In a Sun Journal article (Dec. 19) about a recent Lewiston City Council meeting, the author paraphrased Mayor Shane Bouchard on the topic of the Kennedy Park swimming pool: “Mayor Shane Bouchard, head of the Public Works Committee, said he would just as soon fill in the pool.”

If that is truly the mayor’s position, it is appalling. The Kennedy Park pool is a crucial recreational resource for the entire community. Mayor Bouchard may not realize this, but hardworking Lewiston residents and their children deserve a place to play, swim and cool off during the hot summer months. The joy of swimming should not be restricted to those wealthy enough to afford a private pool, or access to a lake or the ocean. I don’t know how much time the mayor spends in Kennedy Park, but the pool is a center of wholesome fun during the summer months.

The Kennedy Park pool provides another important service beyond just recreation — it helps familiarize Lewiston’s children with being in the water and provides a safe place for them to learn how to swim. Earlier this year, there were tragic consequences of a lack of swimming experience when a Lewiston Middle School student drowned during a field trip.

Lewiston and the mayor should be working to make it easier for kids to learn how to swim, not more difficult.

I hope Mayor Bouchard thinks seriously about the importance of the Kennedy Park pool to the community and the children.

Kiernan Majerus-Collins, Lewiston

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