Letters to the Editor

Parents seek answers about coach’s firing | Letter

Editor,

This a letter from a concerned parent and citizen about the management and decisions made by North Whidbey Aquatic Club Oak Harbor.

My 8-year-old son is on a swimming team with head coach Bill Patterson. My son and family enjoyed Coach Bill’s leadership style and vision for the future of my kid and the swimming club.

We were concerned and disturbed by an email received on Aug. 6 that, on Aug. 10, the director of the aquatic club, Gino Wolfe, will hold a meeting in regards to the recent letting go of Coach Bill Patterson.

I went to the meeting last Sunday with a question in my mind — Why was this decision made?

During the meeting, the director was alone with the crowd of unhappy parents. He stood in front of us and said, “I made this decision for the best of the club, and I am not going to go into any details.”

The parents asked for some kind of explanation, and we did not get any.

After the meeting, I went home and my son asked me why Coach Bill is not going to be his coach any more, and I did not have an answer for my disappointed child, neither for myself.

This is a community swimming pool operated under North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District that is funded by taxes.

During the meeting, I asked director Gino Wolfe, since he did not give any explanation about his decision to fire Coach Bill, if his decision is in agreement with the district’s board of commissioners and, if so, are there notes and an agenda from the meeting at which the decision was made? His answer was vague, that he is going to meet with the board Aug. 21 but that he talked to some of them and they are on board with him.

My comment is that, for the past year and half, two head coaches were let go without much explanation.

Why?

For our children on the swim team, the most important person is their head coach. This management style of firing coaches without reasonable explanation is disturbing for our children, parents and community.

As a taxpayer, I think that the director of the aquatic club owes us an explanation.

I am not happy with the management of the aquatic club, how decisions are made and how taxpayer money is spent based on these decisions.

I am concerned for the future of our community pool and swim team, as this impacts our kids’ physical activity and future.

Vanya Brown
Oak Harbor

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