Still no new pool in Lakeville

To the editor:

Yes, this is another letter from a swim parent – a tired swim parent.

I have two daughters involved with the Lakeville swim community since 2003. Both are in the swim club, as Lakeville North Swim Team members since 2004, employed by the Aquatics Department since 2007.

My oldest (Class of 2010) spent time she didn’t have her senior year as part of a new pool task force liaison to the Lakeville Area School Board. She knew she would never see adequate facilities herself, but had hopes that her younger teammates would. We know how that worked out. I have served on the club board, helped with countless proposals, fundraisers, expressed my views at board meetings. No pool.

My youngest will start her senior year and seventh year as a North swimmer this fall. It has been seven years getting kicked in the head in crowded lanes, unable to get the workout in some days because both North and South are still forced to practice together seven years after a beautiful state of the art second high school was built with no pool. Still those kids show up 18 hours a week, 7,000 yards a day to represent Lakeville. I would have been nice if Lakeville stood behind them.

It is with much pride that I watched my daughters become confident, physically fit, young women with an amazing work ethic and pride in their accomplishments in the pool. They have wonderful memories and friends from the swim community despite it all.

So, thank you, to all the parents who have fought and been disappointed time and time again. I’m done. And best wishes to the parents who are continuing to fight for adequate facilities for their kids.

Kami Mitteness

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    Maybe you should have encouraged your kids to paly soccer instead.

    • Kami Mitteness

      wow…seriously? Look me up in the white pages and give me a call. We can meet in person and discuss why you think that comment was necessary.

      • Rosie from Rosemount

        Kami, Lifetime Fitness has 2 pools. I find it appalling that instead of a family buying a membership to a private pool or club for practice (yes, you can swim laps and do drills at Lifetime in pool # 2, no problem), the whole community needs to be taxed more to pay for a few. How about a lighted LaCrosse stadium, or a racetrack for those families who want to teach their children how to compete in car races? Where does the special interest begin and END?

  • Jan Dobson

    I also have two daughters. When the older, Liberty, was about five years old we were out on a routine shopping trip. Some little toy caught her eye and she wanted me to buy it for her. “Sorry, Lib,” I said. “We don’t have money for things like that right now.”

    She thought about it for a minute then came up with what I’m sure sounded—to her young mind—like the perfect solution to the problem. “I know, Mommy,” she said in sincerest innocence, “if we need money we can just go to the money place and get some.”

    I knew immediately that the “money place” she was talking about was the ATM in our bank’s drive thru. I explained to her that before we could take something out of the “money place” we had to put something in. The ATM was just a place to store the money Daddy earned at his job until we needed it. And I explained that before we could buy toys or treats we had buy groceries and pay for our house, our car, our clothes, our electricity etc. If there was money left over, then MAYBE we could spend it on less important purchases like toys.

    Needless to say, Lib didn’t stop begging for toys on shopping trips. She was a kid, for crying out loud. But she never again brought up the puerile idea of a “money place,” an endless pot of gold to be tapped at one’s whim. Even for a little kid, one run through was all it took to grasp the concepts that:

    –one, prosperity is neither automatic nor infinite and
    –two, there is a difference between wanting and needing.

  • RollieB

    It seems Jan and Rosie want to run everyones life! …but we already knew that.

    • Jan Dobson

      How so, RollieB?

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    Rollie, I had high hopes for an animated and honest debate with you, using facts, citations and other data. Now, like Resident, Lip and others, you are running from the facts and obfuscating if not downright distorting. Like the other apparent liberals on these boards, you demand clarification and answers yet refuse to provide the same. You really can’t claim others are operating as hypocrits when you behave in this way and endorse this behaivor in others with whom you ally.

    You claim I want to run everyone’s lives and I claim you want the government to runs everyone’s lives. Which do you really think is closer to the truth?

