How to manage a municipality.

It is amazing to me that, in the midst of our ongoing problems surrounding our pools, I find this story about the City of Missoula's new Splash Montana waterpark.

It seems that the Missoula Park and Rec Director is familiar with the old management motto "under-promise, over-perform." She conservatively estimated the revenues and expenses and made sure the project penciled out based on those conservative numbers. Then when the project exceeds her forecasts (she had some) it's all gravy.

Did you catch the admission prices for the new waterpark? Yeah, for residents they are less than half the cost of our park.

Contrast that with our situation, where a day's admission is beyond the reach of most families except once or twice a year. Where we are faced with the possibility of closing down our neighborhood pools to pay for the expense of the waterpark that is under-utilized.

The bottom line in all of this is that good management makes a difference. Good management is more than patting each other on the back and telling everyone what a good job we are doing.

Maybe there's a reason why Missoula is vibrant and progressive while we, in comparison, can seem somewhat stagnant. Not that I expect City government to be responsible for economic activities; that is not what City government should do. But this issue does demonstrate that in some places City government does the things it should do well.

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