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Dear Rec Supporters, Patrons, and Family,

As the manager of the Recreation District for the past ten years, it is my pleasure to address you today. I have had the privilege of working alongside many of you toward our shared goal of providing high quality recreation programs and safe facilities for our community. Myself and the District remain committed to continuing this work and maintaining the high standards that our customers have come to expect from us.

We are pleased to report a significant milestone for the Soledad Swimming Pool, which recently hosted its first-ever Soledad High School Swim Meet. The event was made possible through the generous contributions and partnership efforts of the City of Soledad, the Soledad Unified School District, and the Recreation District who together invested to install diving blocks. As part of our ongoing efforts to inspire future swimmers, we also unveiled a new art mural at our wading pool, created through a partnership effort with the Monterey Arts Council. The mural is sure to ignite the imaginations of all who use our facilities.

 

As we prepare for our summer season we are focusing our 2023 programming on Aquatics. Providing high-quality swimming lessons, Rec & family swim times, water exercise, competitive swim, affordable facility rentals, and adult swim is our primary function this year and we intend to do it with high-quality opportunities, safe environments, and customer service oriented approach. To achieve this mission, we need to hire, work with, and build a team of managers, coordinators, staff, lifeguards, and swim instructors. With the help of our talented staff and the support of our community, I am confident that we will build a team that will help us continue to serve our community with excellence. We have been in a period of transition for some time with many longtime employees moving on to wonderful new opportunities and careers. Our longtime Executive Director will be out on maternity leave this summer, and while we all welcome with joy the addition to our Rec Family it limits our administrative ability to provide our full list of programs and leaves myself as the only District administrator for the next few months. Factoring in rising costs and the need to operate in a fiscally responsible way there were programs that had to be evaluated and unfortunately cut for the 2023 year. We plan to return to these programs in 2024 but the District will need your support, and understanding to do so. 

Years of experience has taught us how important quality trained staff is for the good programs you have come to trust your children to. After carefully considering and assessing our current situation, we have postponed the Junior Giants program until the 2024 season. We have searched locally for a coordinator offering a competitive pay rate, and even with significant investment in the recruiting process, we have been unable to find an experienced coordinator capable of delivering a large program to our community, especially on a seasonal basis. 

Additionally, we will limit our Summer Day Camp Program to a two- one week Swim Camps. The weeks we have camp we are committed to providing all the fun and beneficial components of camp; low ratios, curriculum-based, daily swim lessons, art, science, character development, intentional behavior management, incorporating wellness and counselor in training opportunities.

As we move forward, we will prioritize safety, clear communication, and high-quality swim programs for our community. While myself and the District deeply wanted these programs to happen in 2023, it is essential that we first focus on providing high-quality swim programs, rebuild our aquatics team with trained staff and ensure that the 49-year history of the Soledad Swimming Pool continues for another 50 years. We look forward to the return of these programs in 2024.

We appreciate your understanding and support as we navigate these changes. We will keep you informed every step of the way.

If you would like to support the Recreation District, we kindly request that you write a letter in support of our staff, the need to find funding sources to adequately staff and fund these programs, the desire to see the return of these programs, and the support of our community to expand our district. Your voice and opinion are valuable to us.

Best regards,

Andy Sarabia

Interim Executive Director 

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