    Kami is complaining that she can’t get taxpayers to cough up bucks for yet another project and I say that the government already spends too much on special interest items and I further state that instead of using our public campuses for education the government is using our public campuses to administer social programs .Let’s not confuse education and teachers with social services. The teachers’ unions hope that they can meld the two together ever more tightly in order to increase union membership on campuses (campuses = K-12 public schools.) Natually, the unions attempt to tie poor results in the classroom to budgeting, not poor teacher performance. Reading, Writing and STEM courses need to be expanded, not reduced at for the benefit of non-educational programs.

    • TheLip

      Say what, RFR AKA “The Great Carnac” the all knowing and all seeing mysterous visitor from the East who can tell what side of the politcal fence one is from a commnet board.
      “other apparent liberals “, please remember the quote from Abe L. about being thought a fool, you know which one.
      “you demand clarification and answers yet refuse to provide the same. “, reminds me of someone else other than the “other apparent liberals” on this board. I also had hi hopes of a spirted exchange, no chance now.

      • Jan Dobson

        Those who walk like “apparent liberals” and quack like “apparent liberals” are justifiably perceived to be “apparent liberals.”

  • TheLip

    From where I stand, JD has never read a post from RFR that she did not like.
    “like Resident, Lip and others, you are running from the facts and obfuscating if not downright distorting. Like the other apparent liberals on these boards, you demand clarification and answers yet refuse to provide the same. You really can’t claim others are operating as hypocrits when you behave in this way and endorse this behaivor in others with whom you ally.” This is priceless, I am certainly glad that “apparant conservatives” do not do any of the above.

    • Jan Dobson

      You’re adrift on a sea of irrelevance, TheLip. Do you have anything whatsoever to say about the subject and content of Ms. Mitteness’ letter?

      • TheLip

        “Attacking the messenger is meaningless, as it is usually an indication that the message is irrefuatable”

        • Jan Dobson

          Just trying to figure out what, if any, the message is, TheLip.

  • TheLip

    JD, than we are both floating on the same sea of irrelevance. I really did not have much to say until RFR just could not help herself and just make a post with out her usual nonesense and had to bring my name up. No long stores about children I might or might not have had, no name calling, just my thoughts floating in a sea of irrelevance with JD. Pay to play, pay to swin, pay to debate, pay to sing, pay to dance, pay to cheer etc………

    • Jan Dobson

      So, you DO NOT have any specific and meaningful comment on Ms. Mitteness’ letter? Reads a lot like “you are running from the facts and obfuscating if not downright distorting.”

      Distract, distort, and disfocus does not equal honest debate.

      • TheLip

        JD, I will make this as plain as I can again. You should pay to swim, pay to dance, pay to play, pay to debate, pay to cheer, pay to wrestle, pay to what ever extra circular activity you participate in. If taxpayer money is involved than the taxpayer should have access to the pool, the field, the gym, or what ever venue is used. Should the taxpayer foot the bill for the new pool, like you posted is it a want or a need.
        Name one fact I am running from.
        Name one distortion
        Any come on “disfocus”, I learn from the best of them JD, that be you.

        • Jan Dobson

          Thanks for clarifying. Adding those two little words, “You should,” makes all the difference. Looks like we might actually agree on something. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that we both also agree that snow in April stinks!

          • TheLip

            JD, we do agree on something, why do you think it is snowing in April, which yes does stink. If we continue to agree on things who knows what will happen next.

  • Michele

    I’m a liberal (and I don’t get why that, or “conservative”, for that matter, has become a dirty word.) I commend Ms. Mitteness on championing the interests of her children. (I wish people would give her more credit for that; I also wish that people would return to the rules of civility.)

    I would LOVE for swimming pools to be available to students in every school, after all, water is everywhere in this state. But … I’m sorry, I can’t see justifying the cost of its upkeep. I also have a problem with the costs of the upkeep of a football field, so please believe I’m not singling swimmers out.

    As for each student paying for extracurricular activities, I also want to remind the proponents of that that those extracurricular activities help to ensure entry into higher education. When some students can pay and some can’t, that’s hardly a fair and equal opportunity, and an equal education is promised to each and every student by our state constitution.

