Council of Neighborhood Associations

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Crime and Hate stops NOW!

Attention All St. Petersburg Neighborhood Associations

As I am sure you are aware, the drug and violence in Palmetto Park has escalated beyond a tolerable limit. The pleas of the good citizens from this neighborhood have not been heard. This situation has gone on too long. The Crime and Hate stops NOW!

As a member of the Palmetto Park Crime Watch, I am aware that our situation is not much, if at all, different from the situations that you and many other associations have been trying to resolve for years. Therefore, we invite you to step forward and join the proposed United Neighborhood Alliance of St Petersburg as we kick off a new era of crime prevention as one voice.

Tomorrow, Saturday May 26 at 6:00pm, we will be holding our inaugural celebration cookout. Drinks and sandwiches provided. This event will be held at 2715 2nd Ave S, St. Petersburg Fl, 33712, home of Mr. & Mr. Burghardt-Culp, recent victims of criminal violence. Bring your neighborhood banners!!! Also bring a lawn chair to sit and chat.

This event is being held to gather support, members, and to discuss concerns that will be used to formulate the mission and organization of the UNASP. This will be solely a private citizen-based group, open only to current members of a St. Petersburg Neighborhood Association as recognized by CONA and/or FICO.

I am aware that this is a holiday weekend, and that many may already have plans, this situation however is extremely important and the formulation of this group is in the best interest of every neighborhood in this city. The safety of our families has been on the line for too long. Please make every effort to attend the cookout and help to form a single voice dedicated to positive productive change. We are working to make this a highly visible event, it is not our intent to ambush or attack the local government, but it is time that our voice is heard and taken seriously.

Thank you in advance for your participation, and support.

Sincerely

Wade Phillip Burghardt Culp

Please contact our founding members should you have any questions:

Wade 727-215-1090
Cass Rael 727-321-2653
Dan Spice 727-328-2852

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

May Message

April has been a busy month for this volunteer and the neighborhoods. I have talked to several neighborhood activists who are trying to start, restart or re-energize their neighborhood associations. This is happening all across town. As volunteers, our challenge is to grow our replacements and to have the leadership of our associations a mixture of veterans and fresh faces. Sometimes the transition works well and sometimes, it does not. Changing neighborhoods complicate this job as well. CONA is there to help with advice, the school of hard knocks, and many examples of what works that you are free to copy. Please join us at the meetings and get to know other neighborhood leaders who face similar challenges.

One of the side effects of the CONA agenda is that it is forward looking. As a result, it does not reflect too much on problems largely solved. Code enforcement has been a major issue in St. Petersburg for the last 15 years. I am happy to say that a large number of improvements to the system have been made over the last couple of years. The addition of a special master helped relieve the backlog at the code enforcement meetings. Cell phones and computers have improved communication with the code officers. Reorganization of the typing of notices has taken many weeks out of the enforcement process. This month, the codes office added the ability to report violations, check on status of violations and check to see if a property has violations, all from the city’s web site. This represents significant progress in a very important department for the neighborhoods.

By the time you receive this newsletter, the City Council will have given the scope of the management review of the police department to the staff so they may hire a consultant. After 18 years, we hope the hard questions will be asked:

1. What can we do to reduce turnover?

2. What can we learn from other cities who are cutting crime rates every year?

3. How can we improve our “closure” rate (solved cases) to match the City of Clearwater?

4. And, near and dear to neighborhoods, how are other cities using community policing to eliminate “hot spots” or crime clusters in their communities?

Thank you for caring about your neighborhood. Together, we can make a difference.

Karl Nurse
President
Council of Neighborhood Associations