Zacot again brings complaints to council

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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KEYSER - Former parks and recreation commissioner William Zacot was back before the Keyser City Council this week with more complaints about the city pool. His comments prompted the city administrator to say the officials “know there are issues with the pool” and they are working to address them.

Zacot, who resigned from the council in September 2020, first appeared before the officials June 9 to pass along what he said were complaints voiced to him about how the John R. Shelton Swimming Pool was being operated this year.

“I’ve received numerous phone calls from pool-goers. Most know I’m no longer involved, but they still come to me,” Zacot said at that time. Among the complaints he said he received were that people were not being allowed to re-enter the pool property if they left for a brief period of time unless they paid to get back in, and pool patrons were also told they could not bring a personal cooler on the pool property.

He said there was also a complaint about inapropriate language allegedly used by one of the lifeguards.

Ron Metcalf, who was parks and recreation commissioner at the time of Zacot’s initial complaints, said the re-entry and cooler issues had been taken care of.

Metcalf resigned from the council on July 6, however, and Zacot was back Wednesday with additional complaints.

 “I’m still getting messages from people and I would tell them who to go to, but of course he’s resigned now,” Zacot said, adding that there also seems to be some confusion as to who is managing the pool.

“Nobody really knows who to go to with complaints so I told them I’d bring it in here,” he said.

Zacot called the low turnout at the pool in recent days “horrible,” and also noted that he had heard rentals were being turned down so the pool could make up for some days it had to close due to weather and “unforeseen circumstances.”

“They’re holding on to some makeup dates for family nights and things like that. I don’t see why you would do that and push people out of rentals,” he said. “You’re losing out on money. I mean, if you get $150 out of a rental, you take the $150. You don’t expect 17 people to show up, pay $34, and call it good.

“I think a lot of stuff needs to be looked at and definitely figure out who the pool manager is,” he said.

“We know there are some issues with the pool,” city administrator Jeff Broadwater said. He added, however, that of the people he’s talked to about the pool, “It’s probably 10 to 1. I get a lot of positive feedback, although I do get some negative feedback.

“I think there’s a lot of positive things to it, but I think we can do better,” he said.

Noting that he knows nothing about the operation of a city pool, he said, “We’re going to try to get through it and see what we’ve got to do to improve where we are.”

Broadwater offered kudos to the Save the Keyser Pool Committee for their hard work and reminded the public that the pool “is run by volunteers. And where it’s not run by volunteers, it’s run by high school kids,” he said, referring to the lifeguards. “We’ve got to understand that when things don’t go as well as we’d like them to.

“We do recognize though that we need some better management. That’s something the council, mayor and I are definitely looking at.”

He also encouraged the public to put any complaints in writing and bring them to the city office, rather than enter into a “he said, she said” situation.

Liz Beavers is managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune and can be reached at lbeavers@newstribune.info