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Editorial: City-district communication is important

City councils and school boards have a lot in common. They are the organizations most responsible for the day-to-day well being of a city’s residents. Their decisions affect the quality of the roads you drive on, the education your children receive and, at least on a local level, the taxes you pay.

The decision one body makes affects the other in ways both obvious and subtle. A city street project can affect how kids get to school - and how safe that trip might be. Building a quality school district can make more people want to move to town.

It makes sense, then, that they would talk once in awhile.

The Farmington City Council and District 192 School Board sat down for a conversation on Monday, the first time in three years they have done so in such a format. And while none of the conversation was likely revolutionary, it’s good for the two groups to know each other, and to be sure they are on the same page as they make decisions.

Bad things can happen if they are not. For evidence, just look at what happened when the Farmington School District chose a site for its new high school. The city didn’t like the choice, and it resulted in litigation and no shortage of ill will.

When cities and school boards work together, on the other hand, they can do some great things. One of the topics of discussion Monday was Safe Routes to School, a federal grant program that helps with the development of routes that allow students to more safely walk or bike to school rather than taking the bus or getting a ride from parents. It encourages physical activity, which has been shown to have plentiful benefits in the classroom.

The city of Rosemount and Rosemount schools have done some work with the program and had good results.

City and school representatives seemed to enjoy Monday’s talk. They showed an interest in holding such discussion more regularly. We believe that will be good for the community as a whole.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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