Bylaws changes in late 2007 that penalized Northland Community Council members for missing too many meetings have caused a decrease membership in 2008.

Bylaws changes in late 2007 that penalized Northland Community Council members for missing too many meetings have caused a decrease membership in 2008.

Despite that, NCC president Dave Paul said he believes the changes -- which suspend member organizations that fail to send a representative to three consecutive meetings -- have increased participation and meeting attendance for the NCC.

And most importantly, Paul said, the bylaws changes have ensured that the NCC had a quorum and could vote at each meeting this year.

At multiple meetings in 2007, attendance was so low that the organization was unable to cast votes.

"We've never gotten ourselves into the bind that we were in where we couldn't do anything," Paul said. "Overall, I think attendance is better this year."

In 2008, NCC member Beaumont Neighborhood Civic Association dissolved due to a lack of residents interested in the association, Paul said.

Westerford Village and the West Albany civic associations were expelled from the NCC because of a lack of meeting attendance.

Paul said those expulsions weren't unexpected, since Westerford Village also was struggling from a lack of resident participation, and West Albany lies on the border between the NCC and another community organization, which it chose to join instead.

Creekridge and Preston Commons civic associations also have been suspend-ed from the NCC due to a lack of attendance.

Meanwhile, Woodstream East and Woodstream West were reinstated into the NCC after being suspended due to a lack of attendance.

In 2008, Paul said the NCC did see one new organization join, the North Village Homeowners' Association, and he said more organizations have expressed interest in joining the council.

"We've heard expressions of interest, and we're working with some folks right now," he said. "There's certainly some interest out there that I think we'll be acting on rather soon."

Following the decline of civic organizations such as Beaumont and Westerford Village, Paul said he would like to see the NCC become more of a resource in 2009, with members reaching out to struggling civic associations and to newly forming civic associations.

"I think we'll be able to do more of that in the new year," he said.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com