Divergent ideas shared at community workshop
By Maureen Robertson
A two-and-a-half hour community workshop to discuss long-term fiscal planning for Ramona Unified School District ended with the promise that there will be more meetings.
“We thank you so much for being here, thank you so much for taking part of your Saturday to be here,” Bob Stoody,
school board president said at the Aug. 17 morning meeting in the Olive Peirce Middle School performing arts center.
Referring to the meeting as an opportunity to brainstorm, Stoody told the 40 people in the room, “We need your help. We need your ideas…I see this as a beginning.”
After a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation about the district’s fiscal condition and how it got there, Stoody had the group arrange their chairs in a circle.
From there the conversation covered topics such as why school bonds have failed in Ramona, better marketing for a future bond, closing a school, selling district property, getting Ramona realtors involved, working with town planners to bring more business and industry to town, learning why some parents either home school or send their children elsewhere for an education, allowing parents and the public to work on projects to assist the schools, and exploring expansion of the school bus program to bring in money.
A consultant analyzing the value of, uses of and possible changes to district property will have a report to the board in 30 to 45 days, district officials said. A public meeting to review that study will be held in 45 to 60 days, Stoody said.
Several attendees suggested putting more complete agendas and reports on the district’s website in advance so the public has an opportunity to review them and come to meetings with questions. They thanked the board for the Saturday morning workshop and most agreed they’d be back.
Assistant Superintendent Tony Newman will have a summary of the workshop on the district website, ramonausd.net, some time this week.
Because of the variety of issues discussed and range of questions and suggestions at the workshop, the Sentinel plans
to target each individually. Suggestions from the public are welcome. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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