In an effort to have a more open conversation about the imminent closure of some public pools in Calgary, one councillor held a “pool town hall” on Sunday.
Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra hosted the event at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre, with waves of community members joining in on the conversation.
“I think it’s even more apropos now that we sit down and have a conversation with residents,” Carra said. “I thought the best way to do that would be to do it in the pool while our kids are fooling around.”
Members of the community haven’t taken the news well — they aren’t set to lose their community hub.
“People are angry about it, and they’re upset, and they don’t want it to happen and I totally understand and respect that,” Carra said.
While the councillor knows what is at stake, he said he needs to be realistic about how to move forward and wants to include his neighbours in that conversation.
“As a manager of the public purse, I understand that this is a very expensive and underused facility,” Carra said. “I’m looking for a more nuanced conversation and I’m looking to develop a game plan as we move into the budget.”
Both the Inglewood Aquatic Centre and Beltline Aquatic and Fitness Centre are due to close in the new year.
Back in July, city council approved the decision to continue funding the pools until the new year to allow for more public consultation with the community.