At just about the same time that LaHood was co-signing Dr. Lathan's $10,000 bonus, other members of the community were saying and feeling just the opposite...
Groups Want to Connect With Dist. 150
Despite a busy first year on the job some members of the local community say they feel a disconnect with District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan. They say collaboration with the administration has taken a backseat.
Peoria Park District Board Vice President Robert Johnson says neighborhood children were denied access to basketball courts over the summer at Glen Oak and Harrison schools after the basketball rims were taken off the backboards He says young people pack the courts to play pick up games but now cannot do so. Johnson says after a conversation with Dr. Lathan he was told the maintenance workers were tied up at another school and that union issues had to be worked out before the rims could be replaced.
"I don't understand the reasoning, we should be trying to engage our young people so that they can have active things to do and that's basically what it is and all of us would have a good quality of life in our city," Johnson said.East Bluff Serenity Neighborhood Association President Jim Combs says he was thrilled about Glen Oak Learning Center which was built on some property his family once owned. Combs says a year after the school's opening he's disappointed.
"That building and the grounds around that building were supposed to be shared by the community and I got the feeling and I think a lot of us do in leadership around here feel that that isn't the case," he said.Combs is talking about space that was supposed to be reserved inside the school for a community learning center for adults where computer or G-E-D classes could be held or other neighborhood programs, a vision he says was shared by former District 150 school superintendent Ken Hinton.
Superintendent Grenita Lathan was not available for an interview, but a district 150 spokesman says budgetary constraints, staffing and other educational issues have taken priority for the administration.
Combs says he understands that more pressing challenges may be the focus for the district. But says with similar goals in mind of strengthening families and communities partnerships with the administration are important.
"It's sort of a sadness, it's like a dissolution on our part. We thought something was going to happen that didn't," he said.
But combs says that won't stop his group from finding another location for their community center. He just hopes the school district will be a partner. Source