School officials pleased with updated website

The Mason Public Schools website used to be old and hard to navigate, but now it is interesting and user-friendly, said Director of Technology Jerome Brzezinski at Community and Staff Relations committee meeting on Tuesday, March 29. Brzezinski said he is happy with how the brand new website turned out. “It has a really nice look, and it’s a huge improvement,” Brzezinski said. Brzezinski said the previous website had not been changed in 12 years, and that is what prompted him to go through with this update. “It aesthetically didn’t look good, it was a little cumbersome to navigate, and very difficult to update,” Brzezinski said.

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki stands in front 'Investing For the Future', the May bond proposal

Overcrowding in Mason’s kindergartens

A Mason School Board committee was trying to decide if adding an extra section of kindergarten would solve the overcrowding issue. All three of the elementary schools will exceed capacity for the 2016-2017 year; there will be 484 students for a building designed for 405, according to Mason Public Schools.

Concerns raised regarding proposed sidewalk improvements

Concerns were raised by residents during the public hearing at the city council meeting on March 21, 2016, despite the confirmation of an assessment regarding proposed sidewalk improvements. According to the meeting agenda, the property was first announced at the city council meeting on December 21, 2015. At the meeting on January 18, 2016, the council agreed to make the improvements and ordered the Assessor to prepare estimated costs and provide notice of a public hearing. Mason City administrator Deb Stuart said the role of the city council on Monday was to confirm the assessment, as the council already voted in January that the sidewalk improvements will be completed. The assessment directs the treasurer to collect funds with the July taxes.

Mason City Council and Planning Commission come up with resolutions for Medical Marijuana ordinance

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – The planning commission and city council decided to pass a resolution which will repeal the current outdated ordinance and refer to only state law rather than impose local regulation. The current state law allows for citizens to obtain medical marijuana under the condition that the citizen is issued proper license and registration. Mason put the idea of an ordinance into consideration because they felt they needed more restriction locally. “There were a number of things that the planning commission or even the community members wanted to regulate about this issue,” said Commissioner Anne Klein Barna, “but unfortunately or, fortunately, that was just not possible because it was against the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act to do so.”

After investigation of the issue they have decided not to develop a local ordinance to regulate medical marijuana within Mason as well as repeal the ordinance that they currently have in the books for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.

Mason superintendent presents bond proposal to City Council

The Mason Times
By Nadia Lorencz

Mason Public Schools superintendent Ronald Drzewicki proposed a $79,000,000 bond and a site sinking fund renewal at the March 21 City Council meeting. The site sinking fund is a current fund with a term of 10 years. It allows districts to provide funding on a pay as you go basis. Currently the fund provides about $665,000 annually and has provided for roof repairs, parking lot repaving, well repairs, door and window replacements and other facility updates. “We want to invest in our students,” said Drzewicki.

Mason High School prepares for 13th annual talent show

By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Mason High School is preparing for its 13th annual Indoles talent show, where all proceeds will be donated to the Rylan Cotter Memorial scholarship. According to the MHS website, the show will take place on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7p.m.

MHS math teacher Steve Jackson said he helped start the show 13 years ago as a student-teaching intern through Michigan State University. Jackson said the internship required that he take part in a community service project, which is where he produced the idea of showcasing the talent at Mason High School. “There were many people out there who had amazing talents to show but we never got to see, so we needed a place for that,” Jackson said. Jackson said his favorite performance throughout the course of the show was a staged light-saber battle, where he was even included in the act for one scene.

Mason Arbor Day Honoree search has begun

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – Imagine the Mason courthouse square treeless. Elaine Ferris, Mason Tree Commission liaison, has donated a tree through the Mason 150 Heritage Tree program, initiated last year for the Sesquicentennial year. It will be planted this spring, either by the courthouse to replace one that has fallen,  or in the new section of the cemetery to provide shade for future visitors. “I’m hoping for a hackberry,” said Ferris, “which is a tall, vase-shaped tree much like an elm but at least so far, resistant to most diseases and insect infestations.

Sun Dried Music Festival confirmed for August 2016

Christian Barrington
Mason Times

EAST LANSING – Mason’s annual Sun Dried Music Festival has been confirmed for August 2016 and members of the Mason community are buzzing with excitement. Former mayor, now councilmember, Leon Clark, is very active in the production of the festival. “The Sun Dried Music Festival will be taking place Aug. 26-28. It is a family music festival that is free for all, and features around 15 bands and a multitude of vendors, all strictly from the Mason area,” said Clark.

Mason School Board considers later Wednesday start times

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – The Mason School Board is considering moving Wednesday morning start times back one hour to provide extra time for teacher collaboration. Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said that one option for providing job-embedded learning for teachers is to schedule one hour of professional development on a weekly basis. The weekly training would be part of a program called Professional Learning Communities, which the School Board is considering launching next fall. The idea of Professional Learning Communities is to give teachers time to work together on improving their teaching to help improve student achievement.

Mason Museum to write a book on local war veterans

By Nadia Lorencz
The Mason Times

MASON, Mich.- Members of the Mason Area Historical Museum plan to create a book dedicated to war veterans in the Ingham County area. On Feb 20, the museum held an event where war veterans were asked to share their experiences and photos of World War 2. With this information, the museum plans on creating a book composed of several war veterans’ stories. The idea came about when museum member Carolyn Cooper, was looking through old videos in the museum’s library. She and other members were trying to brainstorm ideas for a fundraiser.