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.