Category Archives: Erie

New mayor challenges Erie to imagine future

For the first time in twelve years, today there is a new occupant on the fifth floor of Erie City Hall. Joe Schember took the oath of office as Erie’s new mayor and issued a challenge to those witnessing the inauguration and to the citizens of our region: imagine a different future for Erie.

According to reports, the mayor encouraged some group visualization:

“I’d like you all to just close your eyes for a minute and imagine these things, first Erie is a city with unlimited high tech family sustaining jobs, our children and other graduates of our local universities stay in Erie to work, and raise their families.”

“We have a world class downtown where people live work and play, where innovators and entrepreneurs create new businesses.”

“Every city neighborhood is safe and welcoming, where children play and neighbors know and help each other.  Our handling of the record December snow is a great example of how we can work together as community.”

“Imagine families with young children moving to Erie to be a part of our great public school system.”

“Imagine that every city hall employee works tirelessly and creatively to serve Erie residents and businesses.”

“Imagine our larger region pulls together, there’s no more turf protection, no more silo mentality, we now collaborate as one for the good of this region.”

“Finally, we are a city that lives the American Dream, a city where age, race, ethnicity, religion, heritage, gender, sexual preference and even which side of State Street you live on does not matter any more. We all respect and value each other, we work together for the good of all.”

This is new territory, folks. Such optimism and inclusiveness can only foster hope and buy-in to the new leader’s vision. Even the concept of a vision is a definitive change for the city.

I can see it…can you?

Congratulations and God’s speed, Mr. Mayor.

#Erie Discussion – What was your holiday #Erie thing?

From Facebook:

Keeping on top of Erie’s initatives

As an active member of the Destination Erie (now Emerge 2040) public forums, I learned that there are quite a few collaborative initiatives currently going intended to move our Erie region forward.

So many that it is hard for me, and perhaps you to keep them straight. So as a fun thing to do on a rainy vacation day, I decided to start a list of the community-wide initiatives, what they are all about, and who is behind them. What I’m listing are collaborative efforts by more than one agency or nonprofit, not just programming from single entities.

Following the #ErieVote tweets

Get involved in the conversation about the 2012 elections and how people in Erie are talking about it. Through the use of Twitter and a localized hashtag of #ErieVotes, we can track the multitude of voices in our community speaking out about this important election.

Vote Josh Natalie for Breakout Male Track Athlete of the Week

I’ve been writing a bit about the Erie school district and the major restructuring and right sizing that is underway. I’m interested in the outcomes because I’m a proud Erie parent. My son, Josh Natalie is a senior at Collegiate Academy and a  varsity letterman in swimming, cross country, and track for Strong Vincent, the school he competes for.

He is having a heck of a year, and this past weekend, met a goal he set before the season of winning an event at an invitational. His hard work paid off as he placed first in both the 800 meters and 1600 meters at the Franklin Invitational.

Those wins caused the Erie Times-News sports writers to nominate him as a Male Breakout Athlete of the Week, a huge honor. Now it’s up to the readers to vote in the winners. As his dad, and knowing the effort he puts it to go after his goals, I would humbly appreciate your support by voting for him. The voting ends Tuesday, May 1st at 11:59 PM.

To vote click the link below and scroll down the side to Josh Natalie’s name, click the circle then vote. Thanks in advance!

Vote for Josh!

Erie district to close 3 schools

Right before a public hearing Wednesday night at East High School, officials of the Erie School District have announced the proposal to close 3 elementary schools in the city:

  • Burton Elementary School, 1661 Buffalo Rd.
  • Glenwood Elementary School, 3503 Peach St.
  • Irving Elementary School, 2310 Plum St.

If you look at the map below, you can get a feel of why these schools were chosen. In the case of Irving, it is the closeness to Perry Elementary. With Glenwood, you have a school in a neighborhood with low density of kids that would attend there. As far as Burton is concerned, it could be a promixity issue, or a facilities condition issue.

We will find out more at the community forum tonight.

Erie City schools slated for closing indicated by blue shaded circles

187 Erie area non-profits lose tax-exempt status

Having been a non-profit CEO for 14 years, I know how important it is to protect your status with the Internal Revenue Service. Recently, there was an IRS filing requirement for non-profits that unfortunately dozens and dozens of Erie area NPO’s missed.

Now, in looking at the list, probably many of these organizations are long-defunct. However there are some surprising names of unions, and community organizations that for now no longer have a deductible status for their donors.

Here’s the list for the 164 and 165 zip codes (all data available at

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Sounds like tax lawyers may get a bump in business as some of these NPO’s fight to get their status back.