Regardless of any clumsy stumbles the YMCA of Dane County made in handling its budget crisis we absolutely agree with the agency’s decision to refocus its mission.
There’s no question families were hurt by the Y’s abrupt changes to its youth swim teams program and the exodus of nearly half of the 300 youth swimmers is ample evidence of that. The Y should have handled the change better. But Y CEO Carrie Wall and Board President Betsy Heubel are right when they say the Y’s focus is on kids and families and not competitive swimming. The mission is teaching kids to swim. Very simply the Y can’t afford both.
Among other things the episode points to the extraordinary interest in youth swimming in Dane County, and the need for more pools. But that’s not the YMCA’s job. The Y has a responsibility to meet the needs of 25-thousand members and an impressive list of donors and partner agencies. We think the current board is on the right track, even if it took a stumble or two to get there.