YMCA changes spur comments

Published 12:08 am Monday, November 1, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
With the Atmore YMCA under a management contract with the Mobile Area YMCA, changes were coming.
With some of those changes taking place, some staff members have decided to leave the Atmore YMCA and some members have expressed their displeasure as well.
Rumors began to swirl this week that a mass exodus of staff members at the Atmore YMCA was taking place. Several phone calls were placed to the Atmore Advance from members unhappy with what was taking place at the Y.
Shea Johnson a member of the Atmore YMCA, said members were unhappy with changes wrought by the managers from Mobile.
"They've treated our hard-working staff members with no respect," Johnson said. "We are just so unhappy with what's going on."
Johnson sites the cutback in aerobics classes at the Y as one example of unsatisfactory changes.
"The board is not standing by their employees and they've been there for years," Johnson said. "They're standing back and letting them (Mobile) run them off."
YMCA board president Seth Dettling said he had also heard the rumor of a mass walk out by staffers, but by the end of the week, that hadn't happened. "I was told of two people who were supposed to quit, but they showed up for work the day they were supposed to quit," Dettling said.
Of the changes, Dettling said little of any substance has changed. "They've instituted a dress code change, started using a time clock and consolidates some accounts," Dettling said.
One reason for a cutback in the aerobics classes was damage by Hurricane Ivan, Dettling said. "That building was a disaster after Ivan. It was already a nightmare of deferred repairs. It has been deteriorating for years, but the building has now been stabilized."
Dettling said he believed the changes were for the better and there would naturally be an adjustment period. "Any time there's a management change, there's going to be some adjustment."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox