By NALANI BEVER
Former President, Village of Wilton
Former Manager, Wilton Municipal Swimming Pool
Lost in all the back and forth regarding the swimming pool is one not-so-minor fact. A fact Nate Beier attempted to make the village board aware of at the July 11 meeting. A landline is not operational at the Wilton Pool. Should you call the number (608-435-6755) listed on the internet site for the Wilton Swimming Pool, you will be sent to a recorded message that tells you the number has been disconnected. But, wait, you say, I have seen a telephone on the wall at the pool. Correct, but it is disconnected!
This is in direct violation of Wisconsin Administrative Code ATCP76: Safety, Maintenance and Operation of Public Swimming Pool; 7626 Rescue Equipment (2) Telephone. “For outdoor pools, a working telephone shall be available in the pool area …. Cellular or cordless phones may not be used to comply with this subsection.” I would imagine this egregious breach of trust will be corrected without delay.
I cannot help but comment on what seemed to me a rather nonchalant attitude by village board members with regard to an on-duty lifeguard being more interested in their cellphone than the children swimming just a few feet away. No foul, no harm? Apparently, they are not aware it takes only 20 seconds for a child to drown and roughly 40 seconds for an adult. In some cases, as little as a one-half cup of water is all it takes to enter the lungs for the drowning to occur.
I don’t have to wonder how the mothers of the current village board members would have reacted if this incident had occurred during the time I managed the pool. I daresay the conversation would have been one-sided, and I would have had no choice but to listen, since there would have been no defense. We are all grateful nothing serious happened at the pool that day, and perhaps the board did not mean to seem nonchalant when discussing the matter. I would certainly hope not.