I can’t let your opinion piece about the North Whidbey Aquatic Club — NWAC — in the Wednesday, April 12 edition go without comment, as there was so much misinformation or “myths” in the supporting “facts” that I feel the community should hear the other side of the story.
Myth: The coach is a “part-time” employee:
False – he is a full-time, salaried coach, as are most USA Swimming certified coaches.
Myth: The coach’s “salary” is $61,000: False. That figure is the total cost to the district for his employment. He gets only a fraction of that as “salary.”
As I recall, the cost to an employer is generally about 50 percent more than what the employee takes home, after medicare taxes, etc.
Myth: The NWAC program is “subsidized” more than other programs within the parks district: False.
In fact, NWAC families pay over $64,000 annually into the district’s operating funds, and provided between $12,000 and $15,000 in additional support through booster club donations of new lane lines, backstroke flags, exercise equipment, and 200-plus hours of volunteer time that brought in over $8,000 to the district for the last swim meet.
Meanwhile, other district programs, as stated by district staff at the recent meeting, are subsidized at a far higher dollar level.
Open swim and aerobics cost the district over $30,000 each and lap swimming over $70,000.
There is another myth being spread that swimming in Oak Harbor is an “elite” sport. Nothing could be further from the truth. NWAC swim team is the only year-round youth athletic program open to all kids in the North Whidbey area.
“Select” soccer is an option … for those that are selected.
There is no requirement — except for being able to swim a length of the pool — stopping any child from joining the team. And if you’re not there yet, we have swim lessons to get you there.
We are one of the most diverse USA swimming teams in existence, and there is a place on the team for any child who has a desire to improve their swimming.
I very much liked the ending of the opinion piece; I would also like to see the levy pass in November, and I think that the commissioners should work together with all of their constituents to achieve that.
The NWAC families have been trying for over a year to have a dialogue with the board, I hope that they will come around.
Editor’s Note: Last week’s article and editorial about the NWAC coach’s salary did specify the $61,000 figure included salary and benefits.