Westwood Middle School looks for partners in education

The next Westover city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 18 at the Westover City Building.

WESTOVER — Representatives from the newly organized Westwood Middle School Parent Teacher Organization want to give the city of Westover a chance to be a partner in their children’s education.

Westwood PTO treasurer Karen Angelozzi and member Heather Wolfe spoke at Westover City Council at its meeting Monday evening.

“One of the first things we have is Partners in Education, and we’d like to propose that the city of Westover be one of our partners in education,” Wolfe said. “It’s a great opportunity. You can act on many levels of that.”

Wolfe explained that the partnership can include monetary help as well as having representatives at school functions.

Mayor David Johnson asked Wolfe what would be expected from himself and the council members.

Wolfe said she could come up with a list of opportunities on which the city could collaborate with the school.

Johnson said he would like to see the list for specific ways to help.

“The schools mean a lot to us,” he said. “We’ve got a [school resource officer] up there, and we try to work as much as we can with everybody at the school. If this is more of a community thing that we would show support to, … we as council members need to know exactly what would be expected from us.”

Angelozzi said the city of Westover could help with another project from the PTO board. She said they will be selling banners to hang on the light poles leading up to the school and other areas.

Local businesses could sponsor these banners.

“We got approval from the Board of Education to sell banners,” she said. “My proposal to you is that the Westwood PTO will give the city of Westover a banner if you guys would be willing to help us install and uninstall the light pole banners going up our driveway.”

Angelozzi said the hardware was already attached to the light poles, and they just needed a bucket truck to come hang the banners in August and take them down at the end of the school year.

Johnson said they would need to make sure the city was able to sponsor something like this.

In other business:

  • Councilmember-at-large Al Yocum was not present.
  • Westover Police Chief Richard Panico said the department  answered 470 calls in the last two weeks. He said many calls were questions from residents asking for options on certain issues. He said the department has seen a decrease in roadside garbage due to efforts to educate drivers on uncovered vehicles carrying debris.
  • Panico said the department is looking in to new body cameras. He said the officers are working at the range to be fully certified for the end of June.
  • Panico said the department is now dealing with two tent cities, one by the river and one by Jackson Street. He said they have been able to get some people to leave, but they are still trying to reach out to organizations willing to help the occupants. He said they continue working on the situation.
  • City code enforcement official Jason Stinespring said there had been $1,700 in permits issued, including an application for the now-closed Feast to West restaurant to renovate the inside of the building for a new restaurant.
  • Stinespring said they were working closely with landlords on the issue of off-street parking and working with residents on grass maintenance.
  • City Clerk Sandra Weis said seven people had turned out for early voting the previous week, and that early voting would take place this week, including from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, before Election Day on Tuesday, June 12.
  • In old business, council members voted unanimously to adopt the second reading of the new employee pay rates for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The ordinance states that employees will receive a 50 cents per hour pay raise after 30 days of employment and states the “incremental pay increase for all classes of employees for the City of Westover is 25 cents per hour given after one, five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, with a satisfactory evaluation and Mayor/Designee approval.”

The ordinance will be voted on for the third and final time during the next regular council meeting.

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