[EINPC] Thinking Beyond the Bylaws
- As I reflect on our last meeting, I'll be glad when the bylaws are finished
and we can begin to think about the future and the priorities of the
council. I understand the bylaws are necessary, but I'd like to ask you to
begin to think about what comes next? There's operational issues to be
dealt with, grant writing, setting up an office for the council,
incorportation, non-profit status, etc. We also need to think about where
we want to go over the next year.
Here are my thoughts:
I'd like to begin planning for more informational exchange meetings. One
reason this council became reality was because of the success of earlier
information meetings. The energy that was felt at this meeting was very
motivating. It was also empowering. But the best part of these types of
meetings, is the coming together of residents and the sharing of knowledge,
concerns, and ideas on how to make our neighborhoods better.
I also think we need to think about having specific workshops that are
geared to helping our own neighborhood associations become stronger. This
is related to something that Tim Carlisle has been talking about for some
time. A kind of Neigborhood College. In this council, we have
neighborhood associations that have been around a long time, and who have a
great deal of expertise and experience that should be shared with all the
other associations. Simple things, like putting together a newsletter,
recruiting members, how to present yourself before a commission, etc.
One of the e-mails from Mark McFadden stated he was concerned about this
council becoming a replacement for neighborhood association participation.
I've heard this before, and think we need to get the word out right from
the start that the purpose of the council is actually the opposite. As I
see it, the council's function is not to get into the business of
neighborhood associations, but to act as a support to them. Our purpose is
to work together, not against each other. We need to make sure that people
within the East Isthmus, and within our own neighborhoods understand this.
The East Washington Corridor Study will be coming before the city council
shortly. I see this as a project for all the neighborhoods in the council
to unite and come together and have some influence on the final outcome of
this project. A project like this only comes along once in 50 years, we
have the opportunity to influence what happens. Along the majority of the
design work is complete and many of us have been involved in the process,
the full inclusion of streetscape ammenities is in question. The extra 10
million in enhancements are needed to truly make this a worthwhile project
that will enhance our neighborhoods and the East Isthmus. We'll need to be
at the Common Council meeting to let the council know how the East Isthmus
Neighborhoods Planning Council feelings about the project.
The other important issue that needs discussion, is the hiring of a
Should this person be full-time, part-time? Should be hire someone as a
consultant for the time being until be hear about other funding? We need
to make some decisions.
These are some thoughts I had as I was writing the grant to the Community
Foundaiton. We can discussion these more next week.
I'm off to Washington DC to do a presentation. We'll see everyone
Wednesday night at the Atwood Community Center!