08 April 2012

Not my usual type blog post...

No charts, no obscure Letter to the Editor from 20-years ago.  Just a simple premise, and a series of short questions that came to mind over this Easter holiday weekend:

If CA had the ability to provide one of the following:

a)  Free before and after school care
b)  Free admission to the outdoor pools

Which would be better for Columbia?
Which would be better for CA?

Which would you choose?

In order for this post to be successful, I need to hear from you!

hocoblogs@@@

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Free before/after care would definitely be better for the community. First of all, it is 10 months versus 3 months for free pool membership. Secondly, before/after care is more expensive than pool membership. But most importantly, having kids occupied and supervised would decrease incidents in the community and improve grades. In CA, students have a chance to do homework and they are properly supervised instead of being unsupervised for hours in the neighborhood. Parents could know that their school aged child was safe and productive. It would be great to have free before/after care!

KirstyCat said...

This is a great question. Given the problems that our society has, secure childcare is a major problem for working moms & dads. As a working mom, I feel that I've been discriminated against when I've made decisions regarding childcare. Child care should not be an automatic though - maybe lower rates...

Looking at the current situation with CA school care, I think that it would be economically easier to provide that. They are using existing facilities that are already operating.

There should be some kind of nominal fee for pool usage. You go to the movies, you pay. You go to a sporting event, you pay. These facilities take a lot more upkeep.

Swimming is not a right & childcare is not a right. Both have societal benefits. So...

So many sides to take on this - great topic!

Anonymous said...

But Columbia homeowners already pay through CPRA, so it wouldn't be free, just not an added fee as it is now, if I recall correctly. Other HOAs with community pools do not charge extra for pool usage on top of HOA dues.

I would choose childcare but I don't live in Columbia anymore, so ....

Julia McCready said...

I see childcare as an essential, for those who need it. Pools are a beautiful, sparkling amenity. I have a hard time comparing them. In addition, anyone may possibly be a pool user, wheras childcare appeals, obviously, to those with children. I am curious at what prompts you to pose this question.

B. Santos said...

Julia, just wanted to know if people think CA is a park and rec association or if it is to fulfill more basic social needs.

Karen Lynn said...

Bill, the way you phrased your question, I would definitely pick childcare, even though I'm way past the need for that. It addresses a far more basic and important need in our community.

However, I'm not sure you'll find out from that question whether people think it is a parks and rec association or its mission is to fulfill more basic needs because that's not really what you asked. If CA suddenly became able to fund childcare, I think people would be thrilled, whether or not they thought that was the mission of CA.

KirstyCat said...

Isn't this why so many people are confusing about what CA is doing for them?

Julia McCready said...

CA does provide childcare, and pools, and many other things, I daresay. The model, where you pay through assessment in order to have the "right" to pay more to purchase a service, doesn't always make sense to me. Have you read Trevor's post at HCR? What do you think of the choice he proposes?

Ann De Lacy said...

Bill, Harper's Choice Village's Candidate Night was Tuesday, April 11th.

Jessie at CA said...

While I know you mean otherwise by your question, CA pretty much does provide "free" pool access. It's in the form of a 75% discount for outdoor pool membership for income-qualified people.

And what do you mean by "free"? Free as in CA got a grant from a private foundation? Or "free" as in CA would not charge for access to the pools and cut services and programming elsewhere? Which kind of "free" are you talking about, Mr. Santos? ;-p

B. Santos said...

Jessie, in this hypothetical thinking experiment, I was referring to "free" as in nada, as in "just show up" AND do this without reducing services in any other division. It's purely theoretical and also very difficult to achieve. Set aside the pragmatic/can we do it argument for a moment, and ask yourself: As a social welfare organization, what should CA provide at no cost if it could?

As far as the reduced membership for outdoor pools is concerned, I have no quarrel with that. I think it's a great idea!