Davenport City Council, School Board work on communication

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Davenport’s School Board members and aldermen say they need to work on three things: communication, collaboration and their vision for the future.

School Board President Ralph Johanson said it’s an issue that’s come up before.

“One organization will do something that actually affects the other organization and neither one knew they were actually working on these issues,” Johanson said.

Most recently it happened when the superintendent announced his recommendation to close a school. 

“It caught the aldermen off guard,” Johanson said. “They were unaware of that.” 

There’s no set of guidelines for how the two groups should work together. Multiple city council members emphasized no group has authority over the other.

“We are two distinct organizations and many people in the public don’t understand that they are two separate boards, two separate budgets, two separate entities,” said Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch. “So we really don’t have the authority to make one or the other do what the other one wants.”

While the board and council have their own strategic plans, Klipsch said he hopes they can find ways to be more efficient in the areas where they overlap.

“It’s a matter of how do we best come together to come up with the best answer for everybody,” he said.

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