Burbank Adult/Lap Swimmers News

Parks and Rec has scheduled another meeting for adult/lap swimmers on November 4, McCambridge Pool.

What's this all about?  Rumors circulated around Verdugo Pool during August and September that both Burbank pools - Verdugo and McCambridge  - would not be open after September.  Signs were posted by swimmers, encouraging letters to the Park & Rec officials, City Council, etc. asking to keep at least one pool open on a year-around basis.

As a result of these letters and phone calls, there was a meeting for the adult swimmers on September 24.  Mr. Garth Nelson explained that the pools had only been open on a year-around basis for the past several years to accommodate the two high school swimming teams, while their pools were being refurbished.  He said there was a plan to "permit" the adult/lap swimmers to use one of the high school pools when it re-opened.  Although this indicated an attempt to provide a minimal service to swimmers, many at the meeting asked Mr. Nelson to consider the larger issue:

Why isn't one of the Burbank city pools always open on a year around basis? 

Many other opinions were also expressed, including suggestions to develop a more complete swimming program through the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.

After the meeting, I sent a letter, as below, to Mr. Garth Nelson, Mr. Michael Flad, (Director, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department) and Robert R. Ovrom (Burbank City Manager).  Copy, change as you think right, and send it on!

Also, read the Burbank 10 Year Strategic Plan mentioned below, especially Section D, Item 18:


Send comments to me, Bob Schmitt, at:


Watch for more news at the TeamBurbank.com website, which should be online before the end of October!

Burbank, California 91505-4920
September 30, 2002

Mr. Garth Nelson
Deputy Director
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
301 East Olive Avenue
P.O. Box 6459
Burbank, CA 91510-6459

Dear Mr. Nelson,

Thank you for meeting with the Burbank adult/lap swimmers at McCambridge Pool on September 24. As you probably learned at this meeting, there is a strong interest by many Burbank swimmers that one of the pools in Burbank will be open for reasonable swimming hours for all months, every year.

As I mentioned at this meeting, I’ve been swimming in the Burbank park pools – Verdugo and McCambridge - since 1990. During that time and to the best of my knowledge. there has been NO inquiry by any Burbank park manager to any adult swimmer about our (adult) swimming interests. However, in spite of this lack of managerial concern about the interests of adult/lap swimmers, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of pool users in this category. I am sure the pool records on monthly passes and daily fees will support this statement. Such pool use is now peaking, just before the weather turns colder and the hours of swimming diminish.

Since that meeting last week, my research into the City of Burbank policy led me to discover the "City of Burbank Strategic Plan, 2001-2010". I am quite surprised you did not mention this document and its goals to the swimmers at the meeting, as it states on page 37, item 18:

"Develop options and identify cost with providing a year-round aquatic program. This process would include exploring the option of maintaining one pool operational on a year-round basis."

Clearly, if this had been mentioned to us at the meeting, there would be a stronger conclusion that our interests are in alignment with the Parks Department, rather than the current feeling that we are "fighting an uphill battle" or that we must otherwise justify our recreational needs. Rather, the goals of the adult swimmers seem to be in exact alignment with those of the Burbank City Council!

There were many good suggestions at this meeting on methods your office should be using to accomplish this goal of the Strategic Plan and you should consider the following:

  • Lap swimming should be offered several times each day on a predictable, year-round basis.
  • The swimming program should be continually marketed, publicized and promoted, even to employees of the studios in, or adjacent to, Burbank.
  • Senior programs should be developed, to include water exercise classes and similar programs.
  • The policy that "we have always done it this way" should be abandoned.
  • Using McCambridge Pool on a year-round basis will yield an effective trial of the solar heating system installed for this pool through a grant by Burbank’s Water and Power Department and also "return" some of the BWP investment in the Parks Department.
  • The Burbank YMCA pool would be quickly overwhelmed if the Park’s pool users used their facility.
  • A full-time aquatic director should be employed to fully develop programs and pool use.

In conclusion, Burbank has an excellent lifeguard staff and two very good and useful pool facilities that have been well-maintained which provide a very desirable service to Burbank residents. It is now timely to move from the "status quo" and use these facilities to BETTER meet the developing needs of Burbank residents and other swimmers.

Needless to say, I look forward to learning of your plans for Burbank’s pools.

Very truly yours,

Robert G. Schmitt


E-Mail: bsbrbank@pacbell.net

cc:   Mr. Michael Flad, Director, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
        Robert R. Ovrom, Burbank City Manager