    I’m getting sick of the complaining of teacher’s unions and teachers themselves. Yes, there are inadequate ones. There are also amazingly dedicated ones, and it’s important to keep them working. And before you say they should do it for the good of the children, seriously, take a look at your children. If you had to spend five days a week in a classroom making them sit still, what would you charge?

    • Rosie from Rosemount


      I applaud you for sharing your perspective. I particuarly like your last paragraph. While we should never confuse babysitting with teachting, you make a strong point.

      In terms of economic fairness, I can site many examples to refute your statements and you are smart enough to find ones to refute mine. WIth that said, the cost of a college education is very high for a number of reasons, many of which I will blame on the bloated bureaucracies filled with over-paid baby boomers who take home large paychecks, but contribute little if anything to the real education of a 19 year old college student. Cut the bureaucracy and your college costs will drop like the Edmond Fitzgerald, but without loss of life.

  • Love the water

    Our city made a huge blunder when we built a second high school. It crash-strapped our district as a whole and we will forever pay the price. Shakopee is about to make the same mistake as Lakeville.

  • misse soze

    If this were about hockey there would be no outrage or discussion. Those facilities have been expanded. Talk about expensive facilities to maintain. Oh, but hockey is popular so therefore important.

    When two high schools were built it was because the community was growing. Two schools provide many more students opportunities to become involved in sports and activities instead of excluding many students because there is only one football team or one musical or one jazz band. Smaller schools allow students to make connections with the staff and faculty instead of becoming part of an anonymous crowd. There were many discussions as a community regarding having one large school or two smaller ones.

    At one time there was even speculation that a third high school would be needed in the not so distance future due to population growth. And is it just as expensive to build an ugly high school as an aesthetically pleasing one. That school is going to be around for many years. Where is the outrage for the city hall, police station, courthouse, etc…??

    Why is Lakeville school’s enrollment shrinking? Because the community fails to see the value of investing in education. People used to move here because the schools were excellent – many even open-enrolled here from other districts.

    Why would anyone with children move here now? The fees to participate in activities are outrageous and many students cannot afford to participate in extra-curriculars. Many of the clubs no longer exist. Programs at all levels have been reduced or eliminated. Class sizes are ridiculous.

    Go ahead and try and sell your house – see what the demise of the school system has done to your housing values. Over 200 students left the district this year to open enroll in neighboring districts because they can get smaller class sizes, more academic opportunities, and less fees. You get what you pay for and sadly many citizens of Lakeville blindly are against supporting the schools without any understanding of the facts or the impact it has directly on them and the community.

    A pool is one small example of what is wrong with Lakeville’s support of their educational system.

    Check out the facts: and have an educated discussion about what is going on with this district.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    misse soze, I disagree with much of your post. As a matter of fact and a matter of record, many posters in recent months have expressed similar views about hockey as was displayed regarding the pool issues.

    Lakeville’s decision to build a second high school was simply a bad decision. People are open enrolling kids because Lakeville schools have failed to concentrate on the basics and instead blow taxpayer dollars on nonsense. I have spoken with the parents from Lakeville who have open enrolled at Eagan HS and Rosemount HS. You should listen to them instead of trying to match the facts with the actions. The actions and parent reasons tell a very different story. Also, peopel do not buy in Lakeville because of higher taxes and poor services, plus home prices are more reasonable elsewhere.

    • misse soze

      First of all, Dakota County taxes are the lowest in the state.

      We also don’t fund our schools at the same level as the schools that students are leaving for –

      The “nonsense” that you say money is wasted on is the additional programs, activities, and electives that are no longer available in 194 because there is no funding. They only thing our district can do is focus on the state mandated basics.

      These are my friends open enrolling their children out of district for these reasons. 194 follows up with families that open enroll their students out of district and class size and opportunities are the main reasons people are going elsewhere. High fees to participate in sports and activities are another issue mentioned.

