Luebs: Clawson will continue strong services

By: Jeremy Carroll | Royal Oak Review | Published March 21, 2011

 Clawson Public Schools Board of Education President Kevin Turner said the district has bucked the trend and is actually growing its student population during the annual State of the City and Schools event held by the Chamber of Commerce March 16.

Clawson Public Schools Board of Education President Kevin Turner said the district has bucked the trend and is actually growing its student population during the annual State of the City and Schools event held by the Chamber of Commerce March 16.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CLAWSON — Through tough economic times, Clawson will remain a community with strong services and dedication to good customer service to its residents, Mayor Penny Luebs said during her annual State of the City address March 16 at City Hall.

The event included an update on the State of the Schools given by Kevin Turner, president of the Board of Education.

“Our community is changing, but one thing that is not changing is our ability to come together and capitalize on our strengths and endure a slow economic recovery,” Luebs said during her 15-minute speech.

Echoing comments made earlier this year by Gov. Rick Synder, Luebs said a set of shared sacrifices would likely be needed for the city to balance its budget, which appears to have an approximate 10 percent, or $700,000, shortfall.

“Shared sacrifice may be needed in order to accomplish our task of keeping a quality lifestyle in Clawson,” she said.

Held by the Clawson Chamber of Commerce, the address was Luebs’ fourth as mayor. She said private business invested more than $1 million into the city in 2010, and 74 new jobs were created. More investment is expected as a new Social Security Administrative Office is planned for the northeast corner of 14 Mile and Crooks.

Turner outlined the challenges facing the school district, including proposed cuts from the state that would wipe out the district’s savings and put them in a deficit if no cuts were made internally.

“We are one of the few districts in the state that is not only maintaining student enrollment, but are actually growing,” Turner said. “Parents are choosing Clawson Public Schools more and more.”

He said the district had an increase in enrollment of 50 students this year, but added that drastic action would be needed if the proposed state budget moves forward.

“Currently, some, but not all of our employees contribute to their health care premiums,” he said. “That is a spot where we can find savings.”

Char Larson, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said she was proud the chamber holds the event annually.

“This is a wonderful city with a great local government and schools,” she said.

Kathy Phillips, a current City Council member, was given the annual Business Person of the Year award for her work in the community. Phillips is a Realtor and owns her own graphic design company. The award has been given out since 1977.

“This is really humbling,” Phillips said. “I don’t do these things to get honored, but it’s very nice.”

Travis Cochran and Tierney Keyes were awarded the Volunteer of the Year awards for their work with the Clawson Farmers Market, but they weren’t alone in that honor: The Friends of the Blair Memorial Library also received the Volunteer of the Year award.

“We never got into this for the accolades and praise, but it’s been a labor of love and we are humbled by the accolades,” Cochran said.

Business Community Involvement Awards were given to Gateway Country Day School and the Clawson Community Credit Union.

 

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