The nonprofit Northland Alliance will celebrate its 10th birthday next month, and current chairman Dave Cooper feels it might be time to bring some new faces on board as members of the board of directors.

The nonprofit Northland Alliance will celebrate its 10th birthday next month, and current chairman Dave Cooper feels it might be time to bring some new faces on board as members of the board of directors.

Expanding the board and bringing more people in could help make the organization representative of more than primarily the business interests of the community, according to Cooper, a past president of the Northland Area Business Association and owner of the Ink Well on East Dublin Granville Road.

"In order to broaden the base of what we were working on we felt we needed more people from various areas," Cooper said.

The nonprofit alliance was founded in March 2001 in the wake of the closing of Northland Mall. According to the founding documents, working in partnership with the Northland Community Council and NABA, its purpose is to:

Combat urban blight, neighborhood decline and urban sprawl

Preserve green space and protect waters and the environment

Create, improve and beautify public spaces, including parks, playgrounds and bikeways

Enhance and improve the neighborhoods within Northland

Encourage safe pedestrian access to neighborhoods

Educate neighbors and businesses on ways to increase safety and lower crime, and to revitalize their properties

Improve housing stock and access to housing

Provide or improve services to Northland's residents, workers and visitors

Support public events that foster a sense of community and neighborhood within the greater Northland area

Enhance the image of and quality of life for Northland's residents, workers and visitors

"Our mission statement is pretty broad and there's quite a bit going on there," Cooper said.

One of the early targets for that mission was the creation of a special improvement district for the Morse Road business corridor, which faced a sharp decline with the closing of the city's first shopping mall. Operating under Davie Hall as paid executive director, the SID came into being, with property owners agreeing to an assessment in order to make physical improvements to Morse Road.

When that mission was accomplished, Hall moved on to take a job with the city's Department of Development, and Cooper was asked to take over as chairman on a volunteer basis.

At the request of city officials, he sought to replicate the Morse Road SID effort for state Route 161, but that project failed - largely because many of the major property owners are out-of-town corporations.

In light of that, Cooper said that he and others currently on the Northland Alliance board feel that "we need to get back to our roots and work on more varied issues that affect the residents of the Northland area, as well as the businesses, as well as the nonprofits and so forth."

Cooper, who said he may be stepping down as chairman in the near future, possibly in favor of Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center executive director Joyce Bourgault, indicated that currently the alliance has only eight active members. The charter calls for 15, so adding more faces and greater diversity to the makeup of the board won't require major alterations to its existing structure, he said.

"We're certainly willing to talk to anyone who has a contributing role to the community," Cooper said.

Potential new members might come from the health care, nonprofit, education, business or civil service sectors, " but it has to be someone who is currently bringing something to the table to help the population of the Northland area," Cooper said.

"Maybe it's someone we're not talking to now in terms of the Northland Alliance or some organization we don't have a contact with and should," Cooper said.

Board meetings are the first Wednesday of every month at 4 p.m., so potential new members would have to be available then.

Anyone interested in joining at the Northland Alliance board may obtain additional information by calling Cooper at 888-2201. His e-mail address is dave@inkwellcolumbus.com.