Did you know that the NPA’s are now approximately 35 years old in Burlington? [Read the original Resolution that created NPAs in Burlington here.]
Did you know that in many way we are always “New”?
Let me explain. I have been on and off our Ward 4 & 7 NPa for the better part of 15 years now. It is always changing - sometimes for the good and sometimes not so much. Right now I am thrilled to get back into volunteering with the current batch of great North Ender's who make up the Steering Committee.
Some have been doing great stuff for our community for a long, long time and others have recently decided to take their turn at working together each month, planning, coordinating and facilitating our own community town meeting each 4th Wednesday of the month (except around holidays) between 7 and 9 pm at the Miller Center at the end of Gosse Court.
I was away for a brief period during what President Gerald Ford would have called “Our Long National Nightmare - Part II” also known as the 2016 Presidential Election. Regardless of who you backed or how you feel about the outcome, one thing is for sure. We can use some good ‘ol community spirit. Rebuilding and strengthening - in collaboration between this community, local business, and local government - is something the NPA was founded for.
If you haven’ chatted with school board members, city councilors, state representatives or other city officials, or gotten the latest scoop on local developments, or shared a lite snack while chatting with your neighbors or stood up and announced something important to you and your neighborhood - Well then you have not been to a recent NPA meeting.
About now, if you read this far, you may be wondering what I’m going on about.
Let me tell you. First, I want to let you know that the tradition of packing our February meeting with local candidates and people to inform us about ballot issues is continuing in good fashion.
We will have snacks and general neighborly chatter at 6:45 pm this coming Wednesday
The meeting will begin at 7pm where we give everyone the opportunity to introduce themselves and mention any item they think is important to share with the community.
Next up, we have arranged to have School Superintendent Yaw Obeng and staff tell us about the 2 school related ballot items and take our comments and questions.
Then we are going to pack in a whole lot of March Election day stuff into a rapid succession where you will learn who will be seeking your vote for Ward Clerks, Inspectors of Election, School Board and City Council.

Let me tell you, no one will have as much time as they or we may like, but EVERYONE of the candidates will have their turn. We ask you to write your questions on forms we will provide so we can read them and move things along as effectively as is possible under the time constraints.
It is my intention to be sure that every question written be addressed. “So, Jim, you must have created some new laws of Time physics” you might be say right about now. Yup I did!! Any questions that can not get asked will be presented to the appropriate people after. I’ll ask them to type responses and get them back to me to redistribute to anyone who provides an email address on the form. Will it work? Who knows. But it’s worth a try and my hope is that any candidate that wants your vote will make the effort to help me get their answers to you.
Once the candidates have had their say we will have our current city councilors talk about the 6 other ballot items they had a part in shaping. They will then give their monthly City Council report and take our comments & questions.
We will wrap the night up with the Legislators giving us their report and taking our comments & questions.
And then the current School Board members will give us their monthly report and take our comments & questions.
We want to thank the Miller Center folks who are always such good hosts by wrapping up as close to On-time as possible. So the best way we can show our appreciation is ask that once the meeting is done, you assist in putting a few chairs away and kindly take conversations outside so they can end their long day and be on their merry way.
I wanted to tell you more about what to expect in coming months but I’ve already asked you to read a lot.
Suffice it to say, the NPA is 35ish years young and the best is ahead. With that I’ll put in a plug for encouraging you to considering joining the NPA Steering committee and/or be thinking about the fact that Steering Committee elections are coming up soon.
For those of you who know what it is, the update on CDBG grant money will be coming up next month. Also Community developments and Neighborhood Revitalization surprises are in the works so as spring nears think about what new things can be done and what old things should continue. With that tease I’ll invite you enjoy the rest of your week. Hope to see you this Wednesday, 22nd around 6:45 at the Robert Miller Community and Recreation Center at 130 Gosse Court.
- Jim Holway, Steering Cmte