I'm so pleased this week to introduce a new project from one our creative committees.
The Long-Range Planning Committee, tasked to be the German Village Society's think tank, has completed a series of guides that will help residents live better in our urban community.
Because "creating a thriving and contemporary community in German Village" is stated in our charitable mission, this project is a perfect fit.
Long-Range Planning Chairman Matthew Eshelbrenner told me how it all got started.
"During one of our monthly brainstorming sessions of how to improve German Village, one of our members asked a few questions to the group about how best to handle a few seemingly routine requests," Eshelbrenner said.
"She had been working on a house project with a lot of waste and wasn't sure what to do with all the debris she had accumulated," he said.
"Harnessing the collected knowledge of the committee, a member quickly pointed her in the direction of 311's bevy of services. Free bulk pick up was at her door within a few days."
So there's the idea.
The committee, along with summer German Village Society intern Ellen Fraser, created a list of brief how-to guides for how to marshal city services.
From bulk pickup to getting a light replaced on your street, this informative set of bullet points will help both long-time and brand-new residents quickly find what they need.
"We devised a vision to put together a central location for residents to check to help answer many frequently asked questions about city services," Eshelbrenner said.
"Our goal is to provide residents a quick and easily understandable instruction guide to empower residents to help keep GV beautiful," he said.
"Whether you stumble upon a pothole or have a broken street light in your alley, many of these issues can be quickly and easily fixed by informing the city in the correct method.
"Not only does this list help you to be proactive about fixing things around German Village, but it also allows you to spread the word next time a neighbor or friend has a question about how best to address a situation."
So beginning with next week's electronic newsletter, "Neighbors4Neighbors" (subscribe now at the bottom of our home page), we will debut the answer to one frequently asked question.
You'll get one a week, and after they've been distributed via N4N, they'll live permanently on the website under the "I Live Here" tab.
We just launched a new and improved germanvillage.com, so this is an EXCELLENT reason to go check it out.
Each week, the basic answer is printed in the bullet points and there is at least one click-through to more detailed information.
"We hope these posts help you and help the neighborhood! If there is something you would like to know more about, please us know!" Eshelbrenner said with enthusiasm.
Have an idea for answers you need? Each week's answers are followed by a simple click-through to suggest more FAQs.
German Village Society Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village notebook column.