He may be all wet but Horton (eventually) reaches the right conclusion

As proposed

Fresh from attacking a general lack of spending in Greenwich’s budget, GT columnist Bob Horton gets down to particulars: he wants a new pool in Byram, and he wants us to pay for it. Well that’s not going to happen, as Horton acknowledges, but at least we can all agree with his summation: “We would be better off with no pool than to construct another bargain-basement special, a public resource that will go neglected and under-used.”

With ya all the way, Bob.

29 Comments

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29 responses to “He may be all wet but Horton (eventually) reaches the right conclusion

  1. Al Dente

    What a simpleton.

    • No, Bob’s a smart guy and that’s what’s so puzzling – he’s either been inhaling too much popcorn butter vapor or else working with the editor of Greenwich Time has a more damaging affect on neurons than has been suspected.

  2. Anonymous

    I think you’re right, Chris: whether the cause is chemical or psychological, Bob has gone off his rocker with this “wonderful two- or three-pool aquatic complex” fantasy.

    Please come back to us, Bob!

  3. Georgie

    Horton used to be a terrific, truth-seeking reporter. Then, noticeably, his columns started with a Red vs Blue conspiracy theory accusations—as if all GOOD comes from Dems and all BAD comes from Republicans. If only life was that simple.

    Does the sad state of the economy have no bearing on how much is availale for nice-to have-projects like a summer outdoor pool? Just consider that the schools are begging to keep their funding for basic maintenance—and schools are open year round.

    An outdoor summer pool that takes massive rock blasting and changing of the landscape, is open 3 months of the year, and will have a lifetime increase in operating the pool….is just ridiculous to fund in the economy today.

    I wonder when Horton will write about the bloated size of our Town government—that delivers such poor service they need to GO TO CLASS on how to be simply courteous—-all the while they are compensated with wages and benefits that include lifetime health care, pension, on top of protected status from ever being fired.

    Or, is that biting from the Democrat hand that somehow has lit a fire under Horton’s feet?

    • Bob is and will remain (I hope) a friend but we do seem to be growing further apart on the issue of the size of our town government.
      Maybe the fervor of an election year is affecting both of us.

  4. Anonymous

    He lost me with his pitiful attack on Dalio’s funding of the town party. I stopped reading him after that. If I want crazy, there are lots of places to read it nowadays.

  5. CatoRenasci

    I, too, know and like Bob, but I seem him increasingly drinking the Democratic Kool-Aid thinking it’s the ’60s and we can always spend more money and that someone else will pay for it. It’s sad, really.

  6. Balzac

    Georgie, thanks for asking the important question: “Does the sad state of the economy have no bearing on how much is availale for nice-to have-projects…”

    In the liberal world-view, which seems unfortunately to have captured Bob Horton, all possible spending projects deserve the taxpayers’ money. After all, it grows on trees………

  7. GreenITCH

    I may have to start asking the age of your readers as they seem to bask in the glory of Greenwich’s bye gone glory days as a premier town . Bob Horton raises a lot of good questions …Junior League willing to help raise half the funds …. other towns operating pool to cover expenses are all common sense . I see more and more young families ( like myself ) passing on this town because not only do you not get much for your $$$ in terms of a house … you get even LESS when it comes to amenities . Let me ask do we really need a visitor greeting kiosk at Todds points . Its a beach for gods sake .. bring a towel and a chair …no one here is looking for a ” hand out ” in fact properly run it could improve Byram Park , which aside from the baseball field is quiet frankly a dump …not asking to raise your taxes but perhaps your IQ about what makes this town appealing … or i should say made this town appealing

  8. cos cobber

    GreenItch, check out the link.
    http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Tesei-warns-of-increased-costs-3878504.php

    The town already has a firestation and school music/auditorium project on goingin at $20MM++ each plus we are building another fire station for NW part of town and we have an open ended – possible 7MM – enviro clean up of the high school also on the docket. Then there is the town run nursing home.

    All that said, our schools could be better. I’d rather plow through the current agenda and then take a 20 year look at our school needs. Several of the schools, such as Western will need renovations soon – in the next decade.

