Chester Lions Club hosts forum on referenda

The Chester Lions were again treated to a delicious dinner and a dynamic program on Tuesday, September 24.  The ”2013 Referendum” concerns the 2 percent meal tax proposed for Chesterfield County on the ballot in November.   The panel of speakers consisted of an impressive collection of community leaders for Chesterfield County.  
Matt Harris, Assistant Director of Budget and Management, was the moderator for the program.  He reported that, in addition to having a good to excellent rating for the quality of life by over  94 percent of the residents, Chesterfield county has been recognized by America’s Promise for the sixth consecutive year as “one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People.”

Shawn Smith, Assistant Director, Community Relations for Chesterfield County Schools, discussed the need to renovate or replace 10 of the aging schools. Even with the current aging facilities which are sometimes overcrowded,” nearly 90 percent of the students finish on time.”  The teachers, administrators and education staff, as well as parents, family and the students themselves should all be commended for “surpassing statewide averages for Standards of Learning test and for graduation rates.”   

Chief Dawson from the EMS/Fire area expertise has said that the “cardiac arrest survival rate is 1.5 times better than the national average.”  Even so, their biggest need at this time is for a new communication system because theirs is 20 years old and like most technology, is already out-of-date.   In less than five years, the company which manufactured the communication equipment will not have any parts for the equipment, nor will they have a technical support staff for them beyond 2017.

Captain Pritchett from the Sheriff Department came to report that the county’s crime clearance rate is well above the national average primarily because the “officer-to-citizen ratio … is one-third lower than the national average.”

The Lions had clean-up day on Centre St on Oct. 5 and during their Oct. 8 meeting the Lions were treated to a short informational session about the 400th Anniversary Celebration of Old City Point Day, from  Larry and Rita Joyner, residents of City Point and part of the celebration which was held on Oct. 12.

Contributed by Lion Carelyn Sheppard

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