Attendance dwindled at Crystal Lake Pool.

That's my perception. There were so few visible patrons the last few times I jogged past, I wouldn't have known it closed, but for the missing water.

A few years have passed, and the Urbana Park District now wants you to vote for even more taxes, to pay for a new aquatic center. This tax would augment, not supplant, the tax you approved in 2009 — also for the park district.

An irresponsible reliance on TIF, like heroin to municipalities, means school and park districts will continue to pester constituents for lifeblood. So you shouldn't be surprised that the UPD wants to know — again... already — if you'd like to spend more dollars on more services.

My question is whether you, the liberal, would be best served by voting "yes, pool."

If you build it, will they come?


My dad, the stalwart Fox News enthusiast, will be voting "yes." He doesn't want to deny today's young parents the opportunity he enjoyed. That's his reasoning. The McColley kids were a huge burden to the local taxpayer, on every level. (Thanks.)

I still look good in a Speedo.

Do young parents take their kids to the pool? Do helicopter moms allow their precious ones to mingle with urban latchkeys? Has the ubiquity of air conditioning and video games diminished the need for relief from heat, and boredom?

What about the pee?

The UPD provides some answers on their website. You can credit or dismiss the timeliness and methodology at your convenience.

For up to the minute results, I asked UPD staff to answer some questions. I also asked Park Board President Michael Walker to respond to these questions. Because they had anywhere from three days to an hour to respond, I won't hold it against them if they don't get back to me (and you) before the polls open.

Don't we already have a park district pool?

Who would use the outdoor pool?

How have air conditioning and video games changed the climate, so to speak, of summer youth activities?

Will people vote for the pool because they think it's something they should do for the community, or because they want a pool?

What data have you seen suggesting a desire for a pool, or that it would be used?