Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Workers should pay their way at pool


Haines is fortunate to have a swimming pool, despite being a small community. As is periodically noted, the pool is an expensive facility, but it contributes to the health and well-being of residents and visitors and adds to the attractiveness of Haines as a hometown. However, there is no reason its benefits should be free to some residents and not others. We who have jobs supported in part or in full by borough property taxes should appreciate those jobs. Because we have income commensurate with our responsibilities, we should pay for use of borough facilities the same way everyone else does. Although borough regulations may be less specific, Haines Borough School District policies expressly prohibit granting personal use of district property, unless specifically stated in board policy, and threaten disciplinary action for violation. “Reasonable and impartial use” of school facilities is the standard. Legally, this applies to school facilities, services, space, supplies, and equipment. It would not be equitable to grant employees of the district use of equipment and facilities for free if other members of the community are not given the same privilege. Borough facilities are not a private club; they belong to the community, are built and supported by taxes and state bonds, and generous private contributions. Borough employees contribute no more to the upkeep of the pool than any of the rest of us. They should pay their share. If Borough administrators want to encourage a healthier staff, develop an incentive program, but don’t give away free “memberships” to public facilities.

Patty Brown