Sunday, June 7, 2009

Neighborhood Associations

Throughout the city of Troy we have all different types of areas: residential, commercial, and mixed use. Each area has its own personality and its own problems.
Over the past 12 to 15 years community organizations that we refer to as “Neighborhood Associations” have popped up. With the advent of Community Policing, and organizations such as TRIP, there has been a lot of help starting concerned groups and working on their problems.

Our groups are composed of a wide selection of residents in the area. Some are young, some old, some lifetime residents, and some are dubbed “newbies”. Whether they are white, black, working, or non-working they all have the same mission: to improve their living environment. These groups meet in a variety of areas including Community Police Stations, Church meeting rooms, The Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club, and wherever they can find an accessible and easy to find space.

What goes on at a meeting? Where do they meet? Well, if you are not aware of an association in your neighborhood you could either ask a neighbor if there is one, watch the community listings in your local paper, or call City Hall. The City of Troy website has a ton of information on what the city has to offer.

At a typical meeting new folks are introduced to each other, your area designated Community Police officer, your Council person, or perhaps Bob Mirch the Commissioner of DPW may also be there. Frequently our Mayor Harry Tutunjian is there and we always try to have a key speaker in relation to concerns for the area or perhaps a new project coming such as a business or improvements to the area. Great emphasis is given to “getting the word out” to our neighbors regarding important news they should know.

After speakers have their presentations there are a question and answer period and a problem solving session. We highlight the importance of staying connected to each other, knowing your neighbors and area, and reporting unusual occurrences.

Do you belong to a Neighborhood Association? If you don’t - why not? If you do - is it working for you? Do you have any suggestions or other area problem solving concerns that may need to be covered during the meetings? In what other way could a Neighborhood Association help you or your area? Would you want to start one in your area?

Let’s hear your opinions on how well or poor our Neighborhood Associations are doing. Opinions are valuable, everyone has one, and we want to hear yours. Why? Because that is the way it is!