October 2016 meeting info and President’s message

The October 2016 Wards Corner Civic League meeting will be held on the 17th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Invited speakers are Department of Emergency Response and Preparedness

Below is the President’s Message:

by Jim English ajim.english@gmail.com

Dear Neighbors,

I want to discuss a couple of items from our last civic league meeting. First, because we were in the throes of a tropical storm, our speakers from Emergency Manage-ment, Preparedness and Response were unable to join us and make their presentation. Since they have a very interesting presentation, they have been invited back to our October meeting and have confirmed that they will be there.

Secondly, an issue was raised that the Watermark Apartments, being constructed by Collins, are not being built according to the plan approved by the Talbot Hall civic league, our civic league as well as the Planning Commission and City Council. It was suggested that Collins was somehow allowed by the city to get away with not following the approved plan. I went back and reviewed the plan that was approved by our civic league, the Talbot Hall civic league, the Planning Commission and City Council. I also went to the site to compare what is being built to the plan. I also conferred with Martin Thomas Jr. who was on the Planning Commission at the time. It is very clear and evident to both of us that what is being built is in accordance with the approved plan. Mr. Collins is NOT getting away with anything as was so stated. It would be helpful in the future if facts were checked before inaccurate statements are made. It does us all a disservice.

Another issue has come up again since our meeting. That is the flooding in the 400 and 500 block of Burleigh Ave. This problem has gotten worse since the sewer lines were moved to the middle of our streets. Although a meeting was held on this issue this summer, no satisfactory answer to the problem was given. At a recent discussion with Kristen Lentz, Director of Utilities, I was informed that if water stands in the street for more than 3 days it must be addressed. Well, that applies to this area. Therefore, Utilities and Public Works will be at our October meeting to discuss this and our citizen concerns. If you are affected by this flooding, please come to this meeting.

Finally there is a very important National election for President and Vice President coming up in November that will affect us all. I am sure you have heard about it, I mean how you could you miss it unless you were on another planet. Therefore, I want to take a moment and discuss the importance of voting in this election.

This is probably one of the most important Presidential elections of our time. As much is at stake, please make sure you listen carefully to the candidates and try to make as informed choice for the President as possible. We have been bombarded with a lot of rhetoric over the last several months, with more to come, and it is clear that making a choice may be very difficult for some.

Because of these important elections and our responsibility as a US citizen to vote in every election I am including a short piece on the reasons we should vote.  The following is from the website of Essortment.com and I thought I would share it with you.

Voting in a local, state, or national election is an exciting opportunity provided by democratic nations to their citizens.

There are many good reasons to vote, including the following:

1. Casting a vote allows an individual to express a choice among candidates who wish to become government leaders. It’s up to each voter to locate available information about each candidate and to make an informed decision about how to vote. Rather than allowing potential leaders to hide weaknesses and wrong-doing from public awareness, a democratic voting process urges citizens to get involved and to share viewpoints about who should lead. Failing to register a vote is tantamount to saying you don’t care. Few people truly remain oblivious to government leadership. Most have opinions about the way things should go, and they should use the voting process to express their preferences.

2. Voting provides a medium for citizens to support the democratic structure. If a majority of citizens chose not to vote, democracy might become a thing of the past, replaced by another form of government that might prove more elitist in nature. Registering to vote means that you believe in the democratic process and will participate in it to represent your right to freedom of speech.

3. Supporting the electoral process helps to reinforce your regional government. Showing that you care with your vote tells candidates that they must be accountable to the public. It also suggests that those who introduce issues for a vote must provide adequate information to answer citizens’ questions and address their concerns rather than attempt to foist a half-baked idea onto the general public.

4. Showing up at the poll on voting day sets a good example to others. Remember, your children observe all that you do and will learn from your example, right or wrong as it may be. Civic awareness is an important part of their training and one of the early steps on the road to maturity. Discuss the candidates with your family and make a point of mentioning your vote, or wearing the pin distributed at many polls that reads “I voted today.”  Voting also sets a positive example to neighbors, friends, and family who may be uninterested in or unfamiliar with the electoral system.

5. Finally, taking time to vote reflects pride in your nation and its government. The country becomes a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world who will be watching. Let everyone know that you care enough about your homeland and its leaders to have a say in the election’s outcome. Never surrender your right to speak your mind via the vote on Election Day.  If you are not currently registered to vote, call or stop in at the electoral office in Norfolk City Hall to get signed up. It only takes a few minutes, and even that step is likely to get noticed by those who are watching.”

Finally, I hope to see you at the next civic league meeting on October 17th. Please enjoy this edition of the Wards Corner Civic League newsletter. Our newsletter editor puts a lot of effort in producing our great newsletters.