Colorado center-right bloggers take notice: One of the sharp and ambitious bloggers I met at Samsphere in Chicago a couple weeks ago – Maggie Thurber – shows the power of doing a little original research to expose government waste on public swimming pools in her Toledo backyard:
For sake of argument, let’s estimate that individuals likely to use the pool facilities will do so five times during the season. This seems a reasonable estimate considering the number of days the pools are open.
Using this assumption, the pools had about 5,000 unique visitors. The 2006 Census data shows that there are 74,896 children (under 18 years of age) in Toledo. Even if every visitor to the pools was a child, we would be serving less than 7% of the kids in the city. If we consider total population, those estimated 5,000 unique visitors represent less than 2% of the population.
Yet the city is planning to spend about $600,000 for this – which is about $120 per person served. It would be cheaper to buy every kid in the city a membership to the Boys and Girls Club ($5 per year for 16-18 year olds, but only $3 for 7-15 year olds) which would give them access to ALL activities, not just the pools.
Add one more entry to the encyclopedia of examples of government waste and inefficiency.