Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Decatur

An update from the "ONE VOICE" Luncheon yesterday...which I recommend to anyone in ministry around the city. Awesome free food, and you get a chance to sit down with others in ministry, school board members, school faculty and district leadership, principals, vice principals, and our Superintendent.

Here are some encouraging stats from Decatur Public Schools:

- Our drop out rate has decreased to 1.6%

- Our graduation rate has increased to 87.7%

- We've changed bus transportation providers to "First Student", a company very committed to on-time service and strong community involvement/interaction.

- Members of "One Voice" Clergy (even the Pastor of the Universalist Unitarian Church, in case Hemant reads this) who have received a badge are permitted to enter schools, walk the halls, visit lunch times, and even attend a class with a student at any Decatur Public School!!!


I also had a meeting as a member of the Decatur Parking and Traffic Commission. A few locations for proposed "STOP" signs were discussed, as well as overall updates on the city/budget. Some things I learned:

- Placing a "STOP" sign, or any other sign really, costs the city around $200.

- These signs have a life span of approximately 7 yrs.

- Placing too many of them can cost a lot of money to replace every 7 years, as well as reduce how often people take them seriously. They must be warranted due to visibility issues, high traffic volume (attempt to keep accidents below 1.5 accidents per million vehicles entering an intersection), or other safety concerns.

- The word "fiduciary" can be used in some conversations.

- The city has over $400,000 in traffic/parking violation fines (here are a few) still outstanding that we have not collected yet. They are going to step up on their methods of collecting, before paying a large amount to find out if we should raise parking rates yet. Makes sense. :)

I enjoy participating as a citizen/father/youth pastor/etc. Thanks Decatur.

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