We can work together to ­improve safety near schools

At the May 7 meeting, the City Council heard from many parents regarding pedestrian and vehicular safety near Mt. Diablo Elementary and Diablo View Middle schools.

Our kids are the reason why many of us live in this community, despite the cost of living and/or the long commutes. Many of us are rushed to get to school or work on time each morning, and it is easy to forget to pay attention to the traffic and our surroundings. But it only takes a split second to make a wrong move that can change our lives forever.

In mid-March, a student riding a scooter was struck by a vehicle near the elementary school, at a location that does not have traffic lights or cross guards. Fortunately, the student was not seriously injured. The incident is every parent’s nightmare, and it triggered a wider discussion as to what all of us can do to increase awareness and support safety near our school streets.

I know our school staffs, including Principals Linn Kissinger and Patti Bannister, are committed to keeping our kids safe. However, ensuring our streets are as safe as they can be requires all of us to work together.

Last week, the council directed staff to research the cost, feasibility and effectiveness of potential ideas, from physical improvements to additional crossing guards, and the council will discuss it again soon. I hope that many of you will attend that hearing.

A community of volunteers. During the last few weeks, Clayton residents have been busy doing things for others and the common good. From the youngest to the more seasoned, our residents cleaned up the parks and streets during Clayton Cleans Up, put together a successful Clayton Business and Community Association Art & Wine Festival and opened their yards and gardens for Clayton Historical Society’s annual Garden Tour. On April 26, we also celebrated the conclusion to an amazing and inspiring 2+ year fundraising and construction effort that resulted in the opening of the renovated playfield at Mt. Diablo Elementary – the MDES Field of Dreams.

The common theme is the power of teamwork and the ability to achieve great things when each of us does our part, however small that part may be. Clayton would not be the same community but for our residents’ active volunteering.

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” (Unknown)

Making A Difference. If you know an outstanding teacher, mentor or a coach in our community, please submit a Making a Difference nomination. Include a brief description of the reasons your nominee is outstanding and should be recognized and email to claytonmakingadifference@gmail.com.

Mayor’s Office Hours. Stop by to chat 2-3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in front of the Clayton Museum or 3-4 p.m. Friday, May 24, at City Hall.

Contact Catalano at tcatalano@ci.clayton.ca.us and follow at www.facebook.com/CouncilmemberTuijaCatalano for more updates.