Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Director of What?

While reading an article on the Truxtun Park Penguins, the watchdog (or cynic, as the case may be) in me kicked in, and I couldn't help but wonder.

It seems that the coach of the team, Jennifer Bistrack, is taking a job with the city later this summer as the Director of Health and Aquatics.

I did some research on this position operating under the following 2 assumptions:

1. this position is located in the Recreation and Parks Department
2. the funding for this position would be included in the FY 2007 budget

If the above are true, then we may have a problem. Although last year's rec & parks budget included requests for a horticulturist and a turf specialist, it made no mention of a Director of Health and Aquatics. How much does this person make, and where does the money come from?

But the real question is, do we really need this position? The city owns precisely 1 pool, right? Truxtun Park? Ok. Forgive me, but I just can't justify the continual, multi-million dollar increases in the city budget to support things like this. The vast majority of pools, and swim teams, are organized and paid for by private organizations such as homeowners associations. I am not in the position to argue that public pools do not offer added benefit--especially for lower income families--but is it worth spending our tax money to get this benefit?

Ask yourself that question when you pay your next property tax bill or parking ticket.

And, I would be remiss in my duty if I failed to mention my favorite Director/Department Head: Wayne Taylor. Mr Taylor went from making $12,600 as the Annapolis Ward 4 Alderman, to making $120,000+ (guestimate) as the Director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging. Again, I'm not saying that this department is useless, but the Department of Eternal Youth would be much more impressive!