What: Monthly meeting of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods.
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 20
Where: Northridge Baptist Church, 1300 E. Cook Road.
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Editor's note: Rosie O'Grady is co-chair of the Northwest Area Partnership of neighborhoods. The Your Neighbor column is written by a member of a local nonprofit group and appears frequently in Neighbors.
We're halfway through the month, and this weekend marks the beginning of fall, but don't let the calendar fool you. Weather gurus are saying this mild weather could extend through October, and only God knows what winter will bring.
Our NWAP calendar is also drawing to a close, with only two more meetings after this one. We'll be accepting nominations from the floor for secretary and one co-chair position, so if you have a nomination, please ask the person you're nominating as a courtesy before doing so.
We'll also be thinking about new subjects to learn about or speakers we would like to hear from to compile next year's agenda.
There's a saying that in order to leave office, you have to move or die. Don't let this be the case. Step out of your comfort zone and run for office and learn how rewarding it can be.
Last month's meeting began with roll call and thanks given to Northridge Baptist Church for being our hosts and to volunteers, whether it be for donating cookies or helping set up. Many hands make the work go smoother; thanks everyone. The Treasurer's report was read and accepted as read.
Reports went as follows:
•Mike Jacoby of the Fort Wayne Fire Deparment said things are going smoothly with the appointment of our first female fire chief, Amy Biggs, and her newly appointed staff.
•Marty Bender of the Fort Wayne Police Department reported increased vandalism, break-ins, armed robberies, stolen mopeds and, worse of all, the shootings. Whatever happened to settling a score with your knuckles instead of violent deaths? He commented on the lease of the Safety Academy to Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, but is concerned about the financial terms.
Our guests were Win Moses and Kathy Heuer, Indiana House representatives who wrapped up this last session just completed. Heuer, R-83rd District, spoke about being on the Education Commission for Teacher's Evaluation, a pilot program and study of autism.
Both she and Moses, D-81st District, want to cut taxes but are concerned about where the money will come from to replace that revenue. They don't want other taxes to increase or to lose much-needed services.
She talked about the high rate of 225,000 unemployed people possibly being caused by those unwilling to get off unemployment benefits and those who would like to work but can't afford schooling to learn the necessary skills required.
Moses commented on the importance of keeping our neighborhoods strong and to also keep Smith Field, as it keeps aviation training available. He talked about how industry is cooperating with Ivy Tech to prepare future employees with new skills.
He recommended Kathleen Randolph, chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Workforce Investment Board, as a good contact for anyone lacking skills and the money to go to school. He also mentioned that we have incentives to attract new business, but we do nothing for existing businesses that are the backbone of our economy.
City Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd District, worked hard to keep the Scott's store on North Anthony Boulevard open, but we have since learned that's not possible. Kroger, which operated the store, instead hopes to enlarge and improve two other nearby stores to compensate for the neighborhood's loss.
Jehl also said we would need $64 million to bring our streets up to par and, since that money comes from the gasoline tax, vehicles with more fuel-efficient mileage have really cut that income down.
Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters announced Maplecrest Road will open ahead of schedule and under budget by $2 million. We don't hear that very often! He credited John Stafford's work, both in the county and regionally, which allows them to make better decisions.
Three NWAP members will be attending the RNNC (Regional Neighborhood Network Conference) being held Sept. 27-29 in Fort Wayne. Since it's past sign-up deadline, if you wish to attend, please call 311 and ask for Cherise Dixie to see if that's possible. So much is learned at these conferences between four states, and people attending come back with reports and share ideas learned.
You won't want to miss tomorrow night's meeting with Ken Scheibenberger, the city's drug house ordinance coordinator, and hear of the work he does. There will be cookies and coffee to enjoy, so I hope to see you there.