Five City Council members attended, including Phyllis Ferguson, Jan Fisk, Craig Fishel, Ken McClure and Mike Schilling. Numerous partners from community agencies listened in, including representatives from Ozarks Community Technical College and Missouri State University; Mercy; City Utilities and the Impacting Poverty Commission. Community Listen has a long list of partners committed to hearing citizen concerns.
Most of the City’s departments were on hand to answer questions, including Director of Building Development Services Chris Straw, Public Works Assistant Director Kirk Juranas and police and fire chiefs Paul Williams and David Hall.
Zone 1 Councilwoman Ferguson handed out T-shirts boasting “North Side Pride” and encouraged participants to take part in a “renaissance” of the City’s historic neighborhoods.
Deputy City Manager Tim Smith and Zone 1 Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson led the group through a series of somewhat sobering “intensity maps” that illustrated some of the challenges in the Westside neighborhood and the rest of the City’s Zone 1. Zone 1 is the northwest quadrant of the City.
To start off the “listening” portion of the evening, Ferguson shared findings from the City’s most recent Citizen Survey, which outlined the priorities of survey respondents from Zone 1 and satisfaction ratings for various City services.
The top five issues will be incorporated into a plan to address issues in Zone 1. Smith said that City Manager Greg Burris expects a plan to come forward after partner agencies meet with City officials in late June.
- Nuisance and unsafe properties, which include unaccountable landlords, overcrowded houses, front yard parking, vacant houses and buildings, trash and brush accumulation in yards, inoperable vehicles.
- Enhance public transportation and bus stop shelters.
- Lack of sidewalks.
- Create a Neighborhood Watch group.
- Nuisance and unsafe properties, which include unaccountable landlords, overcrowded houses, front yard parking, vacant houses and buildings, trash and brush accumulation in yards, inoperable vehicles. (33 points) = 25.4%
- Enhance public transportation and bus stop shelters (20 points) = 15.4%
- Lack of sidewalks – particularly around Study and Westport schools. Kansas and Grand, west of Walgreens; Scenic and Catalpa; West Ave. from Grand; North to West Chestnut. (19 points) = 14.6%
- Speeding – 3300 W. Mt. Vernon near Aramark (17 points) 13.1%
- Create a Neighborhood Watch group (16 points) = 12.3%
- Chestnut South (train noise restriction) (8 points) = 6.2%
- Police take-home cars (6 points) = 4.6%
- Mt. Vernon graffiti and trash (5 points) = 3.8%
- Street lights on 600 block of south Glenn. (3 points) = 2.3%
- Better parental supervision of children (3 points) = 2.3%
- Speeding vehicles near schools, particularly College St. Drivers on Chestnut turn off onto College and continue at the speed they were driving on Chestnut. (0 points).