ELYRIA — Mayor Holly Brinda and Elyria Schools Superintendent Tom Jama hosted a fundraiser Thursday night at the Lorain County History Center in a show of unity with city and school leaders working together for Issue 23, the district’s 3.86-mill bond issue.
Brinda, a former school board member who was part of the team in 2007 that successfully passed a bond issue to build Elyria High School, said the city’s future is too tied into the district’s success to not lend her full support.
“This is an opportunity to finish the job we started with the high school,” she said. “We are so proud of our community for championing education. They did it once with Elyria High, and doing it again for our youngest students will only move Elyria forward.”
If Issue 23 passes, it will come on the heels of the city passing an income tax increase in March, a proposal many worried would bump up against the schools November issue had it failed. Instead, Brinda said Elyria is well-poised to move in a more-prosperous direction.
“It is going to have so many positives for our community,” she said of new schools. “Elyria Schools remains focused on children and families with a plan to rebuild the system to strengthen it with cutting-edge facilities and cutting-edge technology.
In 2017, Brinda said Elyria will celebrate its 200th birthday and in planning for the city’s bicentennial, she can’t help but think about history being made with Issue 23.
Since taking the helm of the district in August 2015, Jama’s message has been that together Elyria grows.
“When you are a team, anything can get done and happen, and right now, the city and the schools are a team. We have the opportunity to bring a $140 million construction project to the city. This is an opportunity to not only change the district but also change the city as a whole.”
The backers in the room Thursday agreed.
“I think it’s important for us to continue to build on what we have done in the past,” said City Council President Mike Lotko. “Schools are just as important as anything we do in city services. This issue moves us in the right direction.”
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