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Wyoming City Manager's Blog - Change | News

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Wyoming City Manager's Blog - Change
News, Politics, Schools
Wyoming City Manager's Blog - Change

From: http://www.ci.wyoming.mi.us

This past week Wyoming Public Schools approved a plan to combine Wyoming Park High School with Rogers High School.  This change means that years of historical rivalries and pride will now end, and students will start new traditions and rivalries at the new “Wyoming High School”.  Both of my daughters are Rogers High School graduates and “Golden Hawks”; my wife works at Rogers and is also a “Golden Hawk”.  Although I think the decision to combine these schools is difficult for my wife and daughters, I think the School Board and School Administration have done a good job in reviewing the options and creating a plan that is the best for the students of Wyoming Public Schools. 

The bottom line is that this change, and many of the changes we as a City organization have experienced, is the result of declining revenues;  due to either lack of funding from the State, or less local tax dollars as a result of lower property values.  In the end, the continuation of services as provided in the past is no longer economically feasible and change is necessary. 

Just like the school, the City has experienced significant changes over the last several years.  Not only have we seen significant reductions in personnel, which have resulted in the combination of several different departments.  In addition, we have also worked with neighboring communities to find opportunities for collaboration and consolidation and are making progress on many of these efforts everyday.  For the most part, to the citizens, these transitions have been seamless or not noticeable. 

Over the next few years, I am confident that you will continue to see service delivery changes.  These changes may or may not be noticeable to our citizens but, just like the school, I am confident these changes will result in acceptable service levels, just in a different way.  For years, your City government has looked for ways to be leaders in governmental cost containment by utilizing economies of scale to ensure the best value.  This dates back to the beginning of the City, with the decision to go to Lake Michigan for drinking water, and subsequently working with every local government along the pipeline route to ensure the best value for water customers to all connected parties.  That type of action is not new for your City administration, nor is it a forgotten art. 

We have change all around us, whether it is in the schools, the business community, or local government services..  We all must be accepting of change and willing to understand the change before we judge it.  If your local government or schools are to be successful in these times, you have the same, if not more responsibility  than me, to understand the changes that are happening, and at the same time be willing to learn and understand the decisions that drove the changes before  passing judgment on  them.

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