You'd think that emergency preparedness and safety would be at the top of the meeting list with all the burglaries recently reported and then El Nina expected to bring heavy rains and winds this year.
One of my pet projects is to encourage the City to adapt "Neighborhood Associations". Hundreds of cities across the country, including Kirkland, WA, organize Neighborhood Associations (N.A.) to engage their residents in city plans and bring vibrancy to their communities.
The City of Bend, OR residents explain what Neighborhood Associations mean to them:
"Neighborhood associations greatly increase the two-way communications between the city and its residents by providing a clear and organized way for residents to speak to their city government. Neighborhood associations draw people closer to their city government and closer still to their fellow neighbors. Neighborhood participation gives residents a strong, united voice in civic life and joins them in shared neighborhood projects. Neighborhood associations are inclusive, reflecting the diversity which enriches a community. members include families singles, retired people, youths business owners, faith-based organizations, schools, homeowners, and renters.N.A.'s operate much like a school PTSA, with officers, regular meetings, a web site, and committees, including fundraising. The N.A. could select committees for: emergency preparedness, crime prevention, streets & traffic and bike control patterns, fundraising, a school-linkage, GreenRedmond parks, R-Trip, Block Watch, ThinkRedmond business, Land Use planning for ADU's & Tent City, Leadership Institute, beautification gateways, and neighborhood picnic or holiday event.
READ MORE >> on the city's current position on N.A. .
I made three visits to the Planning Commission this month and spent an hour with city planners trying to encourage them to include Neighborhood Associations in the October Education Hill Pilot Network meeting. It was too big of a leap for them. Though the Administration decided N.A. are not in this year's Pilot plan, who knows, maybe next year?
Opinion by Bob Yoder