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Leaders ponder poverty problem

Jessica Cuffman • Sep 15, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Politicians and community leaders agree on one thing — poverty is a problem in Sandusky. What they have trouble agreeing on, however, is how big a problem it is, and whether it can be fixed.   

Twenty people traded their thoughts and personal stories about poverty Monday during a community meeting at Sandusky City Hall.

City commissioner Dave Waddington organized the gathering as a follow-up of sorts to last month’s community forum, which focused on a suspected jump in the number of violent crimes in Sandusky.   

Waddington said he wanted to focus the discussion on class issues, and how they may contribute to problems such as violence and crime.

Among the speakers were State Rep. Dennis Murray, D-Sandusky; Sandusky Schools superintendent Tom Tucker; Erie County health commissioner Pete Schade; and Erie-Huron Community Action Commission president Janice Warner.

Others contributed ideas and asked questions.

“I am absolutely convinced the solutions we’re looking for, some of them exist already,” said Jerry Garrett, who helped facilitate the meeting. “They are arcs in a circle that is detached.”

Most of the organizations that can offer help are no doubt facing funding pressures in this troubled economy, Garrett said, which makes it all the more critical for them to work together.   

“We need to take those arcs and connect them and make them an impactful circle,” he said.

Read more in Tuesday's Register.

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