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Recently there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the new beach pass system in town. While it certainly merits some conversation, it is astonishing that the safety of our beaches isn’t drawing as much interest.
The continued absence of lifeguards on our town beaches is a significant problem both of optics and public safety. Our surrounding towns and Madison’s own Beach Club are fully staffed with lifeguards. A focus on a high-tech solution to beach access seems to be a misplaced prioritization. This is just not a public relations issue. Evidence suggests that lifeguard services benefit public safety by saving lives, lowering near-drowning rates, and preventing injuries at waterfront recreational areas. As parents, healthcare providers and 20-year residents of our town, this is what concerns us most.
It is time that Madison put public safety first by investing in waterfront safety. The Beach & Recreation Department needs to appropriately recruit and train lifeguards to staff all of our beaches. We can’t think of a more worthy summer focus for our town.
Jonathan and Katie Stein
Katie Stein (D) chairs the Board of Education.
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