By: Diane Benjamin
I knew there was more to the pool story than Mark Peterson reported. My source tells me Peterson might not even know since he is probably relying on Angela Malone, head of aquatics. See Peterson’s version in this story: https://blnnews.com/2017/08/01/4-things-one-story/
I received an email from someone with intimate knowledge of the situation, I’m not going to say who because it would endanger their position. I’m just going to recap the email:
- It is normal for several employees to quit at the beginning of the season.
- Upper management at the pool spent little to no time recruiting for the pool this summer.
- This led them to have an additional guard class in early to mid July to help solve the problem. With all this “effort” to get more guards there was never once a sign outside either Fairview or Anderson mentioning the pool was hiring lifeguards.
- Top management has done little to create a good work environment. This season alone half a dozen guards left or cut their hours to work at the State Farm pool. They did this because of the bad environment fostered by poor managers who played power games by making up rules, intermittently enforcing rules, and breaking their own rules (ie: phone policy).
- Being short-staffed, the pool approved over-time pay. This helped some. However a majority of the overtime was paid to managers instead of lifeguards. They in theory were allowing overtime but found ways to make sure they were the ones who were paid over-time instead of lifeguards.
- To keep the pool staffed now, a dollar pay raise was approved. This supposedly was meant to get more lifeguard hours. However, they used the excuse to give themselves a raise by applying the increase to everyone (managers, concessions, tube wranglers, slide dispatchers and lifeguards).
- While the situation is bad, it was created by the Town of Normal
It never made any sense that some lifeguards quit to return to college, thus creating the problem. That is something that happens every year and should have been planned for. I have seen no reports of problems at the Bloomington pools.
The truth looks more like the pool managers got on an ego trip and chased off the employees. The writer also reported the managers thought their job was strictly management, not participating in actual work.
More people with REAL knowledge of government malfeasance need to step up. Nothing can get fixed if real problem are covered up. There are a LOT more stories that need to be told, without brave citizens willing to share what they know – the secrets and incompetence continue. I thank this tipster!