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City, Schools Looking to Work Together

From the recreation department to school safety, the school board and city council are looking at several ways to cooperate.

Lakewood City Schools and Lakewood City Hall are looking to cooperate a little more.

From support of the upcoming school levy to sharing some of the responsibility with the recreation department, officials are looking to see how they can share services and facilities.

For the first time in three years, the school board and city council officially got together for a joint meeting at Garfield Middle School on Monday.

Following several presentations made by each side, city and school officials discussed ways they could work together.

One of the topics covered was the school-district-run recreation department.

City council president Brian Powers pointed out that Lakewood is one of a handful of recreation departments in the state run by the school board.

“I think we ought to have a thoughtful discussion on recreation,” said Powers. “We should think about how we can work together. Are we going to fund recreation or cut a teacher? We don’t want the school in that situation.”

In addition to sharing equipment and services — such as the successful Help to Others program — the legislative entities will continue to work on school safety.

School board president Ed Favre proposed meeting more regularly to discuss ways to work together. 

“As we go forward, we can think of more ways where we can both work more efficiently,” he said. “I think we really have a responsibility to look for any shared benefits that we can.”

SHAWN WITMER February 26, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I commend those willing to engage in conversation that can spur imagination and eventually generate genuine cooperation. Anyone who calls Lakewood home will benefit from the sharing or resources, ideas and experience between the adults who make up the school board and city council. Turf battles usually result in more mud and dust, one impeding progress and the other limiting vision. We are all in this together, as citizens, parents and partners.
maggie j robinson February 26, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I want to throw something "out there"...just because it has always been done doesn't mean it always has to be done the same way....It would be interesting to see if Lakewood city could locate enough property in an area to have a City REC CENTER. There's the new discount drug mart that tore down an apt building, there's talk of selling a school, is there any way we as a city could think outside the box to see if we can get ourselves a city recreation center, like Westlake, RR, Fairview etc?
ian king February 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Hi Maggie, Great comment! Think outside the box/the Rust Belt Mentality, is not going to be easy for NE Ohio. Yet to survive, that is just what has to evolve. Having lived in economic boom areas like SF Bay and the Southwest - we are in serious competition/survivor mode for new industry/business, new citizens, new tax bases. The weather is against us, as is the Bible Belt Mentality that surrounds NE Ohio and keeps young folks from moving here. If Lakewood can survive the next 20 years, radical change/planning is needed: 1. City govt and school officials should do everything to not raise taxes.Sell school buildings or turn them into rec centers, into artist studios. Offer them to start-up hi tech companies = THINK SURVIVAL, because that is where we are now. 2. Lets get downtown Lakewood a more coordinated streetscape. Why are there 19th century street lights outside the new Detroit Drug Mart? Where does that visual connect with anything else on Detroit? Same with the artsy but out of character/place bus stop in front of INA building. Learn/copy from other cities how to present a united visual streetscape that presents what Lakewood is all about. The new street signs help, but we have a loooong way to go. 3. Create a theme/reward for blocks/homeowners in Lakewood - like best hanging baskets or best sidewalk flowers - a citywide project that will unite Lakewood as the Beautiful CIty. SOMETHING BIG must happen or we will not make it as a viable city.
Pat Ballasch March 09, 2013 at 07:50 PM
It's good to hear people are trying to coordinate their planning to create more efficiency. I hope we can be kept updated on the results.

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