Sunday January 19, 2014 How important are the Neighborhoods - Really?

The Neighborhoods are ready. Is the City Council and City Staff?

Arguably Wednesday night's CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations) meeting was one of the most important meetings in the first 100 days of the new Kriseman administration.

The Neighborhoods and CONA will set the stage and be the true implementers of any neighborhood renaissance that the Kriseman administration and this City Council manage to create.

There were more people at this CONA meeting than any of the recent past. The parking lot at the Sunshine Center was full.

When it came time for the swearing in officers and new president Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Mayor Kriseman was there, Darden Rice was there, Karl Nurse was there and from the City staff so were Mike Dove and Susan Ajoc

Where were Council Members Kennedy, Gerdes, Kornell, Foster, Newton and Council Chair Dudley?

They sure show up  when they are looking for votes.

Also notable missing were Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, Chief of Staff Kevin King, Director of Urban Affairs Nikki Gaskin-Capehart and interim Police Chief Dave DeKay.

Kriseman or King should light a fire under the senior staff.

Interestingly there were no major media representatives or reporters, including the St. Petersburg Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times present. This new day in neighborhoods could use some media support.

For the first time in a long time there was excitement on the faces in the room. They believe something really great is about to happen.

Some support from the elected officials and City staff would go a long way in keeping that excitement alive.

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rob January 19, 2014 at 11:34 AM
My neighborhood hasn't heard from Kornell since he campaigned couple years ago. Sent him a letter about that. Also, asked for presentation on Skywat Marina Disrrict since they failed to notify Maximo about the meeting. One week since sent the email.
Rob January 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Oops, that's Skyway Marina District not Skywat
kenrol January 19, 2014 at 03:49 PM
I love reading your Blog...keep it up. Carol
Bill H. January 20, 2014 at 09:53 AM
It was a unique swearing that I witnessed. Usually these things, in all clubs or groups, are mundane and boring. People are just going through the formality as they may feel obligated or taking the position because nobody else wanted it. This, on the other hand was a celebration. People were smiling, laughing and hugging. Not that things were so bad before, but rather at just the prospects that lay ahead and the excitement about the possibilities. It was good to see and it is a shame that there weren't even more people, from the city and media to catch some of the fever. There are so many changes coming, that if we get it right, many great things could be on the horizon. Here's what I wrote for my neighborhood newsletter: "A change has begun. There is a new Mayor, new council members, and a new police chief and there will be a new head of Codes and President of CONA. This is important because we want to move the city forward and this will give us all an opportunity to work together and unify our community. We should look to working with them and a Neighborhood Partnership dept. that is vital to neighborhood participation and revitalization. Starting with the restoration of neighborhood grants for targeted projects as these can help give a neighborhood a sense of self and identity. Next step is focusing on the worst of the cities codes offenders. By targeting just a few of these, we can make a major difference in this city. It’s time to come up with an all encompassing plan to attack the snipe sign offenders that continually litter this city. We need a simpler way to deal with cars that are illegally parked on residential property. Crime undermines everything we strive to achieve as a city. Our police strategies must be supplemented by our continued investment in crime watch, neighborhood patrols, along with porch light and Cepted education. And although crime is down in our city, we need a community policing policy that works for all of its citizens and one that we can all get behind and believe in. Because officers cannot be placed on every corner, we must strengthen the working relationship the Police Department has with residents, with neighborhoods, faith based organizations, community-based organizations and others. Nothing will be achieved if the people don’t have faith and trust that they are safe in their city. We must nurture and strengthen our neighborhoods. A strong neighborhood is at the very core of a safe community and city." Putting all politics aside, this is an exciting time in this city, and if we embrace it, there is no telling how bright the future in our neighborhoods/city may be.


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