Archive for Friday, August 17, 2012

Lawrence officials travel to sister city in Greece

August 17, 2012

Advertisement

Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm, left, receives the official flag of the Municipality of Messolonghi, Greece, from Mayor Panagioeis Kaesoulis, holding flag at right. With them are other members of the Sister City delegation to Iniades, Greece. Messolonghi is responsible for the administration of the area of Iniades.

Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm, left, receives the official flag of the Municipality of Messolonghi, Greece, from Mayor Panagioeis Kaesoulis, holding flag at right. With them are other members of the Sister City delegation to Iniades, Greece. Messolonghi is responsible for the administration of the area of Iniades.

Lawrence officials and residents visited the Greek costal city of Iniades during the last week of July, not necessarily to take a summer vacation, but to make inroads for the future.

Iniades joined Eutin, Germany, and Hiratsuka, Japan, as a Lawrence sister city in 2009. Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm and a group of 13 others visited the Greek city, meeting with officials and educators and staying with local families. Schumm said the trip strengthened the relationship between Lawrence and Iniades and could make the exchange of students and residents a future possibility.

Schumm said such exchanges would enrich local culture.

“It’s good to understand that the world is much bigger than just Lawrence,” he said.

Don Schawang, head of school for Bishop Seabury Academy, went on the trip and was excited about the possibility of exchanging students with Iniades.

“I have always thought international experience was important to education,” he said. “When it comes to my students, it’s about opening their eyes to the world.”

Kansas University theater students have been visiting the city every two years to perform in one of the city’s ancient amphitheaters.

Schumm said Iniades originally sought to make Lawrence a sister city because of this exchange. Schumm added that Iniades and neighboring Messolonghi city officials suggested an exchange program between KU and a technical college located within Messolonghi.

A group of 20 officials and residents will travel to Lawrence next spring to try to work out a deal with KU. They will also try to coordinate the beginning of a Messolonghi festival in early May. The city hopes to send over 10 Greek dancers to help kick off the festival in Lawrence.

“It could be an interesting event,” Schumm said.

Trip costs

Mayor Bob Schumm and Don Schawang both said they paid their own way to Greece and were responsible for most of the trip’s costs. The Sister Cities program costs the city $7,500 a year, Schumm said. Most of the money is spent on transporting visiting officials and on gifts given during visits.

“It’s a very low-cost operation,” Schumm said. “We get a lot of bang for the buck.”

Comments

blindrabbit 2 years, 8 months ago

Based on the way that The City (Officials) are spending money, maybe the trip to Greece is to see how the Greeks are coping with an insolvent economic crisis. The way City spending is going in Lawrence, it might be a good opprotunity to pick up a few tips on living without a budget while spending recklessly on a variety of "pet projects"..

50YearResident 2 years, 8 months ago

Just how many sister cities does Lawrence have? Those I know of: Germany. Japan and now Greese. It seems every time the Commissioners need a free vacation (paid for by the city) they sponser another sister city. Will it ever end or is it a perk that never ends for the world travelers in our city government?

The meeting conversations must go like this. What foreign city do you guys want to visit this year? (vote made). OK, we'll will find a sister city there and we all can go free. OH, and be thinking about where you want to go next year so we can be working on that free trip too.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 8 months ago

If you read beyond just the headline, you will find such information as:

"Iniades joined Eutin, Germany, and Hiratsuka, Japan, as a Lawrence sister city in 2009."

"Mayor Bob Schumm and Don Schawang both said they paid their own way to Greece and were responsible for most of the trip’s costs."

tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

Read! You expect him to read? He probably didn't read his assignments in school either. He just skimmed for the answers. I mean reading is for nerds, right?

grammaddy 2 years, 8 months ago

Who's paying for the trip??Surely not the "Sisters".

classclown 2 years, 8 months ago

Seeing as to how they're "family", are they going to be sponging off of us?

tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

WWII is over, honey. Get a reality check.

Robert Rauktis 2 years, 8 months ago

They went to learn how to issue Greek bonds. Maybe we can sell them to the German sister city.

tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

I want their cars. They have some well maintained collectables over there. I know there are car fans chomping at the bit to get there.

oldbaldguy 2 years, 8 months ago

great to see everybody in trim today. why did they go to the Greece? do all cities similar in size to Lawrence do this? i guess it is for economical reasons?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.