Most years, the city of Kyle would be around this time hiring key summer personnel like the main lifeguard for the city’s swimming pool and head counselor for the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer camps for youth and teens.
We all know, however, that this is not most years. Summer activities and their scheduling are not exempt from the far-reaching accommodations municipalities are having to make because of the COVID-19 virus and Gov. Greg Abbott’s “stay at home” order.
Correspondingly, the Kyle City Council has agreed to postpone the two key positions, even though there are ready candidates for each job.
Traditionally, Kyle’s public swimming pool opens for the Memorial Day Weekend and the summer camp schedule
not long after that. Week One of Kyle Summer Camp was scheduled to begin June 1 and the all-day “hooked on fishing” clinic slated for June 6.
None of those dates are certain given the current pandemic.
Mariana Espinoza, the city’s PARD director, told the council on April 7 that “if we were to hire anyone now it would be” for those two top positions. We plan each summer to bring in the head lifeguard at the beginning of May to start cleaning the pool, cleaning equipment and getting the pool ready.”
Mayor Travis Mitchell suggested that interviews for the positions continue, “couched with we’re not sure yet when the pool will open … We need to get closer to the end of April. It’s not wise to start making those decisions. We don’t know where we’re going to be at that point in time.”
Mitchell said he would “encourage flexibility. I think most folks will be understanding. They’ll have to be patient with us until we make that decision.”
Council member Robert Rizo agreed. “I’m thinking everything will be pushed back a month for sure. It could be two months. It’s just my opinion from what I see going on. I think everything is going to be delayed.”
City Manager Scott Sellers closed out the discussion. “We will postpone hiring those two positions until we have more information.”