Saturday, January 16, 2010

Don't Forget to Vote in the Poll!

Gary Bertsch has retired and the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership is in the process of hiring a new director. What 4 qualities are most important to you in a new director for the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership?

Please scroll to the bottom of this home page to cast your vote in our new poll!


Anonymous said...

I strongly urge the WWP and CACLV to make living IN the WW a condition of the Director position. Too many times we put people in charge of a program who do not have the itimate knowledge of actually living through the various issues, which is a valuable asset! Please do not just use grant experience or ecology as the main factors as this position is best served by a people-person.

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

Dear Anon,I agree with you 100%, any grant writer, development person, or someone whose sole experience is that of sitting in an office or classroom and does not have a clear intimate knowledge of the folks who they are going to serve,will not fit the bill.
These are tough times in the West Ward,we have seen some progress,in my personal opinion but there has to be some drastic efforts to inform and unite agencies,initiatives,services and most importantly people.This Leader must be available,vocal and focal.He/she must employ effective good old outreach,yep the kind that comes from walking,talking and learning firsthand from residents own mouths what their issues and problems are and then working with them to find solutions.I am not saying any of this is easy and I for one will offer any and all the support I can,whoever takes on this task better darn well have a big hat rack in their house, because they will need it for the many hats they will have to wear. Good Luck!

noel jones said...

Anon~This is an important point for discussion, as some of the candidates have lived in the WW for many years and others haven't but have might other experience with residents of the WW, and still others might have no experience in the neighborhood at all. All candidates MUST live in the WW if hired, which means anyone not living here currently, would have to move to the neighborhood if hired. But the point for discussion would be how important is it to residents that the person hired ALREADY BE a resident of the WW?

For instance (and these are completely hypothetical situations) would someone from outside the neighborhood who say, goes to church regularly in the neighborhood be ok? Or someone who lives in another neighborhood, but works in the WW? How about someone who lives elsewhere, but owns property in the WW, or someone hasn't worked in the WW but relevant work with residents of the WW?
Or is it important that the new director be someone who has already lived here for many years and knows the neighborhood intimately?

Michael said...

Noel, Your last paragraph was an important point for me. "important that the new director be someone who has already lived here for many years and knows the neighborhood intimately".

We have seen many times where the person had impeccable credentials only to not fully understand the real issues of the community.

An example is that although we have numerous rental properties with parking pads, mostly in the alley, they are not used by tenants due to the poor (or worse NO lighting). So the off-street parking issue appears to be addressed, but is actually no better than before.

As previous comments noted, this will not be an easy task, but WITH the help of neighbors and organizations it can be accomplished.

Tim Pickel said...

I must agree with the point of hiring someone who already lives in the West Ward. Nothing will impede progress more than bringing in someone who will spend a year or so getting to know the nuances of this place.

Nikkita said...

I know I'll get shot for this, but I personally disagree with the statements being posted.

From my position I think the person would HAVE to live in the Westward but NOT necessarily have to have LIVED here for a number of years. My reason for this is the following:

- What I've noticed about people who have lived hear for decades seem to be "stuck" in the ways of the old and not necessary up for change.

- Sometimes it's good to NOT know the baggage so that you can come in with a clear head and fresh ideas that may not be possible with someone who has been dragged down by the pain of failure again and again from this city. I know for me every new job I've started I have come in with great new ideas that people (who have worked there for years) say it's not possible... but in the end I ALWAYS get my "projects" completed and people are ALWAYS happy with the changes.

If the director lives in the West ward and make it a priority to canvass the streets and listen to the woos of the neighbors... I think they would probably be better apt to do something NEW and think outside the box as opposed to someone who may know intimitely the problems with easton but may be only able to see what can be done within the four walls.

Sandra Walters Weiss said...

Nikkita,Don't worry the only shooting that will be done will probably me shooting myself in the foot.LOL
One of the most important qualities that this person is going to need, is passion.To be successful in such an endeavor,requires passion.
Knowing the West Ward is going to be a key factor in the success or failure of this endeavor.How interesting of Noel to post the Walking article.Not to be hokey here but in order to reach people,one needs to walk among them and most importantly...LISTEN. A successful outreach component is necessary if there is to be any success at all.And I have yet to see the kind of Street Outreach implemented necessary to get folks involved,a momentum of movement needs to be created where individuals feel that this is not yet another initiative that has failed or failing.To echo hopeunseen,that is so apropos,hope is not yet seen.
Most people are so caught up in the day to day struggle to survive and there is not a great deal of communication going on,on multiple levels.
I do not profess to have all the answers,but I do know that if this initiative"we" are undertaking is not led by someone who has a "passion" for change than I fear all will remain "STATUS QUO"
The burnout rate for Community organizing is extremely high,constant struggling for funding,addressing duplication of services,adoption of new legislature,turnover of individuals in positions of authority etc. A lot to chew on huh?You bet it is, then again I am just an old junkyard dog. Peace to all!