|Mayor Tony Mack at a City Pool|
Trenton- Lifeguards at the only open City pools have not been paid since they started work on June 29th while others started work on July 4th.
Regular lifeguards are paid $10 an hour and managers are paid $13 per hour, they all must stay under 30-hours of work per week and are supposed to be paid bi-weekly.
At a meeting between Business Administrator Sam Hutchinson, Park Ranger top-cop Roberto Mendez and lifeguard managers on Monday July 23rd Hutchinson instructed all lifeguards to stay under 30-hours per week, if they are on their 30th hour of work and at work at the time, they are to close the pool early if necessary.
Hutchinson reportedly could not tell the lifeguards when they were going to be paid and allegedly told employees that if they go to the press about the issue, they would be fired.
Lifeguards complained that at one pool in particular; Cooper Pool in the Southward, had a gaping hole in the fence and people were sneaking in there after hours to party. Citizens were reportedly cut by broken glass from an alcoholic beverage container that was at the bottom of the pool and this morning all of the tables and chairs were thrown into the pool.
The camera at the pool which is supposed to be monitored by the Trenton Police Department is not working, in fact only one camera at the Perry St. pool works allowing all of the other City pools vulnerable to vandals and thrill-seekers and swimmers alike when the pools are not open.
Lifeguards went on to complain that City Park Rangers do "drive-by's" on the pools but are never on scene for long periods of time leaving lifeguards to have to watch whats going on inside and outside of the pool; acting as security.
Lifeguards also reported that pools would have to close early because if a lifeguard is on his/her 30th work hour at 1pm, then that's what time they will have to close the pool even if the pools aren't supposed to close until 3pm because of an inadequate amount of lifeguards on duty.
The rule of thumb is one lifeguard for every 60 people in the pool and Cooper at it's peak can see 250 people at, in and around the pool during operation.
|Gaping Hole at Cooper Pool Fence|
The boys undeterred wait for staff to leave, enter the pool through a gaping hole in the fence and swim and enjoy themselves anyway. Nobody knows they are there because the camera doesn't work. One of the boys gets hurt or worse. End scenario.
There are several hypothetical scenarios and none of them end well.
John Siegle, an assistant to Business Administrator and current Acting Mayor Sam Hutchinson responded that "the allegation that Mr. Hutchinson threatened to fire any employee for going to the press about "pool troubles" is not true and the hole in the fence as well as getting these lifeguards paid is being worked on."
Southward Councilman George Mushal who needs surgery to treat three hernias he incurred while filling potholes in his Ward by himself with a shovel and buckets of gravel and is expected to be out of commission for 8-weeks while on the mend (but he said he will be at tomorrows council meeting) stated "this is the first I am being made aware of the Cooper pool or lifeguard pay situation."