Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Meaningful Proactivity

If last night's Common Council meeting is any indication, WPCNA is on its way back from wandering generality to meaningful specificity.

Out in Force More than half of the speakers who commented on resolutions under consideration were WPCNA members. Too bad only one based his input on evidence. The others, unfortunately, perpetuated the widely-held perception that WPCNA members are locked in reactive mode -- giving personal, emotional, and often political opinions -- and rarely proceeding proactively, based on evidence and analysis.

But the real clue that WPCNA is once again making itself felt at City Hall were comments from the dais.

From the Mayor's Lips In his unsuccessful argument in favor of leasing the traffic island in Renaissance Plaza to the Ritz Carlton, Mayor Delfino argued that residents of the Ritz, numbering just over 100, form a neighborhood and deserve, like other neighborhoods, to have a marker that welcomes them home. (The Ritz, without permission, co-opted the island, erecting a marble sign engraved with the Ritz Carlton name.)

He said he knows the Ritz Carlton is actually part of the North Broadway Civic Association, which he gratuitously characterized as "claiming half the city for its territory."

In another facetious aside, he said the Ritz Carlton has more residents than some "so-called" Neighborhood Associations, such as Colonial Corners, have members.

Those comments, although flippant, make it clear that neighborhood associations matter at City Hall.

Genuine Proactivity At the end of the session, the Mayor stated matter-of-factly that he'd ask the Fisher Hill and Battle Hill associations to consult on the last item on the agenda, referral of the site plan for the proposed mixed use development at 55 Bank Street.

That's more like it, Joe!

If an old dog can learn new tricks and call in the neighborhoods before the plan is implemented, surely there's hope for WPCNA to morph from reactivity to proactivity?

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