Monday, April 21, 2008

Special "Town Hall" Meeting

Aaron Weissman, the chair of Neighborhood Council 7 indicated they are having a special meeting on Wednesday, April 23 at Noon at the Community Rec. Center at 801 2nd Avenue North.

The discussion is going to be about violence and drug activity at 5th Avenue North and 5th Street. Aaron did mention this serious problem at last week's city commission meeting.

Even though you may not live in this neighborhood, this problem belongs to all of us. If you can, please try to attend this meeting.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for featuring neighborhood councils GF Girl. The councils may not have legislative authority, but they have 'Moral Authority' and I applaud Arron's passion and concern and hope folks attend that meeting. The other councils also have the 'Power of the People' and the new city manager should be visiting with each council to learn their concerns directly with a commissioner or two to also attend. We also need a new Vision 2020 process like we had in 1900 for Vision 2000, but in the Lawton Era that wasn't valued, but we must have that now...the times demand it and the councils would be an integral part of that vision process.

"Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Treasure State Jew said...

As you might have read in the paper today, neighbors on that block raised a lot of concerns. Both 515 and 521 5th Avenue North are single family homes that have been converted into multi-family rental properties.

Both properties are in significant disrepair, and tenants often live in the properties for only weeks or months at a time. Residents of properties like these are responsible for much of the crime in the lower North and South sides of Great Falls.

As you can imagine, these properties are rented by those that are extremely low-income. What can only be regarded as a ramshackle slum is often their last resort before homelessness.

Anecdotally, the neighbors of those houses continue to observe activity consistent with the dealing of drugs. One neighbor said that she often observed dozens of cars stopping by 515 5th Avenue North in a period of one or two hours.

Most of the people at the meeting placed the blame on non-responsive landlords who "will rent to anyone" and "do not care what kind of illegal activity they do there."

Discussion turned to rental property standards and landlord licensing.

We have a problem on the lower North and South sides of Great Falls. By God, does it take finding a dead body in the street to wake us up?

We will clean up our downtown. I welcome your thoughts and ideas for the best way to do so.

Aaron Weissman, Chairman
Neighborhood Council 7