As many are aware, in March of this year Newton voters approved a warrant article that established a fund for the hiring of lifeguards at the Town Beach for the first time in many years. Shortly after Town Meeting, the Recreation Commission began the process of filling these positions. We first approached local YMCAs for Contract lifeguards. This proved to be unsuccessful as the contractors were unwilling to make accommodations that were recommended by Town and Insurance Counsels to protect Newton from liability. Next the Commission posted for direct hire, seasonal lifeguards using local and national media services. This resulted in only one applicant who later withdrew before their interview. As has been widely reported in the media, Newton is not the only town to run into lifeguard staffing issues.
The volunteer members of the Recreation Commission are disappointed that they have thus far been unable to provide lifeguards for 2018. The Town is looking into working with local schools and other organizations to perhaps recruit and train students for placement in 2019. All potential approaches will be discussed at regular recreation commission meetings the first and third Monday of each month at 7 PM at Town Hall. The public is always welcome.