San Benito leaders discuss unified efforts

SAN BENITO — With new administrators at the helm of both the city and school district, officials on both sides realize there are issues to discuss.

So, leaders met up and discussed their plans for a positive working relationship.

City Manager Manuel De La Rosa and Superintendent of Schools Adrian Vega, along with Mayor Celeste Sanchez and School Board President Anna Cruz last Wednesday met with support staff and board members.

All discussed issues of mutual concern ranging from growth and development, visions for the future, business models, the possibility of collaboration on a swimming pool to comprehensive planning.

De La Rosa invited the school district’s input on a new city comprehensive plan nearing completion

He said the anticipated growth of the district would impact the city in areas of infrastructure and resources.

Vega noted the district’s five-year strategic plan would affect the whole community. Input from the city would be important in establishing future goals, Vega said.

“A partnership between the city and school district is needed,” De La Rosa said. “You educate the children and we need an educated workforce. This will complement both the city and district.”

Future growth and development of the city requires planning.

“We will want your input as you look at sites for future schools so we can develop codes, implement fees and districts,” De La Rosa told district officials.

Cruz suggested the possibility of the district providing computer software which could be utilized in the city library, but would benefit students in the district.

“We can explore the possibilities of ventures to make improvements in this and other areas,” she said.

“By working together, we can make San Benito a city of choice with good schools and good quality of life,” Sanchez said.

Additional meetings between the entities’ leadership were suggested in order to follow up on the initial discussion.

“We can find common understanding, combine resources and share facilities that will mutually benefit our community,” De La Rosa said.

“We will need to meet again to hammer out our next steps,” Vega said.

“We look forward to working collaboratively and planning for the future. We are excited about establishing a great partnership between both entities.”