Sunday, March 20, 2011

Joliet City Elections and Splash Station

Joliet's looming budget deficit has become a huge issue in the upcoming April 5th City of Joliet Consolidated elections.

City Council and Mayoral candidates have been asked to take a stand on various projects in Joliet that cost the city money, such as the Rialto, the Historical Museum, and Slash Station.  Some candidates say Splash Station should be sold.  Some say its sale should be on the table.  Some say that before it was built, the taxpayers should have had to pass a referendum approving the building of Splash Station.

Here's what I want to know: Why haven't I heard anyone say they want to improve Splash Station?  I'm not saying no candidates have advocated for improving the water park, but I am saying that in all of the websites and papers I've read, I haven't heard any creative ideas for improving Splash Station.

So, in the spirit of the song "Try" by The Lisps:

Maybe the candidates could focus on:

--Trying to increase attendance by forming more partnerships with local summer camps which might increase attendance.  

--Trying to reach out to community centers who run summer programs for kids in Joliet.  Maybe they wouldn't be able to pay full price, but I would be okay with taxes going to Splash Station as long as it provided a fun, safe, and healthy place for all Joliet kids to play in the summer.

--Trying to reach out to communities south of Joliet for whom Splash Station might be the closest water park.

Maybe all of these ideas have already been tried and still Splash Station loses money.  Then I think the candidates need to "try to be in the place they're already in", Joliet.  I think Joliet needs Splash Station.  Families and kids need access to fun, healthy activities in their own community.