There are some that believe that neighborhood associations are nothing but neighbors proclaiming “Not in my back yard!” (NIMBY). In Rochester this is absolutely not the case. I have 3 very active neighborhood associations in my ward as well as a forth (Country Club Manor) which meets sporadically. These organizations are pragmatic, effective, and masterful at protecting our city. As I was cleaning out some old photos I found a few to share.
The first picture is the annual Halloween parade in the Historic Southwest. There is no greater honor for a city leader than showing up as these events and people assume that you live in the neighborhood because you are always at their events. Both of my daughters got to participate in the event. The timing of this event was such that we also got to discuss the attempt of a private veterans museum group to take some heavily used green space from Soldiers Field in the core of our city.
The second photo is of a very classy act by the Historic Southwest neighbors. I was personally very involved in getting a grocery store downtown. As always I held standards high, worked with neighbors, and achieved a project that the neighbors were proud to have in their neighborhood. For all those that think that neighborhoods are just anti-development, just look at the picture. Neighborhoods are anti-bad-development, but typically welcome quality projects that enhance their neighborhoods.
The last picture is of the neighborhood turnout during discussion of the 5th on 5th proposal. Neighbors did have some concerns, but were incredibly respectful during the discussion. Candy Williams in particular was masterful in here presentation. So much so that I ask her to apply for a city board or commission. The huge turnout in this photo was not a city council meeting, but rather a Planning and Zoning meeting. I can’t discuss the merits of the case very much because I am in a quasi-judicial capacity, but when a neighborhood represents itself this well, in only boosts their ability to get things done.
Finally I can’t forget to mention the leadership and organization that the neighborhood has shown with regards to the proposed water tank in or near St. Mary’s park. While that is still a work in progress, it does make my life easier when neighbors actually care about where they live.