BLACKFOOT — A petition committee gathering signatures to get a recreation district on the ballot for November to potentially save the Blackfoot Municipal Swimming Pool is about a third of the way to its goal, members say.
Members of the committee met Thursday night at Dawn Enterprises, and the message coming out of the meeting involved picking up the pace by getting out to more people at once, and ensuring that the signatures being gathered are valid.
The goal is to get 3,000 signatures by an Aug. 1 deadline. With just under two months to go, petitioners are right around 1,000 signatures, but that was after 256 signatures had to be taken off because of people signing not being registered to vote, or addresses on the petition were for a post office box instead of a required physical address.
“We need to make sure we’re asking the right questions as we’re gathering the signatures,” said former Blackfoot mayor Mike Virtue.
He said petitions are taken to the county clerk’s office weekly to have signatures verified.
“The bottom line is we have to get verifiable signatures as much as possible the first time, we don’t want to get right up to the deadline and fall just short,” Virtue said. “We really should get 4,000 signatures to meet our goal and hope to reduce the attrition number.”
The committee will be working on areas and events with a high number of people. They plan to be at Kesler’s Market Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., they’ll be working the Celebrate Blackfoot area in Jensen Grove in late June, they’re looking at the opening of the Nuart Theater, and they’ll work at the weekly Music In The Park concert series.
One member of the committee is offering swimming lessons at the Best Western pool on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be taking signatures.
People wanting to sign the petition can search “Save The Blackfoot Swimming Pool” on Facebook, they can go to the group’s website at www.savetheblackfootswimmingpool.org/, and they can attend petition meetings every Thursday at 6 p.m. at Dawn Enterprises.
T-shirts are being sold for $15 each with money raised going to the Save The Blackfoot Pool Committee fund.
“The key is valid signatures,” Virtue said. “We have to shoot for the moon.”
Petition gatherers are still very optimistic that they can reach their goal by Aug. 1.
“We’ve received thanks, people have wondered where they can sign,” said Diane Burt, petition committee chairman. “People out there are so happy now that they see it’s a regional effort instead of just a city effort,” focusing on voters in the Blackfoot, Snake River, and Firth school districts.
Virtue said the general tone is positive.
“We need to lengthen our stride a bit,” he said.