course was after the mayor asked for Mr. Gabrielan’s resignation the previous week. Also, something that rarely happens, the Committee voted on each new resolution individually.”, Mr. Watson stated in an email announcing the format change to subscribers of his newsletter.

It is hoped that this video starts a new era in Middletown, an era of transparency. This first recording shows what really goes on at Middletown Township Committee meetings. If readers of this blog take the time to watch this video and any videos that come later they will see and hear how our Township Committee deals with its citizens.
… Current and previous Middletown Committees said the people who want meetings recorded have a political agenda. They said recording the meetings would cost too much. They said giving the public video access would allow them to grandstand. You decide if videotaping the meetings is worthwhile..., Finally, I want to extend my personal thank you to the many concerned citizens who made this recording possible with their support. By uniting we triumphed over those who said it couldn’t be done. Many thanks. And as always, thank you all for taking an interest in your local government.”, stated Watson.
Don Watson will be offering the Township Committee a copy of this recording with the hope that they will post it on our Township’s public television access stations.
The video runs over two and a half hours, the first few minutes of the video you will hear a lot of noise. There are no guns being fired. It is a malfunction of the sound system.
As a companion to the video Mr. Watson has put together a PDF document that contains the meeting agenda and the resolutions that were voted on during the meeting. A box around an item is a link, bringing you further into the document to that resolution or ordinance. At the end of the resolution there will be a link bringing you back to the agenda. It is a little easier to follow along when you can see what is being voted on.

While watching the video pay attention to who speaks and who doesn’t speak from the dais, Township Attorney Brian Nelson is sitting next to mayor Tony Fiore. Nelson is an appointed official, not an elected official, yet he speaks as if he is!

It should be pointed out that although Nelson isn’t an elected official, he is a high ranking member of the Middletown GOP who makes a living off the taxpayers of the Township.
Watch closely for the arrogance and distain he shows for those that stand in front of the Committee. He rolls his eyes, laughs and snickers at the very residents that he makes his living off of.

Leave a comment

Filed under Don Watson, Its Your Town, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Newsletter, Randall Gabrielan, video newsletter, workshop meeting, YouTube

Attention All Swim Club Members

Press Release:

This is an urgent call to all members of the
Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Residents and Taxpayers.

On the agenda for the Township Committee Workshop Meeting is:
Item l: Swim Club Utility Dissolution/Property Sale

We are requesting all Middletown Swim Club members attend the Township Committee Workshop Meeting to be held on Monday, February 6, 2012 at Town Hall at 8:00 with their children, friends, posters and/or signs. Car pooling is an option.

With the pool club operating with business as usual in 2012 – our Township Committee says there may be an $81,000 shortfall that taxpayers will have to make up for.

Take note: This would be the first time since the club was purchased in 1997 that the town would have to supplement any loss to the club.

Here’s how we see it:

If the pool club does not operate at all this year, a $225,000 bond payment still must be paid by Middletown taxpayers.

Solution: The SOS Committee is working on a solid business plan to have our MSTC operate at NO COST to taxpayers. To accomplish this, it HAS TO OPEN THIS SUMMER. Members and Non-members, it is your duty to show your support this Monday night! If it opens all 67,000 of us win!

Our swim club offers an affordable summer comfort for seniors, families, teens and tots and has done so since the 1960s!

What is at stake?

· Summer camps where children can play games, create crafts and swim.

· Availability of swim and tennis lessons for members.

· Organized activities: dive and splash contests, water polo, sharks and minnows, basketball games, Frisbee baseball, candy hunts, bowling trips and water aerobics to name a few.

· Our championship swim team who have brought opportunity to young athletes and pride to our town. Senior citizens enjoying a dip during adult swim or a game of cards with their friends.

· Special events: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Senior Day and Family Fun Nights with music and fun activities for the whole family.

