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Team Sheeper's pool contract comes under new scrutiny from Menlo Park City Council

Original post made on Sep 26, 2023

In an unusual move, Mayor Jen Wolosin is bringing Team Sheeper’s new contract to operate public swimming pools at Burgess Park and the Menlo Park Community Campus is coming back before the Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 11:47 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by MP Father
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 26, 2023 at 12:45 pm

MP Father is a registered user.

I don't oppose the move by Mayor Wolosin, or perhaps really Council Member Nash, but don't understand the change of heart nor how redlining, segregation, and race apply to the contract? If SOLO was in prior contracts, reasonable protection to preserve seems right.

More importantly though, air quality in Belle Haven is mentioned. That is obviously a very important issue but when I look at AQI figures, the AQI levels show as uniform throughout the city? When I look at the Bay Air Center site it states that the observed PM2.5 concentration levels in Belle Haven were "...were still well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s health standards." What data is Mayor Wolosin or the author looking at?

The link below is to the AQI levels at the time of this submission.

Web Link

Posted by Walter Sobchak
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 26, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Walter Sobchak is a registered user.

Menlo Park is very fortunate to have Tim Sheeper manage its aquatics programs and facilities (since 2006). Think I’m wrong? Try an alternative and see how many things break down.

SOLO has consistently been the “fly in the ointment” of MP’s swim community.

Posted by West Menlo Mom
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 26, 2023 at 2:35 pm

West Menlo Mom is a registered user.

I don't follow ... what does Solo have to do with equity issues between Belle Haven and Burgess? Maybe some more explanation from the reporter would help with this connection?

Team Sheeper runs the Rinconada pool for city of Palo Alto; Palo Alto doesn't seem to have this continual bizarre heartburn (and seemingly almost personal vendetta?) over Team Sheeper managing the pool.

Agree with Walter Sobchak above that Sheeper has done a great job managing both MP and Palo Alto pools and that Solo is consistently the fly in the ointment.

Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 26, 2023 at 4:07 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Nobody is talking about canceling the Sheeper contract as far as I can tell – this is about whether SOLO should get special treatment as a subcontractor without offering classes citywide.

It emerged during the last meeting that SOLO had been "overlooked" in the contract with Sheeper, and a number of public commenters showed up to speak about how important the SOLO program was to children in our community. There's no love lost between Sheeper and the SOLO team and if council hadn't insisted on adding SOLO back into the contract, it probably would have killed their program.

At the time, Vice Mayor Taylor opined that it would be nice to have SOLO offer their excellent programs in Belle Haven too. SOLO didn't immediately jump at the opportunity, despite having long-standing issues with lane access at the Burgess pool. At the time, the council majority that voted for the Sheeper contract didn't push SOLO to offer programming in both pools.

SOLO since appears to have reconsidered their stance. Web Link

It's reasonable to revisit that discussion, especially given what we know about persistent racial disparities in swim education. Web Link

It is important that the city make high-quality swim instruction accessible to kids in Belle Haven and SOLO should probably be part of the solution.

Posted by local teacher
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 26, 2023 at 8:56 pm

local teacher is a registered user.

Thank you to kbehroozi for that extra explanation of what the council discussion was and what SOLO's subsequent response has been. That sounds like a win for community youth.

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