Northland Community Council officers and representatives kicked off the new year with a goal-setting exercise.
"Certainly, everything is on the table," President Emmanuel V. Remy said at the Jan. 2 meeting. "If there's something we don't address on a regular basis, I'd like to know about it."
John Kirkpatrick, longtime leader of the Sharon Woods Civic Association, said the council already puts on an annual awards banquet, co-sponsors a fall meet-the-candidate event and stages a Fourth of July parade.
"Tried and true, consistent events," Remy said of what he called "signature events."
He said the consortium of civic groups and other organizations would stay the course with them, adding that the citizens' award banquet will take place April 19 at the Golf Club at Little Turtle.
Shredding Days, which the NCC had sponsored for several years to help combat identity theft, will be resurrected, Remy said.
"We are committed to doing one in the spring," he said.
Much of the discussion focused on the imminent closing of the Kroger store, 3353 Cleveland Ave., in the Northern Lights shopping center. Chris Suel, the city's neighborhood liaison to the Northland area, said the announcement that the store just south of the NCC coverage area would close Jan. 31 took officials by surprise.
He said the move would make the Linden neighborhood something of a "food desert."
Having Kroger pull out of Northern Lights will have an impact on the Northland area, Remy said.
He said the store at 1745 Morse Road already is among the company's busiest, with between 43,000 and 60,000 customer visits a week.
"The retail landscape's changing faster than we can imagine," Remy said.
He vowed to improve communications with large corporations that have a presence in the neighborhood as a means of heading off unpleasant surprises, like the abrupt closing a few years ago of the Kohl's store on Morse Road.
"We should be having ongoing discussions with them, not just when a store's closing and not just when a store's opening," Remy said.
William Logan, vice chairman of the community council's development committee, suggested increasing communication and cooperation with township trustees as a goal for the new year. He said the Northland area is unique in Columbus in that four townships are interspersed in the neighborhood.
"You can't coordinate," Logan said. "I've tried, and you can't."
He said it is difficult to get a business owner in the city to abide by zoning and graphics rules that are being flaunted across the street by a business in a township.
"The whole thing boils down to communication and having discussions," Remy said.
"There needs to be a meeting of the minds with the trustees," Logan said.
Remy said an effort would be made to invite township officials to the April 19 awards event.
"One thing I can tell you we're doing right is we're all here," Remy said.
Some troubled neighborhoods in Columbus lack organized civic associations and Block Watch programs, he said, and said these programs "help tremendously."