The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

‘Vendo’ world is not Monica Vernon’s idea of an afternoon at the pool; she wants Ellis pool fix to include a concession stand

In City Hall, Justin Shields, Monica Vernon on July 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm

The City Council pushed ahead Wednesday evening with plans to fix the flood-damaged Ellis Park swimming pool at an estimated cost of $367,000.

Bids on the work will be opened on July 16 with work to proceed after that.

Council member Monica Vernon, though, is still unhappy with one change that is coming for the renovated pool. It’s the change that will replace a concession stand operated by summer employees with “a collection of vending machines for more efficient operations,” according to a city staff report.

At Wednesday evening’s council meeting, Vernon pointed to the council’s vision statement that calls for the city to build “a vibrant urban hometown.” Vending machines at the swimming pool does not fit that bill, Vernon said.

“I’m sure the vendo companies will be mad at me now,” she said.

Council member Justin Shields agreed. Shields said he’d prefer a city employee operating a concession stand to young children fumbling around with change trying to get a vending machine to work.

Vernon and Shields were the only ones to vote against the Ellis renovation as now configured, but Vernon said she’s going to take another run at her council colleagues to keep a concession stand at the pool.

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  1. Monica really loves to spend our money on her warm cozy nostalgic feelings of yesterday.its not 1950 anymore Monica. I wonder if she has vending machines at Vernon research or has she hired an on site concession operator ? oh wait, thats her money…. im sure we know the answer.

    also, Justin. do you see a lot of unattended kids having trouble with the vending machines at the SWIMMING POOL ? i think most kids who are old enough to be unattended are old enough to figure out how to use a pop machine. a lot has changed since you were a kid and watching the “talkie movies” of yesteryear !

  2. The concession stand/vending machine issue could go either way, but I see this more as a way for the Council to divest interest in the Ellis area, by providing reduced levels of services compared to what they offered in the past.

    How many people would applaud the removal of these concession jobs from the other pools in the Parks & Rec system? How many want to bet that NoelRidge would be the LAST to have their concession stands replaced by vending machines?

    I also have to wonder out loud who foots the bill for the vending machines when they go underwater in the next flood…

  3. Sorry guys,but I have to agree with Monica and Justin.You have to realize that there can be a lot of breakdowns with vending machines,I’ve seen this happen where I work.Also,vending machines are alot more vulnerable to getting broken into because they would be setting out and unattended.Also with a Concession Stand the city would be giving some young people a way to earn money during the summer.Don’t have the figures,but items from a vending machine would probably be higher to purchase than if you bought them from a concession stand.Monica and Justin,continue to push for the Concession Stand.

  4. I just don’t think the issue was “framed” up correctly, I think we should install “energy efficient” vending machines with “sustainable” snacks.

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