  9. Sadder, but wiser....

    We never should have done MISA and we should hold off on the new firehouse until we know what the whole MISA + High school clean up is going to cost. Ditto the NW Greenwich firehouse, which will turn out to be too elaborate because they gotta have parity with the cops, who got a completely overdone Peace Palace (and they refuse to share their gym with the lowly firefighters — stuff like this is so bizarre you have to shake your head). You can’t have it all. If the Town employees (teachers included) weren’t so coddled and overpaid, we could afford more capital projects. Personnel costs crowd everything else out.

  10. Greenwich Gal

    I am with Sadder but wiser. The town DOES need a pool! Most decent towns have one. Our town government is pathetic. So much wasted money and opportunities. We should get an F in management. Look at our schools! Complete dumps! Look at how we manage our other town properties. Ever check out Pomerance? Our town employees are handsomly paid for doing alot of – not much.

  11. Balzac

    GreenItch, if your observation is that Greenwich lacks amenities, your powers of observation are in question, not our amenities.
    Where you live, do you have a library like Greenwich’s (free)?
    Do you have a beach like Greenwich Point? (essentially free)?
    Island Beach, likewise? Parks? Teen Center? Fields for every sport under the sun? Greenwich High, which has a budget and a club for every activity adolescents can devise?

    We spend a lot of money, to be sure, but this is a great town.

  12. Greenwich Gal

    Just in case you have not heard – the Sound is an E Coli swamp. Yuck. I love to swim in clean water but swimming in toxic septic runoff does not appeal to me.

  13. Get real, CF

    CF – most of the people who would use the Byram pool (i) do not have pools, (ii) cannot afford to join a country club, or (iii) are not clubbable even if they want to and can afford to join a country club.

  14. cos cobber

    If you dont have a pool and dont want to swim in the sound, join the YMCA or YWCA. Both have pools that are wet and clean.

    As for the town budget, I’d love to hear some specifics on how to get more out of our tax dollars. And as Peter Tesei points out a lot of big ideas, like eliminating traffic police on the avenue dont save that much money.

    My concern is that while we have lust for better parks and recreational facilities now, we may regret investing capital in these projects tomorrow if we havent taken an honest, long term view, of what the school system (all three middle schools are aging and the dept of ed building on Gwich ave is really starting to decline – 10yrs left in that building) and town infrastructure (bridges, sewers, roads, sidewalks) needs are over the next 20 years. I know they run a 10 year capital needs budget. It probably should be a 15 year forecast instead.

  15. AJ

    GG, as far as I know you need cattle to get e-coli, and I’m pretty sure there haven’t been any in your part of the world for quite some time. What makes you think public pools are clean? People blow their noses and pee in them.

    CF, for the cost of joining a country club, I’m sure you could build an inground pool and have money left over. Why not just put a few above ground pools and porta johns in parking lots wherever they’re needed? Or for those who want something bigger, there’s always the Bear Mountain pool: https://www.playle.com/pictures/CBENTPRI1848.jpg

    • AJ, one of the conditions imposed by the state for allowing us to reopen the clam beds 20 years ago was that we test the waters in clamming areas (Tod’s Point, mostly) for bacteria/pollutants at least once a week and shut down the beds if the water fails quality tests. While there are indeed times when we have to close – particularly after an inch or more of rain, when goose poop washes off Binney Park’s fields and into the creek, the water is essentially clean, safe and free of the worst of bad things – clams are filter feeders and collect and absorb all the bugs that would sicken a human – hasn’t happened yet.
      Funny thing, getting back to those geese: mommies let their kids play in our parks where the crap accumulates, then fret about water quality when those same droppings are washed out to sea.

  16. Greenwich Gal

    AJ, darling – I know you love busting my chops and all but if you do a little research, you will find that you can get E Coli from any type of fecal matter, cattle, human or otherwise.
    Why do you think after big storms, the beach and the oyster and clam beds are closed? All of the septic systems all over CT drain right into the sound – or sections of the Mianus which have not yet been hooked up to sewer. Of course, you can get E Coli in a swimming pool as well. But it is pretty rare if the maintenance is up to par.
    Remember the “Baby Ruth” scene from “Caddy Shack?” One of my Mr. Greenwich Gal’s all time favorites!
    Some one post it – I don’t know how to do that!

