Appreciate Kirkland City Council's support of lifeguards
December 15, 2010 · Updated 2:16 PM
As a mother of a 4-year old, I am so grateful that the Kirkland City Council restored funding for lifeguards at Waverly and Houghton beaches for 2011. I realize that budgets are tight and everyone is counting every penny. Originally, the budget proposed eliminating lifeguards entirely from Kirkland city beaches to save $32,000 per year over the next two years. Nearly 9,000 swimmers swam at Waverly and Houghton beaches during the hours when lifeguards were present last summer. Lifeguards assisted or rescued 22 swimmers, loaned 441 life jackets and administered nearly 1,000 swim tests. The swim tests help determine who has the skills to be in deep water, and help prevent accidents.
I sincerely appreciate the council’s recognition that lifeguards provide a critical life-saving service. I am optimistic that the council will find a way to restore funding for lifeguards in 2012 as well. While I am a member of the Kirkland Park Board, and testified on behalf of the Park Board at a recent city council meeting, I am writing on my own behalf in this case.