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R. Rex Parris City Hall to stress tom improve resident’s health

LANCASTER – Mayor R. Rex
Parris said Monday that A local schools need to improve and that a new charter school is needed to help make Lancaster more competitive.
The mayor added that bird songs will soon be run through public address systems on Lancaster Boulevard to improve the atmosphere, make the place friendlier, and make people happier.
“It will seem like a lot of birds are there   because the scientists tell us that if you use bird sounds, the cortisol level drops and your
feeling of security enhances,” the mayor said. “Just exposure to it for 15 minutes a day will lead to happier people.”
He added the city must sustain its drive to become an alternative energy capital because the people who usher in energy independence will be the ones who rule the world. If the city is going to win the
battle for jobs, it must pressure education officials to develop top-flight schools to attract top-flight
employers and employees, he said at a meeting of a service club, Lancaster Rotary West.
“We should simply face the fact that we don’t have those schools in Lancaster,” Parris said during the
meeting at the John P Eliopolus Hellenic Center To get those schools, he told the Rotarians, “You guys have got to get
more active, be a little more courageous and insist that our schools give us what we are insisting on.”
“If we do that, everyone in this room will become wildly successful, because this is where the money is going to be. This is where the people building the new manufacturing facilities will want to live. Because all the latest and greatest stuff that is going to happen is going to happen here in Lancaster:
“It is so frustrating to me to recognize the only thing stopping us from getting there is that we lack
the courage,” Parris said. Toward that end, the mayor asked the Rotary Club’s members to back plans for a new charter
school in Lancaster: , ‘ “In the next couple of months, when you start hearing about a charter school wanting to come into
the Lancaster School District, I’m going to need your help” getting it approved, Parris said.
“It’s not about the school, it’s about all of us. It’s about our community It’s about growing
Lancaster into something truly magnificent, and that’s going to be the 1st step,” he said.
Paris said he expected resistance and even auger from those hoping to maintain the status quo.
“It’s uncomfortable” for a public school district to approve a private charter school because it portends
loss of state revenue, he said. “But how many years are we going to wait? If we wait much longer; this will pass us by; and none of us are going to want to live here.” Parris reiterated many of the points he made while addressing the Antelope Valley Chamber of
Commerce two weeks ago, when he called upon them to support city efforts to improve schools, bolster
health, fight crime and attract solar-power projects. To meet those goals, those central to Lancaster’s
operations must be on board, the mayor said. ‘
Parris reiterated his goal of having Lancaster become a world-recognized source of solar electricity and “green” businesses and homes. “We are the premier location in the entire world for solar energy” he said. “What we were to aviation
30 years ago, we will be to alternative energy very soon.” To make that happen, the city is attempting to become a research- and-development location for alternative-energy projects, the mayor said.
“The people who  have the energy in the next decade are going to be the people who rule the world, and it really has to be us,” Parris
said. “ To have such an energy capital, available water will be needed, and that means xeriscaping, he said.
‘“We do have the waten It’s just that we waste 70% of it watering lawns,” Parris said.
“We’ve got to change the way we live. We’ve got to get rid of those lawns. We’ve got to stop wasting the resources we’re going to need if we’re going to grow this into a magnificent city “We really want every business in this city to succeed, and if it
makes sense and the risk is manageable, we are diving in,” he said.
“Yeah, people are going to complain and say it’s unfair and do all kinds of things, and that’s OK. I’m
used to it. And you folks have to get used to it to. Because it’s different now It’s a different model,” Parris
said. “We have ‘to start worrying about our community and what it’s going to take for our community to
be wildly successful.” “Normally what we do is we spend all of our time dealing with
the people at the fringe, the 1% or 2%. But if you start recognizing that it’s the people at the center
and how they’re connected that really make the difference, then you (have) a whole different systems approach to the Way a city is
run,” he said.
Recalling how the candle-making industry once was a primary source of indoor lighting for homes and businesses, that technology
has long since been supplanted, Parris said. “The good old days are not coming back,” he said. “We have to be more competitive, more innovative and more creative than any of us ever dreamed if we are going to see this city prosper, because there is
no longer enough to go around.” For that reason, ‘As a city we have a choice,” the mayor said. One choice is to continue doing
what was yesterday and the day before. The other choice is “We can get brutally honest with ourselves and find out what our strengths are and what weaknesses are and compete with the rest of the world in ways we never thought we’d have to,”
Parris said.
Parris encouraged his audience to become .more involved with the city and more involved with their
neighbors. . “We’re looking for ideas. We are looking for people who want to get involved. We are looking for people who want to change the place they live in,” he said. Such volunteers give the city
a way to reach residents who otherwise would never interact with local government or each other, Parris said. ‘ “How deeply you’re involved with your neighborhood has a lot to do with how happy you, your wife and your children are,” he said. “If you don’t know your neighbors kids names, you’ve deprived yourself of your well-being. And that’s what we’re trying to re-establish.”
During his presentation, Parris reviewed city efforts to establish “neighborhood impact” homes
and “wellness” homes to serve as resources and refuges for children and struggling families.
“We cannot have a sick city and that’s what we have,” Parris said, noting recent statistics on local mortality rates due to coronary
heart disease, emphysema, stroke, diabetes and other illnesses. For that reason, City Hall will be focusing on new efforts to improve
the health of Lancaster’s residents, he said.
The mayor also pointed to ongoing efforts to revitalize Lancaster’s historic downtown.
People are visiting downtown because “it’s where we see our friends. It’s where We gossip. It’s where we meet people,” Parris said.
Still to come are several new business and entertainment outlets and public-address speakers that will broadcast the birds singing.

bwilson@avpress.com

 

 

 

January 27, 2011 - Posted by | AV Best Attorney, Honest Politician, Lancaster Mayor, r rex parris, State of the City Address | , , , ,

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