When I moved into the Monticello neighborhood about five years ago, I asked one of my neighbors why there were no Fort Worth public pools on the near West Side. I was getting tired of driving my daughter all over town so she could swim on hot days and was just very curious about the missing pool. Surely this part of town, with all of its money and influence, could make that happen – so why hadn’t it?

Why, there are plenty of pools over here, my neighbor explained – just join a country club. But then he put the joking aside. “Public pools bring the wrong kind of crowd into this area,” he said, “People would rather join the YMCA and drive far than have poor kids hanging out over here.”

Fort Worth’s public pools are now closed for the summer, but a recent city council meeting showed that my neighbor’s view seems to have set up camp in city hall. At that meeting in early August, acting parks director Randle Harwood advised council members that the city should close six of its seven public pools because they cost too much.

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