There's strength in numbers. A joint meeting of two Northland civic associations on Nov. 9 drew a large crowd and a great deal of media coverage.

There's strength in numbers.

A joint meeting of two Northland civic associations on Nov. 9 drew a large crowd and a great deal of media coverage.

The topic -- the increase in heroin trafficking in residential neighborhoods around Northland's major traffic routes -- undoubtedly had something to do with that, but the notion of combining forces to hear topics of widespread interest caught on.

"The November meeting was such a success that we decided to do it again," said Emmanuel V. Remy, president of the Clinton Estates Civic Association.

This time around, in addition to his organization and the Karmel Woodward Park Civic Association, the Maize-Morse-TriVillage Civic Association will also participate.

The joint meeting, which will take the place of the regular monthly gatherings for the Clinton Estates and Karmel Woodward Park groups, is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the Haimerl Center, 1421 Morse Road. It will get under way at 6:30 p.m., and the featured speaker will be Franklin County Auditor Clarence E. Mingo II.

"He will speak to us on two timely topics, the property tax revision process for homeowners and the 2011 residential property reappraisal, all as a means to lower our real-estate taxes in these trying economic times," Remy wrote in announcing the meeting.

Bill Logan of the Karmel Woodward Park Civic Association arranged for Mingo, who was chosen in August 2009 by the Franklin County Republican Party to replace retiring auditor Joe Testa, to appear to the joint gathering of civic groups, Remy said. He said he believes having an audience of three such organizations played a role in getting such a high-profile speaker.

"Absolutely," Remy said. "It allows us to bring in bigger name speakers, maybe up the food chain. Having the combination makes it more enticing for elected officials."

"Certainly having the multiple civic associations together and therefore a larger audience helps in terms of the speaker and making it worth their time from our perspective, as well as giving them an audience in a more efficient manner," Logan said. "It works to benefit both the speaker and the civic groups by having a combined audience."

While civic organizations tend to focus primarily on their own backyards, Remy said that he feels it's good for them to get together from time to time regarding topics of mutual interest.

"It's a chance for communities to get together and share some commonalities," Remy said.