GENESEE SCHMITZ NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: SWDC heard briefly from the acting chair of this new group, Dick Miller (we covered its organizational meeting last month), and celebrated its formation as a success – with one rep noting it’s a community council NOT borne of crisis, though the neighborhood certainly has a central issue of focus right now – the future of the Genesee Hill Elementary School site, empty this year after Pathfinder K-8 moved to Pigeon Point. GSNC has a website, Miller mentioned, but nobody knew the address – we hope to get that in e-mail later today, and will add it to this story (as well as to the Community Groups list in the WSB sidebar). 11:29 AM UPDATE: Here’s the link.


It was good to go to the meeting last night with 6 of us there for the new Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council.  We were very warmly received.  We let it be known to City Council President Richard Conlin that the destiny of the Genesee School property is important to us.  Mr. Conlin told us that the Council is working to complement the School district.  The City wants to make school “assets” useful to the whole city.  Our issue is: “How to make closed facilities an asset to the community.”

The Council has no problem with our proposed boundaries, and let us know that boundaries often overlap and are a bit fuzzy.

Here are some ideas I got from the meeting for getting our council off the ground:

1.       Do we need a Neighborhood Plan like the one which Admiral has developed?  If so, can we get a city-funded consultant as Admiral did?

2.       What is the zoning throughout our area?   Do we have development issues as some of the other neighborhoods do?  Are we purely residential?  Will we stay that way?

3.       We should identify potential P-Patch areas, as it looks like there is a lot of money for that.

4.       How do we get ourselves off the ground, and what pitfalls do we avoid:  it might make sense for us to meet with the representatives of each of the other members to learn from their experiences.  It looks like we share an interest with the Fairmont neighborhood, as they also have an unused school in their area.  We should talk with Sharon Meeks from Fairmount about this.

5.       Our next step, after adopting by-laws, getting boundaries in place, and electing officers, might be to develop our mission statement.  What are our goals?  Some of the other members have coalesced over immediate action items:  Genesee School is ours (I like referring to it as Genesee School, since that is OUR name, rather than Pathfinder.  Easier for everybody to identify it with us.)