Tonight’s meeting at the Workforce Center was a success that none of its organizers predicted. With at least 100 people in attendance it was clear that the citizens of the Wards Corner Partnership area are unhappy with their representation on City Council. Various civic leaders were in attendance and many voiced their dismay with the lack of action in the Wards Corner area. Crime is soaring, blight is damaging our neighborhoods, and the best reaction we can get from the City is that we may get new crosswalks if their is money in the budget.
The frustration level was high as there are people who have been working on the same issues that confront us today for almost a decade. People are disappointed that the City dropped the ball on moving forward with the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan before the General Assembly took eminent domain away and they are equally disappointed that the city refuses to move forward with the plan now.
Crime was a large part of the discussion as most in attendance felt that the redevelopment of East Beach caused much of the crime and blight to relocate to the Denby Park neighborhood. With reports that the St. Pauls Quadrant is where the city will be spending most of its money and resources, there is a great fear that once again the crime and blight of that area will end up in the Wards Corner Partnership area.
It was pointed out that there are five elected city officials that represent the Wards Corner Partnership area and none of them are champions for the area. It was explicitly stated that most of the Partnership Area is represented by the Ward 1 councilman and that he is ostensibly ineffective in bringing home the bacon to the Ward.
The meeting was closed with a plan to meet again at the Workforce Center on January 29, 2008 at 7:00pm at which time an action plan will be formulated. Frustration is high among the citizens, but optimism is causing the citizens to work for change.
A truly amazing turnout this evening. There is a tremendous citizen grassroots undercurrent dissatisfied with our elected leadership that at this level has never been seen before in the Greater Wards Corner Partnership area.
Time for change – look out Wards Corner is on the move!
Our business has suppported and participated in numerous activities, such as clean-up days and Spook-tacular, to try to bring positive change to Wards Corner. But we are tired of the City ignoring the real needs of Wards Corner in favor of funding high-ticket cosmetic items (e.g. fountains at Waterside) for downtown. We agree that it it time for a change of faces in City Council.
It was gratifying to see such a large turnout at last night;s meeting-especially in light of the cold weather and the fact that the rail road mast arms at Wards Corner were stuck in the down position for over 30 minutes immediately prior to the meeting start time. The Mayor and City Council members have neglected the needs to Wards Corner far too long! While we are happy to see the transformation taking place in downtown Norfolk, council needs to realize that Wards Corner is a crucial gateway to the City–a gateway that is blighted and, in fact, financially victimized by city council. We are tired of it, and we WILL make our voices heard.
It’s time that City Council stops neglecting and discriminating against Wards Corner. It’s amazing that we have five representatives and not one will do anything for the area!
Look out Mr. Mayor and City Council, we are not doormats to be walked on anymore, WE ARE UNITED!!
For a number of years at the meetings we have made reference to holding our elected officials accountable for their actions. I think after last nights meeting our representatives will see that happen at the next couple of elections. It is time for a major change in Norfolk’s government. The leadership downtown has become stagnent, complacent and ineffective. It is time to bring in new faces and new ideas. Our neighborhoods need to be at the top of the list of priorites for our leaders.
I don’t even go downtown anymore. Parking is still bad after all of our tax money was spent to build the numerous parking garages; Waterside has turned into “Drinker’s Central”; the “condo jungle” is drying up (I guess we tax payers will be buying empty condos in a few years to bail out the builders and lenders); and the NRHA owns way to much property that should be in the hands of private owners who pay taxes.
The neigborhoods outside of Downtown have lost their voices on Council.
It is time to for our voices to be heard again.
I like the renewed energy I am seeing here. Ward’s Corner has so much potential. One day it will be realized- hopefully sooner than later!
I also enjoyed.I was quite for a change and listened.Everyone was saying what i have said for a few years now.I had a walk thru yesterday with some city people in denby park.We discussed alot about the blight with them.If we can get that took care of then maybe we can work on crime which is the highest in city.Example saturday morning i left around 8:30 got a call from my daughter a man was in the yard.I called 911.I got back home and found the man questioned him.Then the police show up guess we are talking about 20 mintues later.Gave them the report.Do you see where this is going.It should of been reversed they should of been telling me.When i go downtown 2 times a month for dinner.I see alot of times 6 policemen in one block.I know they say we have 2 police cars for our area.Maybe we should have foot police,bike police and crusisers.WARDS CORNER NOW.