We’re Here for Our Community
For nearly 20 years, the Sherwood Family YMCA has helped individuals and families in our community grow stronger and healthier. Recently the City Council selected Health Fitness to start the contract process to operate the Sherwood Recreational Center. Although we are extremely disappointed by that decision we are committed to our community.
Q: What’s the current arrangement between the City of Sherwood and the YMCA?
A: In 1996, the City and the YMCA joined together to propose an arrangement in which the City would build and the YMCA would operate a recreational facility to benefit the local community. Together, the YMCA and the City proposed this arrangement to the citizens of Sherwood, who overwhelmingly voted in favor of the proposal in a ballot measure. Specifically, Sherwood residents agreed to pay for the facility through a bond measure and invited the YMCA to fund and manage the facility’s operations. Following the successful ballot measure, the City and the YMCA signed a 20-year contract in 1998, which officially expires on October 31, 2018.
Q: Why did the City originally partner with the YMCA to operate the facility?
A: Both City leaders and Sherwood residents recognized that the City government did not have the expertise or the budgetary resources to operate a community recreational center. The YMCA, on the other hand, could offer local residents the highest quality health and wellness programs at no additional cost to taxpayers and without the need for additional public funding that drains budgetary resources.
Q: How has the current contract between the YMCA and the City benefitted the Sherwood community?
A: Nearly 30% of all Sherwood residents are local YMCA members! Though there are many places to get a quick workout, the YMCA is the only place that provides a holistic approach to wellness and serves as a community center for people of all ages, income levels and backgrounds. It’s a place where young and old alike can find time-tested programs and services to strengthen their mind, body and spirit. To ensure personal finances are not a barrier to enjoying a healthy lifestyle, the YMCA also provides free or reduced-priced services to more than 1,000 low-income families. Importantly, our valuable contribution to the health and vitality of the community requires no taxpayer dollars out of the City budget to fund our annual $2.5 million operating budget. Sherwood tax payers have never paid to subsidize the annual operating budget of the Sherwood YMCA.
Q: What’s the difference between the YMCA and a City-run parks and recreation center?
A: The YMCA is a mission-driven organization that offers a time-tested, holistic approach to health and wellness. Drawing from 100 years of local experience and nationally-recognized programming, we offer a wide variety of programs and services that help individuals achieve a healthy mind, body and spirit. The YMCA is also entirely self-sufficient and does not require taxpayer dollars to operate. Unlike a city-run parks and recreation center, the YMCA doesn’t compete with funding for important public services, such as schools, libraries, public safety and law enforcement.
Q: How much would it cost the City to take over the facility from the YMCA?
A: At least $1.5 million annually. According to publicly available data, Portland governments that run local community centers spend on average an additional 58% more in taxpayer dollars than if they contracted with an organization like the YMCA to manage operations. Based on this average, the Sherwood City budget would increase by $1.5 million, representing 5% of its current budget (2015-2016). This figure does not include facility upgrades, which the YMCA currently provides above and beyond its contract obligation.
Q: How would the City pay for the cost of running the YMCA?
A: To cover the cost of operations (not-covered by program fees and dues) and all facility upgrades, the City will likely have one of several options:
• Raise local taxes
• Shift money away from important public services, like law enforcement
• Cut back the number of related facility programs and staff
Q; Why should the City’s contract with the YMCA be renewed as soon as possible?
A: The YMCA has been a trusted and valued partner to the Sherwood community. Over the years, we have made significant financial investments in the facility totaling more than $1 million. We have even willingly paid down debt assumed by the City for past facility upgrades. We are an important part of Sherwood’s community fabric and are excited to continue serving local residents, as well as make needed facility enhancements that benefit our members. For these reasons, we hope the City will eventually review and approve a new contract with the YMCA in a timely manner that respects our long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship.
Q: What can I do to keep the YMCA here in Sherwood?
A: We encourage you to contact the City Council and express your support for the Sherwood Family YMCA.
Q: If I have questions for the YMCA who do I contact?
A: Please feel free to Contact Us with your questions or concerns.