so they should have called it
And inside it you should see only compiled sources.
.tpl files are not compiled so they shouldn't be there.
Also, I have placed a background image in that folder and it never been removed.
If you're trying to make changes to something in a tpl file, you have to modify the theme directly.
The problem is that if you want to use the public folder to provide only compiled stuff then the templates should be compiled as well (aka, JS files and not TPL files anymore)
Something similar to what happens with handlebars: http://handlebarsjs.com/precompilation.html
@yariplus I just setup the custom menu item and then I use the custom pages plugin to show the custom page.