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October 16, 2019

            The subject of crossing guards to protect the students heading to the Upper Perkiomen High School and the new Middle School seems to be coming to an agreeable solution.

            Pennsylvania law is clear when it states that municipalities and school districts share the cost.  The recent issues involved not only cost but the administration of the crossing guards as well.

            The issue that multiple municipalities were involved in providing crossing guards in near proximity to each other added to the challenge of solving that issue.  Who's the boss?

            In many cases, the municipality is in charge of the crossing guards and the school district pays half the cost.  When you have areas that need to be protected by crossing guards that share municipal boundaries the question of who should or must be the administrator of the guards arises.

            Deferring the administration of the crossing guards to the school district seems to be the logical move.  It puts that important task into the hands of a single governing body.

            The municipalities of Pennsburg, Red Hill, and Upper Hanover are making a good decision to allow a single, managing entity to take charge of this most important task – protecting the students.

            Mornings and afternoons during school days are challenging along the 11th Street and Montgomery Avenue corridors.  The crossing guards are a welcome safety net.

            Working together as municipalities is something we should strive to do more of.  But, it requires compromise and communication and a willingness to share authority and trust those you choose to share it with.

            With November elections less than three weeks away, it might be a good time to ask the local candidates their view on future efforts to work together as a community to provide better services, reduce costs, and improve community relations.

            It worked when East Greenville, Hereford, Green Lane, Marlborough, Pennsburg, Red Hill, and Upper Hanover combined their schools to become the Upper Perkiomen School District back in the 1950's.

            There was a time when other combined services worked.  Police and trash collection come to mind.  One of the reasons given for their separation was that service could be improved and tax dollars saved.

            It once worked around here as well and it's still working in other communities..

            What happened?
            Maybe residents of the different municipalities grew to need different individual services than those provided collectively.  Is that still the case?  Is there a thought among local, elected officials or candidates to review the possibilities of future agreements that benefit the people, or have we resigned ourselves to the mindset that "it will never work?"

            Think about it.  Costs will continue to go up and taxes will continue to go up.

            Is there a way we can do better?   

· End of article ·  

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