Numerous neighborhood association representatives made their voices heard at the Sept. 7 City Council meeting, enough so in fact that the council chose to temporarily shelve an amendment that would sever the city's formal ties with the associations.
Councilors, who approved a change on Aug. 17 that would classify the associations as nongovernmental, agreed to revisit the language of the amendment after failing to find consensus among the neighborhood association representatives.
"It was nice to see other councilors recognize that as we fiddle with the language (of the ordinance amendment), it was creating problems," said councilor Jodie Barram.
She said that she fears that a certain level of inequality might arise among the associations as some neighborhoods are more affluent than others. Barram also said she worries about transparency, since the associations would no longer be required to open their doors to all during meetings.
Suspending a vote during a second reading of the motion is a rare event, said Barram - a testament to strength in numbers. At least eight of the 13 neighborhood chairs attended last week's meeting.
The council will take up the issue again within the next couple of months. In the meantime, a group of neighborhood association representatives, city staff and councilors will work together to make the ordinance more amenable. (JW)