  17. GreenITCH

    CF this is the first i have heard of Goose poop being the culprit for high bacteria levels in the sound ….however i guess as well we should not be alarmed about the sewage spill from Riverside Commons into Binney park creek ….the dwindling supply and noteworthy soft shells of lobsters seems to point to other toxins and sewage running from the streets ( ie pesticides etc ) and infecting our waters ..no ? as for a few other things …. grade and middle schools ” could be better ” ” will need to be improved in 10 years ” ??? They rankings are poor and the buildings themselves are deplorable … CF have they been updated even since you went there when they opened ? Ballzache …Riverside ….Ummm most Libraries are FREE .. they are nice i give u that ..unfortunately everyone from port chester and stamford is using them ! Yes the beaches are OK when opened ..lets hope or sunshine ..and when my kids are in HS fine .. but id be better off from many perspectives having them attends Darien or Staples HS ! and Cos Cobber .. i looked at YMCA = DUMP – Again another town ” Jewel ” ….ill head to Chelsea Piers STamford instead … looked at the C.C. scene …and as everyone tells you never figure out your cost per round as its frightening …What did Groucho Marx’s say ” I would not join any organization that would have me as a member”! …. Lets face it Greenwich is a nice place to do business … set up your corporate HQ or domicile your Hedge Fund etc ….but otherwise … its charm is long gone

  18. AJ

    I remember when the geese weren’t much of a problem in town. It all started with a bunch of hippies (I don’t remember the year) feeding those poor starving geese massive quantities of grain corn down at the Lucas Point beach during the winter so that the poor beasts wouldn’t have to labor, flying all the way to where they used to go. I don’t recall whether they were wearing their Che sweatshirts.

    • Good theory, AJ, but it’s a phenomenon seen up and down the east coast, as golf courses proliferated and gooses discovered that they no longer had to migrate. And what a shame they did – besides the nuisance they’ve made of themselves, we’ve lost one of neatest part of fall and spring, watching the geese high overhead, sailing south (or north – anywhere but here!). Fall’s not fall without burning leaves and V flocks.

  19. cos cobber

    Greenwitch, the YMCA pool is beautiful. The balance of the building is dumpy, but isnt this about access to water and not building a country club?

    I dont understand this mentality that this town owes us or we deserve a public country club pool. If we are to have one, then let some hedge fund donate 100% of the construction costs. Otherwise, its just not a luxury we can afford at this time. If people want a country club pool, then join one.

    Its a shame that you have soured on Greenwich. This town is far from perfect, but I still find it has a lot to offer.

  20. AJ

    All the waterborne e-coli cases that I’ve ever heard of have been caused by water runoff from farm (cattle) areas. Most strains of the bacteria are not particularly dangerous (part of your natural gut flora?), and the one that kills people is a mutant strain that was first discovered in 1982 and was caused by feeding cattle grain, which is not their natural diet. They used to dump raw sewage in the creek, yet I have never gotten sick from a lifetime of swimming in creek and the cove. And I like to swim at Tod’s late in the season so I can experience those red sand crabs pecking at the bottom of my feet.

    You can still burn leaves up here where I am, and the geese fly every fall and spring, though they haven’t started yet: it’s too early. Whether you like my theory or not — it’s just as good as some of the Naked Archaeologist’s theories — the geese started sticking around when the hippies started feeding them. BTW the genus hippy is known to habitate the entire coastal region. And if it’s not the hippies, then it must be global warming. And in that case, may I suggest we all chip in with a carbon tax and bow down to the United Nations so that we can once and for all put an end to this silly goose problem.

  21. AJ

    Here for you. I take it it’s been a while since you’ve worked in an office, if ever.

  22. Greenwich Gal

    Thanks AJ!
    And yes, it has been a long time since I have worked in an office.
    (As you have surmised, thanks to Mr. GG, I’ll never have to do that again. I know – I am lucky.)