Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Swim lane schedules to be studied
More camaraderie may have been felt in UN negotiations during the Korean War than in talks over how to allocate swim lanes in Stafford County, supervisors joked last week. It’s become a contentious issue, and the board decided to add more input to the discussion. They voted 4-3 to have an outside firm study the differences between weekly and daily schedules for the three swim teams.
So what’s the deal with swim lanes? The swim lane allocation policy has been revised over the past few months in the parks and recreation commission. Here’s some of the background on why it came to the board last week:
Every year, the year-round swim teams work with the parks and rec commission to come up with a schedule. Because of a shortage of county swimming pools (just Woodlands year-round, and Curtis in the summer), scheduling can get tricky. The Stafford Aquatics Team (STAT), Sharks and QDD (Quantico Devil Dolphins) share Woodlands in the fall and spring, while high school teams also share the space during their season, November to February. (The Stingrays use the YMCA pools, along with Curtis Park in the summer.)
In November, the board asked the parks and rec commission to make a policy that would be “fair and equitable” for all swimmers, based on how many Stafford residents were on each team. Previously, there had been a seniority clause in the weekly schedule, so that in the cases where more than one team requested a certain time slot, the oldest team (QDD was founded in 1962) would be a tiebreaker. This past year, the teams have used a daily schedule.
- Weekly means that teams receive a certain amount of hours based on their roster of Stafford residents, and then can use those hours throughout the week for morning, evening and weekend practices.
- Daily means that teams receive a certain number of hours that they can use each day. If the team decides not to have practice hours on certain days, then they essentially lose those hours.
Over the past few months, the commission met with the points of contacts on the swim teams (all communication with the county is supposed to go through them), including at a lengthy subcommittee meeting. On April 26, the commission voted 4-3 to adopt a weekly schedule for this fall that eliminates the seniority clause.
But the Board of Supervisors believes the commission didn’t use all the data that could have been analyzed. The majority (Susan Stimpson, Bob Thomas, Gary Snellings and Ty Schieber) agreed that an outside source should study the merits of each schedule style. Mathematics or statistics departments at George Mason University or the University of Mary Washington could be used, according to county staff. The study could potentially cost nothing.
To see video from the board’s discussion, go to 48:20 here.