      Basically, you get what you pay for.
      Low taxes, deteriorating schools, poor community services.
      You can’t have it both ways.

      • Love the water

        And the downfall started when we approved the second high school. Shortly after this event, the school board announced that enrollment would begin shrinking. Levies have failed consistently since and state funding has dropped because enrollment has dropped. The only news you hear is news that CAN be turned negative – IPADS, turf fields, more IPads, minorities to Tampa, superintendent’s golden parachute…..we have a school system that doesn’t understand how to sell levy increases to residents without kids.

        Lakeville expanded from the easy money/housing boom. That easy money is gone for the time being

    • A. Smith

      Here goes Rosie again on why Rosemount is sssoooo much better than Lakeville. She brings this up everywhere she posts. What is it with you and the huge Lakeville chip on your shoulder? Bad schools, higher taxes, poor services & higher home prices? Really? Where’s your proof that Rosemount is so superior in all of these areas?

      • Rosie from Rosemount

        Well, taxes are lower in Rosemount and have actually gone down for several years in a row. Also, why do Lakeville parents open enroll their kids in ISD 196, but 196 parents do not open enroll in the Lakeville district? Do I think Rosemount is great? Yup! Do I think Lakeville is some horrible place? Not by a long shot. But, people in Lakeville seem to complain a whole lot more about their city, schools and local government than people in Rosemount and people in ISD 196. You can form your own conclusions.

        • A Smith

          I won’t be forming my own conclusions based on your opinions. I must admit, I don’t really know that much about Rosemount….never have a reason to go there. The reason you think Rosemount is great is because you live there. Most people live where they do because they think it’s great, otherwise, if they are able to, they move. Furthermore, people do open enroll their kids in Lakeville, you’re wrong there. Please provide a link to stats on that opinion. And, “people in Lakeville seem to complain a whole lot more about their city, schools and local government than people in Rosemount”…really? Kids in Lakeville elementary schools are learning what a fact vs. an opinion is, and that my dear is an opinion.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    I tried to post a link to open enroll stats. but it won’t let me put the link up. Go to MN Dept. of Ed and open enrollemtn and 196 PPT slide presentation. It shows more than 200 families open enroll in Rosemount than Rosemount open enrolls elsewhere. I will try later to post the link.

  • A Smith

    That statistic doesn’t mean that much as it relates to Lakeville. Furthermore, District 196 is Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, not just Rosemount, so don’t give yourself too big of a pat on the back. You can crunch numbers any way you want to, but ISD 196 enrollment is expected to decline over the next five years.

    • Rosie from Rosemount

      If you look, I specifically named both Eagan and Rosemount High School as schools in 196 receiving OE students (post above on APR 15 at 9:32 AM). RHS had about 200 kids+/- open enrolled, and EHS had a slightly smaller amount. Eastview had to cease open enrollment from outside of the district due to demand, AVHS had negligible numbers, but the SES had huge demand from all over the metro area.All 4 schools are ISD 196 schools.

      I made no remark regarding whether enrollment at ISD 196 was increasing or declining in coming years. Nonetheless, below is an excerpt regarding predicted 196 enrollment numbers. The whole article is on the 196 website and is dated last week:

      Enrollment in District 196 schools is likely to remain steady over the next 10 years according to a demographic study conducted recently by former Minnesota State Demographer Hazel Reinhardt.

      Reinhardt, who the district hired in February to conduct the study, told school board members Monday that enrollment will most likely decline in the next few years but climb again starting around 2019. Her projections for the district’s enrollment 10 years from now range from 25,804 using her most conservative estimates to 26,185. The district’s current enrollment is 25,928.

      Reinhardt expects growth to continue beyond 2025 as members of Generation Y start to raise families.

  • A Smith

    This is an article about a pool in Lakeville, not how much better Rosemount is than Lakeville. That being said, everything I’ve ever read consistently rates Lakeville schools higher than Rosemount. Google for yourself.