Northland News

Seeking support for Northland

Remy: NCC needs to 'supply the grease' at the city level

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Emmanuel V. Remy doesn't have anything against Brice Road or the people living in that area of the city.

He does have a great deal of regard for the Northland area and its residents; after all, he is president of the neighborhood's community council.

So when more city spending was recently announced -- not in Northland, but for the vicinity of Brice Road on the East Side -- it rankled.

A lot.

"No one's engaging us in those discussions from the city," Remy said last week. "We're the ones who have to engage them. I've been told many times it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I want to make sure we're supplying the grease."

It's a theme Remy expounded upon at length during his report to Northland Community Council representatives at the May 6 meeting.

"We're a body of 28 associations that represents 14 percent of the population of Columbus," he noted.

If the Northland area were a separate city, it would rank behind Dayton in terms of population, Remy added.

And yet, he said, "lots of energy" and investment of city dollars seem to be going into the areas near downtown Columbus. Not a lot of energy and not a lot of investment are happening in Northland, Remy told NCC representatives.

"I think that leaves a lot of us feeling like we're out on the fringe," Remy said.

It's important for the representatives of all member organizations, he added, to push city officials to make infrastructure improvements in the Northland area.

During his remarks, Remy also pointed out that no member of Columbus City Council resides in the Northland area.

Many elected and appointed city officials will be on hand for the NCC's Volunteer Awards Banquet on May 29 at Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center on Schrock Road. Remy urged members who attend to get to know these people and make them aware of the Northland area's needs.

The community council represents a unique way for residents to interact with officials, as opposed to the city-sanctioned area commissions that provide neighborhood representation in other parts of Columbus, according to Remy.

"We are an independent voice," he said.

Remy added that NCC members have no desire to adopt the area commission approach of making appeals for attention to the city.

"What we have here is a great structure," he said.

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