Civic group recruiting representatives
The Forest Park Civic Association is looking for a few good men and women.
While the officers for the coming year are set, residents willing to serve as area representatives are still needed, returning president Mike Stone said last week.
The 3,300-home subdivision, one of the largest and oldest in the Northland area, is divided into 14 subsections, each assigned a representative.
"Basically, they're the communications source, bringing information to the board and back to individuals addressing individual concerns ... really, just having a pulse on the neighborhood," Stone said. "It is the most important foundation to our board and a fantastic entry-level point if people are not sure how involved they wish to become."
In an email sent out soliciting potential volunteers for the positions, Stone outlined the duties of representatives:
* Attend monthly board meetings and bring concerns and news from their area.
* Be a source of information to others in and around the neighborhood.
* Participate in the one-day summer membership drive.
* Participate in other activities "in which you might find your passion."
"This is a fantastic community, but we have to have a greater participation level from within," he wrote.
Stone has consented to serve a second term as president. Other returning officers include vice president Ken Gilbert, treasurer Dan Hartzel and secretary Matt Ward, who assumed those duties in the middle of 2012. Rita Woeste is the new editor of the neighborhood's newsletter, The Forester, while Ed Vanasdale takes over as the supplemental security officer.
Forest Park is the only neighborhood Stone knows of that provides its own added security for residents.
"We really are going to make a hard push this year to up our attendance at Forest Park board meetings, to up our membership," he said in an interview last week.
Stone said he believes residents came to realize last year the importance of having a strong civic association, particularly over the issue of changed traffic patterns for Tamarack Circle.
"We basically were able to deliver the neighborhood sentiments to the city and they're aware of our collective displeasure," Stone said.
Also, the 50th anniversary celebration for the founding of the subdivision, as well as the creation of an electronic mailing list to keep residents informed of issues affecting them, were accomplishments in 2012 that Stone hopes will convince more people to become involved in the neighborhood organization.
"It was a very good year," he said. "We want to build on our momentum and make 2013 a great year."
Those interested in becoming area representatives may email Stone at email@example.com.