June 26, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Schools, city of Medina look for ways to collaborate

MEDINA — Collaborating on payroll and health insurance were some of the possibilities discussed during a meeting between the Medina school board and city officials Monday.

City Council President John Coyne said the city already cooperates with the school district in a variety of ways, but suggested they also combine processes like payroll.

Coyne said taxpayers “don’t want to see duplication of efforts.”

The school board held a brainstorming session with city officials Monday about how they might further collaborate. Council conducts similar meetings with county commissioners and boards of trustees in surrounding townships once a year.

School board President Bill Grenfell said he would be interested in looking at collaborating on health insurance and public relations. He said he’d like to see more collaboration at the county level.

“They’re the only entity that touches almost everybody,” he said.

City and school officials agreed a major challenge they face is persuading residents to support school levies, and sharing services is part of that.

Medina Superintendent Randy Stepp said some residents look to the state to solve public school funding woes, but said he didn’t see Gov. John Kasich’s administration moving in that direction.

“The state of Ohio, under its current leadership, is advocating toward reallocating funding for charter schools,” he said.

Some of the ways the district collaborates with the city are shared sports field maintenance and copier contracts. The city and the district also split costs for custodial services at the Medina Community Recreation Center.

The Police Department provides the high school and middle schools with resource officers and, in exchange, the district gives the city IT support.

Montville Township police also provide an elementary school resource officer under a similar agreement.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.