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.
Despite the busy holidays, many neighborhoods were present at our final meeting of this year.
Several reminders were given:
•Judi Wire of Wells Street Merchants group talked about the Holley Trolley running for Christmas shopping, and Bruce Hayes of Beckett's Run told of his experience at the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference held here recently. He showed the notebook , shirt and bag that all attendees were given. Terry Sheets of Burning Tree reminded us to keep in contact by going on our website and using Face Book.
•Alan Lauer gave the City Utilities Advisory Group activity report advising us there had been no meeting for a year, and no one seemed to know why. He also spoke about a pilot program with Parkview coaching seniors transitioning home from the hospital. This is available to primary caregivers and it will hopefully decrease future hospital admissions. He also warned that tough decisions will have to be made regarding school reform and health issues.
•Meals on Wheels is streamlining in-home food service, using frozen foods instead and allowing people to choose several days of breakfasts and dinners to be delivered at one time, leaving the recipient to pick and choose both the meal they want and when to eat it. For questions regarding either of these subjects, please call Aging and In-Home Services at 745-1200.
•Mark Salomon of Neighborhood Code Enforcement announced the home at 2323 Wayside Drive has finally been demolished removing a five-year eyesore from the neighborhood.
•Jim Murua of the Fort Wayne Fire Department thanked all those who donated candy for Trick or Treat at the fire stations on Halloween. He also warned there will be absolutely no burning of leaves or storm debris and that they have a few free smoke detectors designed for the deaf.
•Palmero Galindo, neighborhood liaison, spoke about grants, leaf pick up and advised that, in the new year, neighborhood presidents' meetings will be held quarterly, not monthly.
•Northwest Division Deputy Chief Marty Bender of Fort Wayne Police said crime was down about 4 1/2 percent for this year in spite of all the robberies, break-ins and copper thefts. He also said the use of heroin is again on the rise locally.
•Russ Jehl, City Council, R-2nd District, talked about the Legacy Funds and reforming trusts while Darren Vogt, County Council, R-3rd, announced unemployment was at 7.5 percent and what a boost the relocation of Franklin Electric is for Fort Wayne's economy.
•Our elections are held every two years, and Denny McCoy of Hearthstone Association stepped up to replace Rod Vargo as co-chair. Our secretary will be Betty Anderson, who won by a landslide. Ron Neibel, a board member, will be stepping down, while Rod Vargo returns to the board as past co-chair.
•The latter part of the evening was used to suggest people or subjects we'd like to hear more about in the New Year. Visits from Ricky Kemery, Allen County Purdue Cooperative Extension horticulture educator; trails; tree program; riverfront development; Smith Field; attorneys and legal matters; Department of Planning Services; Community Harvest Food Bank; SCAN; Animal Care and Control; County Prosecutor; and 311 were but a few suggested. We urge everyone to contact us with other ideas.
The NWAP is designed to educate people on the issues, keep them informed and to problem solve, and it has been working successfully since 1995 with the support of many wonderful neighborhoods who see the values of a core group dedicated to improving the quality of life in all sections of our city.
We dedicated our appreciation to the many people who make us strong. We couldn't do it without Northridge Baptist Church allowing us to use their property and Ken Woodis, who always guides us on the uses; Judi Wire, for her generous monthly gifts of ornamental glass she donates each month; a small gift for Rod for being co-chair for two years; and thanksgiving for Betty's successful surgery.
We consider ourselves a small microcosm of this great country, by allowing people to become a part of a democracy through good governing. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and God bless America. See you next year.