For the first time since the election of new school board and City
Council members, the two groups will meet to discuss ways to pool
resources that will benefit the district and the city. The meeting is
at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Buena Vista Branch Library, 300 N. Buena
Vista St., and will be televised on Charter Communications Channel 6.
“I think this is the time for the 10 of us to get together to know
each other and listen to what the other side has to say,” school
board member Dave Kemp said. “Beginning a dialogue with one another
is the key factor in this process.”
In preparation of the joint meeting, school board members and
district administrators this week discussed such topics as the joint
use of school and city facilities, including school playgrounds,
which remain open for public use when school is not in session.
According to Ali Kiafar, chief facilities and development
superintendent, there are 33 acres of grass playgrounds and 24 acres
of paved areas at schools that are open to the public, but which the
school district is paying to maintain.
In light of budget deficits experienced by both entities, Supt.
Gregory Bowman said common purchasing of fuel, supplies and office
equipment is one area where the city and the district might be able
to save money.
Bowman also mentioned the possibility of the two entities looking
at bids for security alarms and elevator repairs. The district used
to have one elevator at its administrative office, but with new
construction at the high schools, there are now 14 elevators in
operation, he said.
Board member Paul Krekorian suggested that the city’s “Got Wheels”
buses might be used during the school year as school transportation.
However, he cautioned, “all these discussions have to be framed as a
partnership, and not ‘what can the city do for us.’ ”
The meetings should be an ongoing regular process instead of being
crisis driven, Krekorian said.