Pottstown Community Partnership for the Health, Education, and Safety of Our Youth
Meeting Date: 08.09.06 (8:00 – 9:15 AM)
Attending: David Krem, John Durkin, Mark Flanders, Andrew Trentacoste, Jeff Singleton, John Engle, Pat Eltz,
Frank Snow, Mark Antonacio, Kate Moore, David Kraybill, Mark Gibson, Everett Debnam, Dale Mahle, Dean
Foster, Wendy David, Barbara Wilhelmy, Laurie O’Connor, Sharon Valentine-Thomas, Nancy Weiman, Barbara
Dery, Steve Custer, Fred Reim, Eddie, Cruz, Judge Corso
David Krem, Superintendent of Pottstown Schools, welcomed guests and introduced school district grant writer Jeff
Jeff Singleton briefly described the Safe Schools Healthy Students federal grant program and the process for
developing a project and proposal [Jeff’s remarks are posted on the school district web site]. Jeff introduced Open
Space facilitator, John Engle.
John Engle explained and described Open Space, a method for organizing community meetings. He led discussion
of a draft letter of invitation to the September 20th 2006 Open Space community meeting, and then invited those
present to suggest names for the September 20th guest list, expected to number 50-100 invitees.
The group discussed dates for a second, larger Open Space and settled on November 29th for this follow up session.
The group also discussed the possibility of holding one or more evening meetings and providing child care during
those meetings to be sure that all who wish to attend may do so. The group also discussed the possibility of holding
an Open Space session for Pottstown youth, or of inviting Pottstown youth to the main Open Space sessions.
Other questions/issues raised included:
How can we best bring people together and create community?
How can we be sure that our decision-making process is “transparent”?
How can we guarantee that the plan for implementation of our project is clearly defined?
How can we be sure to hear the voices of all members of the community, including young people and people
with behavioral health issues?
How can we create awareness in our community about what we are doing, especially among Pottstown
residents who do not have computer access or access to other media?
In a final wrap-up discussion, participants shared these words and thoughts:
“… recognize that this is going to require commitment… need clarity… excited about the Open Space process…
inclusive… possibilities for cooperation and preservation… exciting and hopeful… positive and bringing
community… promising… getting to know each other… even if we don’t get the grant, other positives will
happen… interesting… importance of strong partnership… aggressive timeline… collaborative… an open
community… together… collaboration is more effective… excited by the interest of others… thrilled… there’s
often a disconnect, so this is a great tool… a long time coming”