Middletown Swim and Tennis Club is a safe, fun-filled haven for families to connect, relax and make friends. It has produced an Olympic medalist and elite Navy Seal. It is an asset to our community and important center of summer activities for families in Middletown Township.

Please plan to attend to support our town summer center for fun!

Your presence at Monday’s meeting is critical!!

Save Our Swim Club Committee
For more information see our Facebook Page

Leave a comment

Filed under agendas, Facebook, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, property sale, save our swim club committee, workshop meeting

Letter: Save Our Swim Club

Dear Middletown Mike,

I am writing to you to regarding the Middletown Swim Club. As we all know the township has stated that they do not want to operate the swim club this year. We ( club members) went to the town meeting on Jan 17th to let the township know we were are not happy with their decision.

During the meeting many numbers were thrown about regarding ADA regulations that need to be put into place and also capital improvements that needed to be made. These numbers ranged up to a million dollars with no specifics to clarify to the members . We have done some investigating with the town and discovered a few things that we think people should know.
The swim club has never been a burden to taxpayers . The swim club is set up as a utility and as such must be self sustaining. Only membership money has been used to run the club.

It has been rumored that they may only open 1 pool this year. The cost to open one pool and 4 pools is the same. Also – if the pumps are not run in the other pools they will become damaged and that will cost money to repair.

Most importantly:

The taxpayers of Middletown will have to take on the burden of the bonds that are owed on the swim club. This amount is $225,000.00 if the club is not opened this year. The membership dues are what cover this cost. These bonds will continue for the next 10 years for a total cost to the taxpayer of $1,300,000.

A member committee has been established and will be presenting its plan to the Township for the continued operation of the swim club very soon.

We who belong love our club. We would like all to join and see what we see. No one should have to go to another town and use their pool when we have a perfectly good one in our own town. Support Middletown, keep the money here. Please join the fight to save the pool club.

Regards,

Save Our Swim Club Committee

Kerri Brennan
Middletown

Leave a comment

Filed under bond debt, letter to the editor, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, taxpayers

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; Former Committeeman Tom Wilkens Comments On Swim Club Closing

In this audio clip from last Tuesday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting, hometown hero, former Olympian and Township Committee member, Tom Wilkens addressed the Township Committee about the sudden news that the Swim and Tennis Club would not be operational for this coming summer season, during the public comments portion of the Township Committee meeting that took place on January 19th.

He expressed his understanding of the issue as a former member of the Township Committee, former commissioner of the Swim Club Utility and current member of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club and wondered if all possible options for keeping the swim club open had been considered.

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee5TomWilkensComments

Leave a comment

Filed under Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Olympics, public comments, Tom Wilkens

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; "What about the kids?"

I have a few more audio clips from last Tuesday night’s Township Committee meeting to post concerning the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club.

In this clip you can hear a young lady addressing the Township Committee during public comments and asking them, in light of all the budget cuts enacted by the State and local government when will someone ask the question “what about the kids ?”

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee4WhatAboutTheKids

Leave a comment

Filed under budget cuts, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, public comments, what about the kids

More Audio From Tuesday Night’s Township Committee Meeting; Swim Club Members Want Answers

Here is some more audio from Tuesday night’s public comments portion of the Middletown Township Committee meeting where members of the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club spoke in front of the Township Committee and wanted answers as to why they were never informed by the Township that the Club was losing money and that it will be closed this year.

Notice once again Township Attorney Brian Nelson answering questions for the Township Committee at ~6:30 into the clip and again towards the end of this 13 minute sound bite. Why does the Township Attorney need to answer financial questions about the Swim Club and not the Township Administrator, Township CFO or the elected officials that sit on the dais? Listen towards the end where he repeatedly states “we…,we…, we…”. It’s infuriating.

http://www.archive.org/embed/SwimClubMembersAddressTownshipCommittee-2

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio clips, Brian Nelson, Middletown Swim and Tennis Club, Middletown Township Committee, Swim Club