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YMCA closures don't affect San Ramon Valley - so far

Original post made on Mar 3, 2010

The Mt. Diablo Region YMCA announced that it will close the Delta Family YMCA in Oakley on March 31, as well as the health and fitness programs offered at the Clayton Community Gym. No statement was made regarding programs in the San Ramon Valley, except that they would continue, or its planned new 12-acre facility in Alamo.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 5:21 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by CDSI Research
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Dear Dolores,

Please present the current audit being pursued by national YMCA of uses of funds earmarked for specific projects. Is the money there?

Please present the use of current fees paid by Alamo parents for school-based YMCA facilities and where those funds were actually used. Did Alamo get full use of the fees paid by parents?

There is much more to this story,


Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 8:15 am

This YMCA project has been ill-advised from the very start.

Case in point: Our neighbors in Alamo probably have more swimming pools per person than any place in the country. Yet the Y touted the fact that the new facility would have TWO swimming pools!

Who in blazes is going to use them? Danville has an extensive swim program at the Monte Vista HS pool (as well as having more than adequate parking).

The Alamo-Danville area already has perhaps the highest concentration of recreation activities in northern California, and the "decision" makers at the Y want to add more?

Save your money and back out now. This is the wrong project for the wrong reasons at the wrong time for the wrong people.

Posted by SRBC
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Really? Come on... does anyone really believe this?

Contra Costa Times: "It also will close its facility in Clayton and is canceling plans for a new facility in the San Ramon Valley." Web Link

KCBC: "Saying the economy is to blame, the YMCA in Contra Costa County is closing some of its facilities and canceling plans to expand and build others." Web Link

What is the real story? Where is the money that was donated to build the San Ramon Y? Someone needs to start asking the hard questions and demanding answers.

Posted by GTortolani
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

All the donors need to start asking where their money is. They may have donated for the Oakley facility or the San Ramon facility thinking that the money is sitting in a bank account waiting to be used.....I've got news for you, it's not! People need to start asking where their money is and what it was really used for. It's a shame that it all came down to this, but for those of us who have worked there and tried to do something about the mismanagement of funds it comes as no surprise, it was only a matter of time. As a former CFO (out of 5-6 that Mike Erwin had in 9 years!) that was let go after I went to the Board of Directors with all of my concerns and proof of what was going on, all I can say to everyone covering up the truth is: how do you sleep at night?

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm

".... is canceling plans for a new facility in the San Ramon Valley."
".... canceling plans to expand and build others."

I second what SRBC is saying. I heard the same.
So this DE story is misleading in implying that the SRV facility is still on full proceed. Even though the YMCA has not been crystal clear about their exact SRV plans now, it appears most likely that the new facility has been put on hold and needs money.

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

As for the contributed money segregation/reserve issue:
That sounds like a serious alleged problem that needs to be investigated. (First I've heard of it...and quite sorry to hear it. Wonder why it has taken so long to be disclosed?)

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:24 pm

As for not needing the pools and facilities and this area having "highest concentration of recreation activities in northern California":

I don't believe that argument or agree with that view at all.
The programs that the YMCA runs in its pools are not the type of thing that are or could be done in private backyard pools.
The YMCA has a lot of senior citizen programs (and keep the temp quite high). They have weight-reduction, obesity movement, and resistance exercise programs in the pools. They have swimming lessons and specific training programs. And they hire a lot of teenage lifeguards from the community.
The pools at SRVHS and MVHS are already quite crowded and heavily used as is for their own types of programs.
And some heavily used HOA pools in the area have been threatening to close themselves off from use by outside (non-HOA members) swimming groups.
So I think there will will lots of room and need for the YMCA programs and facilities.

The same type of analysis applies to the YMCA's exercise equipment/facilities/programs.

The one deficiency in this area that the YMCA is NOT addressing (which I'm sorry about) is the need for MORE and BETTER public tennis courts and resulting tennis court programs for all ages.

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

As to why they want TWO pools:

I'm sure they have a good reason(s) (but I don't know the specific plan). Probably to have a tiny tots or kids pool......or a laps and play pool.......or a diving pool.
But I wouldn't just jump to the conclusion that they are being "wasteful" by having TWO pools--there are many valid reasons to have TWO pools in the same location!

Also, even though the Y keeps their pools warm, it is much more of an EFFICIENT use of pools energy-wise (and therefore "greener") to have more COMMUNITY POOLS (with a large number of people using them many hours of the day), rather than have more private pools. It costs relatively the same to operate them as pools that get little use.

Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I'm not suggesting that it's wasteful to have two pools. I'm flat telling you that it's wasteful to have ANY POOLS AT ALL!!!

It's doubly wasteful to even build this facility in the first place. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars are they spending on a bridge over San Ramon Creek just to get to the darn place? Why didn't Danville allow access through Mcgee Park? There's plenty of room?

Why build in a location that's land-locked and inaccessible? When will the investigation start?

What a mess.

Posted by CDSI Research
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Dear Dolores,

Provision of recreational programs in our region is not dependent on the SRV YMCA. At a January CCC-MAC Alamo meeting, Susan Cohen, CCC Special Districts Manager, noted that Alamo R-7A has nearly $4 million for construction, additions and maintenance of parks including placing such facilities on school campuses. A good example is R-7A funding of part of MVHS pool operations.

