Swim empowerment leader says Taveras is off base - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Swim empowerment leader says Taveras is off base

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Dee DeQuattro

ddequattro@abc6.com

On Monday the city of Providence will accept bids to fill the Davey Lopes Pool in with cement. The pool was the center of controversy over the summer when Mayor Taveras said the city could not afford the repairs to keep the pool open.

As the city prepares to fill the pool with cement and replace it with a water park, the leader of Swim empowerment Rhode Island Ray Rickman had some choice words

"The mayor has no business doing this to our community," said Rickman.  "None I think this should disqualify him from running for any office and I am thrilled that he will not be running for Mayor again."

Rickman said that the mayor should just leave the pool as is until after the next mayoral election. He said he has interviewed the other mayoral candidates and they are all committed to keeping the pool open.

The Mayor's office said the issue is more complicated than the group is making it out to be. The pool has on going expenses, low levels of usage and is in a bad state of disrepair.

Rickman says the pool important to the community because it gives under privileged minority children a chance to learn how to swim. According to Swim Empowerment Rhode Island 70% of African American children do not know how to swim.

The group is currently working on ways to give minority children more access to public pools and swim instruction.

(C) WLNE-TV 2103

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