Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz worked very hard for a city owned swimming pool and it has been informative to watch him back down from his initial enthusiasm over absolute government operational control.
City pool needs private splash: The mayor's city budget, unveiled last week, seeks to hire a private vendor to run the concession stand at the city-owned Goodman Pool on the South Side. … The pool is losing money largely because it pays excessive wages to mostly entry-level, teenage workers. The pool workers fall under the city's "living wage " law, meaning they earn about $11 to $12 hour to sell soda and hot dogs, teach swimming lessons and serve as lifeguards. Other cities with pools in the Madison area offer market-rate pay starting at $6 to $7 an hour and peaking at $10 to $11 an hour.
City officials pledged to make the Goodman Pool self-sufficient when approving its construction in 2005. The goal was to cover all operating expenses with income. … Last year 's deficit totaled about $136,000. City officials were optimistic they could cut the annual shortfall in half this year. But it now looks like the 2007 deficit will be much higher than the $71,000 the city projected back in July.