Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Property Owners Beware – You may become a SCTF “Poster Child”

All invited except press and government officials – directed at me for writing about their formation in The Roanoke Star-Sentinel:
Steering Committee Recommendations to the Task Force
February 26th, 6:30 PM – The First Church of the Nazarene
728 Highland Ave, SE, Roanoke, VA 24013
Jay Moran

In accordance to the direction provided by members at the first Task Force meeting, the Steering Committee has developed a course of action for discussion, review and approval by the organization as follows:
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1. The Task Force (TF) general body adopt the name “Safe Communities Task Force” (SCTF).
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2. The SCTF adopt the Mission Statement:: Roanoke neighborhoods are often plagued with problems including drug dealing, prostitution, other crime, violence and/or general poor property maintenance and other code violations associated with certain resident owned or rented properties. Efforts to correct or eliminate such blight from our neighborhoods typically escapes resolution despite best efforts of residents, police and other organizations. There is no city wide policy to that effectively deals with this issue. It is the mission of the SCTF to seek avenues by which to cause the city to create and implement a city wide policy to effectively deal with such blighted conditions in all our neighborhoods by correcting or eliminating the respective issues or properties.
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3. The SCTF elect Steering Committee leaders
3.1. to fill the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Recording Secretary, and, if it intends to handle any moneys, a treasurer.
3.2. Toward this end, the SC solicits nominations to fill these roles immediately

4. The SCTF take up the general rules and procedures as follows:
4.1. all neighborhood leaders are encouraged to participate in the SCTF
4.2. any ordinary citizen may make up the membership in the TF.
4.3. Those individuals representing any governmental organization or the press may attend by invitation of the Steering Committee.
4.4. The meeting place for both the Steering Committee and Task Force group be held at different neighborhood venues each month as practical.

5. The Steering Committee (SC) take up the following simple general rules and procedures:

5.1. No cap is placed on the total number of SC members
5.2. participants must be elected officials of a neighborhood group
5.3. only one member from each neighborhood group shall sit on the SC except as below
5.4. Sub-committees will report to the SC and can be made up of any neighborhood group member and will be chaired by at least one person.
5.5. Any neighborhood group member may attend the meeting however their active participation will be by invitation of the SC or a sub-committee chair.

6. The SCTF take up two tactical initiatives immediately:
6.1. Safe Communities Action Team (SCAT) – A team of knowledgeable persons who will screen candidate properties brought forward by members for action by the SCTF and who will suggest a course of action to focus on the problem. Such properties will become the “poster child” examples to focus public attention on these issues. If possible, various properties chosen should be representative examples of a cross section of typical problems.
6.2. Citizens Code Enforcement Oversight Team (CCEO) – This team will solicit citizen feedback about code violations that go uncorrected or closed out by the city [apparently] without resolution. Feedback from the email system or online in the request retrieval and the GIS system is inadequate to understand city actions and results. We need to understand the reality of claims made by the city or citizens on a case by case basis regarding the level of service performance. Ultimately, through this oversight program, the SCTF expects encourage the city to adopt policies that resolve and properly document all such calls for service and provide metrics on same going forward.

7. The Steering Committee and its newly elected officers as soon as practical:
7.1. take steps at its next meeting identify the elements that must come together on a big picture basis to facilitate success of the TF objectives. Such elements may include city administration, city attorney, states attorney, police leadership, City council representation, other organization city or valley wide, or other organizations or officials from other cities etc. in the state.
7.2. identify the major next initiatives to begin facilitating solutions to achieve the SCTF’s objectives as stated.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community

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