Staunton Board, Council Discuss Finances, Student Safety
The Staunton City Council and Staunton School Board gathered face-to-face for the first time since the school division saw some major changes. The joint work session Thursday night focused on finances, student security, and a wish list of building projects.
Since the last time they sat at the same table, Staunton City Council has added one new member and the school board, three, and hired a new superintendent.
The informal, agenda-less meeting aimed to help them start working together. The Staunton city manager and school superintendent acted as "facilitators" to help the two governing bodies share goals and vision.
Among those long-term goals is the renovation or expansion of Robert E. Lee High School. The school board requested funding for a needs-assessment, as part of Staunton's Capital Investment Plan. "It is also aware and cognizant of the debt load the city has for other projects. I think the school board was trying to show very clearly that while the school division has needs, they realize the city has needs as well. We need to balance how we fund all those," said Superintendent Linda Reviea.
While many items were discussed, both governing bodies stressed the importance of working together.
"Anytime you can get individuals together to have them talk about their mutual interests and goals that we build a relationship. In building a relationship I think we have a better understanding of each other's points of view and perspectives and understanding that their is a limited pool of funds and how do you allocate all those funds," said Reviea.
The board set three public input meetings to help them draw up a spending plan. The next one is set for January 28.
Reported by Tara Todd and Ken Slack
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