On Sept. 13 the Douglas Unified School District governing board and the Douglas Mayor and City Council held a joint study session at the Douglas Government Center.
Such a meeting with both entities is believed to be first of its kind.
Items on the agenda were:
· Discussion by the City of Douglas and DUSD concerning a joint recreation program.
· Discussion by the City of Douglas and DUSD concerning a community strategic plan.
Douglas’ Mayor Danny Ortega Jr. opened with “I believe we both have the resource that we can share and by coming together tonight we can start to get a plan and direction for Superintendent Sheila Rogers and City Manager Carlos De La Torre as how we can proceed and try to utilize our resources to make Douglas a better community.”
“The district is really pleased in having the opportunity to work together with the city and city council in hopes of bringing together all of the resource that available to the community,” DUSD Board President Mario Ramos said. “There is much need not only to do for our children but also for the adults here.”
All agreed that working together and bringing their resources was achievable at this time.
Some of the key points of the meeting were:
· The children of Douglas need a safe environment to participate in after school programs.
· Developing a quality of life tax increase to supplement any cost that would occur in implementing these programs.
· Utilizing the resources of both DUSD and the city in a more efficient way.
· Having more parent involvement.
· A better use of the facilities that Douglas already has.
· Working with other entities such as Cochise College, and Cochise County.
· Having other programs other than sports.
· Develop what we have and work together.
· Finding activities for older kids to do.
· Improving the City of Douglas’ image.
One of the main concerns of the meeting was how to fund these activities.
“We would have to staff the facilities to stay open longer and keep the children safe,” Assistant Superintendent, Bonnie Lopez said.
“The city had allocated $25,000 for this fiscal year for recreational use,” City Manager De la Torre said. “We may be able to use $1,500-$1,600 to help pay the staff.”
Both Ortega and Ramos felt that the meeting went very well and hope to continue to work together to provide a better Douglas.
“The best way to start is with baby steps,” Superintendent Rogers said.