In addition, a small amount of funds is available for recreational construction usage from Zone 36 landscaping funds.

Vice-Chair Nancy Dommes, CCC-MAC Alamo, and MAC member Steve Mick are focused on parks and recreation and may be contacted via "Contact Steve" or readers can simply attend the March 16 meeting at the Cottage, Hap Magee Park, at 7PM.


Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm

".....a bridge over San Ramon Creek just to get to the darn place? Why didn't Danville allow access through Mcgee Park? "

It does seem a wasteful and convoluted accessway.

I think what happened was that SOME PEOPLE COMPLAINED who lived on the road going into Hap McGee Park. They didn't want any increase in traffic at all on their road. So the YMCA was forced into going with the current plan and bridge.

So now anyone wanting to get into that parcel of land (YMCA) has to go all the way around (assuming that they are coming from the south) to Danville/SRV Blvd. and off of that road a half block (between two house lots) and over the bridge. On the other hand, it will be a shorter route for users coming from the north.

SOME PEOPLE COMPLAINED that they also didn't want to have BOTH access points (at least not with the ability to connect through from Hap McGee Park to SRV Blvd). The "fear" here was that other drivers would use the road through the Park and over the Bridge to make direct north-south drive commutes that weren't even intending to stop to use the park or YMCA facilities.

Now that the Bridge is built, I'd most prefer to see that users of the YMCA be allowed to access to the YMCA through EITHER SIDE (north or south) whichever is closest/shortest for them. However that the YMCA parking lots be constructed so that there is no ability for through-traffic between the two sides. (i.e., I'd like to see people be able to reach the YMCA from the Park side as well as the Bridge side.)

Concessions were made to placate people. (Serves the people around the HM Park right. Now, once they learn the value of YMCA membeship, they'll have to drive all the way around to the HM Park to park?)

Posted by SRBC
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Lots of talk about pools parking - the real question here is will this facility ever be built and where is the money that the people of Danville and Alamo donated to build it?

And what about that theatre in Danville?

So many questions...

Posted by CDSI Research
a resident of Danville
on Mar 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Dear Dolores,

Reportedly, according to banking courtesies to regional counsel, the SRV YMCA theatre is approaching default. Could you please verify with Ms. Fran Gallati?


Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Oh my...I feel this is going to be really messy. SRBC is correct in raising the question of the theatre as well. Most "newbies" are unaware of the controversy surrounding this edifice and the overt fraud. I recall Ellen Tauscher's randy ex was peripherally involved though not part of those criminally charged. Remember the kid's posters lining the street sold as a fundraiser for the YMCA/Event Ctr?

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm

jrm is a registered user.

As I remember things the "Vintage Fashion Museum" was to be built on the land (Patti Mc Clain?) until we taxpayers bought it and the Danville bureaucrats celebrated by chainsawing down her sign in a drunken revelry. They were dismissed as a result of their lack of appropriate behavior. She moved to Lincoln and said eff you.
Too bad a number of us donated to the YMCA thinking it was responsibly run.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Danville
on Mar 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

"SHOW US THE MONEY"...where did the funding end up??? This is getting so murky and of late so predictable. This paper/money trail should be most revealing!!

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:43 pm

"YMCA closures don't affect San Ramon Valley - so far"

The TITLE of this article needs to be changed ASAP! It is extremely misleading. (Hello, Dolores....anyone!?!)

Many people might just read the title, think there is no problem, breath a sign of relief, and go their merry way.

There are multiple problems here! (as raised by concerned people)

Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Ralph N. Shirlet is a registered user.

Dear Dolores,

After multiple requests by our region’s neighbors:

YMCA, (by the Village People)

Young man, there's no need to feel down
I said young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy

Young man, there's a place you can go
I said young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

It's fun to stay at the YMCA (rpt)
They have everything for young men to enjoy
You can hang out with all the boys

Young man, are you listening to me
I said young man, what do you want to be
I said young man, you can make real your dreams
But you've got to know that one thing

No man does it all by himself
I said young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the YMCA
I'm sure they can help you today


Young man, I was once in your shoes
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt no man cared if I was alive
I felt the whole world was so jive

That's when someone came up to me
And said young man, take a walk up the street
There's a place there called the YMCA
They can start you back on your way

It's fun to stay at the YMCA (rpt)
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel


Now how does the dance go?

The ROFL in Ralph N. Shirlet

Posted by cdsi Research
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Dear Dolores,

Should we believe neighborhoods throughout SRV YMCA service area, in their humor, do not care about the real outcome of the SRV YMCA construction site? I suggest that neighborhoods' commentary today suggests that the site can be acquired and become a commercial, institutional and community facility that meets the real traffic performance, noise abatement and lighting/activity requirements not offered by the SRV YMCA plan.

The reality now is county, districts, corporations, cities, associations and economic councils are attempting to use public, stimulus and corporate funding to avoid loss of this site by YMCA operations. No such funding should be without review and community consideration. Such consideration should be an independent study and meetings of the AIA and their relationships with neighborhood and community groups.

It is time,


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