Pottstown Meeting Set To Boost Borough-School District Cooperation

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Considering the same 5 square miles comprises the school district and the borough, this is well overdue.  However, on a positive note, we will hope this leads to substantive change for the beleaguered Pottstown taxpayer.

POTTSTOWN — It won’t just be the location of the joint school board/borough council meeting Tuesday that is unusual.

The agenda is short, unusual in itself, and further, it is focused almost exclusively on breaking down barriers to cooperation.

“We want to set the stage for collaborating, for open communication,” said schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana who, along with Borough Manager Mark Flanders, met with The Mercury Thursday to outline their efforts.

“That’s one of the reasons we wanted to have the meeting off-site,” said Flanders. “To put everyone in a setting that encourages participation and interaction.”

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130225/NEWS01/130229649/pottstown-meeting-set-to-boost-borough-school-district-cooperation#full_story

Pottstown Council, School Board Want To Work Closer

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Acting Superintendent Jeff Sparagana for being proactive!

POTTSTOWN — When it comes to getting along, it could be said that the borough and school district governments in Pottstown sometimes get along like siblings on a long car trip.

Acting Schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana is among the first to admit that and did so Wednesday when he told borough council that “it is important to acknowledge and recognize there have been breakdowns in the relationship between the borough and the school district in the past.”

But he was also the first to offer an olive branch in pursuit of a new era of cooperation.

Appearing before council during the Wednesday work session, Sparagana prefaced a presentation of the district’s land development plans for Rupert, Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools with a statement — and an apology.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121209/NEWS01/121209423/pottstown-council-school-board-want-to-work-closer#full_story

Motor City Lessons For Reading

City officials were shocked, saddened, thankful and relieved by their three-day bus trip to Detroit that began Nov. 13.

The fast-paced tour, paid for entirely by two local foundations, was to see what progress the Motor City has made in its own painful recovery, and what efforts there might work in Reading.

As Detroit’s Big Three automakers declined, tax revenues dropped and more than half its 1.8 million residents moved out. The city had to cut services such as fire suppression and police from large sections of the city.

But now, with help from foundations and businesses, it’s making numerous coordinated moves to rebuild.

Reasd more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432745

Cooperation and Collaboration Are Not Dirty Words In Pittsburgh

Duquesne University's view of the Pittsburgh s...

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An excellent opinion piece was published in Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, written by award-winning journalist and author Steven Beschloss, about how Pittsburgh has propelled itself forward during troubled periods in the city’s past.  The author suggests that in today’s troubled economic times, America look at the Pittsburgh model of cooperation and collaboration as a way forward.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Beschloss’ piece:

We can rewind to the 1940s when Democratic Mayor David L. Lawrence allied with Republican financier Richard King Mellon to shape the city’s Renaissance Project, giving Pittsburgh a new lease on life at a grave moment of decline and worry. It’s worth recalling how Lawrence described that economic development effort to revive the city and bring together a complex coalition of interests: “This is a Pittsburgh project, not a Democratic or a Republican project.”…

The same cooperation and collaboration has enabled Pittsburgh to survive the collapse of the steel industry and reinvent itself as a city built on education, health care, computer science, biomedicine and engineering.

To read Steven Beschloss’ opinion piece, click here: http://postgazette.com/pg/11233/1168445-109-0.stm?cmpid=newspanel

Pottstown Needs Cooperation And Coordination To Be Successful

While Jason Bobst, Pottstown Borough Manger, was talking about PAID and the future of Pottstown he mentioned two words - cooperation and coordination.  I have pondered the importance of these two words in relationship to Pottstown since Thursday’s meeting.  If I am being honest, we need to work harder at cooperation and coordination if we want Pottstown to “be all it can be’.  It is a big job and will need the hard work of many people to make sure it happens.

No one group can successfully turn Pottstown around.  It will take coordination and cooperation from elected leaders, citizens, the Pottstown School District, Montgomery County, business, industry, bloggers, print and online media and entities like PAID.  We can not expect the new Executive Director to come in and wave his or her magic wand and fix 40 years worth of problems (unless we hire Merlin).  

The new structure of PAID should be the model we use moving forward. We need a good cross-section of people, possessing a variety of skill sets and talents, working together for the betterment of our community.  The coordination of efforts, a unified voice, mutual respect/cooperation, a positive attitude and the sincere belief that Pottstown can be transformed into something even better than it was during its industrial heyday are essential if we expect to be successful.

I leave you with the definition of cooperation and coordination for your consideration.  Going forward, we should ask ourselves if our efforts are coordinated with the efforts of others and if we are working in the spirit of cooperation for Pottstown’s greater good.

co·op·er·a·tion

1.  an act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit; joint action.

2.  more or less active assistance from a person, organization, etc.: We sought the cooperation of various civic leaders.

3.  willingness to cooperate: to indicate cooperation.

4.  Economics.   the combination of persons for purposes of production, purchase, or distribution for their joint benefit: producers’ cooperation; consumers’ cooperation.

5.  Sociology.   activity shared for mutual benefit.

co·or·di·na·tion

1.  the act or state of coordinating or of being coordinated.

2.  proper order or relationship.  

3.  harmonious combination or interaction, as of functions or parts.

Definitions from: Dictionary.com