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Pool daze: in the 1960s, the industry underwent some difficult--and odd--growing pains. (backflip).

Today, with the industry firmly established, pools are pretty much a given in every town, hamlet and city. But it wasn't always so.

In the 1960s, some builders were still fighting city hall to legitimize pool construction. In one town in particular, the city hadn't even gotten around to legalizing pool construction yet.

But then, as now, the industry persevered--with the help of a woman.

Power of a Woman Promises End to Pool-Less Months

Persevering pool builders in the Pennsylvania town of Bethlehem no longer have to fight City Hall. They finally have City Hall fighting for them.

Latest protagonist in a bureaucratic comedy of errors--that would be funny if it didn't hurt so to laugh--is Bethlehem's first councilwoman, Elaine H. Meilicke.

Finds ban on pools

Upon taking office last month, Mrs. Meilicke found the city has had a ban on construction of private pools for the past 19 months.

She thereupon requested the Bethlehem legal bureau to draft a regulatory ordinance by March 15.

How does it happen that this city of 76,000 lacks a law permitting private pools?

Former City Solicitor Daniel L. McCarthy had instructed the city to stop issuing building permits for pools on June 18, 1960, because in his opinion, municipal zoning laws did not contain provision for their construction.

One ordinance too many

After lengthy delays in having an ordinance drafted, the city found itself in the spring of 1961 with two: McCarthy had prepared one, the City Planning Commission another.

A joint meeting failed to produce agreement and the matter was shelved. When a new administration was voted into office last month (after 40 years), the ban was discovered.

Blonde Elaine Meilicke, who has told persevering poolmen the ordinance should be adopted in time for the current season, now has the builders telling each other:

"Never underestimate the power of a woman."

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Publication:Pool & Spa News
Date:Oct 11, 2002
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