The buzz at the March 16 NPA meeting.....

By Lea Terhune, NPA Steering Committee Member - Ward 4, Appletree Point Ln, leaterhune2@comcast.net
Fri, 20 March 2009

~Pat Kearney, Ward 4 member of Leddy Park Disk Golf Working Group, said the next meeting is Mar 24, Leddy Arena, 6pm, to Vote "YES to Disc Golf at Leddy with recommendations", or "NO to disc golf [in Leddy Park]." Before the vote, there will be an open public forum for residents, and working group members will express their opinions.

~ The Mayor is expected to propose a merger of Parks and Rec with DPW. Residents generally agree something needs to be done. DPW has a good track record of achieving economies of scale in city government (merged all vehicle maintenance). Dave Hartnett, Ward 4 Parks Commission member, said Parks Commission opposes merger.

~Shake-up in city gov. Kathleen Butler leaves Code Enforcement. Ita Meno leaves Center for Community and Neighborhoods to take a possition as a Code Enforcement Officer.

~ Petition drive to dump IRV starts next week. Issue is voter representation. Kiss was elected by 28% of voters, and by just 7% of registered voters. Petitions will circulate to dump IRV and reduce the win threshold to 40%.

~ Cathedral Square is close to learning whether they win the bid on the DMV property. We've asked them to build senior/mixed housing in our Neighborhood Activity Center. Kurt Wright and NPA community group helped move this along. Much interest and many questions about it. Residents will have a chance to learn details and have input through our NPA, long before the project goes to the city for development review.

~Many concerns about the city's pension plan, and what we're going to do about it. Taxpayers are looking for answers.

~ Strathmore has all it's occupancy permits now. Not sure if homeowners have to pay.

~ Steve Goodkind, Ward 7, Director of Public Works, vowed to bring in the cameras to dis-cover sewer back-up problems in Staniford/Western/Oakland areas in Ward 4. Village Green, Ward 7, chimed in with their sewer problems. Problems are city-wide, we have an aging infrastructure, and it will cost BIG BUCKS (read taxes) to permanently fix the problems.

~ City Council has called for a special public hearing on the downtown building height issue. Paul assured us that councilors' minds are open, and the vote could change, depending on public input. Russ and Paul admitted that the tax [TIF] deal diverts new revenues from the general fund for 20 years. So what is the public benefit of this new height ordinance? Are there any location guidelines, set backs, step backs, etc?

~ Lakeshore property owners imminently face tax equalization, with estimated adjustment +33%. John Vickery, city Tax Assessor, took all questions, and delivered straight answers.

~ Fair Housing thrives in Burlington. Tenant organization is active. CVOEO is vigilant. Residents are supportive.

The meeting was taped for Ch17 by Steve Norman, Ward 4. When the air time schedule is available, it will be posted on FPF.

The night after the NPA meeting, we review meeting issues on Ch17, LIVE@5:25. Residents can call in -- thanks to Dale, Lincoln, and others who called in with thoughtful comments.