Letter: Petition perpetuates New Canaan stereotype
Published 12:34 pm, Friday, September 13, 2013
I'm writing in response to your Sept. 6 article titled "New Canaanites not cool with nonresidents at pool," as I, along with my family, are among those nonresidents who used the town pools at Waveny this summer.
To provide some context, our impetus for joining the Waveny Park pool stemmed from the fact that the pool club we had belonged to for years in Norwalk -- Ascension Beach Pools -- was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy. Although we had come to terms with the fact that our summer would look different from years past, we were delighted to hear that we and our children would be welcomed by the town of New Canaan to join the pools at Waveny for a fee of $500 for the summer season.
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So you can imagine my reaction upon learning of a petition to ban nonresidents from the town pools, especially after reading the reasons that are being dolled out for such an erroneous uprising.
For starters, there is nothing but irony in the claim that nonresidents contributed to overcrowding this summer, considering that the town's decision to sell passes to nonresidents in the first place stemmed from the fact that attendance had slipped at the pool in recent years.
If we stop with the lip service, we can see that the crux of the issue is not the number of people present, but the type of person lounging in the lounge chair. What else could possibly explain a change in the pool's "dynamic," as one resident seemed to find so bothersome?
Furthermore, to the residents who claim that their sense of "community" was broken by allowing me and my family to use their precious pools, I'd like to point out that the very premise of community is one of inclusion, of welcoming everyone in to join in on the fun. What the residents who have signed this petition fail to realize is that their actions simply perpetuated a stereotype of New Canaanites that I had previously chosen to ignore.
I personally have no interest in following the status of this ridiculous protest, because I have no need -- nor desire -- to ever return to the Waveny Park pool.
It seems my family and I overstayed our welcome.